Current developments

 

Operational Reporting and Summaries Refactor

As mentioned at the development camp in January and in the well-attended SID6 update webinar, one of our focuses this release is the reporting part of the system. Historically the system used the same screens for the reporting and operation of functionality, such as the summary screens. This gave a large amount of flexibility, but was confusing to many users as the specific purpose of those screens became diluted by doing so much.

In SID7 we are looking to address this in two ways. Firstly, we will be creating a sub-component for the system known as Operational Reporting (OP). This for the first time will bring together the various reporting parts of the system in to one area, and make a clear process for those users wanting to gather statistical information.

These are some of the tasks we have been working on for the Operational Reporting this month:

  • Created new main navigation menu item and terminology CCP for link to the actual component
  • Created new staff access control parameter for access to the component
  • New WCF services for the operation of the component
  • New component user interface concept with a new reporting system CSS file for customisation
  • Initial concept of predefined reports, this would be ‘canned’ reports that the user not need to specify criteria for, such as the enquiries returned by ‘All call Centre summary’ for example
  • Initial concept for new report filter builder, this would be where the user can specify the filter to define the record set they wish to collect
  • Initial report summary grid concept with client side sorting, paging, searching within results
  • Initial report results records list concept with client side sorting, paging, searching within results
  • Initial report results summary chart concept

 

Because we are moving the reporting element to a new screen, we are also refactoring the new lightweight summaries present in SID5 to be a new generation version of the actual summary screens you are all used to. The new lightweight summaries were never envisaged as a like-for-like replacement for the older summary screens, but after feedback from clients we realise the desire is there for this to be the case. The plan is to make sure the new summaries contain almost all of the functionality (that is useful) from the legacy screens so sites can switch to the newer version moving forward. We will ensure this switch is optional at the moment so there is no need to jump to the new screens straight away if training is a concern for staff.

On the summary refactor this month we’ve mainly been working with our designers on the new user interfaces and the various ‘states’ to which information can be expanded, as well as this the other key developments have been:

 

  • Adding more filter functionality to ensure staff can see the enquiries they want and in which order
  • Adding all the old group by filters back in to allow dynamic grouping, we have also reviewed the group by list and removed those which no longer worked in light of changes made in recent versions
  • Enquiry list sorting has been amended
  • Revisions to the send attachment as part of email sending system
  • Fixing the “email full enquiry” and “hide link to enquiry” options on the new summary options
  • First version of the tabbed enquiry summary workspace system

 

New API’s

As well as the more obvious front end changes above, we’ve been busy working on the new API’s for the system, which will allow a far greater and simpler degree of integrating SID in to other systems at the institution going forward.

This month we’ve mainly been creating the business layer for new API. This has involved creating objects to represent the relational data from the database, and we have taken this opportunity to streamline those objects to ensure efficiency in the design. Along with this we’ve been creating the models and working on the mappings between the models and database entities (the models are code representations of the database entities which contain logic for validation and display).

Once the modelling work has been done which is an incredibly time consuming task, we’ll be starting to develop the query logic we’ll need to support the actual requests being sent in to the API. In the first release of the new API work in SID7, we are expecting to have functionality available for enquiries, FAQ, core system records and limited diary booking information. Further phases of work will enhance that offering, as well as open the API for live chat and the queue management system.

It is our intention to retain the legacy SOAP based API even after the launch of the new suite of services so all work done integrating SID so far with other applications will continue to be supported.

 

Demonstration sessions

We will be announcing the date shortly for the development update webinar for existing clients. We expect this to be at the beginning of May and will focus mainly on the new enquiry summary re-factoring work, to explain how this work will affect your processes moving forward. The joining information for this event will be sent shortly via the usual email channels.

 

Next update

The next development update will focus on the Communications component for SID as well as the plans for the revised Case Management component. Thank you to everyone who has submitted feedback so far on our initial plans, and we’ll be in touch with more institutions for specific feedback when we have more to show on the interfaces.