University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

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

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  • Form Builder Change

    Web Services has noticed recently that there have been people setting up surveys in the Form Builder tool by accident. To prevent people from using the wrong tool we have added a change that will not allow the use of the term 'Survey' in the title when using the Form Builder.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Toolbox Training and Consulting

    The following Toolbox training sessions will be offered next week. All training is free and provided by Web Services at Public Affairs. Calendar - Tue, July 20 1-2 pm Blog & Discussion Board - Tue, July 20, 2-3 pm Survey & Form Builder - Wed, July 21, 10-11 am List Builder - Wed, July 21, 11 am -12 pm eNewsletters & Group Manager - Thu, July 22, 1-2 pm Skin Designer - Thu, July 22 2-3 pm

  • List Builder enhancement for the Office of the CIO

    Web Services has added a copy feature to the List Builder so that users can copy a list. When copying a list the items in the list are NOT copied. Instead the user is copying the basic setup of the list itself. A copied list will contain the same user privileges, selected skin, selected JavaScript components, CSS for selected components and item types. This enhancement was requested by the Office of the CIO for use in the student portal on all three campuses.

  • Scheduling add to the Emailer

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

  • 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.

  • Email+ Enhancements

    Web Services has reworked Email+ to make it more user-friendly. Here are a few of the enhancements the Web Service team has made...

  • 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.

  • Name Filter

    A "Name Filter" has been added at the top of the listing screens for the Calendar, Emailer and List Builder. Users have been telling us they have so many items being displayed on the listing screens that they need a way to filter down the list. Simply type in part of the name you are looking for and press the Filter button. This filter is not case sensitive. It will only filter the items in your list that you have permissions to see.

  • Emergency Web Alert System enhancement

    The Emergency Web Alert System (EWAS) has been enhanced to automatically display any message posted to the Illini Alert RSS feed. This gives access for posting messages to the EWAS to both the Security Office and the Police Department. The enhancement was made at the request of the Office of the CIO. It was successfully tested this morning during our normal testing period (first Tue of each month at 10:00 am).

  • Email+ Enhancements

    Two new enhancements to Email+ have been released. 1)  A date range has been added to the "My Archives" tab.  By default the My Archives tab will only display archives from the last two calendar years.  2)  A new Email type of "TED" has been added for units sending emails through the Foundation.  TED is the replace for the FACTS database. 

  • 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 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.

  • Web Services Customer Satisfaction Survey

    Web Services in Public Affairs would like your feedback on the services we provide via the Toolbox. As we continue to look for ways to improve communications, share resources, reduce costs, and reduce duplicate solutions we ask that you please take a couple of minutes to fill out the following Customer Satisfaction Survey. We appreciate your feedback.

  • Accessibility improvement for Forms and Surveys

    Section headers in the Survey and Form Builders now support a "label". This label will be inserted as a heading and styled appropriately. The description will immediately follow. Previously we only supported the description. This enhancement request was made by DHS at the state of Illinois.

  • 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.

  • Emailer - request spam digest

    The Emailer's help has been update to include a link that will trigger the CITES spam filter daily digest (help tab found on the right hand side of the screen). We added this based on feedback from a user at ATLAS. When testing emails if they do not appear in your inbox or junk folder simply press this button. Next check the digest to see if your email was caught by the CITES spam filter. On the help screen we include suggestions on how to minimize the chance of your email getting caught by spam filters.

  • 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.

  • List Builder - Schedule an item

    Web Services added a new enhancement to the List Builder for WUIS Springfield campus radio station. This enhancement allows items to be scheduled for future publishing and unpublishing.

  • Email+ Mail Merge Preview

    Web Services has added to Email+ the ability for users to preview emails when using the mail merge feature.  In order to preview emails you must have a group selected on the General tab.  A variable must be found within either the subject, email message or skin.  If you have met these requirements then the Preview tab will display a list of emails addresses found within your group.

  • 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

  • Emailer skin migration complete

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

  • 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.

  • Mailmerge Enhancement to Email+

    An enhancement to Email+ was released today to further support the mailmerge feature.  When using the Single Column Email Wizard a dropdown menu of all mailmerge variables will be found at the top right of the text editor when adding your content.  Groups must have already been selected on the General tab for this option to work. This new feature will be included in the Email+ workshop this Thursday at 10 am.

