Whats new for HelpMaster 14

What's new for HelpMaster v14?

v14 is a major release of HelpMaster with many new features, a lot of improvements to existing features, numerous bug-fixes, and considerable performance improvements.  In short, v14 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.

v14.8.27 - Released August 2014

This release is a stabilization release that addresses some issues that have been reported since the previous release.  For a specific list of changes, please refer to the detailed version history.

v14.7.25 - Released July 2014

This latest release of HelpMaster offers some new features, many enhancements to existing features, as well as general bugfixes, performance improvements and upgraded components.  Below is a list of some of the highlights.

Virtual issues

Is your issue hierarchy out of control?  You need to bring some order back to the structure.  "Virtual issues" is an exciting new concept that allows system administrators to create groupings of issues, and then link the group to the end-point of an existing issue node. 

Template information dockable panel in job screen

A new dockable panel on the job screen displays information about the template being used.  This is useful for training purposes, and general information about the template. 

Email Manager improvements and security update

The Email Manager continues to improve for additional functionality, stability and security. 

  • Updates to existing jobs now have a better text-extraction algorithm to automatically extract just the reply portion of an email.  Previous extraction methods still exist as options.
  • The Email Parsers have been updated for better client searching via email addresses
  • The "Update Existing Job" profiles have had a security re-work, with better options for controlling who can update a job.  By default, the Email Manager will only process email updates from clients that are linked to a job, or are a HelpMaster "staff" member.

Priority Manager action for Skillgroup Supervisor

The Priority Manager has a new option for emailing the skillgroup supervisor

Skillgroups now have email configuration for unassigned jobs

Skillgroups now have the option to specify how email is handled whenever a job is assigned to the unassigned queue of a skillgroup.  Skillgroups can now have an email address associated with them.

 

Attachment preview

Attachments can now be displayed and previewed directly from the Explorer screen, or action log.  Simply select a job, then hover over the attachment icon to display the attachments.

Multi-language version

HelpMaster now has the ability to display in other languages.  This is the initial phase of a larger language feature.  Currently, the only language pack available is English.  Future releases will offer additional languages. 

Improved Screen capture for images

The screen capture now has a dedicated button on the Attachments tab of entities, and the process of capturing a graphic has been significantly improved.

Performance improvements

The job and action screens should now appear up to 50% faster than before.  Attachment loading/preview is now performed "just in time", to reduce the initial overhead of loading any screen with the Attachments tab.

Miscellaneous fixes, updated references and 3rd party components

Several fixes and improvements have been made.

 

 

v14.1.1 - Released 1st January 2014

CC and BCC other clients from the Action screen

 

Emailing from the Action screen now supports CC and BCC for other clients that are linked to the job.  This makes it much easier to keep all linked personnel informed of job updates.

Client picture/avatar can now sync with Active Directory

In addition to supporting www.gravatar.com, client pictures can now be synchronized with Active Directory and are available as a field mapping in the Active Directory module.  HelpMaster users with sufficient privileges can also upload a client picture into Active Directory.  

 

New email support for internet email / SMTP / IMAP etc

The entire email foundation of HelpMaster has been rewritten to provide even greater levels of email control, security and flexibility.  HelpMaster administrators can now configure individual email accounts that can be used by staff members, and whenever an email is sent, you can choose which account to use.  These accounts can then be linked to email templates, automation profiles etc. IMAP/POP support has been greatly improved with complete log-in access properties.

Improved email preview and composition from the Action screen

When emailing from the Action screen, the previews can now be cancelled and the original action modified before sending again.  When multiple emails are sent, the preview screen will display each job/email, and give more details about the recipients and the context of the email.

Improved and updated Quick Launch feature

One of the oldest features of HelpMaster gets an update.  The Quick Launch screen now has more options, better website/URL support, application parameters/arguments, as well as a dedicated button on the toolbar.

