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Mailing List System

The Mailing List System (MLS) developed by Legler Systems Company in California (CA) is based on the client-server model and supports many special features for handling the mailing list function in small businesses and midsize companies. This customizable online MLS software can be run as a stand-alone business application or integrated with other accounting modules, such as Accounts Payable System, Accounts Receivable System and Payroll System. The Legler Mailing List software utilizes a character-based user interface with mouse support on desktop or laptop computers for fast data entry and optimum end-user productivity in a multi-user environment.

The latest MLS software version is now available with recent changes described in the Accounting Software Revision History document. The latest updates include four different real-time transaction dashboards under the mailing list menu, plus the Report History Dashboard showing the prior runs for each reporting procedure and inquiry procedure. This general-purpose Mailing List System is easy to use and can function with or without a mouse for greater end-user flexibility and productivity.

After installations on different hardware and operating systems, this reliable mailing list software has evolved over the last 25 years to an efficient, proven and productive business application for today under Microsoft Windows 10. Custom versions of the online MLS software support in-house control of confidential mailing list transaction records and have been in day-to-day operation in small businesses in Northern California for many years.

Mailing List Menu:

The online mailing list (ML) end-user procedures are identified on the Mailing List System Menu (screen image shown below). Before any online ML procedure is run, the user must first sign-on by entering a valid User-ID and password. To display the Mailing List menu from the main Financial Menu, enter "ML" to the System-ID prompt. To start a specific ML end-user procedure, enter the 2-digit number associated with that online procedure or single-click the left mouse button when pointing to the procedure name on the Mailing List System Menu screen. The active keyboard function keys are identified at the bottom of all screens, including the mailing list menu.

MLS Software End-User Procedures:

Data entry procedure ML01 (screen image) displays the data fields that comprise each contact name record and performs the update functions (add, modify and delete) to the online Master File (DBSMST) based on a Transaction Code. A Name Address Record (name and address information) must be entered into the ML System before mailing labels or computer letters are printed. Update procedure ML12 is used to reformat personal computer text files (csv file format) into the Name Address Record for subsequent input to procedure ML08. The Mailing List Data Dictionary (printed by procedure DB11) defines each data field in data entry screen ML01.

The online Help File contains a description of all ML data fields and ML error messages that are displayed in a separate Help Message Window whenever keyboard function key F1 is pressed. A drop-down list of valid codes for a field (marked by a down-arrowhead) is also shown in the Help Message Window when the F2 key is pressed after the F1 key. The Help Message Window temporarily overlays the bottom half of the basic application window (Command Prompt window).

For all ML inquiry procedures and reporting procedures, a selection screen is displayed so the user can enter various data selection parameters to retrieve specific name records from the online database (DBSMST) and to format the output. Prior data selection parameters are shown in the Report History Dashboard under the selection screen.

Vendor, customer, and employee name and address information is extracted from the Accounts Payable System, Accounts Receivable System and Payroll System and reformatted into Name Address Records and added to the ML System by procedure ML09.

Inquiry procedure ML06 displays a group of selected names on the screen. Inquire Latest ML Changes procedure (ML96) displays a list of the latest Name Address Records (ML01) in descending chronological date sequence.

Online reporting procedures ML03 and ML04 print management reports on a line printer (computer-size paper) or a laser printer (letter-size paper). Reporting procedure ML05 is used to print mailing labels of various sizes. Computer letters printed by procedure ML07 are printed on letter-size paper. Before any of these management reports are printed, procedure ML02 must be executed to select and sort the Name Address Records by ZIP-code. Each online reporting procedure displays a selection screen for the user to enter report selection parameters, such as dates, codes, report format option and report sort option. Update procedures ML02, ML08, ML09, ML10, ML11 and ML12 print a one-page MLS Control Report showing the number of contact name records processed for audit documentation. Management reports can be displayed in the application window or in a separate report window prior to printing a hardcopy.

Auxiliary data input to the Mailing List System processes multiple name address transactions at one time to edit and load them into the online database using update procedure ML08. These auxiliary name transactions were first entered into another computerized application or imported using update procedure DB18. These transactions in the Transfer File (fixed length records) are input to the ML Batch Input procedure ML08.

