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Version: 8

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First Published: 13th August 2013
Last Updated: 8th January 2014
 

What's new in 8?

 

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Supports Microsoft Outlook 2013.
 

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Compatible with both 32 bit and 64 bit Microsoft Outlook. Team Helpdesk can be installed and used from Outlook 2003 SP2, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 (both 32 bit and 64 bit)
 

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All new Case and KB forms based on .NET WinForms are used. This provides us with the prospect to utilize a number of features rich advanced controls available in .NET framework. What this translates for you is a very user friendly case form in Outlook with quicker access to information than never before. Until the last version, Team Helpdesk continued to use Outlook based customized forms in the Ongoing Cases (Outlook message class: IPM.Post.AMTSupportCase), Resolved Cases (Outlook message class: IPM.Post.AMTSupportCase.Closed) and KB (Outlook message class: IPM.Post.AMTKnowledgeBase) subfolders.

The biggest limitation with Outlook based forms is the frequent risk of corruptions and form cache issues on local systems. Additionally, in the past whenever we updates the forms, administrators will know the pain of upgrading the forms used in every Team Helpdesk folder one by one using the .FDM files provided. So, it is no surprise that we finally discarded use of Outlook based forms in favor of .NET WinForms. As the new forms are built into the Team Helpdesk Agent add-in itself, in future, when you upgrade to newer versions, there is no separate steps to upgrade the forms.


 

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All new 'Case Preview' form show all the available helpdesk fields including custom fields. Additionally, you can now see all the emails related to that case directly in the preview form. And you can reply or forward or send a KB directly without opening the case form.



 

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'Safe To Edit?' is an option available under the case form. This shows you who else (other agents/technicians) currently have that particular case opened in the inspector window of their Outlook. If you know, Exchange conflict on public or shared items occur when two or more users have concurrently edited and made changes to the items. To avoid this scenario at the first place, now you can make sure no other agents have the particular case opened before making changes and saving it. (And it is much easier to communicate with other agents say, to close the inspector window if you are about to make changes to it). This is just one of the simpler way we have devised in the new version of Team Helpdesk to avoid multiple agents from editing the same case.


 

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Two new fields 'Total Emails' (Outlook name: Case.TotalEmails) and 'Total Non-Auto Emails' (Outlook name: Case.TotalNonAutoEmails) are added to the Ongoing/Resolved Cases folders. These variables store the total number of emails (from the History folder) associated with the case. These two fields can be used in Outlook Views to show the emails count of each case. These are also available in the Summary Reports and OLAP Statistics tools. If you have installed Team Helpdesk version 8 fresh, you will find some new pre-defined Outlook views that already use these new fields 'Total Emails' and 'Total Non-Auto Emails'.



 

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In Callers list, the company field is converted to a drop down list, and all the companies can be defined beforehand. You can also define hourly rate,  prefix code, default technician etc. So from the case form in Outlook, you can now assign the default technician associated the caller company by checking 'Apply Default Technician' option (just below the company drop down control). In future version, provision would made to automatically assign the default technician to a case based on the company domain of the sender. Team Helpdesk Manager > Callers List.



 

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Create any number of Allotment notification templates. And choose the specific allotment when a case is raised but before the notification is send out. Team Helpdesk Manager > Templates Manager > Allotment Templates tab. You can also set the default allotment to use under Team Helpdesk Manager > Case Options > Default Values.



 

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Ability to specify a different auto-response for each monitored mailbox. For instance, if someone sends an e-mail to UK.Support@myCompany.com, you would want to inform the customer that their e-mail will be responded to within 2 hours between 9am and 5:30pm UK time. If they send a new case to US.Support@myCompany.com, you can inform the customer that their e-mail will be responded to within 3 hours between 9am and 5:30pm Eastern Standard Time. You can define different auto-response allotments under Team Helpdesk Manager > Templates Manager > Allotment Templates.



 

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Options for Team Helpdesk Agent add-in to monitor the secondary mailboxes for auto processing of incoming or outgoing emails (related to existing cases) received or sent from those accounts. In the previous version, only the default primary mailbox was available for auto-monitoring by Team Helpdesk Agent add-in.

Team Helpdesk Agent > Personal Settings > Email Tracking - Incoming


Team Helpdesk Agent > Personal Settings > Email Tracking - Outgoing


 

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The Team Helpdesk Agent tool stores the helpdesk settings and data locally as cached data. This enables the agent add-in to operate in cached mode without needing to connect to the network helpdesk database (Access or SQL server). What this means is, if the agent is disconnected from the network (i.e., the helpdesk database is unavailable, he or she can still work with most of the helpdesk operations in Outlook without being interrupted.
 

