You may notice right away a few changes to the look and feel of some pages on the SDL Portal, in particular our newly redesigned Property, Permit, Inspection and Request pages. However, there are a number of other new features and updates in this month’s release that we want to make sure you know about.
Complaint and Building Inspection Requests Updates
We have redesigned Complaint Web Requests, giving it a single page format to improve usability both on a desktop and on a mobile device. Additionally, we have added a filter by department option to help users find what they need. The location lookup has been completely redesigned; users can still search by address or street name, but they now also have the added ability of searching using a business or location name.
Finally, we have added a new feature that you will need to enable, which we are calling ‘Auto Create’. Auto Create will automatically accept a new web request and create a new desktop Complaint for any request templates that have a valid default department and default user assigned to them. This has been added in order to help streamline the process.
Along with Complaint Requests, we have also updated Inspection Requests to the new single page format. We rewrote the permit search process in order to improve findability for the end user, removed ‘closed’ permits as a selectable option and added the inspection type to the user notification.
In regards to all request types, we have added the ability for end users to ‘Cancel’ their request when it is still in a ‘Submitted’ status, and have moved our virus scan process to behind the scenes so that attaching files to a request will be substantially faster for the end user.
Embedded Features for your Town Websites
Part of our redesign of Complaint and Inspection Requests involved optimizing these requests to be better integrated into your town websites, so that users do not have to navigate between multiple sites to submit a complaint or schedule an inspection. These two request types are now available in ‘Small Format’ widgets, which are barebones versions of a request, meant to seamlessly be embedded anywhere on your site.
In addition, we are working on making a number of popular portal features available as embedded widgets, the first of which is now available – a ‘Permit Status Lookup’ that looks and performs the same as the one available on your portal home page, but is available directly on your site for users to quickly access the information they are looking for.
Tracking Property Changes
Knowing that a property has recently been updated has always been available in your Portal but finding what exactly has changed was previously a manual process. In this new version, we provide a “Recent Changes” section on all Property pages for SDL Users (for now, no public users). It displays field level details about what has changed including the previous and newly updated values. So if TCO becomes a CO, a new Pet is registered, a health inspection fails or the notes on a Zoning application change, this section will give you all the details. Property Changes are part of our larger Property Engine currently running in the cloud and we’ll have a lot more to talk about it in the future. Your properties and the everyday changes that occur on them are the heartbeat of your city and we plan on providing you more notification and services around this valuable resource!
Portal User Account Updates
User account pages had some minor updates and optimizations for mobile devices as well. We added lists for user Permits, Recent Inspections and two new features. First, we reworked the account validation process so a user can start that process from anywhere on the portal where the additional validation is required. Second, we added in a Notification preferences section to allow users to enable or disable what they want to be notified about and how they would like to be notified. In addition to email notification, users can opt for text messages, or push notifications if they have an SDL Citizen app installed. Request, Permit and Inspection notification preferences are available and we will be rolling out Property Changes and Town Messaging in our next versions of the portal.