Madhavi Chandra

Madhavi Chandra

Informer 5.8 Release: Unleash Creativity with Templates & Letterhead

Madhavi Chandra, Chief Product Officer, shares development details on Informer 5.8!

Get ready for a revolution in data-driven design! The upcoming release of Informer 5.8 brings an array of features that will empower users to create customized outputs while optimizing their workflows. At the heart of this release are two powerful new features: Templates and Letterhead.  

Templates: Unrivaled Design Control & Efficiency 

Informer 5.8 includes the game-changing Templates feature, designed to provide users with total control over their custom outputs. With Templates, you can create pixel-perfect layouts by utilizing HTML and server-side rendering. You can either write the HTML code directly or use the WYSIWYG rich editor, a friendly layer on top of the Templates engine that does not require knowledge of HTML. Accept runtime inputs, run queries, access datasets, and execute scripts to create the exact design you envision. 

Our Templates engine allows you to easily preview your creations before exporting them as HTML or PDFs, and seamlessly use them in your business workflows. For example, you can create your Template and then use Job Actions to send emails with your Template. By leveraging the various Job Actions, you can streamline your processes and save valuable time. With Informer 5.8’s Templates, you can design with precision, harness the power of your data, and optimize your business workflows seamlessly.  

Letterhead: Amplify Brand Identity 

The upcoming release of Informer 5.8 also brings the versatile Letterhead feature, enabling you to elevate your PDF exports across the platform. With Letterhead, you can establish a unique brand identity by customizing layout options, headers, footers, and watermarks. Apply Letterhead to all types of exports, including Datasets, Ad Hoc Queries, and even Templates. Whether you use Letterhead to protect your internal documents by watermarking them “Confidential” or tailor documents to specific styles, Informer allows you to present effective documents that reflect your different needs. The outcome is professional, polished documents.  

Dark Mode on External Links: Enhanced User Experience 

Experience the comfort of dark mode even more with the upcoming Informer 5.8. Users can view external links in dark mode, providing a more comfortable browsing experience. Toggle between light and dark themes to suit individual preferences and enjoy a more visually appealing interface! While for many this is an elevated UX experience, for some of our customers this is a mission critical need based on how and when they use Informer.  

Get Ready! 

The release of Informer 5.8 promises to transform the way users interact with data and design. With the powerful combination of Templates and Letterhead, you can customize outputs, optimize workflows, and create effective, branded documents that elevate your business. Stay tuned for the official release date and be among the first to experience the creative possibilities unleashed by Informer 5.8!  

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Informer 5.7 is Live!

Madhavi Chandra, Director of Informer Product Management, shares development details on Informer 5.7!

5.7 brings all your content front and center, with an updated user interface that delivers a more intuitive experience through improved navigation and greater efficiency.
The new user interface simplifies Informer, adding intuitive ways to navigate, design, and utilize the tool from the home screen. The entire workflow has been redesigned to feel natural and provide a consistent experience, increasing the ease and effectiveness of accessing, analyzing, sharing, and automating data. Revamped Teams provides an individual home page for each team, enabling customization of team members, content, and feed in one view.

Informer 5.7 contains many new features that will bolster data governance and business workflows.
System Audit – Administrators can monitor query usage in their system, identifying slow-running queries in need of optimization or unused content that can be discarded.
Audit Logs – Document and view the Informer activities and actions taken within your organization.
Web Datasource – Pull data from SaaS-based hosted solutions to expand the data streams into Informer.
Informer Datasource – The Informer Datasource lets Informer report on itself to see what is happening in Informer, how data is connected, and who is using data.

The new user interface transforms Informer, and we are excited to share this release with you.

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Informer 5.5 is Here

Hello (Hallo, Bonjour, Hola)! Informer 5.5 is here! It has many new features that bolster ease of use, efficiency, and global adoption.

Version 5.5 is on a world tour as it has internationalized UI support for Mexican Spanish, Canadian French, and German, and introduced support for dates and times based on the locale of a User.

 

You will notice more robust authentication in Version 5.5. We now support multi-factor authentication along with stronger password requirements.

You can find anything in your Informer system with a new top-level Global Search Bar. The Global Search Bar searches through all entities in your entire Informer system and provides results in a categorized manner. Find what you need at your fingertips! It also provides easy navigation through the system to go back to recent places – go back to that Report you were editing, that Job you were scheduling, or the Dataset you were filtering. Feels like teleporting!

A new Parameters Bar on the Ad hoc Query page displays the parameters that back a result set along with the data. See the parameters that were entered while viewing the query results and change the parameter inputs right there if you need. This makes interacting with Ad hoc Queries even easier.

