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Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - FINAL

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Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - FINAL

  1. 1. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 1 of 61 Executive Summary Reldog Lite (RDL) is a relational database program that was developed to meet the needs of organizations breeding, raising and training working dogs for guide, service dog and other work. It was modeled after the database in use at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which was developed by volunteer programmer Kevin Keymer and staff at Guiding Eyes for the Blind. It represents millions of dollars of donated time over its 13 years of development. Schools who do not possess the financial resources required to invest in the development of a customized database can use RDL to store basic dog data, health and genetic data, general information about people and the many relationships they have with various dogs and your organization, breeding, whelping, temperament, and training progress data, as well as client details and class management. It incorporates methods in managing canine genetics as well as validated temperament scoring systems. A database of this type helps schools maximize their potential to improve the quality of the dogs they produce while managing relationships with their puppy raisers, volunteers, and supporters through proper data management. RDL facilitates data analysis so managers can monitor outcomes and make changes in the key areas of reproductive management, dog health and temperament, puppy raising and training, and team matching and support. This software is designed to be used “point-of-entry”, meaning the person who collects and uses the data is also the person entering the data, to provide the highest level of accuracy. Additional features include built in validity checks for non-sensical data, and data normalization which ensures that updated data is reflected program-wide.
  2. 2. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 2 of 61 Dog Data Whether you are entering and tracking dogs born at your facility or dogs acquired from other sources, Reldog Lite has entry and edit forms to manage your dog colony. Some of the data fields in the Dog Data section include: breed, color, sex, DOB, sire, dam, microchip ID, registered name and number (if desired), the person the dog is placed with, the relationship the dog has to the person with whom it is placed, reason for release from your program, what type of adoption placement (if released), status changes the dog has had over its career, date died and death comments, generation coefficient & inbreeding coefficient (the database calculates these), neuter date, overall health rating and last temperament rating. Health Data You or your vets can enter vaccines, medical histories, diagnoses, laboratory tests and results, prescriptions, DNA blood collections, surgeries and other procedures. If the sire’s and dam’s information has been entered correctly, Reldog Lite can provide your organization with Genetic Summaries that can help to summarize the health of a dog, a litter of dogs or an entire pedigree. Reldog Lite also has the ability to provide a printable medical history including a dog’s diagnoses, vaccinations and other pertinent historical medical data.
  3. 3. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 3 of 61 Temperament Data There are numerous projects currently underway in guide and other working dog organizations to develop validated temperament scoring systems. As they become available, it is hoped that these tools can be made available by their developers in RDL. C-BARQ Dr. James Serpell of the University of Pennsylvania has developed a validated temperament assessment tool called C-BARQ. It is a questionnaire filled out by puppy raisers or owners when their pups are 6 and 12 months old. Parts of the questionnaire have been shown to be predictive of guide dog success and you may find the C-BARQ useful in identifying dogs in need of intervention. The Behavior Checklist The Behavior Checklist is another tool developed by Dr. Serpell. A multi-school consortium is working with Dr. Serpell on its validation. CARAT The Clothier Animal Response Assessment Tool (CARAT) is a new scoring system developed by Suzanne Clothier and preliminary analysis is encouraging that this scoring system will help predict the success of dogs as guide dogs and breeders. This tool may also be available in RDL as an import after users have completed a certification in its use. People Data This section stores name, address, phone & email data, information about secondary people or cross-references to an organization or person record, and the relationships people have with your school such as puppy raisers, breeder keepers and other volunteers. (RDL does not have the capacity to track fund raising or payroll as there are excellent over the counter products available to meet these needs.) Training You can assign instructors to dogs, complete training progress reports and temperament assessments for dogs in training. Reproduction/Genetics All aspects of managing heats, mating timing and production summaries are stored here. Powerful genetic data summaries of a breeder and its
  4. 4. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 4 of 61 ancestors and offspring are available at your fingertips to assist in making mating decisions. RDL provides exports of data to other free-ware that runs estimates of heritability and estimated breeding values (EBVs). (EBVs are statistical estimates of the likelihood for a dog to produce a trait based on all of the data of dogs related to that dog. EBVs rank dogs in a colony from best to worst for a specific trait and help direct genetic change by identifying the best candidates for breeding.) Schools wishing to use EBVs will need the support of a geneticist and must have trait data from at least 100 puppies a year from a single breed. Cooperative breeding groups could combine data and use EBVs from a collective colony provided their dogs have a large number of ancestors in common. Client and Class Data Systems for managing client service data including application management, client profile information, client communication, follow-up support delegation and class management are included. Collaboration Initiatives Schools considering working in cooperative groups using RDL can share selected data among their groups while keeping client data private. A common database system ensures file structure standardization. In addition, schools will develop and use common measures for their dogs. For these same reasons, RDL will also facilitate collaborative research by providing exports to researchers in a format that allows easy combining of datasets. Universal Dog Identification A Universal Dog Identification (UID) is incorporated into RDL. It is recommended that all organizations using RDL commence using the Universal Dog Identification. Cost to the School The best news is that there is no cost for non-profit organizations to use this program for managing data, where the purpose is breeding better dogs or the teaching others. Future upgrades after initial program development is complete will be the responsibility of the organization using RDL.
  5. 5. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 5 of 61 Programming and Customization RDL is written in code that is widely known and the code is openly available to any programmer (open source). Depending on the number of concurrent users you will have, you may need to install a server to run RDL and depending on your on-site network or your need for remote access to the program, you may need software and hardware to run the program on Citrix or another system that would allow for these more sophisticated methods of using RDL. Required Commitment Organizations contemplating using RDL must be sure there is commitment from everyone at the organization to properly implement it. Change of any type creates fear simply because things are different. Fear results in resistance to change. Leaders of each organization should carefully assess and plan for the possible roadblocks to implementation of a new database program. These may include finding the extra time to learn its use and to do the initial loading of data, the change from a paper or centralized administrative staff entry system to a to a point of entry system, reorganization of processes and use of local IT support for computer hardware and software issues. For Guiding Eyes for the Blind, who began this project with the original Reldog system, and for us at Southeastern Guide Dogs, it was a lot of work to change the way we manage our data, but we would never want to go back. Data opens the door to better systems, better data collection and the ability to make informed decisions about the direction of our respective businesses. It empowers us to make strategic decisions based on numerical data, and allows us the unprecedented opportunity to create lasting partnerships with highly responsible breeding practices and exceptional training behind them.
  6. 6. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 6 of 61 Getting Started Welcome to Reldog Lite! By now you are familiar with the benefits of Reldog Lite and what this program’s data management capabilities can do for your school. You are probably excited about the possibilities and clueless as to how you might begin this daunting process. This guide has been developed to give Project Managers responsible for the organization and implementation of the Reldog Lite system the most efficient, and therefore most cost-effective, way to navigate the data conversion process. The Commitment You Have Made When I first began Southeastern Guide Dog’s conversion to Reldog Lite I assumed it would be quick and painless. Our school already had data management software that had been modified to fit our needs, so I assumed that we would simply mine the data we had, upload into Reldog Lite and be on our way! Just over a year and a half later, we are finishing our data entry and completing our last bits of training. Before the prospect of a year’s worth of work makes you reconsider moving forward, I want to share with you why it took our school so much time: 1) We did not delegate one person to manage the project 2) Those we did assign to the project did not have enough experience or clout within the organization to be successful 3) We spent a great deal of time trying to find ways to upload our data rather than entering our data through the forms in RDL 4) We did not create a plan which managed current implementation activity and planned future activity 5) Once we dedicated one person to the project, we divided their attention with other projects This guide was specifically developed to prevent schools from making time- consuming mistakes that may keep them from success. It is intended to give the Project Manager a clear understanding of the project’s scope and an itemized implementation plan to minimize staff resources and maximize the cost- effectiveness of the endeavor.
  7. 7. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 7 of 61 Step 1: Establish a Project Manager Without question, the single most important piece to the Reldog Lite puzzle is selecting an effective Project Manager. This person will champion the project, keep it moving forward and will ultimately be responsible for troubleshooting and training everyone on your staff. While you may choose to have many people involved in the process of implementing this program, you must have one person designated to manage it. Project Manager Selection Criteria As you begin thinking of who will act as the driving force behind your project, ask yourself a few things:  Do we have someone currently on staff with the leadership experience needed to execute a project of this magnitude?  Does this person have enough experience in the industry to understand all aspects of our business?  Does this person have enough experience at our organization to understand the strategic direction of our school?  Does this person have a broad enough knowledge of our organization that they will be able to learn (and carry on a dialogue in) each department for the purposes of training?  Does this person have experience with other data management software? To what extent? Are they simply casual users of the software or are they confident in their ability to manipulate data to get the greatest detail of the information they are looking for?  Does this person have good cross-departmental relationships? If their job does not regularly require cross-departmental communication, is this someone that we feel can confidently develop relationships that will lead to a successful transition?  Does this person have the time to dedicate to this project? If not, are we willing to make the adjustments necessary to enable to them to be successful? If you answered “yes” to these questions, you have your Project Manager. If you answered “yes” to most of the questions but “no” to a few, you have a very strong candidate, but you may need to commit to providing this person with a few tools or additional training to prepare this candidate for the greatest likelihood for success. If you answered “no” to most (or all) of these questions, you have a few options:  Table the project and revisit it in a year to establish if your current staff at that time meets the needs of the project.  Consider hiring a contract employee who meets the above-mentioned criteria and whose sole focus is this project.
