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Missing notifications when following requests timelines


Alberto M
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Hi.

Some weeks ago we changed the default visibility from a few timeline actions from "Customer" to "Team only". Since that change, we noticed that our analysts that activated the follow timeline updates button in requests are not receiving the notifications when the timeline is updated by the System AutoResponder.

For us it's normal that analysts from one team want to follow and get updates on requests assigned to another teams, as we work together to get solutions but, from what I've understood, the "user" System AutoResponder is not a "normal user" and doesn't belong to any team (?), what I believe it's causing these missing notifications.

As I said, our analysts need to be notified about any updates with "Customer" to "Team only" visibility in the requests they follow, so we keep on working together within different teams and this missing notifications are disrupting the way we need to work.

Will it be possible to get ALL the relevant visibility updates ("Customer" to "Team only") to generate the notification to the live portal users?

Thanks,

Alberto

 

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Update to this topic:

I've checked with our users and it seems that this is not limited to the System AutoResponder "user".

"I followed SR______20 which is my colleagues call. I'm part of the same team as her. I didn't even receive notification even when she sent an Hornbill email to the approver with "team " visibility. Neither did i receive an update when the approver approved. This used to work previously before the visibility of email was changed to "team""

So, it seems something is wrong with this notification feature.

 

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Hi @Alberto M

 thanks for your post. As your second comment speculates, this situation is not related to who makes the post. i.e. the situation you have observed is not due to the posts being made by the System Autoresponder user.

The notifications will adhere to the visibility level associated with a timeline post i.e. Customer, Team, Owner, etc. It may be that the expectations on how this should work, are different to what the functionality is actually allowing. So lets explore further.

From the post above, it appears that you are looking for analysts to receive notifications on requests that belong to a different team i.e. a team which they don't belong? Is that correct?

I'll word it another way to ensure I've understood. The requirement is that Analysts from one team want to follow and get updates on requests assigned to another team which they are not a member of.

If you can clarify my understanding of your requirement, I'll then endeavour to explain how the notification mechanism works in relation to following a timeline.

Dan

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32 minutes ago, DanielRi said:

The requirement is that Analysts from one team want to follow and get updates on requests assigned to another team which they are not a member of.

Yes, that's what we are expecting and I believe this will include the posts created by System Autoresponder. 

When any of our analysts browse a request in the live portal, they can see all the "Customer" and "Team only" timeline entries; those should be the entries that would generate the notification.

(meanwhile I'll check with my colleague more details about what I shared here on the update I've added)

 

 

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@DanielRi, I've checked and both analysts belong to the team assigned to the request so, apparently, something is not working as expected.

"I followed SR______20 which is my colleagues call. I'm part of the same team as her. I didn't even receive notification even when she sent an Hornbill email to the approver with "team " visibility. Neither did i receive an update when the approver approved. This used to work previously before the visibility of email was changed to "team""

 

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@Alberto M

thanks for confirming, I've also observed the same behaviour.

The reason being is that the notifications you're entitled to see when following a timeline have no bearing on team membership. Let me try and provide some background.

Timelines and following
Timelines and the "following" of a timeline are concepts which are part of the Core of the Hornbill Platform, it's not a feature developed solely for Hornbill Service Manager or any other application in particular. Documents, Workspaces, Requests, and Assets all have timelines associated with them, but this functionality (and the concept of following) is intended to be application agnostic. Aside from the terminology (Customer, Team, Owner, etc) used to denote a visibility level, there is nothing application-specific about timelines, or the concept of "following" a timeline.

Timeline Visibility
Every timeline post possesses a visibility level. In the database this is a number, (either 1, 10, 20, 30, 35, 40, 50, or 100). To you and me, each score is represented by a label (e.g. "Customer", "Team", etc.) and this is the only element that an application has control of i.e. how each value is displayed to the user. You'll notice that some applications, such as Document Manager, don't even indicate the visibility level on their timeline posts.

For Service Manager, the current visibility levels which are exposed are:

Public = 1
Customer = 10
Team = 30
Owner = 35
Manager = 40

(You'll notice that there are more visibility levels defined by in the platform API documentation https://api.hornbill.com/_types/activityVisibilityType, and that the text references differ to those employed by Service Manager)

You can see the above visibility levels listed when defining the default visibility in the application settings prefixed: "guest.ui.app.com.hornbill.servicemanager.operation.defaultVisibility". In reality, the ones that are relevant are "Customer" and "Team". I can't think of a scenario where I've needed to suggest using any other.

Visibility Entitlement
So, as a user, what dictates my entitlement to see posts with a specific visibility level?
This is down to the specific functionality and whatever logic exists to decide which timeline posts you should be exposed to.

For example, when viewing a request, the application (Service Manager) will query the user to understand if they are a member of the team to which a request is assigned. If the user is a member of that team, the application will retrieve all posts with a visibility level of 30 or less (that might not be a comprehensive description of the logic, but hopefully that gives you the idea)
This is functionality defined by Service Manager and thus adheres to the principles required by that application.

However, in terms of following, this functionality exists at the platforms core and the logic and principles operate differently. The roots of that may be due to its need to remain application agnostic. "Following" has no notion of group membership when determining how notifications are distributed.

Currently, "following" a timeline entitles a user to see timeline posts with a visibility level of 20, or less. This is why you can see posts with a visibility of "customer" (value = 10), but not posts with a visibility of team (value = 30) when you are following a timeline.

Possible Solution
The solution might be to expose the visibility level of "Following" in Hornbill Administration and also on the request actions. This would allow you to set a default visibility for timeline posts, and allow users to select that visibility when posting things via the request actions. Posts with a visibility of "following" have a value of 20 and as stated a moment ago, "following" a timeline entitles a user to see timeline posts with a visibility level of 20, or less.

Posts with a visibility level of "Team" still won't be available when a timeline is followed.

I've asked development and product team to review this suggestion for it's feasibility and that it doesn't conflict with any existing functionality.

Dan

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Thanks for this detailed information, @DanielRi.

In fact, this is something that we really need - basically, we need requests followers to get notified whenever any update that they can see in the request timeline is done, which for me is what makes sense.

( what about a new setting in Hornbill admin where we can set the visibility level that generates the notification? eg.: 20, or 30? )

Please keep me updated about this, as I have our teams waiting for news about this.

Cheers

 

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@Alberto M

"what about a new setting in Hornbill admin where we can set the visibility level that generates the notification?" Indeed, that's the proposal. We already have the ability to do this, but would be looking for an additional item to be able to set the value to something which would be visible to followers, but remain hidden from customers.

 

Visbility level.JPG

I'll post back once I have an update,

Dan

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