Query payloads are now updated at runtime to use the defined field/link definitions. This provides significant ease of use and efficiency gains since changes to fields or links made at the definition level will no longer need all references to that entity dropped and re-added for the changes to be reflected. Instant reflection at runtime!

It is easy now to add multiple entries to User Fields assigned to a User that are then handled across the system including in Criteria and Elasticsearch Script Fields.

Copying a Dataset is not only easy but more comprehensive and flexible. The User can choose which entities to copy over – Data, Visuals, Filters, and Sharing. This opens the door for various use cases and workflows.

Seeing is believing. We made it easier to use and parse logs based on new Log Settings provided in the Log Settings dialog. The Log Settings determine the specific amount and type of information that is captured in the logs and displayed, making it easier to home in on the exact log information desired.

And there is even more! Much awaits you in Informer 5.5, so upgrade today.

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INFORMER 5.5 PREVIEW

Madhavi Chandra, Director of Informer Product Management, shares development details on our upcoming release Informer 5.5!

Hello (Hallo, Bonjour, Hola)! We are actively working on Informer 5.5 which will have many new features that bolster ease of use and global adoption. We showcased an early access build of Informer 5.5 to our Informer Advisory Council members, which was met with great enthusiasm and excitement for what is in store!

We can now take Version 5.5 on a world tour as it will have Internationalized UI support for Mexican Spanish, Canadian French, and German as well as support for dates and times based on the locale of a User.

A new top-level Global Search Bar makes it extremely easy to find anything in your Informer system with just a few keystrokes. The Global Search Bar searches through all entities in your entire Informer system and provides results in a categorized manner. Find what you need at your fingertips!

In addition, a new parameters bar on the Ad hoc Query page will display the parameters that back a result set along with the data. Easily interact with Ad hoc Queries by viewing the parameters that were entered on the same screen as the query results and change the parameter inputs right there. This will foster even more ease of use when interacting with Ad hoc Queries.

Query payloads are now updated at runtime to use the defined field/link definitions. This will dramatically improve efficiency as changes to fields or links made at the definition level will no longer need all references to that entity dropped and re-added for the changes to be reflected. It will also be easier to add multiple entries to User Fields assigned to a User that are then handled across the system including in Criteria and Elasticsearch Script Fields.

Dataset copying options are now more comprehensive and flexible. The User can choose which entities to copy over – Data, Visuals, Filters, and Sharing. The new parse logs based on new Log Settings provided in the Log Settings dialog enable the User to determine the specific amount and type of information that will be captured in the logs, making it easier to hone in on the exact log information desired.

Finally, we are expanding our Datasource connectors and will have a new Jbase Datasource driver (a NoSQL multivalue database) in Beta. The new driver provides the ability to scan and query a Jbase Datasource, and build Reports and Visualizations.

As you can see, much awaits you in Informer 5.5!

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Using Custom Field Expressions to Enhance Informer 5

Robin Lamb, Director of Informer Client Services, discusses helpful tips on using Custom Field Expressions to enhance your Informer 5 experience.

On occasion, database-level functions need to process data fields before those fields are ready for use in reporting tools. For example, referencing a TRANS subroutine to pull Fields from one file into another on U2 databases or a SUBSTRING function on a SQL database to extract the ID of a multi-part key field. Many of these subroutine or function fields are ready and available on databases but there are times when they are not.

With Custom Field Expressions, it’s easy to create these subroutine and function fields inside of Informer 5 without having to touch the underlying database.

For instance, below is an example of creating a year field from a stored database date field. To create a Custom Field Expression, follow the steps below:

  • Go to Mappings, and then choose the Mapping where the date field lives
  • Click on Add Field
  • Name the Field (no spaces or special characters)
  • Choose the return type
  • Add the expression
    • When entering the expression, use the Insert Keyword Icon to assist with the expression language

Once you have entered the expression, use the Test Expression (checkmark Icon) to test the results.

Another example using this feature is creating a value based on a parameter of another field. In the example below, the code is creating a value for a product but this could be translating to any if/then type of statement.

CASE WHEN ${MAPPING_ALIAS}.product = 'productA' OR ${MAPPING_ALIAS}.product = 'productB' THEN .25
WHEN ${MAPPING_ALIAS}.product = 'productC' OR ${MAPPING_ALIAS}.product = 'productD' THEN .50
WHEN ${MAPPING_ALIAS}.product = 'productE' THEN .4
WHEN ${MAPPING_ALIAS}.product = 'productF 'THEN 1.5
ELSE 0 END

There are many ways to use this feature to enhance the Informer 5 functionality. Other examples include creating aggregate fields, formatting output of data, concatenating fields together, and many more.

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INFORMER 5.4 PREVIEW

Madhavi Chandra, Director of Informer Product Management, shares development details on our upcoming release Informer 5.4!

