Installing a new server? What you need to know…

It doesn’t happen often, but you will eventually need a new server. Here is what you can expect and what things you can do on your end to make this process go as smoothly as possible.

1. Notify Dan as early as possible so you can get on the calendar
2. Review our minimum specifications at
3. Have your IT representative contact Dan at

The migration process includes moving the data, reinstallation of applications and services and setting up workstations. While the average migration can take up to four hours, it depends on many factors including network speed, number of clients, modules and scheduled tasks requiring configuration and add-on programs like ODBC drivers.


We encourage you to discuss any and all backup options with your IT representative. Make sure to have an offsite backup and find out who is responsible for restoring the data should you ever need to.


Vanguard charges for time during the migration process so please check your training time balance. All times can be deducted from your balance instead of getting a traditional bill. With the entire process being completed over the internet, costs will naturally be kept down to a minimum.

You can check on your training time balance through CAMAvision and clicking on the VCS Net News link. Need more time? Contact your Vanguard field representative today!

Upcoming User Group Meeting Topics for 2015

Vanguard Appraisals, Inc is preparing for another year of user group meetings in 2015. With over 1,000 attendees at meetings last year, we are looking forward to hitting the road again!

Here are a few topics that will be covered in meetings later this year:

* Updates and enhancements for CAMAvision
* Residential grading and conditioning
* Pricing and listing, query tips and tricks

Do you have a topic that you want to see discussed in 2015 that isn’t listed above? Let us know on our official Facebook page!

Stay tuned for official dates and registration information in the coming weeks.

5 frequently asked questions about CAMAvision

CAMAvision has the power and features to help you accomplish your job whether your jurisdiction has 500 or 500,000 parcels to manage. Yet, keeping track of all these features can be hard at times.

Below are some frequently asked questions we field the most about CAMAvision.

1. Does a “scan to” option exist allowing you to store scanned documents?

That ability already exists with the Document Management and Storage ability included with the Pro Version report writer module and available via PhotoVision.

2. The PDF screen displays in numerical order. Can I order them alphabetical?

Yes. You can set this as a USER preference OR when on the parcel search screen, select PDF and then click on the PDF Name header and they will sort alphabetically.

3. What is the “count” field for on the building extra screen?

Enter the # of items identical to the extra entered.

4. When I run a query, I want the school/tax district name to display and not the code.

Add the Pricing Tax_District0 Table. Link the Tax District_code 0 in the General Table to the Tax District0Code field in the Pricing Tax_District0 Table. Drop down the Tax0Description field into the query grid.

5. When doing a query on yard items, why is there no lookup of type?

Yard extras do not have occupancy and pricing codes like Res/Com/Ag buildings. A lookup can be used on the Description field from the Yard Extra table, however some yard types use hand-entered descriptions, which could have many different descriptions to choose from. If looking for specific yard items, the Table Name (e.g. “YSHED”) is often the best way to view everything priced as that type.

Stay tuned for more helpful CAMAvision tips!

New features in CAMAvision: blurring parts of an image

With increasing concern about privacy in the last few years, making a habit of reviewing new photos used in CAMAvision before adding them into the system is a good practice. Photos appear in reports, can get uploaded to a website or can be seen by anyone requesting a copy of the data.

With images serving a valuable purpose for appraising property, taking steps to protect sensitive information is a must in 2015.

A new feature introduced in CAMAvision 18 within the effects screen of PhotoVision™ now gives the user the ability to blur out specific sections of an image.

For this example, a photo of a garage is used with a car in front displaying a license plate. The goal here is to obscure the license plate. By loading an image into PhotoVision and clicking on the effects button, the user is given the option to select a portion of the image to edit.

Blurring images in CAMAvision

Once the area is selected, a menu can be produced by right clicking and selecting Blur Section. Once executed, the area selected will be transformed and will now feature a blurred effect. An added zoom in the example shows what the finalized image looks like.

The Blur Section is not the only feature available in the effects area of PhotoVision. Other features like sharpness, contrast and brightness can also enhance the presentation of a photo.

With any kind of image editing, you run the risk of crossing the line into doctoring a photo. A balance between what should be edited and what should be left alone should be under consideration at all times. Establishing rules about how much an image can be edited is another good practice.

What you had to say about User Group Meetings in 2014

Vanguard Appraisals, Inc. presented another set of six successful user group meetings in 2014 with stops in Illinois, South Dakota, Missouri, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

We asked for your feedback and this is what you had to say!

“Information was very useful.”

“Very good, learned useful information.”

“Good variety of topics.”

“Informative – all the speakers knew their area and explained it so it was easy to follow.”


Over 40 attendees in Illinois from 11 different jurisdictions.

68 attendees from 14 jurisdictions in South Dakota.

Over 200 attendees representing 41 jurisdictions and one State Tax Commission in Missouri.

41 different jurisdictions attended in North Dakota with over 183 attendees.

Over 120 attendees from 21 jurisdictions in Minnesota.

94 different jurisdictions were represented in Iowa with over 380 attendees including attendees from the Department of Revenue.

Nick Klein (Computer Department Manager) talks about the upgrades coming to CAMAvision
Nick Klein (Computer Department Manager) talks about upgrades coming to CAMAvision


Stay tuned for registration information for our next set of user group meetings this year!