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Jackdaws

Tracking software/websites

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@, If you are paying $250-350 for Toopmaster and SOAR there are some gaps in you research.

 

SOAR's cost for their top of the line service is $99 a year. Discounts for multi year use. When you compare SOAR to troop tracker they are pretty similar.

 

Troopmaster is less than $40/year for the software and dotnet platform on a three year license. Remember, TM is not intended to be a website so comparing these features is a bit unfair.

 

When you look at what these two services together offer -- and the time they save -- their costs are far below these other services. When you add to it that your data is safe and stored in more than one location their value is even greater. Sure you need TM+SOAR to get what you do in Troop Tracker, but you get a robust interface that allows you to work with your systems off and online.

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I want to move my troop records online and I recently over the last few months, did an evaluation of all the options out there, signed up for trials, imported troop data into them, played with them and here is my results.  (as if anyone really cares, haha).

 

1) Scoutbook - totally not ready for prime time.  Its hardly even ready for any use.  Personally as an IT guy myself, I would not have considered it ready to show to anyone yet.  It's "pretty", but the fact you can't even do basic features such as repeating calendar entries is just a good indication of how much work it has to go to be really useful.  And the fact that BSA has purchased it probably is a net negative.  It will not be done by 'committee' and anyone with any IT experience usually means this slows software development down and often is of less quality than what a small dedicated team can produce.

 

2) TroopMaster/SOAR - yeah these were great 10 years ago, but the web has passed them by, and the fact you have to spend nearly $250-300/year between them to have a decent tracking system + shared user website is kinda out there for anything but maybe a mega-troop.  There are a bunch of other troops at my roundtable that uses is, and I could get help from them which would be nice, but frankly their old-school design (from the DOS days)  also does not lend to being shared/web based at all.  Sorry, but 1999 called and want's their troop software back.

 

3) Scouttrack.com - Looks "ok' but it did not really impress.  Honestly, it kinda felt like someone who is just a software developers decided to write some software for scouts, but is not actually a scouter or actually had experience running at troop.  I think the best way to put it is that it felt more like a $1.99 app on the iPhone app store.

 

4) TroopTrack http://www.trooptrack.com  - This is what I settled on.  It impressed with with the fact it has nearly every feature that I wanted to look for, is pretty easy to use(easier than scoutbook), is a modern multi-user web based system, it connects directly to and works with BSA ScoutNet, includes the best mailing lists I have seen, and provides a free website with management of the website integrated into it.   The support has been excellent for every question I have asked so far, and it is developed by a dedicated group of scouters for scouters.   I would say that for $99/year you get everything that SOAR + TroopMaster + Troopmaster Web + Troopmaster.Net provides and then some.

 

 

My recommendation is to look at TroopTrack.com if you are starting out today new and moving from paper like my troop is.  It is possible that everyone might move to scoutbook.com eventually if the BSA pumps enough effort and money into it, but I can guarantee you it will be at least 5+ years or so before that will be ready to compete with these others, and that is like 50 years in technology.

 

 

That is my unsolicited $.02 anyway.

Did you try troopwebhost?  I'm guessing not

It seems that all of my neighborhood troops are using that one.

I can't say I'm a fan of it, but I wondered how you thought it compared to those others you did try.

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