It’s coming! Informer 5.4 is currently in release process mode and will be officially released in Q2.  We have many new features that will bolster data governance and business workflows.  You’ll find a new Field Security model that allows for granular field level security – you can restrict and grant differentiated access to fields within the same Mapping. Sharing a Dataset will now provide row level and field level restrictions for more robust security. The new security features are backwards compatible with previous versions of Informer.

The new Elastic Script Fields allow you to augment your Dataset without requiring the data to be re-indexed. Think of Elastic Script Fields as a post-Elasticsearch calculated column. You can now easily do calculations like ‘As of’ a specific date with fast performance.

Interacting with large amounts of data can be challenging. We improved column selection across the board so you can quickly navigate, find a field, and pare down the view by dynamically choosing fields that you wish to see.

You’ll also find two new Visuals in our Visual Gallery, Heat Map and Spider Chart, increasing the number of ways that you can visualize your data.

We have two impactful features behind an experimental flag – Templates Preview and a new Web Datasource driver.

Templates Preview allows total pixel-perfect control over output. You can create the exact layout you desire using HTML with server-side rendering. This mode allows for complete flexibility in designing a Template. Future features for Templates will include different modes for customizing existing PDF exporter and other tailored Template experiences.

The Web Datasource driver connects Informer 5 to web-based tools, opening the door to limitless possibilities. At Entrinsik, we have utilized the driver to connect Jira Software to Informer 5 to aid in the efficiency of our developmental process. Connect the Web Datasource to one of your web-based tools and see the insights you can extract.

With so much in Informer 5.4, it’s no wonder we are excited to release it to you soon.

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NEW SERIES: Staying Informed with Madhavi

In this series we sit down with Madhavi Chandra, Director of Informer Product Management, as she gives us the development details starting with our most recent release  Informer 5.3! 

As a Product Manager, the question of how we can improve our customers’ experience is consistently top of mind. We always want to make things more efficient and eliminate pain points for our users. In Informer 5.3, one topic we focused on was enhancing the user experience with additional options for exported output and incorporation of automation intelligence for imported spreadsheets. 

Madhavi Chandra

One of the biggest challenges we hear from our customers is presenting management with impactful reports to glean business insights and draw smart conclusions. For this release, we took a key pillar of Informer, the ability to digest and interact with data easily and improved the user experience when grouping rows-and-columns data (e.g. page break per group) in various output options. With these enhancements, the data is easily identifiable and presentable whether interacting with it on the screen, exporting to PDF or sharing in an email, accomplishing our goal to make data apparent and shareable throughout an organization, and enabling customers to make informed decisions. 

We know that data lives everywhere, on spreadsheets, in databases, or on 3rd party applications, and that Informer 5 is the melting pot that allows customers to blend data across all platforms. Many of our customers are exporting data from 3rd party applications and importing into Informer to report and build visualizations. We wanted to bolster this process and make creation of CSV derived Workspace Datasources even more seamless. We added behind-the-scenes intelligence to complete tasks such as matching column headers in the new CSV file with existing fields already in the Workspace and choosing the appropriate data type for a field. Whether CSV data is output from a 3rd party application or siloed data that lives on spreadsheets, these Workspace enhancements save valuable time and bring more efficiency to a common user workflow in Informer. 

For a complete list of additions, check out release notes here.

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Informer 5.1.2 release provides unparalleled querying efficiency for Dataset management

Raleigh, NC – February 4th, 2020 – Entrinsik, Inc. (https://entrinsik.com), the leader in intuitive business intelligence, today announced the general availability of 5.1.2 to the Informer platform which unlocks a bundling module that will foster better sharing and accelerate the spread of best practices for data throughout the organization. By eliminating the requirement for complex IT support and expertise, Informer users with proper credentials can now quickly and easily share Reports, Datasources, Jobs, Users and Teams with colleagues or partners.

5.1.2 brings bundling to the Informer platform for quick import and export of any or all components from the Informer system. The release also provides new improvements for better data visualization, management and security.

“Over the past decade, we have built an incredible foundation as a leading business intelligence solution, connecting thousands of people with insights from their data to make informed decisions that solve business problems. Working with our customers we were able to transform how they scale their business, allowing data driven decisions to reach more people, while maintaining an intuitive experience for our users,” said Doug Leupen, Founder and CEO of Entrinsik. “Promoting collaboration through bundling will accelerate the pace of adoption and lead to better outcomes for our customers.”

Making Data Insights Sharable

As organizations look to become more data driven, they are stymied when it comes to scaling to new departments, as installation, implementation and replication of new instances can be labor and time intensive. The new bundling feature with Informer addresses this issue by providing users a consistent, easy way to share instances. A replication that used to take days can now be completed in minutes.

