What's new for HelpMaster v19?

v19 is a new release for a new year.  In this major new release, we've focused on the web portal, process workflow and overall product refinement in many areas.  This is the best HelpMaster yet!

June 2019 - Now available!

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July 2019 Release (Available soon!)

Clients

Clients now have a new dedicated "Manager" picker.  This allows a tight integration within HelpMatser to only select an existing manager if they exist as a client within HelpMaster.  This tight coupling allows much better workflow design, as well as improved integration for approvals.

This new manager field can be synchronized with Active Directory.

client manager approvals

 

Includes new email tags for customizing email templates

client manager email tag

 

Approvals

This release has lots of exciting approval improvements.  More to come in future releases also.

 New simple approval can be initiated directly from the job toolbar. 

ad-hoc approval

 Workflow Approvals can now be configured to stop the workflow, or to continue and check later.

workflow approval

 The new Approval Result object allows you to check approvals at a later stage.  This is great for multi-stage/multi-person approvals.

Approval process workflow

The approval web page has been restyled for a better look and user interaction.

 workflow approval web vote

Workflow

Improvements to the workflow Common Tasks object.  There are now many new common tasks/decisions that are pre-loaded into HelpMaster for you to use in designing your process workflow.  Lots more to come also!

Use common tasks/decisions to links things, update things, set alerts, set dates, retrieve data and much more.  This workflow object is designed to be a flexible, customizable workflow object.

common process scripts itsm

New Common Decisions workflow object.  Similar conceptually to the common tasks, but with branching.

New editor screen to edit and create common workflow tasks and decisions.  Scripting on the next level!  If there is not a common task for the thing you want to do, now you can simply build it yourself, or ask PRD Software to built is and we'll send you the update script that instantly creates the object for you.

New Multiple-choice workflow object

The new Multiple-choice workflow object allows you to create branching with many outputs. This is fantastic for building flows that offer many options.  Loop the workflow back to create a service-loop.

workflow multiple choice

The multiple choice presents as radio-buttons on the workflow panel within the job.

process multiple choice

Email Manager

New cleaner styling for email manager filter components that match the styling with the workflow objects.  Improved layout and design similar to the workflow system.

email-to-ticket conversion

Web Portal

Improved attachment viewer.  When viewing graphical attachments to job via the web portal, these will now display in a new carosel object that allows modern viewing without the need to download the attachment.  Right-click to select options for save/download.

web self-service portal image preview

Database

The blank and sample databases have been improved for better content and workflow/template examples.

Installation

The HelpMaster installer has been improved for better dependency checking, and other refinements.

June 2019 Release

The June release continues to build on stability, new workflow objects, overall workflow improvements and tweaks and improvements to change management.

Workflow

New "Common Tasks" workflow object

This new workflow object contains "Common tasks" that you may wish to build into your workflow.  They are pre-build tasks that can accept input and output variables and cover a range of different tasks.  This object is also available as "Common task decisions" that allow branching to occur.

The common tasks object is designed to be extendable.  Future releases will include an editor screen, as well as the ability to download common tasks from the HelpMaster website.

 

Send email object now supports email account

The workflow email object now allows you to configure which email account will be used to send the email.  Previously Email templates did already support this, but now the simple-text email can utilitze this information.  See http://www.helpmasterpro.com/Support/Community/Discussion-Board/aft/606

email workflow

 

Variable Improvements and new date variable type

Variables now support the date data type.  This is very useful for scripting, common tasks and other date-related processes.

workflow date variables

Variables logic has also been improved to check for duplicates.

Internal Variable code has been improved for fixes, better UI and overall useability

Change Management

Improved styling on the voting page to colour each vote type.  This makes it easier to view who has voted what.

Allowed a change to be modified at any stage of its life-cycle.  Previously, changes were locked once they reached the "Implementation" phase.  This restriction has now been lifted.  Changes can be amended at any stage, with the option of re-starting the approval process.

Included a new "Manually Approved" label when a change is manually approved by the change owner.  

Included a "Has denied votes" label if there are any negative votes.  This gives a visual indication to check the "Feedback" tab for comments about such votes.

change management manually approved by change owner

Email Manager

The Email Manager service has been hardened to try to recover from network errors, Exchange latency, or other issues that would cause the Email Manager service to stop responding.

