Documentation

Release Notes

The release notes for each of the major releases since version 6.0 are shown below:

Overview of Releases

Version First Public Release Last Release Release Notes Status
9.0 March, 2019 September, 2019 9.0 Stable production
8.4 November, 2018 June, 2019 8.4 Stable production
8.3 February, 2018 Dec 2018 8.3 Deprecated
8.2 March, 2017 Dec 2018 8.2 End of life
8.1 September, 2016 April 2017 8.1 End of life
8.0 June, 2016 Sept 2016 8.0 End of life
7.0 June, 2014 Sept 2016 7.0 End of life
6.2 August 2013 April 2014 6.2 End of life
6.1 May 2013 Aug 2013 6.1 End of life
6.0 August 2012 March 2013 End of life

Version 9.0

Version 9.0 includes the following changes:
  • It continues the speed improvements started in 8.4 and feels much faster.
  • The communication between browser and server has completely changed, allowing us to finish the speed improvements and paving the way for version 10 (Enterprise) which will see inter-Calpendo communication.
  • The menu editor has had a major overhaul and is now consistent with the way other editors work.
  • The look and feel of all tables displayed has changed to be much cleaner.
  • There is now support for themes that control the colours throughout the system. There are built-in themes and you can also design your own.
  • We have added a new method of generating PDF files from within workflows. This uses an input text file that is in an XSL FO format and (unlike the previous PDF generation method) does not require and command-line utilities to be installed or called from Calpendo.
  • We have added support for barcodes to be displayed both on screen and also within generated PDF files.
  • Sample tracking is now much better supported. This involves two parts:
    • You can now enter an Excel-like table of data all at once. This is for entering details about the samples, and also for entering details of what you'd like done with each of those samples. This also supports copy-and-paste within and between such tables, and you can drag from the corner of one cell and it will auto-increment values like Excel.
    • When filling in an order and specifying what analyses you'd like done with each of the samples, it will only let you choose samples that have been set up for that order.
  • LDAP authentication now has an extra method of working to better support some LDAP server configurations.
  • When using Calpendo to store passwords, we now check that new passwords being used have not been exposed in a security breach anywhere globally. This uses the service at haveibeenpwned.com
This is the first version to require Java 8. Previous versions have been compatible with Java 6.

Version 8.4

Version 8.4 includes the following changes:
  • It provides for additional authentication options, including making it much easier for us to offer Shibboleth single sign on and also to allow one Calpendo to provide authentication services for another.
  • A new option for suspending users.
  • You can now show pictures of your instruments in the bookings calendar.
  • When cancelling bookings, there is now the option to provide free-text comments to explain why it is being cancelled, as well as the existing facility for choosing from a customisable drop-down of reasons.
  • You can add messages directly onto templates in the template calendar. This allows for custom messages delivered to users just for that particular period on the calendar.
  • Support for "tags".
  • There are further improvements to workflows. In particular:
    • You can send emails and choose the to/cc/bcc recipients separately. Previously, all recipients were in the "to" section of the email.
    • There is a new event, triggered when a user logs in. This allows you to customise things about the user's settings at login time, and perhaps do custom checks about whether you want to allow them to log in.
    • You can listen to database events after they have completed. Currently, you can only have workflows that run while the event is in progress, which means you can veto the original event. Sometimes this is useful, such as being able to prevent a booking, but it's also sometimes undesirable if you don't want the chance of an error in your workflow preventing something being saved.
    • It's now easier to see the information output from each workflow action and which actions use information from which other actions.
  • Some messages sent from the browser to the server will be handled completely in JSON format. This is a step towards version 9.0 where all messages will be JSON formatted.

