Maintain Databases

Assignments

 maintenance menu   You get to the Assignments dialogue by clicking on Assignment Editor which is found on the DATABASE ribbon tab.
Assignments Dialogue OK Show Conflicts Entries Print Auto Assign Avoid Conflicts Starting Name Assignment Display Entries To From Ignore Local Speakers Include All Dates

The purpose of this dialogue is to allow you see at a glance which brothers have been assigned as chairmen, interpreters, watchtower conductors, watchtower readers and hospitality brothers, and assigned to the custom role, for a chosen date range. You can also modify these assignments (see below) either manually, or automatically. This dialogue is also used to highlight any conflicts of assignment. Full details of this feature can be found further down this help topic.

The dialogue can be resized to any size you like, but you can't make it smaller than the default. This size and position gets saved.

In order to save your changes, you must dismiss the dialogue by pressing the OK button. Otherwise the changes you made will be lost. You'll be informed if you click Cancel by mistake (with the exception of the window position and size which will get saved).

The dialogue won't display when you haven't yet assigned any brothers to the various assignments (chairmen, watchtower readers etc.). If such a message pops up on the screen, just go to the brothers maintenance page and assign them as required. You will then be able to display and use the assignments dialogue.

If you dismiss the dialogue with OK, the program will refresh all the open documents to ensure any changes are automatically updated.

To learn more about the features of this property page, glance down the table below or highlight the control you are interested in by clicking on the screenshot above. Please also remember that context help is available to you by either pressing F1 when the control has focus, or by using the question mark icon at the top right corner of the dialogue.

Note, if you are synchronizing your talk assignments with a Google calendar then it is recommended that you subsequently keep your calendar up to date by using the manual update button on the Home / Away maintenance page.

start date Use this to set the starting date for the talk assignments you want to display.
end date Use this to set the ending date for the talk assignments you want to display.
display entries Press this button to read the database and display the available talk assignments in the grid. You are informed if no talk information was found.

If you already had details on the screen, and you had made changes to them,  you'll be asked for confirmation to continue. Otherwise all changes you made will be lost!
assignment Use it to select the assignment you would like to populate. You can choose from:

- Chairmen
- Reader
- Interpreter
- Conductor
- Hospitality
- Miscellaneous (this description can be customized).

However, it will not include any assignments where you don't actually have any names allocated. Assignments which are not included won't have a column in the grid.

You must use the start / end date settings and display your talk information before you can use this drop list.
starting name Make sure you have selected the right assignment first. Then you can use this drop list to select the first name you would like to use when automatic assigning.

Don't see the person's name in the list?Then go to the brothers maintenance page and update their available assignments.

You might find it handy to keep a copy of your previous schedule to hand (or display your talk information with  about 4 weeks of details prior to the schedule you are working on). This way you can select the most appropriate starting name.

Selecting a different starting name for each assignment will assist you in avoiding conflicts.

You must use the start / end date settings and display your talk information before you can use this drop list.
include all dates Set this option if you want to include even dates where no home talk speaker has been assigned.

For example, you might want to allocate the hospitality assignments ahead of time so that the families involved can be informed.

You must use the start / end date settings and display your talk information before you can use this drop list.
ignore local speakers Set this option if you want to stop home talks that are being given by local brothers from being included during the automatic assigning process.

You must use the start / end date settings and display your talk information before you can use this drop list.
avoid conflicts Use this option to try and avoid conflicts when automatic assigning.

Under certain circumstances, it may still cause a conflict, but it will do the best it can! As mentioned previously, selecting different starting names each time will also assist.

If left unchecked, then the program will simply read through your list of names until the date range is filled up.

Choosing to avoid conflicts will enable the weeks to avoid setting. You can choose from between 0 and 4. The idea is that the program will try to avoid automatically assigning the same name within the number of weeks specified. This should aid you in avoiding back to back assignments.

You must use the start / end date settings and display your talk information before you can use this drop list.
auto assign Press this button to perform the automatic assigning process using your current settings. It begins by showing you this message box:

popup message

Choose Yes if you don't want any existing assignments overwritten. Choose No if you want to overwrite all existing assignments. Or click Cancel to abort the process.

It will skip rows where there is no home speaker assigned (for example, assemblies) unless the Include All Dates option has been set.

The assigning of the Watchtower conductor works differently. It tries to continually use the first name from the droplist and will only use another name if the first one has been assigned to give a public talk on the same date.

You must use the start / end date settings and display your talk information before you can use this drop list.

grid

This grid displays the entries for the date range you selected. The assignment cells (drop lists) can be modified manually or automatically as required.

You can specify any rows that you want excluded from automatic assigning. For example, you might have the circuit visit and don't require a reader. Simply toggle the check box on the left by clicking the date cell. Click again to revert back:

Toggle row to auto assign

list assignmentsTo modify a cell manually, click on the arrow (or double-click the cell), to display a list of names and select the name required.

If you make changes, this is detected and the OK button becomes enabled.
show conflicts Press this button if you want to highlight any possible conflicts. You won't be able to make changes to the speakers, but you will be able to adjust the other assignments as required.

Each conflict gets highlighted. There is a small sample of a conflict just to the right of the button:

sample conflict

The program uses your system's default highlight colours, so your highlight might not show in these specific colours.

If you do need to make changes to any of the speakers, then you can print out the grid, using the print button and then proceed to make the changes.

You must use the start / end date settings and display your talk information before you can use this drop list.
Undo The program keeps a history of all the changes you make to the assignments (both automatic and manual assigning).

The undo button becomes enabled when there are one or more actions in the history. Press the button repeatedly to cycle backwards through the available actions.

Note that the undo history is reset whenever you display new talk information.
print Press this button to print out the grid. This is useful for a number of reasons. For example:

- You might have conflicts of speaker that you want to adjust.

- You might want a simple list of assignments to check with everyone that it is OK (for example, some might be on holiday).

You must use the start / end date settings and display your talk information before you can use this drop list.
ok The OK button is only enabled once changes have been made to the displayed entries. Pressing the OK button commits your changes into the database.

If you dismiss the dialogue with OK, the program will refresh all the open documents to ensure any changes are automatically updated.