Gary Sherman
Gary Sherman

Gary Sherman

Chief Technology Officer, Vice President of Products
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Gary Sherman
May 26, 2015

We’ve made some improvements to the Log Email functionality in Dovetail Agent 5.11. Here’s a quick rundown of the improvements

Contact Picker

Previously, you had to type in an email address to the TO or CC list. Which works. But we can do better.

Now, you can still type in, but we also allow you to easily search for and pick an existing contact. You can search for a contact by first name, last name, email address, site name, or any combination of these. It shows the contact’s primary address, as well as any additional email addresses that the contact may have.

And of course, you can still type in any email address that you want.

In action:

In case the embedded video doesn’t show, here’s the link to the video.

 

Form Improvements

We’ve


Gary Sherman
April 27, 2015

A few years ago, I created ClarifyToolbox.com, which was a a repository of apps, code snippets, add-ons, and APIs for the Clarify environment.

It was a little experiment of my own making to try and share some resources with the community, and also a chance for me to play with Drupal.

It just didn’t get the traffic or interest anticipated, and it was costing me money out of my own pocket every month, so it’s now shut down.

clarifytoolbox_top

I still own the domain. If someone in the community is interested in it, let me know.


Gary Sherman
April 22, 2015

Task Manager

Task Manager is an optional Clarify module that allows subcases and action items to be automatically created when a task set is selected from a case.

Task Manager and the Clarify Classic Client

Within the Clarify Classic Client, this process is started by clicking the Jobs button on a case, and then selecting a Task Set to be executed. The Clarify Client then evaluates the task set and creates the subcases and action items as needed.

Task Manager and Dovetail Agent

Within Dovetail Agent, this process is started by choosing the Workflow – Run Task Set menu item on a case, and then selecting a Task Set to be executed. User’s must have the Task Manager privilege in order to see this menu item. Dovetail Agent itself does not evaluate the task set


Gary Sherman
April 1, 2015

Given that I’ve been working in customer service in some way shape or form for almost all of my career, I tend to be overly sensitive to customer experiences that aren’t great.

I recently had an interaction with a support rep that irked me a bit. Email in a problem and a support case was created. Followed up the next day with an email with an additional screenshot and description with what was thought to be a related issue. The support rep responded, requesting that a new case be created instead. Basically: here’s what you need to do, so that I can have my work organized the way I want it. The support rep had all the info – if they wanted to create a second case out of the additional info, they very well could have created it themselves.


Gary Sherman
March 30, 2015

Our Dovetail Agent and Dovetail SelfService products are both very JavaScript-heavy applications. And we have quite a suite of automated tests we run as part of our development process.

Barrett Sonntag (one of our developers here at Dovetail) has written a nice post that details Unit Testing a JavaScript app using RequireJS with Mocha, PhantomJS, Chai & SinonJS.

Unit testing is something every developer agrees should be done, but often doesn’t do. Setting it up isn’t hard after reading and evaluating what feels like a 7 course meal of modules that need to come together hand in hand to allow you to write some tests. It is fairly easy after you’ve learned more than you ever wanted to know about unit testing. Not easy at all, so I’m going to distill a stack down here


Gary Sherman
March 27, 2015

As part of helping customers move from the Clarify Classic Client to Dovetail Agent, we often assist in porting their customization from Clarify forms and ClearBasic code into Dovetail Agent code (HTML, C#, CSS, JavaScript).

It’s easy to fall into the thinking that we want our customizations within Dovetail Agent to look and behave the same exactly as how they are within the Clarify Client. While there are advantages to this (familiar app, less training, etc.), I think it’s worthwhile to revisit your customizations and take the opportunity to improve them where it makes sense.

Within Clarify, there are some constraints that often cause customizations to have to be done a certain way. Within a web application like Dovetail Agent, we also have some constraints, but they’re not typically the same constraints that we had with the old


Gary Sherman
March 24, 2015

Last year, we released our Dovetail Agent Reporting module. Dovetail Agent Reporting is a full-featured web-based reporting module for Dovetail Agent that allows non-technical end users to create and edit reports and dashboards without IT support.

A set of sample reports and dashboards are included. Because every business is different, it is expected that each customer will create their own reports and dashboards that are specific to their business needs.

Here’s a quick visual walkthrough of the reporting module.

Dovetail Agent

From within Dovetail Agent, click the Reports link to access the reporting module. A user must have the reporting privilege to see this link.

agent

 

Home

Reporting home page, with links for creating a new report, accessing the admin console, online


Gary Sherman
March 3, 2015

I’ve written recently about how we’re using Markdown for rich text on our solutions.  Under the hood, we’re using the Remarkable library.

Barrett Sonntag, one of our developers here at Dovetail, has written an excellent post on writing custom extensions for the Remarkable JavaScript Markdown parser.

He includes details on extending the parser to add images to a lightbox – which we use in Dovetail Agent and in Dovetail SelfService.

As he says:

There were no clear examples on how to create new plugins or extensions for Remarkable though. So having worked on creating some and having a measure of success it is time to share the knowledge.

I love seeing our knowledge being shared – through blogs, solutions, code samples, etc.

Great stuff Barrett!


Gary Sherman
February 24, 2015

I received an email today from IT Toolbox:

Based on recent member feedback, the following groups will be deactivated:
ACT!
Clarify
SalesLogix
You are currently a member of one or more of these groups. You can ask or reply to new threads in CRM – General Discussions.

I’m definitely saddened by this – I’ve shared a lot of information there, and learned a lot as well.  We’ll see how the Clarify community takes to the CRM – General Discussions list instead.

I’m guessing that it’s due to the lack of activity on the Clarify list. Looking at the number of messages per month, the decline is pretty obvious.

ClarifyMessageArchive

Quite the decline from its heyday in the early 2000s.

My first


Gary Sherman

Throughout our application, we use “pickers” for selecting items.

For example, we use a picker for queues when dispatching a case:

QueuePicker

a picker for contacts when creating a case:

CreateCaseContactPicker

and a picker for the installed part on a case:

EditCaseSitePartPicker

For a small list of items (lets say < 100), such as a list of queues, we’ll just show the user all of the available items straight-away. The user can scroll to see them all, or start typing and the list will be filtered in place.

When there are a large number of items, such


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