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January Updates rolling out soon

Our team has been working hard on platform improvements that will be rolling out over the next few weeks.  Included are some “under the hood” upgrades to stability and performance, along with a new billing system and few little features that should make life easier.

We will be publishing app updates for all customers starting next week, with the Appenate Mobile Client app providing early access to these new features from Monday – so keep an eye on your respective app stores!  NOTE:  These app updates are required for most of the new features below.

Looking ahead to February/March, we will be delivering some large projects such as our web platform facelift and addition of multi-language options.  And after those, we’ll move right onto some major Tasking improvements that you’re sure to love!

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here’s what will be rolling out in our January updates:

Task Connectors
The first of many Tasking upgrades for 2017 commences with new connector functionality on Tasks.
Effectively you will be able to add connectors to generate emails, text messages or REST calls based on events occurring on a Task.  e.g. if the assigned user is changed, the status updates or if the Task becomes overdue.
You’ll define these connectors on Task Templates, thus allowing different types of jobs to have different connector configurations.

App Links
This will add the ability to launch Appenate apps directly into specific Screens using custom URLs.
e.g. appn://somescreen?myfield=somevalue
Additionally, we will support app launching capability via NFC scan on Android – so you will be able to tap an NFC tag and launch into your app based on what is read off the tag 🙂  We’re excited to see the opportunities this functionality will open up – e.g. creative ways of passing direct Screen links around in notifications and emails.

New Billing System
We are moving to an automated Billing approach which will provide you with a lot more control and ability to set up your Billing preferences without needing our team to set it up for you.  This project has taken much longer than anticipated, mainly because we have ended up building much more of the system ourselves in order to best fit our pricing models and options.
Included in this new Billing area will be credit card billing, which will become our default payment option within the next couple of months.  Invoice and direct bank transfer payment will still be available by special request for customers that have corporate policies preventing credit card payments.
We’ll provide more guidance and updates on the Billing area soon.

Enterprise Toolkit
This is a new add-on option that will unlock the ability to set up multiple, separate environments as part of a client’s company account – e.g. for Test and Production use, or to provide complete separation between various departments.
Also included is our Repository functionality which allows you to copy and synchronise apps, Docs and Data Sources between their environments.

New Form Features 

  • Ability to choose Display and Value columns for linked Data Sources on Choices fields
    This is a long awaited feature that allows you to use Data Source columns other than the first (unique key) column to drive Choices field option lists.  This means that now your Choices fields can show the unique values found in any column, instead of needing to create a separate Data Source with just that column’s unique values.
    e.g. you have a Data Source with rows of equipment items, including columns that specify the item’s common location name and number. You can now create a Choices field showing all unique location names (and saving the matching numbers as the answer) directly from “Equipment” rows, instead of having to add a “Locations” Data Source.
    To try this out, see the new “Display Column” and “Value Column” options on Choices fields in the Form designer.  We think this will save you a lot of time, since you’ll no longer need to maintain multiple “unique column value” Data Sources to drive your Screens – you’re welcome!
  • New TOLIST() functions and fixes to LIST(‘regular expression’)
    Lists (collections of values) are a powerful way to perform aggregate functions like SUM() and COUNT() upon sets of values in a formula.
    Our team has solved issues with the LIST(‘regular expression’) function, fixing cases where List values were not updating when matched Form fields changed.  We’ve also added new TOLIST() functions that allow text or field values to be automatically split by delimiter and returned as a List.  Plus theres a multi-field TOLIST() option lets you create Lists from arbitrary sets of fields 🙂
  • New SPLIT() formula function
    This function splits text input into a List of values based on the specified delimiter character. The resulting List can be used within aggregate functions such as SUM() or COUNT(). If an optional zero-based index is specified, then the function returns the single value at the given index or BLANK if the index is not within the list.
    e.g. SPLIT(‘AAA|BBB|CCC’, ‘|’, 0) is AAA
    e.g. SPLIT(‘AAA,BBB,CCC’, ‘,’) is a list with AAA, BBB and CCC as it’s elements

Other Improvements/Fixes

  • Servers have been upgraded to improve performance and responsiveness of web platform
  • Added DATETOUTC() and DATETOLOCAL() formula functions to allow conversion between account timezone date/times and UTC/GMT times.
  • Data Source connector logs now show a more detailed history of run attempts and results via the View Logs button.
  • Repository Install dialog displays correctly on Internet Explorer browsers
  • Improved error messaging for Google Drive/Sheets connector failures
  • Fixes to creation of new Form screen from a Data Source
  • Prevent crashing issues when synchronising > 100 Tasks to a single app user
  • Added hard maximum of 3000 fields per Form design (was previously a “soft” limit)
  • Fixes to Task Excel imports when time values are preset on Activities
  • Fixed issues with retrieval of address values when using Find Address option in Forms
  • Windows: End of Form validation display issues have been fixed
  • Windows: Camera preview was covering capture buttons when app was full screened
  • Windows: Fixed return key issues on multi-line Text fields
  • Windows: Fixed signatures overwriting each other when Form contained more than one inline signature field
  • Windows: Fixed display of times in 24 hour format
  • Windows: Fixed crash bug on capture of photos