Release Notes for LISTSERV Maestro 1.1
User Preferences and Defaults
The user now has the ability to set a number of preferences and defaults. Preferences influence the way LISTSERV Maestro displays its pages, for example the preferred date and time formats, or which tab on a tabbed page will be the "front" tab by default.
Defaults influence the initial (default) value that certain parts and parameters of a newly created job or report will have.
Where to find: User Settings -> Preferences
Drop-in content elements are predefined content parts that can be "dropped" into the content of the e-mail message wherever the user desires. They are then replaced with the actual content they represent during send time, similar to text merging.
There are drop-ins that derive their content from a predefined text, from a file, from an URL, or from a database. Predefined drop-ins are useful for often recurring content, like standardized company headers, footers, or logos. The ability to "draw" the actual content no earlier than the moment just before sending makes drop-ins also very useful for messages that are created and authorized before their content is even completely defined (for example to merge in the most current stock quotes or weather reports).
Where to find: User Settings -> Drop-In Content Elements
(This feature was already available in 1.0c.)
The user now has the ability to choose the exact mail charset that will be used for the message content during sending. Additionally, the administrator may choose a default charset and may disallow the user to change the default charset.
Where to find: For any new job: Define Message -> "Language" link at bottom of page.
By default, LISTSERV Maestro supports only plain text as the format of alternative text for HTML messages.
With LISTSERV Maestro 1.1, alternative text may also be sent in AOL rich text format, if desired. However, this option is disabled by default. To enable it, add the INI-file entry "AllowXAOL=true" to the "lui.ini" INI-file (if this entry is missing or set to "false", the new feature is not available). If the feature is enabled, and the user creates a HTML message with alternative text, then the alternative text tab displays an additional option button choice, which lets the user to elect to send the alternative text as plain text (with MIME-type "text/plain") or as AOL rich text (with MIME-type "text/x-aol").
If AOL rich text is chosen, then the user may include certain tags in the alternative text to define rich text formats like bold, underline, font face, size, and so on. (Similar to HTML, see list.) Note: Rich text formatting is not rendered for display in LISTSERV Maestro itself, but only for the recipient viewing the e-mail message with an AOL mail client. In LISTSERV Maestro, the alternative text is always displayed in plain text format, where the formatting tags are visible as such.
A message formatted this way is sent as a multipart e-mail with one HTML part as usual, but with an alternative text in AOL rich text format, instead of the normal plain text. The message is then displayed to the recipients as follows:
Where to find: To enable AOL rich text support in the first place: Add the entry "AllowXAOL=true" to the "lui.ini" INI-file. Restart LISTSERV Maestro.
Once AOL rich text support is enabled, the type of the alternative text may be toggled between plain text and AOL rich text on the alternative text input tab. Select any undelivered job from the "Resume Jobs" list -> Define Message -> Alternative Text tab (to reach this tab, switch to "HTML" body type and check "Alternative Text", if necessary).
LISTSERV Maestro now offers a new recipients type: "Determine Recipients Based on Reaction to the Job". The user may select from any previously delivered job with a recipients type "Upload a Recipients Text File","Select Recipients From a Database", or the new type itself, which also has personal tracking switched on (and profiles must be stored locally, as is the default).
After selecting a job as a source, the user may then choose to "Include only recipients that performed at least one of the actions below" or to "Exclude all recipients that performed at least one of the actions below", while specifying which of the actions (opening the mail, clicking on a link, or links) will be part of the condition.
After that, the recipients will be defined by looking at the original recipients from the previous job, and checking the tracking data for that job, to see which of them conforms with the given condition. Only those that match the condition are then used as recipients for the new job.
Where to find: For any new job: Define Recipients -> Wizard page "Options"
A new feature was added in the recipients wizard for the recipients types "Send to an Existing LISTSERV List" and "Let LISTSERV Select Recipients From a Database" that allows the user to specify additional merge fields even though LISTSERV is not aware of them. (LISTSERV Maestro previously only offered the EMAIL and NAME columns during test delivery, since those are the only columns that LISTSERV Maestro is aware of.)
For these two recipients types, the additional merge columns are displayed in the list of available merge fields (that can be opened from the content definition page by clicking the "Show Merge Fields" link). The user sees that these fields can be included in the content and on the test delivery page (as additional columns). The user can then supply values for these fields for the test recipients in order to test if these fields are merged correctly.
Additional merge fields for "Send to an Existing LISTSERV List" may be required if the list is DBMS-backed and has more columns than only the "TO*" and "NAME" columns. For "Let LISTSERV Select Recipients From a Database", additional fields may be required if the SQL-statement selects more than just the e-mail address and the name.
