HelpMaster v22 release
v22.7.22 (Released 22 July 2022)
This release of HelpMaster includes some major new features and improvements across the core functionality of HelpMaster. Highlights include full support for Microsoft 365 and GMail for the Email Manager, new support for client visibility for the web portal, upgraded components, date-pickers/controls, and other general improvements and fixes.
Microsoft 365 / GMail for reading email accounts. HelpMaster now fully supports integration into Microsoft365 / Azure / GraphAPI via a “HelpMaster Application Registration”. All Microsoft default, and national-specific endpoints are available.
Improved date / time support and calendars. A completely new calendar / time picker interface is now used throughout the desktop and web products to replace the older, clunky Telerik controls. This date picker is timezone aware and feature great keyboard support.
Updated dependencies and 3rd party components. Virtually all 3rd party components and Microsoft packages have been updated. HelpMaster is using the absolute latest tools and technology “under the hood” for the best performance, security and functionality. We also done a lot of code refactoring, coding improvements and many other maintenance tasks so that the HelpMaster code-base is fresh, and continues to improve for future development.
We’ve also completely removed all references to Telerik controls and libraries! :-)
Improved concurrency checking and resolution The concurrency resolution checking and resolution screen has been completely refactored and improved for better consistency, more field checking and easier resolution of data conflicts. It will also preview knowledge base conflicts in HTML for easier viewing of what has changed.
Improved system administration layout and graphics. The system administration screen continues to improve in layout, graphics, tooltip and more.
Improved styling, icons and graphics. Many minor tweaks, CSS updates, and updated components.
New client visibility feature. Individual clients that are already linked to a job can be granted viewing permission for the job, or denied viewing permission for the job. This feature allows a greater level of control over who can see/udpate jobs, while are the same time still allowing client links to the job for communication, reporting and automation purposes.
Client visibility can been seen from the icon on the Links tab of a job.
New client site-wide visibility feature. One or more clients that are linked to a site can be granted site-wide viewing permissions via the web portal. This allows clients from a site to view all jobs that have been logged for their site (or subsites), even if they are not personally linked to a job. This feature is designed to give managers, or other selected individuals of a company the ability to keep track of all of the job that their company has logged. This feature is useful in a MSP (Managed Services Provider) style implementation of HelpMaster.
Lots of “under the hood” improvements to the Email Manager for better consistency, logging, performance and database response. We’ve also updated this documentation to include more info-graphics to help explain concepts.
Improved logging and logging performance. Verbose logging has been greatly improved, as well as the performance to the database and cleanup/removal of logs. Verbose logging is useful for diagnosing Email Manager profile performance.
Microsoft 365 / GMail for reading email accounts. HelpMaster now fully support reading from, and sending email from Microsoft 365 and GMail accounts for the Email Manager. This not only provides a more modern way of connecting to email, but greatly simplifies the administration, configuration and setup of the Email Manager profiles.
Improved Client Options for Update Profiles
Previous versions used to have a global settings to determine how emails are processed and client links if the incoming email was related to job, but the sender was not known, or currently linked to the job. These settings have been moved to each profile for greater control per profile.
Updated styling for some reports. Many reports have had minor tweaks for better layout, colour and consistency.
Improved PowerBI dashboard. The HelpMaster PowerBI dashboard has been improved for better layout, more pages, more calendar time/picking options, better layout of word clouds and much more.
Lots of documentation updates. This documentation has been improved with new and improved content and organization of topics, more links, updated screen-shots. We’ve also fixed broken links.
v22.2.22 (Released 22 February 2022)
This release of HelpMaster delivers some great new development in the web portal as we continue to migrate features from the Desktop edition into the web portal. Along the way, we’ve improved performance, fixed some bugs and have implemented some great improvements to already existing features.
Job History quick-pick menu Similar to the desktop edition, the Job history menu display the last 15 jobs that have been viewed by either the web portal, or the desktop edition. Clicking an item will display the job screen. Similar functionality is also available for Client, Sites and Assets.
Go to job # text box. Similar to the desktop edition, the go to job # allows you to enter a valid job number to have it displayed. This element is displayed in the top bar of the web portal, so it is always visible and accessible.
Attachment thumbnails appear in-line with the Action Log and Job Details. When attachments are added as part of a job update, a thumbnail of the attachment will now appear in the action log. This makes it much easier to see when an attachment has been added as part of an update, and provides a quick and easy way to view them directly from the action log.
Attachments that are added when the job is initially logged will also be displayed on the front panel of the job.
Note that ALL attachments (job+action) will always be displayed on the “Attachments” tab also.
Renaming attachments and renaming the display title have also been improved.
Links tab for jobs, clients, sites. The Links tab is now available for jobs, clients and sites. Similar functionality to the desktop edition, the links tab allows users to view and manage the links and relationships between entities.
Ordering of child-jobs Ordering of child jobs is now supported in the web portal similar to the desktop edition.
Client, Site and Asset pickers for the job screen. Similar to the desktop edition, the client, site and asset selectors/pickers can now be displayed when logging a new job, or when viewing an existing job.
Like the Desktop edition, each entity picker will trigger the other pickers to be populated with linked entities that correspond to the entered value. This makes it easy to start with either the client, the site, or the asset, and then drill-down from there.
Assets now supported in web portal Asset functionality is now available in the web portal, similar to desktop edition. Web Portal functionality continues to improve to match the Desktop edition. It is now possible to search, view and link assets to jobs, clients, and sites.
Desktop and Web Portal
Hide links tab
It is also possible to completely hide the links tab from the end-user when logging a job via the web. This is useful for simple ticket types, or jobs where the entity links are not required.
