Release Notes


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Version 2020.3 of our Presence Content Management System (CMS) has been released. This release includes the addition of a Rich Text Editor for creating Emergency Alerts, as well as a number of accessibility improvements, bugfixes and minor enhancements. 

Rich Text Editor for Creating Emergency Alerts

You are now able to use a simple rich text editor when creating Emergency Alerts on your site. This editor allows you to apply text formatting and add hyperlinks to any alerts you are posting without needing to manually add the required HTML. 

Creating an Alert with Rich Text Editor

Accessibility Improvements

A number of accessibility fixes and improvements have been included in the release. These changes assist those using various accessibility tools when accessing your site. The changes are primarily focused on enhancements for the navigation menus, the select a school dropdown, and the search bar.

Bugfixes

The Presence 2020.3 release also contains numerous bugfixes including a fix for certain Page Directory and Data Summary links and not being able to update the Page Properties modal if the Page Owner field was blank. 

More Information

You can get more information on what was changed with the release by logging into your Presence site, opening the Shortcuts in your Administrator Toolbar and clicking What's New

Clicking on What's New

 

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Jan 05, 2021 at 1:27 PM
  

2020 has been a challenging year with the onset of COVID-19. Schools ended abruptly and when they did return, there were still a lot of unknowns and new processes being put in place. This year we have seen a shift towards online learning in many of our customers. This not only means more emails and files to scan, but also, more emails and files being sent later at night and on weekends.

On the SafeMail side, we have seen extraordinary changes in the volume of items and the types of items that we are monitoring to keep our children safe. Compared to the 2019 back to school season, we have seen an approximately 275% increase in the amount of emails and files to be scanned due to the increased focus in online learning. This significant increase necessitated our efforts to be dedicated to performance, scalability, and reliability.

Back to School Year over Year Graph

In this most recent release, we have made some performance improvements to manage the increased volume in 2020. Some of these fixes include faster performance on our servers and improving our services so that existing files will only need to be scanned and processed through our filters again if they have been modified since the last scan. Newly added files are not affected by this improvement and continue to be scanned and processed through our filters.

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Dec 15, 2020 at 9:50 AM
  

On December 11, a forms enhancement for Communicate was released. Tracked forms can now display a list of missing responses of a form. In the prior version of Forms, when you clicked on Form responses, you could only see the responses received and you had no easy way to determine who hadn't responded to your form yet.

In this new Forms update, you will be able to see the response rate as well as the individuals who have yet to respond to your form. This enables you to do things like track who is healthy, who is unwell with COVID-like symptoms, and those unwell but not related with COVID. The forms enhancement does come with a few caveats and suggestions to get the most out of your Forms module.

Tracking respondents and non-respondents in forms

The Forms module will now be able to show you the rate of responses and a list of non-respondents after you send out a form. You will be able to see this data in the tabular views of the form responses. In both the individual and tabular views of the form responses screen, you will see the following default columns of information:

  • Organization: This is the organization or the school of the recipient's associated dependent according to the data upload to SchoolMessenger Communicate.
  • UniqueID: This is the unique ID of the recipient’s associated dependent that was included in the data upload to SchoolMessenger Communicate.
  • First Name: This is the first name of the recipient’s associated dependent. It is tied to the UniqueID in the data uploaded to SchoolMessenger Communicate.
  • Last Name: This is the last name of the recipient’s associated dependent. It is tied to the UniqueID in the data uploaded to SchoolMessenger Communicate.

screenshot forms response

You can also export a list of non-respondents to a CSV file. The exported CSV file can then be uploaded as your recipient list for a reminder broadcast for non-respondents to complete the form.

screenshot forms response download

Setting up forms to display non-respondents

To show the rate of response, enable Only allow one submission per user in the form template options prior to sending the form out in a broadcast. This will limit the number of responses for the listed dependent to the first response and prevent subsequent conflicting submissions.

