Release Notes

What's new in version 2024

May 2024

Welcome to the Spring 2024 release of Alloy Navigator Enterprise. Discover the latest features and enhancements designed to elevate your experience.

New data views replace the classics

With over 98% of our customers actively using the new experience in data views and absolutely loving it, we're excited to announce that this release marks the complete departure from the legacy technology stack that the original views relied on. With cosmic performance, vibrant visualization options, and streamlined navigation, the new experience is now the sole method for interacting with your data views. Starting with this release, classic data views will no longer be accessible.

 

If you're still using classic views—we've got you covered! During the upgrade, we'll automatically update any remaining classic views, making the transition hassle-free.

INFO: For details, see Upgrade considerations: Automated conversion of classic data views to the new experience.

Shareable links for seamless collaboration

Easily share links to items in a data view by hovering your mouse over them and clicking the Copy icon that appears. You can then paste the link into your preferred application, whether it’s a chat or collaboration app, email, or document. This action generates a unique link, such as T000031 or Jeff Sykes, providing direct access to the corresponding object in Alloy Navigator. Additionally, shareable links are conveniently accessible on object detail forms; simply hover the mouse pointer over the object identifier in the top pane.

Shift-click for more informative links

If you want to include more information in the link title, hold down the Shift key while clicking Copy link to clipboard on the object detail form. For example, Shift-clicking the ticket number on the ticket form will generate a link that contains both the ticket number and summary in its title, like this:

T000031 Chronic slowness in all applications

Introduction of tags

This release introduces tags—colorful labels designed to streamline the organization and tracking of your Alloy Navigator records. Tags offer a new level of flexibility and granularity, empowering you to apply nuanced labeling and multi-category classification to your data. By enriching your data with tags, you add depth and context, making it easier to categorize and locate information efficiently. Plus, tags add a splash of color to your interface!

NOTE: Tagging objects requires the Modify permission on the relevant object classes, safeguarding data integrity and security by limiting access to authorized users. For more information about tags, see Help: Tagging records.

Keyboard shortcuts for enhanced productivity

We've enhanced user efficiency by identifying and implementing shortcuts for the most common actions. Now, you can swiftly perform these actions:

  • Instantly access objects by ID with Ctrl + G, opening the Go To dialog box in a flash.

  • Quickly filter records in data views by typing, thanks to Ctrl + F shifting focus to the filter box.

INFO: You can find the full list of keyboard shortcuts here.

Improved record selection in data views

We've enhanced the interface for selecting records in data views to provide a more intuitive and familiar user experience, drawing inspiration from Microsoft Outlook. Previously, selecting a record could sometimes occur unintentionally when clicking anywhere on the record row. To address this, we've implemented a refined approach: users now need to explicitly click on the checkbox located in the leftmost column to indicate their intention to select a record. This enhancement ensures that selections are deliberate and reduces the likelihood of accidental actions, resulting in a smoother and more controlled user interaction with data views.

Redesigned Activity Log for instant insights

We've revamped the Activity Log to show more information without the need for scrolling. Thanks to the optimized use of screen real estate, users can now capture more activities at once.

Compare the old and the new log to see the difference.

The activity details form has also been updated with a clearer structure for more intuitive user experience.

Compact date and time format in data views

In recognition of the important role dates play in decision making, we have enhanced the flexibility of Date/Time columns, such as the Submit Date, across nearly every data view. Now, users have the freedom to present date and time values in a more concise and convenient format, allowing for the display of additional columns on the screen. Utilizing two-digit years, abbreviated month names, omitting seconds, and adopting the 24-hour format—these customizable preferences can be easily adjusted within users' personal settings.

INFO: For details, see Help: Customizing your personal settings.

Detail reports management

We're introducing a new level of control for users who rely on record detail reports to print comprehensive information about individual records in a conventional form — such as ticket details, computer configuration, purchase order, etc.

You now have access to a comprehensive set of operations for managing templates for record detail reports. This includes the ability to copy, rename, and delete report definitions, providing you with greater flexibility and control over your reporting processes. Please note that corresponding access permissions to reports are required to perform these operations.