Control Set fields now support fields that can be defined as number, or decimal. This allows for full number entry, or for decimal number entry. Very useful for designing web forms and other data entry where specific number control is required. Minimum and maximum range is also supported.
Number-based control Set Fields can also be converted from one type to another. This is possible for numbers, decimals and currency. This is useful if you have been using one type of field, but then need to change the data type to another type, without having to re-build the control set from scratch and losing data.
Better Sample Database examples
The sample database that can be created via the Database and Reports Wizard has better data, more examples, cleaned-up HTML email templates and more. If you haven’t done so already, create a sample database and check it out. Steal all the good ideas in there!
Many internal components and software dependencies for all modules of HelpMaster have been upgraded to improve performance, stability and deliver new functionality.
Miscellaneous fixes and general improvements
See the specific release history notes for bug-fixes. Many message boxes were updated for better wording, spelling and grammar updates.
v22 Release - November 2021
The v22 release continues to build upon the improvements in both the desktop and web portal for HelpMaster. We’ve made a lot of “under the hood” improvements to continue our development of the new web portal and migrate more features from the desktop edition to the web. Future releases will continue to move more functionality over from the desktop edition.
Important upgrade information!If upgrading from v20 or lower please be sure to read these important upgrade notes and then be sure to check out the list of things to do after upgrading.
Upgrade to Microsoft .net Core 6.0. The latest edition of Microsoft .net core is fast, stable, cross-platform and secure.
Improved HTML support for all rich text content The new Microsoft WebView2 control delivers fast, consistent HTML viewing and support. This same control is also used by the Desktop edition of HelpMaster, which means that HTML (knowledge base, email templates, etc. should render in exactly the same manner on both desktop and web)
Improved attachment support Attachments now display more information about who added/updated them, as well as the date/time. Image attachments can be pasted from the clipboard and linked to a job/action for quick and easy use.
Ability to create / edit knowledge base articles The web portal now supports creating and editing knowledge base articles for staff - using the new HTML editor (shared by the Desktop edition also).
Improved Workflow panel The workflow panel for the web portal has been improved to display more information, better formatting and imagery for workflow operations
Improved layout and support for flagging a job Flagging jobs has a better layout for quickly picking a flag.
Improved flow for Windows / Active Directory authentication and login Several improvements have been made to the Windows authentication process to make single-sign in easier, including better support for home-page auto sign-in.
Many UI tweaks for better usability Lots of sizing tweaks, keyboard support, tabstops, re-sizing events, resizable job details textbox and more.
Many improvements in workflow for stability, fixes, performance, logging, presentation and overall flow
New “Update Control Set field” workflow object allows the ability to update a control set field value with a hard-coded value, a variable, or to clear it. Several options are available for existing values, and all Control Set validation rules are applied and checked.
Variable handling and display have been improved. Lots of minor updates and improvements to variables for logging, display and use.
String variables now have a “Multi-line” option that allows better handling of larger text variables.
SQL script objects have additional syntax and context checking to assist with designing better and safer SQL scripts.
Job Finder now support template and profile searching. The Job Finder can now search using criteria based on what module logged a job, what job template was used, and what profile initated the template. This can be used for reporting data and configuration refinements.
Better dependency visualization and reporting The dependency tab for templates, profiles and other items has been improved to provide clearer graphics to identify dependencies as well as the ability to use the Job Finder to search for jobs that were created as a result of that dependency.
Minor UI updates. Lots of minor fixes for colour, labels, control alignment, theme support etc.
Custom stored procedures for control set client and site pickers. Workflow and forms designers will love this one. Control Set client and site pickers can now base their contents on a custom stored procedure that can be created to return any results you need. This allows workflow and form designers the flexibility to create custom pickers for any workflow scenario.
Change Management Toolbar. The Change toolbar has been updated to look similar to the Jobs toolbar, and to behave in the same way jobs are logged. Users can now select from a template, or start from a blank change. Users can now also set default templates personal use, and administrators can configure default change templates for users that have not set any preference.
Default template settings Individual staff can now set a default change management template to be applied when creating a new request for change. System Administrators can also set a default change management template to be used if staff have not already set a template.
Event logging has been improved. Event logs can now be filtered by individual Email Manager profiles. Verbose logging is now always on by default and is available to view within the context of a regular event log. This makes is easier to diagnose and trouble-shoot email logging events.
Improved “Mailbox Flow” visualization. The colour and style of the “Mailbox Flow” visualization now matches the styling of other workflow objects.
New and improved text editor. The old txText control HTML editor has been completely replaced with a newer, easier to use HTML editor from www.tinymce.com that has great HTML formatting support. This will be a welcome update to knowledge base authors, who are writing articles for both the desktop, as well as the web portal. To further provide consistency in formatting between the desktop and web portal, all HTML content in the desktop edition displays information in the new Microsoft WebView2 control. This means that what you see in the desktop will essentially be the same as what you see in the web.
New behaviour for the action “Private” checkbox. Please read this for further information about this change in behaviour.
Updated email components for improved functionality, stability and performance
Lots of on-line documentation updates. Content updates and additions, “see also” links, screen-shots etc. This online documentation resource continues to get better with more content, better screen-shots and more “how to” and “why” guidance for HelpMaster.
Many improvements in the DEVOPS cycle internally at PRD Software so that build/test/production of HelpMaster is more streamlined for quicker and more stable releases.
All rich-text textboxes have been replaced with a newer, better HTML control/presentation. This will provide consistency across the desktop and web products.
3rd-party components updated or removed. Many components that are used to build HelpMaster have been updated to use the latest versions. These updates bring better stability, performance and features to many aspects of the development process.
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