We will be releasing an update in early January. This update will allow you, first and foremost, to archive your assessment database by year from within your system, and provide you with the ability to refer back to prior years’ data at any time. Additionally, in the very near future, a subsequent update will allow you to seamlessly maintain a working copy of your current assessing database so that you or your assessor can be working on a revaluation or update while the current parcel attributes and assessments remain unchanged. So in effect, you will be able to look both backwards and forwards from within the system. Following is a list of features, as well as a few things you can do in anticipation of the update.
This update will enable you to:
- Archive and maintain historical copies of your data for each year, allowing you to refer back to a view of a parcel’s complete attributes and assessments in previous years. You will not be able to update data in archived years, but that’s sort of the whole point — i.e. to have a historical record for reference.
- Maintain a complete copy of the parcel and assessment data — building description, land details, pictures, sketches, etc. — to provide more depth than can be conveyed by the current History of Taxable Values.
- Configure by workstation and user who will have access to the archival data — e.g. maybe it’s good to have access in the back office but you don’t want users at a public terminal to be able to review it.
The subsequent update (to be released in February/March) will build on this functionality and enable you to:
- Maintain a single, editable copy of your entire data as an update database, within which you can edit parcel and sale attributes, change value parameters, and run recalculations and sales analyses without affecting your active database.
- Once you are satisfied with the data in the update database, you can select multiple options for merging attributes and values from your update database back into your current database — e.g. merge back just the value parameters, or merge back value and parcel attribute data but preserve the owners maintained in the active database, etc.
- Again, configure by workstation and user who will have access to the update data, independent from the workstations and users that will have access to the archive data.
- Users of the Avitar Assessing Mirror Module may be familiar with this functionality. However, this updated functionality will embed the features in the application itself (i.e. no need to run things on the server) and will greatly simplify the process of merging data back into your active database such that you will not have to verify that parcels exist in both databases before merging. Essentially, this is a new and vastly improved version of the old Mirror Module.
Now in order to take advantage of the new functionality, you will need to do a few things:
- Verify that your version of the database application is sufficient. In order to use this new functionality we need to rely on capabilities that did not exist in earlier versions of the SQL Server and SQL Express database platform. However, some of your systems (depending on when they were installed and whether or not your server’s operating system is compatible with newer versions of SQL Server/Express) may not support this. To check, select Help | About Avitar Assessing and check the number beneath your server name (shown below). If the number is less than 10 you will need to contact us in January to see if your current server will support updating the database platform. If the number is 10 or greater you should be good to go.
- You will need to contact us in January so we can verify your eligibility and provide you with the update. Remember, we have reduced hours between December 20th and January 2nd.
- You will need to verify with your IT expert that you have enough physical disc space on your server to support an additional database or two. These assessing databases can get big, and you will need to know that the drive on which your current SQL data directory resides on the server can support the space requirements.
- If you cannot wait until January to begin making changes to your current database, and you want to use the new archive functionality, but you want your eventual 2013 archive to reflect your database as it exists now, you can take a backup of your current database and hide it away in a safe place and we can restore that as your archive in January. Alternatively, if you’re reading this too late and you have already started making changes for 2014 you can contact your IT expert (or perhaps us since many of you provide us with backups following your final warrant) and we can explore using a previous point in time backup for your 2013 archive.