  8. 8. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 8 of 61 Remember, this person is the person you are trusting with the data you have and to whom you are entrusting the future of your data. Step 2: Familiarization with the program There is a demo version of Reldog Lite, which you may download and install to enable Project Managers to become thoroughly familiar with Reldog Lite by using a complete, pre-populated version of the software. Project Managers are encouraged to download the demo and give themselves ample opportunity to explore the software. Project Managers should view their role in this transition as “Subject Matter Expert”. Read and test each section of RDL so that you have a working knowledge of the basic and intermediate functions of Reldog Lite. A comprehensive User’s Manual is available for Project Managers to thoroughly explore the software, its capabilities, and its limitations. As you head into Reldog Lite, it is important to understand that RDL is designed as a point-of-entry system, meaning that the people collecting and using the data are the same ones who enter the data. This concept ensures data accuracy as you move through the program because the person entering information has a vested interest in its accuracy. While the program offers unparalleled transparency between departments, the Project Manager will need to give a lot of thought and consideration to the people who have a need to access certain types of information. RDL has been designed to only permit certain users the ability to add new people and organizations (to limit the likelihood of double entry), to create or edit dog data (to avoid inaccuracies like a dog coat color being changed accidentally or the change/deletion of an identification number) and to limit the users who have the ability to view confidential client information (in compliance with HIPPA regulations). We will discuss more about user permissions in Step 10: Enter Your Current Personnel – Establish Employees as Users later in this guide. Step 3: Determine What You Will Need You and your management team will need to establish what your organization will need to effectively implement Reldog Lite. Technical Support It is important to determine if the person responsible for the network configuration of Reldog Lite understands network design and wiring. While setup procedure may be “simple” to a home computer enthusiast, careful design and implementation is required to properly install Reldog Lite. In fact, incorrect installation and improper networking can lead to system crashes, sluggish operation and corrupted data – all very expensive elements to resolve!
  9. 9. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 9 of 61 RDL Support is happy to consult with your implementations staff but is unable to provide your organization with network tutoring. Understand Basic Networking: It is important to understand a little about how the system will work from a technical standpoint. As you know, upgrades to computers, servers or software can be expensive, so it will be critical for you to have a basic understanding of the set-up as you proceed. Establishing a Network Why Network? A network allows multiple personal computers to link together and share data or other resources, like printers or the Internet. For our purposes, it allows RDL to be accessed by multiple users at one time. Understanding the components of Reldog Lite Reldog Lite consists of two major components: GEBDATA.mdb: This is where your physical data is stored in tables. Think of this like a series of large Excel spreadsheets. Each column corresponds to a field, which is a specific piece of data such as a Dog’s Name, a microchip number or the date a dog was called in for training. Each row in the table is an individual record. RDL.mdb: This is the front-end user interface. This part of the program contains the forms and reports you will utilize in Reldog Lite. The simplest way to understand how the data integrates together is to think of a child’s shape drop puzzle. The physical pieces you drop into the bucket are your pieces of data. The cover on the bucket with the shapes cut out of it is your RDL.mdb. The forms within the database say to you: “Place your circle here. Place your star here” – or for our purposes: “Put your dog’s name here. Put your medical procedure here”. Lastly, the bucket itself is your GEBDATA.mdb. It collects your data as you enter the correct pieces of information.
  10. 10. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 10 of 61 How RDL Works on a Network Most organizations will have at least two users entering data from different computers, in which case you will need to network RDL. The single database file housing the data (the “bucket”) resides solely on one computer: the server. The user interface containing your forms (think of the toy’s top with the shapes “cut out”) is duplicated on each worker’s computer. This means each person has their own copy of the interface while entering and retrieving data from the same place: “the bucket”. This setup allows users to access the information most quickly. For example, if you initiate a search for a pup’s name associated with a tattoo number, the RDL program running on the client computer asks the server for the name. The server looks up the pup’s name in the RDL database (Gebdata.mdb) and returns the name to the client RDL on the client computer by displaying the pup’s name on the screen for you. This is a client/server relationship. RDL provides a robust database that should provide excellent service when executed in a multi-user environment. With common off- the-shelf network, computer equipment, and proper cabling, the program will run with adequate
  11. 11. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 11 of 61 speed to facilitate up to 10 users at a time with no problems. For a larger number of concurrent users you will likely need a more sophisticated networking setup. Support you will need Computer Networking can be a fairly complicated subject for the average computer user. This document will not provide detailed network topology. Although the RDL software is the same, how organizations choose to use it will differ based on your organization's needs and funds available for hardware, software and local IT support. The RDL support system via will be happy to help advise you initially. For successful use of RDL networked to multiple users, it is imperative that you acquire the services of an Information Technology (IT) professional to plan and implement a network that will accommodate your specific needs, if you do not have a staff person with adequate IT experience. Your implementation of RDL will be unique to your organization. If you have already acquired the necessary equipment and have established technical support in place, your job may be easier. If you are building a multi-user network for the first time, make sure you have a good plan, proven hardware and qualified support. Successful implementation of RDL relies on a well built backbone of servers, workstations and network. Suggestion on Acquiring Software and Hardware There are many companies that specialize in selling software to non-profit organizations at a reduced price. They are easily found by doing a Google search for “non-profit software pricing”. Also, you might be able to apply for a grant directly with Microsoft where the purchase price is subsidized or donated. Huge savings can be obtained by purchasing used hardware. Many “off-lease” workstations and servers are offered at substantial discounts over retail pricing. Various systems come with a Microsoft Windows XP license sticker on the chassis, allowing you to avoid the purchase of an operating system. Purchasing used equipment can be risky, so make sure you know your vendor and review warranty options. Many Dell computers still have factory warranties. A local source may be a better option than mail order, since you can obtain service without shipping charges for returns. Another option for larger organizations is to lease new hardware and software. This can be a good business choice, because it may provide tax and maintenance advantages. Older equipment is returned every two or three years at the end of the lease, providing an automatic “technology upgrade”. Total cost of ownership is spread out over the length of the lease with monthly payments instead of a lump sum payment at acquisition. Also, the same exact hardware
  12. 12. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 12 of 61 model is purchased for all users, allowing easier maintenance of just one standard computer rather than various models purchased over a period of constantly changing technology. Network Basics There are three options to consider based on the number of computers you anticipate networking: From 2 to 4 computers: Workgroup Network From 5 to 10 computers: Small Network with a Server 11 or more computers: Larger Network with a Server Workgroup Network The simplest form of a network is called a Workgroup. A Workgroup is a small group of personal computers wired together, (typically in a small office) with no server or “master” computer. Each personal computer runs independently of the other, but can share its data or printers with other computers on the network. In the workgroup, one personal computer is designated as the “database server” and is loaded with the RDL Gebdata file. The other computers in the workgroup access data from this computer and are called clients. Advantage: A dedicated server computer is not required. All computers on the network, including the computer which houses the database, can run the RDL Program. Disadvantage: The computer which houses the database has a larger work load as it works to provide data to the other users in the group. When this happens, the computer’s performance is slowed considerably. Solution: We recommend that you limit the number of “clients” on this type of configuration to four. Small Networks with Server An enhanced but more complex network is called a “server based network” or “Domain”. Just as with the Workgroup network, multiple “client” personal computers are wired together on the network but with the added functionality of a server, which becomes the “master” of the network. It also provides a dedicated RDL database for all of the clients. Typically, the server is a more powerful
  13. 13. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 13 of 61 computer with faster access to data, speeding up the processing time required by the RDL program. Under this setup, each computer accesses the information on the server independently. The server feeds information back to the user who requested it. The drawbacks of this particular setup are the same as with Workgroup Networking since the Server is, ultimately, a single computer with limits to how much data it can process. The more users you have requesting operations of the server, the slower your server will operate. Larger Networks with Server As the number of clients on the network increases, the demand for data services increases, so the speed and power of the network and servers require upgrading. You should retain the services of a network consultant to properly size your network BEFORE purchasing equipment and implementing a project of this scale. You are welcome to get in touch with our RDL Support volunteers for suggestions but the actual integration of hardware should be implemented by a local systems provider. Technical Requirements You will need to speak with your IT Department/Consultant to establish the needs of your network to support the software. Operating System Requirements RDL runs exclusively on Microsoft Windows. Please review the chart below for OS recommendations: Computer Platform Minimum Recommended Client Personal Computer Window NT, 2000 Windows XP, Vista Server Computer Windows 2000 Server Windows 2000, 2003, 2007
