April 2009

ARMS Focus Group Meetings – Taking it to the Streets!

In the last few months we have traveled to several locations for day long ARMS user group meetings. Let us begin by thanking our host sites:

Mansfield ISD Mansfield, Texas
Colorado School of Mines Golden, Colorado
Portland Community College Portland, Oregon
University of Southern California Los Angeles, California
Bentley University Waltham, Massachusetts
Wittenberg University Wittenberg, Ohio
Georgia State University Atlanta, Georgia

Without these agencies volunteering their time and facilities these meetings would not be possible.

It is always great to meet with our customers and have an opportunity to chat and discuss the events that are taking place in their departments and how they are using ARMS. And as always, you all are not shy about letting us know what you want! This is the main reason we want to hold these meetings, so you, the customer can let us know where we need to take the application.

We will post a complete list of questions and requests on our forum and in the next Newsletter. We do want to list these three enhancement items that were discussed and will be included in the Summer/Fall release of ARMS:

1) Additional Print Options for the Case Report – We will be adding a ‘Limited – Case Report’ print option. This option will be available from the Case Functions menu. We will not alter or change the current case report, so don’t worry! The new ‘Limited’ report will look identical to the Case Report except, no SSN, Drivers License Numbers, Phone Numbers or Addresses will print in the report. This will allow the agency to use this option to print reports to non-law enforcement agencies.

2) Additional modules in the ARMS Data Browser – We will be adding the Parking Permits and Parking Citations to the data browser. In addition to these request we will add the Master Business module and include several new fields in the field chooser.

3) Additional information will be added to the dispatch tab in Case Management. This information will include reporting party information, initial incident and final incident.

These are the top three items that we will add to the ARMS release in the late summer or early fall.

If you did not have the opportunity to attend, plan on doing so at the next meeting. We will be posting other meetings that will take place in the summer and fall. Anticipated locations are: Baltimore – MD, Philadelphia – PA, Memphis – TN, Houston –TX, Dallas – TX, Los Angeles – CA, San Francisco – CA.

Are Windows Updates Causing Your System to Restart?

In this section of ARMS Best Practices, we would quickly like to review the subject of Automatic Updates.

We all know that keeping your servers and workstations up to date is a very important step in server management. Standard Windows Updates include vital security and software component updates, which help to keep your servers and workstations safe and working properly.

Since the release of Windows ME in 2000, Windows has given the user the option to automatically update their machine. This applies to both servers and workstations. If this option is selected, Windows will automatically check once a day for updates that can be applied to the target machine. If an update is found, Windows will automatically download the update and install it.

However, because many updates now require a reboot of the updated machine, we recommend that you do not use the Automatic Update feature set to ‘Install updates automatically’ on your ARMS Production Servers or workstations. If your server downloads and installs an update that requires a reboot, the server will automatically restart, causing ARMS to temporarily go offline since the server is restarting. We have also seen instances of Services not restarting after a major update, which can cause ARMS clients to remain offline until IT personnel arrive to restart the server. As most seasoned IT professionals have learned, ‘unattended’ restarts should be avoided. It is always better to have someone watching the machine reboot.

The windows update can be set to ‘Download updates but let me choose whether to install them.' This setting will let you determine when to install and restart the server.

We recommend that you plan a specific time to update your servers, when the server administrator is available to address any issues or restart the machine.

Training Corner - Merge Duplicate Names and Merge Duplicate Vehicles

In our upcoming release of ARMS 3.2, we have enhanced the Merge Duplicate Name feature, as well as the Merge Duplicate Vehicle feature in ARMS Parking.

ARMS Users are now able to:

  • Search all records by First or Last Name / License Plate
  • View and Merge multiple Names/Vehicles
  • View all associated information with each Name/Vehicle
  • Select the correct information from various entries and merge into the primary record
  • Delete the incorrect or duplicate entries after merging

    We anticipate our newest version to be released this summer! Click Here to see a preview of the new Merge Duplicate Names feature:

  • Did You Know?

    Do you need a fire reporting records management system that integrates with ARMS. Fire Point is our fire records management system. This application is part of the offering of software that End2End offers. In addition to NFIRS reporting FirePoint tracks Training Records, Construction Projects and Plans, Occupancies and Pre-Plans, Personnel Records and more. For more details visit our web site at www.firepoint.com or email sales@arms.com

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