2019 ESB Product Round-up

As 2019 draws to a close we thought we’d have our annual look back at some of the highlights of this year’s ESB Agile product releases. In 2018 we changed to a quarterly release cycle, and this has continued to be our release strategy throughout 2019.

Version 19.01 started the year by introducing Global Variables – a way of storing key pieces of configuration logic that could be referenced from within business rules across any process. We also made it even easier to customise the Self-Service portals by providing a web-based UI for this task, rather than having to place files on the file-system of the web server as before.

Our E-mail Template editor gained a preview feature as well as an HTML designer, again emphasising our commitment to making ESB easier to configure and customise for our system administrators.

In April we released version 19.04, which introduced our brand-new wizard based business rule editor. A lot of you have told us that you sometimes find writing and modifying business rules tricky due to the use of numeric identifiers. We’ve listened to your feedback and our new Basic Business Rule editor is the result. It lets you build business rules using a wizard-based interface with dropdown lists and selections – you never need to type in a function name or supply parameters by hand again. Despite the name, it’s not just for basic rules – you can do some quite complex things with it – but there will still be times when you need to make use of the more familiar advanced-style of editor. We’re not resting on our laurels either – the business rule editor continues to receive improvements with every subsequent product release.

We have also seen enhancements to our PIN authentication layer, which adds an additional level of protection by requiring the use of a PIN in addition to the standard username and password. You can now specify the minimum and maximum length of the PIN – up to a maximum of 8 digits. We also tightened up on the use of obvious PIN sequences such as ascending or descending numbers.

Version 19.07 brought further enhancements to our Self-Service product – including the ability to target processes at specific portals – great for customers who operate more than one portal with business-specific branding.

We rounded out 2019 with the release of 19.10, which marked a change in direction for our Manage E-mail Templates module. The module will now be known as the Message Templates module, as we’ll be expanding it to cover different types of messaging. Initially we’ll be adding SMS message templates, and there’ll be more on that in the new year when the 20.01 release comes out.

We continue to migrate our legacy ASP.NET web forms pages over to MVC, also taking the opportunity to refine and improve the user interface and to strengthen our levels of accessibility still further. Many pages within the System Configuration module have already been migrated, along with some key parts of the product such as the work basket. The newer pages provide a more responsive user experience, and by giving us greater control over the mark-up we can ensure we deliver maximum speed and efficiency.

Looking Ahead

The next release of the ESB Agile platform, version 20.01 is due in early January. As always, our focus will be on improving productivity for both our users and system administrators. This year has seen some fantastic growth for the ESB Agile platform, and the feedback we’ve received has been hugely positive, so for us the year 2020 will be about doing more of the same.

Other news stories

Pentagull becomes an accredited Real Living Wage employer
Pentagull becomes an accredited Real Living Wage employer

We are pleased to announce that Pentagull has become a real living wage employer, accredited by the Living Wage Foundation. Our Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Pentagull receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.50. This rate is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 25s, which currently stands at £8.72 per hour. This move will help solidify our long-term investment in our people.

Pentagull's migration to Redis for high availability session state
Pentagull's migration to Redis for high availability session state

Session state is an integral part of the ESB platform - we use it to keep track of logged in users, transactions that are in progress and a whole host of other bits and pieces that don't make sense to send to the client or store in the database. Because of this, the infrastructure that provides our session state needs to be highly available and resilient to both planned and unplanned events.

A nice and exciting start to February!
A nice and exciting start to February!

Today has marked the day that our HWRC booking system took another step on the way to becoming sentient after our ANPR barrier integration went live at one of Moray Councils HWRC sites.

ESB 21.01 Released
ESB 21.01 Released

Pentagull is pleased to start the year with the release of version 21.01 of the ESB platform. There are performance improvements, continued technology updates and new enhancements.

Pentagull’s Tip Booking System passes 1 million bookings
Pentagull’s Tip Booking System passes 1 million bookings

As the year draws to a close our Tip Booking System has now passed the 1 million booking milestone and continues to handle thousands of bookings every day.

ESB 20.10 Released
ESB 20.10 Released

Pentagull is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 20.10 of the ESB platform. The focus of the 20.10 release is on stability and fixes, however we’ve still found time to add some great new features.