• Publishing the Scan Factory Client

    The Scan Factory client can be published by any developer from their PC, as long as the only changes that need publishing are just in the Client app.  If you need web services releasing please see someone with live server access.

    Please be aware you need to check if there are any other changes that have been checked-in that relate to the Client app that may need web services or schema changes publishing.

     

    1. Load Scan Factory Solution
    2. Make sure you don't have any pending changes, we don't want to publish these so shelve / suspend the work
    3. Select ScanFactoryClient.View project that you want to publish
    4. Edit the App.config to point the appSettings to the live web services.  Change the comments from the live Urls to the local ones here
    5. Edit the App.config to point the CropMarkerImagePath at the image on the servers.  Again swap the comments from the live version to the local one.
    6. Right-click on the ScanFactoryClient.View project and select Properties
    7. Select the Publish tab
    8. Click the Updates button
    9. Set the Revision number to be the same as on the Publish tab page, click OK.
    10. Click Publish Now
    11. Enter staging FTP user and password and click OK
    12. Save changes in Visual Studio to the project
    13. Revert changes to App.config
    14. Check-in ScanFactoryClient.View project file that contains the new version numbers

    Your publish is complete, run the app and check it updates and runs OK.

     

  • MC3 and Lync Issues in Google Chrome - 7th May, 2015

    MC3 and Microsoft Lync both use Silverlight technology to work within Google Chrome. Due to the recent update from Google, removing the ability to use Silverlight in Google Chrome, you may have noticed that Lync doesn't work as expected and you may also find clients are unable to use MC3 in Google Chrome.

    Using Internet Explorer to access Lync and MC3 works fine - however, we have a temporary workaround in place to enable us to use Google Chrome and still access MC3 and Lync. This requires some quick configuration and setup on your machine.


    If you find you are receiving errors using Chrome to use Lync, please raise a ticket and we can get the workaround installed on your machine.

  • Planned maintenance on Best Companies websites 14th May 2015

    We will be applying urgent security updates tonight in conjunction with our hosting company Rackspace. This is planned for 9pm and will result in all Best Companies websites and apps (including mobile) being unavailable for a short time.

    I anticipate this being completed within a 10 minute window. This will be completed as quickly as possible.

    Thank You,

    John

    For those of you that would like a look at the technical reason of the security update:

    Potential hypervisor vulnerability (Xen Security Advisory 133: http://xenbits.xen.org/xsa/advisory-133.html)


    *******UPDATE 21:06********
    Update complete, all should be back to normal.

  • Server Restart - 1st June 2015 - Complete

    The Lync server will be restarted tonight at 7pm. This ticket will be updated once normal service is resumed.

  • Server Restart - 4th June 2015 - Complete

    Our database server needs to be restarted today at 12:30 to allow an important update to be carried out.

    The following applications will be unavailable during this time:
    Pronet
    Timelog
    Holiday and sickness

    This ticket will be updated once the server is back up.

  • Releasing the Best Companies site to staging
    If Best Companies need to see some work that you have done on staging then you can follow these instructions to release it. Best Companies that nobody is using staging at the moment - they will be kicked out of the site if they are on it and you perform a release
    1. In Visual Studio open the website solution
    2. Right click on the website project and select 'Publish Website'
    3. Put a local path in the target location - e.g. 'E:\Depot\Main\BC_Website\PrecompiledWeb\BC_Website'
    4. Click on the Publish button
    5. At the bottom of studio, the status should change to 'Build Started...'
    6. You may be shown a prompt asking 'Existing files in the destination location will be deleted. Continue?' - Click on 'Yes'
    7. When the status changes to 'Publish succeeded' in Studio, the publish has finished.
    8. Open 'File Explorer', go to 'Network' and select the 'DEV01' computer. Alternatively, type the location manually into the address bar as '\\DEV01'.
    9. Open the 'Websites' folder and look for the correct staging folder. If you are not certain which folder you need to use, refer to this guide.
    10. Open the folder e.g. Staging and replace the files in this location with the files in the folder you have just published to.
    11. In Studio, go into the web.config file for the schema
    12. Change the connection string properties for BestCompanies as follows;
    13. Replace Server=localhost with Server=SQL12
    14. Replace Database=BestCompanies with Database="The database you want to update"
    15. Change the connection string properties for BestCompaniesReporting as follows;
    16. Replace Server=localhost with Server=SQL12
    17. Replace Database=BestCompanies with Database="the database you are updating with Reporting appended to the name"
    18. Save the config file
    19. Run the schema (right click on the project and view in browser)
    20. Change the config values back to what they were and save the config file again
    21. Test the site and let Best Companies know it has been done
  • Issue Relating to BC Staff Registering on Behalf of Companies - 30th March, 2015 - Complete

    There's currently a glitch in the system where an Admin account (i.e. Best Companies Staff) completes registration for a company, and different company's information comes through on the order details. 

    We're currently investigating this urgently and will post an update as soon as this is working as expected. 

    Please be aware that if you do complete a registration order on behalf of a company, you may experience this glitch. If this is the case, please feel free to alert us to which companies are affected (either through comments on here, or via a ticket) and we will add this to the list we are working through. 

     Update 31/03/15 @ 11:30am: 

    We have a fix ready to be applied in the overnight process tonight, which should hopefully prevent further issues if this completes successfully tonight. 

    The outstanding issues from this glitch will still need to be investigated to ensure everything is up to date, the fix being applied should just prevent this from happening again. All tickets relating to this issue are being treated as a high priority, so please check your tickets for updates relating to these. 

