All systems go: marathon paves the way for member management changeover

As you know, we are in the process of ripping the guts out of our member management system and replacing it with a commercial system called Wild Apricot. This is going to affect you, and hopefully eventually delight you, but these transitions are always a little complicated.

A brave band gathered recently for a Systems Group Marathon to lay the groundwork for this transition. PS:1 uses software called Active Directory (AD) to manage logins across our disparate systems. AD is what allows you to log into the wiki, the ShopBot, the website, etc., and soon our new learning management system with a single user name and password.

The marathon volunteers upgraded AD and got it working with Wild Apricot. This means that in the future, you will have “only” two passwords to manage: one for your payments to PS:1 and one for everything else. You shouldn’t need to touch payments very often, so this isn’t as hard as it sounds. Also, the new AD allows for self-service password reset, so no more desperate emails required if you get locked out.

Excitingly, Canvas is now up and running. Canvas, our new learning management system, will soon be the foundation for the authorization process at PS:1. We hope with Canvas to make authorizations both more convenient and more consistent.

With these changes and others (new Ansible playbook, new nginx, Let’s Encrypt SSL certs, etc.), we’re now getting very close to the Wild Apricot changeover. Emails will start going out soon to small groups of users. When the process is working smoothly, the entire org will change over.

A huge thanks to Abel, Wayne, Mariano, and our CTO Sky. If you’re tired of sitting on the sidelines and being overshadowed by heroes like these, bring your IT skills to the next systems group marathon. Do it for the accolades. Do it for PS:1. Do it for the pizza.

If you’re interested, Sky is always available on Slack in the #systemsgroup channel. She can also be reached at cto@pumpingstationone.org. Finally, Sky has a frequently updated and public Trello board for all IT systems stuff that you can check out here if you want to know what needs to get done and what is being worked on.

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