HelpMaster v22 release

Latest new version - first released November 2021

New version 22.2.22 (Released 22 February 2022)

This latest 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.

This version will require a database upgrade. See the Upgrade documentation for details, or contact PRD Software for assistance.

Web Portal

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.

Goto job number

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.

Job History quick pick

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.

In-line attachment thumbnail for actions

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.

In-line attachment thumbnail for jobs

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.

Entity relationship links

Ordering of child-jobs Ordering of child jobs is now supported in the web portal similar to the desktop edition.

Child job ordering

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.

Entities linked to job

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.

Assets in web portal

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.

Hide job links tab

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.

Control Set number fields

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.

Control Set convert number fields

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!

Upgraded components

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.

Web Portal

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.

Attachment support

Attachment support

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).

Knowledge base article creation and editing

Improved Workflow panel The workflow panel for the web portal has been improved to display more information, better formatting and imagery for workflow operations

Service desk workflow process panel

Improved layout and support for flagging a job Flagging jobs has a better layout for quickly picking a flag.

Flagging a service ticket

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.

Request / Service Catalog

Workflow

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.

Update Control Set value

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.

Desktop

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.

Job Finder profile and template search

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.

Client/site picker population via custom stored procedure

Change Management

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.

Change Management Toolbar

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.

Change Management Default Template

Email Manager

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.

Email Manager Event Log

Improved “Mailbox Flow” visualization. The colour and style of the “Mailbox Flow” visualization now matches the styling of other workflow objects.

General

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.

Updated HTML / text editor

New behaviour for the action “Private” checkbox. Please read this for further information about this change in behaviour.

Private internal note

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.