It’s been a very busy month for us at Turbine. We released a massive update in the form of Version 8, codename ‘Slim’ and moved to a new data centre.
But I have to admit that the journey hasn’t been a smooth as I would have liked. In fact, it was like changing the engines on a jet in mid-flight. I’d like to thank our customers (you know who you are) for working with us to fix the problems that popped up. It feels like we’re through that stage now and so I’m blogging the release.
The result is a better, faster Turbine. We made some amazing changes and improvements.
New user interface
You get the same application on your desktop PC, your laptop, your tablet and your smartphone. The interface dynamically resizes to fit. Try resizing the window on your PC and you’ll see how it works. This is very cool. It also looks elegant in a minimalist sort of way.
Faster and more responsive
The new code and the new data centre infrastructure means that the site is much, much faster. For example, we cache requests locally so you can apply filters without waiting for an update. It also gives us the performance we need to cope with rapidly growing numbers of customers and requests without slowing down.
Much clearer time off reporting
On the request Time Off page, you can see a simpler display that shows the current balance, days pending and approved and the number of days available to book right now arranged as a simple mathematical formula:
If you click on the underlined words it gives you more information. For example, it’ll show you a list of all your pending requests.
Now we differentiate between days that have been requests, days that have been approved and days which have actually been taken (i.e. they’re in the past) so that the number of days you can still book is much more understandable.
Also, we added a little help panel if you click on the ?, which gives more information and explanation including the number of days you get each year and the number of days you’ve already taken this year.
Improved (beta) statistics page
We also updated our statistics page. This shows you details of an employee’s time off requests, including the calculation of the current holiday account balance and a summary of their time off settings. This can help to diagnose any problems with time off requests or balances.
Separate comments and status
In the previous version state changes and comments were merged into a single stream but now we’ve separated them to make it clearer. The comment stream also contains a full audit trail of changes to the request.
We looked at how people used the dashboard and changed it to show a date-sorted list of recent changes and requests. This makes it a more useful starting point for most of your interactions with Turbine.