  14. 14. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 14 of 61 Microsoft Access Versions Microsoft Access must be loaded on each client running RDL. Access versions 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2010 have been tested. We strongly advise against using Access 97. Whichever version you select to run on your network, we suggest that you run the same version on all client personal computers, if possible.) Licensing There may be a real temptation to copy software to work around the expense of acquiring a legal license for Microsoft Access. While the RDL program is in the pubic domain and is, essentially, free to the guide dog breeding and training community, programs such as Access and other Microsoft Office programs are not. Illegal procurement and installation of copywritten software is illegal and has very severe consequences should your organization be caught. As such, your Reldog Lite installation budget should provide funding for both the computer hardware required to house the program and the software needed to run it. Computer Specifications RDL will run on older computer equipment but we recommend the following: Single Client Specifications Device Minimum Recommended “Client” Personal Computer Pentium 4 Pentium 4 or better Networking Server Specifications Hardware Versions for a Workgroup Network RDL will run on older computer equipment but we recommend the following: Device Minimum Recommended “Workgroup” Database Client Pentium 4 Pentium 4 or better Network 10 Mb 100 Mb, 1GB Hardware Versions for a Small Server based Network For RDL running on a network of up to 10 clients and 1 database server, we recommend the following: Device Minimum Recommended “Client” Personal Computer Pentium 4 Pentium 4 or better Database Server Pentium 4 Xeon, Dual Core
  15. 15. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 15 of 61 Network 100 Mb 1GB Hardware Versions for a Large Server based Network For RDL running on a network of up to 30 clients and 1 database server, we recommend the following: Device Minimum Recommended “Client” Personal Computer Pentium 4 Pentium 4 or better Database Server Dual Xeon Dual Core Network 100 Mb 1GB Terminal Server Pentium 4 Pentium 4 or better We encourage you to share these networking/system requirements with your IT Department/Consultant so that they may be able to gauge your current equipment against your needs. They will be able to provide you with a quote encompassing the hardware and software purchases that you may need to continue with the project. Other Advantages to Server Integration One of the most useful advantages to well-planned server establishment with Reldog Lite is its accessibility to remote users. For example: Employees with Internet access can work in RDL: o While traveling on business (such as home visits or home placements) o Personnel can have complete and transparent access to dog training records, raiser reports, client histories, etc. in real time o Employees eligible for telecommuting can easily access the information they need to continue their work seamlessly from alternate locations o Your Kennels or Breeding facilities can access the database even if they are not located at your main office or headquarters Unfortunately, Microsoft Access does not have reliable speed when working as a client/server application over a network connection as slow as the Internet even at DSL or T-1 speeds. You will notice substantial lag when trying to work remotely via the web, but there are other solutions. The quickest and most economical of these options is setting up a remote computer-to-computer connection utilizing a third-party service such as or These services tap directly into the computer your staff would be using if they were on-campus. Speak with your IT Department/Consultant about the viability of these tools as there are some security considerations which should be discussed.
  16. 16. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 16 of 61 If you have two or more facilities requiring full time access to RDL, you may consider installing the Microsoft application “Terminal Services”. This will allow you to access RDL between locations over the Internet (or from any Internet connection worldwide). The installation and maintenance of this option is a little more complicated than the average network installation and you should definitely retain the services of a qualified IT consultant to set this up. Step 4: Reldog Lite Familiarization In order for your Project Manager (PM) to be effective, it is crucial for the PM to be a subject matter expert. There are two very important, and wholly integrated, elements which must be considered as you move forward at this stage:  The Project Manager must have a firm grasp of the information that is important to each department and how they will use the data entered into Reldog Lite  The Project Manager must have an understanding of the organization’s operation as a whole to anticipate potential uses for the data being collected The Project Manager must have a complete knowledge base in the program and how it operates to effectively communicate with personnel and to help guide departmental managers in the future uses of the program (ie: Reports/Queries, Estimated Breeding Values, etc.) An Important Note About Converting the Language in Reldog Lite For those users whose primary language is one other than English, you may customize Reldog Lite so that the forms and drop-downs are in your native language. To do this, please see “Converting Reldog Lite to Other Languages” The Reldog Lite Demo Guiding Eyes for the Blind has developed a fully functioning Demo version of Reldog Lite. This is a very important tool which allows you to see the program and experience its flexibility. The Reldog Lite Users Manual can help you to fully understand different elements within the program. We strongly advise that you take the time to use the demo and the accompanying Users Manual to become as familiar with the program as you can. Contact for complete instructions on downloading a demo version of RDL. Preparing the Demo for Use As we discussed in the “Understanding Basic Networking” section, the Reldog Lite program consists of two database files. These two files must be linked together in order for the program to work. Gebdata.mdb (where the actual data
  17. 17. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 17 of 61 is stored) is nothing more than an incredible amount of data if you don’t have the form structure with which to view it (RDL.mdb). Conversely, if you were to only use the forms (RDL.mdb), every field would be blank if you didn’t tell the program “Go look at this information (in the file Gebdata.mdb) and report it back to me”. To enable these two elements of the program to speak to each other, there are a few simple steps you will need to complete: 1) After you have successfully downloaded and installed the demo database files, double-click the “RDLDemo.mdb” file to open the program. (The name of the RDL program file you have may be slightly different.) a. Note: You may get a message asking you if you would like to proceed because the program that you are opening “contains code which may be harmful to your computer”. Select “Open” and the program will continue to open. 2) From the top toolbar, select “Tools”. From the drop-down, select “Database Manager”. 3) From the subsequent drop-down, select “Linked Table Manager”. 4) A window will open which will require additional action from you: 5) In the window, place a check in “Always Prompt for a new Location”. This checkbox is located on the lower left-hand side of the screen. 6) Then, press the “Select All” button. 7) Once completed, press “OK”. 8) The following window will ask you where your data is located. Navigate to the location of “Gebdata.mdb” on your computer or your server and select the “Gebdata.mdb.” file then press “Open”. This will link your front-end user interface to your backend data file. More About Linking Tables The actions you have just performed linked the user interface to the data behind it. For instance, if you look at the graphic above, the first table you are linking is “tblAALiveTest”. Imagine that within the user-side form of “tblAALiveTest” there is a field called “First Name”. The table manager says: “Please connect
  18. 18. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 18 of 61 tblAALiveTest” (including the field named “First Name”) to the data located in “Gebdata” which holds “Janet”. The Linked Table Manager performs this same function for all the tables you see listed in the Linked Table Manager window and all the fields contained within. Using the Demo Database The Demo Database has been pre-loaded with working data to give you an opportunity to explore and try things on your own without the anxiety of using your real data. It is very important that you use the demo database to experiment before you begin data loading your real data into your own blank program. Once you start to use your program, deletion or repair of bad data can be tricky, so take advantage of the no-consequences environment the demo can provide you! Note: You may explore the Demo without a Users Manual but we do not suggest you start entering your data in a new, blank database without the aid of the manual. There is a “right way” and a “wrong way” to enter data and old habits may be hard to break later! Not to mention the bad data you could have in your database as a result of not following the instructions as written. Step 5: Meeting with Management Once the Project Manager has had ample opportunity to navigate and test Reldog Lite (and after they have read this guide and are familiar with the direction of the project), it is imperative that the Project Manager and the organization’s management meet to discuss the project. The purpose of this meeting will be: o To gain momentum for the project by way of enthusiasm at the management level o To share with management the project’s scope and establish expectations o To keep management apprised of upcoming activity and encourage cooperation/collaboration Gaining Momentum Share with your management team the tools available in Reldog Lite and how it will improve your organization’s ability to manage data and improve breeding quality. Establishing Expectations Inform the team of your expected timeline and the activities that you expect to take place in the next 30 and 60 days. Cooperate/Collaborate Encourage managers to participate in the process in any and every way. Their support of the program is crucial.
  19. 19. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 19 of 61 Step 6: Preparing for What’s Ahead The importance of planning cannot be overstated as your organization begins to move in the direction of Reldog Lite implementation. There are many pieces to the data-transition puzzle and management of the details will best enable your organization to move quickly and smoothly toward a completed transition. Establishing Who Will Do the Data Entry The importance of having someone who is dedicated to accurate data entry cannot be overstated. As you begin the data entry process, it will be critical to identify who will be performing data entry and equally important that the person(s) responsible for data entry at this level have an understanding of the project’s scope, some basic understanding of how the program operates and the organization’s operation (such as reasons dogs are career changed, active program, etc). Taking the time to ensure that your data entry person(s) understand these two factors will increase the validity of your data exponentially. Collect Your Data There is a non-negotiable order which must be followed when beginning the initial process of loading data into Reldog. Try as you might, any efforts to manipulate this order will result in wasted man hours. We promise. The order in which you will be entering your data is the same order you should be following to collect your data. This process will help the Project Manager to establish a timeline that is realistic and will provide the greatest likelihood for timely success. At this point, it may be worthwhile to work with a staff member, volunteer, or contractor/vendor on “mining” or pulling the data you currently have stored in your current database into a format that is easily manipulated, such as MS Excel. We will talk later about the information that will need to be covered as you pull this information from a current database, but for now start thinking about who around you may be able to help with data exports. Step 7: Entering Reldog Opening Reldog Lite for the First Time Once you have had ample opportunity to review the Reldog Lite Demo and you are confident that you are prepared to set-up your own empty Reldog Lite Database, you will download and install your own version of the RDL program. Download a Clean Version of the Program Contact for complete instructions on downloading a clean version of RDL in which you can load your data.
