HOC3 Release Notes (June 14, 2018)

This release features much requested improvements to locations in HandsOn Connect, along with information of beta pilots of new location functionality in the sharing portal.  Additionally there have been improvements in Search Engine Optimization, to the Advanced Registration System and forms, site display on the Edge browser, and other under the hood performance improvements.  Here's some of the most significant fixes and features in this week's release, along with an announcement of new Beta features for those who wish to enter a testing pilot as we fine-tune upcoming new features.

Location Selection improvement in sharing portal (HOC3-3319)(HOC3-1857)

A welcome boon for organizations that have a lot of location records.   Previously, when creating a volunteer opportunity a picklist of existing locations created by the partner were shown, along with an option to 'add location (next step)'.   If you had a lot of locations though, it was difficult to find the location you wanted to use due to the very long picklist.  

In this release, the picklist has been replaced by the same sort of search mechanism used for selecting a contact when you administratively create a connection.  When you click in the Location field when creating a volunteer opportunity, a pop-up appears which allows you to SEARCH through your existing locations and select the one you want.  You can enter the location name, street address, state, or even the special directions and it will find matching location(s).   Or you can use the filters to to find just the locations in a given state, etc. Just select the location you want from the results below to use and the location field will be filled in.

If the location does not already exist, click on the button "Add a Location (Next Step)" and you'll be able to create a new location in the next step of creating a volunteer opportunity as before.

Another nice improvement here is the fact that the old picklist did not show the special directions at all, so you didn't know if your location did or didn't have special directions.  Now, you can see the first characters of a special direction so that you if you have two locations with the same name/address but DIFFERENT special directions, you'll be able to choose which one you really want!)

Location Name now visible on Public Site (HOC3-5953)

We have had a number of feature requests concerning the Locations object in HandsOn Connect and in this release we begin to implement a number of improvements to Locations.

The largest request has been the ability to give a name to a location.   The 'name' field does exist in Salesforce for a location record, but its never been visible externally. That means even if you created a location named "Riverside Public Library" and given its address,  a volunteer clicking on the "Location" link in their account overview, would only see the address, not the location name.

This has been updated with this release, and now the location name is visible on the location detail page.

This now makes it possible for you to name buildings, or just a common 'label' for a location such as "Troutco Warehouse".

NOTE:   If in Salesforce you've been somewhat random in naming your locations -- you may want to clean up the location name for locations as it will now be visible to others.   For most, this will be a welcome boon, but we want you to be aware that this wasn't previously visible and now is.

NOTE 2: Any locations created up until now in the sharing portal had the location name set to be identical to the street address. (this was intended to make things easier for partners).   So, the address may show up twice on the public site until you edit their locations and give them a different name.   (This is not required at all -- and you can choose the street address or ANY name you wish for a location record -- but for now, locations created by partners will have the name and the street address, both the same.).  

But wait!  That's going to change -- because coming soon, and now in Beta, will be the opportunity for partners to enter location names, as well as edit their existing locations!  That will extend the ability to give a location a 'name' to all your partners!  (See below)

Pilot: Sharing Portal Location Name BETA : Give access to the location name field to partners when creating volunteer opportunity. (HOC3-5012)

Want to make it possible for your partners to give their location a name (other than the street address)?  Open a zendesk ticket and request to be entered in the Location Name Beta - and we will make this field available to your partners when they create a volunteer opportunity.  

When enabled, if a partner creates an opportunity and adds a location, they will see both the field "Location Name" and "Street Address".  The availability of this field allows the partner to give a location a name (rather than having it automatically filled in with the street address).  

Another customization that is available through this beta, is, if desired, the Special Directions field can be made required.  (We don't recommend this, but it IS now possible to do this if you want every location to have special directions filled in).  


If you wish to be part of the pilot for allowing partners to name their locations, please open a help desk ticket and request being added to "Sharing Portal Location Name Beta".  

In your request say "Make Location Name visible when creating opportunities"

(and if you want to make special directions required, make that request as well... Keep in mind though that this will force partners to put SOMETHING in that field in order to create an opportunity).

Pilot: Sharing Portal Location Editing BETA: Ability for partners to edit existing locations in sharing portal. (HOC3-1135)

This is the biggie everyone's been waiting for.   Right now, partners can create locations as part of opportunity creation, but if they make a typo, or wish to add special directions to an existing location, they can't.  In this pilot - we're adding the ability for partners to edit their existing locations.  

The tricky part of this has been the fact that since a single location may be used for multiple volunteer opportunities / locations -- a partner may not realize that editing an existing location will change not just their current volunteer opportunity, but all opportunities and occurrences using that location.  So how to warn them?   Here's how things will work for those who opt into this beta:

A new menu item will be available to partners, labeled "Locations"

clicking on it will bring up a searchable, filterable list of all existing locations, and the option to view or edit them.  The interface to search and/or filter is the same as the Volunteer Opportunity page.  

