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The Area being Modelled is :-
This Specification is taken from the Wikipedia definition of an Association Management System
An association management system (AMS) is a computerized system which provides a non-profit organization
basic database features to run its operations, such as member services, dues, event management, communications,
product databases and fundraising.
Typically, an AMS will be linked to an association's public-facing website so that members and customers may
interact with the association.
These interactions may include purchasing memberships, products, events, and more. Interactions could also
include non-financial transactions such as updating contact information and sharing documents through participation
on committees or task forces.
Just like many other modern software packages, AMS started off as desktop software, progressed to client-server model
and now a web-based (aka software as a service model is being rapidly adopted. In web-based systems AMS become tightly
integrated / interlinked with CMS (website content management system).
Many small associations and clubs use a homegrown custom-developed AMS based on existing database programs and external
software for specific needs, such event registration, online payment and newsletters.
Some 100 AMS systems are commercially available.
Many of these will focus on specific target markets.
For instance, very large complex associations, small and medium size associations with little resources, and association
management companies that manages multiple associations using a single system.
Complexity of the membership structures that the software needs to manage is an important factor in selecting this type of software.
If the membership base is a persons-only scenario with no company relationships then a simple spreadsheet or data table can often be used.
If complex company and person relationships exist, and billing is optionally to a person and or to a company on a consolidated basis then
relational database models need to be employed.
An AMS may also categorize and track member interests and manage service offerings to members based on the particular profile of the member.
B) The original Question posted on DB Forums was ...
Subject: Data Model for Association Management
I am involved in a situation that requires a group of people to make some decisions that
should probably be being made by people with much more knowledge of the subject, but there
really isn't anyone else in the organization who knows any more that we do, and our
organization isn't in the position to be able to hire a consultant.
We are attempting to learn as much as we can on our own in an attempt to do our honest best for our organization.
Basically, we are volunteers for a non-profit organization that uses an association management company (AMC.)
A group of us volunteers has been tasked with finding a company to redesign our web site.
Currently our web site is integrated with a particular association management software (AMS) package.
Our AMC has made the decision to change to a different AMS package.
This change will not take place for another 1 to 2 years.
We are concerned that if we redesign the web site now, there will be another large cost to change the
new web site to integrate with the new AMS.
Both the current AMS and the AMS that will be used in the future by our AMC seem to be professional
software packages written by well qualified companies.
The generic question: Do most software companies that write AMS use any kind of industry standard for their API's?
We know that the new AMS claims that they use "well-defined" API's.
We don't have enough familiarity with all the AMS packages to know whether they are like everyone else
(i.e. use their own propriety data interchange methods) seems to be.
Is there any kind of "ball park" way to determine how much is involved in changing a web site that is integrated
with one AMS to integrate with another AMS? Or is it impossible to say?
This is just a starting point for us, and we will probably, at some point, get an answer from our AMC, but they
have been slow to respond and we are trying to at least start to lay the foundation for some of our decision making.
If you need me to be more specific, I probably can be a little bit.
Thanks for any insight you may have.
B. Barry says the Things of Interest are :-
3. Others to be determined
C. The Business Rules are as follows :-
1. To be determined.
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