Capture Equipment Data without Typing a Single Letter

Today we have an incredible new feature for you – the ability to scan equipment labels and record equipment data, without typing a single character. Simply take a photo of equipment labels with your iPhone or iPad camera, then tap the recognized text to record instant, accurate data.

The feature may not always work perfectly, so we have initially released it as an “Experimental Feature”. To enable it, go to the Projects screen in the app, then tap the gear icon ⚙, then Advanced, then toggle on Experimental Features.

Once enabled you’ll see a new Label button at the top right when answering a checklist or test line with a linked attribute. There will also be a new Tag button in the search field that will let you quickly scan a nameplate or label for an equipment tag. We’ve prepared a short video that shows you how these features work.

Multiple Photos in Field Observation Comments – Customer Appreciation Summer

If the number of requests on our feedback forum is to be believed, many of you are going to be happy with our latest release.

You can now upload as many photos to a field observation comment as you want. Woo-hoo! We’ve rolled this out both on the web and in version 3.14 of the iOS app.

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Comment Reordering

Earlier this year we added comment reordering for field observation comments, but there was no obvious indicator that it was possible. In this update we’ve made it clearer that comments can be reordered with an always-visible drag handle. We’ve also made several other improvements to the reordering experience.

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Dropping Support for iOS 10 and iOS 11

Also, in order to better support the upcoming iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, as well as some big features we have in the works, we will be dropping support for older versions of iOS. Version 3.14 will be the last major version of the app that supports iOS 10 and iOS 11. Devices running these older versions should update to iOS 12. iOS 12 is compatible with the devices listed on Apple’s site (note, any device that can run iOS 11 can run iOS 12). If you are using an older device that is not listed, you can continue running the app as it exists currently, it just will no longer receive updates past 3.14. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact support.

Task Comment Editing – Customer Appreciation Summer

I’ve got to be up front with you all – this week’s feature should have been there from the beginning. Being able to edit a comment you made is pretty important after all. What if you made a typo? Or you forgot to include something important? You could always delete it and re-add it with the needed changes, but let’s be real, you should just be able to edit it.

Well, now you can. Huzzah!

See you next week!

Customer Appreciation Summer Kicks Off with a New File Viewer

For our first release of this year’s customer appreciation summer we have rolled out a brand-new file viewer with tons of new features.

  • Zoom!
  • Search!
  • Seamless scrolling
  • Select and copy text
  • Table of contents/bookmarks view
  • Page thumbnails

To see the new viewer, simply click on a file that you’ve uploaded to an item or to the Project Files section.

In addition, we’ve made a small improvement to project navigation. In the past you could see a list of all files attached to items (issues, equipment, checklists, etc.) but to get to the list you had to know to click on this obscure sentence at the bottom of the Project Files page:

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Not exactly obvious, was it? (well, without the red arrows, that is)

We’ve now made this much more obvious by adding an “Attached Files” option in the project menu. We think that makes a lot more sense!

One more thing – the new file viewer is part of a larger effort to allow you to annotate your images and PDFs directly in CxAlloy TQ. That will be coming a little later, but I hope you’ll look forward to it. See you next week!

Recent Updates and the Second Annual Customer Summer

Hello! It’s been a while and we have a lot to share. First there are some recent updates to tell you about and then I want to give you a preview of our plans for our 2nd annual customer summer!

Recent Updates

Multiple Report Generator Configurations

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You can now create multiple report generator configurations in your projects. This one is pretty self-explanatory. 😀 You no longer need to mess up an existing configuration in order to run some other report! Just click “Add New” at the top right of the page to get started creating a new report configuration.

Account Overview

Our new Account Overview, which has been in beta with our user conference attendees since late last year, is now available in all accounts.

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Like the project list, the account overview shows you a list of all projects in the account. It then improves on the project list by showing each project’s dashboard directly in the list and adding filters, sorting, exporting, and PDF reporting.

For those in the beta it’s worth noting that this release included improvements, such as a nicer-looking PDF and group headers when sorting.

In the future we will replace the project list with the account overview.

Test Template Folders in Upgraded Projects

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In accounts and projects that have Upgraded Checklists tests and test templates now work like checklists. This means that many of the checklist benefits you get from upgrading your project are also in tests, like organizing your test templates into folders and the improved batch creation and template copying functions.

If you haven’t upgraded your account or project yet we encourage you to do so. Read our Upgrade Guide to get started.

Integration with CxAlloy FM for Seamless Maintenance

We have also made available our integration with CxAlloy FM (Facility Maintenance), our preventative maintenance software.

