03.05.2020 Update [8.8]


Release Notes

Shepherd's Staff 2020 Version (8.8), release 20200310


  • Change: Life Verse has been added to the list of personal fields in both Report Writer and Mail Merge.
  • Change: Life Verse has been added to the fields available for Dynamic subgroups.
  • Feature: Added the fields Envelope Name (first last) and Contributor Name (first last) to Report Writer and Mail Merge.
  • Change: The “What’s New?” link in the upper right is now connected to the Release Notes section.
  • Change: Membership Tools (under the Tools/Settings tab) are now enabled for Membership Supervisors, not just system administrators.
  • Changes to Membership Settings still require system administrator access.
  • Change: Field labels in the blank household and person record reports have been boldfaced for better readability.
  • Feature: Added a new field to the Person record for Baptism Notes. The field also appears on the Person Record reports, as well as in Mail Merge, Report Writer, and Subgroups.
  • Change: You can now edit the home address from the Person record, using a new edit button (which appears to the left of the first home address line).
  • Feature: On the Inactivity tab, the “For the past” choice list now has a new option for 5 years.
  • Feature: On the Inactivity tab, there is a new checkbox for “Are marked Inactive” that allows you to include Inactive people in the grid (whereas before Inactive people were always excluded).
    • This allows the user to get a more complete picture of the inactivity occurring among all non-removed people.
  • Feature: On the Church Directory, the “Personal contact info” option has been split into “Personal phone number” and “Personal e-mail address”.
  • Feature: On the Church Directory, there is a new Include option for “Household e-mail address”, allowing customers to choose whether those e-mail addresses appear in the directory.

Note: Be aware that the default of the new is “off” (i.e. do not include), whereas before the household e-mail addresses were always included.

  • Change: On Labels and Quick Labels, the up/down spinners for repeating and skipping labels are now disabled unless the associated box is checked, to eliminate customer confusion.
    • The carrier route setting also now behaves this way. 


  • Fixed: The Help button on the add/edit Death window was not connected.
  • Fixed: The Help button on the add/edit Touchpoint window was not connected.
  • Fixed: The Help button on the add/edit Activity/Skill/Training window was not connected.
  • Fixed: The Help button on the add/edit Sunday School grade window (off of the Lists tab/grid) was connected.
  • Fixed: The following error occurred when entering Completed touchpoints from a Person or Household record (or from the Touchpoints Completed grid): “String reference not set to an instance of a String.”
  • Fixed: In Mail Merge, the Remove All button was only removing one field at a time from under the “Selected” fields, rather than all of them at once.
  • Fixed: Changes to user-defined field names now automatically update in Subgroups, Report Writer, and Mail Merge.
    • Changes are applied each time you start Shepherd’s Staff. After making field name changes, the user must exit and restart Shepherd’s Staff to apply the changes to all areas of the program.
  • Fixed: When there is no city/state/postal code entered for an address, and they are all three being appended together on one line, a comma was still appearing in many places and on reports. These include the following areas (testers, be sure to cover each one):
    • Individuals tab/grid
    • Touchpoints planned tab/grid
    • Touchpoints completed tab/grid
    • Follow-up tab/grid
    • Inactivity tab/grid
    • Participation tab/grid
    • Parents Of tab/grid
    • Deaths tab/grid
    • Archived people tool
    • Mailing labels
    • Church directory
    • Church phone book
    • Report Writer

Note: If the user only has state and/or postal code, the extra comma will appear. 

  • Fixed: If the user added an option to the Membership Code list on the Person record, and instead of doing so through the edit button to the left of the combo, then tabbed off the combo and answered “Yes” to the question about adding the new option, it appeared to change data for everyone in Membership. 
    • A side issue, the user could not delete the entry one added (because code 0 is locked down and can only be changed through setting the Edition of the software).
    • In addition, in this service pack we delete any extra code 0 entries from the ComboOption table (fixing the overwrite of data). Because there is no way to tell which people will have the other code (since it also has 0, internally), the user will need to do that manually, by person.
  • Fixed: If the user added an empty household (i.e. no people in it), and then from the empty Household record you clicked to add a person, the resulting window does not have a default Household Position filled in. If the user entered a person's name but forgot to set the position, the following error occurred on Save: “Object reference not set to an instance of an object.”
  • Fixed: When running the Inactivity tool for “with no Attendance or Contributions”, it was still returning people with just one or the other in the specified period.
  • Fixed: On the Church Directory, when including age if under 18, “(0)” appeared after a Spouse as the age if no birthdate was entered.
  • Fixed: On the attendance “By person/type” tool it was only putting an “X” in weeks where the attendance date was the same as the column header date.
    • Column headers, by the way, show the first day of the week, and are always a Sunday.
    • In this service pack, it now compares against the column header date and the following six days.
    • Example: Column header shows 3/1/2020. The bug was that only attendance on that date was considered when filling in the “X”. In the fixed version, it now compares against the entire week range, 3/1/2020 through 3/7/2020.
  • Fixed: The pop-up calendar had no way to close without either selecting a date or pressing the ESC key.
    • Now there is a window-closing “x” in the upper right.
  • Fixed: The message “Syntax error in FROM clause” was appearing when adding/editing a Static subgroup and trying to use a Filter other than “(everyone)”.
  • Fixed: In some text boxes, if you entered a number followed by non-numeric characters, and then pressed the UP key on the keyboard, it would generate an “Unhandled exception has occurred in your application” error and abort the program.
  • Fixed: When syncing WebTools, changes to Sunday School Grade in Shepherd’s Staff were not getting applied to the web side.
  • Fixed: The following error was occurring if you added a household with a name longer than 30 characters, and then tried to add a person to that household: “The field is too small to accept the amount of data you attempted to add.”
  • Fixed: The following error occurred in the Follow-up tool if you searched for those with Attendance, unchecked both of the Touchpoint options, and then selected “(anything)” for the attendance type: “No value given for one or more required parameters.”
  • Fixed: The help button on the add/edit Death window was not pointing to the correct article.