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Lesson Records, Signatures & Finance Roundup

21st July, 2023
Releases
17
Sam Webster

Sam Webster

Software Developer

Our first roundup of all that has happened from May to now. Including key enhancements to Lesson Records, Signatures and the Finance system. We also have an update on the dispatching system, notifications and even an API! Let’s dive in.

Lesson Record Performance

We have made a number of architectural changes deep down in the way lesson records are stored and processed which has yielded a near 10x improvement in speed and performance.

Many lesson records are tracking thousands of performance criteria across multiple elements and competencies, and when completing new records we need to calculate things like what performance criteria should be carried forward from previous lesson records.

This process is very “expensive” in terms of server resources to calculate, which is why you may have noticed a slow down previously, particularly for students nearing the end of a course, as the amount of previous lessons accumulate, so does the amount of performance criteria that need to be scanned, often reaching 10’s of thousands, and in some cases for large courses, over 100 thousand.

We still of course calculate all this information, but we now do a lot of that asynchronously, which means when you finish completing a lesson record, behind the scenes Smart will start to pre-calculate and determine information ahead of time, so when you go to complete the next record, most of the heavy lifting is done and the record should open almost right away.

Signatures

It’s been requested to allow both the student and instructor/teacher to be able to sign off the lesson record as the teacher/instructor is filling it out, which you can now do!

We have made it much easier and simpler to sign off lesson records across the system, and made several enhancements to the Timetable to allow instructors and teachers to drill down and find unsigned records much faster and easier.

Customer Accounts

For those using the finance system in Smart, you have probably noticed a raft of improvements, including improved customer accounts, where both staff and the customer (if given permission) can better view account statements, including print friendly versions.

Organisations can also now set a limit for what is considered “overdrawn” both at the organisation level, and per-account. This allows for more fine-grained control, and the ability to set a “buffer” that suits your specific organisation.

Coming Soon

Very soon we will be launching the new Smart Dispatching System - a complete overhaul and rewrite of the dispatching system, expanded to include all events not just flights. It features a plethora of settings and permissions to very precisely control how dispatching should work and function for your organisation.

It is going to be a substantial change, and so before we release anything we will be running multiple, dedicated, online training sessions where you can join in, see a demo of the new dispatching system, and ask questions to ensure you are ready for when we do release it.

We will be giving plenty of notice before we release this system, so you know exactly when it’s going to happen and can be prepared for the changeover. We are really excited about this and think you will love it, it has been designed and built based on your feedback and requests.

Work continues on the notifications centre and communications overhaul, including features like SMS. This will be released later in the year. An API is now in development with potential for early access late this year, we will have more to share on both of these areas soon.

Wrap Up

Since our last article, explaining how we build Smart, and the improved release notes, that we've been able to keep you more informed of what's going on. Of course, please do keep up on the release notes, they are the best way to keep across all the new features, changes and fixes. Until next time!

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