Expanding text boxes, font-sizing, and readability within Clarify

February 11, 2008 While talking with a customer recently, they were showing off a "feature" that they had implemented. Whenever they added a note to a case, they have some ClearBasic code that automatically uppercases the entire text of the note before saving it to the database. I shuddered. They asked me if we could do this in our DovetailAgent application. I said Yes, we can, but No, I won't do it. I think he was a bit shocked.Why won't I do this? Because that's coupling your content to its presentation. There's already been much written on this topic, so I won't expand on it here.After I dug into it a bit more with the customer, it turns out that the reason they did this was because the case history is hard to read, and they felt that uppercasing all the text made…

Clarify on an iPhone

AppSwing looks to have created their own front end for Clarify, geared for iPhone users. The functionality is limited, but it looks interesting. Although with my fat fingers, I would have a hard time typing in case notes on the iPhone "keyboard". They have a video that shows it in action. Slick.

Nothin But .Net is coming to Austin

January 30, 2008 JP is bringing his famous Nothin But .NET boot camp here to Austin in April. I've been reading JP's blog for a while, and got to meet him briefly at the ALT.NET conference in Austin last year, and he's always impressed me with his pragmatic and level-headed approach. For those of you in Austin, this sounds like a great opportunity to advance your skills.

Sending notifications to campfire using RuleManager

January 25, 2008 Dovetail is starting to use Campfire more and more. Recently we created a room for our Service and Support staff to hang out in to act as a virtual team room. Using campfire has been very handy. It helps us share knowledge and have an on-going persistent and searchable conversation even when the team members are working remotely. Effective Support Triage   I noticed a pattern where Dan Bergondy would, quite diligently, notify the room when a support case came in. The people present would take a look at the case to triage it and discuss how best to handle it.     Excellent, in 10 minutes we had a game plan and a lot of effective multitasking going on. After this pattern repeated itself a few times, I knew I wanted to automate how Dan was notifying us of new support cases to…

My vote for worst web site: the Microsoft Partner Program

January 21, 2008 It's that time of year again - time to renew our Microsoft Partner Certification. I hate this process. I especially hate their website - it very well may be the worst design in usability I've ever encountered.Unsupported browserTo start, they only want you to use Internet Explorer. Opening it in Firefox yields this lovely message: You are using an unsupported Internet browser. Please use the most recent non-beta version of Internet Explorer to access this page. If you continue you will likely experience performance issues. Please download this supported version or proceed to the PMC page you requested."Please use the most recent non-beta version of Internet Explorer" So, that implies that the Partner Program doesn't think that beta versions of IE are stable. Nice.OK, so I click the download link (just because I'm curious), and where does it take me?That's right…

How many time_bomb records do you generate per day?

January 15, 2008 Curious: on average,  how many time_bomb records does your Clarify system generate per day?  How can you determine  this?Assuming you're not using objid caching (which is the typical  scenario), simply take note of the current maximum objid in table_time_bomb.  Here is sample SQL for doing this: select max(objid) from  table_time_bomb Take note of the date and time. Then, simply run the same  query a day later, again taking note of the date and time. Subtract the two  objids, and that will tell you approximately how many time_bomb records have  been processed in that time period. 

My favorite business rule

January 7, 2008 I like it when customers log notes to their cases by the web using Dovetail SelfService.   I *really* like it when customers close their own cases by the web.   How do I know when this happens? By a business rule, of course.   Object Type: Case Rule Name/Description: Notify the case owner when case is modified via the web. Start Events: Log Note, Close Task Cancel Events: None Conditions: [Logger] = websupport Action Title: Notify Case Owner Who to Notify: [Current Owner] Start Action: 0 minutes From: Event Creation Using: Elapsed Time Repeat : Never Message:   RE: About [Object Type] [Object ID] :: [Object Type] [Object ID]  was modified via [Logger] [Object Type] [Object ID] was modified via [Logger]. Site: [Site Name] Contact: [Contact First Name] [Contact Last Name] Contact Email:  [Contact Email] Case Title: [Title] Additional Info: [Addl Actlog Info] Click the link below to view this [Object Type]: [URL to Dovetail Agent]/console/console.asp?command=casebyid&param1=[Object ID] For your convenience, the Case History: [Case History] What makes this…

Testing Business Rules

January 3, 2008 More and more I'm starting to pay attention to the discussions regarding DSLs (Domain Specific Languages). Specifically, I've been thinking about business rules as a sort of DSL. Scott Bellware and I have had many conversations about this. To me, how we define business rules is a good example of a Business DSL.   A simple business rule example: Object Type: Case Rule Name/Description: Notify all queue members upon dispatch Start Event: Dispatch Cancel Events: Accept Conditions: None Action Title: Notify Queue Members Who to Notify: Current Queue Members Start Action: 0 minutes From: Event Creation Using: Elapsed Time Repeat Every: 4 hours Repeat for: 999 days Message: [Object Type] [Object ID] has been dispatched to queue [Current Queue].     Ayende had a recent post that touched on keeping DSLs under source code control, and testing DSLs.   This got me to thinking about an issue we have in Clarify today.   If…