Version 3 New Feature – Notifications

 In News and Events, Version 3

Notifications are a new concept in Constructor Version 3 which enable you to send short (255 character) messages to other Constructor users. Those messages can only be read when that person opens Constructor.

You are notified of any new notifications via a pop up list in the bottom left corner of the main Constructor screen (and an accompanying notification sound) when new notifications arrive.

Notifications scroll up from the bottom left as they arrive

Notifications scroll up from the bottom left as they arrive

Notifications can be read directly from than list or from your “User Dashboard”, which is accessible from the tools menu and can be configured to show each time you start Constructor.

Notifications can also be generated automatically by Constructor based on certain predefined events. Constructor can be configured to notify certain users based on changes to the status of a Sales Enquiry or a Project and also based on tasks from within the Scheduling system. Such notifications are called “system” notifications.

Tailoring the Sales and Project status work-flows, and scheduling time-lines to trigger notifications is beyond the scope of this post and will be covered in more detail in the future however suffice to say, notifications can be sent to selected users, when the state of sales enquiries, projects or a project schedule change. These system notifications can cater for preemptive warnings, reminders and escalation of issues automatically.

Back to the notifications themselves. You can receive short messages from anyone else who uses Constructor, or from Constructor itself, and you can send a notification to any other Constructor user. It is also possible to send a notification that relates to a specific Client, Sales Enquiry, Project or Supplier. When a notification is related to one of these entities, a link is included on the notification which allows you to jump straight to a screen showing that entity’s information.

These messages can be read, forwarded to other users, postponed (to notify you again in a set period of time) or dismissed. You can achieve all these actions from the pop-up notification list or your user dashboard.

To reply to a notification you click reply button. A new notification will open, with the sender of the notification already specified as the recipient. You can type you response (with the original message or clear it first) and send the message. At this stage it is possible to include other recipients on the notification too.

Forwarding works in a very similar manner, however the sender is not automatically specified, as a recipient on the forwarded message.

Marking a message a read, is subtly different to dismissing it. A message marked as read, will remain in your notification list for you to refer to later. It will however turn off the notification sound and indicator light.  Once “dismissed” and notification will no longer appear in your notification list or on the  default view of your user dashboard. Dismissed notifications can be viewed at any time by changing the type of notifications displayed on your user dashboard.

Postponing a notification is a mechanism which allows you to stop the notification sound and indicator for that message, for a specified period of time. Once that time elapses, you will begin receiving the notification again as if it had just been sent. This provides you with the ability to remind yourself of the notification at a later date.

An extension of the notification system is To Do Items. Like notifications, To Do items can be created manually from your user dashboard, or automatically when certain events occur throughout the sales, project and scheduling work flows. To Do Items are very similar to notifications and you will be notified of them in the same ways however To Do items need to be marked as “complete” (or partially complete and have due dates associated with them. You can also print a copy of your To Do list, from the user dashboard.

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