  20. 20. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 20 of 61 Installing Reldog Lite Install the Reldog Lite database files (GebData.mdb and RDL.mdb) in the location you would like. This location can be moved later and we advise you to seek the counsel of your IT Department/Contractor to establish the best location for your data to be stored long-term. Connecting the Databases Using the same steps outlined in “Step 4: Reldog Lite Familiarization – Preparing the Demo for Use”, link the Gebdata and RDL database files together. Establish Yourself as a User To begin the process of preparing Reldog Lite for data and other users, you must first establish yourself as the program’s administrator. 1) Open Reldog Lite. Once the system has finished loading, it will present you with a sign-in window (this should look familiar to you from your use of the RDL Demo). 2) Select “Administrator1” from the drop-down menu and enter the password “PASS”. 3) Once in the Reldog Lite program, select the MAIN MENU button located at the bottom of the screen. 4) From the Main Menu, select PEOPLE. 5) From the People Menu, click ADD NEW PERSON on the left-hand side of the menu. 6) Enter your name and contact information. (Some organizations may prefer to use the organization’s contact information instead of the individuals user’s, to protect the user’s personal information. Each organization will need to make the decision on how they choose to handle that.) Once you have successfully entered yourself as a person, save and close the form. 7) Return to the Main Menu by selecting RETURN in the lower right-hand corner of the People Menu. 8) From the Main Menu, select UTILITES. 9) From the Utilities Menu, select MAKE USER. 10)Enter your name in the format you wish it to appear on the login screen. 11)Enter your desired password. 12)Check the boxes for: a. Authorized to View Confidential Client Info b. Authorized to Enter New Dogs and Edit Dog Data c. Authorized to Enter New Organizations and People d. Authorized to Enter Old Litters e. Live Version 13)Double-click the “Select Person unless user is Department or Group” field and find your name to link yourself as a user to your person record.
  21. 21. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 21 of 61 14) Once done, press SAVE to return to the Utilities Menu. 15) From the Utilities Menu, select CHANGE USER, select your name from the drop-down list, enter your password and press OK. This will switch you from “Administrator1” to your specific profile. Step 8: Register Your Organization The process of registering your copy of Reldog Lite is similar to registering any other software you may use. It identifies the program as yours and the data stored in it as belonging to your organization. Once you complete the registration process, the program will default the owner of every dog you breed as being owned by your school. How to Register Your Program 1) Sign in to Reldog Lite as Administrator1 and select UTILITIES from the Main Menu. 2) From the Utilities Menu, select START UP. 3) The Start-up process is run only once and is done when you first set up your copy of Reldog Lite. You need not, and should not, ever run this function again. 4) Click the drop-down box under “Select Your Organization Name”. If the name of your school is not on the list, contact for assistance. 5) Enter the name of your organization in the “Enter Name of Organization” field. 6) Select your organization type from the drop-down menu. 7) Enter your full mailing address in the address lines. 8) Click RETURN to save and return to the main menu or CLOSE to return to the Main Menu without saving.
  22. 22. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 22 of 61 Step 9: Table Customization What is a Table? On many input forms, you will find drop-down fields that offer you a list of restricted choices for entry in that field. Within the form, there is a query which tells the field to only show data from a specific source. The source is a table. It is a datasheet (similar in appearance to Excel) which houses data. In the GebData.mdb file, these tables are referred to as TREF tables for “Table Reference” Tables. For example, the picture below of the Dog Data Enter form shows a drop-down for “Breed”. The data you see available for selection is actually stored in a table called trefDogBreedCodes. While you may view these trefs by clicking the “Tables” tab on the Gebdata program before the login process, only very few high level users should have the ability to access the tables or other “back-end” design elements of the program. Moreover, if you do not have experience in ACCESS, it is highly recommended that you refrain from making ANY CHANGES in data stored in the back-end of the program. There are many intricate relationships and hidden records created when data is stored by the program and changing or deleting any information in the “backend” of the program can and will result in data corruption and bad records. How Tables Are Used in Reldog Lite These tables are used all over Reldog Lite to provide an opportunity to enter restricted, standardized data. From a data management standpoint, this tool is
  23. 23. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 23 of 61 powerful’ as you will be better able to work with data during analysis using standardized entries. How to Customize Your Tables Organizations differ in many ways. Reldog Lite has been designed with this in mind. In many cases, you have the ability to select which list items are pertinent to your organization and which are not. You have been provided a series of forms in the Utilities section for editing drop-down menu choices. From the Main Menu, select UTILITIES and then UPDATE REF TABLES. Note: Do not go to the back end of the program to delete choices and type new text in existing fields. Some of the reference tables contain code that is critical for proper program functionality. Using the steps outlined above will keep your database clean, user-friendly and in proper working order. Tables You Need to Customize In some cases, it is important that the choice list remain consistent among all organizations using RDL. For example, breed lists or the list of diagnoses must match among datasets from multiple schools if we intend to combine them for the purpose of analysis. Departments and Sub-departments As the system administrator, you will need to establish your organization’s departmental/subdepartmental hierarchy in the GebData tables which house this data. Edit Departments To Edit the departments of your organization: 1) Open Gebdata.mdb 2) In the TABLES tab, select trefDepartmentCode (the tables are listed alphabetically). 3) In trefDepartmentCode, note that each department has a number assigned to it (field Department Code). This number will be very important when you make adjustments in the Sub-department codes. 4) VERY IMPORTANT: The following Departments need to be treated with special care in order for the program to continue working properly: a. Training b. Veterinary c. Breeding These departments can be modified cosmetically but you should not change the meaning of the department. For example: It is OK to change: “Veterinary” to “Medical Services Department” It is NOT OK to change: “Veterinary” to “Development Department” Make the adjustments you need to make so that the list accurately represents your organization’s structure. As you add new departments, remember to continue assigning numbers in the Department Code field in
  24. 24. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 24 of 61 sequential order. If there are departments in trefDepartmentCode that you do not need, you should leave them in the table and not delete them. 5) Once you have finished making adjustments to the list, either print or write down the departments and the corresponding department code numbers. Edit SubDepartments 1) Open Gebdata.mdb 2) In the TABLES tab, select trefDepartmentSubdeptCode (the tables are listed alphabetically). 3) In trefDepartmentSubdeptCode, note that each sub-department has a number assigned to it (see diagram below: column named “SubdepartmentCode”). Also, and perhaps more importantly, each sub- department has a department code to which it corresponds (see diagram below: column named “DepartmentCode”). 4) Using the list of department codes you obtained in step 5 of “Edit Departments” (above), familiarize yourself with how this table utilizes the department codes to categorize which subdepartments belong to the associated department. For instance at Southeastern Guide Dogs, Veterinary Services and Trainers fall under the “Training Department”. In our case, the “Training Department” is DepartmentCode “1”. As such, the SUBDEPARTMENTS “Medical Services”, “Breeding” and “Trainer/Inst.” each have a “1” in the DepartmentCode column in the example above. This means that “Medical Services”, “Breeding” and “Trainer/Inst.” are attached to DepartmentCode “1” (Training Department).
  25. 25. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 25 of 61 Department Codes SubDepartmentCodes Litter Care Plan The litter care plan is the vaccination and de-worming schedule for each dog’s life. Each organization has its own vaccination protocol. As such, you will need to make adjustments to the Litter Care Plan so that your due dates reflect your organization’s policies. Once you have entered your protocols here, each time a new litter is born due dates for vaccinations and procedures for that litter will automatically be calculated based on your regular protocols. 1) From the Main Menu select UTILITIES 2) From the Utilities Menu select UPDATE REF TABLES 3) From the Table Reference Update menu, select LITTER CARE PLAN 4) To ADD a new vaccination to the list, select ADD MORE VACCINES/CARE and fill in the form with the appropriate vaccination information and schedule. Press SAVE to save and return to the previous screen or RETURN to return without saving. 5) To EDIT a vaccination already on the list, select the vaccination then select EDIT DETAILS and make the adjustments you need. Press RETURN once you have finished editing the vaccination and your changes will be saved automatically. 6) To REMOVE a vaccination from the list, select the REMOVE ITEM FROM THE LIST button located on the lower left-hand corner of the screen. This will walk you through the deletion process. 7) Reldog Lite will make puppy vaccinations up to 8 weeks available in the Litter Care Menu of the Breeding Section and any vaccinations over 8 weeks will be available through the Dog Health section of the program.
