What we've been up to

Wow, it's been busy here lately. So busy, in fact, that we've barely had time for this poor ol' blog. So here's some news about what we've been up to...

Since May, we've brought on some 25 new colleges, seminaries, and other institutions. We have another 5 ready to launch in the next few weeks. As I write this, almost all of our current customers are in the midst of course registration for the Fall 2010 Academic Term. At any given moment during the day, Populi is handling hundreds of users and thousands of students, much more than ever before.

This is a thick time of year for our customers—and so it is for us, too! We spent the summer training registrars, bursars, other staff, and faculty. Thanks to Adam Sentz's constant scrutiny and improvement of the interface, many of our new users have just logged in and figured it out themselves. Meanwhile, further improvements are in store for the look and feel of Populi, making it easier to use (and easier on the eyes).

Aaaand... we've been very busy designing, testing, and releasing new features. The past two weeks we've trickled out several items of note and numerous back-end improvements, constituting almost a mini-release. The new stuff includes:

Google Calendar Integration Improvements: Having built out Populi's integration with Google Apps, we're happy to announce that it now supports full Course Calendar syncing. When you add a course to an Academic Term, it automatically creates a corresponding Course Calendar in Google. As you add faculty and students to that course, they're automatically subscribed to its Calendar. The Calendar feeds directly into the Events on their Populi Home pages, and even includes assignment due dates, special meeting times, and so on.

Payments/Refunds Report: Thanks to feedback from some of our most thorough financial users, we built a report in Billing that gathers together all Payments and Refunds in a single table. Filter it to see different types of payments, amounts, and date ranges—and print the receipts with a single click. We also added receipts to the custom Layout options in Communications.

Online Application Enhancements: In addition to an email verification field, there's some new Javascript on the back-end of the Online Application that lets you connect it to an external, online marketing campaign (say, your Facebook page). It lets you (among other things) track "conversions" from your campaign to the application, giving you a better sense of how your marketing efforts are working. We're eager to see what our customers come up with for this—this, too, was based on a customer's suggestion. If you want to put it to work for you, the complete details are in the Populi Knowledge Base.

Our work hasn't been the only thing keeping us occupied. Isaac recently ran a triathlon (and check out these wild pics from his trailcam!), Mark's two bands have been gigging around town, and Toby recently welcomed a son into the world. Some of us have gardens, others are finishing their degrees, and one has a motorcycle.

We've been busy, we're busy now, and there's no sign of the busy-ness letting up anytime soon. Thanks to all our customers for keeping our days interesting and full of stuff to do.