Monday, February 13, 2012

Updated admin site and webchat client coming soon!

Just a quick heads-up that we'll be updating the admin site and webchat client in the next couple of weeks. We'll give an exact date when we're a little closer, but we wanted to give you a quick preview of all the improvements to come.

The updated admin site's new layout significantly improves management of large admin domains with lots of users and queues. We're also rearranging the ordering of the tabs so that common activities are most prominent. For example, the default start page will be "Activity" rather than "Users, Queues, and Gateways" so you can see what is going on with your chat service as soon as you log in. This makes more sense in the scheme of daily admin activities and should streamline your workflow. We are also improving time zone support. No more off-by-an-hour daylight savings time effects, and you'll have the ability to set your local time zone. Plus, we've added snazzy interactive reports where you can modify the graphs by clicking on the legends.

The changes to the webchat client are less user-visible, facilitating an easy transition for your staff to the updated version. Initially, the most noticeable change will be easier navigation to Monitor Activity.

These upgrades pave the way for exciting (and frequently requested) features, such as canned messages and the ability to centrally block abusive patrons. These new features will not be exposed in the new versions immediately, but they will be implemented as soon as possible after the first phase of changes. Under the hood, these updates represent modernization to the JavaScript libraries and pave the way for access control lists (ACLs), which will provide more fine-grained control over user permissions.

Here is a screencast that provides a quick (less than 4 minutes!) overview of the updated admin site on our sister product, My Customer Cloud. This screencast was for the first public version of the updated admin site; we're adding a few more features to this version before we roll it out to LibraryH3lp.



Some users may quite logically wonder if it's possible to test out the updated versions before they go live, or for us to provide the current versions and new versions simultaneously for a period of transition time. Unfortunately, the ACL support requires API changes that are incompatible with the previous interfaces, and so this simply isn't possible. However, we hope that our updated documentation and screencasts will help ease any growing pains.

We'll be sure to post an update once we're closer to releasing the changes.

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