What's New in Version 8.5

December 2019

Version 8.5 introduces Alloy Navigator mobile app, supports integration with Zapier, drops support for Internet Explorer and older browsers, and provides a number of new features and enhancements over previous releases.

Stay connected with Alloy Navigator Mobile App

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

Keep up with the latest software and hardware

Alloy Audit Tools has been updated to version 6.2.3 The new version includes these changes:

  • Added support for macOS Catalina (version 10.15).

  • Implemented proper detection of disk size and free space on macOS High Sierra (version 10.13) and later.

  • The speed of 10-gigabit or faster network adapters is reported correctly.

  • Added detection of installation keys and serial numbers for the latest Microsoft products:
    • Microsoft Windows 10 2019 LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel)
    • Microsoft Visio 2019

Integrate Alloy Navigator Express with other apps

Our API module has been improved to provide the ability to integrate Alloy Navigator Express with other apps using API connectors. For example, you can use Zapier to:

  • Send a message to your Slack channel when a Ticket is submitted in Alloy Navigator Express.

  • Create a Trello card when a new Change Request is approved.

  • Trigger an Alloy Navigator Express Ticket when a CloudWatch Alarm state changes.

  • Integrate a chat solution into the Self Service Portal and automatically create Tickets from chat session transcripts.

For detailed instructions, see Integrations: Zapier Integration.

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 Network Inventory User's Guide: ESXi/vSphere/Citrix Audit Credentials.

Web App improvements

The refreshed Web App offers performance improvements and new features, such as:

  • 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

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.

View more data on the dashboard

Tables on the dashboard now have a more compact single-line view. Instead of wrapping, table cell content is now trimmed to better utilize dashboard real estate.

Declutter the history log

In order to eliminate redundancy, parent objects no longer track changes of their child objects in the history. Changes of auto-calculated values such as the Time Spent and Cumulative Time Spent are also no longer tracked.

Refreshed and handsome

We have refreshed Alloy Navigator Express’ look with a beautiful color palette, well-crafted modern icons, and intuitive UI elements. All workflow actions 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).

Support for Internet Explorer and older browsers

We maintain and develop the Alloy Navigator platform to support the latest, most stable, and most secure web browser versions. We highly recommend updating your browser to the latest version to have the best and most secure user experience across our services.

As of January 4th, 2020, we dropped support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) and older versions. Product updates and new features are no longer being tested on Internet Explorer, and we no longer provide fixes to bugs that occur exclusively on Internet Explorer.

Other enhancements and resolved issues

User interface
  • The color palette has been changed to blue to provide a consistent visual identity for all Alloy products.

  • 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.

  • The Network Diagram's look has been refreshed with new, modern icons.

API module

In order to support integration with API connectors (like Zapier), our API module has been extended and improved. The new version introduces these changes:

  • Added the ability to retrieve:
    • Lists of object Activities.
    • Lookup values of reference fields, such as Incident statuses or Computer types.
    • Data from all available object fields when listing objects.
    • The Person record for the currently logged in user.
  • For a better adherence with ISO 8601 Date and Time Format, the API module now recognizes Z as the timezone designator for the zero UTC offset.

  • Filtering conditions now support additional comparison operators for numeric and date values and short date formats.

  • Filtering conditions for POST requests retrieving lists of objects now support:
    • Using additional comparison operators for numeric and date values, such as >, >=, <, <=.
    • Short date formats, such as YYYY (e.g. 1997), YYYY-MM (e.g. 1997-07), YYYY-MM-DD (e.g. 1997-07-16).
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.

  • 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 Tickets and IT Assets, 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 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 ticket. At the top of its Child Tickets tab you will find the Actions menu, from where you can run actions on a selected child ticket.

  • When creating a PO Item in a Purchase Order, the PO Item no longer opens after you create it. This improvement also applies to Child Tickets created in Tickets using the Quick Task action.

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

  • A more accurate alignment of grid cell contents.

  • The graphical progress indicator for lifecycle stages has been redesigned to provide a better user experience.

  • Redesigned fly-out forms with new styles, layouts, and controls.

  • Implemented fly-out forms for Person Merge, Computer Merge, and Activity.

  • The Select Relationship Type dialog box now properly displays names of parent-child relationship types. Previously it could display child-parent names instead of parent-child ones.

  • Fixed the issue when Web App users could accidentally submit the same workflow action many times.

  • Fixed issues preventing the submission of Action forms containing an empty read-only Date/Time field.

  • Fixed the issue with the automatic distribution of grid column widths, which in some cases produced extremely narrow columns with text characters stacked vertically.

  • Fixed the issue with dashboard charts unexpectedly opening multiple tabs when clicking on a chart segment.

  • Fixed the issue with some widget values not refreshing correctly when a data reload is triggered manually.

  • Added support for date formats that use abbreviated month names, such as "Nov" in English (US).

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.

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

  • Corrected the label for the Attachments section of Knowledge Base articles.

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

Integration with email and sending notifications
  • Added an option to configure Alloy Navigator Express 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.

  • Outgoing notifications no longer fail when the recipient address contains the display name, as per RFC2822.

  • The Mail Connector no longer loses attachments and inline images from digitally signed email messages received via the EWS protocol.

  • The folder where the Mail Connector stores cached images and files now is automatically cleared once a day.

  • Added support for long usernames (up to 200 characters) and passwords (up to 45 characters) in Mail Connector jobs.

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

  • The Import tool now populates the Vendor field when importing Computers.

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.

  • Report Viewer: Reloading a report with new parameters no longer unexpectedly resets the report's end date to the beginning of the day thus excluding all data collected during the day.

Help Desk and Knowledge Base
  • The improved Snippets dialog box helps you quickly find the snippet you need.

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

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

  • Discovered Installations no longer get removed when a Software Catalog item in the Network Inventory app is deleted.

Network inventory
  • Errors that could occur in the Network Diagram no longer lock up the Network Inventory app.

  • Discovered Installations no longer get removed when a Software Catalog item in the Network Inventory app is deleted.

  • To create a cleaner experience, the All Nodes data grid in Network Inventory now includes only common fields (i.e. fields that are shared by at least two types of network nodes).

Alloy Installer
  • The Alloy Installer has been revised to provide a better-organized user interface for choosing advanced installation options.

  • The Mobile Portal has been renamed Mobile App Service to better reflect the intended purpose of the module.