It's Full Speed Ahead into 2017 with the release of our Upgraded Formula Fields, finalizing our Zapier integration, improving the beta JIRA sync and many fixes and enhancements across the product in general, detailed below.
We should also point out that our team need to take Accelo offline, briefly, for a database upgrade this weekend.
Exciting news - Accelo's app is now available for all in Zapier. While we haven't formally launched yet, this step means that all Zapier users will now be able to access Accelo inside Zapier. We're still finalizing the documentation and getting launch plans together, so watch this space for more information, but in the interim feel free to check out our beta documentation for how it works and what it can do!
We also continued improving the JIRA beta during the holidays, with a couple of improvements (and more on the way):
Adding JIRA icons and link to Task cards in Accelo: now you can see if a Task in Accelo is paired with a JIRA Issue, and if you click on the logo you'll open up a new tab/window to look at the issue inside JIRA
Updating Accelo Task status to match JIRA Issue status: when you resolve an Issue in JIRA, Accelo will now have its status updated as well!
Comments Not Pulling Into Accelo: we had a timezone issue where the "last polled date" was being interpreted with a global (and often inaccurate) timezone and thus when we would ask JIRA for issues and comments updated since X, we'd be missing a lot of updates. We've fixed this, but we're working on fixing a few other timezone issues at the moment.
Bugfix for Reimporting users from JIRA: When re-importing users (E.g. to map new users between the systems) we were not updating the existing user links if users had changed their username in JIRA. This bug is now fixed.
Improve stability of Chrome extension: Some users noticed the special style/link used in the Accelo field wasn’t always loading, usable or appearing correctly. We’ve ironed out many of these quirks now.
Traditionally the Contributors feature allowed you to associate 3rd party contacts with a client project (or ticket, or sales opportunity). These additional contacts might be advisers, partners, vendors or other stakeholders that have say or contribution to make to the project. Linking these contacts as a contributor makes it easy to track their involvement, allows you to send activity emails (and meetings) to them and is especially helpful as it allows you to relocate email conversations with them onto the project (or ticket or sale, etc).
This latest improvement means that when adding a Contributor, the search will now return results from your staff/user list as well. This makes the process of recording special roles & responsibilities of key staff members much easier - as you can choose the contribution type, description and status as you would for a normal contact contributor.
We should note that our work here isn’t quite done; we still want to update the UI to make adding, editing and managing contributors more intuitive, as well as making it easier to track all staff managing or working on the project - so stay tuned for more updates regarding the “Project Team”!
While our recent Contract Module Improvements were mostly on the visual/UI side, there were a couple of tweaks made under-the-hood - one which introduced a bug with deleting contract types. Our team have patched up this problem now - so if you’ve got some old contract types you still need to clear out, you’re all set.
As mentioned last-week, our team have overcome a long-standing hindrance with the Project Plan layout in terms of the strictness of task and milestone ordering. This week we’ve updated 3 more places where the uber-flexible ordering wasn’t yet possible:
Project Invoicing - milestone and task line items now appear with the same flexible ordering as configured in your project plan
Client Portal - the Project Overview tab also respects the desired order of project work.
Team Scheduling - when viewing a specific project to schedule, you’ll now see the true ordering and nesting of milestones and tasks!
And lastly the team also rectified an uncommon bug where tasks created by a project trigger were not created correctly. These tasks were not given an order number which confused several screens including the Project Plan and Project Overview. We’ve resolved the underlying problem and updated any affected tasks/projects.
We’re not certain as to the original thinking here, but we were displaying the Grand Total (at the bottom of a quote) figure before the sub-total figures. We’ve flipped these around so the total section reads more clearly now.
After investigating a few reports of this problem, our team isolated this overly-zealous programming logic to tasks that were added via the global “Create” button (the big plus in the top nav menu). When a task was created from there, if the task was put against a project, the manager was automatically changed to match the project manager. This logic has been improved to only apply when tasks are added directly inside a project plan - since that is where the functionality was intended to be.
Our team were alerted to a new problem with our Exchange integration which was causing Accelo tasks to push into Outlook each day as a new task - rather than syncing with the original task. A fix is now in place to avoid further duplication and we’re assisting customers with cleaning up the duplicates upon request.
We’ve taken the liberty of updating the View Invoice screen within the Client Portal to include a link to the PDF copy of that invoice - if there is one available. This way your clients can easily view & download the nice PDF version of the invoice if they already have access to the invoice in the Portal.
Extending on the work we did a couple of weeks back for customizing the “Manager” field for a Project, we’ve opened up the equivalent field across more modules so you can continue personalizing Accelo to your heart’s content
Now, if you're an Admin on your Accelo account and you go to the Configuration > Module Titles, you can choose whether to call the person who's responsible for a Sale, Ticket or Retainer the "Owner", "Supervisor”, “Chief” or any other title you prefer!
Our team were alerted to some inconsistencies with the amounts shown between the first step of the Client Billing tool (the filter/results step) and the second step (the invoice/preview step). We discovered that some Retainer Periods were mis-calculating the amount to invoice during the first step, which led to confusion when loading the subsequent invoice step. These discrepancies have been resolved now, and as a bonus we’ve also put in some extra work to ensure that periods with $0 to invoice are not included in the count of objects to be invoiced either.
Accelo’s Client Portal module makes it possible to give your clients visibility of any activities (work logs, emails, calls & meetings) logged against their Retainer Periods. This is very handy for justifying the time spent against each period, but it was tricky for some clients to understand the nature of the work because the subject of these activities was only shown when client users had the top permission for viewing activity details. We’ve fixed up the Usage tab now so the work log details are showing correctly as per the permissions you have set for your client portal users.
Some of our particularly web-savvy users discovered a problem with the way our client portal handles snippets of programming code that has been saved into the description field of a ticket. The portal was trying to interpret this code as it loaded the View Ticket page - when it really should ignore it! We now patched up this problem and checked for other Cross Site Scripting (XSS) issues to be sure it doesn’t crop up anywhere else.
Our team were alerted to a strange bug with choosing a Service Item for a Retainer. It turns out the interface was hiding the title of a Service Item if the Item had no Item Code specified. We’ve tidied up the UI logic here to ensure that picking a Service Item will always show the Title, regardless of any missing Item codes.
Each user in Accelo is able to customize a large array of personal notifications to help them keep informed of the things they care about - such as others logging time on a project they manage, assigning tasks, sending invoices and so much more. As these preferences have grown out into a large set, we realize that if you only want a few enabled, or just a few disabled then reversing all the other toggles is a lot of clicks! Now you’ll find a handy link in each Notification section to toggle all the settings On or Off in one click:
Timers are great for tracking your work in Accelo throughout the day, and even when running through the end-of-month billing you might need to track your time. However, since a few users have pointed out that the Timers bar was overlapping with some of the important buttons required when using the Client Billing tool, we’ve added some smarts to those screens so the Timer bar becomes hidden. If there’s an active timer, don’t worry - it will still be running, and will re-appear automatically once you finish using the Client Billing tool!