Q. Can I run ChurchWatch on an Apple Macintosh?A. Yes ChurchWatch runs very well on an Apple Macintosh, including Intel and the new M1 chips. But you'll need a good Windows emulator such as "Parallels" (https://www.parallels.com/products/). We have customers that use this solution without problems. Q. Can I access ChurchWatch from a remote location?A. A very popular question and yes you can! There are several methods you can use:
1. Download VNC from Real VNC (free download) or TeamViewer (free download) from www.teamviewer.com or Splashtop from www.splashtop.com and use a high speed internet link to access your church computer. PROS: good performance. CONS: Takes control of your church computer and allows only 1 user at a time.
2. Use Microsoft Windows Terminal Server and/or Citrix to run ChurchWatch on your church server and then 'serve' it to the remote workstation via a dial-up or high speed connection. PROS: good performance, multiple users simultaneously. CONS: takes considerable network knowledge to create and maintain this type of network. Costly. 3. Create a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to extend your network, then connect to the church network from remote locations. You would install the 'workstation' version of ChurchWatch on the remote PC and access the data via the VPN over the network as per normal. PROS: Extends your church network so you are literally still on the church network even from a remote location. CONS: Difficult to setup, will require professional help 4. Just do a second installation at the remote site. PROS: Cheap, simple and it works. CONS: Creates 2 copies of your database that cannot be kept in sync easily or safely other than doing backups and restores back and forth between the 2 PCs. Not recommended.
We recommend TeamViewer or Splashtop or PCAnywhere. Here is more detailed information:
The above have free downloads and/or trial versions (check with them for licensing for a church it may be free or reduced cost). Each of these allow you to access a church computer via the internet. You can view and control it from a remote location just as if you were sitting in front of that computer. There are several immediate benefits:
1) White Mountain Software uses TeamViewer and our software comes with a license built into it. Therefore, we can (with your permission and ID) access your computer for support requests and quick repairs. It is completely secure with passwords and an ID that is unique to your PC. It is much easier for us to do the work for you, than taking the time to explain what to do over the phone.
2) You can access and control the host computer (at the church) from any other PC in the world. This includes everything that is available on the host PC, not just ChurchWatch. Tablets and phones also work with TeamViewer and likely the others as well.
3) You can access ChurchWatch from home and you don't need to purchase a second license of ChurchWatch since there is only one installation.
HOW DOES IT WORK AND ARE THERE SECURITY CONCERNS?
You need two copies of TeamViewer - one installed on the host PC at the church (likely the churchwatch server or main PC), and a second copy installed at home, on a laptop, or even on devices like the Apple iPad! When you start TeamViewer on the church PC, it will give you an ID and a dynamic password or you can setup a permanent password. This creates the security. In order for someone to access your PC, you need to have TeamViewer running and they need the ID and the password. Since they don't know the ID or the password unless you give it to them, and since you have to have TeamViewer running, it is highly unlikely (read almost impossible) for a non-trusted source to access your PC. Once connected from a remote PC, the remote PC can see the screen on the host computer and can control the mouse and keyboard from the remote site - basically you can take control of the host computer from a remote site, to run ChurchWatch or any other program or application as needed.
There is a small downside. In order for this to work, TeamViewer must be left running at the host (church) computer and you need to know the ID and the password in order to access this computer from a remote PC. Secondly, once you take control of the host PC from a remote site, no one else can use the host computer until you disconnect. It's a minor inconvenience if you intend, for example, to access the host computer in the evening. We are very familiar with TeamViewer and have found it incredibly simple to install and use - it literally takes just minutes. We find it to be very fast and reliable if you have a high speed internet connection at both computers. The downside of TeamViewer is that it is quite expensive so you may want to look at some of the alternatives like SplashTop.
If you have questions, feel free to contact White Mountain Software for more information. Q. How do I do fund accounting?A. There are many excellent accounting packages available and it would be foolish for us to try to compete. Instead, ChurchWatch exports contribution data to QuickBooks, Quicken and Simply Accounting file formats (most accounting packages can read QuickBooks import files). You then use the accounting package to keep track of your church finances. Q. Can I use a bar code scanner?A. Yes, for attendance tracking and in the Library Manager for library cards and library items. We require the use of a scanner that has a keyboard wedge interface. This way the scanner acts just as if you had entered the bar code or ID directly on your keyboard. Q. Does ChurchWatch interface with cell phones hand held devices?A. To some extent, yes. For example you can export standard iCalendar files to import into the calendar program of your phone or mobile device. Using the Export Manager you can export your membership and other contacts to import to your phone's contacts as well. Q. Does ChurchWatch interface with tablets?A. ChurchWatch runs fine on a Windows Surface tablet and can connect to your church network like any PC. For other brands of tablets you can run TeamViewer to access the church computer from anywhere in the world where internet is available (see answer above on remote access). Q. What other software packages does ChurchWatch work with or interface with?A. Word, WordPerfect, Excel, QuickBooks, Quicken, Simply Accounting and OpenOffice. You can also send all reports to Word, Excel, HTML, PDF, OpenOffice and many other formats.
Questions about the software
Q. When exporting a report to a file, I am getting an error that says I have the wrong version of XFRXLIB.FLL. What does that mean?A. This error should really only occur on older versions of church and only on a network workstation. First of all, make sure you have the latest version of software at your server by doing the online upgrade. Then you need to manually copy 4 files from the server's ChurchWatch folder to the ChurchWatch folder on each of your network workstations. The files are:
CWATCH.EXE HNDLIB.DLL XFRXLIB.FLL (yes .FLL, not .DLL) ZLIB.DLL
Q. Is there a way to specify a port number for SMTP email?A. Yes. This is done in the Setup Manager on the Email page
Q. I have a newer color photocopier/printer (Ricoh). Reports will not print. How do I fix?A. All ChurchWatch reports are printed in color format even if black and white. On certain printers (we have seen this on Ricoh), set your printer/print job for color printing instead of black and white. If the report has no color objects on it, it will still print OK in black and white.
Q. I can't seem to get the internet software upgrade to work. What should I try?A. There should be no issues with the software upgrade program, but a few users do seem to find that this program is blocked on their specific PC. Suggestion is to temporarily disable any firewall or anti-virus software.