The basic idea behind "the Cloud" (as implemented in Offering Helper) is that we can store
data on a secure web server, which we can then access from any computer that has an internet connection.
Why the Cloud?
There are two advantages to storing your data on the cloud. The
first is that it allows for automatic data synchronization between different computers running Offering Helper.
You could, for example, have Offering Helper installed at your home and in the church office, and any data you enter at
one computer will automatically appear at the other. No more shuttling data files back and forth between different
computers on a memory stick, wondering which computer has the most recent data.
The second way the Cloud Data Package can benefit you, even if you
only run Offering Helper on one computer, is that it can be used as a way to achieve a secure offsite backup. An
"offsite backup" refers to a backup copy of your data that is located in a different physical building or location from
your computer. It protects you from theft, fire, flood, or any other event that could destroy your computer and
all the data it contains. With the Offering Helper Cloud Data Package, you can rest assured that your data is
always backed up!
What About Security?
This new version of Offering Helper has been designed with the
utmost security in mind. All data transmitted to and from the cloud database is encrypted using industry
standard, ultra secure algorithms. The cloud database itself is housed in a professional data center running
MySQL, and can only be accessed with the correct username and password, that you get to choose -- much like
online banking. Rest assured that your data will be as secure as it can possibly be.
Also, this new version of Offering Helper is not a Web Application (like Facebook, for
example) that anyone can access using a web browser. You can only access the data on the cloud by using the
Offering Helper program, which must be installed on your local computer.
How Exactly Does This Work?
You will install Offering Helper onto your computer just like
you always have, and it will still store data in Microsoft Access database files on your local hard drive, just
like it always has. However, as you enter data, Offering Helper will be working in the background to
automatically upload the new data to an identical set of files on the cloud data server, so they are always in
sync. When you then go to a different computer that also has Offering Helper installed, and start it up, it will
take a few seconds at the beginning to download those data changes and incorporate them into its own local data
How Do I Get Started?
The first thing to do is purchase the Cloud Data Package
add-on. You can do that by visiting the Offering Helper Online Store. Each
computer connected to the cloud needs to have its own license. The Offering Helper program itself counts as 1
license, so you will most likely need to purchase at least 1 additional network license. This is a one-time
cost. You will also need to pay the leasing fees for the cloud data server. This will be a yearly fee. Please
visit the link above for current prices.