Genie Powell – Atlas wants to show what is happening with ILLiad 8.0 while it is under development rather than completely finishing the product and then unveiling it to a lot of surprise and disappointment.
The current Atlas plan is to have no additional updates between 7.4 and 8. This upgrade is primarily dealing with the ILLiad staff client.
The ILLiad client doesn’t really look like everything on staff computers because it’s running on code that was written twelve years ago. ILLiad 8 will be a complete code rewrite. Atlas is planning the design so that users can run the 7.4 and 8.0 clients side-by-side.
The new code rewrite will give new plug-ins for scanning and database connectivity. The rewrite will also help streamline the amount of time that you have to spend talking to the database. Many of the changes are under-the-hood and not immediately apparent. However, there will be a new look to the client. There will be no database changes in the 8.0 release.
Under ILLiad 8.0 the status list is in alphabetical order at first use. Users can rearrange the list and put it in the order that is meaningful to them. Users can also create their own categories and move certain statuses under that category. This can be done for the entire department or for a single user.
Under the new user interface, the barometer can be removed if a particular user doesn’t want to see that report. There will also be an option for fast user switching: staff can switch between multiple users without having to completely close the client and re-login.
ILLiad 8 is using the ribbon concept adapted from Office 2007. Anything users want to do on a form is available from a ribbon. Search forms will search multiple data fields from a single search box. Search results open in tabs so that users can see multiple search results within a single client.
Staff users can move, rearrange, and rename the layout of elements on the screen. There is also an option to restore the layout to the default settings.
In ILLiad 8 the print option uses the selected Word file, an Excel spreadsheet instead of a DBF file, and it will print directly to the default printer without ever actually opening Word. With the change the chances of you losing the data source in the Word file are practically nil.
Under ILLiad 8 the plan is to put e-mail templates in the database rather than have them exist as separate text files.
Atlas plans to release the ILLiad 8.0 preview in spring 2009.
With the move from 7.3 to 7.4 there will be some small database changes. The new client will run under Windows XP or Vista. Current problems in web reports will be resolved with the 7.4 upgrade.