HOC 3.0 Release Notes - 3.0.18 (April 6, 2017)

This release, in conjunction with the HOC monthly April release, brings a ton of fixes and new functionality in HOC 3.0. Spring is in the air!

New Feature: Log in as this Contact

A powerful new tool has been added to help HOC Admin Users in working with their volunteers, volunteer leaders and partners.  It's the ability to "impersonate" any user in their system that has a profile, login and password.  This functionality makes it possible for you to troubleshoot issues or carry out tasks on behalf of one of your users, by logging into their account, and seeing exactly what they see when they are logged in.  Furthermore, when you are logged in as a contact, you'll be able to do things in their account on their behalf.  This makes it possible to:

  • See a volunteer's view of their own account
  • Sign up for volunteer opportunities, create teams, and act on their behalf via the public site
  • See a Volunteer Leade'sr view of opportunities when they are logged into the sharing portal
  • See a Partner's view of opportunities when they are logged into the sharing portal
  • Create or manage a volunteer opportunity for a partner using the sharing portal instead of the admin site (if desired)
  • All of this makes it possible for you to help and support your users if they have questions or report issues with using the site!

Here's how this new functionality works:

  • For any contact with a profiile, you'll see a new link in the Contact Overview section at the top of a contact record marked "Log in as this Contact
  • Click on this link and wait patiently for a few seconds.  (Loading time may vary depending on server activity, and this can take from a second to up to 15 seconds.   Other than seeing your browser is working at loading new content, you won't receive any feedback that anything is happening.  But in a short while, your admin site will be replaced by the public site!
  • You will now be viewing, and able to act as, the contact you've logged in as.   For volunteers, you'll arrive at the "My Account" page and can navigate from there.
  • To return to Salesforce, click on the "Return to Admin" link in the upper right.
  • If you hover over "Return to Admin" you'll be able to see the name of the contact you are currently logged in as:
  • You can navigate freely through the site and will remain active as that contact until you click on "Return to Admin".  Any actions you do on the site will be carried out as if they had been done by the volunteer themselves.

How does this work when log in as a contact who has Partner Staff or Volunteer Leader profile?

  • Log in in the same way, by clicking on the link in the contact overview:
  • You will arrive in the sharing portal, and now be able to act as this sharing portal user.
  • On the left you will see the name of the contact you are logged in as and impersonating in the portal.
  • To return to the admin site, click on "Return to Admin"
  • You can freely navigate through the sharing portal as this contact, and see what they see, as well as act in their behalf.
8 new Improvements to Search and Calendar Functionality

A number of improvements have been made to search and the calendar in this release.  Here's the highlights of search improvements in this release:

1) Make it clear whenever a search filter has been applied and the search results are showing less than all of the opportunities.  Provide a more obvious way to clear all fitlers and see all opportunities  (HOC3-1288)

Since search results are preserved when you return to the search page, users aren't always aware that they are still seeing a filtered view of all your opportunities.  Now, whenever a filter is showing a subset of your volunteer opportunities, a message appears at the top of the search result letting them know they are see a filtered number of opportunities, and providing a clear link to see all opportunities:

2. Search filters should not present picklist values that have no matching data. (HOC3-1879)

Some search picklist options included values that had no matching volunteer opportunities.  For example, the "Schedule Type" filter listed the no longer used "To Be Scheduled" schedule type as an option to select.  (To Be Scheduled Opportunities only exist for legacy opportunities from migrated HOC 2.0 customers).    

3. In Calendar view, opportunities in the past will appear grayed out (HOC3-2005)

Opportunities in the past are now visible, but grayed out, making it more obvious that these are past dates, and drawing more focus to the current and future days on the month's calendar.  The current day of the month is highlighted in yellow.

4.  Filters on Search are reset after 24 hours  (HOC3-2386)

When you perform a filtered search, HandsOn Connect maintains those filters automatically for you when you return to the search or calendar page, so that you can continue to look at opporunities that meet your search criteria.  (You can choose to clear those filters by clicking on New Search or by using the new 'see all opportunities' link at the top of the page mentioned in #1 above.

