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  kOOL Concepts

kOOL is a tool created to ease church administration. This document introduces some of the concepts which will be useful in gaining an understanding of how kOOL works.


The software is divided into modules. Each module is complete within itself, but where necessary there are interfaces between them. For example, data from the person module is used in the reservation module.

Users may be assigned permissions by module. Some modules have various levels of permissions which are also assigned by user.

Users and Logins

Because kOOL is typically available over the internet, it is important that users and their permissions are tightly controlled.

A user may be logged in or not. If a user is not logged in, they have the permissions of the virtual user "ko_guest".

A user is identified by a login name and password. Once the login is created, it may be associated with a person using the admin module. So the login name need have nothing to do with the name of the person. Several authorisation levels are available to set the permissions of a user for the various modules. The login data is normally administered centrally and changed as necessary using the admin module. The documentation for the people module contains more information about the relationship between people and logins.

Guest account "ko_guest"

As soon as a user opens the kOOL web page, they are automatically logged in as a guest with the log in name "ko_guest". This is transparent to the user, but it defines what they will be able to see and do. As soon as a valid Login and password is entered, the current login changes and a "Logout" link appears.

Permissions, which apply to all users who are not logged in, may be assigned to this guest account. This is done in the Admin module, by selecting ko_guest from the list of users, and amending it like any other login. The only difference between the guest login and a normal user, is that ko_guest cannot be deleted.

Home page, front modules

The home page is displayed after the user logs in. The layout may be altered according to the users preferences to show important messages. The screen shot shows the home page after a login. Each module (News, birthdays, etc) provides data for this page, and they can be switched on or off, and reordered using the Admin module. Various overviews of data may be shown. The home page may be opened using "Home" at the left of the menu bar.

An overview of the front modules:

  • Events: A calendar of the current month is shown. Days on which an event appears, are shown in bold. Further details about the events on this day are displayed if the mouse pointer is moved over the date.
  • News: If the news front module is set to appear in main screen, the whole news article is visible. If it is selected to appear on the right or left, only a title overview appears. Clicking on a title causes the whole whole article to appear in the main screen. New news entries may be added in the admin module.
  • Birthdays: A list of the next few birthdays.
  • Mutations: Address changes can be requested here. Surname and forename must be entered. The personal data which may be changed, appears. Each change must be approved by a moderator.
  • Moderation: All changes requiring moderation ares shown here. These include reservations and address changes. Click on the relevant line to show the appropriate entries.
  • Rota: If the current and the next month are closed (i.e. no changes of the rota are allowed), these months rotas may be downloaded. This means it is possible to make the rota available to anyone who requires it whether or not they have a kOOL Login.
  • Today: The next events, and reservations are shown on the home page. If the active Login is responsible for one or more teams, the events which have empty spaces in the rota during this or next month, are shown. So one has an overview of what is happening for the next little while. The home page and all other layout settings can be defined for the guest Login (And other logins) in the Admin module.
  • Find address: Provides the same functionality as the fast filter in the people module.


Each module has different submenus for its various functions. The Submenus are grouped logically, each group having its subtitle. The illustration shows a Submenu from the event module, which among other things allows events to be shown as a list, or in calendar format. The Submenus that are shown and the options they contain depends on the current users permissions. E.g. in the example shown, the option to to add a new event is not shown because the user does not have permissions to do so.

The arrangement of the Submenus can be changed according to the user's preferences. Mouse over the small triangle left of the title to open a control menu. This gives options to move an individual Submenu up, down, right or left. You can also minimise the submenu, so only the title shows. The same menu may be used to open it again.

Selecting Columns

In some modules the view can be changed to show the required columns, or otherwise modify the view of data. In the example shown from the people module, individual columns can be shown or hidden. These column lists may be stored in a preset so it may be used again later. In the example shown, the preset "name_address" means that the following columns are shown: "Forename", "Surname", "Address", "Post Code" and "City".

Such a preset may be deleted, by selecting it and then clicking on the delete icon. In order to modify a preset, simply save it again under the same name.

By default there are already the two presets "All" and "None".

Users with administration access may store such presets globally, which makes them available to all users. Those global presets are marked with a "[G]" in front of their name.

Export, file download

In some modules data can be exported as Excel or PDF files. A separate Download window is used to provide the download link. Usually the browser will start the download immediately but this can be prevented in a user setting (See Admin > Layout).

The file name is a long list of numbers, but they do have a meaning. The first 8 numbers represent the date and the next 6 the time in hours, minutes and seconds. The file can be downloaded from this window either by left clicking to open it immediately, if this is supported by the browser, or by right clicking and selecting "Save as..." from the menu.

Direct inquiries to the server (Ajax)

For some operations in kOOL the whole web page is not reloaded, but the server is contacted and the result is sent back without refreshing the whole page. The operation is faster and more user friendly. This happens for example when filtering people. To show that the request is in progress, kOOL shows an animation in the top right corner of the screen. The mouse pointer may also turn into an hour glass. Once the server has finished processing the request, the animation disappears, and the mouse cursor turns back into an arrow. If the animation stays for longer than 10 seconds, then something may have gone wrong. If this is the case, simply continue working (e.g. by clicking on the menu) and try the same request again later.

Multi-row editing

In most list views you'll find an edit icon at the bottom of each column. This allows you to edit this column for multiple rows at once. Just tick the appropriate rows and click the multi edit icon.

Now you have the possibility to edit the given column for all selected rows. Alternatively you may click on "Change all to:" and enter a value that will be applied to all selected rows.

Inline editing

The list views of kOOL allow you to quickly edit the displayed information by simply double clicking on the desired value. The displayed content will be substituted with an appropriate input element where you can change the value and confirm by hitting the Enter key.

To stop the editing just unfocus the input element or click the escape key.

Filtering lists

Most lists in kOOL can be filtered for each column. In some modules there is a special submenu offering you some filters. But for most columns you may just right click on the column header to set a filter for this column.

As soon as a filter is active for a column you'll see a warning above the list and the column header is also marked in red to remind you of the applied filter.

If you want to keep these filters after logging out and in again, you'll find a setting in "Admin > Layout" called "Keep applied list filters after logout?".

©Renzo Lauper, CH-5000 Aarau, All rights reserved