Archive for 2010

How to do a batch entry of L31 reports in vTools.Meetings

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

If you have a lot of similar L31 reports to submit, we encourage you to schedule meetings before hand and then use L31 templates avilable from the meetings’ pages. However, if that is not feasible, then you can use a work around to automatically fill in fields in similar L31 reports using a Firefox browser add-on. Four minute tutorial showing this technique is available here:

Updates to Voting and WebInABox

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

We are happy to announce that vTools.Voting version 1.2.2 and WebInABox version 2.1 have been released.  Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

vTools.Voting version 1.2.2 list of changes:

  • Added ability to paste text (such as bios and voter instructions) from MS Word without loosing formatting or exceeding character limits
  • Linked IEEE and vTools logs to respective websites

WebInABox version 2.1 list of changes:

  • Changed “skin” to the new IEEE Style Sheet in order to comply with IEEE web guidelines
  • Fixed warning messages not going away
  • Upgraded to Rails 2.3.5
  • Added saving of website creator’s username for audit purposes

How do I receive notices of the future meetings for my section/chapter/etc?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
To be informed of the future meetings an IEEE member can subscribe to an RSS feed of meetings for his region, section, chapter., or an affinity group.

The one time subscription setup is as follows:

  • login with IEEE web account credentials at
  • click on “View Feeds (RSS/HTML/XML/iCal)” link
  • subscribe to an appropriate feed using favorite RSS reader

In addition, you can use a free service to receive an e-mail digest of the RSS feed. You can use it to subscribe to the RSS and have the digest e-mailed to a specific e-mail. Two free services that you can use are and

vTools Charter

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

vTools charter is defined in section 4.19 of the Member and Geographic Activities Operations Manual:

vTools.Meetings version 3.0.1

Thursday, September 9th, 2010
vTools.Meetings version 3.0.1  will be released on Wednesday, September 15th. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

List of changes:

1. changed the version number on about screen
2. removed database tables and fields we are not using
3. fixed an error where speaker_report records were created twice (one set was empty)
4. made “contact email” field required (in all new meetings)
5. added text to the about screen about to show whether we are running in production or development mode
6. changed authorization roles to be independent of DB id (making things easier to regenerate)
7. made meeting_flags boolean
8. cleaned ldap_user field in admin form
9. fixed a bug where creating L31 report from meeting might fail with application error. This is a bug introduced by keeping unused table fields and copying them around. Addressed by fix #2.
10. After an L31 report is created, there is an option to edit it. However, updating organizational unit in existing L31 report was not working.
11. Registering “another meeting attendee” with payment option enabled was not working. If after making a payment, meeting registrant goes back to the registration page (via go back to vTools link from PayPal), (s)he has two options: finish or register another meeting attendee. If (s)he picked “register another”, then the registration screen would be shown without the payment button.

DimDim version 6 has been released

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Over the weekend DimDim released version 6 of the software. It is enhanced with the following new features:

“Screen and Application Sharing
  Share your entire desktop, a single application or region.

Instant Polls
  Check on the status of your meeting by taking live votes on any question you can imagine.

Document Storage
 Upload and store all your presentations, PPTs, and now Word and Excel docs in our secure cloud.

Web Mashups
  Present YouTube videos, Picasa albums or any embed code live during your event.”

4-Way Video Chat
  In the latest version DimDim doubled the number of cameras from 2 to 4

Click here for more information.

Please note that the old web page sharing function is now a part of the Screen Sharing functionality.  You can share a web page via sharing a web browser application . In order to share an application, click on “Share Screen” and then select “Application”.

Where is my Meeting?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Meetings that you schedule in the Meetings tool are available in 3 places:

1) your section/chapter/affinity group website (one time integration setup is required. See “Integration with Existing website” tutorial available here: )
2) myIEEE “Community” screen under “IEEE Section Activities” module
3) vTools.Meetings site itself : (login to view meetings for your section only)

Limited vTools outage on Wednesday, August 11

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

There will be a limited outage of vTools on Wednesday, August 11 2010 due to central system updates. Parts of vTools will not be available from 7 AM to 12 PM Eastern time. Specifically updating WebInABox sites and creating new elections in vTools.Voting will not work. We apologize for the inconvenience.

vTools.Meetings version 3.0

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

This note is to announce a new release of vTools.Meetings version 3.0.  This release adds credit card payment option to the registration functionality and some improvements to the L31 functionality as well as other small bug fixes.

The new version is planned to be deployed on Wednesday, July 14th. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

  • L31 Reporting Changes
    • Changes to allow any IEEE Member to VIEW all Meeting Reports
    • Improved wording on List / Search
  • Credit Card Payment functionality
    • payment option within registration functionality to allow accept credit card payments and have them directly deposited in Concentration Banking. Payment reports will be available from vTools and Concentration Banking System. For more information view this tutorial.

Please note that the payment functionality is NOT enabled automatically for every organizational unit. Please email AND to have this functionality enabled for your region and section events.

Please note:

  • This functionality is not meant to be used for large events, such as conferences. If you need to process payments for a large event please contact for help.
  • Volunteers shall be responsible for manually issuing refunds when necessary using CBR checks.

Voting tool is now in production

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

This note is to announce move of the Voting tool into production environment. After a successful Pilot the vTools.Voting tool has entered production phase. vTools.Voting enables volunteers to setup electronic ballot to allow members submit votes in their Section, Chapter, or Affinity Group officer elections online (please note that this is different from the general IEEE elections). Click here to get started: