As mentioned before, the Scoutbook database will be the database of record for advancement data. In preparation, Internet Advancement will be retired and replaced in 2018 by a system named “Scoutbook Lite.” Scoutbook Lite will have the major features of Internet Advancement.
Scoutbook Lite is for units that don't use Scoutbook. It replaces Internet Advancement and will be free to all registered BSA units. There is nothing in Scoutbook Lite that is not also in Scoutbook and they both write to the same database and will be able to see the data entered from either application. You can think of Scoutbook Lite as the ‘no frills – data entry’ version and Scoutbook as the ‘full featured’ unit management application; both writing to the same database.
The following is more information on Scoutbook Lite, the free replacement for Internet Advancement.
An overarching concern of BSA IT is that there are too many computer tools for volunteers to be familiar with—as they keep track of all the key information they need to access and report.
With that in mind, the BSA will start to combine some of the individual tools in our arsenal. With the new Scoutbook Lite, BSA intends to unify and bring under one interface as many unit leader tasks as possible—with the unit leader only needing a single access.
When released, Scoutbook Lite will initially replace the legacy Internet Advancement tool. These additional functions are also planned to be added as soon as possible: Service Hour Reporting, Internet Rechartering (for unit leaders), camping logs, and more.
The main difference between Scoutbook and Scoutbook Lite is that the full version of Scoutbook provides unit leaders greater flexibility.
For example, BSA is presently working on a mobile app for Scouts, who can record their advancement and achievements, and then have the unit leader go into the full version of Scoutbook and approve them.
Additionally, Scoutbook already includes calendars, reminders, messaging, and unit/Scout financial (still in Beta) features.
There have been some concerns expressed that BSA will abandon the ability of units to use 3rd party Unit Management Software (UMS) to bulk upload advancement information.
The BSA anticipates that Scoutbook Lite will continue to allow bulk upload of data via a defined CSV format. Since there are so many 3rd party options available, BSA will require that the 3rd party UMS exports comply with BSA’s prescribed format.
And if they do not, then it would fall to the unit leaders to make it so. For example, unit leaders would need to make sure that data fields for importation via Scoutbook Lite are in the right order.
So, for those who want to hang on to their existing UMS, they will still be able to upload CSV advancement data. It would just be uploaded to Scoutbook Lite instead of to Internet Advancement.
Third party UMS software such as Troopmaster may in the future be able to use APIs that will be allowed to directly read data from Scoutbook Lite, but not at this time.
For those volunteers interested in learning more about the APIs being developed by the BSA, please contact Tom Jansen directly at Thomas.Jansen@Scouting.org.
Tom will reach out to everyone who contacts him, and he will often connect by phone if that helps in the identification of your needs and interests.
NEW USER GUIDES AVAILABLE
We have several new user guides available that can be used to help present Scoutbook to new parents and leaders. The guides are available here: http://bit.ly/scoutbook