Smart Office Startpad 2.0

The Smart Office Startpad is an add on that you can install in Smart Office 10.0.5 and 10.1.1. It enables your users and the administrator to build startpads with links to different programs. This application was first released for Smart Office 10.0.5 (version 1) with a limited set of functionality but has been greatly improved for Smart Office 10.1.1 (Startpad version 2). In this post I’ll cover the features in the StartPad Manager and how to deploy startpads.

Note that with the service pack of 10.1.1 there is also a fix for Startpads available as a CCSS in Life Cycle Manager. So if you are having issue make sure you are on the latest version and then report any issues to support.

finalResult

Functionality Overview

  • Allows end users and admin to create a page with links to different programs.
  • The administrator can create startpads and connect them to different groups (if the session provider supports it).
  • Links can be grouped in groups.
  • You can use your own images (47px*47px, max 20 kb) only in version 2.
  • You can add multiple links to one shortcut in order to add a sub menu wit links. Only in version 2.
  • In the Startpad Manager you can import and export private startpads
  • In the Category Files tool you can import/export shared startpads.
  • Startpads will be visible and searchable in the Navigator widget.

Don’t forget that it is possible to pin a program to the taskbar so that you will keep it in the Taskbar when you log in the next time.

News in Startpad version 2.0

In the new version of the startpad the look and feel has changed to the new SoHo theme. The artifact has been changed from an xml file to a zip file to be able to include images. Private startpads with the old xml format will be automatically converted to the new zip format. Shared Startpads (that you see in the Startpad File Administration tool) needs to be manually converted. You convert them by exporting them from the admin tool and then your manually import them in the Start Page Manager and then re-publish them. Also note that there is no upgrade from 10.0.5.2 to 10.1.1 which means that you will only have your own startpads if you used the Mango Admin Tool to migrate data from 10.0.5 to 10.1.1.

One of the major news is of course that you can upload and use your own images. When a startpad is deployed it will contain the images within the startpad. The image has to be 47px * 47px and have a maximum size of 20 kb. It is recommended to use the same grey background as the other icons. This means that you can create your own set of icons on a file share and inform your power users so that they can import them into their own icon library. The Icon Library is personal. Power users who wants to publish their startpads needs to create them as private startpad and then export it and email it to the administrator. The administrator can then open the Startpad Admin file tool and upload it by clicking the new or selecting an existing and pressing the update button.

One shortcut can contain a number of sub links. If a shortcut has sub links it will contain an arrow after the text and clicking the arrow will open the submenu.

How to install the StartPad

1. Download the correct version from the Download center. It is available on the Smart Office product download.
DownloadCenter
2. Upload the .lawsonapplication in Life Cycle Manager
3. Install it in Life Cycle Manager (If you have installed fix pack for 10.1.1 make sure you also apply the latest fix for the Startpad as well.)
4. Login to Smart Office and open the profile editor. There is a new section called Startpad. You need to enable it for the profiles it should be available in.
5. Restart Smart Office and login using a profile which have Startpad enabled. Verify that you see the Startpad in the Navigator.

navigator

In the image above I have some startpads already but you should see the Tools and the Startpad Manager. If you are an administrator you will also see the Startpad File Administration tool. The startpad file administration tool is the same tool that is used for Mashups and other files. It is the Category Files Tool with a filter to select only startpads.

How to create your first Startpad

Open the Startpad Manager. It will look like this:

FirstScreen

1. Press the pencil to go into edit mode.
2. On the File menu select New Startpad or click Ctrl + N for a new Startpad.
CreateNewPage

3. Enter the name and Description. The name has to be unique.

createDialog

You will see your startpad under the Private group in the StartPad Manager. If you are not the administrator and the Administrator already has shared Startpads you will see all shared startpads that you have access to under Shared.

You should only be in edit mode if you want to edit startpads. As soon as you are done editing you should leave the edit mode by pressing the button in the upper right corner to go back to view mode. Single click in the lists of startpads will select a startpad. You double-click a shortcut to launch it.

4. Press the plus sign to add a shortcut. You will see the following dialog (in some cases it will open automatically – like the first time you create a new startpad).

Addshortcut

This is the dialog where you create shortcuts. I usually select an icon (from those available becuse that will look the best) then instead of writing the URL directly I press Options so that I can search for an existing program. Don’t forget that for web links that are under DSSO such as LBI links or portal you need to rewrite them as net:// links so that Smart Office can set the correct cookies. The syntax looks like this: net://auth?http://lsfserver.corpnet.lawson.com…. In some cases the URL you pass as a parameter might need to be URL encoded. If you need to URL encode you can use this online tool.