To show the list of non-respondents, enable Track recipient submissions in the form template options prior to sending the form out in a broadcast. If you have an existing form with pre-existing responses and you would like to start tracking recipient submissions, please don't enable on the existing form, but create a new form and track enable this option in the new form.
 
screenshot form options

Form size limits

We generally recommend limiting your forms for several reasons. Trends show that large forms with many questions have lower response rates than forms with fewer questions. To encourage high participation rate, we recommend keeping your questions short and limiting the number of questions in a form. Forms with about 8 questions or less generally provide enough information needed without overwhelming the form recipients.

Forms with fewer questions and recipients are also easier to sort through and see the responses than forms with many questions or recipients. Smaller forms with more limited recipients enable you to quickly see and sort through form responses without having to spend a long-time filtering and sorting large results. Forms with about 10,000 recipients mark the point where, even after sorting and filtering results, deciphering the form responses starts to get tedious.

Finally, large forms will take more time to load in the web UI and increase time to download as a CSV. Smaller and more targeted forms will make allow you to view the form responses faster. If you have a large district, we recommend breaking the form out to multiple forms, each form targeting a specific location. This will help limit your form responses to be more manageable and when sorting through the responses, you are not overwhelmed.


For more information, you can download the full user guide available on Resource Central, under the Communicate Guides page.

Posted by Matthew.Wei  On Dec 14, 2020 at 11:13 AM
  

We have released version 4.29 of our Custom Mobile App. The release includes numerous bugfixes and adds support for iOS 14. Apple requires that all new iOS app and updates to existing iOS apps must target iOS 14 by March 2021 in order to be published to the Apple App Store. 

iOS 14 Support Resolves Status Bar Issues and Allows for Future Application Builds

Users on iOS 14 were experiencing issues with the device status bar overlapping with the top of their mobile app. The 4.29 release resolves these issues and adds support for some updated code libraries. These library updates will be required for new and and updated iOS builds, starting in March of 2021. 

BugFixes

The 4.29 release also included various fixes for a number of bugs, including an issue where CSV imports were failing if the CSV file contained special characters. 

Important: If you have not yet created developer accounts, you will need to do so in order for your application to be rebuilt. For information on setting up your accounts, click here. The iOS and Google Play stores require each client to have a developer account in order to deploy new versions of your application into their stores. 

 

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Dec 11, 2020 at 10:54 AM
  

Version 2020.2 of our Presence Content Management System (CMS) has been released. This release includes increased support for 301 Redirects, improved management of Emergency Alerts, a change to how Presence handles PDF files as well as a number of bugfixes and minor enhancements. 

Improved 301 Redirect

When creating a 301 Redirect, you are now able to create a wildcard redirect directly on the root of a site domain URL. For example, you can set a redirect for www.youroldsite.com/* to www.yournewsite.com/*. This will redirect any URL path on the Old Site URL to the same URL path on the New Site URL.

Creating a Wildcard Redirect

Paging Added for Manage Emergency Alerts

The Manage Alerts page within System Administration now supports paging. This will allow you to view all your current alerts as well as any expired alerts, no matter how many alerts have been created on the site.

Behavior Changed for PDFs

Based on user feedback, the behavior for PDF files has been changed. When you open a PDF file in Presence, the file will now be opened in a new browser tab instead of just being downloaded.

Bugfixes

The Presence 2020.2 release also contains numerous bugfixes including fixing an styling issue that was impacting menus on some templates, and an issue where recurring events from an external feed were showing the current time as the start time  in some scenarios. 

More Information

You can get more information on what was changed with the release by logging into your Presence site, opening the Shortcuts in your Administrator Toolbar and clicking What's New

Clicking on What's New

 

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Oct 27, 2020 at 10:48 AM
  

A new patch for version 4.28 of our Custom Mobile App has been released. The patch includes fixes for a number of bugs.

Bugs Fixed

This patch for the 4.28 release includes fixes for a couple of bugs you may have experienced. If you have experienced one or both of these issues, your application will need to be rebuilt to resolve the issue. 

If you are experiencing one of the following issues, please contact our support team to request your application be rebuilt. 

