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Checking for Updates
If you select Tools ⇒ Check for Updates, the program first checks whether you are connected to the Internet (which is required for it to work).
If for any reason you cannot use this menu option, or have problems with it, you can always upgrade by directly downloading and installing your current named version from the DOWNLOAD page on the website, on top of what you have now. You determine the name of your version to install with the program's Help ⇒ About DONATION menu option.
If you choose this mention option and you are connected to the Internet, a small file is first invisibly retrieved from the Software4Nonprofits.com web site, which has information on the latest version available for download, and when that version was released. That information is compared to your current version number (which you can also see via Help ⇒ About DONATION), and also to the date up to which you are eligible for email support and upgrades (assuming you are not still evaluating the program, and not using the free Lite version). That upgrades eligibility date can also be seen via Tools ⇒ Request or Install License Key. If you are still in your evaluation period, or using the Lite version, you are always eligible for updates. It also retrieves the current Revision History page, some of which may be displayed in the window.
At that point, some version of the following window comes up:
Note: If you are currently using the Lite version, another checkbox appears under the row of buttons in the window above, titled "Update from free Lite version to full paid Standard version". If you check that checkbox, rather than updating your Lite version to the newest version of the Lite version, it updates you to the newest paid version. You will need to pay the Initial Purchase price (or Annual Fee on or after January 1, 2022), if you have never paid before, to convert that from the 60-day Evaluation version that it will start as, to the full version.
If you do not periodically use the menu option to show this window, you will be prompted to open it as you close the program, once a month, just to help encourage you to keep up to date with the latest improvements and bug fixes in the program.
To help you figure out whether you might want to take a new update, the latest changes since your current version, up to the currently available version online, are shown in the text area of the window, excerpted from current online version of the Revision History help page. You can compare that to your current version, to see whether any of those recent changes seem particularly appealing. You can use the Print button to print what is displayed.
If you want to see that entire page online (including the hyperlinks in it, to navigate to the detailed pages about changed features), you can click the View Full Revision History Online button, which takes you to that page on the Software4Nonprofits.com web site. That page shows you a list of all of the changes in all recent releases, up to the most up to date one. (By comparison, the Help ⇒ Revision History menu option shows you the same Help page in your currently installed version, which may be older.)
The first button on this window, shown above as Update Now, will have varying text depending on your current situation. If you are already up-to-date, the button changes to say that and is disabled, and the text area showing recent improvements is removed from the window, since there aren't any recent improvements! If your currently installed license key doesn't indicate that you are eligible for updates, the button text changes to Check Eligibility. Clicking the button does the actual check for updates, if you are eligible for them, and gives you more information if not.
Once you check that button you are shown a message box explaining whether or not there is a newer version of DONATION available, and if so, whether you are eligible to download and install that version, based on your email support and upgrades eligibility date.
If you are using the OnDemand Version, the program is automatically kept quite up-to-date on the server on which it runs, so this window will never actually does updates, it just tells you the update status on the server. Occasionally there may be up to a week's delay between a release of the program and the OnDemand server being updated.
Sometimes the program will say that you are not eligible for updates when you know that you have indeed paid for DONATION within the last year (which is the determining factor). In that case, you just need to request an updated license key through the button on the Tools ⇒ Request or Install License Key window. (If you have an Internet connection on your computer, and have taken one of several actions that communicates your database's Unique ID to us, this may happen fairly automatically when you choose that menu option.) Once you have received and installed your updated license key, the program will know you are up to date, and you will be able to perform the update.
If there is a new version and you are eligible for it, you are given an option to download it. If you answer Yes to do the download, please read the message boxes that come up next carefully, to understand the process. Note: if you have used this option before for the same version but for some reason not completed the installation successfully, the program will actually notice that the installation file has been downloaded before, and give you an option to just use that file, rather than downloading it again.
If there is a new version and you are not eligible for it, you are given an option to go to the PRICING/PAYMENT page on the web site to see about making a payment (an Annual Fee payment in 2022 or later, or before that usually an Annual Renewal payment) in order to resume your eligibility for email support and upgrades. Once you have made a payment, and requested, received and installed an updated license key to inform your copy of the program that you are now once again entitled to email support and upgrades, you can come back to this option to take the upgrade.
Before actually downloading the update file, you are given an option to backup your database first, to protect yourself in the very unlikely event that the upgrade somehow affects your database. (There is no reason it would do so, but it's always better to be safe than sorry!) The only exceptions to this backup question are that users of the Local Network Client Version of DONATION are not prompted with it. For the Local Network Client Version, the user of the Local Network Server Version always needs to have updated first, to be sure the update will work for everyone, and it's easier to do the backup from the Local Network Server Version. (There is only one database when you use the Local Network Versions of DONATION - the one on the computer running the Local Network Server Version.)
During the downloading of the update file, a window will be displayed showing the progress of the download. Once the download has completed, you will be prompted to run the downloaded update installation file. Just follow the prompts - it is quite self-explanatory.
You can also click Help on the window above to view this help page. Click Close when you wish to exit the window.