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We know, in the previous versions, how difficult and cumbersome it was to change the logo used in the case form. So, we have simplified the steps and now, all you need to do is to specify your logo image file from a network folder or from web. For more, refer to Team Helpdesk Manager > Case Options > Others tab > Substitute the logo with your own.
 

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Add attachments to the allotment and closure notifications templates. Team Helpdesk Manager > Notification Options > Attachments tab.



 

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Auto-check for new versions on Outlook startup
 

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New folder 'History Resolved' added. This stores all the emails belonging to resolved cases. With version 8, emails for ongoing and resolved cases are stored separately. This is to optimize the loading speed of the case and also to ease archival and deletion of old emails (for resolved cases).
 

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'Last Modified By' field stores the last agent/technician who had worked and modified on the case.
 

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Unlimited custom fields of different data types. You can use the following data types: Text, Number, Currency, Yes/No, Date/Time, Note, List. All defined custom fields are available in summary reports and OLAP Statistics tool. Team Helpdesk Manager > Custom Fields

Some Custom fields defined with varied data types



Custom Lists


The custom fields tab in the case form


 

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New Summary reports tool allows for three modes of views or editing. Read-only, Editable and Excel like Grid. Export reports to Excel or text files.


 

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'First Response Duration' variable added in Summary Reports and OLAP Statistics. It is the duration when the support request email or call was received and when the first response (by agents) was made. Automatic notifications send to callers are not counted. Only when someone manually response to the caller via the case, will the first response time logged to that case. You can use the 'First Response' field to see the exact date/time it was made.
 

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Common problem types for all Problem categories. If you want each Problem Category to have the same problem type, just leave the problem category empty in the Problem Types list. Team Helpdesk Manager > Problems List.
 

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Online Status of Technicians - besides the version number of the Team Helpdesk installed, it shows the logon timings (to Outlook) of the agents, as well as the cases currently opened by the technicians/agents.


 

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Option to hide all the toolbars and ribbons in the inspector window of the email, appointment, contact item. Check 'Hide toolbars/ribbons in inspector window' option under Team Helpdesk Agent > Personal Settings > User Interface tab.
 

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Improved Search Cases tool. Drop down lists such as Callers, problems. technicians are sorted alphabetically. You can sort the search results by clicking the individual column header of the list box.
 

What features are depreciated in version 8?

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Export cases to database

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Assets fields in TWA/CWS sites

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Custom fields in TWA/CWS sites

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Outlook based case forms

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Phone Calls via attached modem (COM ports)

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SMS HTTP Gateways


 

Fixes/Enhancements:
 

Update of 8th January 2014 (v8.1.2.104):

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Fixed the bug where all cases are displayed when using 'Cases Ongoing' report in Summary Report tool

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Fixed the date format display bug in Summary Reports

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Fixed the bug where the Grid tab displays certain records, whereas the other HTML tabs display none when applying a filter to Summary Reports

 

Update of 11th November 2013 (v8.1.2.72):

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Supports Microsoft SharePoint as one of the database option for storing the helpdesk settings and other global configuration data. Team Helpdesk Manager > Helpdesk Settings Data Source.
 

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When a new case is generated from an email, Team Helpdesk can now automatically assign the technician associated with the sender's email domain name to the new case. For this, you will need to define default technician of the company as well as the domain name of the company under Team Helpdesk Manager > Callers list > Company tab (right section). And you will also need to enable the option 'Automatically assign technician associated with the sender's email domain name to the new case' under Team Helpdesk Manager > Case Options > Other Options tab.
 

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If a problem type value exists in an email subject and if a new case is raised from the email, Team Helpdesk will automatically assign the default values associated with that problem type to the new case. You can control this behavior (enable/disable) from Team Helpdesk Manager > Case Options > Other Options tab > 'if a problem type exists in the email subject, automatically assign the related default values to the new case.

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If your helpdesk is set to use Exchange/Outlook database, you might not be able to save the companies data under Team Helpdesk Manager > Callers List. This is fixed in this update.
 

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Under Team Helpdesk Manager > Email Monitoring and Automation panel, when you add a new mail folder for automation, it might not save the default values for problem, status or technician or the allotment template. This is fixed in this update.
 

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When running Summary Reports, if there are more than 500 records in the report, it only shows 500. In this update, the maximum records supported to 20,000.

