User Interface Changes
Designers today face the challenge of constructing user interfaces to suit a variety of devices. Gone are the days where every user had a 14" desktop monitor. Today there are 3" mobile phones through to 7" tablets through to 27" desktop screens. Compounding the problem there are browsers each with a slightly different interpretation of "web standards", including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and not to mention Internet Explorer v6 - v10.
So what does this all mean?
In version 3.3 of PoolCar, released last night onto your server, we have made some changes to the way screens look and feel. All the same functionality is there for users, they just might notice some differences in font size and colours. That said, if your users report they are having difficulty or some screens are a little out of alignment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to raise a support ticket.
For the more technically inclined, we have implemented a different style sheet engine called "Responsive" which means the information presented on a screen can be adapted to "respond" to the different screen sizes. Improvements to how the screens appear on different technologies will improve over the coming months.
Support for Internet Explorer v6 - IE7 new baseline
Over ten years ago Microsoft released Internet Explorer v6 web browser. Whilst Microsoft are now up to version 10, IE6 does still remain in use at some organisations with 0.3% market share here in Australia. IE6 is notorious for web applications, meaning that designers need to factor in widely adopted modern "web standards" and then ie6. IE6 has served us well, but it is time to move on. As of v3.3 of PoolCar, our baseline minimum spec is now IE7. PoolCar will still work in IE6 but this announcement simply means that we will no longer devote copious amounts of time into making it look nice on IE6. If you are still using IE6, consider upgrading your browsers to at least IE7 for the optimal user interface experience. Bottom line, PoolCar still works in IE6 but some screens may look a little strange.
Introducing the Document Register
There's a new Register in town! The Document Register is a file library for all your fleet related files and documents. You can upload documents (files) and attach meta information, such as title and the applicable vehicle's rego. You can also set a reminder date, which will automatically email you a reminder to review the document.
Help Bubbles and Balloons
As of v3.3, new users will be greeted with help bubbles and balloons to make it even more user friendly. For new users, instant immersion is possible with on screen guidance and prompts.
For newly minted PoolCar test drive accounts, there's a new configuration guide to step system admins through the setup process, like timezone and security settings. For established and existing PoolCar account this is of no use really because your account is already up and running.
Calendar Header Designer
Since late last year you could specify fields to appear in the calendar header, such as instructions to the user and parking bay location. The problem was it was a little geeky, with the sysadmins having to know some basic HTML coding. No longer! The calendar header designer lets you point-and-click to design your own headers for different vehilce types. You can still add your own HTML formatting if you want to!
There is a new link on the footer of each page for My Settings. Users can now set their time zone, where your user base is spread out over multiple timezones. This means not all users have to inherit the server's timezone.
Bye-Bye "Old" Calendar
For the past ten months we have offered users a link on the New Booking page that says 'Try New Calendar'. We are pleased to report that the 'New' calendar has been well received and is stable across all browser versions. There's no point keeping the 'Old' calendar so we have removed this as a link and all users still on the 'Old' calendar will be automatically transitioned to the 'New' calendar the next time they sign in.
Some customers have requested conjoined booking "kits", where you can make a booking for an asset at it creates mirror bookings in other assets. For example, booking an ocean going vessel will also book the emergency pack, the first aid pack, the satellite phone and the towing vehicle. This is in limited release, so you won't find much in the way of help literature at present. We are working directly with the requesting customers to iron out the quirks.
You know about Approval Triggers, right? Where you can flag an asset as requiring management approval to make a provisional booking into an approved booking. We've extended this concept to the right-of-first-refusal and given it a catchy name called Priority Claims. Here's how it works.. Lets take an example where a field team needs an ocean going boat for a six-month project. But some days the weather may be bad, meaning the boat will be sitting in the yard. The boating conditions may be good in the bay, so can someone else book the boat even though the field team have it for the next six months?
Additional Options for Approval Triggers
Up until now, approval triggers have been limited to one specific email address for sending the approval request. Now, in v3.3.4 onwards, you can specify additional Approvers:
- Specific email address (as before)
- Line manager of the booking holder
- Campus admins (for the vehicle being booked)
- System Admins
You can specify the email address of the user's line manager in the Manage Users page (Sysadmin > Manage Users > Edit). There is also an optional setting in Sysadmin > Application Settings to capture line manager email address on the welcome page.
- Vehicle register - some columns removed from the main Vehicle Register page which provide little value, like Etag, and replaced with more meaningful columns such as current ODO reading
- Improved layout of the Check In/Out page, accentuating the name of the booking holder, whereas before the Rego was emphasised, making it easier for drivers to scan the list looking for their name.
- The base code has moved to the latest JQuery. Huh? If you notice anything funny or strange with clicks, drags and windows then please log an issue.
- Check In/Out page - bug fix where overnight bookings not displaying on check in list
- Improvements to the 'New Calendar' page in how multi-day bookings are displayed
- Approval Triggers can now have a date span i.e. DateFrom and DateTo
- When you go to access a page and your session has timed out, you are redirected to Sign In page. In this version, once you sign in you will be automatically redirected to the original page you were trying to access after sign in.
- Purpose & Destination field on the booking form can be hidden (turned off)
- Purpose & Destination field can have a minimum length of text entered (i.e., users have to supply more information)
- Bug fix charge out rates not accepting max hours > 999 (v3.3.2 - 21st March)
- My Bookings page had link to old calendar (v3.3.2 - 21st March)
- Weekly view column headers not lining up properly in IE browser v7-9 (v3.3.2 - 21st March)
- Servicing Regime was showing entries for vehicles that had been deleted (v3.3.2 - 21st March)
- "Check In" button is now working on IE v9 (v3.3.2 - 21st March)
- "Check In" button was being displayed for bookings later in the day, where bookings earlier in the day had been checked out (v3.3.4 - 26th March)
- Where only the Campus level selector was enabled (that is, Location and Department were disabled), the booking calendar was still offering Location as a selector. Fixed in v3.3.4 26th March.