We’re excited to announce some significant changes to Aligni this fall with design and functionality updates to the Parts pages and Site Permissions. These changes will take effect soon on all sites but we wanted to give you a couple weeks to prepare for them. We invite you to take a look at our Demo Site and familiarize yourself with the updated interface.
We’ll also be updating the documentation pages soon with more detail on the updated functionality.
First, let’s talk about Permissions. Aligni currently has a limited set of permissions assigned to usergroups. As our customers (and Aligni) have grown over the years, we’ve felt the need to make permissions more granular to give administrators more power over what their users can and cannot do. To this end, we bring you Permission Sets.
Permission Sets replace Usergroups as a way to grant permissions to users. Permission Sets now offer much more granular control than our Usergroups did. You may assign multiple Permission Sets to any user and the permissions are granted in an additive manner.
Some permissions now have optional qualifiers. For example, you can grant permission to view inventory at all locations or you can restrict the permission to a single inventory location. If you have multiple factory locations, this allows you to grant visibility only to people at the specific location.
We have additional plans for qualifiers coming soon. Stay tuned!
Part Pages Design
What started with a redesign of ActiveQuote and Purchasing features continues to the Aligni Part pages. Parts are central to the Aligni experience so our focus has been on usability and efficiency. In addition to a great new look and feel, the new design has allowed us to provide more information on the page.
The first thing you’ll notice is that we’ve created a new tabbed interface to give each section of the part page more space and to focus information. With part information shown in the header, you can quickly switch between tabs for more information.
Standard / Summary views
A new summary view keeps the familiar density of part information of the old interface design but we’ve cleaned this view up a fair bit by making it read-only. The new decluttered view makes it even easier to get an overview.
On the tabs, you’ll see a few new nuggets…
- Inventory History – The inventory tab contains recent inventory history and it’s even filterable.
- Supply Chain – The supply chain tab shows recent quotes and now includes recent purchasing activity.
- Change History – The history tab shows changes to the part parameters. It’s also filterable.
The biggest functional change in this update is Part Revisions. Previously, we supported part changes through the Partlist Tags feature but this only captured changes to a part’s BOM. With Part Revisions, we additionally capture changes to several of the basic part parameters and all custom parameters, and even attachments.
With the transition to Part Revisions, what was previously an “uncommitted” part has now become a Draft. Since most users were not using this functionality, we have converted all existing “uncommitted” parts to released parts.
Now, when a part is first created or a new revision is created, the part is in draft mode and cannot be used on part lists or added to inventory, quotes, or purchases until it has been released. This assures that the part has been entered and reviewed, if necessary, for completeness.
Releasing a new part is straightforward. The part becomes Released and may be used as expected.
Releasing a new revision is slightly different and offers the user an opportunity to review the part’s current revision in inventory and usage on BOMs. Since inventory in Aligni ignores part revision, existing inventory is either up-rev’d (converted to the new revision) or disposed.
Similarly, each appearance on an assembly BOM can be automatically up-rev’ed or left as the existing version.
To help organize attachments (files, notes, and URLs) for your parts, you can now attach to either the Part or the Part Revision. Attaching to the Part means that every revision has visibility of the attachment. Attaching to the Part Revision means that only items attached to that specific revision will be visible. View and manage attachments on the new Attachments tab.
A new setting has been added to the Site Settings / Part Settings: Attachment Handling. This setting determines how part revision attachments are managed for released parts and apply to all parts on the site.
- Open – Attachments may be added, edited or removed at any time by users with permission.
- Add-Only – Except in Draft mode, attachments may only be added after.
- Closed – Once released, part revision attachments are fixed and may not be added, edited, or removed.
This latest update requires some changes to site data. We’re always very careful and tread softly when this needs to be done to enhance functionality. The following changes will occur with the migration and we’ll let you know through our newsletter when this change will happen. It is currently scheduled for Saturday, 2014-11-22 but that date may change. If you have any questions or concerns ahead of this date, please contact us!
Migrating Usergroups to Permission Sets
We have automatically migrated your existing Usergroups to Permission Sets. With the new added flexibility, it might be a good time to review these Permission Sets and make any adjustments you need.
Migrating Partlist Tags to Part Revisions
The following table illustrates what changes will occur. Basically, Partlist Tags are converted to Part Revisions. Immediately after the migration is performed, there will be no Draft parts, so every part currently in your database will become released.
||Converted to Part Revisions with the same name.
||Released and converted a Part Revision named “A”.
|Builds – Tagged Partlist
||Converted to a Build of the corresponding Part Revision.
|Builds – Untgged Partlist
||Converted to a Build of Part Revision “A”.
||Released as Part Revision “A”.