New features available now
Process Navigator - version 13.4
and Automated Data Aggregation
have been released in 13.4 as a Feature Preview. As a reminder, Feature Previews are first releases that are targeted at expert users in order to enable expert assessment of the capability and the user interface to it. Feature Previews are well tested but may be light on end user documentation.
Simulation and Aggregation can be switched on in Tools > Options > Feature Previews, which then enables the new Simulation and Aggregation menu.
As a reminder, the July/August Connector set out how Simulation and Aggregation drives process improvement (page 11). There will be more on this in future Connectors.
Triaster Server - latest version 13.4
Alerts and Approvals have been further improved in 13.4 with the following enhancements:
- Map review reminders are now able to be sent at set periods before the review date is due, for example three weeks before the Next Review date and then again at one week before.
- The Next Review can now be populated automatically when a map is approved. On each approval, the Next Review date will be set to a date in future, for example, 6 months from the approval date. If, for example, a particular map needs to be reviewed more frequently, the date can be set on a per map basis.
- Approvers who have maps awaiting approval are no longer sent a new e-mail every time the Pre-Live site is published. Instead, the e-mail will only be sent when the map has changed; for example, when the map has been submitted for rework or a subsequent approval.
Customer Focus Day: Planning for the future
The last Customer Focus Day was held on 11th July. Sessions with Andrew Ridgeley included Mobile Devices, the new web-based Configuration Interface and enhancements to Alerts and Approvals functionality. The main points of these discussions are given below.
In addition, Mike Cousins demonstrated improvements to Data Manager as well as Simulation and Aggregation. Much of the feedback from this session has been integrated into the new feature. James Harvey and Ashwin Jayapaul demonstrated the Triaster Server 13.1 and onwards upgrade process, to highlight how simple it is to perform a self-upgrade.
Our requirements have been met at every stage of our journey so far and have always been met with an open yet informed and considered response.
Susan Grinnell, Spirax Sarco, Microsoft survey
An outline design had been produced by Triaster and this was discussed, as follows. Some details may change as the technical design process proceeds.
- There will not be a separate mobile library; instead additional interfaces or components will be added into a customer's current Process Library.
- The Mobile Devices project will be introduced in a phased approach. This will enable the development to concentrate on the highest priority areas first (finding and using process maps). Therefore, the first phase will focus on Search capabilities and publication format of the maps.
- An additional set of published html will be produced from the Visio maps. These will use a format such as png, which will be cross-browser compatible. The left hand pan and zoom window and Ctrl + Click properties window will not be present but hyperlinks and OPCs will work. The published maps will use a narrow cut-down nav bar to increase available screen space.
- It will be possible, using the nav bar, to switch between the standard published map and the new format published map. This will enable users to select which version is most appropriate for them at any particular time.
- A new Search interface will be created. This is likely to be a simple interface with, for example, a search text box, a Go button and the search underneath. This could be set as the user's homepage to allow quick access to process maps. It will be possible to switch between this and the existing search interface.
- A new cross-browser compatible homepage will be available as an alternative to the Flash home page. An online demo of a sample page can be viewed here (www.triaster.co.uk/triaster_mobile/v1/home/menu.html).This design demonstrates how the elements resize and reposition according to screen size, so we'd recommend you view this on a phone as well as desktop.
- Maps that are available via mobile devices will need password protection.
It is anticipated that some of the features discussed above will be available in version 13.5, with further enhancements rolling out in subsequent releases.
Web Interface for Configuration Settings
A new web-based interface for editing the configuration settings was demoed. This is currently in production and is expected to be released in the medium-term future. This has the following advantages over the current Pub Server Config Utility tool.
- There is no need for direct access to the web server.
- The settings are divided into logical functional areas such as Alerts, Reports or Toolbar.
- It will be possible to update a setting at a global level (i.e. all sites and all libraries) while still retaining the flexibility to have a different setting value at site level.
- The interface is built using HTML5 which allows full cross-browser compatibility. The screen elements will re-position intelligently depending on screen size, allowing the pages to be viewed using a Smartphone or Tablet.
Alerts and Approvals Feedback
The following features were regarded as high priority for future releases
- Layout improvements (such as stopping the heading scrolling on the Maps for Approval screen).
- Allow comments on Approval.
- Ability to customise text in alerts (customisation of look and feel wasn't a priority). This feature will be released in 13.5.
Product Roadmap Update
It was explained that following the on-line feature prioritisation meeting in June, the Product Roadmap, now has a top 10 feature section for both Process Navigator and the Triaster Server, setting out the priorities agreed.
The feature prioritisation process was discussed and the following points were raised/agreed:
- Feature Prioritisation calls should take place every six months.
- An easier to use response form and/or an online voting system would improve the process.
- It would be useful to show the complexity of each feature in terms of development work (for example, easy, medium or hard).
- It would be useful to have visibility on what is in development and when the expected release date is.
One of the high priority Server feature requests was a tool to check the integrity of broken links. It is unlikely that Triaster would develop software to do this as there are a number of tools available to purchase which can check for hyperlinks. A demo was given of two such tools:
- Screaming Frog
- Deep Trawl
Both of the tools can be installed onto a PC or laptop with access to the Process Library (typically a Library Administrator's machine).