    Update 01/04/15 @ 12pm:

    A fix has now been applied to prevent this from happening again. All affected users should now be able to complete registrations without the issue occurring. We'll go through the outstanding list of affected clients and provide updates via the relevant tickets once we've fixed them. 

  • Publishing the Scan Factory Client

    The Scan Factory client can be published by any developer from their PC, as long as the only changes that need publishing are just in the Client app.  If you need web services releasing please see someone with live server access.

    Please be aware you need to check if there are any other changes that have been checked-in that relate to the Client app that may need web services or schema changes publishing.

     

    1. Load Scan Factory Solution
    2. Make sure you don't have any pending changes, we don't want to publish these so shelve / suspend the work
    3. Select ScanFactoryClient.View project that you want to publish
    4. Edit the App.config to point the appSettings to the live web services.  Change the comments from the live Urls to the local ones here
    5. Edit the App.config to point the CropMarkerImagePath at the image on the servers.  Again swap the comments from the live version to the local one.
    6. Right-click on the ScanFactoryClient.View project and select Properties
    7. Select the Publish tab
    8. Click the Updates button
    9. Set the Revision number to be the same as on the Publish tab page, click OK.
    10. Click Publish Now
    11. Enter staging FTP user and password and click OK
    12. Save changes in Visual Studio to the project
    13. Revert changes to App.config
    14. Check-in ScanFactoryClient.View project file that contains the new version numbers

    Your publish is complete, run the app and check it updates and runs OK.

     

  • Do I need to request a release?

    We have this question frequently, do I need to request a release for solution/project X?  So this article aims to explain the current release processes.

     

    Secure Website

    This is the only website that has an automated release, this happens every evening if work has been checked-in to the solution. 

    Please note there are a number of file extensions that are excluded from the release, such as many images and downloads with a view of keeping the file size of the website down when we come to publish it, so if you need these uploading to the live server please create a ticket.  Below is a snippet of the exclusions list in the web.config file.

    BC Schema

    This is part of the secure website solution so is included in the automated release.

     

    Click Once Deployed Apps

    These client apps can be released by you if it is just the client app that has been updated. 

    If you need web services on the live server to be updated at the same time for example you are not able to do the release and need help from someone with Server access.

    Current Click Once apps include:

    - Scan Factory Client

    - Comment Typing

    - MC3 Presentation Creator (Killer Chart app)

    - WIT Presentation Creator (desktop app)

     

    All other projects if you need them releasing please create a ticket and someone with live server access can pick this up.

     

  • Extracting Raw Data for Individual Companies

    There is now a button on the harness for extracting raw data for a single company. You just need to find out the CompanySurveyID for the entry you want the raw data for, and insert it into the textbox. Then, click 'Extract Raw Data'.

    This will put a formatted set of results in your Website downloads folder, ready to send to the requester. The filename will be in the format "RawData_{{CompanySurveyID}}_{{Date}}_{{Time}}". The file itself will have the company name under the first column of the file, so you can use this to ensure you've pulled out data for the right company.

     

  • MC3 and Lync Issues in Google Chrome - 7th May, 2015

    MC3 and Microsoft Lync both use Silverlight technology to work within Google Chrome. Due to the recent update from Google, removing the ability to use Silverlight in Google Chrome, you may have noticed that Lync doesn't work as expected and you may also find clients are unable to use MC3 in Google Chrome.

    Using Internet Explorer to access Lync and MC3 works fine - however, we have a temporary workaround in place to enable us to use Google Chrome and still access MC3 and Lync. This requires some quick configuration and setup on your machine.


    If you find you are receiving errors using Chrome to use Lync, please raise a ticket and we can get the workaround installed on your machine.

  • Planned maintenance on Best Companies websites 14th May 2015

    We will be applying urgent security updates tonight in conjunction with our hosting company Rackspace. This is planned for 9pm and will result in all Best Companies websites and apps (including mobile) being unavailable for a short time.

    I anticipate this being completed within a 10 minute window. This will be completed as quickly as possible.

    Thank You,

    John

    For those of you that would like a look at the technical reason of the security update:

    Potential hypervisor vulnerability (Xen Security Advisory 133: http://xenbits.xen.org/xsa/advisory-133.html)


    *******UPDATE 21:06********
    Update complete, all should be back to normal.

  • Server Restart - 1st June 2015 - Complete

    The Lync server will be restarted tonight at 7pm. This ticket will be updated once normal service is resumed.

  • Server Restart - 4th June 2015 - Complete

    Our database server needs to be restarted today at 12:30 to allow an important update to be carried out.

    The following applications will be unavailable during this time:
    Pronet
    Timelog
    Holiday and sickness

    This ticket will be updated once the server is back up.

  • Zendesk Performance Issues - 11th/12th June, 2015

    Zendesk are currently suffering from some performance issues, some of which you may have noticed already this morning.

    We've logged a ticket with them so we can be updated when they fix the issue.

    You may notice in the meantime that:

    • Your dashboard doesn't look like it is updating but it is
    • Your ticket updates are glitchy, or look like they aren't updating when they are
    • The ticket pages don't load correctly
    • The ticket pages are showing the red button, meaning they look like they are being edited by you (therefore prompting the “are you sure you want to leave this page” message.

    Most of the issues are small and misleading – just double check your emails/refresh the page to be sure your comments are being sent while this is ongoing.

    Update 12/06/15 11:44am:

    Zendesk have deployed some fixes so we can access our accounts and performance seems to have returned to a stable state.

  • Best Companies Website Emergency Release - 24th June 2015

    In order to remedy the problems Best Companies staff have encountered when trying to access Contact Management this morning, a release of the website will be started at 12:30pm today.

    UPDATE: I am pleased to say that the release of the website was successful, and the website should now be working as normal for you once again.