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Release Version 4.10

Date: 15th December 2016

Doc Assembler Version 4.10 has been released it contains the following four enhancements (which are explained in more detail below), along with other various bug fixes, improvements and security enhancements:

  1. Enforce Styles from Base Document
  2. Meeting Types
  3. Custom Field Enhancements
  4. Optional Additional Assignment Type

Enforce Styles from Base Document

A new Template/Document setting named “Enforce Styles from Base Document” has been introduced. When this setting is turned on the styles from your Base Document will override any styles of the same name that are used in the Word/Google item content documents. This optional setting gives the opportunity to avoid report authors changing styles and impacting on the formatting of the assembled document.

You can experiment with the impact of this setting by temporarily turning it on for a document, assembling it and reviewing the resulting assembled document. Before using this setting you need to review your Base Document and ensure that it contains the appropriate styles e.g. Normal, Headings, Paragraphs etc. The Base Document is accessed via the Cloud Drive Credentials panel on the System Config page:

Meeting Types

There is now a new entry on the Admin menu named Meeting Types. This allows you to set up a simple list of meeting types that can be used when configuring your templates and documents e.g. “ELT Meeting”, “Council Meeting”, “Committee Meeting”. This was added to enable filtering of data in a new reporting module that we are currently working It is up to each site to determine what Meeting Types that they wish to create – you just need to think about how you want to report when deciding what you need. For example if you want to be able to report on all items that have gone to a council meeting, regardless of whether they went to the open or public excluded meetings then you would create a Meeting Type named “Council Meeting” and assign that to both the “Council Meeting” and “Confidential/Public Excluded Council Meeting” templates.

The Meeting Type is assigned to a template and/or document in the Meeting/Event Details panel as shown below. You should assign a Meeting Type to each of your templates and (optionally) to any existing documents that you have already created.

Custom Field Enhancements

The following enhancements have been made to the custom fields functionality. These changes were also designed to enable you to collect additional data that can be used in the reporting module that we are currently working on.

Ability to specify that a custom field is “Info Only”. This indicates to both the end user and to Doc Assembler that the field’s purpose is simply to collect data for reporting purposes – rather than to insert data into a placeholder in the report. An example of an Info Only custom field to collect the type of paper/report being written is show below.

New Data Entry custom field type. Previously custom fields have been limited to a dropdown list of values. Now when setting up a custom field you can choose between 2 field types – Data Entry or Dropdown. The new Data Entry type will simply create a text box where the user can type in whatever data it is that you want to record. Note that a Data Entry field can be used along with a placeholder in the Word or Google document – or it can be used as an Info Only field.

When a custom field is assigned to a Section within a Template/Document an additional checkbox has been provided to enable marking the field as Mandatory. The effect of selecting this option is that a user will not be able to mark their assignment as complete until all Mandatory custom fields have been populated with a value.

The input panel for Custom Fields has the following changes as a result of the enhancements detailed above:

  • Icons have been added next to the custom field label to indicate if a field is Info Onlyor Mandatory. A pop-up hint explaining the meaning of the icons has also been added if you hover the mouse over either of these icons.
  • The button previously labelled Apply to Doc is now labelled Save/Apply to Doc to reflect the fact that custom fields are not necessarily applied to the document i.e. Info Only fields.
  • Info Only fields will say Date Saved and Values Saved rather than Date Applied and Values Applied
  • The value of an Info Only field can be modified if necessary – this is unlike existing custom fields that are applied to a document, where any changes must be manually applied to the underlying Word or Google document.

Optional Additional Assignment Type

Doc Assembler now includes an optional new assignment type. This was added to enable one of our New Zealand sites to differentiate between a Co-Author, Peer Reviewer and an Approver. However other sites may find other uses for it. It is completely optional, so unless you have a need for an additional assignment type then you can just ignore it and things will continue to operate exactly as they currently do.

As an example of how this could be used we have detailed the usage for a site who wants to introduce a new assignment type named “Peer Reviewer. In this example the impact is as follows:

  1. There is an additional assignment type labelled “Peer Reviewer” which operates exactly the same as the existing “Co-Author” assignment type in relation to assignment notifications etc.
  2. The old “Reviewer” assignment type is labelled as “Approver” – other than that it still functions exactly as it did with regards to workflow order, assignment notifications etc.

The new assignment type is activated by placing a tick in the “Use Collaborator2” checkbox on the new Assignments panel on the System Config page. The labels for the new assignment type and the existing “Reviewer” assignment type can also be specified here.

With these new changes in place users now see a new section on the Dashboard labelled “Peer Reviewers” and the existing “Report Items for Review” section is renamed to “Report Items for Approval”.

When assignments are being configured for report items there is an additional “Peer Reviewer” column and the existing “Reviewer” column is renamed “Approver”.

There are 2 new options for assignment notifications related to the new “Peer Reviewer” assignment type. There is also the option to send reminders to Peer Reviewers:

Peer reviewer assignments use the same due date as Owners and Co-Authors.