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BobWhiteVA

Troopwebhost vs Scoutbook

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Hi All,

We've been using TWH for about five years to pretty much run all aspects of our Troop and we love it.  However, with BSA pushing Scoutbook, and today's announcement that Scoutbook will replace Internet Advancements (https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/12/21/scoutbook-lite-to-replace-bsas-internet-advancement-platform-in-early-2018/), i'm thinking it's time to revisit Scoutbook.  From what I've been able to tell, TWH is far superior for tracking finances, equipment inventory, and for allowing parents to access their Scout's account.  Has anyone made the switch?  Or, is anyone using both?  Could anyone who is using Scoutbook provide their evaluation?

YiS,

Bob

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Do not abandon your current app just yet. I have heard in back channel discussion that ScoutBook Lite will include and API that will allow syncing between some apps like TroopMaster. I am not sure if TWH will be one of them. Or if BSA will even continue that effort. But so many units use something other than SB I would be shocked if they did not get enough pressure from the masses to create such an API. 

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We still use Trooptrack which is great for communication but lousy for Advancement. I miss Troopmaster but most of the adults hated to use it. 

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we use troopwebhost.

I honestly haven't looked at scoutbook in quite a while but from what I recall it really didn't have tools for the treasury.  

 

I find troopwebhost fairly powerful for things like email and calendar.  It's a bit clunky and dated looking, but it works well.  From my perspective, the tools it offers for the money side alone are worth it though.  Even if the unit decided to beg off using any of the other features, I'd still insist on using it for the money.  If for nothing other than for transparency.... I like that any of the committee members (well any that have permission) can log in and see every transaction, everything I'm doing.

We use scout accounts, but only personally funded.  It's a great way for the members to prepay for things and for the treasurer to charge them.

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thanks blw2.  We've been VERY happy with TWH, the steady stream of upgrades and the incredibly quick response we get when asking for new features or for assistance would make us very reluctant to move off of it.  We use it as well to manage scout accounts, as well as to manage our Troop inventory.  Still, we're doing double work tracking advancements as we track in both TWH and Internet Advancements, so Scoutbook has some appeal to us.  Hopefully HelpfulTracks mention of a possible API enabling integration between TWH and Scoutbook comes to pass.

Edited by BobWhiteVA

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We use Trooptrack and have invested a ton of time configuring it-everything from privileges, advancements, newsletters and member directory information.  

Wondering the same thing as BobWhiteVA.  Also hoping they don't stop supporting Trooptrack automated advancement reporting to council through internet advancement. Hopefully they will just support Trooptrack reporting to Scoutbook instead. 

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This is not a "versus" situation.  None of the solutions will be enough on their own.  

TWH looks really nice in many ways.  I'd be tempted to use it if we had not started with SOAR years earlier.  Still love the quality of SOAR.  What intrigues me about TWH is the money tracking.  Looks pretty good there.  I don't care for the communication features.  IMHO, SOAR did better with that.  But TWH has many great looking features.  

Challenge is BSA bought and invested in ScoutBook.  It does advancement well, but that's about it.  It is severely lacking for communication, calendar, finances, roster and more.  But it is plugged into BSA backend data systems.  And that's a huge feature in itself.  

From what I see, we'll be stuck for years and years with multiple systems.  ScoutBook for advancement and other systems for everything else.  It's not a choice.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Some new info posted this morning by the Commisioners of the BSA. They specifically say no API support for third party apps. :(  

 

——

Quote

 

You may have seen this information a bit earlier... but it wasn't officially released until today...

Scoutbook Lite to Replace Internet Advancement in Q2 of 2018

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is excited to roll out a new solution in Q2 of 2018 that will leverage core components of the Scoutbook platform.
The current Internet Advancement platform will be retired and replaced by a new online tool called Scoutbook Lite.
This new application is being developed now from the ground up so that unit leaders can quickly key in advancement and other key data.  It will sport a slick new user interface optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.  

The BSA has found that less than 10% of units use the CSV data file import feature in Internet Advancement. In the interest of focusing on tools that serve more Scouters, the CSV data file import will not be supported once the current Internet Advancement platform is discontinued.

Other than the CSV import feature, Scoutbook Lite will offer optimized functions for everything found in the current Internet Advancement platform.

The Scoutbook database will become the official record of advancement for the Boy Scouts of America.  

And we will continue to work on and improve Scoutbook as our full feature application.

And one more thing.  

Are you a programmer?
For Scouters who are experienced in the development of apps or web platforms, the BSA is excited to announce the upcoming roll out of API’s. 
A selection of specific, read-only API’s will be made available to Scouting volunteers in the first half of 2018. There are no current plans to roll out API’s to third parties.

 

 

Edited by BobWhiteVA

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All current troop software platforms will offer a link in to Scoutbook. This was confirmed last week by the major vendors. It will be similar to the data import you can use today in troopmaster to import training. 

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21 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

All current troop software platforms will offer a link in to Scoutbook. This was confirmed last week by the major vendors. It will be similar to the data import you can use today in troopmaster to import training. 

Here's what we received from Troopwebhost:  

Quote

We've received a lot of inquiries about the BSA ending support for Internet Advancement and specifically the ability to upload the ScoutNet advancement CSV file.  We are in discussions with the BSA about how we can fill this void.  One possibility is an upload function that was documented on the ScoutBook FAQ page three years ago:   https://www.scoutbook.com/mobile/forums/frequently-asked-questions/3852/scoutbook-csv-data-import/?Search=uploading+csv. 

We've asked the BSA to confirm that this function is still available and whether it will be available in ScoutBook Lite.  If that's the case, we can easily produce a compatible file.  If not, there are a couple of other avenues that we can pursue.  This will be our top priority this year. 

If you have access to a fully operational version of ScoutBook, please let us know if you can find this function and, if so, how to get to it, so we can share this with everyone else. 

 

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We use TM and they have confirmed they will be able to ingest BSA advancement data just like they do training data.

Our crew uses Scoutbook but I am not sold on it. For a small 20 person crew at $40/year it is okay. For a troop that has so much to manage I could not imagine using it versus TM.

I highly doubt BSA will ever be at the point where they compel units to use only SB. That would be a bad move on their part.

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Some new info from TroopWebHost:

TroopWebHost will support the ability to transfer advancement data to the new Scoutbook Lite program.

The BSA has confirmed that Scoutbook Lite will provide the ability to upload advancement information from a CSV file, similar to the Internet Advancement upload function.   TroopWebHost will be able to produce a file in the required format.

We are in direct communication with the BSA IT group and expect to receive detailed specifications in plenty of time to allow our customers to make a smooth transition.”

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Scoutbook is pretty to look at, but cumbersome to navigate. As simple as it is to get info INTO Scoutbook, getting info OUT of it is painful. Reporting options are minimal. And that a generous assessment. "Reports" can be designed, but not printed, shared, exported, or otherwise used beyond viewing on screen. The user forum has a thread that is currently 140 pages long on reporting requests and complaints. The general response is to use a third party Chrome extension that basically does a screen scrape and export that to Excel. Scoutbook covers the basics, but not much else. Like most things National touches, it is helpful to the point of frustration, leaving you looking for another solution.

Scoutbook is user friendly for Cub Scouts, where so much of the paperwork is designed to be done by parents. Although if you get someone that is bling-crazed, you have kids all done with the entire year in two months and earning every by-the-way award available. Ugh. For a Pack of 40-50 Cubs, it's manageable and cheap. I CANNOT imagine using it to track anything in a Troop of any size. The Scout program has too many items and variables. Combined with minimal reporting abilities, it's just not up to it.

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