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Jive Release Blog

1 Post authored by: sean.moran

The Supportal provides a unique set of tools for communicating with a large audience and driving the resolution of an issue. Tools such as links, in-line images, macros, and attachments make it easy to share information.

 

Links

While links are a simple concept, they are also extremely useful. I often use links to direct readers to web pages of interest such as documentation or bug reports for third-party libraries.

 

One example is SBS installation and configuring additional options. I could send someone a link to the Jive SBS Installation Documentation, as well as the Operations Cookbook. These links make it easy to bring external resources to people's attention with minimal effort.

 

Following links when reading online content is probably second nature to most users, so it seems only fitting that we use the same tools as in the rest of the web.

 

In-Line Images

A picture is worth a thousand words. Using in-line images can help easily illustrate a point or issue you're seeing. Images can avoid unnecessary back and forth when trying to troubleshoot.

 

For example: I need to explain where to enter your database URL. Instead of describing what the screen might look like and where you can test your settings, I could just add the following image to a case:

 

setup.gif

 

With this image, I can just add a few instructions:

  1. Enter your Database URL in this box
  2. Test your connection with this button

 

Macros

One important aspect of effective communication is formatting. Macros provide easy ways to format Java, SQL, XML, and plain old text. You can even quote the original message and add your reply in-line.

 

Lets have a look at a few examples:

 

package com.jivesoftware.base

 

/**
* Dummy Class
*/
public class Dummy {

 

public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("Macros look fantastic!")
}

 

}

 

vs.

 

package com.jivesoftware.base;

/**
 * Dummy Class
 */
public class Dummy {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Macros look fantastic!")
    }

}

 

SELECT * FROM jiveUser;

 

vs.

 

SELECT * FROM jiveUser;

 

While you can read both versions of the above examples, the macros make it even easier to read the posted code, as macros provide syntax highlighting and a backdrop to let you know you're looking at a snippet of code.

 

Attachments

It's often necessary to share documents and log files, and attachments make it a breeze.

 

Attached is a sample log from my local instance. Imagine how unwieldy this page would be if I needed the paste the contents of the logs directly into my case. Attachments make it easy to add additional information without having to cloud the original message.

 

The part I love most about attachments in cases is that they're not attachments in email. Having to worry about file size and different email servers and who's CC'd when sending an attachment becomes a real headache. What if four people got the attachment, but the fifth person's email server rejected the message? How else would I get a relatively large file? Thankfully, you can attach items up to 100mb in size to a case. Once you've created your case, you know immediately that the attachment will be available for your team to see without having to confirm with each person.

 

Taking attachments out of email and putting them in the case also makes it much easier to keep track of files, as the Supportal will index any text documents you attach to make them easier to find via search. No more sifting through your inbox!


Supportal: A Support Engineer's Best Friend

The Supportal offers a fantastic set of tools for us to communicate effectively with our customers to resolve issues. Prior to the Supportal, case management was via email, which was cumbersome and error-prone. It's very easy to forget to add someone to an email chain, or forget to reply-all. With the Supportal, cases are created in a secure customer space for Jive Support and the customer to see. This helps with historical case tracking and increases visibility to all authorized members of the customer's company.

 

Not only does the Supportal make a Support Engineer's job easier, it also makes it easier for our customers to communicate with us and get the help they need.

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