  26. 26. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 26 of 61 Jobs As you enter your staff in Reldog Lite, you will need to assign each employee a job. Before you can do this, you must update your Job List so that the employee jobs are available as choices on your drop-down lists. The Job Titles Menu gives you an opportunity to assign certain jobs to specific departments and sub-departments. To customize the Job Titles Menu: 1) From the Main Menu, select UTILITIES. 2) From the Utilities Menu, select UPDATE REF TABLES. 3) From the Reference Table Update menu, select JOB ENTER/EDIT. 4) This will open a form labeled Browse Job Titles. 5) To add a new job to the list: a. Click ADD JOB. b. In the Enter Job Title and Info form, enter the official job title you want to add. c. Enter a job abbreviation code. d. Select the department to which the job you are adding is assigned according to your organization’s staffing structure. e. Select the sub-department to which the job you are adding is assigned. f. From the list of “Combos” at the bottom of the form, select those that are applicable for this job title by putting a check mark in those box(es). Many forms have fields where you choose an employee from a drop-down (combo) list. By checking one or more boxes on this form, you are telling RDL that for certain drop-downs, any person with this job title will appear on your drop-down list. For instance, a breeding manager may need to be available in the drop- down lists on whelping forms (Whelping Combo) and vet care forms (Vet Care Combo), whereas your training staff may need to be available only in drop-down lists on training-related forms (Trainer Combo). g. Press SAVE to save and return to the main menu or RETURN to go back without saving. 6) To edit a job already in the list: a. Click EDIT JOB. b. Edit the data which needs to be edited using the same rules outlined under: “Step 9: Table Customization – Jobs: To add a new job to the list”; steps “c” through “g” above. Breeds RDL is preloaded with commonly used breeds, but in the event that you need a breed that is not in the list, we ask that you contact to have the breed added to the list. It is desirable that breed table remain consistent among all RDL users. Therefore, whenever a new breed is added, all
  27. 27. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 27 of 61 users will be instructed on how to import a replacement tref table, or how to add the necessary record(s) to their existing tref. (Additional information on replacing tables will be available under “Maintain the Database: Your Role as Administrator”) To customize which breeds will appear in your drop-down lists: 1) From the Main Menu, select UTILITIES. 2) From the Utilities Menu, select UPDATE REF TABLES. 3) From the Reference Table Update menu, select DOG BREEDS from the left-hand column. 4) This will open a form labeled Breed Code Edit. 5) Update the list by clicking or un-clicking the breeds that are used at your organization. A “check” in the RDL box will make the dog available on your drop-downs while un-checked boxes will leave the dog off your drop- down lists. Diagnoses Similarly, if there is a diagnosis you need that is not already in the list of options, please contact to have the diagnosis added to the list. Impairments It will be important to review and adjust the client impairments portion of Reldog Lite to ensure that the impairments important to your school are available when you enter client detail information. Reldog Lite comes pre-loaded with a somewhat comprehensive list of impairments which can be edited or added to. 1) From the Table Reference Update menu, select CLIENT IMPAIRMENT on the left side column. 2) From the Client Impairment Edit browse either: a. Add an impairment by selecting the ADD button and entering the appropriate information. b. Edit an impairment by typing directly into the Client Impairment Edit browse. 3) Once completed, press RETURN to return to the Table Reference Update menu. Client Occupations There is a preloaded list of client occupations in Reldog Lite that may be adjusted or added to if you feel that it is necessary. Select the CLIENT OCCUPATIONS button in the Reference Table Update menu to make the appropriate adjustments. Dog Placement Type To adjust the jobs/careers common to dogs released from your program, select DOG PLACEMENT TYPE from the Reference Table Update menu.
  28. 28. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 28 of 61 Step 10: Enter Your Current Personnel Before you begin, collect the following data about each employee with your organization:  Name  Start Date with the Organization  Current Title  Address, if you decide to enter home addresses of employees in your database (see #6 below).  Phone number  Email address Enter Each Individual as a Person 1) Open the Reldog Lite program and proceed to the Main Menu. 2) From the Main Menu select the PEOPLE button. 3) From the Person/Organization Menu, select CREATE NEW PERSON RECORD. 4) In the Find a Person By Phone Number form you must enter a phone number in the field in the upper right-hand corner of the form and click SEARCH. Reldog Lite will then search for any duplicates of that phone number, to assist you in avoiding the inputting of duplicate person information. If there are no duplicates, nothing will appear. Click CONTINUE. 5) The Enter New Person form opens, which is a second level of checking for duplication. Reldog Lite will check for certain combinations of information on this form and will let you know if duplicates are found, at which point you will want to investigate whether it is a true duplicate or not. If there is no duplication, then clicking CHECK FOR DUPLICATES will take you to the Add New Person form. 6) Enter the employee’s information according to the form. You may choose to input your organization’s address and phone number for each employee to protect the employee’s personal information. 7) Once completed, click SAVE and this will take you to the ADD or Edit Additional Phone Nbrs/Email/Addresses form, where you can enter this additional information if you wish. 8) Click RETURN to return to the Person/Organization Menu. 9) Repeat these steps for each individual on your staff. Establish Each Person as an Employee Once you have entered each employee as a person: 1) Select the person you intend to make an employee from the drop-down Last Name field located at the top of the Person/Organization Menu. 2) Click MAKE/EDIT PERSON EMPLOYEE 3) Enter the employee’s start date, orientation date (not required), and initials. Note: Initials must be unique, so you may want to use three initials whenever possible.
  29. 29. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 29 of 61 4) Once you have completed the form, press SAVE to save and return to the Person/Organization Menu or CLOSE to return without saving. Assign an Employee to a Job By now you should have completed the steps outlined in: Step 9: Table Customization – Tables You Need to Customize; Jobs, so you are ready to assign employees to jobs within your organization: 1) From the drop-down menu located at the top of the Person/Organization Menu, select the person to whom you are assigning a job. 2) Once you have selected the employee, click the ASSIGN EMPLOYEE A JOB button. 3) Enter the date the person began in this position, the department and subdepartments to which the employee has been assigned, and select the position the employee holds. a. Note: If the list available in your drop-down does not reflect your departmental/subdepartmental structure, you will need to review your trefDepartmentCode, its relationship to trefDepartmentSubdeptCode, and/or the Add/Edit Jobs section in the Utilities Menu to identify where something has been miscoded. 4) Once you have successfully entered all the information, press SAVE to save and return to the Person/Organization Menu or CLOSE to return without saving. Establish Employees as Users Using the same steps outlined in “Step 7: Entering Reldog – Establish Yourself as a User”, establish a user ID for each person who will be using Reldog Lite at your organization. 1) Tips: a. You can print your staff list by clicking PEOPLE from the Main Menu, then VIEW EMPLOYEES. Print the report by going to File  Print. As you begin entering employees as users, you will need to think very carefully about who should have access to specific types of information and who will have the ability to enter certain kinds of data. As we discussed in Step 2: Familiarization with the Program, making these types of decisions is key to ensuring the accuracy of your data. When you really think about it, very few people at your organization need the ability to enter new people, new organizations or new dogs. Even fewer need the ability to edit dog data that is already in the system. And only a small handful of people need the ability to read and access confidential client information. Give this careful thought before you give people certain authorizations. You can always grant permission to a user later by entering the Utilities Menu from the Main Menu and selecting EDIT USER. At Southeastern Guide Dogs, only 6 people (out of 70) have the ability to enter new people or organizations; 2
  30. 30. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 30 of 61 have the ability to add new dogs, 3 have the ability to edit current dog data; and 3 have the right to view confidential client data (all of whom are managers). Step 11: Preparing Your People Data Export Your People Data For the purposes of this section, “People” are defined as non-employees (since your employees were entered earlier). People will include Sponsors, Puppy Raisers, Guide Dog Users, Veterinarians, Breeders who have donated dogs to your school, etc. Organizations are also entered in the People section. Your people data is one of the very few datasets which may be uploaded into Reldog Lite rather than individually hand-entered, but the process to successfully do this is specific and must be executed exactly as follows: 1) Have your data contractor/vendor/volunteer export into Excel all the people from your current database who have either sponsored, raised, hosted/fostered, or graduated with a dog from your school. This data must include the following information: a. First Name (Nickname) b. Last Name OR Organization’s Name c. Official Name (Person’s formal first name, if different from the name in the First Name field; not required) d. Prefix e. Sex f. Primary Salutation (if available) such as “Jon” g. Formal Salutation (if available) such as “Mr. Smith” (not required) h. Address i. City j. State k. Zip l. Phone Number m. Cell Phone Number (not required) n. Office Number (not required) o. Fax Number (not required) p. Alternative Number (not required) q. Primary Email Address (not required) r. Secondary Email Address (not required) 2) Once you have successfully pulled your information out of your current database, you will need to prepare the data to be uploaded into Reldog Lite. To do this, there are three key factors to be considered when preparing your people data for import into Reldog Lite: a. Remove any duplicates from your person list. Also verify employees already entered are not also on the person list because of their other relationships with your organization, such as raisers,
  31. 31. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 31 of 61 graduates etc. We suggest that when you look for duplicates, you check for: i. same first name and last name ii. same last name, city and state iii. same address line 1, city and state b. In RDL each person has a unique number attached to them known as a “Primary Key” (or Person ID). c. Reldog Lite utilizes three separate tables to track Person information:  tblPerson (which houses the points “a” through “k” above in #1)  tblPhone (which houses points “l” through “o”)  tblAddress (which houses points “p” through “r”) 3) Prepare your current data for upload: a. Using the above-mentioned data, save your Excel document as “PeopleData.xls” where each point listed above (“a” through “r”) is represented by a column. b. Once complete, insert a new column and name it (temporarily) “PersonID”. tblKeyData key_KeyType key_KeyValueNum key_KeyValueText key_KeyComment key_KeyFiller1 1 7116 Person Counter c. In RDL open table tblKeyData to find the number in the field key_KeyValueNum for field key_KeyType = 1 (Person Counter). In the PersonID column on your excel spreadsheet, begin with the first person in the list and enter the number you found in field key_KeyValueNum + 1. For the example above, the first person on your excel spreadsheet will be 7117 because key_KeyValueNum = 7116 and you would add 1to that to get your first PersonID. Continue numbering each person in the column on your spreadsheet with the next sequential number (Person 2 = 7118, Person 3 = 7119, etc) for each person in the list. d. Leave this document open. 4) Now it is time to break up your list and place the data you have into the templates that you will need: b. In your GebData.mdb, select the TABLES tab then “tblPerson” by clicking tblPerson one time. Right click and select “Export” from the drop-down menu. c. Save the document in the location of your choice as “tblPersonRDL” and save the type as “Microsoft Excel 97-2003” or whichever version of Excel you are using. d. When finished, select “Export” e. When you open tblPersonRDL.xls, the column names from Reldog Lite will be listed across the top of the Excel document.