  • Online Campus Map Enhancements

    New categories added to online campus map.

  • Webtools Blog Migrated to Amazon

    Web Services has completed the migration of the Webtools Blog to the Amazon Cloud.  Redirects have been put into place for all existing URLs. 

  • 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.

  • Application Server Moved to VM

    Today we moved one of our two application servers to the CITES Virtual Server infrastructure. If you happen to notice any issue with performance please don't hesitate to contact us.

  • File Manager Enhancements

    Web Services has released a couple of enhancements to the File Manager: C-Name support, shorter URLs, and web index pages.

  • Calendar changes

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Training Demos this Week

    Tuesday, December 1st, 10-11am

    Tuesday, December 1st, 1:30-2:30pm

    Thursday, December 3rd, 10-11am

    Thursday, December 3rd, 1:30-2:30pm

  • 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. 

  • Email Plus Users

    If you send emails via Email+ to Illinois and UIllinois email addresses please read the below announcement that was sent to the CCO list on the behalf of CITES Security.

  • Webtools Update

    This morning Webtools experienced massive spikes on our web services.  These spikes affected performance and caused downtime for and all related services.  While Webtools are back online the root of the problem has not yet been identified.  We are continuing to troubleshoot the issue.

  • 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.

  • Email+ Wizard Released!

    Web Services at Public Affairs is pleased to announce the release of the Email+ Wizard. The Wizard will walk you through creating an email that will display properly on desktop computers, mobile devices, iPads, etc… It is as simple as choosing a skin, choosing a theme, and entering your message. Themes can be customized with your unit styles as needed.

    The Wizard supports anchors, social media, large images, thumbnail images, image overlays to indicate video, image/content wrapping, plus much more, all guaranteed to display properly on any device. Units can now focus on supplying the content, not on building, formatting, testing, and troubleshooting it.

    Email+ support will change with the new release. All of the current Email+ types will still be available for units that wish to continue to code their emails or create them in Word, however primary support will shift to the Wizard.

    Several workshops are scheduled, please join us for a walk through of the new Wizard. All workshops are online:

    Email+ Wizard workshops
    Wed, Sep 4, 10:00 am
    Wed, Sep 4, 2:00 pm
    Thu, Sep 5, 10:00 am
    Tue, Sep 10, 2:00 pm

    How to join on online workshop:

    Complete training calendar:

    Subscribe to all Web Services Announcements

    James Wilson
    Director of Web Services
    University of Illinois


  • Streamlined Email+ design process

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

  • Change made to the Form and Survey Builder requested by the College of Applied Health Sciences

    A change was made to the Form and Survey Builder report process requested by the College of Applied Health Sciences. When creating a CSV report you can now display single results for checkbox type questions. Use this feature when you wish to see the answer labels rather than 0s and 1s.

  • New Ecard Designs

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

  • Email+ Report: Sent and Blocked

    Web Services made a change to Email+ reporting.  The "Sent Confirmation" report (that shows exactly what happened with every email sent) has been split into two reports:  1) Sent and Bounces and 2) Sent and Bounces Detail.  To determine if an email was delivered or why it bounced use these reports.


  • 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

  • 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

  • Web Services Notice

    This morning Web Services transferred almost all web content from one web server to another. If you experience any issues please contact us ASAP. Thanks, Lance Campbell Software Architect/DBA/Project Manager Web Services at Public Affairs 217-333-0382

  • 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”

  • 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>

  • WebTools Skin Designer Help

    Web Services routinely helps units from all three campuses create and update WebTools skins in the Skin Designer.  The Skin Designer is how you apply your unit website look and feel to any of your WebTools.  Skins do require a good understanding of HTML and CSS to setup properly.

    We would like to again make the offer to all units at the university to create or update your skins based off of your unit website.  Each unit should have at least two skins, one for Email+ and one for all of the other WebTools (Calendars, Blogs, Lists, etc…).  Forms and Surveys can sometimes require an additional skin depending on how your website is setup. 

    Web Services is glad to help out with creating or updating these skins, just click Contact Us at the top right of the Toolbox.  Skins can usually be completed within a couple of days.  If you have existing skins that need to be updated or would like to request new skins please let us know.

    Creating and updating unit skins is completely free.  If you are in need of skins for a specific event or program there is a small fee.