University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

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

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  • Survey & Form Builder training video available

    Training videos for the Survey and Form Builder is now available. Announcements will be posted as other videos are released.

  • 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.

  • Subscribe to the Web Services "Announcements" or "Support" discussions

    Web Services has two new Discussions groups you may subscribe to. Our "Announcements" and "Support" discussions have replaced our listservs.

  • Student Preferred First Name

    Many of you are probably aware that Web Services has mail merge features built into Email+.  When building a group in the Group Manager you can upload as many variables as you wish per email address.  Then you can reference those variables in your email. Some of you may not know that there are two very special variables that can be used with Email+, "firstName" and "lastName".

  • Streamlined Email+ design process

    Web Services is making it easier to create and send emails by streamlining the Email+ design process.

  • Skin Designer - Renamed old URLs

    In the Skin Designer we noticed there were a lot of skins that referenced old URLs like,, etc. We ran a series of SQL queries in order to rename these older URLs to the proper names. If you notice any issues please let us know.

  • SiteMinder migration postponed

    Web Services had to postpone the migration to SiteMinder do to some authentication issues.  We did install the software on our servers but we will not begin using it until we can find a work around.  The primary issue is that there are people with identical user IDs in different active directories.  We will keep you posted.  We will not implement any solution that does not have our users' best interest in mind.

  • 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

  • Short URL Lookup

    A Lookup was added to the Short URL Webtool.  Search any Short URL for the domains you have access to.  Results will include Short URL name, url, creator, and id.  This information can be used to contact the owner if the need arises.  The Lookup can be found on the bottom of the "My Short URLs" tab.

  • Services back online

    CITES has fixed the networking problems and all Toolbox services are back online.

  • Server Migration

    Web Services will be migrating our WebTools servers to a new network zone over the next two weeks.  There may be service interruptions very early in the morning on the following days: Tuesday March 10, Thursday March 12, and Tuesday March 17.

  • Send to Friend Service Retirment

    Web Services has retired the Send to Friend service.  Send to Friend allowed users to click on an "Email" button in the Blog and Calendar which when then send the URL of the page to a friend's email address. 

  • Sending "Test" emails from the Blog

    A "Test Email" button has been added to the General tab when adding a post to the Blog.  This will send a test email to you, and only you, so you can quickly see what your subscribers will get when you distribute the post.  This will be a valuable enhancement for anyone distributing posts to subscribers and using the Blog as a listserv.  The "Distribute" button will only appear once the post has been "published".

  • 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.

  • Scheduling add to the Emailer

    Web Services at Public Affairs has added 'scheduling of emails' to the Emailer. This enhancement was requested by WILL.

  • Sample Survey and Form

    Here is a Sample Survey and Form that can be copied as a quick start. This sample contains every question type available in the system, including the new 'File Upload' question type. To copy this Survey or Form as a quick start, in the Toolbox, click the 'Communications' tab, then 'Create/edit' under the Survey or Form Builder. Next click the 'prebuilt' tab and copy the sample.

  • RSS Aggregation Added to the List Builder

    Web Services has just release an enhancement to the List Builder that allows for RSS aggregation. How does it work?

  • 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.

  • Retirement of Email+ left-nav, right-nav, and two-column emails

    Web Services will retire Email+ left-nav, right-nav, and two-column emails on Jan 1, 2016.  These types of emails currently break on Android phones.  We are investigating alternative strategies for those types of emails and are hopeful we can come up with a solution that works on Androids.  More information will be posted as it is available.


  • 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

  • Quick Reports released for Survey & Form Builder!

    Web Services has released "Quick Reports" for both the Survey and Form Builder. With Quick reports you can instantly generate totals, percentages, charts, and graphs in a web page. PDF's and Excel reports are available as always, but Quick Reports will display a summary of the data at the time they are ran.

  • 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. 

  • Privileges WebTool Released!

    Web Services has released a new tool for managing your personal WebTools privileges.  The Privileges WebTool is found at the bottom of the left nav in the Toolbox. It was designed to help you manage and transfer multiple privileges at once. 

    • Transfer to a person
    • Transfer to a group
    • Remove your permissions
    • Even undelete some WebTools

    The Privileges WebTool will only display your personal privileges, it will not display privileges that were assigned to a group you are a member of.  Some deleted WebTools are available to restore for up to a year.  You may remove your access to any WebTool as long as there is at least one other admin.

  • Privileges and Group Manager Enhancements

    Web Services has made a change to all privilege screens across every tool. Administrators can now add and delete other administrators. We also discovered last week that some people have been uploading files of email addresses into the Group Manager that contained invisible control characters. We put in place a series of filters that remove these characters when files are uploaded. We also ran a process to clean up any control characters found in the database.

  • Performance issue - CITES has been notified

    If you log into the Web Services Toolbox you may notice an extreme lag. We are currently experiencing extreme performance issues relating to user authorization. We have contacted CITES. As soon as we know more we will let you know.

  • 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!