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With this integration you can move a project’s asset data – equipment, equipment types, systems, and locations – to CxAlloy FM with a click. Beyond just copying asset data, CxAlloy FM will look for common equipment (such as air handling units, chillers, boilers, etc.) and automatically create maintenance procedures and schedules for them.

To learn more about the integration and CxAlloy FM, please read our support article or watch our integration webinar.

The Second Annual Customer Appreciation Summer

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The feedback we got on last year’s Customer Appreciation Summer was so positive we decided to do it again! Like last year we’ll be releasing a series of new features all summer long, with a particular focus on features that are highly requested by our customers.

Here are just some of the features we’ll be releasing:

  • Attach multiple photos to a field observation comment
  • Manage a user’s projects at the account level
  • Import asset and assignment fields with issues

Our 2nd Customer Appreciation Summer will start the weekend of June 22-23. We hope you enjoy it!

CxAlloy FM 2.1 – Overhauled Reports, Improved Small Screen Experience, and New Billing Options

This weekend we released version 2.1 of CxAlloy FM. This is a substantial update that introduces a totally new reports interface, significant improvements when using CxAlloy FM on a phone or tablet screen, and the addition of credit card billing.

A New Reports Interface

Probably the most important update for our users is the new Reports interface. We designed the new interface to make it more obvious what information you can expect to get from a report and to give you more flexibility in what the report includes and how it is grouped.

Instead of our previous fixed list of predetermined reports you can now “build your own” report. First you choose what you want to report on – work orders, labor hours, work requests, or equipment. You then can choose how to group and sort that information, what time period to report on, and any filters you want to apply.

As before, when you run the report it will be shown in the browser with the option to create a PDF. Charts will automatically be created based on the choices you made.

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Small Screen Improvements

One of the reasons for the redesign of CxAlloy FM that we launched late last year was to allow the interface to work better on tablet and phone-sized screens. With version 2.1 we are making good on that plan and have updated many of the pages to adapt to small screens. For example, when viewing a list of work orders, work requests, equipment, etc. on a smaller screen the filters are called up by clicking a new “Filters” button rather than taking up limited screen space in the sidebar.

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We’ve made many other changes throughout the software to better accommodate small screens. And the new reports interface is designed to work on small screens, too!

Credit Card Billing

Perhaps a less important feature for our users (but pretty important for us!) is that we have added credit card billing. This is an important milestone in our effort to grow the software and part of our larger plan to build a better CxAlloy FM.

Tweaked Access Levels

As we worked on credit card billing we saw some holes in our access levels and some potential confusion in how they are named. As a result we have renamed the “User” facility access level to “Technician”. We also added an additional access level in the account, the “Facility Manager”.

Big Little Changes – CxAlloy TQ App Update

We’ve released version 3.10 of the iOS app which includes features suggested by attendees of our CxAlloy User Conference in November plus a couple of things that we’ve been working on for a while.

Customer requested features

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Tappable URLs in checklist and test lines – When you add a URL to a checklist or test line, the app will convert the URL to a link. Tapping the link will open the URL in Safari. The same functionality is coming to the web version as well.

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Quick user logout – The bottom of the project list displays the currently logged in user. You can tap on this label to quickly log out without having to go to the app’s Settings.

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Sync just one project – If you want to sync just one project instead of all of them at once, you can do so by swiping left on a downloaded project and tapping the sync button.

Faster line details

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We’ve tweaked how we show line options. Previously when you tapped a line the options would open up below the line. Now we show them in a “popover” above the line. We made this change because it makes scrolling long tests and checklists much smoother (due to complicated technical reasons). Happily the feedback from early users was that they also liked the “popover” better than the old way.

Stepping into the background

In addition to these features suggested by our users (thanks, y’all!), we’ve included a new feature of our own. Now, after you tap on a project to download it, you no longer need to keep the app open in order for the download to complete. Background project downloading required us to make some significant changes to our server’s sync architecture and we’ll be announcing some exciting new features built on this new download framework in the coming months. Keep an eye on this space!

Big little changes

Some small changes can have big impacts. Being able to click a link in a checklist or test line is a small feature on paper, but opens up new possibilities for your checklists and tests. Likewise, showing some buttons above a line in a “popover” instead of below the line is barely noticeable, but dramatically improves scrolling performance. And background project downloading is a small improvement day-to-day, but represents a new frontier we can explore to ensure your data in the app and on the server is always available and up-to-date.

