HOC Release Notes (Jan 21, 2021)

This release features a number of minor interface improvements, but also some long requested improvements to the options for viewing search results on the public site.  There's also a few other little gems in here.  So we recommend reading these release notes to learn the newest features available to you!

Introducing New Search - preview now available

How has search been displayed on HandsOn Connect public sites up to now?

Originally HandsOn Connect had two ways of displaying search results.  These 'classic' search results displays are the list view found at /search and the calendar view found at /calendar.

The list view at /search was configured by using the "advanced search block" which let you define which sections of filters you wanted to display. But there were many things you couldn't do with this block, such as setting the default sort order). You also couldn't customize much of the content on the /search page.

The calendar view at /calendar was even more limited in how you could customize it.  You could not customize the page it was on at all.

A couple of years ago we introduced a more graphic way of displaying search results, which is configured in the CMS by a block called the Search Result block.  This used 'tiles' in either a listing format or a calendar format and had quite a bit more flexibility in customizing in how the results were displayed.

HOWEVER, one of the things that was discovered was that each of these various ways of displaying search had different customization options.  Certain filters were available in one type of search, but not in another.  If you did or didn't want certain search filters, you were forced to choose the type of search block or search result block that gave you the necessary controls.

What do we mean by 'new' search?

In order to give users the most flexibility in configuring pages displaying search results, we've reworked search so that the same display and filtering options are available for you to configure, no matter how you want your search results displayed.

So What's changed?

Nothing has been changed on your public site.  But new search will be rolled out to all customers in the coming months. Here's what you'll see in your CMS now!

1 )HOC Customers who have  been using  search results blocks will find filters, 'show' settings, and sort options now  available in their existing search results blocks.

2).Customers who have not used Search Results blocks in their CMS previously, will now see Search Results blocks available in their CMS.  

3. All customers will see two new search results blocks:  System Default Calendar and System Default Search.  (These two search results will determine the look and feel of "New" Search when it is activated on your site, and replace the old Advanced Search Block, and /calendar block.



How to preview the new search and new calendar

Clients who have been using the 'advanced search block' and the traditional /calendar URL for their calendar, can Preview what the new default search and new default calendar will look like by using these URLs.

Instead of going to /search,    go to   /new-search
instead of going to /calendar,  go to  /new-calendar

These pages look very much like the old search and calendar pages, but have more customization features available to you in terms of filters, sections, and sorts.  You can also add content to the pages themselves.

When you are previewing the /new-search and /new-calendar, you can customize these by setting the configuration in Blocks/Search Results/System Default Calendar or System Default Search.   You can customize them to exactly match your existing search pages, OR you can customize them with the newly available features.

Like what you see?  If you'd like to start using the new System Default Search and new System Default Calendar now - rather than wait until it is turned on system wide in a month or so,  just open a Support ticket with the subject "Activate New Search"  and we'll flip the switch for you now!

1) With New Search activated, the URL in your navigation that goes to /search will be automatically redirected to the new system default search.  The URL in your navigation that goes to /calendar will be automatically redirected to the new system default calendar.   No need to update your navigation.

2) Because these new search and calendar blocks are on their own pages -- you'll be able to add additional content to the pages, giving you greater customization options over text above and below your search results!

3) Search results that come from a special events page ("See all opportunities associated with this event" link) and the browse organization page "See all volunteer opportunities with this partner organization", will be automatically directed to your new system default search page and block.

4) You can always find your 'old' /search and /calendar page, which will be on the hidden URLs /old-search and /old-calendar if you want to compare the old settings to the new :-)


Come to one of our daily lab sessions. And we'll answer any questions you have about the new search, powered by search results blocks:

Mondays: 2 - 3 pm Eastern
Tuesdays: 4:30 - 5:30 pm Eastern
Wednesdays: 2 - 3 pm Eastern
Thursdays: 2 - 3 pm Eastern
Fridays: Noon - 1 pm Eastern

No appointment is needed. Just come to the URL


What action should you take now?  If you are currently using /search and /calendar as the URLs for your search pages, then please visit /new-search and /new-calendar and configure the search settings to match your existing configuration for advanced search and calendar pages.   Then, when new search is turned on, nothing will change for you at all.  Feel free however, to take advantage of the new options available with the new search and calendar.

