Restore Option in First Startup

I’m thinking of adding an initial dialog box when you start a newly-installed DONATION program for the first time. It would offer two options to pick from, with the first being the default option:

  • I’m using DONATION for the first time. Prompt me for startup information such as the name of my organization.
  • I have used DONATION before and want to start by restoring a backup database from a previous installation.

The advantage of this is that if you do want to restore a backup database, you don’t have to go through the initial setup windows (first year to record, organization name and address etc., donation categories, and Evaluation and Licensing) before you get to the main window where you can do the Database -> Restore.

The disadvantage of this (which worries me) is that it is yet another step for first-time users before they can use the program, and a place for them to possibly get confused and give up.

I know that none of you that are reading this are first time users, so it may be hard for you (as it is for me) to put yourself in their shoes. But I’d like your opinions on whether this would be a good addition to the program, having balanced the advantages against the disadvantages.


11 thoughts on “Restore Option in First Startup

  1. Dan:
    In my humble opinion, if you are a truly “first time user” then there would be no need to use the “I have used Doantion before and want to start by restoring….”.

    Speaking stricly for myself, after using Church Mouse for years and then switching to Donation, with my limited computer knowledge at that time, the least amount of steps, and the least options made Donation an fairly transition for me and also a very attractive alternative.

    I don’t feel it would actually be a disadvantage, but it would certainly have caused me some confusion when I initially began using Donation. The first step would eventually get the same result as the second alternative would give, with less confusion in my opinion.

    Hope this helps.


    • So Margie, you are voting for NOT adding this dialog box to the program, and continuing to require users moving to a new computer (etc.), who have a backup, to go through the same initial setup as first-time users? Because it’s more important not to confuse new users than to make life easy for existing users who are moving or re-installing the program?

  2. I appreciate Margie’s Comments, but most data software does allow the option to restore from a back up if re-installing , for eg Quicken. I think it would be helpful to add.


  3. I think it would be helpful to add the option for a restore. On two occasions I have had to re-install the program on a new/different computer.

  4. I liken the two options to the options on the tax program I use annually. I choose one or the other depending on if this is a new tax return, or if I am downloading the information from a previous year to make my input easier for the current year.

    Admittedly I have always used the same computer when choosing the tax prep option as I did the previous year and never actually experienced what will happen when I do file using a different computer.

    As long as the download takes place easily following the initial choice of option, then I think it would be a very useful tool when changing computers.

    • Just to clarify, I see these options as being displayed when you first actually run the installed program, after the download and installation process has been completed. And of course, it would only be displayed if your database is still completely empty (not yet initialized with the initial data).

      For those of you who are saying this is a good option, does that mean you don’t think it would be further confusing for new users?

  5. I would say “Keep it simple” and leave it alone.

    I was a first-time user of DONATION less than 2 months ago. In my opinion, putting in that choice is redundant. If I’m a first time user, I won’t have a DONATION backup file. If I have a DONATION backup file, I’m not a first time user, I would be upgrading and the company information would be there.

    The only time I can see a possible need for this would be if I’m installing on a second computer, or the computer crashed and I lost my installation. In that case, it would be a one-time, simple task to type the company information back in, then restore the database using the database menu.

    In my case, as a new user, I had data, such as a donor list, from another program – in this case Membership Plus. That required quite a bit of intervention to transfer the data correctly. However, I found that quite easy with the tools and instructions built into DONATION.

    • Thanks, this is helpful to have an opinion from a new user.

      People do change computers quite often, or have to rebuild their computer after a hard disk crash. It’s not entirely that it takes a long time to re-enter redundant info that will be replaced by the backup. As you say, it doesn’t take that long. But it does seem silly to make people do that when they do have the backup.

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