University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

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Web Services Announcements
Updates, enhancements, and information for Webtools users

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  • Profile Editor New People Management

    Web Services completely changed the process for how groups of people listed in the campus web directory are managed in the Profile Editor. 

  • Issue resolved with large PDF reports

    The Web Services Form Builder and Survey Builder tools were having trouble generating large PDF reports.  We are pleased to say this issue has now been resolved.  Users should be able to generate any size PDF report without experiencing any issues.  Apache's newest PDF generating software has fixed the issue with exceptionally large files.

  • Web parameter passing available in the Web Services Form and Survey Builder

    Web Services has added web parameter passing to the Form and Survey building tools.


    How this works:

    1)      When creating a short answer question there is a new field labeled “Web Parameter”.  In this box simply put the name for the web parameter.

    When calling the URL to the form or survey add the following to the end of the URL: “?web_param_name1=web_param_value1&web_param_name2=web_param_value2”

  • Forms/Surveys Enhancements

    Forms & Surveys have new functionality. "Jump to" brings skip logic to allow users to bypass irrelevant questions or fields. Reporting functions have four new pdf formats: Summary; summary with answers); full responses; and full responses by ID.

  • WebTools Calendar "no event scheduled" message

    An enhancement was made to the WebTools Calendar to allow custom "no events scheduled" messages to be displayed.  To override the system default message go to Calendar/Setup, edit your calendar, add your message at the bottom of the General Tab.  This message will be displayed in all calendar web pages and widgets when no events are scheduled. 

  • Email+ Reporting Released!

    Web Services is pleased to announce the release of a new reporting feature in Email+.  Find out who's opening your emails, what they're clicking on, when they are clicking on it, how many times they're doing it, whose emails are bouncing and why, plus much more.  

    Reports are only available for new emails being sent, prior to sending just click the Reports tab and activate reporting.  Reports will be available for 30 days from when the email was sent.


  • Calendar XML Policy

     As a courtesy, Web Services provides calendar XML data that can be consumed by IT departments on campus.  This data is not intended to be used as an on request web database.  Rather this data should be queried and then stored in a local IT database for day to day use.

    Web Services experienced extreme abuse by web XML queries today resulting in services loss.  Web Services will put together over the next few days a policy regarding the proper use of XML data.  We have turned the XML processing back on but if we find that its use is resulting in service loss we will be forced to remove access. 

    As a reminder we provide JavaScript include for the Calendar tool.  These JavaScript includes can be added to any HTML page, portal, or CMS.  We are more than happy to create new JavaScript includes if the ones we have do not meet your needs.  The includes provided by the Calendar are updated the moment a manager changes data within their calendar.  The reason we are mentioning this is because we are concerned that a great many of these XML queries are for the on the fly generating of JavaScript includes.  These include could be replaced with static includes generated and managed by the Calendar tool.  As a result this would not have a detrimental impact to our services and the rest of campus.


  • New Ecards for Fall

    You asked for them: now you you've got them: three fall ecard designs for the UC campus; two designs for all campuses. 

  • WebTools Blog Release!

    Web Services in Public Affairs has released several new enhancements for the WebTools Blog. We’ve combined the Discussion Board and the Blog into one easy-to-use app, giving YOU one tool with multiple layout options for your homepage (including multiple homepages).

    Just go to the “Appearance/Homepage” tab (under Setup) and you’ll see these options:

    Post gives you the option to feature only your most recent post or consecutive posts;

    Summary shows you a directory of your posts, including title, thumbnails (if images are included in the post), and your introductory -- or short description;

    List has the same look and feel of the previous Discussion Board, displaying Titles in hierarchical order;

    Archive allows you to see all your posts in the order that they were composed and includes thumbnails when they are available.

    You designate the number of viewable posts for the homepage, and the archives as well. New sorting options allow the user to change the display to suit their needs. All elements have been minimally styled and set to inherit your CSS styling, but can be edited by CSS users.

    You can add images to your posts, and now we’ve added thumbnail images as well. These display in the Post and Summary views.

    On the Layout tab, under Appearance, you add gadgets on the side of your posts: Recent Posts, Archives, Categories, Tags or create your own. Categories and

    Tags let you define searching terms to help the user find your information quickly. These can be styled to match.

