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Enhancement Request


MissionaryMan64

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I have an enhancement request - related to my unanswered question, which I recently posted here.  Thank you in advance for your consideration!

First let me say this - I absolutely LOVE StampManage.  It seems to be well planned and thought out - and it has really helped me get a better grasp on my collection.  Still have a long way to go to get all of my stamps into the software, but I will get there.  I appreciate all the effort that has already been put into this product.

In order to tie stamps together (for example, attached subset of full se-tenant set, more than one stamp on a cover - whether from one country or different countries, or maybe other scenarios that I have not thought of), I would like to see a change made to the StampManage software.  Please decide if one of the following methods or a different method is best.  (I am a computer programmer who has worked a LOT with databases, so I understand fairly well what will be going through your brain as you read this.)

Option 1 - Add a field to the stamp record in collections that allows you to link a stamp to the designated "primary" stamp record in any "connected" set as described above from any country in the selected collection.  I am unsure where this field could go in the add/edit stamp window as it seems really full already.  😞  If this field has a value (which means that the stamp is tied to a designated "primary" stamp record), the Current Value field would be unavailable for the "non-primary" stamp on the record in the collection, or forced to 0 because the valuation for the stamps that are connected as described above would be on the designated "primary" stamp record in the collection.  To make it easier to find the designated "primary" stamp, an indicator flag for the designated "primary" stamp in the collection could be used to indicate that it is a designated "primary" stamp, making the selection list much smaller than the entire collection (and therefore making easier to create the list, but it seems that we would often forget to set the indicator to true).  In addition to changing the add/edit stamp window, this information would need to be displayed on the stamp detail screen in the collection (perhaps with its own color heading - since it is so unique?).

Why I like this method - every stamp is listed in the database, even without value, so that it can be seen quickly whether a particular stamp is owned or not.

Why I don't like this method - could be a bit cumbersome selecting the proper designated "primary" stamp record in the collection for this field, and there is not a "logical place" on the add/edit stamp window for this field (and selection to fill it).

Option 2 - Add a new tab to the add/edit stamp window which would contain a list of all the stamps that are connected as described above - all on one stamp record for the designated "primary" stamp in the set.  On this tab would be the stamp catalog info - small image, country, Scott number, denomination, description (perhaps) - along with the stamp condition fields (format, grade, hinged, centering, cancel, and gum).  The info for the designated "primary" would be also be shown here, but not editable (because that would be done on the first tab), along with the ability to add this info for as many stamps as needed.

Why I like this method - you do not need to select the proper designated "primary" stamp (because all the stamps are part of the record for that stamp), and there is a "logical place" on the add/edit stamp window for this info.

Why I don't like this method - every stamp is NOT listed in the collection individually, so that it cannot be seen quickly whether a particular stamp is owned or not (though a record could be automatically maintained (added, updated, or deleted) in the collection with no value and linked to the designated "primary" stamp similar to option 1 - so that the add/edit stamp window is opened to the designated "primary" stamp in the group, thereby allowing the software to easily show every stamp in a collection).

Option 3 - Allow the addition of stamp record in the CATALOG that is for me only and not to be sent to StampManage as a change.  For example, if I have attached subset of a larger se-enant set or a cover with two different stamps on it, I can add a record to the catalog with a Scott Number of "XXXX-YYYY", "XXXX and CCCC YYYY" ", where XXXX is the Scott number for the designated "primary" stamp in a group described above, CCCC is the optional country for the second stamp, and YYYY is the Scott number for the second stamp in the group. You can add additional Scott Numbers (along with countries) as needed if there are more than 2 stamps in the group as described above.  If a cover or subset is a unique situation, then it would NOT make sense for that record in the catalog to be sent to StampManage as a change to the database.  If my situation as described above is fairly common (joint issue FDC from an official agency, for example), then I would expect that this record should be in the catalog for everyone and therefore sent to StampManage.  Once in the catalog, this grouping could be selected in the add/edit stamp window and added to a collection.

Why I like this method - Do not need to select the proper designated "primary" stamp (because the stamps are tied together in the catalog).

Why I don't like this method - this is cumbersome for everyone (especially you, as you will likely receive suggested records to be added to the catalog that should not be added for everyone, which will require time and effort on your part to sort through the catalog changes), every stamp is NOT listed in the collection individually, so that I cannot see quickly whether I have a particular stamp or not.

I am sure that there are other scenarios and options for making this happen, but I at least wanted to start a dialog about the possibility.  From my perspective, option 3 seems to be the worst, and option 2 seems to be the best IF it includes automatically maintaining records for the stamps tied to the designated "primary" stamp - BUT you know the database design and I do not.  Without a software change to manage this, I will do so with a variation of option 1, using a user-defined field to store the StampManage ID of the designated "primary" stamp in one of the user-defined fields and entering the entire value on the record in the collection of the designated "primary" stamp and a 0 value record on any stamp records in the collection for associated stamps.  Or, if there is a better "best practice" using the software "as is", I would love to hear it.  Otherwise, it would be made eaier and more natural if a change was implemented.  It seems that this would be a common scenario for most collectors.

Thanks again for considering this!

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