Approved for 8/17: Acadia 6.5
Acadia 6.5 improves compliance, workflow, and core functionality
For the August Acadia release, we built on last month’s release by continuing to improve workflow. These improvements make for a better experience configuring workflow and managing the approval process itself. Additionally, we’ve added a new document section to help folks concerned with regulatory compliance. Finally, we’ve made various improvements to Acadia’s core features to improve availability, security, and performance.
Let’s look at the new features…
Prior to Acadia 6.5, the only way to see who approved a document was to access the document history and check the workflow status for the specific document version. This presented a challenge for some of our clients, particularly those who operate in highly-regulated environments. Often there is a need to provide an auditor with printed versions of documents with the document approver clearly identified. To alleviate this problem, we’re now giving you the ability to display document approvals in a new section at the bottom of each document.
The Document Approvals section works by printing all approvals from the final workflow step. If the final step is skipped or a document is force published, the Document Approvals section will not display on the published document.
This change is a configurable option. To enable the Document Approvals section to display on your documents; navigate to Settings, Document Settings, and set the appropriate option to “Yes”.
Last month, we improved workflow by allowing contributors to select individual approvers for a given workflow step. We also provided more context for contributors by showing more detail around the workflow configuration.
We’ve carried these improvements over to the collection configuration screen to improve the experience for Acadia administrators. Now when adding a workflow template to a collection, administrators can see the configuration items for each step including the number of required approvals, review period, and whether the document is editable at each step.
We’ve also added the ability to view group members as they’re being assigned to workflow steps. Simply click on the “View Users” link on any of the groups to reveal the members of the group.
Show Changes in Document Review
Show Changes is a popular feature in Acadia for good reason. It allows you to focus on exactly what has changed in each document version. This is key for continuous improvement since it allows folks putting your documents into practice to focus on key new concepts in manageable chunks. It’s also valuable for content approvers since it allows them to review specific changes for approval.
In the document review screen, Show Changes works by comparing the current draft to the last published version of the document. Prior to 6.5, the Show Changes feature wasn’t available for drafts without a published version. We’ve modified the document review screen to include Show Changes on unpublished documents that have been rejected and resubmitted to workflow.
Now, if a new draft is rejected in workflow, the content approver can use Show Changes to ensure appropriate changes were made to the new draft once it’s re-submitted. Show Changes will always compare the current draft to the original submitted draft.
Speaking of rejected drafts, adding workflow notes is essential when collaborating on a document. Workflow notes allow approvers to communicate key improvements with content contributors. These notes also become part of the document’s permanent record and are viewable on the Document History screen.
Before the August release, there was no way to display notes from rejected drafts. Now all notes from each workflow iteration will be aggregated in the notes display.
With Acadia 6.5 we’ve also made several backend improvements. We’ve upgraded the application server software to the latest version to improve performance, security, and reliability. This upgrade also allowed us to significantly improve our search indexing speed, and has unlocked several new features we will be leveraging in later releases.
Many of the features in this release were due to direct feedback from our clients. We love hearing how you’re using Acadia to improve performance in your organization and we want to know what we can improve within Acadia to have an even bigger impact.
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