However, these filters remained in place so that if you logged out and came back to the search page in the future - the filters would still be in place from your last visit.  Feedback from you has told us that many volunteers find this confusing.  So, we've now set filters to automatically expire after 24 hours so that when you come back on a new day, you will iniitially see search without any filters applied  (unless you apply new filters yourself!).  This makes search maintain things while you're using the site, but gives you a fresh start if you haven't used the site in 24 hours :-)

5. Search results now display the Time/Date of the NEXT occurrence with available slots. (HOC3-2388)

Previously, the occurrence date and time that showed up for a date and time specific opportunity with multiple occurrences, was the next one occurring chronologically, even if it was full. The opportunity appeared in grey because the next occurrence was full, even though other occurences had space.

In response to many requests, we now will show the NEXT occurrence date with available slots, and not indicate that an opportunity is full, so that volunteers are directed to the best date to sign up for an opportunity (rather than to a full occurrence where all they could do is get on the waiting list).  

When no upcoming occurrences have slots, THEN the opportunity will appear in a gray color meaning "already filled" and the next available occurrence will be listed and you can opt to join the waiting list.  This much requested change will help drive volunteers to the dates that need volunteers, rather than to occurrences that are already full.

There is also an option available by request, to NOT display a volunteer opportunity in the search results if no occurrences are available for sign-up.  Please open a help desk ticket if you do not want full opportunities with no available slots to appear in your search results as 'already filled'.

6. The ability to create URLs that go to a specific month or to a specific day (day view) on the calendar (HOC3-2389)

There are some use cases where you might want to be able to have the calendar open to a month in the future (rather than the current month), or in day view, to provide a link to a specific day on the calendar.

It's now possible to create URLs that do this by using the following formula for construction of the URL:


  • The URL      /calendar?year=2017&month=12 will open the calendar to December, 2017
  • The URL     /calendar?year=2017&month=03&day=29 will open the calendar  to March 29, 2017

If you only specify the year, the calendar will be open on the month of January for that year.

Month must be 2 digits, (January is 01):  If you only specify the month, the calendar will open in the date: current year-month-01

Day must be 2 digits  (the 1st is 01): If you only specify the day, the calendar will open in day view for the current year - current month

You can use these URLs as hyperlinks, or create menu items that open to specific days or months.

In April 2018, we also added a way to create a URL that goes to a specific week on the calendar.

7. A number of interface improvements in mobile versions of search and calendar.

We continue to act on your feedback on useability of search and calendar for mobile useres. Lots of tweaks to make the experience better on small devices.

8. Preserve the last view of calendar (HOC3-2478)

Previously, when a user is on the calendar page (mobile or desktop) and uses the arrows to advance from the current month (March) to May and then selects a project from the May calendar, when they click back to return to the calendar they were brought back to March rather than May.

Now, the last month viewed is preserved.  (Note: after the site tab or the browser is closed, saved views of month are reset back to the current month)

Self-Reported Hours now available for verification in Report Attendance (HOC3-2448)

The date and times that volunteers report via Self-Reporting now show up in the Report Attendance grid so that partners can verify attendance for self-reported hours.

You can easily find self-reported connections by typing "Self-reported" in the search box - which will bring up any self-reported connections awaiting verication.

Sharing Portal: Only staff members with partner staff profile will be shown as eligible opportunity coordinators (HOC3-2396)

Previously, when creating a volunteer opportunity in the sharing portal, the picklist of available opportunity coordinators included any contact that was associated with the organization. This created confusion, because selecting someone to be opportunity coordinator when they did not have access to the sharing portal meant they received email notifications asking them to report attendance or confirm volunteers and had no access to do so.

Now, the list of eligible opportunity coordinators will be limited to the members of a partner's organization that have been granted partner staff access.

Sneak Peek. Planned on our roadmap for this quarter: The ability for a partner organization to see all their staff contacts and who has partner portal access.  Partners will be able to add, remove and update staff contacts, and request portal access for new staff members. This  much requested functionality is in the works.  We'll tell you as soon as its ready!

