Pre-release announcement: AODocs V51
Dear AODocs Users,
We’re pleased to announce that AODocs version 51 is planned to be released soon (October 2019).
Please find the list of changes and features that will impact the end-user and administrator experience.
This post is a preliminary, non-exhaustive list of the features launching with AODocs version 51. The actual features and updates in the final release may differ from the ones listed below. Subscribe to our Announcement List to receive our Release Notes.
AODocs V51 articulates around two major changes in the user interface:
- for end-users: a revamped document creation flow - the main changes are in Team Folder and Secured Folder libraries
- for library administrators: a revamped screen for document class configuration (properties, sections, permissions and advanced settings)
We’ve also included necessary fixes, minor improvements and started some enhancements for future releases, such as the planned revamped document history page.
Changes for end-users
Revamped document creation flow
This improvement is available in all three AODocs screens concerned:
It concerns all library types: Team Folders, Secured Folders and Document Management libraries.
The new document creation flow aims to resolve obvious operability issues that arise when there are several items available in the menu, which is now better organized. Through this improvement, we have unified the user experience across library types, so the only difference is that documents must be created with an attachment in Team Folders and Secured Folders.
This is also a technical milestone to allow us to expand the possibilities of the Smartbar in Gmail, so the same selection menu can be proposed to users when importing an email into AODocs.
In Team Folders and Secured Folders with several choices for creating documents, such as document classes or templates (depending on how the library is configured), contributors first have to choose the type of document from the menu before selecting a file for the attachment.
The list displayed in the menu is grouped by document class (if there’s more than one in the library). For each class, the choices are:
Blank: no template
Note: There’s no Blank option when a default template is defined for the document class.
- any number of document templates
The list of items in the menu is sorted alphabetically by document class then by document template.
On the document page, the options for creating related items are now grouped under a specific button right to the New button.
Also on the document page, a new option is available to users with create permission in the current document class: Copy current document.
In views with ‘browse by folders’ configured, a button Create new folder is available next to the New button.
Note: You can still create new folders in the contextual menu in the folder tree.
Changes for administrators
Organize document properties into separate sections
You can create sections for properties, to clearly separate and bundle properties in separate panels on the document page. This gives you the opportunity to structure how properties are displayed to end-users.
As explained in the next section, sections are fully configurable using the revamped document class configuration screen.
Revamp and extension of the document class configuration
When we revamp screens in the interface (both for end-users and administrators), our goals are to:
- improve the user experience by integrating more standard components
- enrich the scope of the screen, by:
- exposing more settings for a configuration screen
- adding more actions for an end-user screen
The revamp of the document class configuration screen achieves both these goals!
Below is a non-exhaustive list of changes that improve the experience for library administrators when configuring document classes:
- A more standard flow to find, select and edit document classes.
- An expand / collapse mechanism to access property settings, with an overview of all properties in collapsed mode.
- Ability to organize properties in sections, which are displayed on the document page as separate panels under Properties. You can create, modify and delete sections, order sections and rank properties within sections.
Overview of properties for a document class
Expanded view of a property (ID in this example)
- A new two-step flow to create properties:
- Select the property type.
- Define the property name, whether it’s multi-valued and (optionally) a description and the section in which to create it.
Note: You can now create a category directly in the document class configuration screen, and then follow a link directly to the dedicated screen under Categories to add the category values.
- A revamped component to select items in a list and order the selected items. In the document class configuration, administrators can select the panels to display in the document page and define their order.
Note: We plan to use this component in all relevant configuration screens.
- Clearer modes for permissions inherited from the document class, if you want to rely on standard roles (contributors and readers).
Note: This applies to Secured Folders and Document Management libraries only, not Team Folders.
- Advanced users have a clear view of the custom actions (and their parameters) applied to the document class:
- Two independent lists showing the two types of custom action: ‘Update’ and ‘Viewer’
- Drag and drop to reorder the actions in the lists
Among the functional improvements, the new document class configuration screen brings:
- advanced settings for properties:
- validation rules on category properties
- choice of mandatory / read-only / hidden attributes specific to the document creation page
- new version management settings:
- define who can see the past versions listed in the document page (by default, anyone with access to the document)
- set the name of the first version when creating or duplicating a document
- along with a visual revamp of the page (which was created 3 years ago), the document templates have a new setting: you can define who can see (and therefore use) a given template when they select the New button
Revamped listing of workflows
The Workflows page in the library administration was reworked to integrate workflow email templates. Once created, you can reference these templates when you configure notifications for workflow states.
Email templates are a way to centralize your configuration across workflow states when the content of the email to be sent through a workflow is the same in different contexts (states).
You can still choose to configure the notification and action emails for each workflow state (feature introduced in AODocs V50).
The Workflows page therefore now has three tabs (before this release, we had a vertically split screen):
Workflows: list of workflows in your library, with the same actions available as before – enter the configuration (same screen as before), mute notifications, access corresponding document class, create a new workflow, etc.
User actions: no changes
- Email templates
More new features are brewing!
Among these, we’d like to update you on the status of workflow reminders and let you know that our next task for improving the end-user experience will be the document history (tracking activity in documents).
We have moved forward with an implementation of a built-in logic for workflow reminders.
However, we want to take the time to make sure it will work at scale! This is why the feature is still hidden for now.
With Release 51 the document history button has been moved to the bottom left of the document page. However, the content is still the same.
Our future goal is to revamp completely the content displayed in the document history, to:
- present events in a clearer way - especially the pagination
- make events more understandable - especially with workflow events
- enrich the information displayed about the events - especially which property has changed during an update