Easy Deployment Across Multi-Tenancy

One of the greatest assets of Informer bundling is the ability to quickly and easily update multiple contexts of a single multi-tenant Informer environment. Partners can disseminate gold standard content or share best practices from individual Users to the entire ecosystem, providing continuous improvement for all.

Query Large Datasets Without All the Latency

Outside of Informer, queries can take hours or even days to process millions or billions of records, but using Informer Datasets allows organizations to curate the exact desired data with its respective governance rules, work flows, and calculations, which are indexed into Elasticsearch for quick sorting and filtering. With the options of Append and Upsert, Informer will only add the new and updated records. This is particularly useful for larger organizations needing near real-time Reports on millions of transactions. A user can set Informer to refresh a Dataset periodically throughout the day and only add new or modify changed records. The new options present as follows:

  • Replace – remove all records and replace them with the new query results.
  • Append – add new records.
  • Upsert – add new records, update existing records while never removing old records.

Additional new features and capabilities from Informer 5.1.2 include:

  • User Defined Fields – Providing a flexible data sharing design that allows you to show different data sets to different sets of Users. Managers can now create a master Report, with individuals only seeing the data that is relevant to their role.
  • Private Filters – When you work with filters saved to a private folder, you can run Reports with confidence. No one else has access to the filters, so you’re the only one responsible for changes.
  • SQL Savelists – Enable Savelists for customers that moved from U2 to SQL.

Other features and improvements, including enhancements to Pivot Tables, and the ability to apply selection criteria to normalized values and bug fixes across the system can be found in the release notes on the Informer Help Center.

About Entrinsik

Entrinsik develops, implements, and supports software solutions that enable organizations to maximize performance and improve bottom lines. For six consecutive years, Entrinsik has been selected as a member of the DBTA 100, highlighting the 100 Companies that Matter Most in Data. Entrinsik Informer is an innovative, award-winning agile reporting and business intelligence solution used by tens of thousands around the world. Entrinsik Enrole drives many of the nation’s largest continuing education organizations. Over 1000 organizations around the world use Entrinsik’s software every day. For a demonstration or a free trial, call 888-703-0016 or email sales@entrinsik.com. Visit www.entrinsik.com.

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Informer 5’s Secure FTP Feature Saves Time and Effort

Informer 5 is well known for its powerful and easy to use analysis and reporting functionality. What’s less known is the fact that Informer also helps organizations improve efficiency by simplifying the process of transferring data between systems.

Informer’s Jobs Scheduling Feature Streamlines the FTP Process

You can easily generate a report that includes data based on the specifications provided by a vendor you’re working with, in the required format, and send the files via secure FTP to the vendor’s systems, with Informer’s Jobs Scheduling feature.

For example, at colleges and universities, teachers need to choose books for their courses. This process requires that course and session information, created within their Ellucian Colleague or Banner ERP system, be transferred to the institution’s bookstore database. The bookstore (managed by an external vendor) needs to know what courses are taught daily, so their software can show the courses offered along with the associated faculty.

Before Informer 5…

An institution’s IT team face a complicated set of tasks that include:

  • Generating the file based on the bookstore’s specifications that include, the term, courses taught in the upcoming semester, the professor, and other details
  • Uploading the file onto a server
  • Creating a nightly scheduled report containing the file
  • Writing a script saying, ‘pick up this file’, include FTP credentials with log-in and key, then send the file out to the bookstore’s FTP servers

The bookstore’s IT staff then logs into the secure FTP and pulls the information into their database.

With Informer 5’s secure FTP functionality…

Institutions can automate multiple tasks within one process. Without the need for a script, a simple schedule is set that says, “send this file out to that server and here are the credentials”. Every night the schedule runs automatically, and the file appears in the vendor’s servers.

California Lutheran University Simplifies the FTP Process

California Lutheran University is an example of an institution struggling with the issue involving a complicated set of tasks with their FTP process. Their goal in selecting a new BI solution was to eliminate those extra steps.

With Informer, California Lutheran University simplified the FTP process. They liked that a report can be launched and shared across departments in one straightforward move. According to Michael Graham, the Director of Administrative Information Services, “The registrar’s office was excited not to need to use FTP anymore. All they wanted to do was launch the report, export the report, and load it into Excel or whatever format they needed. The registrar’s office loves having the ability to put in a PDF, with our watermark, and they can give that to department chairs to show the data in many different formats.”

Michael has found it invaluable to have the credentials and all necessary information within Informer, so when he sends the file, he knows it’s secure and based on the correct specifications. As a bonus, Informer 5 also enables him to send files to a shared drive for easy and secure access.

To learn more about Informer 5’s many capabilities, please call 888-703-0016, or contact informersales@entrinsik.com.

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