User Conference Recap

Earlier this month we held our first ever User Conference! It was amazing to get to meet and talk shop with so many of our customers. Great speakers, delicious food, and good conversations (and a very exciting 3 minutes in a Porsche) made for a wonderful time.

We also announced several new features during the conference, headlined by the release of our API. You can get the full rundown on our updated conference page.

The conference went so well that we are already making plans for next year. If you weren’t able to join us this time we hope you’ll consider coming next year, and if you attended this year we hope you’ll want to come again!

Field Observation Comments and Updated Exports – Customer Appreciation Fall Update

When you’re walking into work against a cold wind with your jacket drawn tightly around you, your hands in your pockets to stay warm, it may seem like summer is in the distant past, so I understand if you’ve forgotten about our Customer Appreciation Summer. If you haven’t, though, you may have noticed that a couple of planned updates didn’t get announced.

Well, our final features proved a bit more challenging so they had to get moved to “Customer Appreciation Fall” 🍁 We snuck two updates out over the past month that I’m sure you’ll be interested in. Luckily our customer appreciation doesn’t change with the seasons!

Field Observation Comment Photos

The first feature addresses what may be one of our oldest outstanding feature requests – the ability to update photos on field observation comments. You can now add a photo to an existing field observation comment, change the photo on an existing comment, or remove the photo from a comment. Thank goodness!

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We also have made it possible to reorder your field observation comments simply by dragging and dropping them.

The same comment photo features are already in the iOS app and comment reordering will be in the next update.

Export Updates

We’ve also gone through and updated all of our exports. Many exports now include more information than they did previously, and they all now have the following improvements:

  • Header rows have a background color
  • When it makes sense, multiple worksheets are used. For example, exporting a test will put each attempt into its own worksheet.
  • Columns will be auto-sized to match the maximum width of the column’s content
  • Clickable links to the original item are provided when possible
  • Dates will be formatted as dates (and values that are not dates but look like dates won’t be incorrectly formatted as dates)

We’ve learned from your feedback that exporting and then importing checklists, tests, and templates is a common task and we wanted to improve that experience. Now when importing you can select the specific worksheet that contains just the lines, which in turn provides an improved flow with how our import operates.

Area Served Filtering and Sorting

Finally, just today we added filtering and sorting by Area Served for checklists, tests, and issues. Area Served has proven to be pretty important for some customers’ workflows and we anticipate this will make it even more useful for those folks.

We hope you enjoy these updates. Summer may be over but we’re still working to make CxAlloy TQ the best it can be. Until next time, stay warm out there!

iOS App Version 3.8: Customer Appreciation Edition

Hi everyone! I’m Clint and I’m the lead mobile developer here at CxAlloy. While the majority of our developers work in our office in Atlanta, the mobile team is based here in Salt Lake City, UT. (We’re trying to get the other developers to call us “CxAlloy West”, with varying degrees of success.)

Earlier this year, the mobile team met with a group of our users and asked them what they wanted to see most in the app. Some answers we expected; some surprised us.

We updated our development schedule to incorporate what we learned and the initial fruits of those conversations are now becoming available. One of them was the Multiple Line Answering feature that we released a few weeks ago, which has been very popular.

But, we’re not done yet. Version 3.8 of the app has two features that we know many of our users will be very excited about.

Adding Document Files

A few weeks ago, we added the ability to view many document file types (such as PDF, Word, Excel, etc.) without needing to export them first to another app. Now we’re taking the next step and, starting in version 3.8, users will be able to add those files directly to items in the app.

Next to the camera button in the file lists there is now a plus button which will bring up iOS’ file picker. From there, you can select files stored in Dropbox, Box, iCloud, or any other service that works with iOS’ Files app. Any file type that can be uploaded to CxAlloy TQ’s website can be added to the app.

Not only that, but users with iOS 11+ will also be able to drag documents and images out of other apps and drop them directly into CxAlloy.

Try it. It’s fun.

Distraction-Free Mode

I’m an avid iPad user. One of the biggest annoyances I have is when an app has a list of items on the left hand side that you can’t hide. This list can be really distracting when you’re trying to work on something more involved like, say, a checklist or test.

In version 3.8, we’re introducing a “Distraction-Free Mode” for the app that allows you to tap on the new “expand” button to hide the left-hand list allowing you to focus on the work at hand.

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More to Come

As you might expect, these are not the only features customers are asking for. When I look at our roadmap, I see several oft-requested features that we’re excited to finally bring to our users. Keep those apps updated and hopefully your most-wished-for feature will be landing on your iOS device in the near future.