Tech Update 2.9 - Many Small Improvements

Learn about the many improvements to our website for the 2.9 release done from April through November.
Jeff Bowman Jeff Bowman
IT Manager
November 17, 2017
Tech Update 2.9 - Many Small Improvements

From April through November, we worked on several improvements to our website and our Salesforce platform. And in October and November, we added bigger improvements and one new features. Read on to learn more!


  • We streamlined the login page so that it is more compact on mobile devices and so that it is easier to find the password and join links.
  • We added a check and warning message for a potential duplicate account when adding a family member.
  • We fixed an issue where autorenewal payment information in your profile was overwritten when a different credit card was used for a one-time purchase.

Courses, Clinics & Seminars

  • We added filtering features to course template rosters. This new functionality allows course leaders to find graduates and instructors from multiple years of courses for instructor recruitment more easily. It allows filtering by membership status, role, and course start date. Learn more about scheduling & managing courses.
  • We improved mobile view of the My Courses page so it's easier to see courses, and the lectures and field trips that go with them, on mobile devices.
  • We improved the headers in the Course Materials tab to prevent confusion about what types of materials available for a course.

skill badges

  • A bit more of a new feature than an improvement, a set of skill badges may be specified as a perquisite for courses, course-related activities, seminars & clinics, and trips. This allows us to make some of our courses modular and more easily allow new members with outside experience  into our current offerings.
  • In the past pre-requisites for activities and courses had simply "OR" functionality. To participate in a certain trip or clinic you needed to have a basic climbing badge OR a scrambling badge.  Now we have the opportunity to require either of those course badges OR a complete set of skill badges (e.g. A collection of skill badges for an early season Basic Rock Climb might be: Navigation AND First Aid AND Lead Belay AND Belay Escape AND Rappelling AND  Rock Climbing AND Snow Climbing).
  • Please note that we are working on standardizing the definitions of the skills at an organization-wide level. New skill badges related to a specific activity will also have to be approved by all branches that sponsor  those activities. Attend one of our activity summits if you are interested in learning more about incorporating skill badges into our org-wide standards for our trips and basic level courses . 
  • If you are offering an intermediate or advanced course or clinic where you'd like to incorporate skill badges please touch base with our Member Services team at 
  • We also improved the process for assigning badges when closing an activity. It's now possible to assign multiple badges for successfully completing an activity when closing an activity.

Routes & Places


  • If you are on a waitlist, you may cancel anytime, even after registration closes. Previously you could only cancel the waitlist before registration closed which meant if you wanted to sign up for another activity that still had registration you could not; now you can. This also means if you stay on the waitlist, you are still interested and ready to go if a space opens at the last minute. Visit your My Activities page if you need to modify your registration.
  • We improved the "Schedule an Activity" portlet displayed to leaders on all Routes & Places. It now has clearer radio buttons to differentiate trips, seminars & clinics, and course-related activities.
  • We re-ordered activity templates so that all templates of the same activity type are displayed together when scheduling an activity. This is in the second step of scheduling an activity.
  • We improved the mobile view of the My Activities page, so it's easier to get information about your activities and events.


  • We added availability and information about volunteering to the popup displayed after clicking on an event listed on a calendar. Find an event near you.

Lodge Stays

  • We added a configurable "Leader's Permission" style feature so that only students participating in courses that use our lodges exclusively for that course may make and pay for a reservation. Learn about scheduling and managing lodge stays.
  • We added a field for those making a reservation to include an email each of their guests to broaden and improve  routine and, more importantly, last-minute communications to our  lodges guests.
  • We re-organized lodge stay rosters so they may be grouped by the payer, the person who made the reservation.
  • We added information to lodge stay rosters so that our volunteer hosts will have better information about our guests.

Youth & Family

  • We removed the requirement of the Youth Information Form when a parent is registered for that activity too. **Note that the parent must resister before registering their child.
  • We added chaperone capacity and availability to activity summary views that are displayed in search results and calendar popups.


  • We improved Committee Member, Leader, and Instructor tracking on committee rosters by adding a checkbox for "Committee Members" and expiration dates for committee members, leaders, and instructors.
  • We added a bulk update feature committee rosters to make it easier to keep these roster up-to-date.
  • We added a feature to automatically assign and remove leader and instructor badges when added to or removed from the leader and instructor roles on a committee roster.
  • Visit our Leader Resources page to lean more about all the tools and resources available to help our volunteers mange our committees and programs.

Website Infrastructure

  • We upgraded our rich text field editing tools, so it's easier to add formatting to content on our website. Nearly all of our website content has a rich text field: activities, courses, events, trips reports, etc.
  • We improved the interface for uploading images to our website.
  • We improved the interface for making text and button links in website content.
  • We improved how pagination is displayed in search results when viewed on mobile devices.
  • We implemented several of the recommendations from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) evaluation. This will improve our organization's results in searches done with Google and Bing. More are planned in the coming months.
  • We corrected timestamp used on email notifications and confirmations. It was UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) and is now PST (Pacific Standard Time).

Salesforce + Marketing Cloud

  • We upgarded to the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) to Version 3, giving us improved donor and member tracking and engagement.
  • Salesforce generously donated their developers' time to improve our Salesforce features during their annual "Coding for Kindness" event. They helped us improve our Marketing Cloud email capability, set up A/B testing for email messages, and added rollups with APEX code for improved and more accurate volunteer reporting.

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Mike Kretzler
Mike Kretzler says:
Nov 22, 2017 07:29 PM

These are all great improvements and will make my managing a course easier.