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Notification Service

Article published on the 12th of May, 2022.

1. Introduction

The Notification Service is used to send notifications to users, e.g. when a new entity has been created, if they have been assigned to an entity or a task, or in general if there is something users should be aware of.

This can be useful in many cases, as it provides an overview of notifications so important information is not overseen in the mail inbox and make it easy for admins and users to configure notifications.

Users can view a list of all their notifications, which are split into four groups: Pending, Overdue, Future, and Completed.

When a user has pending notifications, a small indicator at the Express panel button is displayed:

anm0021 - Clients - All Items - Google Chrome

The indicator shows how many pending notifications the user currently has. The user can open the Express panel, navigate to the Notifications tab, and view their notifications:

2. Requirements

Use of the Notification Service requires that your license includes the feature. Please contact WorkPoint sales at sales@workpoint.dk for more information.

3. Configuration

The process of configuring the Notification Service is split into two sections.

First, the feature is enabled and configured inside the WorkPoint Administration.

Second, the "Create a notification" step is used in the Process Management Framework to create and send notifications to relevant people or groups.

   3.1. Enabling and configuring the Notification Service

The Notification Service is enabled and configured in the WorkPoint Administration:

  1. In the left side menu of the WorkPoint Administration, click "Notification Service".
  1. In the Notifications Settings page, click the "Enable notification service" button.

Clicking the button starts a job which provisions a new list called "Notification List" to the root site of the WorkPoint solution. This is where all notifications will be stored.

Provisioning of the list may take some time, but you can safely leave the page and check back later, as mentioned in the message shown once the job is started:

Once the list has been successfully provisioned, the page shows the configurations options for the Notification Service:

       3.1.1. Creating notification profiles

Notification profiles are used to define which users are eligible to receive which types of notifications.

Notification types are created as terms in the "WorkPoint 365 Notification Type" term set inside the global "Notification List" term set. This means that you can create your own notification types if necessary.

Note that if a user is a member of a notification profile, they still need to be assigned as a recipient in a "Create a notification" Process Management Framework step to actually receive a notification.

To create a new notification type, follow these steps:

  1. In the Notification profiles section, click the "Create a new profile" button.
  1. In the "Name" field, you can provide a name for the new notification profile.
  2. In the "Target" field, you can select an Active Directory Group for the new notification profile. Depending on which notification types are activated for this profile, the members of this group will receive the specified types of notifications.
  3. In addition to notifying the members of the Target via notifications inside WorkPoint, the Notification Service can send out e-mails to the recipients. The options are:
    • Send immediately: The e-mail notification is sent immediately after the notification is created in the Notification List.
    • Send daily: Individual e-mails for each new notification is sent once a day to the members of the target group. You can select a specific delivery time for the e-mails if the option is selected.
    • Send weekly: Individual e-mails for each new notification is sent once per week to the members of the target group. You can select a specific week day and delivery time for the e-mails if the option is selected.

Note that if either the "Send daily" or "Send weekly" option is selected, you need to set up a scheduled job of the "Notification Distributor" type. When this job is run, it will evaluate the delivery time and delivery week day. If the time it runs exceeds the time day and delivery time of a notification profile Email schedule, a notification will be sent by e-mail.

Also note that e-mails are only sent for notifications of the types enabled for the notification profile.

  1. To enable notification types for the new notification profile, click the "Notification Types" tab.
  1. In the notification types matrix, select which notification types to enable.
    • Enable: If enabled, notifications of this type will be sent to the target group members and displayed in the notifications tab in the Express panel and in WorkPoint Express.
    • Email: If enabled, notifications of this type will be sent as an e-mail to the target group members (follows Email Schedule in Settings).
    • Teams: If enabled, notifications of this type will be sent as notifications for the target group members in Microsoft Teams.
    • Locked: If enabled, users will not be able to change the configuration of this notification type in their own notification settings.
  2. To finish creating the notification profile, click the "Confirm" button.

The new notification profile is displayed in the Notification Settings page:

  1. Click the "Edit" button to edit an existing notification profile.

       3.1.2. Automatically delete notifications

Automatic deletion of notifications can be enabled or disabled in the Notification Settings page:

WorkPoint Admin - Google Chrome
  1. Click "Disable" to disable automatic deletion of notifications, or click "Enable" to enable it.

If Automatic deletion of notifications is enabled, the settings are expanded with the following setting:

WorkPoint Admin - Google Chrome

In the "Retention period in days" field, you can define how many days after a notification was delivered it should be automatically deleted. This value must be greater than or equal to 1.

       3.1.3. Customized Adaptive Card layouts

A notification always contain, among other information, a notification title and a notification message.

For notifications delivered in e-mails or Microsoft Teams chat, it is possible to configure how to display the notifications using an Adaptive Cards layout.

First, Customized Adaptive Card layouts must be enabled:

WorkPoint Admin - Google Chrome
  1. In the "Customized Adaptive Card layout section, click "Enable".

After Customized Adaptive Card layouts have been enabled, the section is extended with the following settings:

  1. In the "Template" section, JSON can be provided to define how the notifications should look when delivered via e-mail or Microsoft Teams chat message. You can read more about JSON in this article. You can also check out a handy Adaptive Cards designer here. When the feature is first enabled, WorkPoint provides a default template for you to use, or you can design your own template to use.
  2. In the "Available variables for use in template" section, you can see all the variables on the Notification List. The keys (e.g. "NotificationMessage" or "SourceEntityTitle") can be used in your template to pull data from the Notification List into the adaptive card.

