Gary Sherman
Gary Sherman

Gary Sherman

Chief Technology Officer, Vice President of Products
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Gary Sherman
January 19, 2016

Dovetail Agent Release

We recently released Dovetail Agent version 9. Here’s a quick rundown of the major changes.

Recent Cases tabs on the Create Case page

When creating a new case, a user can now easily see recent cases for both the contact and the site. By default, it shows cases created in the last 30 days, and the available filters button makes it easy to change this if needed.

create-case

 

Calendar Sharing

Users can share their calendar using a standard ICS format. This allows calendar data to be pulled into other calendar applications, such as Microsoft Outlook.

Clicking the Share button on My Calendar:

share

and this exposes a public URL for your calendar. Copy this URL and


Gary Sherman
December 17, 2015

“The Cloud”

Recently, we migrated our Clarify/Dovetail implementation to the cloud. Specifically, into Amazon’s AWS infrastructure.

We setup a sandbox environment a couple months ago, and then migrated our production instance this month.

As far as I know, we have the only Clarify production implementation running in the cloud.

If you navigate to our support site at https://support.dovetailsoftware.com – that’s all running in AWS.

We have multiple AWS servers/components in play, as well as some tools that we use, which I’ll cover in more detail here.

 

Application Server

The app server is Windows Server 2008 R2 DataCenter edition.

No surprise, we run our Dovetail suite of applications, including:

Dovetail AdminDovetail AgentDovetail MobileDovetail Agent ReportingDovetail SelfServiceBOLTBootstrapCarrierRulemanagerSeekerSchemaEditorArchiveManager (DIET)

In addition, we also have some of our own customizations, including:

Custom web servicesCustom Rulemanager actions (mostly Powershell scripts)Custom scheduled


Gary Sherman
December 10, 2015

Slack

Last year I posted about Integrating Clarify/Dovetail with your group chat app. That post was around the time we started using Slack for our group chat.

At that time, I was using Slack’s simple webservice to post messages about cases.

 

Original

For example, case dispatch notifications looked like:

slack

Simple. But not very detailed.

 

Improved

Rather than just using Slack’s simple web service, I’m now using their Attachments, which allow for more richly formatted messages.

slack2

Notice there’s now much more information available, including:

Top-level message (In this case,  “Case Dispatch Notification”)Case IDContact and Site NameCase title (which links to the case in Dovetail Agent)SeverityQueueLink to the case in Dovetail Mobile 

And it’s easy to add whatever other


Gary Sherman
December 8, 2015

Broadcasts

One of the features in Dovetail Agent is Broadcasts. I described them in a previous post.

A broadcast is used to communicate a message to all users.

Broadcasts appear in the user’s notification drawer – along with Notifier messages (such as from business rules).

broadcast

Notice the megaphone icon which helps identify it as a broadcast.

Tip of the week

One of the ways I’ve been using broadcasts here at Dovetail is to share application tips.

I do it once a week, on Mondays, so my users get a Tip of the Week.

tip

Collection of Tips

Notice the broadcast also includes a link to View Past Tips. This is a link to a solution within Agent that contains the collection of tips.


Gary Sherman
December 7, 2015

Even with today’s prevalence of web applications, a lot of service and support operation interactions are still done by email.

With some recent updates to Dovetail Agent and Dovetail Rulemanager, these emails can step into modern times.

A simple link in your outgoing email

In a previous post on encouraging selfservice use,  I showed how to automatically include a link to the case within Selfservice in outgoing emails:

Whenever we send an email out from a case using our Dovetail apps (Dovetail Agent, Dovetail Mobile), we include a footer in the email, like so:

email

Notice the footer of that email:

Check the status and update your case online at our SelfService site:
http://support.company.com/cases/show/C12345

HTML emails, including images

More recently,  I showed how users can send rich emails using Dovetail Agent 8, such as:


Gary Sherman
November 13, 2015

This week we released Dovetail Agent version 8. Here’s a quick rundown of the major changes.

Rich Text in Logs

Agent now support rich text (using Markdown) on case/subcase logs (email, notes, research) and commitments.

For example, creating a richly formatted Log Email:

email

 

And the received email looks like:

email

  Convert Markdown to HTML for rendering rich text

These rich text logs and images now render as expected in the Case History:

case

And in the Preview Pane:

preview

 

Rich


Gary Sherman
August 19, 2015

This week we released Dovetail Agent version 7. Here’s a quick rundown of the major changes.

 

Part Requests

Logistics customers will be happy to know that we’ve brought Part Request functionality into our latest Dovetail Agent platform. This includes: Create and Edit Part Request Headers and Part Request Details Part Request Workflow operations: Accept,Assign,Dispatch,Forward,Reject,Yank,Close,Reopen Part Request Actions: Create New Part Request, Replicate Part Request Part Requests are available in My Work, Queries, Recent Items, and Search Part Request Header

pr.header

Part Request Detail

pr.detail

 

Batch Actions – Change Status and Log Notes

Change Status and Log Note are now available as batch actions, making it easy to log a


Gary Sherman
June 30, 2015

When we have to insert, update, or delete data, DIET (Dovetail ArchiveManager) is often the tool of choice.

Updating an object

Typically, when we want to update some data, we just need to define its uniqueness properly.

For example, if I wanted to update a business rule property name,  I could define its uniqueness as a combination of its object type + name.

For example:

If I used DIET to import this file, and this prop_name  record didn’t exist in the database, then it would do an INSERT, which would create this prop_name record.

If I used DIET to import this file, and this prop_name record did exist in the database, then it would do an UPDATE, which would update the existing prop_name record. This would allow me to update the path or max length of that rule


Gary Sherman
June 24, 2015

This week we released Dovetail Agent version 6. Here’s a quick rundown of the major changes.

 

Faster all around

We’ve improved performance throughout the application, both on the front and back-end.

On the back-end, we’ve upgraded our major infrastructure components (including FUBU MVC, StructureMap, and Dovetail SDK), which improves the application startup time, as well as improves the time to process every request. We’ve also made improvements to the SQL generation module, which improves the performance of many database queries. In addition, queries are no longer executed on items without any relevant filters, which means fewer queries and better overall performance.

On the front-end, Dovetail Agent is now a true SPA (Single Page Application), which means navigating through the application is much faster. There are less requests from the client to the server, and


Gary Sherman
June 23, 2015

Our Dovetail Agent app is supported on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Since Chrome and Firefox auto-update, users are typically on the most current version. ie.crash

IE is a different story, which pretty much all of us in the tech community are well aware. Continuing to support older versions of IE is more and more difficult. But, we are sensitive to the challenges of upgrading IE in enterprise environments. For Dovetail Agent, we support IE 9, 10, and 11. IE 9 has its challenges for sure.

Many organizations have stopped supporting older versions of IE, including Google.  And Microsoft recently announced that they were dropping support of older versions of IE.

Barrett Sonntag (one of our developers here at


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