In the Search dialog you write part of the application name and then press enter.
options

5. Don’t forget to add a group that shortcut should belong to. I usually press Add, enter the group and then press Add again and again until I have the set of groups I would like to start with.

6. Press ok to add the shortcut.

Now you can press the plus button in the top page to add another shortcut in a new group or you can press the plus button next to the group name to add a shortcut to that group.

Adding a sub-link

When you have your mouse over a shortcut you will see a set of three icons. One is to edit the shortcut, one is to delete it and the plus is to add a sub link to this shortcut.

HoverShortcut

Press the plus to add a sub link to this shortcut. Once you have added a sub link the shortcut will have an arrow.

Subtasks

Re-ordering groups and shortcuts

You re-order groups by selecting an option on the File menu called Re order groups.

reordergroups

It will open a dialog where you can reorder groups.

If you want to re order shortcuts or move shortcuts from one group to another you use drag and drop. Drag and drop makes it easy to reorder stuff. If you like to create a new group, there is no way to create an empty group, you will need to add a new shortcut or edit an existing shortcut and add a group from that dialog.

Deploy a startpad

To share a startpad you deploy it to the server. Only administrators can deploy startpads so if you are not an admin you need to export it and email it to the administrator so that he can deploy it.

There are two options when deploying, draft or public. Draft means that it will be uploaded to the server but it is not available to anyone. You will need to open the Startpad file administration, available in the File menu or the Category Files tool available under Administration tools in the Navigator.

StyartpadFileAdmin

If the startpad is in draft you can change it to role and then connect the roles that should have the startpad. The roles comes from the Session Provider. Please note that the DSSO SP does not support these mappings because LSF and Landmark does not support it but I think that support will come for LSF. As soon as something is released I’ll let you know.

Modifying a shared startpad

If you are an end user you can go into edit mode and select a shared startpad and create a copy by clicking the copy icon in the toolbar. That will create your own private copy so that you can use it as a starting point for your own startpad.

If you are an administrator and connected to the shared startpad you will be able to select it, modify it and then press save and it will be updated on the server. All users connected to that startpad will download it the next time they login. If you are not connected to it you can export the zip file from the Category Files tool (or Startpad file Administration) and then import it as a private startpad, modify it and export it and then update it in the admin tool again.

There are lots of options available but only an administrator can upload or modify public startpads.

Adding your own icons

In Startpage version 2.0 it is possible to add your own icons. Every user will have its own local storage with icons. It is not possible to automatically share and update icons. But you can write an instruction on how to import a set of corporate icons into the user’s icon library. You can add an icon when you create a shortcut but you can also access the Icon Manager from the File menu -> Add icon.

Make sure that all icons are 47px*47px and have a max size of 20 kb.

When you use your own icons on a private startpad you can update that icon on all your startpads by updating the icon in the icon Library. Shared startpads will not be affected since they are bundled with the icons. If you would like to change icons on a shared startpad you need to manually change them (and save to re-deploy).

My Administration Example

As part of the preparation for this post I did an Administration startpage with the different admin tools grouped together.
This is the final result:

AdminTools

Feel free to download the Administration Tools.zip and use the Administration Tools startpage from my SkyDrive. Currently there is no settings that controls the behavior or what you are allowed to do within the Startpad Manager. For some functions you must be a Smart Office administrator. If you have comments or requirements for configuration and functionality don’t hesitate to comment on this post.

9 thoughts on “Smart Office Startpad 2.0

  1. Jonas

    This new startpad looks really nice, we are using the “old” startpad in ISO 10.0.5.x and it is a very neat little way of gathering various shortcuts and panel links using MForms Automations and mapping these to the applicable process.

    But when it comes to my comments, i tend to always have a problem 😉
    I am currently struggling with a user question (more related to MForms automations than to startpad really) regarding a startpad shortcut:
    1. Open DRS100, make sure we have sort order 1 and view 1.
    2. Set Place of load to ABC (example)
    3. Set Dep date to the next delivery date (based on today’s date) and press enter.

    I’ve come so far that i have made steps 1 & 2 with automations builder, and for step 3 i have finalised a script that fix the request with looking up the next delivery date using the system calendar api.
    Do you have any neat trick on how i can initiate a script from automations shortcut in startpad?

    I have added it as a button and also tied an PreviewKeyDown event (CTRL+T) to the contentPanel..

    The problem i face is that MForms Automations do not seem handle just any keypress or combo, only listview options or F-key presses.
    I can’t use F-key combos on PreviewKeyDown events since the panels F-key settings seem to override and say that “F8 is not valid here”.