    WebTools Blog Workshops

    Workshops will demonstrate homepage selection and customization, building and styling of gadgets, tips and tricks for organizing, displaying, and distributing your Blog posts and comments.  Please join us for an online workshop.





  • Online Campus Map Enhancements

    New categories added to online campus map.

  • One million forms have been submitted

    We're pleased to announce that over one million forms have been submitted through the Form Builder tool.  When we include surveys from the Survey Builder the total reaches one and a half million.  Thanks for using our web tools!

  • Web Services Form and Survey Builder Enhancements

    Web Services at Public Affairs has made a number of new enhancements to the Form and Survey Builder.

  • New Eweek Released

    Eweek, the weekly email newsletter with brief summaries of campus announcements of general interest to faculty and staff, has a new look and feel.  And a new home.

  • WebTools workshops

    This is a reminder that the following WebTools workshops are available tomorrow, Thursday June 7.  All workshops will be located at 507 E. Green, #411.

  • Maintenance on May 29th and 30th

    Web Services will be performing database maintenance on May 29th from 4:00 am to 6:00 am.  Also tentatively on May 30th we plan to upgrade our file server from 6:00 am to 7:00 am. 

  • New Ecard Designs

    We've added 9 new ecard designs for use with Ecards. Check them out!

  • Embedding Campus Map in unit websites

    Units may now use a WebTools Skin to display the Campus Map in their website. Read the full post for more details.
  • Changes to the Group Manager, Email Plus and Ecards

    Group Manager

    Web Services has improved the process for adding people to groups within the Group Manager.  Now when users add large numbers of people to groups either by pasting them in or uploading a file they are queued up for insertion.  A report is emailed to the person uploading the people once they have been added. 

    Email Plus and Ecards

    Web Services also changed how salutations work for Email Plus and Ecards. emails will have their their first and last name added automatically. 

  • Unsubscribing from CAN-SPAM

    In order to comply with federal guidelines regarding unsubscribing to CAN-SPAM Web Services has added a new unsubscribe feature.  Simply add the following link in your skins or your email message, the important thing is the variable “{UNSUBSCRIBE_URL}”:

    <a href='{UNSUBSCRIBE_URL}'>Unsubscribe</a>

  • CAPTCHA added to Form and Survey Builder

    An option for including CAPTCHA in public Forms and Surveys has been added to WebTools.  CAPTCHA is a challenge-response test used to ensure that the response is generated by a person. 

    To include CAPTCHA in your public Form or Survey go to the Submissions tab and choose “yes” to Require CAPTCHA.  At the end of the Form or Survey the CAPTCHA will be inserted.  The user must provide an accurate response before the submission is allowed.

    To login to WebTools:

  • URLs to be retired

    On Monday February 6th, Web Services will be retiring a series of URLs that were discontinued over five to six years ago.  Any URL starting with the below will no longer be supported.


  • Survey and Form Builder Enhancements

    Web Services is pleased to announce that the Survey and Form Builder have three new enhancements: forms and surveys can be saved, users can now delete their form results, and form administrators can delete user form submissions.

  • New Holiday Ecards

    That's right: you've asked for them...and we've set up 7 new holiday ecards for you to use this season. And beyond. Spread some cheer courtesy of Web Services!

  • Web Services Monday Morning Outage

    The CITES Data Center will be conducting a power infrastructure test this Monday, Nov 21st. This test will take place at 4:00 am for up to 90 minutes. In order to prevent data loss, Web Services will shut down all database driven services during the test. The campus web server will be up. Thanks, Lance Campbell Software Architect Web Services at Public Affairs 217-333-0382

  • Web Services Training

    Web Services training will be held this Thursday and next Thursday for the Calendar, Survey and Form Builder. Please sign up now while seats are still available. Lance Campbell Software Architect Web Services at Public Affairs

  • WebTools Workshop Reminder

    This is a reminder that WebTools workshops are being offered tomorrow, Oct 20.

  • Workshop Practice: Forms & Surveys

    We've cancelled the workshop for Forms & Surveys for today, but Lance will be hosting Thursday Oct 13, 10:30-noon, Room 411 UOB. Join Lance as he walks through the process for these tools and get your questions answered.

  • Directory Help

    If you've had questions about updating your information in the Profile Editor in the Illinois Directory, we're here to help. Check out this "How-To Use" pdf and see if it answers some of your questions.

