6. AlertDispatcher - Address Book Management

The Address Book is the basic element of AlertDispatcher in that all sending and receiving, aside from the one optional cell number capability depends on the numbers entered into it. Therefore the user must put all numbers to which messages might be sent into the Address Book before attempting to do other things with AlertDispatcher. Three basic functions are handled on the Address Book tab: Adding entries, Deleting entries and Changing existing entries.

Adding Entries

Adding entries can be accomplished by either of two methods. Note that all cell numbers must be unique. The same cell number cannot appear again even with a different name.

Individual Entry

To add individual entries, simple fill in the First Name, Last Name and Cell Number boxes and click the Add Entry button. No checks are provided on the name boxes but the cell number must be a valid cell phone number (you will receive an error message if the number you entered is not a cell phone number).

Bulk Import

The Import to Address Book can be done using CSV-styled data or a standard copy-and-past operation from a spreadsheet to do bulk imports. CSV files can be created easily with a simple text editor or Microsoft Excel. We do not recommend using Microsoft Word to build or maintain this list as this program inserts characters (such as "smart quotes" that databases such as this one do not recognize).

The format of the information you copy-and-paste into the "Import to Address Book" field is simple and intuitive: FirstName, LastName, CellNumber. Enclosing any parameter in standard ASCII double quotes is supported. Note: Data should never be copied from Microsft Word with quotes in it since Microsoft Word does not use ASCII quotes.

To import from Microsoft Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your data into Excel in a 3 column format. If you already are maintaining a list of employee names and numbers in Excel remember that the columns must be in the proper order for importing - first name, last name and cell number (e.g., Column A - first name, Column B - last name, Column C - cell phone number).
  2. Copy all the rows containing names and numbers that you want imported into the address book (EXCEPT ANY HEADER LINES) to the clipboard.
  3. Paste the lines into the Import box and click the Import from Field Below button.

You will see a notation next to each entry in the import field showing "Imported." If a record was not imported the error message will say so and will say why; reasons can be that the number in the record isn't a cell phone number or that the number was already listed in the address book.

Deleting Entries

To delete entries, check all entries in the Address Book display that you wish to delete and then click Delete Checked. This action cannot be undone!

Changing Existing Entries

To change any entry, check the single Address Book entry that you wish to change. Then click the button labeled Edit checked record. The entry will be copied to tthe Name and Cell Number boxes. Make any changes that you need to make and then click the button labeled Save edited record.