    Can i override the panels F key assignments with Jscript – to initialize actions in a script using a F-key in a panel?

    Sorry for hijacking your post =)

    Reply
    1. norpe

      With MForms Automations you are limited to what a user can do on a panel and that is basically, change values in fields, press function keys, press enter or use list options.

      The automations are executed on the server so there is no way to run a script in the middle of an automation. You are limited to either starting a program with automation from scripts or executing a script on the last panel in the automation.

      It might be possible to solve your scenario by running step 1 and 2 with automation and then running a script for step 3. The problem is that you won’t know that the program was started using an automation.

      Another option could be to create a script that performs all steps. This is possible but can be a bit tricky to implement correctly.

      Reply
      1. Jonas

        I tried to tie an automationid to the button element but failed to do FCS and press ENTER on the button element via automations.

        I tried to do onrequesting and check MNEProtocol.KeyF2 but that failed since pressing an invalid F-key does not initiate any request. The F-key validation seems to be buried deep.

        The ugliest way of doing this that i can think of is to monitor a text field on the panel, when the panel initates and send an initiation code using automations, like “cartman” in that field.
        If that field changes text to cartman, i initiate the script… (and clear the text field to avoid strange questions 😉

        That’s were i’m stuck, i’m sure calling custom scripts from automation links with keyboard shortcuts would come in very handy in a lot of places where users can save time with customized predefined startpad shortcuts, for example.

  2. Thomas Bateup

    Do you have any idea why the Startpad displayed in grey rather than using the same Appearance Theme as Smart Office?

    Reply
    1. karinpb Post author

      Hi Thomas,
      This was a decision done by our UX designer. The reason behind it is a type of window that is closely related to the Canvas and canvas windows are grey like the Widget Library and the User Settings. It is similar to having shortcuts on the canvas. Have you received customer feedback on this topic? It is not currently possible to change that Appearance to the standard window appearance but it is just a style of the window it’s just that the Startpad does not have any other settings…
      If we get feedback from various source we can consider adding a setting for the window appearance.

      Reply
  3. Mohamed

    Hi Karin,
    thank you for the great job and sharing it with us. I only have a question about building linkUri in buttons events:
    Is there a tool to build and encode this (something like mforms Automation) : “mforms://_search?program=PPS220&query=BUYE%3aOSMPER0++PUSL%3a%5b20+TO+49%5d++VDDT%3a%5bDATE(-365)+TO+DATE(-1)%5d&sortingorder=20&view=TOBBE&filterfields=SUNO%2cITNO%2cDWDT%2cPLDT%2cPUNO%2cPNLI%2cORQA%2cCFQA%2cOEND%2cPUSL%2cPUST%2cBUYE%2cRORN&startpanelfields=WFFACI%2c%2b%2cWTFACI%2c%2b%2cWWSTS1%2c%2b%2cWWSTS2%2c%2b%2cWWFVDT%2c%2b%2cWWUVDT%2c%2b%2cW6OBKV%2c%2b%2cWOUPVR%2c%2b%2cW1OBKV%2c%2b%2cW2OBKV%2c%2b%2cW3OBKV%2c%2b%2cW4OBKV%2c%2b%2cW5OBKV%2c%2b”?

    The second question is : how do you know the different possibilities for the mforms (mforms ://_search, mforms://_automation….)

    Thank you a lot for your answear.
    Regards Mohamed

    Reply
    1. karinpb Post author

      Hi,
      There is no tool for creating the functional search link. You can get the URL by doing search in the program and saving the search. Or you can have the debug log level on and that will print the URL in the log. The search URL format is considered to be internal so it has not been documented. Search for something and then locate that value in the string. Having said that it is not likely to change because of the fact that you can save your search, but it is not part of a public API.

      There are not that many options for the mforms schema. Those that start with _ are considered part of the framework. The best source is probably to read the different blogs.

      Reply
  4. Alistair

    Hi Karin, Is this supported against ISO 10.2.0? I have this on Xtreme under ISO 10.1.2, but Startpad is not listed as a download within the 10.2.0 ISO branch. Cheers, Al.

    Reply
    1. karinpb Post author

      In Smart Office 10.2 the startpad is part of the standard features so it is already included in the installation package. (But note that for example LBI and Search are no longer standard features in 10.2) If you have the startpad already installed and are doing an upgrade I would uninstall the startpad before applying the upgrade to 10.2. All startpads will remain in the database and the new feature will be installed as part of the upgrade. This way LCM would not list it as installed for that Smart Office since it is a standard feature. It will work the other way around as well but you don’t want to end up with to versions of the Startpad so it is better to uninstall it first, before upgrading to 10.2.

      Reply

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