Blog

4 months ago

Deprecating the old Help Desk portal

We released our Help Desk portal back in 2008. It was a great software that allowed external users to submit requests. Years passed, and it became more and more obsolete from both the technical and user perspectives. Rather than wade through technical debt to try and improve it, we released a separate Service Desk application that already has all the functionality of Help Desk, a better UI, and some cool new features such as custom fields and request types.

We probably should have dropped the old Help Desk back in December 2016, when Service Desk was officially out of beta. It's hard to do, since we sort of got attached to it over the years. Nothing lasts forever though, especially in the software business, so it's time to let it go. Apart from the infrastructure costs of hosting both versions of the software, we also have to maintain and update it to keep up with the latest changes in Targetprocess. For example, in our latest release (v.3.11.0) there were some changes to the way user information is stored, and the 'Forgot Password' button stopped working in Help Desk.

We cannot afford to lose focus at this point, so we are freezing the Help Desk and will completely remove it from our On-Demand servers on June 1st, 2017. What does this mean for you? Most likely, nothing new. If you're not using request management, or if you're already using Service Desk, you don't have to do anything. In case you're not sure, here's what Service Desk looks like:

service_desk_plan

If you are still using Help Desk, that means you will have to switch to Service Desk. All you need to do is activate it at Settings -> Service Desk, and all of your requests and projects will automatically transfer over. On-Premises customers can technically continue using the old Help Desk, though we do not see any good reason for it.

We hope you enjoy the new version of the software. If you have any reason you prefer the old one, please let us know.

Farewell, Help Desk. It's time to move on.

4 months ago

Recorded Webinar: Q1 Product Update, 2017

On March 15, we held our quarterly Product Update Webinar. Our Product Specialists went over the latest features in Targetprocess, and covered some of our upcoming plans.  You can watch the webinar recording here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1773514835961965063

New features and enhancements:

  • My recent items & browsing history
  • Metrics
  • Connectors for integrating Targetprocess with ALM tools such as Atlassian JIRA, Microsoft TFS,CA Agile Central, and DevOps tools such as Git, GitHub, Jenkins and many others
  • Contributor user type
  • Improved Project-Team Selector for users, teams and projects
  • Lane suggestions
  • Service desk improvements
  • iOS & Android app improvements

Upcoming improvements (version 3.11.0 is now available):

  • Multiple final states (3.11.0)
  • Mention of teams (3.11.0)
  • Context improvement (3.11.0)
  • Settings remake (3.11.0)
  • Split of add/edit permissions
  • Undelete entity
  • Search improvements

Our team also answered questions from attendees throughout the webinar. Some of the more common questions have been listed with their answers below:

Q: Hi, thank you for the new github integration. Does the new integration also allow syncing from comments in both directions? Also, is it possible to create github issues via targetprocess?

A: Yes, it allows you to sync comments. Yes, it's also possible to create Github issues via Targetprocess.

 

Q: Can a metric or Calculated field now refer to the parent name? Ie, can a feature have a field that will contain the name of the Epic that contains the feature?

A: Hi, yes, you can do this with both - Calculated Custom Fields as well as with metrics

 

Q: Hi, is there a way to show total effort spent for tasks in a user story?

A: Hi! Yes. It is possible. In the User Story, you have a row which shows you the sum Effort of Tasks. For spent effort, you can use Calculated Custom Fields.

 

Q: My thought about multiple final states is: Hurra!!!

A: We're happy you like this update! 🙂

 

Q: Will there be default Metrics?

A: Right now there is only "Custom Formula" which acts as a replacement for Calculated Custom Fields. We will add more metrics in the future, such as a custom effort/progress calculation. If you have any specific metrics in mind you which you would like to configure in your account, I suggest getting in touch with your Product Specialist or sending an email to ps@targetprocess.com.

 

Q: Is there any trick to sharing views via URL?

A. You first need to make sure your intended recipients have access to the view by going to View Setup -> Access. Then when you send a link to them, they'll be able to access it.

 

We’ll have another Product Update Webinar next quarter. If you have any questions, or would like to request a webinar on a specific topic, you can message us at ps@targetprocess.com.   

Have a good day everyone!

4 months ago

Deprecating private impediments

Good day everyone!

In our efforts to continuously improve the Targetprocess experience for you, we're analyzing the performance of some core features, such as visualizing your data on dozens of different views or accessing that data through our API. It's a well-known fact in the software engineering industry that every feature comes with a cost. Unfortunately, sometimes the features we build become obsolete or just don't fire off at all. In a perfect world, such features would be free or extremely cheap to maintain and we could simply ignore them. However, the real world is much more cruel, and quite often there is a cost associated with the ongoing support of these features.

Our "private impediments" feature is a good example of this. According to our analysis, its usage is close to none, but it adds a significant performance overhead to our data querying operations, most notably for inbound/outbound relations lookup. Therefore, we'd like to remove private impediments from Targetprocess in our upcoming release.

So, what does this mean for you?

If you don't use impediments at all, then nothing changes for you. If you use impediments but don't use the "Private" flag on them, then once again nothing changes for you. If you have private impediments, they will be deleted from your Targetprocess account, unless you make them public before the new release.

Wait, what? Are you really going to delete my private impediments?!

Well, yeah, but we've thought this through. There are basically 2 options: either delete them, or make them public. We assumed that it would be terrible to make someone's private data publicly visible. Also, given the fact that the private impediment usage is quite low, and we also continuously make backups for our on-demand instances, we'd be able to restore the data for individual customers if you ask us to.

Hopefully, this all makes sense for you. Don't hesitate to get in touch and contact our support if you have any questions!

4 months ago

How to open views with the currently selected Projects and Teams

Some time ago, we redesigned the Projects-Teams selector. It became a part of views, and the global selector was removed. This helped to standardize and simplify views, but made it impossible to set Projects and Teams just once and navigate through several views with that selection.

To make this scenario work, in v.3.11.0 we’ve implemented a keyboard shortcut that lets you navigate to a new view with the currently selected Projects and Teams.

As usual, you can select the needed Projects and Teams in the selector on the top of the view (this selection won't override the predefined Projects and Teams for this view).

1selectcontext

Explore the data. If you need to navigate to another view with the same selected Projects and Teams, simply hold Alt and click on the view you wish to explore.

3altclick

As a result, the view will be opened using the Projects and Teams that were selected on the previous view.

4viewopened

You can use Alt+Click to navigate through any number of views with the currently selected Projects and Teams.

For more details on how the Projects and Teams selector works, see the guide post.

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