  • Rolling Out: Email+ and Ecard Tools

    Twice the Tool Goodness: Email+ and Ecards We hope you're trying out our new website and finding it easier to use our Tools. We're still working on the Tools to make them even better for you. Take Email+ (formerly Emailer): we decided that we needed to make Ecards easier for you to access. We've added it to the list of Tools in our navigation so you're several clicks closer. Give it a try today.

  • Announcing: WebTools has a NEW Toolbox!

    When it comes to the the tools in the Toolbox, you asked for a more user-friendly interface. Check it out. You asked for an easier way to find our tools: now they're all in one convenient location. You asked for an easier way to identify your files and navigate in and out of the tools. We've made major inroads. You asked for a better explanation of what each tool does...with examples: Check out WebTools 101, grab the Tools and get started! Click here to see this online:

  • enewsletters: Better and Easier than Ever!

    Whether youre on the delivering end or the receiving end, getting timely news and information is critical in todays world. Web Services has been providing Illinois professionals with all-new skins to wrap local news and information, and sent out literally millions of enewsletters and posts for communications coming from all three Illinois campuses and more.

  • eCards Released!

    That's right: WebTools is launching a new series of enhancements starting with eight great ecard designs to help you promote your departmental events, announcements, and more. Use WebTools to personalize your greeting, invite your favorite groups and recognize the accomplishments of your faculty, staff and students with this easy new app.

  • External Access for Surveys and Forms

    Based on your feedback, we've added a new feature which will allow external users to access your forms and surveys built with WebTools. This new feature will give external users access to your forms by granting them one-time authentication privileges. External users are anyone with an email address other than:,, or

  • Web Services database upgrade on Wednesday June 15th from 5 to 7 am

    Web Services will be upgrading our database from PostgreSQL 8.4 to 9.0 on Wednesday June 15th from 5:00 am to 7:00 am. During this upgrade all of our web applications will be unavailable. This will not impact any JavaScript/Page Components used by web sites across campus.

  • Reminder - Web Services Calendar XML Change

    This is a Web Services reminder that the Calendar XML will be changed on June 1st. Web Services sent out an email on January 17th outlining these changes. If you wish to review these changes please go to: These changes only impact groups on campus consuming Calendar XML data for reprocessing. If you have any questions feel free to contact Lance Campbell at 217-333-0382 or

  • CIS mobile website released

    The mobile version of the Course Information Suite has been released. To try it out on your smartphone go to:

  • New Content tab in Emailer

    A new tab named "Content" has been added to the Emailer. Now you will use the Content tab to enter your subject and message. This tab has been added in preparation of adding another new enhancement ("types") to the Emailer.

  • Web Services Form Builder file uploading enhancement

    Web Services at Public Affairs is please to announce that we have modified how files can be downloaded from the Form and Survey Builder. Most of you know that the Form and Survey Builder has a question type that allows users to upload files. In order to download the files one normally creates a report and then clicks on each of the URLs within the report in order to download the files. This approach still works. But it can be tedious if a person has a lot of files that have been uploaded. In order to make this easier Web Services has added a new report type called "zip". A user creates a zip report just like any other report. The only questions that can be chosen are those that are of type file upload. Once the report is generated on the reports tab we provide a zip compressed file that can be downloaded that contains all of the files uploaded. If you have more than one question type with file uploading you will notice that the name of the file contains Q#. Where # is the number of the question. Please note that the Question # is the actual question number. If you happened to use no question numbering or custom question numbering then this number may not match what you have used. The reason for this is to ensure that the file has a name that works on all computers. Important NOTE: Normally we never delete reports that are created. In the case of zip reports we will delete them each day at midnight. So make sure to download them after creating them. You can always run reports again if you forget to download the zip file.

  • Discontinued domain name -

    Web Services discontinued the use of the domain name over five years ago in favor of We have asked units on many occasions to replace this older domain name. We will officially stop supporting this domain Wednesday April 13th. Please scan your web sites looking for any reference to If you come across any reference to a CSS file similar to the below format feel free to delete it: Just give us a call if you need assistance.

