Blog Updates

Check out the latest updates from EnGraph Software

ParaPlan Desktop update v4.1.621.11131

21 June

78c0004e91d753a658fa8190626c3be9

 

It is bug fix Friday here at EnGraph Software. We pushed out an update earlier in the week that had some blazing fast improvements to how Scheduling Canvas worked. There were a few oversights on our end and this release will help address those.

Building a new date would cause certain trips to become flagged for sending to MDTs. Drivers were getting wrong trips and too many trips. This has been resolved.

If somebody else cancelled or no-showed a trip, it was showing up in the Unscheduled bin on your computer instead of in the Cancellation bin. This is now going to the correct bin.

If you added a fill-in trip, not all the information that was just entered was being displayed in the Scheduling Canvas. The data was actually there and now it shows up as expected.

If you accidentally clicked “add fill-in”, but closed it before making any changes, you’d expect that trip to go away as it had always done in the past. Well, it wasn’t. It was hanging around and cluttering up your screen and making a few people thinking they had gone crazy. It will now go away and you can have your clean Scheduling Canvas and your sanity back.

As always, the update will install automatically.

 

Supporting Iowa Public Transit

17 June

We are very excited to be a part of the Iowa Transit Meeting this week in Ames, Iowa. ParaPlan will be on display at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center this Thursday and Friday. We look forward to seeing you!

Update for ParaPlan REST

17 June

ParaPlan REST is our web interface to the database for ParaPlan Mobile for iOS. We made quite a few internal improvements that makes the code much easier to maintain and much easier to add features.

We’ve changed how the devices talk to the server. Now when a device logs on, it will be handed a url that it will before its calls against. This will allow us to quickly change endpoints if need be and will also allow us to remove a database call that each request incurred when the request was searching for the correct database. This will speed up each call and gets rid of the cross-pollination issue we were seeing when the server was overloaded.

We are also pushing out updates to other products today:

ParaPlan Mobile is getting signature capture.

ParaPlan Desktop got a faster Scheduling Canvas and support for viewing signatures captured by our iOS app.

ParaPlan Server allows trips to be changed when in progress on Mentor Rangers and smarter Zonar connections.

ParaPlan Server update

17 June

ParaPlan Server is our behind-the-scenes workhorse that does all the data translation and communication with our various partners. Today we pushed out an update with a few small changes.

You can now change any part of a trip and it will update on your Mentor Ranger MDT. It used to be that we would dismiss any changes if the client was already on the bus. We’ve seen some situations where the trip needs to be changed and now we fully support that.

Occasionally, our Zonar worker would lose its connection to the server. We made it smarter about reconnecting and added more logging so we can see exactly what causes the disconnect in the first place.

We are also pushing out updates to other products today:

ParaPlan Mobile is getting signature capture.

ParaPlan Desktop got a faster Scheduling Canvas and support for viewing signatures captured by our iOS app.

ParaPlan REST had a bunch of code rewritten that is going to allow for huge speed improvements in the future.

ParaPlan Desktop v4.1.617.11125

17 June

Today we released an update to our desktop software. The highlights of this version include support for viewing signatures captured in ParaPlan Mobile for iOS and dramatic speed improvements in Scheduling Canvas.

We found some bottlenecks and bugs in Scheduling Canvas. We sped up how it refreshes in the background and made it much smarter about only refreshing data that actually changed.

Right-clicking on a trip and clicking “View Trip Stream” will provide a detailed chain of custody for a trip, including the client signature from ParaPlan Mobile for iOS.

We made some changes to Billing to better handle past due balance calculations.

We made some client-requested manifest and report changes.

We fixed some grammatical issues (“1 trips” – how embarrassing).

We are also pushing out updates to other products today:

ParaPlan Mobile is getting signature capture.

ParaPlan Server allows trips to be changed when in progress on Mentor Rangers and smarter Zonar connections.

ParaPlan REST had a bunch of code rewritten that is going to allow for huge speed improvements in the future.

ParaPlan Mobile for iOS version 1.2

14 June

ParaPlan Mobile for iOS has been updated to version 1.2. The highlights of this version are Signature Capture and smarter confirmations. We are holding this for release until Monday, June 17th to allow time for driver training.

Signature Capture

Many of our clients are funded by programs that require drivers to collect signatures from a passenger at the end of the trip. This can be a tedious process that required office staff to scan or fax these signatures to the funding source. Now the signatures are collected directly on the driver’s iPhone or iPad and are instantly available to the office staff where they can compile a report and electronically deliver the signatures. This saves time, saves paper and is another win in the battle against printers.