Where to find: For any new job: Define Recipients -> Select type "Send to an Existing LISTSERV List" or "Let LISTSERV Select Recipients From a Database" -> Wizard page "Recipient Details"
The events generated by a delivery test e-mail job are immediately transferred from Maestro Tracker to the Maestro User Interface when a test quick report for that job is executed. This creates an accurate "up-to-the-minute" reflection of triggered events for test reports.
Previously, all tracking events collected by Maestro Tracker would only be transferred to the Maestro User Interface once per transfer interval. This would apply even to events generated by test delivery messages, so that the user had to wait until the end of the transfer interval before seeing the test events in the test quick report. This could lead the user to believe that no events occured and the tracking did not work, when instead the events were simply not yet transferred from Maestro Tracker to the Maestro User Interface.
Where to find: For any new job: Test Reports Tab -> Execute
It is now possible to define links for tracking that are defined in an image map on a HTML page. On the tracking definition page, simply click on the link (that is on the corresponding area of the image) to select the link, then define tracking as usual. Note that tracked image map links will not be marked with a yellow highlight (due to technical reasons).
Only image map links that are defined as follows can be tracked:
<image src="..." usemap="#mapname"
Meaning that all map links that appear in an <area> tag inside of a <map> can be tracked.
Where to find: For any new job: Upload HTML content with an image map, then go to Define Tracking -> Enable Tracking -> Wizard page "Tracking Details", click on "Define Tracking URLs".
It is now possible to define links for tracking that use the "https://" protocol (secure sockets layer), in addition to links with the standard "http://" protocol. As with all links, in plain text the links need to be enclosed in quotation marks < " >.
Where to find: For any new job: Upload HTML content with an https:// link, then go to Define Tracking -> Enable Tracking -> Wizard page "Tracking Details", click on "Define Tracking URLs".
It is now possible to access information about bounces for jobs where "automatic" bounce handling was chosen in "Define Sender". On the "Summary" page of any such delivered job, the current number of bounced messages is displayed (including a link to update this number). A link is also available to download a text file containing the list of bounced addresses.
During report definition, the number of bounced messages can be incorporated into reports in the form of a new data source or to display numbers as a percentage of "number of unbounced messages sent" (see New Display Type "Percentages").
Where to find: Access of bounce count / download of bounced addresses: For any delivered job with "automatic" bounce handling: Summary page.
The display of the reports has been redesigned to add more features and create a more professional look. Reports are now divided into up to three pages (view, download, view-settings), between which the user can switch with the help of icons at the lower-right corner of the reports page. The newly created "download" and "view-settings" pages have additional features for better downloading and to modify the report as it is displayed on the view page.
Where to find: Execute any quick report or standard report.
When defining a data source, the user now has the choice between data sources that display "Tracking Events" and those that display "Sent Messages and Bounce Count Statistics". Data sources of the type "Tracking Events" are the same data sources previously used - they count all open-up and/or click events the user defines, and displays them in form of a curve or bar (depending on the display type). Data sources of the type "Sent Messages and Bounce Count Statistics" are new. They do not count any events but simply "display" a certain statistic number, as chosen by the user:
(The last two are only possible for jobs that use "automatic" bounce handling.)
In the time distributions diagram, this statistical value is displayed as a dashed horizontal line over the whole width of the curve diagram. In the total events bar chart, the value is displayed as a bar.
Where to find: Report definition -> Data Sources tab -> Data Sources wizard, page "Type", or, as additional options on the quick report pages.
The values displayed by the "time distribution" and "sum of events" reports may now optionally be displayed in three variants:
Where to find: Report definition -> Result Settings (settings here define how the report shall look by default, when executed), or, on the "View Settings" page of any report (settings here change the report only temporarily - the next time the report is executed again from the report list, the default as defined on "Report Definition -> Result Settings" will be used again). Only available for reports of type "Event distribution over time" or "Sum of events".
The diagram displayed by the "time distribution" report may now optionally be displayed in two variants:
Where to find: Report definition -> Result Settings (settings here define how the report will look by default, when executed), or, on the "View Settings" page of any report (settings here change the report only temporarily - the next time the report is executed again from the report list, the default as defined on "Report Definition -> Result Settings" will be used again). Only available for reports of type "Event distribution over time".
