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Scoutbook vs. Internet advancement

What is the difference between the internet advancement and scout book platforms? Is one preferred? They seem somewhat integrated. Just made aware of scout book and beginning to populate it but want to make sure it is the best to use before I encourage my parents to sign on to it. TY

Scoutbook is maintained with an older programming platform. Internet Advancement is the newer. They both draw upon the same database. Some parts (many reports) of Scoutbook are actually Internet Advancement (aka IA). IA is used by units who use a 3rd party system as their primary system as IA has an import mechanism.

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ok. does that mean scoutbook may go away in the near future?

@AdamRohnke - no not at all. The platform of IA and recharter are on the new core stack and scoutbook functionality will migrate module by module to the new stack.

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Future, not near future. At the rate they are going, it would be years. 3? 5? Some things would have to go into overdrive to do it any faster. There are a lot of platforms the BSA uses and I guess many are in much more dire need of an update than Scoutbook. For example, recharter. If you have been a part of that, you can see that it has worked, but has been rough around the edges and just in time. There was a move quite awhile back, maybe a year ago, to give the activity reporting tool more of a calendar feel then it has today. That went very poorly and they quickly reverted. If that would have been smoother, I could see the calendar feature migrating for example. Not a peep on that topic since. Many items have been already moved out: most reports, activity reporting, training recording, help, and these forums. One could picture them picking another “module” or chunk like the calendar and moving it out. The you would have “member management”, “advancement”, “finances”, and “messaging”. So, as you can see there is a lot to go. I know nothing official and all I list above is conjecture.

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thanks for the details. good to know these issues are universal regardless of the org. Still better than keeping your own records! TY

To the point on moving pieces over, recharter looks to have a brand new system built around Internet advancement as of Oct 15 for Dec 31 expiration units. So they’re switching systems on the calendar year. There’s paperwork on the national website explaining it.

Hopefully this speeds up the processing. I would be ok with more of making recharter work fall on units and allowing a unit submission with follow up work required, like if your 7th adult has paperwork problems it shouldn’t hold up processing the unit. Put that adult in a queue, don’t hold up recharter.

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@KevinCarlyle - the recharter process was always the bane of my existence. We had one year when they finally posted in May… let’s hope this is faster.

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They say in some of the Internet Recharter documentation that if all of your items are “in”, that is you are not attaching any documentation, and if you meet a few other criteria, your unit will “auto post”. I hope that means on Jan 1, we get a new charter with no humans involved.

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This brought up an interesting question. Does IA have parent access like Scoutbook does?

Yes IA has parent access - BUT you cannot define parents yet in IA - that is through SB

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@AdamRohnke The biggest difference is that Scoutbook tracks individual requirements, while Internet Advancement only tracks overall completion.

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Also IMO, Scoutbook is user friendly. Internet Advancement is less intuitive

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Is Internet Advancement something that we as adult leaders should try and use and learn now to be prepared for its use in the future?

No (other than the activity logs), there will be significant changes needed before Scoutbook migrates to the IA stack.

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