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New features delivered in 8.9.0

The following features and enhancements were included as part of 8.9.0.

Service request management enhancements

This release includes enhancements to service request management, including support for automatically creating service requests from client emails and sending personalized emails to muliple contacts for service requests.

Automatically create service requests based on incoming emails from clients

NexJ CRM can automatically create service requests based on incoming emails from your clients to your support team's mailbox and notify your clients that the service requests have been created. This automated process enables you to address client issues more efficiently and quickly.

For more information, see automatically creating service requests from emails.

Send personalized emails to multiple contacts for service requests

You can send personalized emails to multiple contacts for service requests, using one action to send all the emails at the same time.

For more information, see sending emails to contacts for service requests.

Entity management updates

The ability to change the sort order of custom fields, which was previously available both to system administrators and business administrators, is now limited to system administrators. System administrators can change the sort order on the Entity Codes page in NexJ Admin Console. For more information, see Adding custom fields to the system.

NexJ System Admin enhancements

This release includes the ability to filter system integration log files and generate system dumps for WebSphere application server.

Filtering integration logs in NexJ System Admin Console

To filter for and display system integration log files, navigate to the Integration Log page in NexJ System Admin Console.

For more information, see Filtering integration logs.

Generating system dumps for WebSphere Application Server

You can now generate system dumps for applications that use WebSphere Application Server. System dumps provide an image of the memory of the application during runtime. You can generate system dumps for individual nodes as well as for clusters.

You can generate a system dump from the Statistics page in NexJ System Admin Console.

Collecting application logs using NexJ System Admin Console

If running the application on NexJ Server, you can consolidate all application logs into a single zipped folder.

To collect application log files, navigate to the Statistics page in NexJ System Admin Console.

Persisting performance statistics to InfluxDB

You can now optionally persist the performance statistics of your NexJ application to InfluxDB. InfluxDB enables ease of statistical analysis and reporting through data visualization tools such as Chronograf and Grafana.

To persist performance statistics to InfluxDB, enable performance statistics from the Statistics page in NexJ System Admin Console, add the monitoring and alerting mixin to your project or environment, and configure an InfluxDB channel connection.

For more information, see Persisting statistics to InfluxDB.

Exporting persistent statistics using NexJ System Admin Console

You can now export persistent statistics for a node or cluster to a CSV file to analyze statistics outside of NexJ CRM. You can optionally provide a Scheme WHERE clause to constrain the data exported.

To export persistent statistics, navigate to the Statistics page in NexJ System Admin Console.

For more information, see Exporting persistent statistics.

Per-node concurrency support for object queues

NexJ CRM supports per-node concurrency for object queues that allows concurrency to be a factor of the number of server nodes. This means that the value can grow as the number of nodes increases, rather than you having to manually increase the value as more nodes are added.

For more information, see Editing settings for an object queue.

Reporting enhancements

This release includes enhancements to predefined reports functionality, including a new Activity Plan Report, and an improvement to SLM Touches Reports. This release also includes enhancements to the Reporting workspace, including new subject areas for business report definitions and additional filters in syndicated system report definitions.

SLM Touches Reports enhancement

You can specify a date range (start and end dates) for Service Level Management Touches Reports.

For more information, see Generating SLM Touches Reports for a single contact and Generating SLM Touches Reports for multiple contacts.

Reporting on Activity Plans

You can generate an Activity Plan Report in the Activity Plans tab on the Customize workspace. The Activity Plan Report provides information about the procedural steps required to complete an activity.

For more information, see Activity Plan Reports.

Additional subject areas

The default subject areas in the Reporting workspace have been expanded and now include the following two new areas:

  • Call Records
  • Service Requests

You can now use these subject areas to create business report definitions.

Additional filters

The following filters have been added to syndicated system report definitions:

  • The User Group and Privilege Group filters have been added to the User Detail report definition.
  • The User Login filter has been added to the Predefined Reports Audit report definition.
  • The Template filter has been added to the Data Shape - Act report definition

System administrators can now use these additional filters when running the system reports.

For more information about subject areas and report definitions in the Reporting workspace, see the Reporting functionality guide.

Application development enhancements

This release includes enhancements to application development functionality, including enhanced application modularity, improved message processing, and support for versioned APIs.

Enhanced stack tracing capabilities

NexJ is providing more details in error messages so it is easier for you to find the source of an issue.

For more information about stack tracing improvements, see Configuring exception logging in WebSphere server environments and Configuring expection logging in NexJ Server environments.

Improved object queues selection

NexJ has improved the efficiency of message processing by changing the selection algorithm for object queues.

Additional platform support

Apache Tomcat 8.5 is now supported for NexJ Server for all required functionality.

Enhanced application modularity

NexJ Studio now supports a more modular approach to customize the NexJ application through class and data source augments. Augments enable you to extend an existing class or data source without editing the original code.

Additionally, you can now create aspects for data sources. Data source aspects enable you to persist class aspects to multiple data sources, including future data sources created in a model.

Effective use of aspects and augments promotes efficient maintenance of the application and reduces upgrade costs.

For more information, see Managing model behavior using aspects and augments.

Using and generating versioned APIs to invoke model services

NexJ CRM provides versioned APIs for model services that you can leverage to ensure integration compatibility across multiple NexJ releases. You can also generate your own customized versioned APIs.

For more information, see Using and generating versioned APIs to invoke model services.

Configuring logging levels for mixin modules

You can more easily configure logging levels for mixin modules. For example, if you use the sme mixin module, you can configure all loggers for its resources to nexj.model.[class/service/...].sme.

Kafka server support

You can configure your NexJ application to send and receive messages through Apache Kafka.

You can create Kafka channels and Kafka channel connections and define their attributes based on your Kafka messaging requirements. Kafka channels support the Avro format for sending messages.

For more information, see Kafka server integration.

New statistics to streamline troubleshooting

NexJ has added new statistics to assist with troubleshooting slow dispatch times for messages. The statistics provide a more granual breakdown of the time spent in dispatch.

Ability to set content-transfer encoding

You can now set the value of the TRANSFER_ENCODING attribute of the EXCHANGE_CRUD class to specify which content-transfer-encoding scheme to use, for example, base64. This converts the entire email or invitation to the specified encoding.

CPM forms and workflow

This release includes a new architecture for NexJ Customer Process Management (CPM) forms for business process workflows. CPM forms simplify complex workflows, ensure form completeness, prevent duplicate data entry, and ensure efficient execution of business processes.

Key updates include:

  • A new and easy-to-learn domain-specific language is supported for defining and editing complex forms, which is a faster and more streamlined approach than the previous Visio diagram-based flow creation
  • A material design-oriented user interface is provided that streamlines form completion
  • Users can approve or reject forms while directly viewing forms; reviews are no longer separate from the form itself
  • A focus on server-side validations is reduced to help users complete forms faster
  • In-line validation ensures users are completing form fields correctly

  • Users can only see questions that are relevant based on defined logic

  • Concurrent workflow support
  • Improved data integrity through field conflict resolution, which means form values are validated against CRM model values

CPM supports simple forms as well as complex multi-step and multi-section forms that are created using a concise, specialized, definition language. The forms are stored as libraries in the Resources layer of the business model in NexJ Studio.

Administrators can add these forms to business processes in the Business Processes tab on the Customize workspace. NexJ CRM users can then view and fill out these forms in the CPM tab on the Contacts workspace.

For more information, see Developing CPM forms.

Changes to the deployment directory structure for NexJ Server

For security reasons, NexJ Systems has changed the deployment directory structure for NexJ Server.  For information about the changes, see Upgrading to NexJ CRM version 8.9.