University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Web Services | Public Affairs

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

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Change made to event view totals in the Calendar

    In the Web Services Calendar you will notice on an event's detail page a field labeled "Views". We originally calculated this view total based on the number of times the event appeared either in a listing of many events or when a person went to the event's detail page. Today we made a change to only increment an event's view totals when a person views the event's detail page. In order for the view totals for all events to be consistent we have reset all totals to 0.

  • Introducing new Short URLs

    Web Services in Public Afairs is pleased to release three new short URLs in the Toolbox. Create as many as you like, they are available immediately and ready to go...

  • Database Upgrade (week of Nov 9)

    Web Services will be upgrading our database on Wednesday morning. Below is the impact that this will cause to our services this week: 1) Today, Monday November 9th, we will be pushing out changes to many of our services. There should be no noticeable changes or interruption of service. 2) Tomorrow, Tuesday November 10th, from 5:00 am to 6:00 am our services will be down intermittently. We are making minor changes to our current database prior to the upgrade on Wednesday. 3) Wednesday November 11th, from 5:45 am to 7:00 am we will be upgrading our database. During this time most of our services will be down. If you see any change to any of our services please contact us at: Thanks, Lance Campbell Project Manager/Software Architect/DBA Web Services at Public Affairs 217-333-0382

  • Database Migration Complete

    Web Services has completed our migration to a newer version of our database. If you experience any issues please let us know via the URL below.

  • Assigning Permissions Is Made Easier

    On any Web Services application within the Toolbox portal when assigning someone permissions you no longer have to include "" as long as the person is on your campus.

  • 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.

  • Toolbox Workshops

    This is a reminder that several Toolbox Workshops are available this week. Please check our training calendar for details: All workshops are located at 507 E. Green #411 in the Urban Outfitters Building.

  • Toolbox refresh issue

    If anyone is having problems with the Toolbox please click the "refresh" button in the browser. Thank you.

  • Changes to Public Affairs Directory

    Several changes were released today to the Public Affairs Directory. These changes position us for the upcoming release of the Directory Profile Editor, a new shared service for the Urbana campus. The Profile Editor will allow any faculty or staff to customize their profiles within the Directory. More information will be available soon, as well as examples of customized faculty and staff profiles.

  • 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.

  • File Manager Released!

    The File Manager, a new shared service from Public Affairs, has been released to faculty and staff on all three campuses. Students have access for performing unit tasks but have limited capabilities. The File Manager allows you to upload and manage files, place files behind a login, limit file access to groups, archive specified documents, plus much more. For years units have been using the Skin Designer to upload and manage files, we encourage everyone to now use the File Manager.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Migrated Database

    Web Services migrated our database from a dedicated server to the CITES PSG VM infrastructure this morning, 4/6/2010, at 5:00 am. By using this new infrastructure we should save money on hardware, space, electricity, and heating. If you notice any performance issues please let us know ASAP, 333-0382.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • File Manager Enhancements

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

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Toolbox support for Safari discontinued

    Due to significant issues with Safari, Web Services has temporarily discontinued support for this browser. For accessing the Toolbox please use the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.

  • 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.

  • Enhancements made to the Form and Survey Builder and Campus Directory

    Web Services made enhancements today to the Form and Survey Builder and Campus Directory.

  • Enhancement to the Short URL tool

    Web Services received a request from the Office of the CIOs portal team to create a new option within the Short URL tool to allow for This request was to help reduce down on the consumption of short URLs used by the portal team. If your group would also like to have a C-Name set up for your college/unit short URLs just let us know. Please keep in mind that it is only of value if your C-Name is short. Please go through your communications officer in order to make a request for a unique C-Name. Who is my communications officer:

  • Bluestem problem for UIS users

    Bluestem is not working properly for UIS campus users. When a user tries to login through Bluestem they are returned to the login page. CITES is working on the problem and we have asked them to post updates on to status page at:

  • 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.

  • Emailer, Group Manager, and Short URL Enhanced

    Web Services enhanced the Emailer and Group Manager based on requests from WILL.

  • Components added to Calendar

    The Calendar now supports components. A component is a tag that is inserted into a web page to automatically display events from a Toolbox Calendar. In Create/edit for any of your calendars you will see a "Components" tab. Use this tab to create Calendar components to insert into any web page. Previously this could be done by importing the Calendar RSS feed into the List Builder, however many fields such as location, registration, cost, speaker, etc... were lost as RSS does not support these fields. Now when creating your generic component in the Calendar you can choose to include any information entered for the event. Later this summer Web Services will offer a student to convert any component initially setup in the List Builder importing a Calendar RSS feed. Two components have been added so far, a generic version that will allow you to include/exclude any calendar field, and a second version that is table/row oriented. This new functionality will be covered during the July Toolbox Calendar training:

  • Scheduling add to the Emailer

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

  • Calendar Security Change

    On the "Security" tab when administrating calendars you will notice that there are now three types of security: Public, Private and Secured.

  • 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.

  • Form and Survey Builder Enhancements

    Web Services at Public Affairs has made enhancements to the Form and Survey Builder. On the screens that list all forms and surveys we added a filter option. On the "Security" tab when administrating forms and surveys you will notice that there are now three types of security: Public, Private and Secured.

  • 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

  • Services back online

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

  • 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.

  • Form and Survey Builder - Word Count

    Web Services has enhanced the Form and Survey Builder for the College of Business. We have added a new word count validation rule for both short answer and long answer question types.

  • 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 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:

  • Calendar changes

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

  • 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.

  • 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