  32. 32. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 32 of 61 f. Copy the header row (A), then move over to PeopleData.xls which you left open earlier. g. Click Row A. h. Right Click and select “Insert Copied Cells”. This will paste the header rows just above the data in your document.  NOTE: When you click “Insert Copied Cells” it will automatically put the copied row ABOVE your existing row. What you are effectively creating is two rows where the first (row A) represents “The required structure” (What RDL is looking for in terms of column naming structure) and the second being “What we have” which is the column naming structure brought over from the current database being used. 5) In order for the upload to work properly, the data within the cells of your Excel document must match exactly the structure of the Reldog Lite table. This means, for instance, that if Reldog Lite is expecting numerical data (“123”) then you cannot enter alpha data (“ABC”). The next step will help you prepare your data’s format to avoid any errors. 6) To identify the data structure to which you must adhere, open the RDL Gebdata.mdb file. i. From the top toolbar, select Tools  Analyze  Documenter j. Click OPTIONS to see the type of information you will need k. Select Names, Data Types, and Sizes under “Include for Fields” l. Select Nothing under “Include for Indexes” then click OK m. From the list of tables, select tblPerson by putting a check in the box to the left of the table name. n. A printable report will open. Go to File  Print to print the document. o. Repeat these same steps for tblAddress and tblPhone. p. Using your Documenter information you printed in step “n’, make sure the contents of each cell on your spreadsheet matches in type and size to the Reldog Lite field requirements for that field and adjust your data as needed. q. Do this for tblPerson, tblAddress, and tblPhone r. Once you have collected all the information, we strongly recommend you work with a database professional who understands how to merge the data you are seeking to upload. This person will be best able to adjust the data within your Excel document to meet the layout and field requirements in Reldog Lite. s. Once the Excel documents are finished, save the documents as tblPerson.xls, tblAddress.xls, and tblPhone.xls t. Once that is complete and your data is ready to be loaded into Reldog Lite, open the Gebdata.mdb database. u. Select FILE  Get External Data  Import v. Select the Excel file you are attempting to import and follow the import wizard’s directions carefully. When the wizard asks you
  33. 33. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 33 of 61 where you would like to store your data, select “In an existing table” and select the corresponding table from the drop-down list. w. Continue the steps to complete the wizard. x. If you encounter errors during this process, there are other ways to move forward with data upload. Please contact for additional support, but you should weigh how much time you have already spent on uploading, evaluate the amount of data you have to upload and decide whether it might be better to just enter the data by hand. (A good data entry person can realistically enter 1.4 people per minute – that is 672 people per day and over 3,360 per work week. A skilled data entry person can do this even more quickly.) tblKeyData key_KeyType key_KeyValueNum key_KeyValueText key_KeyComment key_KeyFiller1 1 7516 Person Counter y. Once you have finished importing your People data, you need to update tblKeyData with the highest PersonID on your spreadsheet. Enter that number in tblKeyData.key_KeyValueNum for key_KeyType =1 (Person Counter). For example, if the highest PersonID is 7516 because you started with PersonID 7116 and entered 400 people, you will type 7516 into the field key_KeyValueNum. That tells RDL that the next new person you enter should be given the next ID number after 7516, and the next person created will automatically be assigned the PersonID 7517. Step 12: Establish What Dog Data Will Be Entered You will need to make some hard decisions about how much data you will initially load into Reldog Lite. For instance, your organization may be capable of entering all of its historical data. Or you may choose to enter only the last ten years. In some cases, the answer that is right for you may lie somewhere in between. At Southeastern Guide Dogs, we determined what data was most important to us and entered it accordingly. Below, we will share with you what decisions we ultimately made and why we felt it was critical as this may help you to determine what course of action you will ultimately take. Step 13: Preparing Your Dog Data The simplest possible approach to this very daunting project is to export every dog in your database into an easily manipulated format such as Excel. You need to include all of the data on the following list, wherever that information is
  34. 34. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 34 of 61 available. For some dogs you will not have all of the information below and some of the items on the list will not be applicable to specific dogs. But for ALL dogs, the absolute minimum information needed to enter a dog in RDL is the dog’s name, DOB, breed, color and your School ID for the dog. You cannot enter a dog without all five of those things. But it is STRONGLY suggested you enter all of the following pieces of information that you do have:  Sire  Sire Tattoo  Dam  Dam Tattoo  Dog’s DOB  Litter ID  Dog’s Name  Dog’s Current Program  Dog’s Sponsor (if applicable)  Dog’s Puppy Raiser  Dog’s Date Placed with Raiser (you can calculate this based on birthday if needed)  Dog’s In-for-training Date (you can loosely calculate this based on birthday if needed)  Dog’s Vet (not required)  Dog’s Graduate with whom he/she was placed  Date of Graduation  Date of Retirement (if applicable)  Whether the dog was placed on-campus or by home placement  Dog’s Foster/Breeder Host  Dog’s Date Placed with Foster/Breeder Host  Dog’s Date Released from the Breeder Program  Reason for release (if applicable)  Adopter’s name  Dog’s Microchip Number  Dog’s former ID number (usually generated by the database from which you are pulling your information). By generating an Excel document with the information above (by column) in the exact order listed above, you will be creating an Excel document that will do a few things for you:  You will have a document from which you will be able to most quickly perform data entry.  You will have a document that is most easily manipulated to provide you with the information you need by utilizing autofilters.  The document is capable of easy cross-referencing to verify the data and make appropriate adjustments as needed.