  • Import events directly into Web Services calendars via XML

    IT departments on campus can now insert, update and delete Web Services calendar events directly via XML. Please go to the following URL for specific details: If you have any questions please contact Lance Campbell at

  • Toolbox training sessions

    The following training sessions are available this week. This will be the last Blog training until the summer when we release the re-designed Blog from Public Affairs. What: Survey & From Builder When: Wed, Mar 2, 10:00 - 11:00 am Where: #411 UOB, 507 E. Green What: Enewsletters & Group Manager When: Wed, Mar 2, 11:00 am - noon Where: #411 UOB, 507 E. Green What: Blog & Discussion Board When: Thu, Mar 3, 10:00 - 11:00 am Where: #411 UOB, 507 E. Green What: List Builder When: Thu, Mar 3, 11:00 am - noon Where: #411 UOB, 507 E. Green To register:

  • Web Services Calendar release notes

    The re-designed Web Services Calendar will be released Tuesday, January 4, 2011. There will be no impact on units. All URLs will continue to work and all skins will be updated for the new look and feel. Thanks to everyone that provided feedback on the new Calendar. And special thanks to the Calendar team consisting of Robert Slater, Hadi Rangin, Michael McKelvey, and Tim Offenstein. The team provided significant help with functionality, accessibility, and usability. And adjustments are still being made.

  • Emailer skin migration complete

    All HTML email and eNewsletters skins, approximately 250, have been updated to display properly in Outlook 2007 and 2010.

  • Security Summary Added

    Based on a user's feedback Web Services has added a Security Summary to the top of the Security tab in the Calendar, Survey Builder and Form Builder. This will only give a summary when the "Secured" option is chosen. The more user feedback we get the better our services and tools are. Keep the suggestions coming.

  • New List Builder HTML views released

    Web Services in Public Affairs has released five new HTML views in the List Builder. 1) iList, 2) iCurrent, 3) iPast to replace the existing views. 4) archiveList and 5) list are new views that allow you to pass dates and item types to filter by. These are brand new views so the old views will not be impacted. On March 31, 2011 the old views (URLs) will be redirected to the new ones. What does that mean for owners and admins? You will need to take a look at the new views and possibly do some slight adjustment on the CSS. Web Services would be glad to do this for you if you so choose. We will solicit the list of those wanting help later this fall. Anyone wanting to take advantage of the new views or functionality can begin today. You can find all new URLs on the "HTML Links" tab in the List Builder. Simply click the view button to see what your List looks like in the new format. For more details on today's release and examples please see:

  • Sign up for the Form and Survey Builder Workshop Today From 1:00-2:00

    Web Services at Public Affairs will be holding a Form and Survey Builder workshop today, Oct 27th, from 1:00 to 2:00 in UOB (Urban Outfitters Building) room 411. This is free! Come and learn how to build accessible forms and surveys that can look just like your department or college web site. Feel free to invite others in your office. Register by going to: Thanks, Lance Campbell Project Manager/Software Architect/DBA Web Services at Public Affairs

  • Calendar Change Update

    Web Services will not being pushing out Calendar changes on Monday, Oct 18th. We are going to hold off for a few more weeks. We will make sure to give everyone a minimum of a two week notice before releasing any changes to production. We are hoping to be able to announce a firm date by the end of October for the release of these and other enhancements to the Calendar.

  • Calendar changes

    On Monday, October 18th, Web Services at Public Affairs, will deploy new enhancements to the Calendar.

  • New HTML views in the List Builder

    Web Services in Public Affairs will soon launch new HTML views in the List Builder. Each of the three views available today, "imageList", "imagePast", and "imageCurrent" will be replaced. Two new views will be introduced: "archiveList" and "list". These changes are being made to offer greater accessibility, new functionality, and simplification of customization. We are looking for feedback on our approach to these new changes, below is a description and example of each. Colleges and units will have 6 months to update their CSS as the HTML/CSS structure is changing. Permanent redirects from the current URL to the new URL will go into place March 31, 2011. Web Services is available to help any unit with styling the new CSS if necessary. Three options are available for updating your CSS. 1) Send Web Services an email and our part time staff will make your changes for you. 2) Call and we can do it over the phone in about 10 minutes. 3) Update the CSS yourself. More information will follow upon release of the new views. Example of Views:

  • New component added to List Builder

    A new component, "Table List 1", has been added to the List Builder in the Toolbox. It displays the Date, Title, and File to download. The date and time format can be changed or turned off. The description can be turned on. This component was requested by Engineering and is now available: