By Matt Freund

I first started using PS back in 2005.  I was working for a school support center in Kansas at the time and PS was becoming popular across the state because 1) a lot of schools at the time were "Apple schools" and the Apple sales team sold PS like crazy, and 2) the state was moving to an online state reporting system and PS supported the process to create the upload files.  The state became one of the largest customer bases for PS and the center I worked for became a PS "partner".  At the time, that meant one could go through some training on the current version at the time (PS 4.x) and then conduct Initial Product Training, offer workshops, and provide Tier 1 support.  With such a large user base, I didn't want to do the support aspect, so I traveled the state doing IPT trainings and then offering workshops back at the center.

To help with the workshops, I created a web site that I could use to point people to for resources.  PowerSource didn't exist at the time and the only place to post files was the national PSUG on Yahoo Groups, but it required registration and I knew most workshop participants wouldn't have access to it.  So I created my own site and it contained information on reports, data mining, and customizations.  Here's a link to an early version of it from June, 2006, courtesy of the Wayback Machine web site.  The pages were just html pages, so you can navigate around the site.  A lot of the content for the site grew out of requests from workshop participants.  Here are just three examples:

  • Birthday List - this was my first ever reporting engine report.  It was meant to be a way for people to easily find those with upcoming birthdays instead of having to use the *birthday search.
  • Print a Report link - people in my object reports workshops complained about having to always click on the Functions student screen to find the print a report link for a student.  The customization put a copy of the print a report link on the main menu instead.  PS eventually added the concept to the core product.
  • Hide Parent Portal Icons - someone asked in a workshop if there was a way to hide icons on the parent portal similar to how one could hide the Fees icon.  At first I wrote up instructions on how to remove them and then developed a customization to do it.  Others took the customization and added to it and it grew into the Enhanced Parent Portal.

In 2007 I moved the content to the domain, and in the summer of 2008, I left the education center and went into business for myself.  The site stayed relatively the same, but I added SQL as part of the data mining area and for awhile moved the customizations to a site called  Here's a link to the SIS Resources site from November, 2008.

By 2009 I had moved the customizations back to  The site had moved away from html pages to a content management system, so there's a chance some of the links on the archive site won't work.  It also had a place for registered users to see some premium information.  An interesting part of the archived site is toward the bottom of the page with the mention of an upcoming conference called the PSUG-NE Summer Information Exchange.  Bob Cornacchioli hosted the annual conference (2008 - 2010) at his school district and invited myself and others from across the country to present.  It was basically a forerunner to the current day national and regional PSUG conferences.

The next archive version I could find was from February, 2011.  The menu system had a changed a little bit, but I added a section on a customization called sqlReports.  Dean Dahlvang was still maintaining it at the time, but I was starting to use it a lot to replace some of the reporting engine reports I had created.  By 2013, the site took on a different look and I started adding a lot of material from my presentations at conferences.  I was maintaining sqlReports at the time and was also running the web site.  I eventually shut down the site and moved everything to the site because I was going to release sqlReports 5.  Now things have come full circle - I moved all the sqlReports stuff to it's own site again, and will be redoing the site.

In the near future you'll be seeing the new web site.  It'll have information on data mining and customizations like it originally had, but also new information.  A lot has changed with regards to both - Data Export Manager and PowerQueries in the data mining part, and things such as database extensions and page fragments in the customization area.  The site will have a free area and a pay area - I have to make a living somehow :) - and in case you're wondering how this will affect sqlReports, I'll continue to maintain it and it's site at the same time.