ORS History

Late in 1997 Design Data Corporation (DDC) began discussing the need human service agencies had to work with goals, outcomes and ROMA requirements. The resulting software has helped hundreds of human service professionals produce the reports they have needed to satisfy funding sources and regulatory requirements, as well as better meet client needs.

Release 1.0

"The Beginning of ORS"


In the spring of the year the ORS 1 Beta was installed at five test sites. Over the course of several months our test sites gave us valuable feedback and suggestions to improve the software. Finally, in the fall version 1.0 was released for sale.

It was a simple program when compared to where the software is now. The software kept demographic data about clients, it had the ORS dictionary, users could write goals for clients and the program printed the CSBG Client Characteristics report. However simple it was ORS was a breakthrough in the way it helped human service agencies track outcomes and measure goal achievement.

Release 2.0 and 3.0

"The year of two releases"


In just six months from version 1 the programming staff had so many suggestions from new users about ways to tune and improve the software that a new version was released. From the very beginning we have felt that our biggest asset is our users: they have been a tremendous source of encouragement and ideas for the improvement of the software.

In version 2 Family History and all of the associated reports were introduced. On occasion computers have been known to enter the wrong data so Family ID and Staff ID replacement utilities were added to help correct data entry problems. To help keep the data clean and complete we added data verification reports. Data verification reports let you examine the integrity of your data so you may repair problems before they cause trouble.

In the fall ORS version 3 was released. This had a more graphic appearance, an enhanced dictionary, and a utility was to help our version 2 users upgrade to the latest ORS. Perhaps the biggest advance in version 3 was the addition of user-defined fields so that users could track demographics for families and individuals that were not included in the software.

Release 4.0

" New and Improved"


Almost a year after version 3 was released, ORS version 4 was for sale. It introduced some new features that gave even greater flexibility and ease of use. The Community Delivery System is a parallel reporting system that allows you to write goals based on the ORS dictionary and report in a different format. The ORS dictionary is “mapped” to the Community Delivery System so that a youth’s progress in getting and keeping a part-time job may also be reported and measured as how well youth in the community are constructively using time and working within boundaries and expectations.

Drop down combo boxes were introduced at the request of several users. This gave the users a better feel for the choices available for each demographic characteristic.

Release 5.0

"Major Changes"


ORS version 5 was released in the late spring. This was a major rewrite: all the reports had their appearance overhauled so that they were more professional and suitable for publication. A LIHEAP module was added so that clients with LIHEAP programs could better administer the monies entrusted to their care.

All of the client functions (reports and screens) were consolidated onto one menu and the family and individual screens were combined into one screen with all of the goals, services and vouchers available on the same screen. This was introduced as a time saving feature at the request of the users so there would be less menu navigation required to do their daily tasks.

Family expenses were added so that, combined with the existing family income, you could get a more complete financial picture of your clients.

Group goal processing was enhanced to allow the agency to specify a default set of dictionary service areas to appear for specific programs. For programs using the group goals for assessments and surveys this has proved to be another major time saver.

We added global family deletes so that those given the necessary software permissions could more easily remove families and individuals. Another utility that was added allows users to rename programs throughout the system. Very often when an agency sets up the system at the very start, they code programs differently than they would several months down the line. This allows you to make changes when you are ready to benefit from your experience.

We added a report listing all of the reports in the system. You can now see all the ways the reports can benefit your agency. There are 133 reports in this version of the software.

And a super Client Characteristics report has been added to include all of the family and individual demographics. Now you can print a family application from the family screen; print a goal from the goal screen; and print a voucher from the voucher screen.

Whew! That’s a lot of improvements, isn’t it. Just wait ‘til you see the user suggested improvements in version 6!! We’re already working on it.

Release 6.0



ORS version 6 was released in early spring. We changed the appearance of ORS by completely revamping and simplifying the menu screens. It is so much easier to move around in the software now and you have instant access to all the reports.

No more wondering on the outcome reports what Moderate is for a goal! To make the outcome reports more understandable we added a short indicator description to all the goals in the dictionary. And there’s more! A rating system has been added to the outcome reports that lets you set the scale for all reports you generate or you may set it for just one report without disturbing your global setting.

Another change to the outcome reports is a “Progress” report. This report lets you compare the first evaluation from clients with their most recent evaluation. Each outcome report also has a new totals section that sums all the indicators over the whole report. If your report was comparing educational levels on outcomes, there is also a total section at the end that shows all indicators for all levels of education.

We have also added a check box to each goal indicating whether or not you want to include that goal on the dictionary printout. With over 500 different goals in the dictionary you do not have to delete goals to keep the dictionary printout focused. And the screen has been changed for easier maintenance.

ORS has made more improvements to the group goals. Now you can create a blank assessment form for any of your group goals.

With ORS 6 you may assign income sources to an individual in a household.

When a family member left the household in previous versions of ORS it threw off your FPL calculations. Now there is a way to exclude a person from the FPL calculations without deleting their information!

What we have planned for ORS 6.5 is even more amazing!