The "Recipient Details" report type allows the user to download a text-file table (CSV style), with columns that match the profiles of the recipients (for example NAME, EMAIL, CITY, and so on.). Then, for each recipient that generated at least one of the events counted by the data sources of the report, one row entry is made into the table, where the fields of the row are filled out with the profile values of that recipient. Each recipient row is included only once. An additional "COUNT" column may be added, that records the number of events each recipient generated. With this recipients type, it is possible to download a list of all recipients that have responded in some way, optionally including a count of how often each recipient has responded, where each recipient is represented by its profile.
A new "ordering" and "grouping" feature has been added. The user may freely decide which of the profile columns to have in the download (defining a grouping), and in which order.
The order defines not only the order of the columns, but also the sorting of the rows. The rows are sorted in ascending order, looking at the first column (or if that column has the same value for two recipients, then at the second column, and so on). The following sample data illustrates how the rows are sorted differently, as the column order is changed:
Grouping is implicitly defined by selecting only a subset of the available columns from the profile. Normally, each recipient is included only as a single row, with all its profile values and a count column that contains the number of events generated by that recipient. In reality, this could actually be several different recipients that happen to have the same profile. This is improbable, however, since different recipients most likely also have different profiles. But, if some of the columns are left out, the remaining columns may no longer contain sufficient data to make each profile unique for each recipient. In that case, several recipients will match to the same "condensed" profile, meaning that they will both be counted in the same row.
The following sample data illustrates how the number of rows shrinks and the count of certain rows grows (while the sum of the count column stays constant), as columns are removed:
Previously it was only possible to download a table that would tell the user exactly how many times each single recipient (or "profile owner") had generated the events. Now it is possible to download a similar table, but of more "demographic" interest, for example by grouping over "CITY" and "GENDER" you would see how many males and females of each city have generated the events, and so forth.
Where to find: Report download page of reports of the type "Recipient Details".
The administrator is now able to move a delivered job from LISTSERV Maestro into a special archive. All data of such an archived job is removed from all components of LISTSERV Maestro, freeing up disk and database space. The data is saved in a special ZIP-archive file (one for each archived job) that is in turn saved in a special archive folder on the server. The administrator may then move this archive file to a suitable location (for example an external backup medium).
Archived jobs can be later imported back into LISTSERV Maestro to be viewed. However, they are imported in a "frozen" state, meaning that no changes are possible anymore, and no events are counted for that job anymore (even if some late-coming events should still reach Maestro Tracker).
Where to find: To move a job to the archive: Log into the Maestro User Interface as "admin" -> Select any delivered job -> Job Archive tab. To re-import an archived job: Log into the Maestro User Interface as "admin" -> Import Job. To define where the archive folder is located: Log into the Administration Hub -> Global Component Settings -> Maestro User Interface -> General Administration.
The administrator is now able to define the following size limits:
Where to find:
The administrator is now able to enable or disable specific recipient types, allowing or disallowing users to employ certain recipients types for e-mail jobs. Types can be enabled, disabled, or hidden. Disabled and hidden types are both unusable, but disabled types are still displayed in a "grayed out" state, while hidden types are not visible at all.
Where to find:
The administrator is now able to define external processes that are executed after a backup finishes. This can, for example, be used to automatically move the backup folders to a tape, or to notify the administrator the backup is complete, and so on. Two different external processes can be defined, one to be executed after a successful backup and one after a backup failure.
Where to find: Administration Hub -> Global Component Settings -> Administration Hub
The administrator can now execute a clean system shutdown, not disrupting an ongoing sending or the work of any logged in users (as long as the users cooperate). There are different features that have been added to support this:
Where to find: Administration Hub -> Global Component Settings -> Maestro User Interface -> General Administration
It is now possible to remotely query the current version and build number of all components. This is done with a simple HTTP-request using a URL typed into the address field of any browser. The result of the query will be displayed in the browser.
Where to find:
No Java Installation Required
The installation package of Version 1.1 LISTSERV Maestro now comes completely bundled with Java 1.4 from Sun Microsystems and therefore nolonger requires a prior installation of Java. During installation of LISTSERV Maestro, a special installation of Java 1.4 is made in the application installation folder. This installation is only used together with LISTSERV Maestro, and is independent of other Java applications or installations on the same machine.
On Windows, the specially installed Java will not appear as a separately installed application in the "Add/Remove Programs" panel (as Java does if you install it independently). Instead it will be installed and uninstalled together with LISTSERV Maestro.
When upgrading a dedicated LISTSERV Maestro server to 1.1, you may even uninstall any previously installed Java, if there are no other applications on that server that require it: After the upgrade, LISTSERV Maestro will no longer use the Java that was previously installed, but instead will use the version that comes with the installation package.