What's New in Version 8.4

October 2019

Version 8.4 introduces Alloy Navigator mobile app for Android and iOS devices, offers network diagrams in Alloy Discovery, and provides a number of new features and enhancements over previous releases.

Manage Projects and Tasks

Save time and deliver projects on time with simple and intuitive task planning using Gantt Chart for visualizing tasks, with automated control over their timely completion.

Stay Connected with Alloy Navigator Mobile App

Meet our Alloy Navigator mobile application for Android and iOS devices. Stay connected to the Service Desk anywhere, anytime. Push notifications will help you stay on top of important events even when the app is closed.

Web Improvements Galore

The Web App expands with new features and lots of performance and usability improvements:

  • Recurring tickets
  • Bulk update operations
  • Computer Merge and Person Merge
  • Audit Snapshot Viewer
  • Resizable dashboard widgets
  • Beautiful preview forms
  • Persons' avatars in data grids and preview forms
  • Search, create, and arrange reports
  • New and improved Advanced Filter Builder for quick grid customizations

Know Your Process Graphically

Gain a clear understanding of where you are within a business process with a graphical progress indicator showing lifecycle stages and outlining the step where your ticket or change request is currently at.

The default workflow adds support for graphical lifecycle phases for all object classes where this feature is available (Change Requests, Incidents, Problems, Service Requests, Work Orders, and Purchase Orders).

For details, see Administration Guide: Managing Lifecycle Stages.

Stay Updated in Real Time

Dashboard widgets now periodically refresh themselves as needed to help you monitor current operations and stay on top of new developments in real time.

Work with Tickets of All Classes in a Single Place

Gain a complete freedom of choice when customizing the All Tickets and My Tickets grids. Now you can add non-common and user-defined fields to see the information you need.

For details, see Administration Guide: Working with Ticket Fields.

Improve Your Knowledge with Every Search

Gain a good understanding of what users are searching for in the Self Service Portal and get notified when their searches produce no results, suggesting a direction for expanding your Knowledge Base.

For details, see Help: Scheduling SSP Search List report.

Control Who Can Export Your Sensitive Data

Enforce a strict data usage policy with the new permission option which determines whether technicians can export data grids.

License Compliance to the Core

Support your licensing needs for virtual and cloud environments with the ability to track software licensing compliance based on the number of CPU cores.

Organize Your Text with HTML Tables and Lists

Now you can insert tables and apply different numbered list styles with our built-in HTML editor.

Refreshed and Handsome

We have refreshed Alloy Navigator’s look with a beautiful color palette, well-crafted modern icons, and intuitive UI elements. All workflow actions and steps have received new, attractive icons.

During the upgrade, your existing icons, styles, and HTML templates will be replaced with new ones (with the ability to restore your current customizations, if needed).

Use Designated Credentials to Audit Linux-based Hypervisors

No longer concern yourself with providing individual Linux credentials for each hypervisor. Create a single set of ESXi/vSphere/Citrix credentials, and Alloy Discovery will appropriately apply them when auditing all your Linux-based hypervisors.

For details, see Alloy Discovery Administration Guide: ESXi/vSphere/Citrix Audit Credentials.

Map Your Network with Diagrams

Produce comprehensive network diagrams with automatic mapping of MAC addresses to switch ports so you can understand how devices are connected.

For details, Alloy Discovery Administration Guide: Analyzing Inventory Data Using Network Diagrams.

Discover More Apps

Gather information on downloaded Microsoft Store applications for a complete picture of software on each computer.

Recognize What's Running

Detect unwanted or malicious software such as Trojans, torrents, or miners using information about running processes on audited computers.

Secure Communication

Use top-notch encryption with the added support for Transport Layer Security 1.2. The option to enable TLS 1.2 support can be found in the Connection Manager in desktop apps and utilities.

Other Enhancements

Default Workflow

This update includes the latest default workflow with improved business logic for all Alloy Navigator object classes. The latest workflow provides the following enhancements, among others:

  • Added a macro to facilitate sending E-mail Notifications to all active technicians.

  • Added the ability to easily send E-mail Notifications to any group via workflow.

  • A workflow parameter lets you control when scheduled Announcements go live.

  • All shared views have been modified to take advantage of Person profile pictures (avatars).

  • Copying Knowledge Base articles now copies their related categories as well.

  • Knowledge Base article templates have been redesigned with an updated look and feel.

  • Added the "Top 5 Licensed Software by License Quantity" dashboard chart widget.

  • Added the ability to create Self-Service Portal and Technician accounts right from Person records.

  • Now you can choose to receive alerts when VIPs create or update Tickets.

  • Implemented Push Notifications for the new Mobile App.

  • Added the ability to cancel Approvals.

  • Added the ability to create quick Approvals for specific roles like Group Manager or Requester Manager.

  • Added the ability to send Microsoft Office Calendar events via workflow.

  • Redesigned Purchase Order workflow simplifies the purchasing process.

  • Added the ability to specify the cost threshold for Purchase Orders where approval is required.

  • SLAs and Services have received additional shared views.

  • Added workflow packs for Projects and Project Tasks to support our new approach to Project Management.

  • A new Project Management dashboard provides insight into Projects.

  • Improved usability by decreasing the number of required steps, fields, and mandatory requirements.

NOTE: Workflow enhancements may be applied automatically on upgrading, but in some cases they will require edits to your existing workflow. If you need help integrating these changes into your workflow, submit a request for assistance using our Alloy Support Portal.

User Interface
  • All our products now share a common color palette (blue) to provide a consistent visual identity.

