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EMS Software, LLC

What's New in EMS for Outlook V44.1, Update 8

Does This Information Apply to You?

The following information is meant for EMS customers who have seen or used the V44.1 version of the EMS for Outlook add-in. If you’re currently running V43 or V44 of EMS and have not taken a close look at the V44.1 EMS for Outlook add-in, then you will be unaffected by the changes described below.

Summary

We plan to release Update 8 of V44.1 on January 31, 2017. Update 8 will include significant changes to the EMS for Outlook add-in. This page describes those changes in detail. This page is for everyone who is responsible for deploying EMS within their organizations or training everyday users.

What's New

In Update 7 of the V44.1 release, we announced that the add-in requires Outlook to operate in “cached mode” and does not support “non-cached mode” (which Microsoft® calls “online mode”; you can read more about cached mode vs. online mode on Microsoft®’s website).

We heard from many of our customers that support for non-cached mode is a critical requirement. After carefully researching our options, we’ve concluded that the best solution is to bring back and improve the EMS for Outlook add-in from V44 and earlier releases because its capabilities and architecture more closely match our customers’ needs for a stable, scalable product.

Highlights

  • The icon on the Microsoft® Outlook toolbar is now easier to find and the entire app window can be resized.

  • Users can now invite groups of people, such as “EventsTeam”.
  • Video conferencing is now supported with similar functionality to the EMS Web App.
  • Booking services is now easier, even for multi-room reservations. Although a single reservation rarely includes multiple rooms, these reservations are far more likely to require service orders than single-room reservations.
  • Booking conflicts are now easier to resolve, both during the new booking process and later via email notifications and other visual cues on the calendar. Error messaging in general is more user-friendly and intuitive.
  • Adding and removing rooms is now simpler and requires fewer clicks.
  • The Rooms (list) view can now be sorted by each column, which helps users deal with a large number of search results.
  • Users can now manage their Favorite rooms within the app, and apply favorites as an additional filter on room searches.
  • Room search filtering has been enhanced: filters are now split into two tabs, Buildings and Views, and on the Buildings tab, users can search by building name and filters can be further grouped by Location (typically, geographic area).
  • The Schedule (calendar/grid) view has many visual enhancements, with clearer field labels and the capability to see attendees' availability, which makes it easy to find open time slots when the user’s preferred time slot has conflicts in attendee or room availability.
  • More detailed room information now presents with fewer clicks, including any uploaded images of space and resources.
  • Changing the Exchange Integration URL now takes just one click from the application's About screen.
  • Overall performance loading data is now faster.
  • Both cached and non-cached (“online”) Outlook modes are now supported.
  • The app now comes as a single installer for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, which simplifies enterprise deployments. 

FAQs

(click to expand each answer)

Q: Why are you making this change?
A: The V44.1 release lacks support for Outlook's “non-cached mode.” We determined that the best way to meet our customers’ needs for a stable, scalable product that supports non-cached mode is to build on the EMS for Outlook add-in from the V44 release.
Q: I'm currently running V43 or V44 in my organization. How does this change affect me?
A: If you're using our add-in for Outlook in V43 or V44, then you'll find that Update 8 of V44.1 is just a better version of what you're using now. In other words, the impact of the change is completely positive.
 
Q: Will you restore the user interface from Update 7 in a future release of V44.1?
A: In future releases, we will improve both the user experience and functionality of the EMS for Outlook add-in. Any improvements will be designed based on our best judgment and not based on trying to mimic the original user interface of the 44.1 Outlook add-in.
Q: Will you bring back the technology from Update 7 in a future release of V44.1?
A: No, we will not develop the Update 7 technology any further. Future releases will build on the technology in Update 8.
 
Q: Will EMS support my current version of V44.1?
A: Our Support department provides assistance to all customers with an active maintenance agreement, but after Update 8 to V44.1 is available, we will not issue updates to earlier updates to V44.1. In other words, we will be consistent with our standard process: V44.1 customers will have to upgrade to the latest update in order to receive the latest bug fixes and improvements.
Q: Will I have to take special steps to upgrade from EMS for Outlook V43 or V44.0 to this latest release of V44.1?
A: The upgrade process will be the same as usual; no special steps will be required.
Q: Will the upgrade process from Update 7 to Update 8 be the same as usual?
A: No, additional steps are required. the EMS for Outlook add-in must be manually uninstalled at each desktop before installing the Update 8 add-in. In addition, Update 8 of the server and client must be installed at the same time because the Update 7 add-in will not work with the Update 8 server, and the Update 8 add-in will not work with the Update 7 server. This is not our normal practice but it's necessary this time because the technology change from Update 7 to Update 8 is significant.
Q: Will you apply all of your planned improvements and bug fixes to V43 and V44.0 too?
A: We will continue to fix bugs in V43 and V44 based on cases that our customers file with our Support team. Other than fixing customer-reported bugs in V43 and V44, we will not make any other enhancements: we will only enhance V44.1.