This release introduce new features, performance improvement and corrections.
Product: Snow Automation Platform (AP)
Release date: December 6, 2017
Distribution: Snow Update Service (SUS)
Current status: Released
The following features have been added to Snow Automation Platform, version 3.4.0:
- Asynchronous cart checkout
Submission of checkout requests including many parameters requiring server-side resolution, was causing the interface to hang until completion of all resolutions. To enhance the user experience, parameter resolution is now carried out in the background, enabling users to carry out other activities in the platform while the request is being processed.
To support this improvement, a new error-handling process has been implemented to manage cases where parameter values fail to load. Previously, the interface would highlight errors to the user who could then edit the failed request directly in the cart. The updated version records why the parameter could not be resolved in the activity log (which is visible in Request monitor), sends an error message to the system administrator, sets the status of the request to Error, and continues to process remaining requests.
- Improved management of customer branding capabilities
The CSS file containing customer-specific branding of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is no longer overridden when Automation Platform is updated – thus lowering the effort to maintain a branded interface across AP versions.
- More intuitive marking and enforced input of required fields in checkout
The checkout view has been redesigned with new wording, indicator icons, and enforced input of required fields before submit is enabled. This feature will remove errors in request handling due to missing required fields.
- Shared parameters enabled for cart items
Cart item parameters can now be tagged as shared, enabling them to be reused by other cart items, improving the checkout experience. The interface prompts the user to input the data for a shared parameter once, automatically populating other cart items with the value, saving users from inputting the same data several times.
- Refactoring of PowerShell web services to remove external web-service calls
The technical implementation of PowerShell web-service calling has been rebuilt to:
• Shorten response times for external PowerShell web services to complete.
• Verification of calls to external web services has been made more robust, leading to better error handling.
• Support for special characters to be passed to PowerShell web services has been implemented, enabling admins to create more complex service calls.
• Lay the foundation for future features such as enhanced logging and statistics.
- Addition of named attribute for task owner for My tasks view
It is now possible to extract the AD attributes of the user who completes a task in a workflow. For example, if a task approver is a group of users, the information about the actual user approving the task can now be extracted and used in subsequent activities in the workflow. This feature functions for the My tasks view only.
- Admin tools has been renamed to System logs
The Admin tools view now only contains log information, has been renamed to System logs accordingly.
- API logging now uses NLog framework
To improve the interoperability of log services, all logging in the API is now carried out using the NLog framework. By default, logs are written to the Logs table in the Snow Automation Platform domain database. Settings for how and where logs are written can be modified in the web.config file for the API, located on the Automation Platform server. You can find more information about the benefits of the NLog framework at http://nlog-project.org
The following defects have been corrected in Snow Automation Platform, version 3.4.0:
- The clean-up function now ensures that users have one active cart.
- It is now possible to edit/cancel workflows with no visible parameters.
- Long strings without spaces or line returns no longer causes interface overflow.
- API reports are now restricted to the role authorized for viewing.
- Error messages shown when, for example, configuration settings stop services from being exported are now more explicit, enabling users to make the necessary corrections.
- Scrollbar is now visible on the categories pane.
- License key endpoint information retrieved by the API is now only visible to administrators.
- In the Activity admin view, it is now possible to change the value instance attribute to no/yes irrespective of current setting.
- Scripts no longer hang when running PowerShell scripts that make web requests or include special characters that break the semantics of the script parameters.
- Bad Requests no longer occur with required parameters.
- Images in the HTML documentation for User and Admin guide are no longer missing.
- Submit button can no longer be selected until all information has been loaded.
- Checkbox list can now be populated with semicolon separated values.
- Only applications marked as ‘Available in Software Store’ in Snow License Manager will be automatically re-harvested.
- The status of service instance requests that complete at the exact same time are now set to complete, as expected.
- The ‘Complete task’ button is no longer active once the user has selected it, removing the possibility to complete a task multiple times.
- The PowerShell function New-APToken that is used to prepare calls to the API, no longer records data in the logs, removing noise.
- Fixed an issue where service description was not localized in the start page.