Secure data communication with HTTPS

We're moving forward with modernizing our web applications by discontinuing support for HTTP in this release. For our on-premises customers who have been utilizing HTTP, it is now imperative to transition to HTTPS. This move is aimed at ensuring a secure and dependable experience for all users.

This change will not affect cloud customers or on-premises customers already using HTTPS. For details, see Discontinued support for HTTP.

Self-Service Portal in Dutch and Danish

You asked, and we delivered! The new release includes localization packs for Dutch (Nederlands) and Danish languages for the Self-Service Portal. With these new languages and regional formats, totaling fourteen localization packs, you can now cater to an even broader range of customers worldwide. Thank you for helping us make our platform more accessible and inclusive!

Refined Self-Service Portal top pane

With a strong focus on enhancing user experience and promoting consistency across our product range, we've streamlined the Self-Service Portal's top pane by eliminating duplicate navigational links. Users now have intuitive access to every section through two primary channels:

  • The hamburger menu in the upper left corner

  • Home page widgets

Administrative dashboard in the web browser

The Administrative Dashboard, now available in the web-based Admin Center, offers a seamless way for administrators to stay on top of important events and take swift action when needed. Formerly exclusive to the desktop Settings App, this dashboard serves as a centralized hub for monitoring critical aspects, such as system alerts and various statistics. Moreover, it provides quick one-click access to essential configuration modules, empowering administrators to efficiently manage and optimize system settings from anywhere with internet access.

INFO: For details, see Admin Center Help.

Revamped dashboard widgets

All dashboard widgets based on data views, specifically "Charts" and "Views," will be automatically upgraded to the new experience, seamlessly replicating the functionality of their original counterparts. However, these widgets will undergo a number of essential changes:

  • Charts

    The implementation of charts with drill-down abilities has been elevated, no longer relying on shared data views. Instead, these charts are now based on chart definitions. When a chart segment is clicked for drill-down, the underlying data set opens using a virtual view. These virtual views are temporary and persist only while the user is actively working with them. This enhancement provides a more flexible and efficient way to analyze data within charts, allowing users to delve deeper into specific segments without the need for predefined shared data views.

  • Views

    After the upgrade, "Views" widgets will retain their presentation of the same lists of shared views as before. However, all views will be transitioned to the new experience. This ensures continuity in the accessibility of views while upgrading to the new and improved interface and functionality.

    IMPORTANT: Initially, converted shared views will be accessible to all technicians ("shared with everyone") and may require adjustments to their sharing settings. For details, see Shared views.

Updated audit tools

Alloy Audit Tools has been updated to version 2024.1. This release adds support to the most recent update of Microsoft Windows 11, resolves the issue with the macOS audit agent installer, and delivers other improvements and bug fixes. For a complete list of changes, see Audit Tools Update Release Notes.

Other enhancements and resolved issues

Database engine
Forms
  • Experience enhanced usability and consistency across all record types. The new responsive forms introduced in the Winter 2023 release have demonstrated high flexibility and received lots of positive feedback. Now, we've migrated the remaining forms, including those for brands, approval requests, and recurrent tickets, to the new, advanced tech stack.

  • In this release, a new icon pack has been introduced specifically for workflow steps and actions. With a comprehensive overhaul, all action icons now adhere to a consistent indigo color scheme. This ensures uniformity and clarity across workflow actions, distinguishing them prominently from other controls. This distinction is particularly beneficial when actions are positioned at the top of the object detail form, facilitating intuitive navigation and enhancing the user experience.

    NOTE: When upgrading from a previous version, the new icons will not automatically apply. To access them, you would need to modify your workflow actions. For details, see Settings Help: Changing workflow action icons.

  • We've enhanced the appearance of multi-line text fields on detail forms to ensure a sleeker look and a more consistent user experience. Now, all such fields feature a predefined minimum and maximum height, providing a uniform appearance across the interface. Additionally, when the content exceeds the available space, a vertical scrollbar will appear, allowing users to easily navigate through the content without compromising the form's layout.