Mailing list procedure 92, procedure 94 and procedure 96 are the same procedures in the Database Control System. When 99 is entered as the ML procedure number, the main Financial Menu is displayed. End-user procedures DB11, DB17 and DB18 appear only on the Database Control menu.

Each online ML end-user procedure identified on the Mailing List System Menu is described in more detail in the ML Procedure Menu document, including a description of the mailing list transaction dashboards and Report History Dashboard.

Mailing List Software Features:

In addition to the operational, security, technical and customization features mentioned in the Accounting Software Overview document, important Functional Features and Objectives of this proven mailing list software are highlighted below:

1. Existing mailing lists are easily imported and exported using update procedure ML12 for easy contact address management.

2. Multiple mailing lists are handled with each mailing list defined by a unique List-Code, where the user defines each List-Code as Code Definition Records (DB01) for maximum flexibility. List-Codes of "BT" and "ST" are reserved for use by the Order Entry System (OE19).

3. Automatic assignment of Name-ID numbers to a name for subsequent reference in updating a specific contact name record, such as an address change. Name initials can be used to retrieve a Name Address Record by ML01.

4. The USPS ZIP-code is either a 5-digit or 9-digit number. The Canadian ZIP-code is supported.

5. Flexible online reporting capability allows the user to request and print 29 different Mailing List Reports, including mailing labels (procedure ML05), by specifying report selection parameters and a report sort option. One-time ad-hoc management reports are easily printed.

6. For real-time Bar Chart Dashboard (No. 1), a daily (or monthly) bar chart of the number of name-address transactions is shown under the mailing list menu. Up to 4 different real-time transaction dashboards for the mailing list system are displayed. A Report History Dashboard is displayed under the parameter prompts for a ML reporting procedure and inquiry procedure showing the last 12 months.

7. Online processing involves instantly viewing and changing contact name data in the online Master File (database) based on a Transaction Code (Trans-Code) for added accuracy. One name address transaction is processed at a time.

8. Support batch job processing (optional), where report selection parameters are entered online for later batch processing by a separate job script, so large management reports are printed offline.

9. In the ML System, special notes (comments, instructions or significant events) are entered and displayed from data entry screen ML01 by dynamic linking to data entry procedure DB17 (General Notes Record) using keyboard function key F7 or the mouse when the word "NOTES" appears.

10. Enable contact number lookup by name when the "#" character is entered in the Name-ID field and then enter the contact's name, company name or phone number when prompted. Both uppercase letters and lowercase letters are tested. When only one matching contact is found, the associated Name-ID number automatically replaces the "#" character to eliminate the manual entry of the Name-ID number. This special contact number lookup option is performed when "#" is entered in the Name-ID prompt.

11. Set the name initials field to only uppercase letters to support the standard contact number lookup by name initials feature in both a client-server (ASCII coding) and IBM mainframe (EBCDIC coding) environment.

12. Auxiliary data input involves processing multiple name address transactions at one time using update procedure ML08 to edit and add them to the online Master File.

13. Cobol source programs have been revised to reference a new common Copy member (SLP310) for the IBM AIX system call to execute the Unix chmod command, when an output file is opened and the OPR-SYS-PARM field is set to "AIX".

14. A complete backup of the mailing list application is created by periodically copying the LSC directory to an external removable device, such as a compact disc (CD-ROM) or USB flash drive (thumb drive). The CD-ROM disc or USB flash drive can be stored off-site for added protection in case of an unforeseen disaster. The financial applications can be run directly from these backup devices on any computer.

Mailing List System Interface Capabilities:

The online MLS software references four master records in the Database Control System (required) to: (1) control basic system functions (Company Control Record), (2) verify User-ID and Password and define the computer procedures the user can access plus other user options, such as the screen color code (background color and foreground color), display real-time dashboards, show dollar sign ($) in all dollar amount fields and Help Message Window screen color codes (User Control Record), (3) identify special notes or comments about a mailing name by displaying the word "NOTES" on the data entry screen (General Notes Record) and (4) validate the List-Codes and State Codes (Code Definition Records).