Facebook Login and Registration now enabled for most HOC 3.0 sites (HOC3-2626)

The success that we've had with users linking their Facebook accounts as a way to speed up registration and subsequent logging in has encouraged us to turn this on by default for all HOC customers who are not using another SSO (single sign on) login process.

You'll now see a button to 'log in with facebook' on your login widget and on your registration page.

If you wish to NOT have this available on your site - please open a ticket in the Help Desk and let us know - and we can disable it for you (though honestly, its pretty cool and works great!)

Handling of Full Occurrences (HOC3-2388)

Previously HandsOn Connect search showed the next occurrence coming up, even if the occurrence is full.

In order to make it easier to steer volunteers to opportunities where space is available, the following behavior now exists when displaying opportunities in the search list view:

  • The occurrence that will be shown in the 'Time" column, will be the next available occurrence that has available slots.
  • If no future occurences of the opportunity have available slots, then the opportunity will appear in gray (indicating 'already filled" and the 'time' will be listed as the earliest FULL occurrence date  (so that users can join the waiting list for it).
  • An opportunity will not be marked as 'filled' as long is there is a future occurrence that still needs volunteers.

There is also a configuration option available on request to 'not display opportunities when they are filled"

If you wish to not show filled opportunities in your search results, thereby emphasizing opportunities that still need volunteers rather than encouraging people to join the waiting list for filled opportunities,  please open a zendesk ticket and request the configuration "Do Not Display Full Opportunities in Search Results"

Bug Fixed: Dates not sorting chronologically in sharing portal Report Attendance (HOC3-2531)

Previously, When sorting by date (start time or end time) the dates were not sorted chronologically.  Dates with 1 digit were treated differently than dates with 2 digits....So  3/2/2017 would appear after 3/11/2017.

This has been fixed and dates now sort chronologically.

Bug Fixed: Self-Reported Volunteer Hours were not being included in the totals in a volunteer's Account Overview page (HOC3-2561)

A bug was discovered where the totals of verified hours and unverified hours on a volunteer's Account Overview page were no longer  including their 'self-reported hours".

This has been fixed- and the total verified and unverified hours should now be accurate once again.

Bug Fixed: Team members not showing up when editing team participation (HOC3-2590)

Team members who team member record status was "pending" were not showing up when a team captain tries to edit participation of a team.   This has been fixed.

In HOC 3.0, the team member status "pending" and "declined" are no longer used.  However 2.0 customers migrating to 3.0 may have existing team members who are still in the now deprecated 'pending' or 'declined' status.   This fix ensures compatability with team member records that were created while still on HOC 2.0.   No action is required for you to change these statuses... but its worth noting they are no longer being used in 3.0.

Bug Fixed: Inability to add more than 7 team members to a team at one time (HOC3-2438)

An error message that resulted when adding more than 7 new members to an existing team has been resolved.  You can now add more than 7 team members at a time.

HOC recommends that team sizes should not exceed more than 50 team members. Because there is a system limit of creating 50 connections at one time - a team with over 50 members may experience errors if they try to sign the entire team up at once.

There is also a limit of sending no more than 150 emails at once... so a team larger than 150 would not be able to be emailed all at once.

We are researching ways to handle larger teams and/or set system limits to the number of members on a team, but for now, we recommend that when asked,  you encourage team members to split very large teams into multiple teams of no more than 50 members.  They wont' run into any errors or problems if they wish to sign up or communicate with all their team members at once.

Bug Fix: Error when creating Individually Scheduled opportunities with a Volunteer Leader as Opportunity Coordinator (HOC3-2475)

We've resolved an issue that caused an error in the rare circumstance in which a Volunteer Leader is used as Opportunity Coordinator for an Individually Scheduled Opportunity.  

We're not sure what the business case would be to have a volunteer leader as OC for an ongoing, Individually Scheduled Opportunity, but if you have a reason to do so - the error will no longer result.  

(Be aware that the automatic connection that is created for a volunteer leader when they are made opportunity coordinator, will create a connection for them, but not know the start date and end date they are scheduled to attend.)   If you choose to use a volunteer leader as an OC for an ISO with Schedule - we recommend that you manually fill update the start date and time and end date and time for the connection that is automatically created.


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