Hornbill Platform Quarterly Feature Update 2020 Q1 and Q2
- Written by Trevor Killick on Jul 8, 2020
We kicked off the first half of 2020 with several exciting new features and functionality across various aspects of the Hornbill Platform. This summary introduces a number of the key ones and a short description of where to go to configure them.
Progressive Capture Workflow
Multiple 'Add Attachments' forms can now be used in a Progressive Capture
There are many scenarios where there may be a requirement to add multiple, specific attachments when raising a request. Whether this is a Change Request which requires both a formal Implementation and Test plan, or a New Starter request where several forms and confirmations need to be added, it's something the Hornbill Community have been requesting more and more. Previously, to achieve this, end users have one attachment form where they would be expected to attach ALL documentation they have at that point in time. With this new feature, the Progressive Capture can be completed to include several "Add Attachment" forms - and used together with the prompt text options during the configuration, it can be set up to clearly guide the user on what needs to be provided and when.
New data provider called 'Search All Users (Include user Id in display)' available in Progressive Capture
Hornbill has previously offered a smart feature where any drop down list in Progressive Capture can dynamically be populated with all currently active users in the system. This has a multitude of purposes when combined with Progressive Capture to perform various automations. One of the potential issues that has been noticed is if two people have the same name(handle) in Hornbill, it can be difficult to tell which is the correct one to select. To alleviate that issue, a new option has been introduced called "Search All Users (Include user Id in display)". This simply includes the unique User ID of every user next to their name, which can aid in ensuring the right person has been selected.
Business Process Workflow
Auto Tasks can now be configured and associated to Custom Buttons
One of the major features to be released this year, which has already added a new level of flexibility for many Hornbill subscribers, is the introduction of Auto Tasks. Auto tasks are a single action or series of actions that can be invoked from a custom button from relevant entity views (currently within a Request view, an Asset view and a Document view). They are very similar to Business Processes in their configuration and which actions be automated. However they are instantaneous - that is, they can be called at any point (even as part of an existing Business Process) and are designed to execute, run and end. So there is no concept of Stages, Checkpoints, Human Tasks or Suspend Nodes - the Auto Tasks runs the automation and completes immediately.A great example of how this works (which is covered in far more detail in the video above), is the ability to configure a "Major Incident" button - to be used if an Incident priority has escalated. Before Auto Tasks were introduced, an Incident process may have been designed in a way that flagging a request as a Major Incident would have needed to have been done at a particular point in time - in order for any additional automation to take place. But with Auto Tasks, this could be pressed and invoked at ANY POINT in the Incident Life cycle so a Process Designer doesn't have to worry about that restriction, or need to manually perform extra actions if the Incident was escalated later in its process. In our example, the auto task instantly completes the following actions:
- Set the priority to Major
- Re-evaluate the SLA
- Add a specific Service Desk Manager as a Member to the Incident
- Add an IT Director as a Connection to the Incident
- Send a post to a Workspace informing of the MI
- Send an email to interested parties
- Lock the priority so it cannot be changed
This is just one example - there are a huge number of use cases for Auto Tasks. If you come up with some interesting ideas on how you have configured them, please share with the community on our Community Forums - it would be great to hear how people utilize this and which additional automations people would like to see!
The "Via" node can be used to neaten Business Processes designs
For those Business Process designers who take pride in keeping their canvases looking neat and tidy, some frustration may have been experienced in certain connectors (arrows) automatically positioning themselves behind nodes, overlapping etc. The new "Via" will be able to provide more control around these connectors, by allowing designs to redirect these flow lines to wherever a designer would like them displayed. This node does not perform any specific function - it is ignored, and does not require any configuration. But it does allow for precise and clean designs. Hornbill is also adding some more process efficiencies, warnings and prompts during the design of processes which may be noticed in the coming months.
A Bulletin can now be configurable to be a clickable link in the Employee Portal
Bulletins are a nice way of presenting important notices to end users - whether that be planned outages, known issues, company info/events or any other form of information, a clear banner on the portal can really attract the attention of the person navigating the page. A new option is now available where Service Managers can choose to make their Bulletin titles clickable and navigate to another page in a new browser tab. Any URL can be added (whether it's to another Hornbill Employee Portal page, or an External Website) and once added, a "link" icon appears next to the title. This is particularly useful if wanting to convey more information than the space in the Bulletin allows - one idea is to simply add "Click here for more info" as part of the Bulletin text.
For further details on these changes and others check out the Hornbill Wiki