Network Menu Enhancements

8 Oct

As part of our ongoing effort to improve usability, we’ve just released a new version of our network menu.

Historically, one of the more unique features of PBworks has been the shortcuts in the network menu.  These shortcuts allow users to access their Recent Items (visited workspaces and wiki pages, uploaded files), Starred Items, Tasks, and to add content via the big “+”.

The first three shortcuts correspond to the sections of the personal Dashboard, while the big “+” makes it easy to add things.

Thanks to all the new features we’ve added, such as Network-wide page and file types, the old “+”, which only allowed you to add generic workspaces, wiki pages, and files, was incomplete.

Therefore, we’ve remodeled all of the shortcuts, adding new functionality to the “+” and updating the look and feel of the Dashboard shortcuts.

Take a moment to check it out, and let us know what you think!

PBworks is safe from Shellshock

26 Sep

You may have heard in the news about the Shellshock bug, which affects Unix and Linux servers:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/26/technology/security-experts-expect-shellshock-software-bug-to-be-significant.html?_r=0

The good news is that the way PBworks’ systems are set up, the Shellshock bug could not be exploited.  As a precaution, however, we have already applied multiple patches to all of our Linux servers to eliminate this vulnerability.  As additional patches become available, we will implement them as well.  Our service, and your data, are safe from this issue.

Introducing New Menu Bar Customization

10 Sep

The menu bar at the top of our products is the most important navigational element.  It includes links to all the most important features in the product, a powerful search capability, and a host of other cool tools like the ability to access recent items or tasks.

We’re making it even more powerful by introducing a new system for menu bar customization.

In the past, we offered some limited customization capabilities.  You could hide tabs, change their names, and provide a URL for home tab content.  A few of our premium packages allowed you to add additional custom tabs, or to set up alternate home tabs, but by and large it was very hard to use these features because you couldn’t know which tabs would appear for which users without making the change and testing it with those users.

The new menu bar customization feature adds additional functionality while solving prior issues.  The new Network Menu settings now allows you to define as few or as many tabs as you like.  You can also decide which users can see which tabs, either by selecting the class of users (Admins, Internal Users, External Users) or by setting permissions for user groups.  We’ve even added new types of tabs, like the ability to create a tab with a drop-down submenu of options.

Best of all, the Network Menu screen allows you to preview your changes by user type or group, so you can know what your users will see *before* you implement the change.

If you like your menu the way it is, don’t worry, this feature won’t change your tabs (unless you make the change yourself).

You can access the Network Menu settings from the PBworks Admin screen.  To provide more room for additional tabs, we have moved this Admin screen to be part of the user drop-down.  Admins can simply click on their profile photo in the Menu Bar and access the Admin screen.

Because this is a powerful new feature, we’ll also be offering a free webinar to demonstrate the new features and how you can use them.

New Network Menu Customization Webinar
Tuesday, September 1610 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern/17:00 UTC/18:00 BST
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/453545646

Now you can edit PBworks wiki pages on your iPad or iPhone

18 Aug

While PBworks has always been accessible on your smartphone or tablet, until recently, the built-in browser on iPads and iPhones didn’t allow rich text web editing.

The good news is that browser technology has now advanced to the point where rich text editors like our wiki page editor will now work on iOS devices.  As of tonight, we’ve released an upgrade that allows all PBworks users to edit PBworks wiki pages on their iPads and iPhones (you’ve been able to edit wiki pages on Android devices for some time).

Give these new capabilities a spin and less us know what you think!

Automated Amazon S3 Backup Is Going Premium

2 Jul

As of July 3, 2014, the automated Amazon S3 backup will become a premium feature.  This means that it will be a separate add-on line item in your PBworks paid subscription.

Don’t worry, if you are currently using this feature to back up your PBworks network to your corporate S3 account, we will grandfather in a free license to this feature through the end of your current paid subscription.

Security Announcement: PBworks is safe from “Heartbleed”

10 Apr

As you may have heard, many websites and services have a major security issue named “Heartbleed”

The short answer is that your information is safe, PBworks is not affected, and you do not need to take any actions (e.g. changing passwords).

If you are interested in the details, you can read on.

A major security bug, nicknamed  “Heartbleed” was reported in the OpenSSL security cipher suite.   OpenSSL is an open source library used by over 3/4ths of all web services, and it is used to protect the privacy of data transmitted over the internet.

Actions PBworks has taken

Within hours of the report of the bug, we performed a security vulnerability assessment of our system, and found that the version of OpenSSL used by our system is not vulnerable to this exploit.

What do you need to do?

At this time, you do not need to take any action.   Your login, data, and passwords are safe, and have not been compromised.

What PBworks will continue to do

We believe that the security and integrity of your data is of the highest priority.   We are taking further precautions to make sure that your data is safe on our service.  We have also updated all our systems with the latest available security patches to the software and operating systems, and will continue to perform daily security audits.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Support or your account representative.

Introducing Network-wide Page and File Types

8 Apr

One of the long-standing features of PBworks is the ability to create page (and file) templates simply by tagging .  These templates allow you to standardize the content on a workspace.  For example, you can create a “Meeting Note” template that you can use whenever you set up a new meeting, rather than having to start with a blank page.

As we’ve added more capabilities, like page and file properties, we’ve extended the template system to incorporate them as well.  For example, if a file template includes the property “Status,” with the possible choices “Active” and “Inactive,” uploading a new file with that template lets you specify the status at upload, and to change it later.

But despite these additions, the fact that templates were attached to individual workspaces rather than network-wide had a number of drawbacks.  For example, any time you wanted to use a template on a new workspace, you would have to set it up manually.  And even if you took advantage of our workspace types and templates to include a “Meeting Note” template on each new workspace, if you wanted to make any changes to that template, you would have to circle back and change every single workspace that had been created.

Nor could you search all meeting notes across all workspaces–the pages that were created from a template didn’t maintain any relationship with that template.

That’s why we just introduced Network-wide Page and File Types.  These new types, which can be created by going to the new “Types” menu within the “Admin” panel, address the drawbacks of the old workspace-level templates.  Creating a single network-wide “Meeting Note” type now allows you to create new meeting notes on any workspace.  And the single network-wide type allows you to change the parameters of any future meeting notes in one place, rather than requiring you to make changes workspace by workspace.

Finally, Network-wide Page and File Types are first class elements of the product; they are labeled on screen, and you can even use the search box to search a single type.  An advertising agency, for example, can create a network-wide “Case Study” file type, then search just case studies to find a match more quickly and easily.

If you’ve been a heavy user of the old workspace page and file templates, don’t worry, they’re not going away immediately.  For the next two months, until Saturday, June 7, your existing workspace page and file templates will continue to work just like they always have.  This should give you plenty of time to experiment with the new Network-wide Page and File Types, and to replace your existing templates.

To help you get up to speed on this new feature, we’re offering a free “Network-wide Types How-to Webinar” on Tuesday, April 15:

PBworks: Network-wide Types How-to Webinar
10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern/17:00 UTC/18:00 BST
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/700479086

We’ll walk you, step-by-step, through the process of using these types, and give you a chance to ask your own questions.

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