Entire PAS membership database now on web site
Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:00 AM
One of my goals in setting up this web site and using DNN was to eliminate using MS Access for maintaining the PAS membership database. I have finally been able to accomplish this.
There are still several members (around 40) that prefer a paper newsletter and for whatever reason have chosen not to sign up on the web site. There are also some 20 or so places we mail newsletters every month. Until now that meant keeping all of these entries in the old Access database.
To facilitate moving the "offline" members to DNN, I created a dummy email address, "firstname.lastname@example.org". This actually forwards to a web site set up for this purpose - email@example.com. This is a pretty cool site, check it out! One very useful feature is that you can see email sent there for a period of time, handy for checking messages sent out by the Forums or whatever.
One I had that set up, I just added each PAS member to the site. I created a Username in the form of "@LnameF", entered the mailing address, and used the "firstname.lastname@example.org" email address. I added the "Mail Newsletter" role as appropriate.
We still need to print labels. The trick is to extract the data from the DNN database and import it into an empty copy of the PAS Access database. To do this I purchased a DNN module called "DataView" from Onyaktech.com (only $15 !!!). This is installed on the "Mailing Labels" page, and set up with an SQL query that extracts the needed entries from the DNN database so they can be exported to an Excel (.XLS) file. MS Access can import these, which gives us a way to print the labels.