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Posted in: Features and Functionality

Communifire 5.0 released

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  • BryceDJ

    After much internal debate over what we could and could not get into this version, we have finally wrapped up Communifire 5.0. Please find a list of the major enhancements that made the cut below. 

    To schedule your upgrade at a time convenient for you customers can contact us by submitting a new ticket or through chat. Downtime during upgrades typically range in the 10-15 minutes range.

    New Features

    Real-Time Chat & Instant Messaging

    Communifire Chat replaces the private messaging feature. It is a fully featured, mobile ready, real-time chat application that supports private direct messages as well as group messaging among teams. It's built for business and is directly integrated inside the Communifire platform. Although it is directly integrated, it can also be opened up inside its own dedicated window, giving people the ability to keep it open on their desktop, just like many of the consumer chat applications. It gives users the ability to strike up conversations directly with individuals and groups. If people are not online, the chat messages will be saved in their inbox for later viewing. People can drag and drop to share files, photos, and documents. It supports a vast array of emoticons. People can set their online status to: online, away, do not disturb, invisible, and offline. 

    Here's an annotated screenshot of what it looks like:

    iOS and Android native Apps

    Communifire version 5.0 comes with native Android and iOS apps. iOS version 7.0 and up are supported. Android version 4.4 and up is supported. These apps come with live push notifications and HTML5 based access to your Communifire community. (Read the press release)

    Required Reading

    "Required Reading" functionality allows an author to flag content as mandatory reading. It also allows tracking of users that have indicated that they have read the content and it also tracks users that have not read the content. 

    Users having a certain role (with permissions) can mark content as "must read" by other users (based on user role). Users can also view a list of pending content which they need to read in the My Account section of Communifire. Those with proper permissions, can view a report of who has read and who has yet to read the latest version of content. This functionality is available for articles, blogs, wikis, files, videos and ideas. (Learn more)

    Bookmarking Content

    Users can bookmark their favorite or important content (articles, blogs, photos, wikis, files, videos, photos, albums and ideas) from the content or the activity stream and can access their bookmarked content from their My Account section in Communifire. These are saved shortcuts that people can utilize to save time and effort in searching.

    508 Compliant

    Fixed issues dealing with 508 compliance. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires federal agencies to provide accessible technology to people with disabilities. All institutions that receive federal funding are required to use 508 compliant technologies. This includes government, public higher education, and public K-12 schools. Many large corporations have also chosen to be 508 compliant, requiring that technology used internally meet these standards. Communifire now meets these standards. (Learn more)

    SAML Ready

    Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML, pronounced sam-el) is an XML-based, open-standard data format for exchanging authentication and authorization data between parties, in particular, between an identity provider and a service provider. This is commonly used for Single Sign On (SSO). Communifire is fully SAML compatible. (Read more about SAML & Communifire)

    Additional Updates, Changes, and New Features

    PJAX Optimizations Added - Space homepage, my account page, and many other pages including the File section will now load without postback using PJAX. PJAX allows your site to load much faster and also makes those pages mobile-friendlier.

    Comment, Bookmark and Follow Content from Activity Stream - Users will now be able to comment, bookmark and follow content directly from any of the activity streams (my account, space and profile). With the ability added to hide and show comments many sites will want to turn off showing comments by default in the stream to keep it clean. This can be done at Admin dashboard > system > general settings > Advanced Settings.

    Convert to PDF - In previous versions of Communifire, you could only export wikis to PDF. Starting version 5.0, you can export articles, blogs, wikis and ideas to PDF.

    New REST API - We have modified the REST API so that different content types (including articles, blogs, wikis, files, videos, CMSPages and ideas) can be managed easily via a common API methods.

    Comment Workflows Added - All comments can now be put into workflows both in spaces and Top Level Community. You can specify a different workflow for each different entity comment, like Article Comment workflow for article comments, Blog CommentWorkflow for blog comemnts etc.

    Forum Workflows Added - Forum post replies can have their own workflow engine.

    Ideas: Filter ideas by stage - On the filter list pages there is now an option to narrow the list of ideas down by stage, which are customizable by space. 

    Content in quick search in the header - In addition to the space and user matches, the search tool in the header will now suggest the top 5 best content matches for your search text. Advanced users can narrow the content types included in the results by editing the ASPX page (ask for help).

    Number of unread notifications and message threads in page title: There is now an option in the admin general settings to show unread notifications and message thread counts in the browser tab for Communifire. So without even pulling up the tab you know if you have anything urgent pending. 

    Spaces: Add members to a space from a space - A new link was added to the Invite people widget in spaces to add people without bothering with the invite. This brings the bulk capability in the admin area down to the individual spaces, using the same person search box as the invite more page does.

    Events: All day and repeat options add to Add/Edit Event page - Previously only available on the calendar view, these options are now available in the Add/Edit Event page view. 

    Photos: Rotating photos after uploading - Users can now rotate a photo clockwise or counter-clockwise after uploading it.

    CalendarCalendar print button added, allowing users to download a printable PDF of the calendar.

    International and user preference date support - Date selectors have been improved to provide better support for international and personal date/time format preferences.

    Admin: Search users in banned members - Particularly valuable for communities using "banned" for disabled accounts, the banned members page now offers a search tool. 

    Cases: Due date added - Some organizations have wanted to use cases as more robust task management. Due date was required to make that complete. Upcoming cases are included in the upcoming tasks page through My Account and in the count of upcoming tasks sent to users by email. There is also a sort by due date option in the list of cases that only shows cases with due dates. Due date fields and information is hidden by default using CSS (because when used to track issues due date is rarely appropriate). Add this to CSS overrides to reveal due dates universally (or target using custom class by space): 

            .axero-case-due-date { display:inherit; }

    Upcoming birthdays widget - There's now an option checkbox in space settings to show the widget just for members of that space.

    Albums: Is Featured flag added - Albums can now be marked as featured.

    Spaces: Disable isolated spaces - There is now an option in the Application Settings to disable Isolated Spaces (set to disabled by default). Isolated spaces are practical only in limited use cases, typically private spaces is what you want. To avoid confusion, this allows them to be disabled.

    Known Issues

    • CSS loading issue in Chrome: There is a known issue in Chrome web browser where it fails to load CSS for the first few seconds, and the site displays only plain-text (without CSS styling and images). On subsequent access, this issue does not occur. This issue occurs only intermittently and is not related to Communifire but Chrome web browser.
    • Admin section of Communifire is not 100% 508 compliant.
    • Existing APIs to access content will no longer work. Please refer to our REST API guide to see how the new API will allow you to access Communifire content much more easily.
    • As a part of a long-term flexibility-expansion plan, articles, blogs, wikis, files, videos, albums, photos and ideas have been migrated to a single shared table in the database. This has required a reallocation of IDs for this content affecting URLs. We have added redirects from the old URLs to the new but if there are any old links out there with old content names (if you changed the title of the content after the link was added), these pages will no longer link properly. 
    • The Android OS has an issue which is preventing uploads of files from the app. We will be pursuing workarounds for this in later versions.
    • Safari browsers have an issue that causes users to be logged out randomly. It seems to happen with just about any site with login under the "right" conditions. We will try to find some workaround for it but with it plaguing many popular sites or hope is the browser itself will be fixed.
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