Edit page for locations:

here you can edit the Location Name (which allows partners to take their existing locations and give them a Name instead the street address).

Note the warning at the top of the page.  This alerts the partner that they are going to being changing the location information for more than just one opportunity.  

View Location: presents the location detail page.   If Edit permission is granted, an edit button appears when viewing. Otherwise, you can just VIEW the location.detail.

At this time, its not possible to show which opportunities and occurrences are using this location.  That may be implemented in the future, but for now the warning at least warns partners they will updating any and all occurrences that have used this location record before.

If you think this will be confusing to your partners, we don't recommend your enabling the edit locations feature for your partner staff.


Note -- locations can be enabled with one, two or three permissions.   View, Create and/or Edit.

View:  The menu item appears, but they will only be able to view the location.  

Create:  Adds the Create Location button at the top right of the page, which means they can create a location at any time, even when not creating an opportunity.  This is useful if you want to create a new location for an existing opportunity (rather than editing an existing location which will affect all occurrences using the existing location).

Edit: Allows editing of existing opportunities.

f you wish to be part of the pilot for allowing partners to view, create or edit their locations, please open a help desk ticket and request being added to "Sharing Portal Location Editing Beta".  

In your request say which permissions you want partners to have. "View, Create, and/or Edit".  

By the way - if a location is edited - it is updated on the public site, generally within 15 minutes.  No automated notification is sent to volunteers if a location is edited -- so the partner may wish to email the volunteers manually to let them know the location has changed. (if for example you change the address, or add special directions, etc.).   Probably no need to tell them the location name has been changed (as they've never seen a location name until now :-)

Ability to edit Success page when a team signs up for an opportunity (HOC3-7125)

When a team signs up for a volunteer opportunity, they reach a success page which has a certain amount of system generated content.  In order to make it possible however, for you to customize the content on this page, we've added the ability to edit the non-system-generated content on that success page.

The page can be found in the CMS under Content/Pages and is called "Volunteer Opportunity Confirmation - Team Sign-Up.  You can now edit the default message that appears there.  

In the example above, I've added a link to download a minor waive form for volunteers.  You can change the messaging here however you wish.

Here's how the page will appear along with the system-generated content that you can't edit:

Ability to change the HTML title of a page (HOC3-7067)

By default, browser tabs are labeled with your site name, a vertical | and then the page title you defined when you created the page.

For those users who wish to override the default title of the page as it appears in browser tabs, its now possible to do so.

In the SEO Settings section of the page, there is a new meta tag "HTML title".

Here, we renamed the title to: "My Custom page Title" and you can the change reflected in the tab in the browser.

Setting this will change the title of the tab and search engines will be aware of the custom title of the page.   If no custom HTML title is entered, the default behavior will be in effect as described above.

BETA: Alternate Team Creation Rules BETA (HOC3-6661 and HOC3-7260)

The requirements for creating teams in HandsOn Connect has always been this:

When creating a team the field's Team Name, Description, First name and Last name are required. Also required are EITHER a unique email address OR a phone number for each team member UNLESS a value is put in the field Company/Group Affiliation, in which case you do not have to supply an email OR a phone number for the team members.

The rule about bypassing the Email or Phone number requirement by entering a value in Company/Group Affiliation is not specifically called out - by provided a way for organizations that wanted corporate teams to be easily created by entering just first and last name could be explained when it was useful.

This approach provides flexibility to users, so that if they didn't have email addresses for all the team members (as is often the case with family teams with younger children) or corporations who didn't want to disclose personal information about their team members, there was a way to do so and still create a team.

This remains the default settings for creating a team.

Some HandsOn Connect users however, have requested the ability to restrict team creation by always requiring, for example, an email address for each team member, so that all team members could be contacted by someone other than the team captain. So, effective with this release, we are making available a pilot program in which you can request that the default rules be turned off, and the team creation page and its rules can be changed in the following way(s):

1. One or more of the following fields can be hidden from the team creation page if desired:

For The Team Information:

  • Team Description
  • Company/Group Affiliation

For Team Members

  • Email Address
  • Phone
  • Age
  • Team Captain (this would prevent the captain creating the team from making anyone else on the team a team captain)

2. Any or All of the following fields can be made required:

For The Team Information:

  • Company/'Group Affiliation

For Team Members

  • Email Address
  • Phone

Any organization wishing to change the default team creation rules in one or more of the ways listed above, should open a support ticket titled "Team Creation Rules BETA" and specify which fields they wish to have hidden, and if they wish either or both email address and phone required.

Making any of these changes override the previous default behavior, and it will no longer be possible to create a team with just first and last names of a team member.

Be aware, that changing the default team creation rules by requiring either email address (which must be unique for each team member), and/or phone number - will have the overall effect of making it harder to create teams. (while providing you with more information than team members may have had in the past).  

Existing teams will not be able to edit their team membership without conforming to the new requirements you have active.


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