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Xenegrade News - January 19, 2021
January 19, 2021 - 08:12 AM

Countdown to Retirement Starts

A date has been set for the retirement of Release 2 and the Crystal Reports server. That date is December 24, 2021. That leaves eleven months for users to become accustomed to using Release 3 and InSight reports.

Each month we will post a reminder of the remaining time along with any important information users should know as December approaches.

Xenegrade's Release 3 plan for 2021:

  • Now to June 30: Finish adding remaining functions
  • July 1 to December 24: Listen to user input and make improvements.
  • December 25-December 31: Confirm operation of Release 3 and InSight followed by a shut down Release 2 and old reporting servers.

Organizations that have uploaded user-defined Crystal Reports will want to start the rebuilding process using InSight before it is too late.

This multi-year journey has had its ups and downs. The events of 2020 added some additional delays unique to the COVID pandemic. We are almost there.

Release 3 Send Email About to Launch

The Send Email function for Release 3 is about to launch. The feature should be deployed about January 20, 2021.

The Release 3 version of Send Email works differently than Release 2. The page where dozens of parameters were displayed no longer exists. Instead, the Saved Searches that users can create in several areas of Release 3 are used as the mailing lists for sending email.

Users can select one or more lists for the recipients of the email. In in this version, users can now also select lists to exclude recipients. The use of saved searches along with include and exclude lists give the Send Email function much more flexibility.

Be sure to read about the new Send Email process in the Support Center knowledgebase article on this topic. And if you have not learned how to create and save advanced searches, now is the time to learn.


SendGrid Email Conversion In Process

The process of converting XenDirect sites over to the new SendGrid email process is well underway.

During each week in January and early February, support staff will contact customers via a support ticket to start the process. Some of you may already have been contacted.

By the end of February, we hope to have all sites moved to the new process or if they choose, use their own SMTP server. Support staff will guide through the easy setup process.

Once completed, the ability to analyze and track emails will become available.


QuickTools Email Address Restrictions

Before the end of February, an update will be made to the QuickTools module that will limit the addresses users enter as the return email address when sending emails. The change will most likely be a limitation on the domain used in the FROM email address.

Why are we changing this?

  • Reduce the concern customers have related to the liability of business emails sent to clients from an unsupported email address.
  • Reduce the number of rejected emails by email handlers due to restricted domains and the appearance that emails may be spam.
  • Improve the ranking of emails sent via XenDirect with email handlers.

More details will follow as we finish the design of this change. Most likely, this same email address restriction will make its way into the XenDirect Admin module as well so that all FROM email address fit the customers approved domain format.

Release 3 Updates in Support Center

Don't forget that updates to all XenDirect modules are posted in the support center knowledgebase. Posts are usually made the same day updates are deployed. When possible, we even try to post in advance.

Check it out...

Online Self-Guided Training for 2021

With some features of Release 3 not completed in 2020, a few of the planned online courses have yet to be finished. However, they should be completed and launched over the next few months.

During 2020, we also gave free access to the online training. That free access came to an end in December. However, now that we are back to a subscription enrollment, the rates for the online courses have not increased where they were one year ago. The rates and details are posted on our events website.

As 2021 progresses, we are also looking for input on additional courses that may be of interest to you. You can submit self-guided training ideas via a support ticket or the suggestion process.

SMS Text Message Rates Are Still a Deal

In January, the rates for SMS texts sent through XenDirect increased to $.03 (three cents) per message unit. Even at that rate, using SMS text to communicate with clients is a very inexpensive option!

Message units can be purchased in any amount desired and set up takes less than a day. There are not setup costs either.

Later this year, XenDirect and WebReg will have the expanded option to allow client's to self-select automatic texts they would like to receive, such as reminders. More on that as the year progresses, but if you have not considered using SMS text before, this is the year to do so.

Release 2 Automatic User Permissions

One of the differences between Release 2 and Release 3 were how permissions are assigned. Release 3 assigns permissions at the group level. Release 2 assigned permissions at the user level. When someone makes a permission change or adds a new user in Release 3, that permission does not get reflected at the user level in Release 2.

We previously built a manual function to resolve that issue, but sometimes users forget to run that function. On January 20, we will deploy an automatic fix to the issue. When a user logs in to Release 2, the system will check for missing and mismatched permissions based on the user's permission group.

This change aligns both releases so that permission groups control access rights to the various areas of XenDirect.

WebReg Inquire Form Rebuild

Last month we disabled the Inquire feature of the WebReg module due to numerous attempts by some internet users to flood your email box with unwanted email and spam.

These attempts did not hack into XenDirect or send email to your clients, but they could send numerous unwanted emails to the email address listed in your Inquire feature.

We are rebuilding that feature with more security and restriction than before. We hope to have the feature completed and back online by the end of February.

We cannot prevent single emails from getting through, but we sure can stop the quantity emails submitted.

Help Desk Software by Kayako