  • Improved the interaction with drop-down lists by eliminating unnecessary clicks. Now users can begin typing their text to quickly locate the desired option without the need to click inside the text field first. Whether searching for specific options or inputting data, users can now navigate drop-down lists with greater ease and speed, enhancing overall productivity.

  • To comply with legislative requirements mandating tax rates with three decimal places, such as in Quebec, Canada, we've updated the Tax Rate and Shipping Tax Rate fields in purchase orders. This adjustment won't affect users outside the specified jurisdictions, ensuring seamless tax rate handling as before.

  • Accelerated the software license allocation process. You can now allocate or deallocate a license to multiple users or devices at once.

  • Addressed the "Object you're trying to access is not available in the database" error when attempting to modify existing Service Levels.

  • Resolved the issue where maximized text boxes were overlapped by the pinned left navigation pane. Now, maximized text boxes correctly expand to occupy the entire browser window.

  • Resolved the issue where an unnecessary alert, "Changes you made may not be saved," appeared after modifying an object on the detail form and navigating away while saving through the "Do you want to save the changes?" dialog. This issue affected several object classes, such as service requests, problems, purchase orders, and others. The fix ensures that the redundant alert no longer appears in these scenarios.

  • Resolved the issue where snippets on action forms would replace the entire content of the active input field.

  • Resolved the issue where tickets created from certain email messages would not properly display images.

  • Resolved a layout issue with the side preview pane (or “preview flyout”). The Edit and Actions buttons no longer overlap the top panel when scrolling down the pane.

  • Resolved the issue where users were unable to save changes made on object detail forms, without a clear indication of the cause. This occurred specifically on objects with mandatory user-defined fields left empty on the Custom Data tab.

  • Selecting products from the Product Catalog has been improved. The Product form now includes a Vendor column within the Vendor Products list. This simplifies the process of identifying and selecting products offered by multiple vendors, addressing a previous limitation where the Vendor column was absent and could not be added.

  • Enhanced the functionality of the Approvals tab to persistently display Approval Stages and Approval Requests even after the stages have been closed. This guarantees comprehensive visibility throughout the approval process.

  • The Priority Calculation matrix for Service Levels no longer displays inactive items (i.e., inactive impact, urgency, and priority values) by default, and you cannot use them in calculations. If you need to be able to use inactive items here, you can turn on the Show inactive items toggle, and inactive items will appear.

  • You can now create recurrent tickets with apostrophes (' or ’) in their name or description. Previously, using an apostrophe would trigger a "SetRecurrentTicketJobData: Unclosed quotation mark after the character string" error.

  • Implemented a protective measure to prevent "Out of memory" errors when handling tickets or other objects containing large files inadvertently inserted into their HTML descriptions using the <img> tag. With this update, the embedded HTML editor now limits image insertion to files under 50 MB, averting potential memory issues.

Data views
  • When exporting records from data views in CSV format, the resulting files now include summary statistics and groupings from the original data view.

  • Addressed the situation with the "TypeError: Window.udateAlloyTableData is not a function" error when performing certain step actions from data views.

  • Fixed the issue where exporting data from views caused problems when special characters like ">" or "&" were present, leading to data splitting across columns in Microsoft Excel.

  • The "Save As" functionality for creating data views now operates more intuitively. When you use "Save As" and specify a view name, you are automatically switched to the newly created view. Previously, you remained in the original view.

  • Resolved the issue where the Task Management Calendar stops responding when switching between the Work Orders tab to the Project Tasks tab in certain scenarios.

  • In response to user feedback, we’ve expanded the dataset available on the Configuration Items tab within Person records. Now, data views can include additional columns: Manufacturer, Model, and Product. Note that these fields are available only for Computers and Hardware; other types of configuration items will display them as empty. This enhancement aims to provide more detailed information about the configuration items associated with each person.

  • Resolved an inconsistency in conditional formatting when entire cells are shaded with color. Previously, the color would vanish when hovering over the cell with the cursor, disrupting the user experience. Now the system ensures consistent color and formatting across all conditional formatting options upon hover, resulting in a smoother user experience, particularly with multiple formatted columns.

