How much training is required?

Users who know how to use databases in general will pick up Gestalt quickly.

Training is usually conducted for a small group of users over several sessions of around 3 hours. Admin users will require additional training on top of the general users, as they will need to know how to set up various control files, such as bank accounts, campaigns, sources, and so on.

Will it integrate with my existing Web pages?

If you want to add functionality to your existing website to capture donations directly into the database, this is possible using a suite of Web-focused Stored Procedures.

With a simple Stored Procedure call from the web page, we can add donations, or sell lottery tickets in real time straight into Gestalt (no re-keying or importing required).

Will it run on a Apple Mac?

Gestalt is built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, so it will not run natively on a Mac. To run the client software on Apple machines you will need to use some emulation software, like Parallels.

The backend database is SQL server, so this always requires a Windows machine.

How long does it take to get a system up and running?

Getting the system up and running is the easy part!  It just requires SQL Server to be installed on your server (or set up out on the cloud), and then the client software to be installed on your user’s PCs.

The things that take all the time are:

– Converting existing data
– Training users
– Creating the customised report layouts to suit your letterhead
– Integration with other external systems
A typical time from giving the go-ahead to processing your first live data is around a month, but we have got systems up and running in under a week!

Can we import our existing data into Gestalt?

We can write import programs to get data from most other data sources into Gestalt. For example:

– Spreadsheets
– Access databases
– CSV or TXT files
– SQL Server databases
– Other SQL databases
– ThanQ systems
– OpenAlms systems
– Blackbaud systems
– DonMan systems
– IMIS systems

What is the client app written in?

The client software is written in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2010, using the inbuilt Crystal Reports feature for “paper” reporting.

It also integrates with Microsoft Office, so you can export data directly out to Excel, and you can create letters within Word straight from the application.

What sort of Server will it run on?

Gestalt needs SQL Server to run. Preferably SQL 2012 but it will also run on SQL 2005/2008 and runs with SQL Express of any of these versions too.

It therefore requires a Windows Server base machine to run on, such as Windows 2003/2008/2008R2/2012/2012R2.

Gestalt typically required 8GB of RAM on the server to run. A 4Gb server might be suitable if Gestalt is the only application running on that server.