Once you've done this - open a support ticket and ask us to 'turn on new search' for you!

Customizable Corporate Search Pages using Search Results Block! (HOC3-

The process for creating a Corporate Search Page in HOC had previously been to create a page in the CMS, and check the box "Corporate Page".  


but this limited you to using the default corporate search result page, that showed the search results after you entered the invitation code.  You couldn't customize the search results in any way.

Enter New Search:  And with it a new, preferred way of creating corporate pages.

Go to CMS / Blocks / Search Results and create a new Search Results Block.   On the block, instead of on the page the block will be on, configure it as you would any search results block selecting the Region of a page for it to appear in, any filters you wish, what sections of filters you wish to show (if any), sort order, and display format.

Additionally turn on the switch "For Corporate Page", and put in the Organization ID of the corporate client (from its Salesforce record).  Also, set the "Default Display Format". (This will be the way the search results first appear, though, as on the former corporate page, there are icons which allow a user to change the display format if they wish.

Banners and Alerts

Decide what page you wish to display the block on, (set that in 'Advanced settings" and voila! You have a new corporate search page.  Note:  You no longer need to check the box "Corporate Page" on the page you'll be placing the block on.  Your new corporate page can be customized in the same manner as any other page in the CMS, but search will be managed and displayed per the settings in this new search result block.

Don't worry. Your existing corporate pages will continue to work as before.  But if you want to use the New Search, then use create new search result blocks deignated as "for corporate Page".  Then Uncheck "Corporate Page" in the page settings, and instead place your new search results block that has been set as "For Corporate Search" on this page, and you'll be able to customize it and set the default display type.

We do not recommend creating new corporate pages using the old method (though it will still be supported for a while until everyone has converted to new search and starting using the new methadology).

Questions about setting up a corporate search page using the search results block?  Drop into one of our daily labs!

Browse Organization Table - ability to turn off columns (HOC3-0296)

By Default the page that displays partner organizations /organization shows the organization name, along with City, State, and Impact Area.   It's now possible to turn off city, state, or impact area, as well as customize the introductory text that appears on the page.   (International Customers, for example, may not have a use for the "State" field.)

Go to CMS / System Forms / Organization and you can turn off fields (except for organizAtion name), and/or edit the introductory text that appears by default on the page.

Additional logic for fields in forms (HOC3-13214)

Sometimes, when you add a field to a form, you want to hide it in some circumstances.  This can be done with the form logic, wherein you hide a field under certain conditions.   However, its not been possible to add a field and ALWAYS hide it.  

Now you can.  by selecting the logic 'Hide (Always)" for a field.  In that scenario, you do not have to set any conditions at all.


Banners and Alerts
Sharing Portal Improvement:  Ability to write in recurrence start and end times (HOC3-12350)

When you are creating an opportunity in the sharing portal, if you just create a single occurrence, you can type in the start time and end time (even though there is a pick list). and if the value you start to type in is in the pick list, you can then select it (so you don't have to add the .am.).  This interface also makes it possible to type in a time like 9:15 a.m. or even 9:21 a.m.

However, the same was not true when you selected "Yes" for 'does this occur on a regular schedule.   The interface for entering the start time and end time did NOT allow you to type into the box.  You had to instead scroll through the list of pick list choices, which wasn't as friendly.

Well hurrah, we've improved the interface and you can now type in

Bug Fix:  Calendar Pop up calculation of "Spots Remaining". (HOC3-6928)

In the traditional HOC Calendar page, hovering over an opportunity opens a pop-up, which among other things, displays 'spots remaining".  When an occurrence field "include pending for max attendance" is true - the calculation of spots remaining didn't reflect the pending connections, and so the spots remaining was inaccurate.

This has been fixed... and spots remaining will now take into account pending connections IF 'include pending for max attendance" is true in the occurrence record.

Subsites: Option to autofill employer field with subsite name (HOC3-13091)

Many users of subsites have named their subsite after a specific employer.  If that's the case, there is now an option to autofill the employer field in the volunteer registration form, with the name of the subsite.   Handy IF your subsite is being used exclusively for one employer.



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