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Whats new for HelpMaster 15

What's new for HelpMaster v15?

v15 is a major release of HelpMaster with a completely overhauled new look.  However, v15 is much more than just a new look.  There are many new features, a lot of improvements to existing features, numerous bug-fixes, and considerable performance improvements.  In short, v15 is a terrific update, especially for those who make good use of the Email Manager, Active Directory, and Priority Manager.  Here's a review of some of the major things to look out for.
v15 is a major new release of HelpMaster.  For this release we've put in some big new features, extended the capabilities of the workflow, added some popular requests, and given HelpMaster a new look and feel.   Additionally, there is a lot of under-the-hood improvements and diagnostic information that will be useful for tracking performance, stability and custom development.

This is the best HelpMaster yet!

A new look and feel!

The first thing you'll notice about version 15 is that HelpMaster has a new look!  All of the graphics have been updated to the modern "flat" look and feel.  A consistent style, colour palate, and imagery gives HelpMaster a refreshing and slick look and feel.   We've also replace some older controls to give a modern feel and improve performance.

logon screen

Updated toolbar layout, including new buttons and functionality

The main ribbon toolbar has been updated with a new layout and some additional functionality.  The menu structure and grouping of buttons and functionalty has been updated to make HelpMaster more intuitive, modern and fresh.

 

toolbar flat icons

 

When logging a new job, the toolbar now supports several new options for quickly selecting the right job template.  This includes drop-down lists for your subscribed templates, all templates and recently used templates.  Much better!

Template groupings

Action screen now include the time on the front tab as well as a quick reminder function

By popular demand.  The Action screen can now display the time details on the front tab of the screen, and each action template can be set to force the user to input the time.  This is very useful for those who require each action, or certain types of actions to have the time entered along with the details.  Additionally, there is now a quick-set reminder function built right into the action screen.  Great for if you're updating a job and you also want to set a reminder.

Action Screen Improvements

Improved alerts system

HelpMaster has a new alert system.

Now all entities (Jobs, Clients, Sites, Assets, Knowledge Base articles) can have an unlimited number of alerts associated with them.  This is very handy for drawing attention to the entity when required.

Alerts

Each alert can be configured to be displayed in a different way, and have a different set of properties depending on what it is.  Choose from popup - in your-face alerts, or more passive alerts.  Mix and match according to the entity and the nature of the alert.

  • Cascading alerts
  • Alert types
  • Triggers alerts
  • Multiple alerts
  • HTML alerts

stacked alerts

Read more about the new alert system.

Automation triggers for custom entity events

A new major feature!

triggered event knowledge base review date kcs

Have you ever wanted to be able to log a job when an asset has reached its Service-due date, or log a job when a custom date field on a client, or site matches a date?  Perhaps you've wanted to flag a Knowledge Base article when it's reached it review date?

Well now you can!....and much more.  The new entity triggers allow you to create profiles that will job jobs, create alerts and perform database operations when certain condition in your HelpMaster configuration/data are matched.  Think of this feature like the Priority Manager, but for Clients, Sites, Assets, Knowledge Base, and Jobs.

This is perfect for creating workflow/jobs for client support, asset management and facilities management.  This new feature utilizes the new alerts feature, to really give your automated triggers some power and impact.

Read more about the new Triggered Events feature

Workflow Templates

Workflow diagrams have now been isolated into their own separate template type.  Previously, the workflow designer was only available via the Job Templates.  Now there is a new template type dedicated to just Workflow.  This makes the management of workflows much easier, and allows greater levels of control, isolation, security and better integration into other parts of HelpMaster. 

workflow templates

We have a lot of big features coming up for the workflow system of HelpMaster, so now is a great time to start utilizing this feature and check it out if you have not done so already.

