Triaster Product Release and Technical Update

Triaster Suite 17.2 is the latest Release

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Triaster Platform version 17.2 has now been released and marks a big step forward for Triaster. We recommend that all customers upgrade as soon as practicable.

The major benefits of version 17.2 are:

  1. Triaster Online is enabled
  2. Easy upgrade to SVG
  3. Publication performance enhancements
  4. Launch of APQC Process classification framework
  5. Hyperlink Integrity Report
  6. System Maintenance Enhancements
  7. Publication Server Cluster for Triaster Online

Triaster Online is enabled

Version 17.2 is the enabler for the launch of Triaster Online. Triaster Online offers a fully managed Triaster Process Library, hosted in the cloud. Triaster customers may wish to enjoy the benefits of this moving forward, but will be able to stay with their existing Triaster Agreement without change, if preferred.

Full details of Triaster Online can be read here.

Easy upgrade to SVG

VML has been deprecated by Microsoft and Microsoft are actively encouraging users of VML to migrate to SVG. Please click here for more detail on this.

VML has been used by Triaster since it was first introduced, and many customers will be familiar with the VML interface.

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VML has the characteristic “data widget” and zoom window on the left pane.

Contrast the above diagram with an example SVG map:

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The data widget has been replaced, and the data view is now achieved by clicking on an object. Drill-down is accomplished with double-click.

All customers are strongly encouraged to move to SVG as this will give the widest browser compatibility, and it is likely at some point that future browsers will simply stop displaying VML at all.

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17.2 makes this incredible easy to do, simply set the Publication Format to one of the 2 SVG options.

Publication enhancements – we’ve witnessed an 80% performance gain!

Publishing is a process that requires Visio to open a map and save it in a HTML format. This seemingly simple step can sometimes fail for many reasons, for example:

  • The map is in some way corrupt
  • The HTML file name of the map is too long for the OS to cope with
  • Visio crashes
  • There is a hierarchy circularity condition
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In testing, we have seen dramatic performance gains as a result of this, with publish times reducing by as much as 80%!

The time taken for Visio to load the map and save it can stretch to minutes.

We have worked this year to try and minimise the need for Visio to open the map at all, and in 17.2, by selecting SVG – Triaster, an alternative publish method is used that does not require Visio to produce the HTML. In testing, we have seen dramatic performance gains as a result of this, with publish times reducing by as much as 80%! The publish is also much more robust because the bulk of publication issues that currently exist are mainly caused by Visio failures.

There may be subtle interpretation differences between the Triaster and Visio publishes, for example in gradient shading, that are significant to you. Therefore we have retained the option to use Visio as the publication engine. You can swap from one to the other and see which works best for you.

17.2 has taken big steps forward in making publishes more reliable, faster and more scalable with the Triaster SVG format. Alongside these improvements, we have implemented the first draft version of the full AQPC framework which is available free of charge to all customers – the framework is the perfect way to take advantage of the improved publish!

APQC Process Classification Framework Draft 1 Release

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We are delighted to be able to report Triaster’s first draft implementation of the APQC Process Classification Framework is released with 17.2, entirely free of charge to all customers.

Draft 1 is a release wherein only the Triaster team have had an opportunity to comment on the format and approach adopted in the framework. We will produce a final release following customer feedback.

The framework is large, comprising over 1600 separate process maps in some cases! Triaster’s implementation includes both the menu file and the placeholder maps, and these can be generated to fit in with your custom branding.

The framework is important because it gives all Triaster users the possibility of a baseline to compare the process hierarchy in their own organisation against a comprehensive, independently developed framework.

Not all processes in the framework are relevant to all organisations, but a great many of them are. Instead of needing to figure out a hierarchy from scratch, this framework can get you up and running in a few hours instead of (in many cases) a few years!

To work with the framework, please follow the guidance given here. The linked page also gives you links into sample framework libraries Triaster has created with various configuration options.

We will be developing more frameworks over the coming months, and are very pleased we have already reached agreement with the TM Forum to implement the eTOM Business Process Framework (www.tmforum.org/business-process-framework/).

Hyperlink Integrity Checker

With 17.2, optionally at the end of publish, all hyperlinks in the library are ‘clicked’ by the software to see if they are valid.

To turn the option on, check the Update Hyperlinks Report beneath the publish button. Note that because this tests every hyperlink in the site, including menu links, it can take a significant amount of time to complete so we do not recommend it be performed with every publish.

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Once the publish is finished, the report can be viewed using the Hyperlinks Report in the Administration > Library Management section.

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Help

In previous versions of Triaster releases, Help files were accessed over the internet. In 17.2 Help files are installed locally. This makes load times faster, removes confusion over Help versions and provides access to Help on servers that do not have internet access enabled for security reasons.

System Maintenance

On the previous image you will note there is a new System Maintenance section. The purpose of the new System Maintenance section is to provide web access to system files for Administrators thereby bypassing the need to remote into the server.

Simple File Upload and Download options enable Administrators and support staff to work with the server configuration, an example of the upload screen is shown below for the Settings file (which we strongly recommend only be edited by Triaster staff as part of the Library Administration Managed Service).

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Clear Queue provides a simple way to stop in-progress publications.

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Event Log Beta

The Event Log option in Configuration is a beta release of functionality that will play an increasingly important role in future versions of Triaster.

Using the Windows Event Log, error conditions or user actions that are required on an Administrative level are stored in the Event Log. For example, suppose there is an invalid setting that must be changed, this is logged in the Event Log. Once the setting is corrected, it is marked as resolved in the Event Log. In this way, important user actions are properly tracked and the system does not repeatedly report on events that are yet to be resolved.

Publication Server Cluster for Triaster Online Customers

Although we have reduced the need for Visio to be used during a publish, we haven’t yet been able to completely remove it. Therefore, Triaster Online customers can take advantage of a Publication Server Cluster. This is a set of servers maintained by Triaster that can process your files in parallel during a publish, significantly reducing publication times and improving resiliency.

The Publication Server Cluster is only available to Triaster Online customers because it is only in this environment Triaster are able to monitor and configure the underlying infrastructure appropriately.

How do I upgrade to the latest Software?

Both the Triaster Server and Process Navigator can be downloaded from here.

We recommend customers perform their own upgrades to 17.2, however, please contact Customer Services (customer.services@triaster.co.uk) if you have any questions or concerns about this process or would like additional support.

If you are not already registered to receive information regarding releases, please do so here: www.triaster.co.uk/software-releases.php.

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