New Roof, Slackin' Off, Respecting Privacy and Personality issues

December 16, 2020 • Peter Sanchez • Updates

This announcement is probably going to be the last feature announcement of 2020. Much like everyone else, we're ready for this year to end. So let me tell you about the features we added in the latest update of AnyHow (1.3.6).

Here are some of the things that were released since our last announcement.

Major

These are some of the bigger features or changes we've rolled out.

New Environment

We migrated AnyHow to a new environment. The previous provider was OK but we kept running into slowness issues that we couldn't reproduce in our development spaces. Our profiling research also came up empty. We were scratching our heads.

Turns out our VPS provider was just overselling and we had noisy neighbors. Even moving our systems to new hardware with the same provider didn't help.

So we are now hosted by our old friends over at ARP Networks and the change in performance is drastic. We now have dedicated resources in our deployment environment and with that able to cut out a bunch of fat, which has really improved the speed of the site.

Honestly the improvement was a bit of a surprise to us. We didn't think that the site wasn't unusually slow before. I guess we've been a bit blinded by the fact that most software is terribly slow these days so we felt we were performing ahead of the pack. However, seeing how fast the site performs now shows there's always room for improvements.

So enjoy the snappier and speedier AnyHow.

Slack Integration

If you head to your Organization Settings page and click the Integrations tab you'll see the option to link your AnyHow organization to your Slack instance. You will be notified when new discussion posts are added and can interact with discussions in AnyHow directly from Slack. Just reply in thread while in Slack to sync the conversation into AnyHow (and vise versa).

Private AnyHow discussion posts will be notified as direct messages to the tagged team members. Even members who are @mentioned will get a notification.

For notifications to work, be sure your team mates have linked their Slack accounts to their AnyHow accounts. To do that, they need to go to their User Preferences page and sync up Slack with their account (this can only be done after the organization has been linked).

To choose what you do, or do not, want notifications for, each user can head to their own Notification Preferences page.

We're hoping this helps make people more productive. We don't want to get in the way of peoples work and we're hoping this simply provides an easy way to update AnyHow discussions quickly. Please let us know how this has affected your teams workflow.

New Client Report

We've added a report that has been requested a few times now. The Client Lifetime Value report. It will show the total amount invoiced for the entire lifetime of your clients.

We also added a neat metric to this report to show their average "time to pay" invoices. This can be used to help with your budgeting, etc.

To access this, simply head to the Manage -> Reports section and click the "Static Reports" tab.

Privacy Updates

Some time ago we added a useful feature to show when an invoice had been viewed online. For some reason we decided to also show from where it was viewed. We used a geo location database to show the city where the user was when viewing the invoice on AnyHow.

I can't say what I was thinking when this was added years ago and I take full responsibility for this very stupid decision. When I realized it was still a thing on the system I had our dev's remove this functionality immediately.

While we never had any complaints about this feature I realized it was an invasion of privacy and totally inappropriate. So now it's gone and it, or anything like it, will never be coming back.

Please email me directly at peter@anyhowhq.com with any questions or concerns.

Registration Flow

We've now made it smoother to invite new users to your org. The steps to activate their account are now fewer and the entire process takes a matter of seconds.

Same is true for new registrations. While you still need to verify your email address, you can do so after you've accessed your new AnyHow account. Once you've entered a few basic details you will be logged into your new AnyHow organization and see an option, in green, on the left hand size to use the wizard to finish your organization setup. Use that when you're ready. Of course, be sure to verify your email address as you'll be restricted to certain features until that's done.

Minor and Bugs

We've spent a lot of time working on some internal frameworks for things to come early next year. As such we didn't do many minor updates but we did fix a few bugs. Here's a small list of the combined items:

  • Added custom notice page and documentation to address issues that some Brave browser versions, with restrictions or specific plugins, can experience (this is a browser issue, not AnyHow, but can still be confusing to the user).
  • Added some personality to the AnyHow bot. It now has an actual avatar instead of the cold grey humanoid outline it had before. I mean, it's a robot sure, but that doesn't mean it has to look like one. We fixed that.
  • Fixed a bug where when adding a new discussion post the input window wouldn't increase to show the cursor properly for some resolutions.
  • General speed improvements across a handful of heavy database queries.

Wrapping Up

This will be our last feature deployment before the new year so we wanted to take this time to wish everyone a safe and happy holidays and a happy new year!

As always if you have any issues please or requests just head to the support page and let us know. We're here to help.

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