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Background Exports and Web Notifications

For a long time, we’ve wanted to provide notifications inside the secure website.
We’ve also seen Data exports as a poor user experience due to waiting for the output to generate.
So we decided to kill two birds with one stone – introducing new Notifications and background exporting functions!

The new Data exporting functionality involves moving the generation of Form entry outputs files (e.g. PDFs, Word, CSVs etc) to run in the background and notify once the file is ready for download.
This improves the web user experience, since you no longer need to sit and wait for the web server to respond when you click the export or download buttons on the Data page.

All the same options remain available – CSV, CSV + Media, PDF etc – just now any download/export request is queued and run on one of our background worker servers, leaving the user free to continue working on the web site.
Updates on the progress of the file generation is reported through our new Notifications functionality.

The Notifications function is currently fairly simple – a “bell” icon appears in the top right of the website when you have notifications to view.
At present the function only works with the background Exporting, but this will change soon as we integrate messaging for other aspects like Connector errors and other relevant background process information.
Over time we expect to evolve this functionality into a full blown Notifications Centre giving high visibility over all areas of background processing on the platform.