   3.2. Sending a notification

Sending of notifications is done using the "Create a notification" Process Management Framework step. In the following example, this step is used in a process which creates client entities and then sends a notification at the end:

This step has the following configurable settings:

  1. The "Title" property allows you to define the displayed title of the step. This is the title which is shown when the process is run.
  2. The "Description" field allows you to type a short description of the step. This field is optional, and the description is only shown in the Process Builder.
  3. The "Name" field contains a unique name for the specific step. It is used to identify the specific step in the process. You can change the name, but it must be unique from other step names.
  4. Step Input is not used for this step, and should be left blank.
  5. In the "Notification title" field, you can define the title of the notification you are going to send using this step. An example could be "The client [CreateEntity.Title] has been created.". In that example, the title of the notification will tell the user that a client was created, and it will include the data from the title field of the step named "CreateEntity" from the same process. The notification title is shown at the top of notifications, and in the subject line of notification e-mails.
  6. In the "Notification type" field, you can select the type of the notification you are going to send using this step. You can select from the available types in your "WorkPoint365 Notification Type" term set. People who have the selected notification type enabled in their notification settings,and whom are also selected as a recipient of this notification (described in pt. 28), will receive the notification.
  7. In the "Status" field, you can select what the status of the notification should be when delivered. You can select between the following options:
    • Unread: The user will receive the notification in the "Unread" status. The user can set the notification to the "Completed" status by checking the notification.
    • Action required: If a notification is sent with the "Action required" status, it will be put in the "Pending" notification group of the recipient(s), even if it does not have a deadline defined (described in pt. 24).
    • Completed: If a notification is sent with the "Completed" status, it will be put in the "Completed" notification group of the recipient(s).
  8. Priority
  9. In the "Message" field, you can type in a descriptive message to display when the notification is expanded to show more details. Similarly to the "Notification title" field, you can use include data from the context of the current process, e.g. "[CreateEntity.Title]".
  10. If a date and time is set in the "Deadline" field, the notification will be put into the "Pending" group, and wait for the user to check it as "Completed". If the deadline is exceeded before the notification is marked as "Completed", it will move to the "Overdue" group.
  11. If a date and time is set in the "Delivery date" field, the notification will be created immediately but it will be placed in the "Future" notification group. Once the date and time comes along, the scheduled "Notification distribution" job will put the notification in the "Pending" group.
  12. In the "Recipient" field, you can define who should receive the notification being sent by this step. Typically, people from a previous step is taken from the context of the process and used as recipients, e.g. "CreateEntity.wpProjectTeam".
  13. In the "Duplicate behavior" field, you can define what should happen if multiple notifications of the same notification type is sent and relates to the same entity or item. Options are:
    • Create new: Using this option, a new notification is created using the information from this step.
    • Update existing: Using this option, the existing notification will be updated with the new information coming from this step.
  14. In the "Business module" field, select the business module of the entity/item that this step relates to.
  15. In the "Business module entity" field, select the ID of the entity/item that this step relates to.
  16. If the notification being sent relates to an item (e.g. a task, document, or risk), you can use the "List" field to define in which list the item is located. If this is set, along with the "Item" field, a button will appear on the notification allowing users to quickly navigate to the relevant item.
  17. If the notification being sent relates to an item (e.g. a task, document, or risk), you can use the "Item" field to define the ID of the relevant item. If this is set, along with the "List" field, a button will appear on the notification allowing users to quickly navigate to the relevant item.

As previously mentioned, this step is run as part of a WorkPoint process, e.g. when creating new clients or projects, or as reminders for tasks of other items.

4. End User Guide

Notifications can be viewed in the Express panel, in the "Notifications" tab in WorkPoint Express, or in a webpart on a site in WorkPoint in a web browser.

   4.1. Viewing notifications in the Express panel

When a notification is received by a user, they can view it in their Express panel:

  1. The Express panel logo displays how many notifications are in the "Pending" group.
  2. Notifications can be inspected in the "Notifications" tab.
  3. Users can filter notifications by notification groups by clicking the group icons to toggle them on and off.
  4. Based on the active filters, notifications are shown below the group panel.
  5. Users can access their notification settings by clicking the gear-icon.

   4.2. Viewing notifications in WorkPoint Express

  1. In WorkPoint Express, notifications can be inspected in the "Notifications" tab.
  2. Users can filter notifications by notification groups by clicking the group icons to toggle them on and off.
  3. Based on the active filters, notifications are shown below the group panel.
  4. Users can access their notification settings by clicking "Settings".

   4.3. Showing more notification details

Notifications always display the Notification title. To view more information about a notification, follow these steps:

anm0021 - Clients - All Items - Google Chrome
  1. To view more details about a notification, click "More Details".

The notification expands and displays additional information:

anm0021 - Clients - All Items - Google Chrome

To hide the additional information, click "Collapse".

   4.4. Marking a notification as "Completed"

To mark a notification as "Completed" and move it to the "Completed" notification group, follow these steps:

anm0021 - Clients - All Items - Google Chrome
  1. To mark a notification as Completed, click the completion indicator to the right of the notification.

In this instance, the notification changes from "Pending" to "Completed", and it can not be found in the "Completed" notification group:

5. Notes

It is important to understand that even though people might be members of an Active Directory group which is set as target in a Notification Profile, they will not receive notifications unless they are specified as recipients of a "Create a notification" step in a Process Management Framework process.

The Notification Profiles are used to define which types of notifications users are eligible to receive, not necessarily which notifications they will receive.

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