Every version 1 installation came with an announcements, knowledgebase and downloads section as standard. While each of these sections may be useful to some of our users, it was rare that all three were used together. The frontend template would commonly be updated to remove what was not needed, requiring knowledge of editing the template code. We decided with version 2 that we wanted to make the system more flexible, and that hiding unused features should be simple for the user to do.
Version 2 uses the concept of modules for each main component of the application (for example, users, tickets, self-service). All the backend code and templates are split into the respective modules. As a result, it is simple to deactivate a module, which will hide it from the interface on both the operator panel and frontend. As an example, you may wish to deactivate the self-service section if you only require ticket support, or vice versa.
The self-service section itself has also seen a number of improvements that makes it more flexible and user friendly.
Version 2 introduces the idea of self-service types, where you can create your own types based on what you wish to offer to your users. For example, you may want to have a blog and a knowledgebase, or alternatively just a download section. Each type will produce a section in the frontend, with a customisable icon.
(Frontend dashboard with the tickets module disabled)
All types have articles (a single piece of information) and categories (a group of articles). Articles in a type can be formatted in one of two styles:
(Knowledgebase on the left with hierarchical view, announcements on the right with list view)
- A hierarchical view, which best applies to useful information that is spread over several categories, such as a knowledgebase or documentation.
- A list view, which best applies to time-dependent content that is listed in the order it was posted. For example, announcements or a blog.
It is now possible to assign an article to multiple categories at once. It might be common that an article fits various topics, and this makes it easy to show the content in both places without having to duplicate it.
Articles can now also have tags that act as a different way of categorising content. The tags will show in the sidebar and will fetch other articles in the same type that have the tag also.
With the introduction of types, we have removed the downloads section. It is instead possible to attach multiple files to each article. You can use this to create your own downloads type, or to attach useful files to articles.
I'm sure that you'll agree that all these improvements have made handling content shown to your end-users significantly simpler, a change that many of our users have been asking for. Our next preview will also look into other user focused improvements.
As a reminder, we've set up a website
where we'll be posting each preview and you can join our mailing list for v2 updates. Don't forget to also follow us on Twitter
if you haven't already!