  • On Campus WebTools Workshops at UIC


    Wednesday, August 20
    1:00pm - 1:30pm, Webtools Overview
    1:45pm - 3:00pm, Email+ and Group Manager
    3:15pm – 4:15pm, Form and Survey Builder

    Thursday, Aug 21
    9:30am - 10:45am, Email+ and Group Manager
    11:00am - 12:00pm, Blog (walkthrough of Web Services upcoming Blog Tool release)

  • New Widgets for List Builder

    Web Services has released eight new widgets in the List Builder. These pre-built widgets are designed to display images and photos on websites with style. They add interactivity and provide new display capabilities: from slideshows with an array of transitions to galleries with thumbnail navigation that can launch a lightbox slideshow.

  • New Webtools Blog release schedule

    Web Services is excited to announce the upcoming release of the new Webtools Blog on Dec 1, 2014.  For several months we have been working on a completely new version of the Blog.  The result is an amazing point and click solution that supports numerous templates and layouts.  Whatever your publishing needs are, we are confident that the new Blog will meet those needs.  We listened to your feedback and enhancement suggestions and built a new interface that balances ease of use with a rich feature set.  It is fully configurable allowing you to enable/disable every part of the UI to your liking.  The new Blog will provide a responsive, mobile, accessible Blog that will display perfectly on every device type.

    On Dec 1 all existing blogs will be converted into the new system automatically, nothing will need to be done by any blog admin.  “Blog Setup” will not be available the week of Thanksgiving (Nov 24).  Blog Manage can still be accessed to manage any of your blog posts.  Blog Skins will also not be editable during the week of Thanksgiving.

  • New version of Toolbox released!

    The latest version of the Toolbox has been released! This new version of the Toolbox includes hundreds of enhancements. Like new Blog service, AD group support, unit and department lookups for all services, email distribution for the Blog and Discussion Board, file uploading for Forms and Surveys, plus many, many more.

  • New Text Editor Released

    A new version of the TinyMCE Text Editor has been released in the Toolbox.  This is a major release from TinyMCE.  It includes greatly improved functionality as well as a complete new icon set.  To find the icon you are looking for you may need to mouseover the icon and its name will display.

    Numerous configuration changes were required to implement the new editor.  If any odd or different behavior is experienced please let us know.  And please include the steps to recreate the issue.  Thanks.

  • New Short URL Tracking

    Web Services has added tracking to the Short URL tool.  Tracking allows you to know how many times a URL is selected.  To turn tracking on for existing Short URLs, edit the URL and go to the “Report” tab.  On the "Report" tab you can enable reporting.  By default tracking is turned off.  We supply two types of PDF reports: daily and monthly.  Daily reports span the last three months.  Monthly reports will cover all months since you turned on tracking.  If you have any questions feel free to contact Web Services.

  • New My Emails tool helps spot phishing emails

    My Emails—a new tool available to faculty, staff and students—can help you distinguish between official messages from the university and phishing messages pretending to be official University of Illinois messages.

  • 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:

  • 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 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!

  • 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.

  • New Ecard Skins for the Holidays

    Web Services has created several new Ecard skins for the holiday season.

  • 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. 

  • New Ecard Designs

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

  • New Data Export for Forms and Surveys

    As many of you know it costs a lot of money to create a web form. Even accessibility can take a considerable amount of time. Web Services has recently been contacted by three different states in regards to our Survey and Form Building tools. Illinois and Alabama have reviewed our surveys and forms and approved our approach to accessibility. California is the latest to contact us for a review.

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • New checklist added to Email+

    Now before sending from Email+ you will be prompted to do a final check of all of your email settings.  On the Send tab simply click the "Final Check" button, verify that all of your information is correct, and send as usual.

  • New Carousel Widget Released

    The Webtools Blog now offers a carousel widget for displaying a slideshow of images and content. Place a script tab in your webpage, add content/images to the Webtools Blog, and that’s it. The carousel will be inserted with the newest content as it is published. The widget is fully accessible, responsive, and customizable.

  • New Campus URLs for WebTools

    The following new campus URLs have been added to WebTools:

    Each WebTool supports these new domains.  Thanks to UIC, UIS, and UA for creating these.  All WebTools content will continue to work on as it always has.  The new URLs are just an option for displaying your content while maintaining your campus domain.

    For converting your existing WebTools simply change "" to your campus URL.  For example, to implement the Springfield URL for the UIS campus calendar:



    If you are using widgets from the Calendar, List Builder, or Blog you may go to the General tab for those tools and select the appropriate URL for Web Services to use when generating your widgets.


  • New Blog service released!

    The Web Services Blog is now available. In the Toolbox, click the Communications tab and the Create/edit link under Blog to get started. Blogs are available to everyone at the university for free.

  • New Blog Enhancements

  • New archive tab and sorting in Email+

    To accommodate the extremely large number of emails being sent in Email+ a new Archive tab and sorting functionality have been added.  On the "My Emails" tab only emails that have not yet been sent will be displayed.  Once an email has been sent it will be found on the "My Archives" tab.  On the "My Archives" tab emails may be sorted by name or date.  When sorting emails they may then be filtered by keywords.