  • Resolved a rare issue with creating filters in data views when some records contain NULL values in the OID column.

  • Resolved the issue where Service Catalog Items added to categories would not immediately appear without manual intervention. Implemented real-time updates for immediate visibility upon addition. This fix applies universally to other grids with categories, ensuring consistent user experience.

  • The "New Service Request" command has been fixed to allow the creation of requests within subcategories. Previously, it could only manage requests at the top level of categories.

Dashboards
  • Added a scrollbar to the Dashboard drop-down list, ensuring easy selection of the desired dashboard, particularly when there are many dashboards configured.

  • Implemented proper handling of the Limit the length of the legend text setting for dashboard charts. Formerly, the configured limit was disregarded.

Reports
  • Addressed the issue where users encountered "An error occurred during local report processing" errors when attempting to export detailed reports to PDF. This error occurred specifically in environments with the Federal Information Protection Standard (FIPS) policy enabled on the IIS server. The fix ensures seamless operation by proactively accommodating the FIPS policy through necessary adjustments, guaranteeing an error-free user experience.

Self-Service Portal
  • Addressed the issue concerning potential unauthorized access to uploading attachments via direct links.

  • Resolved the issue where multi-select lists failed to adjust their size to accommodate multiple selected items. This resulted in some items being cut off at the bottom. Field sizing has been adjusted to ensure complete visibility of all selections, even when selections are spread across multiple lines.

  • Resolved the issue with the "Here are some articles that may help" tooltip being cut off in some situations. This tooltip dynamically displays a list of Knowledge Base articles based on the text entered by the user in the ticket submission form, providing access to relevant, ready-to-use solutions.

  • To maintain uniformity throughout all applications, HTML markup within static form elements, other than text inputs, has been suppressed in the Self-Service Portal. This applies to various form elements including headings, labels, and captions, ensuring that HTML tags are appropriately escaped. For customers intending to include links within forms, it's recommended to utilize the URL attribute of Text elements for optimal integration. For details, see Settings App Help: Text element for workflow forms.

  • We've added documentation on customizing the home page. The new section explains homepage widgets and describes how to customize them. For example, it explains how you can hide the entire Find a Solution panel if needed. For instructions, see Administration Guide: Customizing the SSP homepage layout.

Web Admin Center
  • We have enhanced job log views to provide better navigation through application logs and expedite the process of finding specific log entries. Now, when you type a keyword into the filter box, Alloy Navigator searches not only through displayed columns but also within the log data itself, which may not be visible. This makes it easier than ever to pinpoint relevant information quickly and efficiently.

    NOTE: The feature is available in both the web-based Admin Center and the desktop Settings App.

  • Under Workflow and Business Logic > Form Layout Configuration, the button formerly labeled Show Layout Schema now says Preview Layout to offer a more descriptive indication of its purpose.

  • Resolved the "Something went wrong! Invalid time value" error, which previously surfaced when attempting to access Workflow and Business Logic > Workflow Configuration pages containing custom workflow configuration parameters of Date or Date/Time data types.

  • Corrected a typo in the Standard or Single Sign-On authentication option in the Modify Login dialog box.

  • Fixed the "Cannot read properties of undefined (reading 'map')" blocking error when attempting to access the Members tab on the Role dialog box.

  • Resolved a recurrence of an internal error when setting up Scheduled Report jobs for some custom reports.

Settings App (desktop)
  • Fixed the issue in the Settings App for cloud customers where essential components for Google Mail integration were missing. This resulted in "Class not registered, Class ID: <GUID>" errors when configuring Gmail for incoming and outgoing mail. The administrative pack now includes the necessary components.

  • Accidental deletion of the Related CI Template value under Workflow and Business Logic > Configuration Management > All Configuration Items > Options will no longer result in errors when working with ticket records. Instead, the Related CI fields will now use the default template ([Class], [ID], [Name]) for displaying CIs in this case.