  35. 35. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 35 of 61 If you are able to adjust the margins and size of the font to keep all columns on one page, it will be most easily used for data entry. This can sometimes be accomplished by using legal sized paper. Take the Time to Verify the Data We chose to verify the information in our database by checking it against the paper records we had onsite. This helped us to double-check the accuracy of the data we had loaded into the database and fill in any gaps that had been created over the 25 years SEGD has been in business. While doing this increased the time needed for this part of the project by nearly two weeks (with two people assigned), it was worth every moment because as a result we were very confident in the data we were entering. Why We Verified: During the 25 years prior to this project, our organization had transitioned from paper records to an electronic database and was looking at yet another transition. Each of these moments in our history presented an opportunity for our data’s accuracy to be corrupted. By checking the data in our current database against the original paper records, we were able to verify parentage, identification information, birthdays, and other key data. By managing this step in Excel, we were able to easily identify missing information, seek out corrections, and correct our data before we began the process of data entering the dogs. Why It’s So Important: One of the most attractive features of Reldog Lite is its ability to calculate inbreeding coefficients. By verifying our data before we entered it into Reldog, we were able to immediately utilize this feature of the program and feel confident that the number generated by the program is accurate. Step 14: Establish a Data Entry Plan for Dog Data First Things First Establish Puppy Raising Program Leadership Before you can begin entering any dog data, you must be sure that you have a list of your current puppy raising regions, the area coordinators who oversee them and, if applicable, the supervisor(s) in charge of overseeing the area coordinator(s) (Some positions may be staff and some may be volunteer. This varies in different organizations.). NOTE: Even if you do not use regions, you will need to create one region to use as a default (you can call it “Region”), because certain forms will require you to select a region. Once you have entered all of your people data: 1) From the Main Menu, select the UTILITIES button. 2) From the Utilities Menu, select UPDATE REF TABLES
  36. 36. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 36 of 61 3) From the Reference Table Update menu, select REGION PUPPY RAISER ADD/EDIT. 4) Select ADD REGION and fill in the Region Start Date, Region Name, Region Abbreviation, and the Puppy Supervisor (the puppy raising department staff members should be available as choices in this drop- down field). 5) Double click the AREA COORDINATOR field. 6) Select the area coordinator assigned to the region then press RETURN. 7) Once you have completed the form, press SAVE to save and return or CLOSE to return without saving. The Order The order in which you enter your dog data in Reldog Lite is critical for a few reasons:  An organized plan allows you greater efficiency when doing the physical data entry.  Planning provides the person doing the data entry the greatest level of confidence that every record has been entered.  Smart planning will give you the greatest return on your investment from a time perspective. Breeders First and foremost you will need to collect and enter into Reldog your colony’s “foundation”. You will need to collect a list of every breeder dog your organization has ever had. While you can make the decision to pick a point in your organization’s history from which to start entering dogs, the further back in history you can go, the more accurate your pedigree and inbreeding coefficients will be. For that reason, Southeastern Guide Dogs elected to enter every breeder. How We Did It: 1) We had our database professional/contractor extract/export all of the dogs that were in our database into Excel. 2) We sorted the list in order of birthday then by Sire’s name. 3) We then filtered by Program (in our case “BREEDER”) 4) This system allowed us the greatest flexibility to cross-reference pups and their parents and fill in any missing information. 5) We identified our “original colony” by finding the dogs who were clearly not progeny of our own stock. We added to this list all “donated service” dogs and any parents of donated dogs where we had the parent’s names. Once this was done, we uploaded the dogs into the backend tables. See Uploading Dog Data for more information on how to accomplish this. 6) Note: If you elect to start at ONE point in your organization’s history, you will want to select all the breeders from the year that you select and
  37. 37. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 37 of 61 upload those dogs. In this case, you are making the decision to ignore their parents and any previous generations. 7) Once we loaded our “original colony”, we began entering the rest of our breeders utilizing the “Enter Old Litters” feature in the Dog section (See: Entering Old Litters: Batch Entering Old Litters in the Reldog Lite Users Manual for more details.) a. Note: This data entry process is time consuming and entirely necessary. Be sure that you have accurate personnel dedicated to data integrity. If you encounter a dog for which you are missing information, you will need to find the information before you can move forward (since every dog you enter in the future is dependant on its parents having been entered correctly). Uploading Dog Data In the same way you prepared you people data in Step 11: Preparing your People Data – Export your People Data, you will want to work with your database professional to prepare your dog data. If you do decide to upload a portion of your dog data, you will be uploading to only one table: tblDog (whereas with your people data you had to work with tblPerson, tblAddress and tblPhone). Work with your database professional using the same methodology as you did your people data to upload the foundation stock. Note: Do NOT attempt to enter all of your dogs in this way. I spent nearly 2 weeks (with my database support person) trying to figure out way to upload all of my dogs. At the end of the day, I wasted two weeks. There is no good way to accomplish it and you WILL waste more time manipulating the data than you will actually hand-entering it. Puppies in the Program Once you have finished entering all of the Breeders, you will start to enter all the rest of the dogs in your program utilizing the master spreadsheet you created in Step 13: Preparing Your Dog Data. The smartest way to accomplish this is to start with Pups in the Field. How We Did It: 1) We re-filtered the same Excel list we used to enter Breeders, this time filtered to show only active pups, then began data entry using the “Enter Old Litters” feature in the Dog Menu (See: Entering Old Litters: Entering Pups in Existing Litters in the Reldog Lite Users Manual for more details.) 2) In the same fashion as entering breeders (above), it is vital that you enter as much information on each dog as you possibly can. If you are missing information about a dog or its relationships with people, you will need/want to skip the dog and enter it once you have the information you need.
  38. 38. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 38 of 61 Dogs Active and In Training Once you have completed all puppies in the field, begin entering all dogs in the training program. How We Did It: Re-filter your list again, this time to show your Active/Training/IFT dogs and begin entering dogs using the “Enter Old Litters” feature in the Dog Menu (See: Entering Old Litter: Entering Pups in Existing Litters in the RelDog Lite users Manual for more details.) As with each previous step, do not enter dogs for which you have incomplete information. Active Graduated Dogs with Clients You will need to decide which active graduated dogs you want to enter. At Southeastern Guide Dogs, we elected to enter all dogs 11 years and younger to best account for our active partnerships in the field. This was accomplished using the same steps as above. Career Changes/Released Dogs Dogs that did not make the primary program of your organization may, on the surface, seem less important. But it’s important to consider a litter’s success rate when making breeding decisions. For this reason, you may want to consider entering dogs which have been career changed at your school for as far back as you have chosen to enter your active graduates. This will best enable your breeding department to utilize litter success rates (if they so choose) when making mating decisions. It also enables you to track health information for full litters, not just those dogs that remained on your program. Managing Missing Data Every effort should be made to collect accurate data – and we mean every effort. Having a “good enough” mentality as you enter information into Reldog Lite will not only cause you problems in the program and potentially create bugs in the system, you will effectively be saying: “I am using Reldog Lite as practice for my data entry skills. We don’t really want to be able to use it for anything”. The Project Manager must make every possible effort to obtain accurate information. This will be an exhausting process with plenty of “dead ends”, but you must push through it. Should you exhaust every possible way of obtaining the data you are seeking, you will need to have a contingency plan so that you can continue your data entry and begin using the program. As such, we will provide you with some guidance on the best way to manage missing data. If you are:
  39. 39. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 39 of 61 1. Trying to enter one of your original breeding colony members or a donated service/donated and you do not have the dog’s date of birth: Select ONE date that is obviously prior to the inception of your organization, which is clearly and obviously a fictional date. For Southeastern Guide Dogs, there were dogs in our original colony for which we did not have information, but who were significant breeders for us. We decided that these dogs’ birthdays would be in Reldog as 1/1/1980 since our organization was established 1982. Now, whenever we see a birthday of 1/1/1980, everyone on campus knows that the information was not available at the time of entry. 2. Trying to enter a puppy born on campus whose date of birth you do not have: Do everything you can to find it. Research siblings. Research who the puppy was placed with and when, and try to estimate the birthday as closely as you can. Only in a very very very extreme case should you make up a puppy’s birthday. Of the 3,000 dogs loaded by Southeastern Guide Dogs, only 2 were entered with incorrect birthdays. 3. Trying to enter a puppy raiser, foster or area coordinator but you don’t have the information: After you looked for the information in your current database, researched with Puppy Raising Services/Breeding Department coordinators who may have paper records, and even had dialogue with staff members who may have been around during that time, if you are still unable to find the relationship information you seek, attach the dog to a person called “Unknown Unknown”. This means you will need to enter a new person whose first and last name is “Unknown” and false address information. This should only be used as a very last resort. If you have people assisting with data entry, it is imperative that they understand this. Managing Change There is no doubt about it – change is hard for everyone and your organization will not be unique. The single most important thing you can do during this process is to keep people excited about the things your organization will be able to do with Reldog Lite. As you become more familiar with the program and its abilities, keeping every member of the organization apprised of your progress and what RDL will be able to do to make their work-lives less cumbersome will be a key factor in a successful transition. Make each member of the organization a part of the process by sharing with them new things you have found in the program. Identify the elements of the program which are important to them and start a relaxed conversation about it. This is even easier if you are well-versed in the previous database system and what its limitations were!