The ML System references master records in the Accounts Payable System, Accounts Receivable System and Payroll System to print mailing labels, memos or computer letters to vendors, customers and employees. These three accounting systems are optional.

The ML System references Name Address Records in the Order Entry System (optional) to print mailing labels, memos and computer letters to Bill-To and Ship-To customer names.

This user-friendly MLS software supports dynamic linking to data entry procedure from an inquiry procedure (such as ML06 to ML01) with a single keystroke (function key F7). The linking data field is marked by an up-arrowhead. Dynamic linking to existing General Notes Record (DB17) containing special notes about a Name-ID is performed with one or two keystrokes (F7) or double-click of the left mouse button when the word "NOTES" appears on the data entry screen.

Update procedure DB18 in the Database Control System is used to export contact name data to a csv file and to import a csv file of contact names, reformat csv variable length records to fixed length data records and create the input Transfer File for subsequent editing and updating of the online master database by procedure ML08. CSV files contain variable length records where data values or fields are separated by a comma. Generally, a csv file uses the internal ASCII coding structure.

MLS Software and Hardware Requirements:

The Mailing List System operates on any x86 personal computer (desktop or laptop) in the Command Prompt window using any version of Microsoft Windows operating system from Windows 3.1 to Windows XP (16-bit) and Windows 7 and now Windows 10. The MLS source programs are compatible with 32-bit cobol compilers (such as Micro Focus Net Express) that generate executable code for Windows 10 (64-bit version). Personal computers can be connected in a local area network (LAN) with complete flexibility in specifying the disk location of master files on the client laptop or desktop computer or the file server. Additionally, the MLS software can be run on a single stand-alone personal computer or on a UNIX based computer, such as the IBM RS/6000 with IBM 3151 terminals using the AIX operating system. In addition to the standard application window size (80x25), a larger Command Prompt window of 80 characters wide by 50 rows (80x50) is now supported for greater usefulness and allows real-time dashboards to be displayed under the mailing list menu.

The 2017 version of the online mailing list software supports 32-bit code (.dll) or 16-bit code (.exe) depending on the OPR-SYS-PARM setting ("WIN" or "DOS") in the DBSPGM file. The exe programs run under Windows XP and the dll programs are used with Windows 10. AIX programs use the .gnt code. The ML application programs (32-bit code) run on 64-bit hardware.

The Run Time Environment for Micro Focus COBOL support is included at no extra cost with the MLS executable programs. The latest Windows 10 mailing list programs (32-bit code) are the same programs as the DOS mailing list programs (16-bit code) for compatibility. For contact name data archiving historical reporting, the same MLS executable programs can be run offline from a removable device, such as a CD-ROM disc or USB flash drive; thereby eliminating the need to restore old contact name data and ML application programs to a separate hard disk drive to view or print mailing list reports.

The Database Control System by Legler Systems Company is required to support online Master File updates in a multi-user environment and is included with the Mailing List software. The MLS source programs are written in structured ANSI COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language), the most widely used business programming language, for easy maintenance in a client-server (ASCII code) or IBM mainframe (EBCDIC code) environment. A Micro Focus cobol compiler is used to generate the MLS executable programs for personal computers using 32-bit or 64-bit addressing. Each ML end-user procedure identified on the Mailing List System Menu screen corresponds to a separate application program.

More Information on the Mailing List Software:

The ML System software cost is identified in the Software Price Sheet and includes: (1) MLS executable programs for the Microsoft Windows environment, (2) MLS Procedure Manual and (3) online Help File. The technical MLS Systems Manual and MLS source programs with common Copy members in the ANSI COBOL language can be purchased separately.

To request sample management reports and screen formats or a free working demo of this user-friendly ML System on a USB flash drive or CD-ROM disc for any version of Microsoft Windows, e-mail Bill Legler in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA.

Legler Systems Company, developer of the online Mailing List software, is located in the East Bay of the SF Bay Area in Northern California and provides local on-site MLS software support in Alameda County (major cities are Oakland and Berkeley), Contra Costa County (major cities are Concord, Walnut Creek and Orinda) and other counties in California. E-mail support is always available regarding MLS software questions or issues.

Version 11.8 (2020). All rights reserved by Legler Systems Company.