 

Update of 20th August 2013 (v8.0.1.69):

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If you had missed or skipped one of the upgrade step, particularly the one with the upgrade of the existing cases items, you may find a scrip error or malicious error from Outlook when opening an existing case item. And after you had clicked 5-5 times OK, you see the old form (on the right side) and the new form on the left side. In this update of Team Helpdesk (version 8.0.1.69), you can fix this error by opening that particular case item and then making some changes (any changes such as adding an empty white space to the subject of the case) and then saving that case (by clicking the 'Save & Exit' button) so that it forces Outlook to trigger a save action on that item. At the same time, Team Helpdesk Agent add-in will upgrade that case item so that it discards the old form. When you open this particular case the next time, you should not get the script/malicious error message box and the old form should be gone.
 

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If you have configured Team Helpdesk Manager to monitor the mail-enabled 'Ongoing Cases' folder for automation, when new emails are received, it does not process them. Only when you start Outlook are the emails (already in the Ongoing Cases folder) processed. This is a bug in early release of version 8 and has been fixed.
 

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If your Team helpdesk is set to use the Exchange/Outlook database option, you may experience a trial end message once you open any case item or create new one. Only after Outlook restart, it again recognizes the license. This is a bug with the earlier build of Team Helpdesk version 8 and has been fixed in this update (8.0.1.69).
 

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When you click the button 'send an allotment notification to the caller' (located next to the 'Allotment Template' control) in the case form, you may get an error with 'object not set to an instance of an object'. This has been fixed in this update.
 

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When you save a case after making some changes, you may see an error message about not having adequate permission to save the item. However, cancelling that error saves the case item anyhow. This has been addressed.


Update of 12th August 2013 (v8.0.1.62):

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When you try to set Team Helpdesk Manager to monitor a mailbox, say 'Support' for automation and if there are other mailboxes/accounts having similar names such as 'IT Support' or 'Support HRM', Team Helpdesk Manager fails to get a proper handle of the mailbox because of Exchange names resolution issue. Due to which, in previous versions, either you have to use a unique account name or simply select the Inbox folder instead. This limitation is overcome in the new version and Team Helpdesk will automatically resolve the name by matching the SMTP address. This same scenario holds true when you set Team Helpdesk to send outgoing emails from a common account (under Team Helpdesk Manager > Advanced Options) and there are other accounts with similar sounding names, Team Helpdesk failed to send out from that account.
 

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You have the Technicians Web Access (TWA) or Customer Web Service (CWS) sites configured in your IIS server, and your end-users or remote agents are unable to post new cases from the web. When user/agent presses the 'Submit' button from the CWS/TWA page, it redirects to the same page with the error message 'Description field is mandatory'. This is due to incompatibility of the newer web browsers (such as IE 9/10) with the WYSIWYG HTML editor control that we use in the TWA/CWS sites. With this new version, we have discarded the old HTML control and employed a newer one that works with the latest browsers. The new files for TWA/CWS can be found in the TWA.zip and CWS.zip files of the Team Helpdesk Manager installation folder.
 

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When you need to work on a resolved cases, often you find yourself going to the 'Resolved Cases' folder, finding the case and re-opening it, then having to navigate to the 'Ongoing Cases' folder and again finding the case that was just re-opened. Well, we have finally managed to fix it and it is much simpler now with the inspector window immediately opening with the re-opened case.
 

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Added support for assigned an empty due date on new or existing case.

 

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This error report had been fixed:
Team Helpdesk Common Library: Version 8.0.1.65
In Outlook version: 14
At Line: 280
In Function: Technicians.FromString
Source:
Exception Number: 9
Exception Description: The Index was out of range array
OS:6.1.7601.65536 (Win32NT)
Module Version: Version 8.0.1.65

 

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This error report had been fixed:
Team Helpdesk Common Library: Version 8.0.1.65
In Outlook version: 14
At Line: 480
In Function: fReports.WriteToHTML
Source:
Exception Number: 13
Exception Description: Conversion from type 'DBNull' to type 'String' is not valid.
OS:6.1.7601.65536 (Win32NT)
Module Version: Version 8.0.1.65
 

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This error report had been fixed:
Team Helpdesk Common Library: Version 8.0.1.65
In Outlook version: 14
At Line: 80
In Function: Addins.ShowFields
Source:
Exception Number: -2147221238
Exception Description: The item has been moved or deleted.
OS:6.1.7601.65536 (Win32NT)
Module Version: Version 8.0.1.65

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