Gary Sherman
Gary Sherman

Gary Sherman

Chief Technology Officer, Vice President of Products
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Gary Sherman
September 19, 2017

I’ve blogged before about the Filter Config and Filter Overrides within Dovetail Agent.

I totally dig this feature, as it makes it super easy to customize the queries within the app without having to write code.

We know it’s easy to show data that comes from a database column within the query results – such as a contact’s name or phone number.

But what if we wanted to show something that is more dynamic? i.e. something that needs to be calculated?

 

 

For example, in the result set for contact queries, what if we wanted to show the number of open cases that a customer has?

There’s not an existing field in the database that contains this data. The number of open cases needs to be summed up.

So how can we do this in a


Gary Sherman
September 12, 2017

A few years ago I wrote a post titled Getting the most out of your business rules. Most of the information in that post is still relevant today. 

 

In that post, I discussed how we can analyze the data inside our database to see which rules are firing and how often. We can do this using a Business Rule Usage Report. 

This report tells us what business rules are firing along with how often. Perhaps even more importantly, it allows you to see the rules that are not being fired. Perhaps those rules could be removed, or made inactive, therefore simplifying business rule administration. Or maybe they should be firing, and need further investigation.

These reports are now available within Dovetail Agent.  Makes sense to have


Gary Sherman
September 5, 2017

One of the available extensions within Dovetail Carrier is the Parent-Child Cases Extension, which allows for automating workflow processes involving parent and child cases.

 

Quick Refresher on Parent and Child Cases

With parent and child cases, we can relate a group of similar problems with a root cause. The parent case identifies the root cause. A child case is a customer problem that arises due to the root cause and is linked to the parent case.

For example, suppose someone knocks out a utility pole, which causes an internet outage for many customers.

Each customer may call into the call center and report the outage. We can relate all of these cases to a parent case, which is where the repair is being tracked. Updates on the


Gary Sherman
August 29, 2017

We’ve recently added support for Configuration Item Rule Properties in Dovetail Rulemanager and Dovetail Agent. In this post I’ll cover what they are, why you’d want to use them, as well as a few examples. 

 

First, a quick refresher on Rule Properties and Config Items. 

Rule Properties 

Business Rule Properties are used in a number of places throughout the Dovetail suite, including:

Business Rule ConditionsBusiness Rule Action MessagesCanned Response VariablesEmail Log Templates

Traditionally, a rule property would traverse a path through the schema, starting from the base object, and ending at a column.

For example, the Contact First Name property for a case would use the path case_reporter2contact:first_name.

However, there are instances where a static value may be desired, and this static value cannot be traversed to via a schema path. In these


Gary Sherman
August 22, 2017

We recently released a major update to the Dovetail SelfService app. There’s SO many great new capabilities here.

I would group these enhancements into 2 major categories:

Dynamic Content, Pages, and Menus – making it easy to create and edit content throughout the app Knowledgebase Enhancements – making the knowledgebase much more prevalent, approachable, and functional

 

Lets take a run through the highlights of this release. 

 

Dynamic Home Page Content

When a user logs into SelfService, they’re immediately taken to the Home page.

In the past, if you wanted to change what was displayed on the home page, you would need to customize the HTML page content, and re-deploy the application.

Now, the home page content comes from a solution. So you can easily edit the solution using Dovetail Agent, and


Gary Sherman
August 15, 2017

When employees are notified as part of a business rule action, the notification method is determined by the employee’s notification preference.

 

The default notification methods are:

EmailNotifierForward to my SupervisorTone PagerText PagerDigital PagerNone

Dovetail Rulemanager recently added support for one additional option: SMS

An SMS notification will send an SMS message (text message) to an employee’s configured device, typically their mobile phone.

 

 

Users can set their notification preferences for SMS, just like any other preference.

Couldn’t we do this before?

In the past, if you wanted to send SMS messages, we would typically use a custom replacement paging application for Rulemanager. This custom script would call into a 3rd party web service, or  use the cell provider’s email to SMS gateway. These solutions all required


Gary Sherman
August 8, 2017

We recently added a new extension to Dovetail Carrier – a Webhooks Extension. 

 

What’s a webhook?

Webhooks are “user-defined HTTP callbacks”. They are usually triggered by some event, such as pushing code to a repository or a comment being posted to a blog. When that event occurs, the source site makes an HTTP request to the URI configured for the webhook. Users can configure them to cause events on one site to invoke behavior on another. The action taken may be anything.

This allows for making a web request based on an event within your Clarify/Dovetail system. A business rule can fire based on the event. Dovetail Rulemanager will evaluate the rule, and send a message to Dovetail Carrier. With the webhooks extension, that message


Gary Sherman
August 1, 2017

We recently added Themes to Dovetail Agent. Users can now pick a theme that fits their personal style preference. 

 

We currently ship with 3 themes in Agent 18 (Default, Dark, and Quiet Light), and we’ve recently added a new Blue theme as well (part of Agent 19). 

Default Theme

 

Dark ThemeQuiet Light ThemeBlue ThemeUser Preferences

Users can select their personal Theme preference from the User Preferences page in Dovetail Agent. 

 

Custom Themes

Customers may wish to develop their own theme – for example they may want a theme that mimics their corporate styles.  We’ve greatly simplified the process for over-riding existing theme styles, and for creating new custom themes. The Dovetail Agent documentation covers this in detail. 

In addition, one of our developers, Barrett Sonntag, has created a couple of


Gary Sherman
July 25, 2017

In a previous post, I covered the basics of Action Items, and how they can be used.

Here, I’ll illustrate how we used action items as a way of capturing user feedback within the Dovetail Agent app.

 

Within the page header in Dovetail Agent is a Send Feedback icon.

 

Clicking that opens a Send Feedback form.

 

It’s a very simple form – a dropdown for the subject: Suggestion, Bug, Compliment, or Question, and then a Feedback text box, where the user can type in some feedback.

This feedback mechanism allows our users to easily report a bug, ask a question, or send us a compliment about something within the app.

Upon submitting the form, the user gets a simple Thank You message.

And just like that – we’ve captured some


Gary Sherman
July 18, 2017

Dovetail Agent has a number of Work Item types. The most common are Cases, Subcases, and Solutions.

In addition, there are Change Requests, Part Requests, and Action Items.

Not everyone is familiar with Action Items, so this post will cover the basic of action items – what they are, how you might use them, and how they compare to cases.

 

Action Item Basics

Action Items are simply a task that needs to be completed.

The task could be any number of things – depending on how you wish to use them.

For example, an Action Item could be used:

To setup a customer’s online account for SelfService/WebSupportAs an Operations task, such as upgrading a serverTo track a contract renewal processetc.

 

You can use different action item types for different tasks, so you’re not limited to a single use case for action


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