Arrive and Perform events

Version 1.1 only had a single event when performing a pick up or a drop off of a client. It is useful to know how long a driver had to wait from when they got to the pick up location and when they were able to get the client fully loaded on the vehicle. This helps tell a more complete story about the life cycle of a trip and also helps the office staff know which client might need a longer Dwell Time in ParaPlan. With that in mind, the life cycle of a trip from a driver’s perspective looks like this:

  • Driver arrives at pick up location. Driver swipes the stop on the iPad and clicks “I’ve arrived at pick up”. This sends an event back to the office that contains GPS point, odometer reading and timestamp. On the iPad, the trip turns blue.
  • The client is on the bus and ready to go. Driver swipes on the stop and clicks “Client is on board”. This sends another event and the stop turns grey.
  • Driver arrives at drop off location. Driver swipes on the drop off stop and clicks “I’ve arrived at drop off”. This sends another event to the office and the stop turns blue.
  • The passenger will signed on the iPad. The signature (along with an event) will be sent back to the office. The passenger will automatically be marked as dropped off and a drop off event will be sent to the office. The stop will turn grey.
  • If the passenger signature is not required, the driver will swipe on the stop and click “Client has been dropped off”.

Smarter Confirmations

Each time a driver performs an action, it provides an audio and visual confirmation. We found that requiring the driver to push “OK” on every confirmation message added too much friction to the experience. We changed it so the first 10 confirmations will display a visual dialog that will require the driver to push “OK” to dismiss it. After that, the status bar will change colors momentarily and display a confirmation. When a user has to push “OK” all the time, they get in the habit of dismissing all dialogs without reading them. They can miss important information because they get too many alerts. This will help prevent this from happening to our users.

Extended permissions

There is now a “Can call client” permission that prevents drivers from being able to directly call a client’s phone number. Also, the “View other vehicles” restriction applies to other driver’s manifests and other driver’s GPS locations.

Other improvements

We also added smarter background GPS mode and geofencing.

The badge icon is now smarter and will always display the number of stops a driver has yet to perform in a day.

Turn-by-turn directions have been added to the long press menu from the manifest screen. Press and hold on a stop to view the long press menu.

We hope you enjoy using version 1.2! 

Here are the changes from version 1.1.

We are also pushing out updates to other products today:

ParaPlan Desktop got a faster Scheduling Canvas and support for viewing signatures captured by our iOS app.

ParaPlan Server allows trips to be changed when in progress on Mentor Rangers and smarter Zonar connections.

ParaPlan REST had a bunch of code rewritten that is going to allow for huge speed improvements in the future.

How to install telnet on Windows 7

06 June

Putty

Telnet has been around since, well longer than any EnGraph employees have been alive. However, it is still very handy to determine if a client computer can talk to specific server on a specific port. We use it mostly to determine if there is a network rule blocking our access to SQL server. The syntax is simple – “telnet someIP 1433”

Sadly, it is not installed by default on Windows 7 and adding it via Control Panel takes way too many clicks. 

Thankfully, there is the Package Manager and hat tip to TechNet for the one-line installation of Telnet.

Click Start + R on the keyboard (or Start button, type run), then type the following into the prompt and press enter to install Telnet:

cmd /k pkgmgr /iu:”TelnetClient”

 

Prompt to install telnet using pkgmgr

ParaPlan Desktop update v4.1.531.11090

31 May

We release a small, out-of-band update today. Version 4.1.531.11090 and 4.1.531.11089 for the stable and beta releases respectively. The release will download and update automatically on your computer as described here.

We added some client requested changes to manifests and added an option to the Statistical Report to include extra riders when calculating passenger miles and time.

The previous update was v4.1.530.11080.

ParaPlan Desktop update v4.1.530.11080

30 May

Access2Care logo

 

We released version 4.1.530.11080 of ParaPlan Desktop this morning. It will download and install automatically on your computer as outlined in our update process.

The biggest new feature is that we now support the importing of Access2Care files. Our import process will automatically generate trips and clients from the CSV file provided to you from Access2Care.

We also upgraded to v3 of the Google Geocoding API.

We added new sidebar searches for All Clients and All Active Clients. As these are not widely used, they exist only in favorites. To enable, click Favorites, then Add/Edit Favorites and add these new searches to your sidebar.

Speaking of favorites, we cleaned that up and made it easier to navigate.

Several other bug fixes, small improvements and client manifests have also been added.

What’s next?

The next version of our iOS app has the ability to capture client signatures and record additional timestamps and odometer collections (PUArrive, PUPerform, DOArrive, DOPerform), so we are adding support to see that additional information inside of ParaPlan. We have always just supported one timestamp per pick up and one timestamp per drop off, so we are adding support for these additional data points in a way that doesn’t crowd our existing screens.

This will be a fairly short development cycle as most of the work is done and the rest is testing database changes. Expect a new version in the next couple of weeks. Those that are beta users will see an update as early as next week.