  40. 40. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 40 of 61 Identify the Benefits of the Program At Southeastern Guide Dogs, our previous database system required many, many steps to accomplish a very small change. For instance, changing a dog’s status from active working-dog to career changed/retired required us to 1) Make a cosmetic change to the dogs record 2) Change the dog’s status in one part of the dog’s record and enter a reason for career change in another part of the record and 3) Change the graduate’s status. As you can imagine, our records were not very accurate, because new personnel didn’t know all the steps needed and so in many cases some of the steps weren’t done! Reldog Lite retires the dog, updates the client’s status, and enters a reason for career change/retirement simultaneously with one click. To enter a newly born litter of puppies in our old database required us to enter the new puppies (including date of birth and tattoo number), attach each puppy to its siblings, and attach each offspring to both parents – and we weren’t entering any information about the whelp such as breech births or cleft palates. For a litter of 10 puppies, you are performing 110 activities just to enter a new litter’s sibling/parent relationships! No wonder it took our puppy department staff member up to three days to enter a new litter (after all, she DOES have other work to do!). I timed myself in Reldog Lite to see how long it took me to generate the same relationships: 4 minutes and 16 seconds later, I had every pup, their tattoos, their birthdays, sibling relationships, parental relationships, any whelping complications, and a myriad of other information entered into the system. By sharing these anecdotes with the people who most frequently encountered challenges in our old system well in advance of their training and involvement with Reldog Lite, we were able to generate a “buzz” around campus so that when training finally came, people were receptive and excited. As you begin to move forward with the project, think about the information that will be available in Reldog Lite. Who will be able to utilize it? How is this system better than your last one? In what ways can those changes make a positive impact in the way each person on campus fulfills their job responsibilities? By sharing your discoveries with management and staff, Reldog Lite will be welcomed with open arms. Test, Test, Test It will be imperative for the Project Manager to stay ahead of the organization’s users. Fight the temptation to complete your data entry and immediately launch into training the entire organization at one time. You will want to take the time to familiarize yourself with the program once you have real data in it. Remember, by now you have become an expert at entering old data, but you are NOT necessarily an expert at entering NEW data. A great way to gain this experience
  41. 41. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 41 of 61 is to use the Reldog Lite Users Manual and enter new data that has come in since you pulled your original spreadsheets. At Southeastern Guide Dogs, we pulled our data entry spread sheets in July 2009. By the time we finally finished our initial data entry in its entirety, a few months had elapsed. This was a perfect opportunity to enter data as a front end user rather than a back-end administrator. I went to our breeding manager and asked her for breeder host partnerships established since July 2009 (this gave me a chance to enter new breeder host applications, to change breeder evaluates to active breeders and enter new partnerships). Then I asked her for a list of all new births since July 2009 – teaching me how to enter new whelps. I went to our Puppy Raising Department and asked for all new puppy placements that had occurred in the last few months (this gave me experience in naming puppies, entering microchip numbers, entering new raiser applications, and creating new puppy raiser partnerships) and then asked her for a list of all dogs that had returned from the puppy field and were now In-for-Training (this challenged me to learn how to change the status of a puppy from puppy active to Active in Training, and assign trainers to a dog) And lastly, I asked Graduate Services to provide me with a list of recent graduates (and therefore learned how to enter a new applicant, match them with a dog, retire previous dogs, assign students to class, graduate the class and change the student and dog statuses from in class to active graduate). By doing this, I was able to accomplish three invaluable things: 1. I was able to learn the program so well that I could answer any question from any person – and I could answer them with confidence. 2. I was able to identify and resolve any bugs or missteps before our organization’s users did, which helped to minimize the anxiety our team would feel learning a new system and encountering frustration with bugs or glitches as a result of new user input. 3. I was able to give each user confidence because the process was clear, direct, organized and “ready to go”. As a result, few users were afraid to leave the old system behind. Establish a Cut-Off Plan Once you are confident that Reldog Lite has current and accurate data, you will need to establish and communicate a cut-off plan for your old system. The cut- off plan will let everyone know that “from this date forward, please do not enter any new information into the old database”. If you do not do this, there will forever be “holes” in Reldog Lite’s data. Many people find this prospect very scary if they do not feel confidence in the new system, so it is important to have
  42. 42. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 42 of 61 on-going dialogue with the personnel and managers of each department as you identify information being entered in your new system and when to stop using your old one. Breeding Services  We notified the Breeding Department in November that we would cease entry of new puppies born on campus into the old database effective January 1st.  We assigned one person to enter into Reldog Lite all new puppies born on campus from that point forward as we moved forward with departmental training. (This happened to be our Project Manager).  We notified Puppy Raising Services and Medical Services that effective January 1st they would not find any of the new puppies born after that date in the old database.  We trained the Breeding Department how to properly enter breeding and whelping events and how to manage their colony. Puppy Raising Services  We instructed our Puppy Raising Department to cease adjusting in the old database the status of dogs coming in for training effective February 1st. As such, the very first thing we trained the department to do was to “call a dog In-For-Training” to manage the back-log they might encounter.  We conducted training in the Puppy Raising Services department in mid- January  Upon completion, we notified Medical Services that all puppies born after January 1, 2010 and any puppies active in the program as of February 1st, 2010 would have medical records in both our old database and Reldog Lite. Medical Services  We trained Medical Services at about the same time that we trained Puppy Raising Services.  Once medical services was adequately trained on how to enter new Data into Reldog, they double-entered for 30 days in both systems. This meant that they were duplicating their work in both our old database and Reldog Lite. While the initial plan was for them to double enter for 30 days, they elected to do so for only about 20 days, at which time they felt comfortable enough to stop entering the information into our old database and enter information only into Reldog Lite. As a result of this plan, for a while we will print medical records for dogs that were started in the old database from BOTH databases as they leave campus.  Because we properly managed when to stop entering new births we will only need to print medical records form both databases for approximately 2 years. We made sure that all personnel on campus understood that
  43. 43. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 43 of 61 some dog’s medical histories exist in two places and we have had no issues. Training Department  March 1st, we trained the Training Department on the many areas which affect them: o The TRAINING Menu o Finding and viewing medical information o The CLIENT SERVICES Menu  This training was done in two parts. The first was a meeting with the entire training department in which we went through the whole of the Training Menu.  We elected to teach each training team independently as they worked through a class. We did this training a few days before class began so the information was fresh and could be applied in real-time. Since this part of the training is spread out over such a long period of time (up to four months), we established ways to streamline preexisting processes and move as much as we could from paper into some electronic format. This allowed many of our trainers (some of whom were less tech-savvy) to become more comfortable with using computers to accomplish their work. Admissions We held training for Admissions in early April. Graduate Services Training for Graduate services took place in mid-April. Create a Training Plan As you can see by the above outlined timeline, we gave substantial time between departments before moving on to another. This allowed each department to “get their footing” before the Project Manager was less available with another department. The day we conducted each training, we established the next department’s training day. At each staff meeting, we reviewed with the staff what work had been accomplished and what the next step would be. In the near future, a training timeline and “Things to Consider” will be available as an addendum to this Administrator’s Guide. Be Available There is nothing more frustrating for your organization’s staff than working in a new program – unsure of what they are doing – and encountering a problem that won’t allow them to continue working. When new users encounter this they are likely to respond in 1 of 2 ways: 1) They will either save it for later, rack up a bunch of work and be stressed that they are now backlogged until they can get a resolution or 2) They will go back to the old database and enter it there because
  44. 44. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 44 of 61 it is familiar, they know what they are doing and they are able to complete their work. Follow Through On Your Commitments Success is 100% contingent upon the members of the organization trusting that the Project Manager is providing them a system that will meet their needs, minimize their work load, streamline their working environment, and improve the quality of the data they use everyday. If a user has a question, it is imperative that the Program Manager keep track of the inquiries which need answering and follow through on commitments that they have made. Without this level of commitment from the Project Manager, staff will become disinterested in the momentum of the project and jaded about the program’s capabilities. Never Turn Back The Question: What could be more scary that no longer entering information into the old database? The Answer: taking people’s permission away in the old database to write new records. Even if you have the most skilled Project Manager and every potential problem has been planned for, you will have people who are nervous about completely abandoning your old system. At Southeastern Guide Dogs, we had a very small number of people who, unbeknownst to us, had moved rather seamlessly into Reldog Lite but were still entering the same information in our old system. They just couldn’t let it go. There is only one way to manage this. Remove the user’s permissions to write or edit records in the old database. Your organization may have a tremendous amount of historical data stored in your old system. As such, you cannot simply kick everyone out of it and delete their shortcuts. Instead, the database will need to remain available so current and future personnel can review information so they have a full picture of the dog or client they are working with. To accomplish this, you will need to reduce their permissions in the old system to “view only”. If the anxiety of this is too great, establish two people (a primary and a back-up) who have permission to write and edit old records. If information arises that absolutely must be entered in the old database, your selected few have the ability to enter it. Maintain the Database: Your Role as Administrator An administrator’s work is never done! If the Project Manager is not a full-time staff member, the Project Manager will need to work with management at the organization to establish who will carry the project forward, perform maintenance on the program, and troubleshoot
  45. 45. Created by jboyle Administrators Guide to RelDog Lite - REVISED FINAL Page 45 of 61 problems. If the Project Manager is a full-time staff member, that person would be an ideal candidate to continue as the system’s administrator since their experience to this point makes them easily qualified. Regularly Scheduled Maintenance There are a few elements of Reldog Lite which will require constant maintenance. While many of these functions are not terribly time-consuming, they do require a certain level of methodology. Compacting and Repairing Gebdata Regularly compressing your data will keep the functionality and speed of Reldog Lite optimal for performance. This operation must be performed weekly with no other users in the system. As such, you must do one of the following: a. Work with your IT manager to establish a way to boot all users from the system when maintenance functions must be performed b. Perform this type of maintenance before or after hours How to Compact and Repair your Gebdata a. Open Gebdata.mdb b. Click TOOLS from the toolbar located on the top of the screen c. From the dropdown, select “Database Utilities” then “Compact and Repair Database…” d. Close Gebdata.mdb once the system is done performing the compact/repair process Backing-up Your Data It is strongly advised that you backup your data on a regular basis. Most organizations are able to include Gebdata.mdb in a nightly backup performed system-wide. For those organizations that do not have this level of IT, you will need to assign a team member who is responsible for the backup of the system every afternoon. If you do not perform this maintenance, you risk losing any and all data which has been entered since the last time you backed-up. With daily backups, you risk losing one day’s worth of data at the most. It is also strongly advised that these backups be stored off-site. There are reasonably affordable online off-site storage systems available through a simple Google search. How to Backup Reldog Lite There is no specific way you must back up your Gebdata. You can either simply make a copy of the database or use the tool within Access to backup (Tools  Database Utilities  Backup Database  Save to desired location)


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