How to Update the Holidays Database
In tip #094 I wrote about using the holidays database.
If you have not read that post, you should read it to familiarize yourself with what this database does for you.
One of the sentences in that post is this:
“This database does require maintenance, as a lot of holidays do not fall on the same date every year, but maintenance is fairly easy with the help of some links available on the web.”
However, that is all I said about updating the database. On this post, I will show you how to do this as easily as possible.
First of all, the basics. flowerSoft comes with two databases of holidays. One is a very complete list of holidays, 50% of which you will never use because either people just don’t send flowers on that holiday or your particular customer base does not celebrate that holiday. This complete list of holidays is invisible to you but available in case you need to use it.
The other one is a database of more commonly known holidays. These are holidays on which you are more likely to sell flowers to customers that celebrate them.
Obviously, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter are among these holidays but there are many others. Here is a partial list…
If the list of holiday dates is not up to date, the feature will not work. Therefore, if you want to be able to use this feature you must update the holiday’s database.
Since this should be done only once a year, the menu option is located in the Periodic Procedures menu.
If you update this holiday list every year, the first thing you should do is move the dates from this year to last year.
What this option does is move the “Falls On” dates to the “Last Year” field for you.
Here is what the database looked before using this option…
Here is what the database looks like after using the option…
As you can see, all the dates from the “Falls On” field have been copied to the “Last Year” field. The dates have not been removed from the “Falls On” field because they are useful when entering the dates for the current year. However, there is an option in the menu to remove all these dates if you want to.
Entering the dates for the current year.
Entering the dates for the current year requires some work but it is not as difficult as you may think. Holidays have “rules” as to when they occur. Some holidays, like Valentine’s Day, always fall on the same date while others, like Easter, fall on different dates.
flowerSoft helps you as much as possible by displaying the “rule” that applies to each holiday. In some cases however, you will have to refer to holiday websites to find out what the correct date is.
Let’s tale a look at the Valentine’s Day record.
As you can see, the rule for this holiday reads “Date Never Changes” meaning of course the Month and the day of the holiday. So to change the date for the current year on a holiday that always falls on the same date all you have to do is add one year to the date shown. If you read the last line on the screen above, you can see that hitting the forward slash, will add a year to the 2014 date.
However, not all holiday dates are so easy to change.
Let’s look at another pretty simple case, Secretary’s Day.
The rule for this holiday says that it falls on the Wednesday before the last Saturday in April.
In this case, it is best to use a calendar in order to get that date so we are going to hit “C” to access flowerSoft’s built-in calendar.
Use the <Page Down> key to access the correct month in the calendar, which is April for this holiday.
Now we find and highlight the first Wednesday before the last Saturday in April and hit <Enter> to select the date.
So that is fairly easy too. Now let’s take a look at a holiday for which you will have to access a holiday website in order to enter the correct date. Let’s look at Easter Sunday.
The rule here just reads “varies”, meaning that there is no specific rule you can follow to get to the date. So you must consult the web, To do this you can either use the menu option that reads “T-View This Year’s Holidays” or you can just hit the letter “T” from this screen. Hitting “T” will connect you with a web site in which you can get the correct date for this year’s Easter Sunday.
Select the month of March to start and see if the holiday falls in that month. If it doesn’t select either the previous or next month. The holiday should fall within that date range. Selecting March will show you that…
Easter Sunday falls on the 23rd of March.
That is basically how you update the holiday dates so that the results shown on tip #094 will be accurate.
Knowing that you are in a busy period right now, I’ve updated the holiday dates for the current year and place the file in flowerSoft’s drop box. The file is called holidays_2014.exe and should be installed to the location of your flowerSoft installation.
This location is a folder called FSSILVER if you are running flowerSoft’s 2014 version. It might be different if you are not. If you need help installing this file, let me know.