April 2019 Release

The April release continues to build on stability, workflow improvements and lots of updates and fixes for Change Management.

Change Management

Fixed many issues with creating, updating and working with Change Management

A new voting option now allows voters in a request for change to be able to see other voters, as well as their comments.

change management cab voting visibility

 

Web Portal

It is now possible to re-order Request Catalogs, Job Templates and Knowledge Base articles so that they appear in the order that you specify.   This gives you greater control on building the request catalog and web portal just the way you like it.

web portal catalog ordering

 

Workflow

The workflow panel and workflow object explorer continues to improve with better styling, formatting fixes and additional information about the workflow.

workflow process designer tools panel

Several workflow issues have been corrected for the checklists, change management, approvals and more

Workflow approvals have been improved to support re-starting.  This is useful if you need to change the approving person from the original approver.

workflow approval restart

 

New workflow object "Create Client".  Create new HelpMaster clients directly from workflow.  Can be set from variables, or user input.  This is a good workflow object for HR / New employee processes.

workflow create new client

 

February 2019 Release

WoRkflow

Workflow has been a huge success in recent versions of HelpMaster, and this part of the product continues to evolve and improve. 

For this release, we've added a new Checklist object (see below), fixed some issues, re-styled the HTML presentation for the workflow panel, improved the approvals, and introduced a new column called "Workflow State"

Workflow State

The "Workflow State" column is now available via the Field Chooser for Jobs.  This field indicates the state of the workflow.  This is very useful if you're using workflow approvals, or are using workflow in general.

 

workflow state indicator

States include:

  • Workflow Ready
  • Workflow Complete
  • Awaiting Approval
  • Approval (Denied)
  • Approval (Approved)

Checklist Workflow Objects

Checklists come to workflow!  A new workflow object is now available that allows you to configure a series of checkboxes as part of a workflow step.  Individual check-boxes can be marked as "mandatory", meaning they have to be checked before the workflow can advance.  Check-boxes can also be marked as "N/A".

workflow checklist for process management

 

workflow checklist

Improved validation, control set and general fixes

Control Set validation, and general control set workflow interaction has been improved with several fixes.

Approvals

Approvals are fast becoming one of the most popular workflow objects, and will continue to evolve over time.  The approval object can now be configured to send an email back to the person who initiated the approval workflow step when an approval result is determined.

Workflow approval process

 

Workflow approvals have been improved to display better Action Log information and visualization

workflow approval action log history

Web Portal

The web portal continues to grow in strength and functionality.  Every release of HelpMaster from now on will feature new and improved web functionality.

Job viewing security has been improved, to bring it more in-line with the Desktop security model.

The "Explorer" page for staff now supports more functions, similar to the desktop edition.   The grid-layout also includes "Asssigned To" as part of the "Last updated by", and "Logged By" column.

Unassigned Job queue for Skillgroups via Web Portal

Staff can now view "Unassigned" jobs in other skillgroups.

workgroup unassigned job queue

 

Selecting clients when logging a new job

When staff are logged into the web portal, they are able to select the primary client of the job by a text search.  A new quick-pick button also allow quick selection of themselves as the primary client.

web portal select client for new job

Private Actions

Actions that are marked as "Private" by a staff/technician now display on the web portal to the primary client, however the details are not displayed.  Previous, private actions were not displayed at all, giving the primary client the impression that nothing is happening with the job.  This improvement provides a better indication of activity, whilst at the same time keeping the action private.

 

helpdesk private action web portal

 Furthermore, actions in this state can present an alternate "Job Status" to the primary client.  Each Job Status can now have a corresponding "Client Caption" option that will be used when an action is in the "private" mode.

web portal job status client caption

Job Finder

The Job Finder now supports better searching for the Job "Work Commencement Date" field.  This is advantageous if you schedule work in advance of the current date.  This is great for MSP businesses (Managed Service Providers). The Job Finder also supports the new "Workflow State" field for searching.  This can be combined with Saved Searches to create very handy searches, or Priority Manager automation profiles.

Work commencement date MSP

 

Billing

The job billing tab has been improved to allow better editing/updating of billing information against actions.  A new "Totals" grid also displays aggregate billing information.

ITSM billing

Miscellaneous

Many general fixes, improvements, and under-lying components of HelpMaster have been upgraded to use the latest components, tool and technology.