Release 6.5

"Vouchers Revisited"


The family maintenance screen is where your users spend most of their time and that’s where we made improvements. The first thing you will notice is that when the family screen appears it displays a list of all the family IDs and heads of household. This acts as an index of all the families – select a family then click on the data pages to see the family information about the selected family. We added a Family Vouchers button so you can see any vouchers the family has been given – right from the family screen. We also added the ability to have more than one family application form! Your agency may have different application forms for different programs.

Remember the Client Activity Report? Now you may also report clients with no activity during a date range you select!

The All Client Characteristics Report has the functional level reports added as one of the criteria to search. You still set the date range that you want to examine the client base demographics in – now you have one more type of evaluation to include in the search.

The vouchers have really been beefed up! In ORS 6.5 you may electronically transmit vouchers to vendors that will receive vouchers in that fashion – in just about any format they want to see. You may also use the voucher export feature to create a spreadsheet of vouchers you select in a given date range. The Fund Master screens and reports have been improved to make it easier to track the monies expended. There is a posted voucher tab on the voucher screen so you can see if the family has vouchers that are not open, right from the family screen. And you can set up an account number verification for each vendor – if the account number is entered incorrectly your staff will know right away!

The voucher report selection screens have From/Thru dates right at the top.

And you may select a different printer for your reports from the print buttons.

Release 7.0

“Customizing Reports”


One of the things that distinguishes ORS is the number and variety of reports that are included in the software.  In ORS 7 you may customize most of the reports!  If you have written reports in Access you can customize reports in ORS.

Remember the All Client Characteristics Report?  Well, now you may print a report of clients that meet your query criteria or report those that do not meet your criteria.  You may also define the ranges for FPL percentages shown on the report.

ORS will now automatically generate a family ID when you enter a new family.  It is guaranteed to be unique.  Of course, you may still enter your own if you prefer.

Now there is a way for you to Copy/Move a client from one family to another.  All of the client records move with them.

We have added a check box to indicate Hispanic or not on the individual screen.

You may setup ORS to automatically save a history record if the family income changes.

When the inspectors stop by and want to see all the information you have about family XYZ there is a new report to do just that – the Master Application Report.  You may select which items to include on the report and whether you want to see detail or summary information.

There is a field to record the last date of weatherization for the family’s home.

ORS now checks for duplicate individuals on the phone number and the address.
National Indicators 1 and 6 are included in the Community Delivery System.

There is a print button for the referral form on the referral screen.

And we have made improvements to the vouchers:  the transmittal report has your agency address in the header.  We have added fields to the voucher screen for client contribution, the source of the client contribution and the actual bill amount.

Want more?  It is coming in ORS 8!  The new changes are amazing!

Release 8.0

“Putting It All In Front of You”


Finally, all of the family and individual information is on one screen!  At the bottom of the Family data is a set of tabs for the income, expenses, history and functional level evaluations.  At the bottom of the Individual data is a set of tabs for the client’s program assignment, referrals, special codes, goals, services and vouchers.  All this information available with just a click on a tab!

We have a calendar pop up on all of the date fields.  Do you want to know what day of the week that client received the service?  Just click the calendar pop up icon.

The Find Individual grid has let you change the order of the data by clicking on the column header.  Now when you click on the Last Name column header, First Name is in alpha order within Last Name.  There have been a number of requests for this change.

Now you may exclude an income source from FPL calculations from within the income source lookup table.  Of course, you may override the exclusion when you edit or add that income type.

On the Individual Summary report selection screen you may choose to report everyone in ORS by clicking the “Ignore Program” checkbox.  In the past you could only report people in programs.  This gives you report access to all of the clients and family members entered into ORS.

This is huge!  The All Client Characteristics Report (demographic report) now lets you report demographics by Services, Goals, Vouchers and Functional Level.  Now you can ask to see the demographics for everyone that had a service of, for instance, “Case Management”; or, for all the Spanish speaking clients that received services from staff member XYZ.

Also on the All Client Characteristics Report, Referrals have been included in the activities to include within a date range.

Now you can Move/Copy and Merge your dictionary sections.  Did you start using ORS several releases ago?  This feature lets you update your dictionary without losing any of the sections you have been using.

We have added a number of features to the vouchers section:

  • A Utility Allowance Deduction field.
  • Vendor Summary reports to show how much and how many vouchers were issued to one or more vendors by fund.
  • A Fund Obligation report to show you how much is obligated by date range, in one or more funds.
  • A Fund Summary report to show you, by income level, how many vouchers and how much for each energy source.  Pick one or more funds.
  • Mandatory data items for vouchers!  You may specify which demographic elements you must have to issue a voucher for a client.  Make sure your clients have a recorded social security number before your staff writes that voucher.
  • When you mark a vendor inactive you may not write a voucher to that vendor.
  • We added a Payment Assistance chart!  This is a new way to calculate vouchers based on paying different amounts based on the energy source.


Release 9.0 and 9.5

Information Coming Soon...