  • Fixed the issue where the System Administrator color indicator in the Feature Configuration Overview section of the Administrative Dashboard incorrectly displayed a yellow alert, despite the workflow parameter being correctly supplied. The indicator now correctly displays the green status, ensuring that users are alerted only when there is an actual issue.

  • Resolved the issue where duplicate identifiers for service catalog items could occur in the sample database. This could happen after making edits in the Auto-generation Policy (Service Catalog Item ID) dialog box.

Workflow management

  • To address potential issues and improve clarity around comparing empty and non-empty values, the usage of "does not equal" and "does not contain/begin with/end with" operators in the workflow is now accompanied by a tooltip. This tooltip appears when such an operator is selected, indicating that the operator yields positive results only when the field value is not blank (not NULL). To handle potential blank values, users are advised to add a condition with the "is blank" operator.

  • Restored the availability of user-related operators ("has permission to," "does not have permission to," "is member of," "is not member of") within conditions involving the %[SYS Current User]% macro.

  • For our customers creating custom digital workflows, we've added documentation explaining the PowerShell command execution context. This new page details how the context changes based on the initiator of the workflow item and its position within the workflow structure.

Default workflow
  • We’ve updated the Azure AD Integration workflow scheduled task within the default workflow pack. The fix resolves the occurrence of the "The property 'manager' was not found" error, which could occur when user departments (or other user-related objects) contain the "Manager" attribute in Azure Active Directory.

    IMPORTANT: When upgrading from a previous version, this change will not automatically apply. You may need to modify your existing workflow to get the latest version. For assistance, submit a request to our Support Team.

Import wizard
  • Formerly, the Import tool did not record its errors to the log file. Now, errors are reflected in the log file and added to the Error Log for comprehensive tracking. The Error Log is available in both the web-based Admin Center and the desktop Settings App.

API
  • Added the ability to attach links to objects via the API, either directly or while running workflow actions. JSON requests now support the "IsLink" property with True/False values. Combining a non-empty "Data" property with "IsLink" set to True will result in an error indicating an invalid combination of properties. For details, see API User's Guide: Working with object attachments.

  • The API User's Guide has been updated to address incorrect syntax in the descriptions of GET parameters used for retrieving object classification values.

Integration with AlloyScan
  • This release adds one more reason to consider AlloyScan, our new network inventory solution, as an alternative source of audit data. Conflict resolution rules, designed to prevent computer duplication during the audit data upload from Alloy Discovery and maintain the accuracy of configuration data, now extend to the AlloyScan Sync functionality.

Database Management wizard for Alloy Navigator
  • Addressed the issue within the Database Management wizard where the SQL Server Authentication option was unavailable during database account creation, despite Mixed mode being enabled. This issue was especially noticeable in databases that had been previously configured with Windows database accounts, particularly after a migration from Microsoft SQL Server to Azure SQL.

  • Fixed the problem preventing customers from creating databases in Azure SQL when using the "Basic" mode, where Full-Text Search (FTS) functionality is missing by default. Now, the database creation process proceeds smoothly regardless of FTS availability.

Alloy Navigator Desktop App
  • Addressed the issue with empty detail reports.

  • Resolved the "Grid Vendor is not properly configured" error when creating Vendor Product records.

Alloy Discovery: Discovery and audit
  • Fixed the issue where messages containing processed audit snapshots remained in the Exchange inbox, despite the configured option to delete messages after processing.
Online documentation
  • Our online documentation now provides instructions on configuring single sign-on (SSO) with Google for Alloy mobile apps.

  • Updated the online documentation for Purchase Orders to exclude information about the "Source Budgets" functionality. This feature is available exclusively in the Enterprise edition of Alloy Navigator.

  • We have revised the documentation on configuring regional settings for data in workflow notifications and automated jobs. This update addresses a special case involving the Automation Server startup account being a domain account, providing additional steps for a smooth configuration process. For detailed instructions, see How-to: How to configure regional settings.

  • Updated the documentation to eliminate outdated references to Readme files for Linux and macOS audit agents, which were phased out in 2023. Now there are correct links to the online documentation, ensuring users have immediate access to the most current information.