Improved Job Finder

By popular demand!  The Job Finder can now search on Actions that have been performed against a job.  This allows a greater level of searching, filtering and reporting.  Also, due to the fact that the Job Finder is a key component of the powerful Priority Manager, the ability to search on actions opens up a whole new range of workflow automation possibilities.

job finder action search

Email Manager Log and Diagnostic information

The Email Manager continues to improve in both functionality and management.  We've added a lot of additional diagnostic information to the event logs which will really help with administration, and being able to see what the Email Manager is actually doing.

New information includes processing time, email count, email size and total timing.

Use this information to fine-tune your email processing and optimize your profiles.

email processing diagnostic information

 

Email Manager Performance

The performance of the Email Manager is now much faster.  The Email Manager now uses a caching mechanism to remember email and filters.  This results in much faster processing times.  This also assists in memory management and download limitations.

New category fields for the Email Manager and Priority Manager

Do you have a lot of Email Manager, or Priority Manager profiles that you wish you could organize better? 

Now you can classify them with codes of your choice and filter them according to their type.  If you use this powerful part of HelpMaster, then you're going to love this simple enhancement.

Automation classification codes

New category fields for Job Templates and Action Templates

New category fields are now also available for Job and Action templates.  This will assist with searching, classifying and workflow.  Add the new "Category" fields to your Field Chooser to make searching easier.

Improved SQL options for the System Administrator

System administrators can now view the results of SQL from the Database tab of HelpMaster.  Additional security options are also available to prevent unauthorized use of direct SQL for any feature of HelpMaster that supports this.  All system codes now also display their unique database ID in the system codes screen.  This assists with custom reporting, database development and API integration.

Re-designed Staff management + Removal of "Staff Manager" screen.

The process of creating or updating a staff member is much more intuitive and simplified.  The old "Staff Manager" screen has been removed, and the Client screen and a re-worked Skillgroup screen now control how staff and skillgroups are setup and configured.  This offers a much cleaner way of managing staff and their associated skillgroup assignments and permissions.

staff management

Action Templates classification for "Workflow Only"

 

Action Summary and Job Status code context filtering

Action summary codes and Job Status codes can now be filtered / hidden according to their context and use.  This makes it easier when working with jobs, actions and workflow.

 

Automatic Assignment Algorithms

Action templates now support auto-assign algorithms! 

  Choose from the following auto-assignment types:

  • Round-robin (each staff member within a skillgroups is assigned a job on a rotating basis)
  • Lowest job count (the staff member with the lowest job count is assigned the job)
  • Closest geographically (the staff member that is physically closest to the job is assigned the job)
  • Custom stored procedure (make your own assignment algorithm using SQL)
  • Random! For fun!?

auto assign helpdesk jobs

More algorithms to come in future releases.

Auto-assignment can be used by all HelpMaster modules, including the web, Email Manager, Priority Manager and the desktop.

"Add me" button for quick job/client linking

Here's a small, quick speed improvement. 

When logging a new job, or updating an existing job, there is now a new "Add me" button/menu.  Using this will add you (the person logged onto HelpMaster) to the list of linked clients.

add me

Email Template filtering and context

Do you have a lot of email templates?  You probably do, and the problem up until now was that all of them would appear in the Action screen email section, regardless of what type of recipient they were designed for.

That's now changed.

Now email templates can been classified and configured to only appear in the contextually correct part of the Action screen.

email template context

 

New Script object for job workflow

Workflow now supports scripting.  Currently the only script type is SQL, however further scripting types, including Powershell will be introduced in future releases of HelpMaster.

Improved Theme builder

The Theme Builder utility has been improved to include more options for colours, styles and controls.  Additionally, there is now a button right next to the theme selector on the user preference screen that will open the Theme Builder.  If you've never tried the theme builder before, or if you're looking for a new style to suit your HelpMastering, check it out.

theme builder

Miscellaneous fixes, enhancements and updates.

Many minor issues have also been fixed.  We've also updated some of the third-party controls that HelpMaster uses.  These should deliver better stability and performance.

We've also improved the behaviour of splitter bars, form re-sizing, control layout and other minor UI issues.