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.

Introducing New Property Types

18 Dec

One of the unique features of PBworks is the ability to combine structured and unstructured information.  A typical workspace contains a lot of unstructured information (wiki pages and files), but both the workspace and specific items of content can be associated with structured information (properties).

PBworks properties can take the form of a drop-down list, text field, integer, date, or PBworks user.  But while these properties cover a wide range of applications, we’ve heard consistent requests for more specific property types.  That’s why we just launched five new property types.

1. Currency
2. Decimal
3. URL
4. Email
5. Workspace Type

Here’s how they work:

1. Currency

Now you can specify the exact dollars and cents, rather than being limited to integer values.  We also add in American-style commas for large numbers to make them easier to read (i.e. $1,000,000.00 versus $1000000.00).

2. Decimal

The decimal property, like currency, lets you go beyond integer values.

3. URL

When you use the URL property, PBworks makes the property a clickable link, rather than requiring users to cut and paste a URL into a web browser address bar.

4. Email

When you use the email property, PBworks makes the property a “mailto” link, rather than requiring users to cut and paste an email address into their email client.

5. Workspace Type

This special property allows you to specify a relationship between individual workspaces and workspace types.  For example, an agency customer might have a “Client” type and a “Project” type.  A project manager could use the workspace type property to specify that the “Hilton Kuala Lumpur” project workspace should be linked to the “Hilton Hotels” client workspace.  The property is clickable, so it’s easy to jump from the project to the related client and vice versa.

These new workspace properties are available immediate to all users (paid and free).  If you’d like to get a refresher course on how to use Properties, we’re holding a free “How To Use PBworks Properties” webinar at 10 AM Pacific (1 PM Eastern, 18:00 GMT) on Tuesday, January 14, 2014:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/458459110

PBworks Phasing Out IE8 Support Starting 1/31/2014

22 Oct

In March 2009, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 8.  At the time, the browser was state of the art.  Today, over 4.5 years later, IE8 is looking dated, and the usage numbers reflect it.

In the broad market, IE8 now has less than 10% market share, and we see a similar proportion in our own statistics.  Meanwhile, Google Apps dropped support for IE8 in November of *2012* and Google Analytics is dropping support by the end of 2013.

Therefore, we plan to end official support for PBworks on IE8 on January 31, 2014 (we’re giving you an extra month in comparison to Google).  This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to use IE8 to access the service, but it does mean that we will stop testing to ensure full compatibility.  This will enable us to maintain and improve the service more efficiently.

If corporate policy requires you to use IE8, please contact your PBworks account representative.

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