The original Church Database Program was not Y2K compliant. This page provides background about the problem and allows you to download the patch which will fix the problems. Please read this information carefully before installing the patch. You may also reference a printable version of this page in Adobe PDF format
The Y2K problem involves date fields based on entry of only the last two digits of the year, as in 11/9/44 (rather than 11/9/1944). The problem is that programs will not be able to distinguish 1900 from 2000 from the last two digits, and calculations such as age will be ambiguous. FoxPro provides an internal date format that will behave correctly, but the Church program does not typically use this format so that it can support partial date information.
Fixing this problem requires adding four-digit date fields for those dates which require it (birth dates, anniversaries, membership dates, visitation dates, etc.). The extra two digits must be added both to the data entry screens and all reports which refer to the fields. Calculations based on these dates (notably age) must also be modified.
Finally, the data files which store the affected dates must be modified to store the two additional digits, and all existing data must be updated by adding "19" to the first two digits of the year. The data files modified are:
Because of the extensive changes required, this was considered an appropriate point to add Area Code fields to all telephone numbers as well. Since more and more churches are ministering to communities with more than one Area Code, it seemed appropriate to provide for this new trend.
This patch will automatically convert the above-named files to the new format when it is run for the first time. This conversion results in the version number of your Church Database installation being updated to Version 3. The version number is displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the initial Church menu screen (seen when you first start the program).
The program logic of the Church Database Program is contained in the single file CHURCH.APP, normally located in your C:\CHURCH directory. To install the patch:
The conversion process will prepend "19" to all affected dates, and you will see four-digit years on the data entry screens associated with them. Take a quick look at the Membership->Administer screens to familiarize yourself wit the new formats. All dates entered from this point forward will require four-digit year entry.
The conversion will also extend all telephone numbers to ten digits, with the first three (the Area Code) initially blank. You may continue to leave the area code field blank if you choose.
Not all dates were converted to four-digit years. Some dates have a built-in context, from which the correct century is obvious. This is true of Sunday School attendance reports, for instance: attendance sheets are completed on a particular (known) Sunday, and reports are listed for a particular year (in sequence). The same is true of contribution records. To minimize risk, no change was made for these dates.
The dates that were converted have no immediate context to determine the century, or were involved in calculations that require knowing the century. For instance, the date on which a visit occurred is used in calculations of weeks since the last visit; birth dates are used to calculate ages; and anniversary dates have no other context to help determine the century.
Fitting the additional two characters for dates and four characters for telephone numbers into already-crowded reports was not a simple task. A variety of approaches was taken with reports. Some required removing the FUN-SUB numbers, which typically are not useful to most readers. Others seemed to have enough space to simply add the new information.
If you really need a listing including the FUN-SUB numbers for administrative purposes, the "mini-master" report from the Membership->Print menu will provide this information (as well as other reports).
I need your help in testing this program!
There were extensive changes to the Church Database program involved in this patch. I have attempted to test as much as possible, but have not been able to try every report. In addition, there are many printers supported by the program to which I have no current access (including laser printers)
I have tested the Sunday School attendance functionality and am confident that it should continue to work properly. No changes were made to the financial contributions programs, so they should continue to work with no impact. However, there may be other areas used by some churches that I have overlooked.
Please feel free to contact me with any problems you find. As always, I can only promise a best-effort attempt to correct problems in a reasonable time frame.
Additional contact information for Thomas J. Cook: