Blackbaud NetCommunity – Application Overview
Blackbaud NetCommunity is an application that provides rich tools for website management, email blasts, user security and various forms for event management registration and online donations. However, one of the powerful aspects of this application is seamless integration with other Blackbaud products, such as the Raiser’s Edge. The main parts of NetCommunity are website CMS, email, administration and help.

The website CMS part contains the following components:
  • Site Explorer – This component allows a website manager to create, edit or remove pages from the website. Each page can have different security roles, so some pages, or even parts of the same page, could be public and others could be private). All website templates and pages are created using web-based Site Explorer.
  • Layouts – This component serves as a template base for pages within the website. This component is very important piece of website module. Much of the design of any NetCommunity site depends on this component. Usually a webmaster would create different layouts, so others in the organization could create their own templates having a layout as the base.
  • Stylesheets – This component lets a website designer create visual characteristics of a website. Stylesheets that are written in this component are saved as CSS (Cascading Stylesheet) files. Blackbaud NetCommunity has a default stylesheet which can be overridden.
  • Image Library – This component stores and manages images for NetCommunity site. Any images that are stored here are available in other parts of NetCommunity.
  • Friendly URLs – Since NetCommunity pages are stored in a SQL Server database, they are retrieved  by unique identifier. This identifier is passed via the URL, when a page is retrieved, for example, http://www.yourdomainname/Page.aspx?pid=236. This component helps creating and managing these types of URLs, so the URL is presented with more user-friendly address, for example http://www.yourdomainname/alumni-page.
  • Approvals – When there are multiple users managing a website, it becomes obvious that certain content on the website must be approved before it could be presented to the whole world. The approval component makes it easy for multiple users to make changes to a website and then submit those changes for approval to a webmaster or communications department.
  • Parts – There are a number of different part types. Each of these types is used to post specific content, for example HTML text, event registration form, navigation menu, login form. Parts will be described in more details in one of the upcoming articles.
The Email module enables organizations to send messages to their constituents, alumni, parents and others. It consists of various components that are linked to each other through different screens. These components include:
  • Acknowledgments
  • eCards Templates
  • Email Campaigns
  • Invalid Accounts
  • Lists
  • Messages
  • Newsletters
  • Notifications
  • Templates
The Administration module is used to configure settings of a NetCommunity site. It serves as the main logical interface between NetCommunity modules, backend databases and user audience. Main components of this module are:
  • Code Tables
  • Configuration
  • Field Options
  • Merchant account
  • Security (includes user management and roles)
  • System Options
  • User import
  • Workflow
The Help module is used as a comprehensive reference to NetCommunity application. Blackbaud has done an incredible job creating this reference.


 
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