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What’s New in Dovetail Agent 4.5 : Part 1 : Console

Dovetail Agent 4.5 was recently released, so I figured it was a good time to highlight a few of the things that are new in this release.

BTW – did you know you can subscribe to our Dovetail product release RSS feed – so you’ll always know about new releases?

Console Improvements

We’ve improved the user interaction quite a bit in the main console pages.

Right-click operations replaced by Actions button.

Previously, you could right-click on an item in the console to perform workflow and log operations. This is how it used to look:

right-click

Right-clicking in web-apps is not really expected. So we’ve replaced it with a more common and expected Actions button located at the top of the page.

If there’s only one item selected, the menu will show all of the actions available for that item type:

actions_case

If there are multiple items selected. the menu will show common items that can be applied across those items in a “batch” operation:

actons_button

Row Coloring, Clicking

In previous versions, a row would be color highlighted when the mouse was hovered over it. This caused confusion, especially when multiple items were selected.

In addition, we used to click a row (and color it) when an item was opened, or when it was clicked in any of its cells.

To open it, you had to click the ID number cell, or double-click elsewhere on the row.

All of this led to a lot of confusion, so we’ve simplified this.

A row will only be colored if it’s row’s checkbox been explicitly checked. A single-click anywhere else on the row will open the item. Much simpler.

To be honest, we borrowed a lot of this from Google’s Gmail interface, as we’re frequent users of that product, and like how that interaction works.

Drag Handle

You can still drag and drop items around (such as dragging a case into a WIPbin to move it, or dragging it into a queue to dispatch it), and we’ve made the drag handle (where you put your mouse to “grab” the item and start dragging from) clearer.

drag_handle

Item Counts, Show More, Show All

Whenever a user has a WIPbin or Queue selected, the console will show the total number of items, and allow you to click to Show More or Show All:

console

Profile / Settings

Previously, opening the user’s Profile page posted a small tabbed form in a new window.

Now, the user settings are shown on the same console page.

We’ve also simplified many of the elements on this settings page to make it easier to use.

We’ve also added a Settings icon at the top of the page to make it easy to get to, and make it more consistent with other common web apps.

settings

User Configurable Console Columns

We’ve given the ability for users to configure the columns that show up in the console (for WIPBINs and queues).

Users can reorder columns, hide columns, and change the column headings. These are individual user settings, so each user can tailor this to their own liking.

console_columns

Customizing the Console

From an administrative / development standpoint, we’ve simplified the task of customizing the console columns.

The default objects are case, subcase, solution, bugs, action items, and part requests. If other objects are added to the console pages, then columns from those objects can be added as well.

As a quick example, to add the item’s type (case type, bug type, etc.), I just need to modify one line of code:

addColumn("type", "Type", true, "Item’s type (case type, bug type, etc.)");

Then that column will show up as an available column in the user’s settings and on the console:

case_type

Notice that if a particular object doesn’t have that column available in the schema, it will just show as blank (as we see here for the Solution’s Type).

More details on this are available in the Dovetail Agent Documentation.

Summary

OK, so that highlights some of the improvements made around the console. This post is starting to get a bit long, so I’ll highlight other new features in subsequent posts.

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