Activities

Open discussion about our Alloy Navigator 6 application

Activities

Postby 0vestel0 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:39 am

Maybe i am not awake yet, or maybe i just need to read the manual better.

But in AN5 we use the Activities as journal. Any change, e-mail, phone call and so on in incident, problem or Change Request are added as an activity.

Now, in AN6, i cannot find any way to manually add or edit an activity. Only view present activities.

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Re: Activities

Postby eliaslynch on Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:04 pm

I was just replying here about something similar - viewtopic.php?f=65&t=4539

in an6 you can only create activities through task actions. you do this by having the task call a form and then having the form use the activity details field.

also you'll notice you have to use task actions to create work orders too.
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Re: Activities

Postby bhaf on Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:09 pm

I know I'm late to this post, but I am a current user of Alloy Navigator 5 and just started evaluating Alloy Navigator 6. Like Patrick, I use activities extensively as a log of what I do. (I am a one person IT dept and the only user of AN in our company.) In fact, most of my day-to-day use of AN is opening existing tickets and adding or updating activities, and I have customized activities somewhat in AN5.

I understand that I can add activities by using a task action to call a form. But I'm afraid other activity related features may have been removed in version 6. With regards to AN6, can anyone tell me:

1. Is there any way to edit existing activities? I sometimes need to correct or add to an existing activity without creating a new one.

2. Is there any way to delete an activity? I sometimes post an activity to the wrong ticket and need to delete it. Also, if there is no way to change one, perhaps I could just delete and add a new (corrected) activity.

3. Is there any way to customize activities? Previously, I had a couple of custom fields, one of which was just for reference, but the other one I used with business rules to change the submit time. I sometimes add activities after the fact but still want to document the actual time of a call, e-mail, change, etc. Also, I see the Category field was removed, and I could add this back as a custom field.

I sure hope there is a way to do these things as activities are one of the key features of AN5 for me.

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Re: Activities

Postby janstonselig on Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:10 pm

This is probably the biggest change in version 6. I originally didn't get it and in many ways didn't like it, but I admit I had more time to mess with it and to get lots of direction since I was a beta tester. The way it was explained to me is that version 5 was opposite. In 5 you would create an activity and things would happen. In 6, things happen and it creates an activity. So it's 180. Anyway...

I find I like it more as I work with it and it makes sense to me now.

bhaf wrote:1. Is there any way to edit existing activities? I sometimes need to correct or add to an existing activity without creating a new one.

2. Is there any way to delete an activity? I sometimes post an activity to the wrong ticket and need to delete it. Also, if there is no way to change one, perhaps I could just delete and add a new (corrected) activity.


There's no way to edit or delete activities other than SQL. I think the idea was for it to be a log. If you change the category to something wrong, the entry gets added into history. You wouldn't remove that history. This is how it was explained to me and I can agree with it for the most part.

bhaf wrote:3. Is there any way to customize activities? Previously, I had a couple of custom fields, one of which was just for reference, but the other one I used with business rules to change the submit time. I sometimes add activities after the fact but still want to document the actual time of a call, e-mail, change, etc. Also, I see the Category field was removed, and I could add this back as a custom field.


Keep in mind what I was saying above. It's like an event log of the record. You can customize some things through the actions that create the activity such as the 'activity' field which is like category in a way, but overall it's not the same as it was in 5.

What I would do is drop support a note and ask for a jumpstart. Even though I was in on the beta testing I used it to get help on this type of stuff. After talking to them I gained a bit of clarity and feel much better about the changes. I would recommend it to anyone. They know the product well.
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Re: Activities

Postby bhaf on Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:51 pm

Thanks for the reply, janstonselig. What I think you're saying is kind of what it looked like to me - that Alloy changed the purpose of activities. This makes sense in terms of the more formalized workflow model they seem to be moving to.

Unfortunately, it is a bit of a set back for me - a single user who doesn't need workflow yet. I still want to have more or less free form comments about what I am doing on each ticket. I see that there is a new "Notes" tab on tickets (good addition), so I can probably just use this and add a series of lines with date & time for each entry.

But I extended the use of activities in version 5 to serve as kind of a system log, and I won't be able to do this by using notes or the new activities. I have a custom field in activities that I call "Log" with a customized drop-down list of values representing our different systems, for example "Backup" or "Exchange". I fill in this field whenever I wanted to note something in the "log". I can then pull information, using SQL Server manager, to create a log of various activities across multiple tickets. So I can generate a list of changes, with dates and times, made to our Exchange server, for example, no matter which ticket they were entered under. I realize this is a customized use, but I thought it was great to be able to do it, and I think I'll have to give that up with version 6.

In any case, I've got to put the evaluation of AN6 on the back burner for a couple of weeks, but when I return to it, I think I'll take your advice and talk to Alloy about getting a jump start or whatever. I want to see if there are enough improvements for my particular uses to make it worthwhile to migrate from version 5 and give up the activities the way they are now.
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Re: Activities

Postby eliaslynch on Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:38 pm

bhaf wrote:But I extended the use of activities in version 5 to serve as kind of a system log, and I won't be able to do this by using notes or the new activities. I have a custom field in activities that I call "Log" with a customized drop-down list of values representing our different systems, for example "Backup" or "Exchange". I fill in this field whenever I wanted to note something in the "log". I can then pull information, using SQL Server manager, to create a log of various activities across multiple tickets. So I can generate a list of changes, with dates and times, made to our Exchange server, for example, no matter which ticket they were entered under. I realize this is a customized use, but I thought it was great to be able to do it, and I think I'll have to give that up with version 6.


you can still do this, but just differently. here's your old order - new activity, choose category. now you can do run task > add activity. when you add activity from the task, you can make the task put something in the activity field. this can act like a category.

for instance, copy the log work task, give it a different name like 'log work (exchange)', go to the programming tab and change the activity it enters to 'log work (exchange)'. save it, run it and check activities. it does the same thing really. just use the activity field as the category.

downside, you need to add a task for each category you had...

another possible way is to use work orders the way you used activities. you have tons of control there. you can make an incident task that pops up a form with only a few wo fields. you don't need to fill out everything.
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Re: Activities

Postby bhaf on Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:57 pm

Thanks, Elias. I understand what you're saying, and perhaps that will work for me. I may well be able to do much of what I had done before, just in a different way. I think I need to spend some more time playing with the version 6 eval to understand all of the changes and see if, overall, it will be an improvement for me or not. I appreciate the assistance in helping me understand the new way activities work. Thanks, all!
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