HelpMaster v24 (Current release)

v24.0.0.0 was released in December 2023

HelpMaster v24 is a major release of the software, and has some fantastic new features in the web portal, the workflow engine, approvals, and general improvements across the entire product suite.

Here’s the highlights.

Web Portal

The web portal continues to include features brought over from the desktop edition of HelpMaster.

The job update / action screen now includes email selection and preview.

Job update email preview

  • Improvements to existing features
  • Improved CSS and styling for better consistency and layout
  • New approvals widgets and functionality (see below)
  • New Notifications panel (similar to desktop edition)

Notifications Panel for Web Portal

  • Upgraded components to make the web portal faster, more stable and up-to-date

Workflow

We’re currently working on some major workflow improvements which include:

  • Completely refactored workflow design to enable some exciting new capabilities (see below), as well as enabling future updates easier, faster and more stable
  • The ability to run separate workflow processes as soon as a job is logged
  • New “Workflow is out of date” notifications for Desktop + Web Portal to notify user that the workflow/job requires refreshing
  • Better support for workflow inheritance and locking
  • Better validating notification and support for workflow objects
  • More workflow objects
  • Better graphical consistency
  • Improved join design and hot-spot targeting
  • The ability to run workflow silently
  • Improved workflow history and audit-trail, including highlighting the path taken
  • Better integration with other parts of HelpMaster

Automatically run workflow when a job is logged

Event-driven workflow via the “OnCreate” workflow designer.

The Workflow tab on a job template can now include an “On Create” section. This is a workflow canvas similar to the main workflow that can be used to design a workflow process that should be run automatically whenever a job is logged with this template. This workflow will automatically run from the desktop version, the web portal, Email Manager, or the Triggered Events module.

This workflow can only contain workflow object that do not require user interaction, and includes a full history log like the regular workflow panel.

This feature really opens up some interesting workflow and process possibilities, where complex, or multiple jobs/actions need to be performed at the point of logging a job. This can be used for IT service management, facilities management, aged-care workflows and many more.

This new event-driven workflow will be extended to include custom workflows in future releases of HelpMaster.

Workflow events

Better support for workflow inheritance

Several improvements have been made to make it easier to work with workflow that has been inherited from a Workflow Template. Previously, it was not easily apparent when workflow within a Job Template was inherited from a Workflow Template. Improvements include:

  • A label indicating that the workflow has been inherited from a Workflow Template
  • The back colour of the workflow canvas will be grey when a workflow is inherited and locked
  • A lock icon will appear against the “Workflow” tab
  • New toolbar button to view the Workflow Template
  • New toolbar button to unlock/remove the inheritance of the workflow from the workflow template

Workflow template inheritance

Improved workflow history panel

The workflow history panel has been improved to display information in a clearer way. This will assist when reviewing the sequencing and history of a live workflow. Any workflow that is performed in the “OnCreate” event, or by other “server-side” events without user interaction will be performed by the new “HelpMaster System” account. The path that the workflow flowed through will also be highlighted (other objects dimmed). This makes it easier to see what happened.

Workflow history

Improved Job and Action template workflow objects

The Job and Action template workflow objects have been redesigned to allow even great control and flexibility when logging jobs, or updating existing jobs from workflow. The new “Modifiers” section allows you to select from a generic job/action template, and then just use modifiers to adjust it for the workflow. This means that you do not have to create so many similar job/action templates for slightly different uses, as was the case in previous versions of HelpMaster.

Improved Job and Action Template Workflow objects

Approvals

The approval system has been greatly improved based on feedback. Changes include:

  • Ability to re-send approval notification email. Sometimes you just need to re-send that approval link.

Resend approval request

  • Workflow approvals will now automatically execute any non-user interactive workflow after the approval has been decided. This means that as soon as an approval has been decided, any workflow after that approval will be executed. This allows for multi-stage approvals to be designed, or running other workflow objects without the need to manually progress the workflow.

Automatic approval flow

  • Approval dashboard on home page of web portal. The web portal now includes an approvals widget on the home page to display relevant approvals

Approvals notification panel on home page of web portal

  • Approvals node in Explorer. The Explorer for the desktop and web portal now has a dedicated “Approvals” tree-node that allows staff and clients to view approvals that they have initiated, are part of, or have recently been involved in.

Explorer Approvals Node

  • Approvals in the web portal now display in a pop-up windows for easier use
  • Desktop and Web Portal now display approval activity in the “Notifications” panel

Asset picker control for Control Sets

A new asset picker control is now available for Control Sets. Similar to the Client and Site picker, the Asset picker will be useful when working with assets that are linked to Clients and Sites.

Asset picker for Control Sets

Linked Asset selection options when logging a new job via Desktop or Web

Linked assets to clients, or sites will now be displayed as part of the job logging process. The Asset list will be filtered based on whether the Client, or Site fields have been populated, and will display how an asset is linked, making for easy context selection.

Asset selection based on linked entities when logging a new job

Email Manager

  • Improved Email Manager filters using the re-designed workflow objects (see workflow notes above)
  • Ability to create better in-line filtering and modifications using workflow objects

Email Manager Improvements

Improved Job Logging notification panel for client/site/asset job history

When logging a new job from the Desktop edition of HelpMaster, the information panel on the job screen will now display more helpdesk history / job information about any entities that are selected. This will help identify existing jobs.

Helpdesk history lookup

Email Template tags for linked jobs

Email Templates now have new tags for linked jobs. If you wish to send an email about a job that has other linked jobs (simple or parent/child), you can now use a new email tag within the email template to list all of the linked jobs. The tag will be replaced with all of the linked jobs, and will include the job number, job summary, and what type of linked job is it (simple / child)

Email Template Linked Jobs tags

Better documentation

  • More updated pages, better screen-shots, more cross-linking and “See also”. This documentation is a constant work-in-progress - let us know your feedback!

Miscellaneous fixes, tweaks and improvements

  • As always, we fixed some bugs, tweaked some code and made general improvements across the entire HelpMaster infrastructure. We are always planning for, and working on an improved code-base across the entire product, as well as keeping up-to-date with the latest tools and technologies from Microsoft and other technology partners.