October 2015 FAQ’s

Over the past few years we have found that users often ask many of the same questions. We thought we would share some of them with you, in case they come up for you too.

How can I delete a record?

There is no way to delete records, but you can write over them with information from another case or you can void the record which then excludes it from all searches and reports. You can also Void a record by choosing “Void” in disposition. By Voiding a record you remove it from all reports and analytics.

Can I create custom fields?

Yes you can.  Custom Fields is an extension in settings that can be activated. Once it is activated you can go in and create custom fields at the top or bottom of any of the boxes in WRMD. For more information please see the Extension of the Month entry for this on the WRMD blog: http://blog.wrmd.org/extension-month-custom-fields/

Can I backup my own data?

Yes you can. WRMD Backup is an extension in settings that can be activated. Once it is activated you have 2 options for a backup. You can backup the data as an excel spreadsheet, or you can save it as a SQL file. A SQL file can only be understood through a program that can translate it for you, such as a database program. For more information please visit the Extension of the Month entry for this on the WRMD blog: http://blog.wrmd.org/extension-month-wildlife-rehabilitation-md-backup/

Can I do an “or” search?
For example, if I’m trying to search for titmouse or towhee?

Yes, you can do an “or” search but only through the Advanced Search feature. To get there click the Search link on the left then the Advanced Search button on the top of the page. On the Advanced Search screen select which field to search (in this case use “common name”) then select the operator (“contains”) and then the value you want to search for, such as titmouse. Click the Add New Row button and create a new search argument but this time the very first drop down list should changed to OR. You can add as many arguments as you need.

We keep getting kicked out of the WRMD system. It happens randomly.

What appears to be happening is that every so often the system is being used at a very high volume and at that peak point it becomes overwhelmed. This has happened a few times this summer. Along with many other changes to WRMD 3.0, there will be a completely different server organization which will allow for much more space and speed. Because of the current server configuration in WRMD 2.0 we can’t change the configuration in this version. We are aware of the problem and it is one of the main reasons we are working really hard to make sure WRMD 3.0 will be ready to go by the new year. We, are really sorry for the inconvenience and hopefully by September 1 it will stop happening.

What Happens if Devin Gets Hit by a Bus?

Devin DombrowskiAs much as I don’t like the thought of getting hit by a bus, it’s something that I have to think about as Wildlife Rehabilitation MD grows. What happens if I really do get hit by a bus? What happens if I decide I’ve had enough of this and I move to Belize permanently? What happens if California falls into the ocean? What happens if…

Basically, What is the Backup Plan?

First of all, I don’t have any plans to run away or get hit by a bus. That said, life is unpredictable and Wildlife Rehabilitation MD is becoming a really big deal, so a backup plan has become more and more relevant. When we first started envisioning Wildlife Rehabilitation MD there were three guiding rules that we wanted to always adhere by. The first rule is that we wanted the database to be as user-friendly as possible. From the feedback we are getting it sounds like we’re doing well on that front. The second rule is to ensure the integrity of the data, which includes the integrity and longevity of the entire service. Since day one, I have been planting seeds and documenting things that could be used in the event of my demise. For example all of the code that is used to create Wildlife Rehabilitation MD is documented and version controlled. In other words it can always be re-created, redeployed or rolled back in the event that any of those are needed. Also, the entire database is backed up twice a day and could be easily restored if there was a catastrophic failure.

But Who Would Do This If Devin Really Was Hit by a Bus?

Many of the seeds that I’ve been planting are the people I/we’ve brought in to help do all the work that’s needed. For example, we now have another developer and a designer working with us. We also have a couple of people doing some customer support and tutorial writings. We’ve also given a confidential document with all of the passwords and authentication for all the services we use, to a lawyer.

What About the Financial Longevity?

Another good and common question, since we are offering a free service to a community that is not known for its financial abundance. The simple answer is that right now we are fortunate that our expenses are not too much and we have been very fortunate with our donations received. It’s true that as we grow our expenses will likely increase, so we are exploring alternative ways to help fund our cause and welcome the chance to speak with potential investors. Ultimately our most valuable assets are the users, so as we grow and our expense increase we are also becoming more relevant and catching the attention of agencies and universities that want to help us.

I Believe That We Are Here to Stay

Like any fledgling start-up we are as fragile as a baby. But the truth is that we are achieving great growth and actually developing a solution to a worldwide problem. The people that have joined us and are supporting us financially all believe in our cause. We are not only helping the wildlife rehabilitation community but can also make a true impact in wildlife conservation.

Wildlife Rehabilitation MD is stable and if from this point on we never made any changes then all would be well. But life demands changes and if I do get hit by a bus, I feel confident that the WRMD team as well as the WRMD users will join together and continue this service.

Devin Dombrowski
Wildlife Rehabilitation MD co-founder

Extension of the Month: Wildlife Rehabilitation MD Backup

There is often a concern about losing data. We at The Wild Neighbors Database Project agree that loss of data would be a tragedy. We have taken several precautions to eliminate this from happening. We can never be 100% sure of anything when it comes to data. If your data is on paper there could be a fire or if it’s on a server, the server could be damaged. There could be any number of creative ways it could disappear no matter what we do to protect it.

Wildlife Rehabilitation MD Backup is designed to put our users minds at ease.  At anytime you can backup all of your data in your account to your computer, flash drive, dropbox account, etc. If you ever decide to leave WRMD you can take your data with you.

There are 2 ways you can save your data.

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The first way is to download it into a sql file. When you activate the Wildlife Rehabilitation MD Backup extension, a link will show up near the bottom of the left side bar. Click on this link and it will take you to the Wildlife Rehabilitation MD Backup page. Then click on Make New Backup and a new backup will be made. The file will be listed below which shows that it is saved on the WRMD server. If you click on the file name you can download it to where ever you choose. Keep in mind in order to access this data you must have someone who knows how to read this file and translate it for you.

The second way to save your data is to do a normal export of all the data to an excel file. This is much easier to read, but is a massive amount of information for excel to deal with easily.

Rest assured that we backup the database twice a day on two separate servers, just in case anything happens that is out of our control.