  • Added new, modern icons for all object classes.

  • The Action Bar has been updated with new icons and better organized commands.

  • Preview Panes are more informative and illustrative thanks to new layouts, persons' avatars, and status and priority icons. Latest Activity data help you see latest updates without having to open record details.

Web App (former Web Portal)
  • Web Portal for Technicians (or Web Console) has been renamed Web App, Main Console (or Desktop Console)—Desktop App. In order to provide better user experience, starting with this release we will be focusing primarily on the Web App for new features, improvements, usability, and performance enhancements.

  • The Web App offers performance improvements and a new look-and-feel inspired by Material Design.

  • Now you can quickly find content in the navigation menu. Start typing in the "Search all modules" text box in the upper right corner. As you type, the menu will show only items that contain entered text.

  • Drastically improved performance of filtered views. Now when you save a data view with applied filters, the Web App will apply these filters to the underlying SQL thus reducing the number of records retrieved from the database rather than filter them on the client.

  • The interactive map for viewing related objects in the Web App has been significantly improved. Apply the Impact Analysis view for Tickets to quickly understand their relationship with other Incidents and CIs, view the number of related objects for every relationship type, collapse and expand the map, and enjoy our beautiful, well-crafted icons.

  • The Module Menu at the top of data grids features two new commands: the information icon for showing or hiding the Preview Pane and the gear icon for customizing the data view.

  • Now you can perform workflow step actions on child objects right from the parent object's form. The commands for such actions are available in the Actions menu above subordinate grids. For example, let us assume you are working with a change request ticket. At the top of its Work Orders tab you will find the Actions menu, from where you can run actions on a selected work order.

  • When creating a PO Item in a Purchase Order, the PO Item no longer opens after you create it. This improvement also applies to Work Orders created in Change Requests, Incidents, and tickets of other classes.

  • The Reports command has been moved to the top level of the main menu to provide better access to summary reports.

  • The New menu no longer displays the Recent section when it is empty.

  • A more accurate alignment of grid cell contents.

Self Service Portal
  • The look-and-feel of the Self Service Portal has been refreshed to provide a modern user experience.

  • Now Self Service Portal users can submit Service Requests right from the Service Catalog, without having to open specific Service Catalog Items.

  • Instead of star rating, KB Articles now show their rating as the percentage of readers who found them helpful.

  • The size of the search text box at the top has been increased.

Mobile App (former Mobile Portal)
  • Starting with version 8.4, the Mobile App replaces the Mobile Portal. The Redirection feature, previously used to allow technicians access the Web Portal and the Mobile Portal on a single URL, is now redundant and has been removed. For details, see Welcome to Mobile App.

Integration with Email and Sending Notifications
  • Now the Mail Connector can filter out auto-generated messages and automatic replies such as "Out Of Office" messages before they are converted to Alloy Navigator objects or object activities. The behavior is controlled via workflow parameters of the All Ticket Automation process.

  • Added an option to configure Alloy Navigator to immediately delete notifications with no recipients from the Notification Queue. The option is off by default, so that such notifications will stay in the queue, although immediately marked as failed.

    For details, see Administration Guide: Customizing Global Notifications Settings.

Dashboards
Settings App (former Administrative Settings)
  • Added the ability to schedule annual recurring events.

  • Since uploading the installer for the Automatic Upgrade can take some time to complete, the General > Upgrade and Migration page now has the progress bar to let you follow the progress.

Licensing
  • Our licensing model has been relaxed to provide a better user experience. Starting with this version, your technicians can access Web App and Desktop App simultaneously without having to log out.

  • Introduced a new system macro—License Information. This macro inserts the license information, such as the expiration date, the limit of named accounts or concurrent users, the SQL Server instance name, etc.

    You can use this new macro in workflow actions and notifications.

Reporting
  • Refreshed the design for all standard reports. The timestamp of the report is now based on the web server's time, for improved consistency.

  • The availability of reports is now controlled by the View permission for associated objects.

  • Added several reports with grouping by Organization: Tickets by Organization, Computers by Organization, etc. You can find them in the List category.

  • A new report in the Asset Management category shows the ownership history of assets for a specified period.

  • Some titles used in KPI reports have been revised.

Service Desk and Knowledge Base
  • Added new snippet categories and ready-to use texts. The improved Snippets dialog box helps you quickly find the snippet you need.

  • The revised Approvals tab now displays approvers’ names along with their verdict, broken down by approval stages.

  • Introduced a new layout and new styles for KB Articles.

Software Asset Management
  • To help you see the overall license allocation picture, all fields from the Discovered Installation form are now available in the Discovered Installations data grid.
History Log
  • Changes of auto-calculated values such as the Time Spent and Cumulative Time Spent are no longer tracked and have been purged from the history log.

Import Tool (former Import Wizard)
  • Now you can quickly access the Import tool from Alloy Control Panel.

  • The start page of the Import tool has been revised to provide a better user experience.

Discovery and Audit

  • Improved the ability to detect MAC addresses on discovered SNMP devices.

  • The All Nodes data grid in Alloy Discovery now includes only common fields (i.e. fields that are shared by at least two types of network nodes).

Naming Changes
  • The Service Support module has been renamed Service Desk. The SLA Management module is Service Management now.

  • Main Console has been renamed Desktop App. Administrative Settings are now just Settings.

  • External Tools have been renamed Integrations to reflect the intended purpose of the feature.

Documentation
  • Now you can quickly access the product documentation or the Support Portal right from Alloy Control Panel.