Updated text editing and spell checker

The HTML/rich text editor has been upgraded to provide better support for previewing PDFs, HTML support (including better table support), Microsoft Word document import and preview.  The new text control also contains a completely new spell checker.  This spell checking is very fast, supports multiple dictionaries and languages, and underlines misspelt words. The new dictionary does not require or depend on Microsoft Word.

Auto save for all major textboxes

HelpMaster will now automatically save text content on a regular basis and recover this text in the event of an application crash.  This applies to jobs, actions, templates and knowledge base articles.

Job feedback improvements for usability, searching and reporting

The job feedback system has been improved.  Enhancements include better searching, reporting and administration.  Also, you can now configure HelpMaster to send a feedback survey link at any stage within the job lifecycle.  This means that you can survey your clients for every action you take - each update.  This will help your team to better understand your clients.

Quick-pick for email tags

Email template tags are now easier to insert into email templates.  Simply start by typing the characters "<<", and HelpMaster will display a quick-pick list of available email tags for you to use.

Email Manager updates

The Email Manager has had extensive updates and improvements.  The Email Manager is more powerful and flexible than ever before.  If you make good use of the Email Manager, or are planning to do so, you're going to love these updates.  We have improved the functionality, added a lot of power to the parsers, and greatly improved the stability and performance of the service.

New Mailbox Flow visualizer

A new feature is the Mailbox Flow visualizer for the Email Manager.  If you have a lot of Email Manager profiles, you're going to love this.  It displays the email account/folder, and then the profiles that are operating on those scanned folders.  It's a great way to see what's going on.  Furthermore, the Mailbox Flow will indicate which profiles have issues, and give suggestions on how to improve them for better processing logic.

Better filter control and order preference

It is now possible to order individual filters per branch within the filter processing logic.  This is good news if you have complex filtering, or have very specific requirements for your filtering logic.  Simply right-click on a filter and select "Prioritize filter in current branch level"

Move email

If the email manager profile moves an email, you now have the option to send an email to selected recipients as part of the move.  This can assist with workflow and notification in these scenarios.

New Email Parsers

The email parsers have been extended to support SQL scripting, string building, attachment parsing, and can now update more fields within the job, as well as action details such as Assignment, Status, Priority etc.  Email Manager parsers can now scan text-based attachments.  This is great if you need to scan and parse information from log files, network monitoring tools, or other email attachment-based information.

A new "String builder" section of the parsers allow you to build up text block that can be used in job and action information.

A new "Script" section allows you to execute custom SQL against your HelpMaster database.  Use this to look up values based on parser variable that can then be used to update details about the job/action.

New processing options

A new "Post script" action allows you to execute custom SQL against your HelpMaster database after an email has been successully processed and the job and/or action has completed.

New closed job options

The email manager now has additional global options to handle what happens when an email is processed for a closed job.  Administrators can choose how HelpMaster handles this common scenario.

The helpfile has also been updated to include more detailed information about designing Email Manager profiles.  

Professional Title tag

A new checkbox next to the Title for client names allows you to specify whether the title is a professional title or not.  This is used in conjunction with 2 new email template tags:

<<Client_ProfessionalTitle_or_Firstname>>

<<Client_ProfessionalTitle_or_FirstnameLastName>>

When used in an email, these tags will be replaced with the title of the client followed by their surname (if "Is professional title" is checked), or just their Firstname/Lastname as appropriate if they do not have a professional title.

 

Multiple colored flags for jobs

Jobs can now be flagged with 6 different colored flags.  Previously only one flag was available.  Additionally, the Job Finder now supports flag searching, and each Email Manager profile can flag a job whenever an update occurs.

 

flag job

Help file

 We are constantly updating the help file. It has been updated with more content, screen shots, new information, much better hyperlinking and "See also" links, including more "why" content, rather than just "how".  The index and searching has also been improved. We've also updated the HelpMaster configuration guide, the evaluation guide and other training courseware and materials.

Make sure you check out the new section on the Email Manager patterns.

Miscellaneous fixes, enhancements and updates.

Many minor issues have been fixed.  We've also updated some of the framework  that HelpMaster is built on, delivering better stability and performance.