I have been NPrinting enthusiast for a long time. I await each new version with shaky hands wanting to start playing with it asap. Lately which each new version of NPrinting I could see how product matured and became quite a enterprise software.
Just before Easter we received present from Qlik in form of NPrinting April 2019. This version brings up 3 improvements and few bug fixes. Here is link to official release notes.
Let’s have a look at improvements:
- Email task notifications
This is feature many of us were waiting for. It is one of the most important functionalities in any software which sends automatically generated reports. We must know if everything was sent, if there were any warnings or errors. It was missing in NPrinting for a long time and it was one of the triggers which made me spent time working on API NPrinting.qvs Subroutines library which I posted some time ago, as they allowed me to get some sort of notification in place.
What are the native NPrinting notifications options? There is Notification section which allows to set level of notification depending on task status being “Error”, “Warning” or “Success” and Notification recipients configuration.
Once it is setup you are notified about status of each task which meets your criteria for notification level. This is how notification looks like in your mailbox. You also get a direct link attached to email which takes you straight to task execution details page – handy!
In Task execution detail there is “Download logs” added, which helps sharing task logs in case you have to.
Room for improvement: I think “Task” section could be improved by implementing functionality by adding emails from existing user list. I also think it should be extended, so for each publish task you could assign different task execution result recipients. It would help especially in scenario where you have different people responsible for different divisions in company and different reports.
2. Manage email distribution errors
Second improvement was also requested by many of us. Until this version NPrinting could fail producing report file but would still send an email with no attachment. In enterprise environment such scenario does not look good. It makes people question reliability of NPrinting and CEO receiving email with content like “Some reports failed to generate: • Report “XYZ” with output format XLSX. Please contact your administrator for further details “ will not be particularly happy – don’t you think?
NPrinting April 2019 allows us to control email distribution based on settings located in Admin–> Settings. There is a Task tab in which you can configure what will happen when a publish task cannot generate one or more reports or when a publish task cannot resolve a variable tag. Together with notification feature it allows admins to receive notifications that some reports failed to render and at the same time CEO will not receive empty email. Looks to me like WIN-WIN scenario!
3. Reduced size of repository backup
Daily repository backup should be a good practice of any NPrinting environment. In big enterprise environments daily backups can quickly take up significant amount of space on HDD. I was taking a snapshot of repository each day for last 20 days. In this time i gathered 120 MB of data which contains only sample of reports (my small sandbox repository). What I noticed is that each day my backup file grew, even though I did not made much changes in it or I did no changes at all.
NPrinting April 2019 improves backup procedure by removing auditing tables. In my testing it reduced the size of backup files by half! That’s great!
Under “System” tab in Admin–>Settings console there are now input fields available allowing you to put through URL’s to your web console and NewsStand. This allows to control URL auto-generated links when receiving password recovery links or notification links directly to task execution details. This helps solve issue in those environments where http was used instead https. In the past auto-generated links were pointing always to https not allowing users to change their passwords on http configured environments.
In overall just few small changes were introduced, but together with bug fixes which I will not cover here it is quite nice update. I am looking forward to seeing the next release and I encourage everyone to update to benefit from those new features.