  • On Schools and About pages, the thumbnail map images are not loading.
  • On the Schools page, the map is very slow to display all the school locations.

Important: If you have not yet created developer accounts, you will need to do so in order for your application to be rebuilt. For information on setting up your accounts, click here. The iOS and Google Play stores require each client to have a developer account in order to deploy new versions of your application into their stores. 

 

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Oct 14, 2020 at 9:52 AM
  

A patch for Version 2020.1 of our Presence Content Management System (CMS) has been released. This release addressed an issue with Chrome and Google SSO. 

Sign-In Issues Resolved

Some users that were using Google SSO to sign into their Presence sites were running into issues when trying to sign in while using the latest version of Google Chrome. The issue has been resolved and these users should no longer have any issues when logging into their site via Google SSO, regardless of the browser they are using. 

 

 

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Sep 08, 2020 at 2:11 PM
  

A second patch for version 4.28 of our Custom Mobile App has been released. The patch includes fixes for a number of bugs.

Bugs Fixed

This patch for the 4.28 release includes fixes for a couple of bugs you may have experienced. If you have experienced one or both of these issues, your application will need to be rebuilt to resolve the issue. 

If you are experiencing one of the following issues, please contact our support team to request your application be rebuilt. 

  • On iOS, home screen shows as always loading new content until the content is viewed. 
  • After receiving a push notification, when you next open the app a server error message is displayed.

Important: If you have not yet created developer accounts, you will need to do so in order for your application to be rebuilt. For information on setting up your accounts, click here. The iOS and Google Play stores require each client to have a developer account in order to deploy new versions of your application into their stores. 

 

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Sep 03, 2020 at 12:36 PM
  

A patch for version 4.28 of our Custom Mobile App was released. The patch includes fixes for a number of bugs.

Bugs Fixed

The patch for the 4.28 release includes fixes for several bugs, such as in some cases the text in the status bar at the top of the screen was not visible within the application on iOS and how for some users the link to support was not visible within the CustomApp Builder site. Some of these fixes require your application to be rebuilt before you will see the issue resolved. 

If you are experiencing the following issue, please contact our support team to request your application be rebuilt. 

  • Push notification badge not being displayed on application icon in iOS. 

Important: If you have not yet created developer accounts, you will need to do so in order for your application to be rebuilt. For information on setting up your accounts, click here. The iOS and Google Play stores require each client to have a developer account in order to deploy new versions of your application into their stores. 

 

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Sep 01, 2020 at 8:10 AM
  

We have released version 4.28 of our Custom Mobile App. The release includes numerous bugfixes and changes to the minimum operating system requirements to run the Custom Mobile App on Android and iOS. 

Minimum Operating System Requirements Changing

SchoolMessenger’s Custom Mobile App is changing its minimum OS compatibility for iOS and Android devices. When Google and Apple upgrade their OS versions on Android and iOS, they discontinue support for older versions, requiring entire Android and iOS ecosystems to adapt. The upgrades impact SchoolMessenger’s Custom Mobile App as well.

SchoolMessenger’s CustomApp is upgrading our supported minimum versions for iOS and Android as follows:

MINIMUM SUPPORTED VERSIONS UP TIL JUNE 2020   POST-JUNE 2020
 iOS Devices  iOS 9.3.5 iOS 11.0 
 Android Devices Android 4.4.4  Android 6.0 

If you like to know more about the changes to our minimum requirements, please see our FAQ.

BugFixes

The 4.28 release also included various fixes for a number of bugs, including an issue where Page Views graph in the Custom Mobile App Builder would not display in some circumstances. Some of the other fixes require your application to be rebuilt before you will see the issue resolved. 

If you are experiencing the following issue, please contact our support team to request your application be rebuilt. 

  • PDF links containing a # will not load

Important: If you have not yet created developer accounts, you will need to do so in order for your application to be rebuilt. For information on setting up your accounts, click here. The iOS and Google Play stores require each client to have a developer account in order to deploy new versions of your application into their stores. 

 

Posted by trevor.mackay  On Jul 31, 2020 at 3:32 PM
  
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