Version 8.3

Version 8.3 includes the following changes:
  • Native LDAP authentication. We still support LDAP authentication configured in Apache HTTP Server, but native support makes it easier to configure.
  • Synchronisation with an LDAP server so that you can use an LDAP server to keep user information (or anything else) up to date.
  • Workflows can now send emails in HTML format as well as plain text.
  • Audit log information is now saved very differently from how it was in earlier versions. There are three major things this affects:
    1. Writing out the audit log is now much faster than before.
    2. The audit log is compressed and so takes up much less disk space than before.
    3. The information stored in the audit log is now a complete record of the data, whereas previously some information could be missing.
  • System events are also much faster to write and stored compressed so they take up much less space in the database. The System Events page is also much faster than before for viewing events.
  • Lots of other things have been optimised to run much faster. In particular, older Calpendos that have collected a large number of users and projects would generally run slowly. It now feels very fast.
  • Additional support for generating PDF files in a workflow (but only when running Java 7 or later). The methods provided previously may be removed in a future version because they are quite cumbersome.
  • Forgotten password automatic reset via email (users can help themselves now)
  • Calendar now shows an indicator of the time for the mouse's current position.
  • Workflow changes:
    • The workflow manager displays a little differently - making much better use of space on the screen.
    • A new workflow action to calculate an expression. For example something like (4*x)/y where x and y can be replaced with values taken from the output of earlier items in the workflow. We could do this previously, but it would have required multiple actions for each part of the expression.
    • Some new workflow functions (more on business day calculus, adding and removing users to/from projects, formatting numbers and dates as strings)
    • Added support for running command-line utilities from a workflow. This allows us to access things like PDF file generation via groff and anything else that might be required.
    • Create a calendar invitation (ics) as an attachment that can then be attached to an email.

Version 8.2

Version 8.2 provides a large number of improvements to workflows, in particular with many new functions being added. It also includes support for business date calculations so you can, for example, send an email 2 business days before a booking.

We also introduce the concept of "Activities". This will be expanded in future releases, and forms the basis of a means of defining a more intuitive manner of interacting with the system, in particular for a mobile app which is currently in development.

Calpendo Projects can now be rendered using a custom layout, defined in the Layout Editor, so that you can created nested tabs of data to display if you want to.

The memberOf and containsMember condition relations now work with Calpendo Resource/ResourceGroup and Project/ProjectGroup as well as working with users and user groups.

See the release notes or full documentation for details.

Version 8.1

Version 8.1 introduced the ability for bookings for last for any length of time, where previously they could not go beyond midnight. To support facilities that have bookings which may last for years at a time, there are now infinite-scroll calendar views where you can choose the resolution so that you can see whatever period of time is appropriate in a single page.

We also introduced a TV Bookings Calendar which is the ability to display a calendar on a screen, such as in a facility foyer, which does not require anybody to log in to see, and can automatically display bookings for particular resources.

Instrument actual usage can now be gathered from PCs that drive each instrument. Previously, actual usage was designed only for situations where an operator would always be presented, such as with MR, MEG, PET and CT scanners.

Version 8.0

Version 8.0 saw the introduction of Workflows. These provide a means of automating many things. They take on the Unix utility philosophy of providing many simple tools, each of which can be joined together in a pipeline that together can produce complicated results.

The system of Automatic Emails is now completely replaced by Workflows. A Workflow ties together any one of a number of triggering events to any one of a number of possible actions. Each action can also have child actions. An Automatic Email is now replaced by a Database Workflow Event that triggers a Send Email Workflow Action. These changes happen automatically when 8.0 first boots. /> Upgrades to 8.0 may require configuration changes after the upgrade. When first booted, the system will check for some situations which can't be automatically upgraded and so require manual assistance. This applies when you have advanced rules or custom report types, and could affect some formulaic properties.

Version 7.0

Version 7.0 saw many improvements and was also the first version that provided for automatic database upgrades that could be applied at boot time. As a consequence, many features were added during the lifetime of 7.0 and 7.0 lived for a long time. This policy changed starting with 8.0, from which point there were fewer changes in each release and they occur more frequently.