October 2019 Product News

Here's a round-up of all our latest product news - including the release of ESB 19.10, updates to our Android app and enhancements to some of our third party integrations.

ESB 19.10

This month saw the release of version 19.10 of the core ESB platform – full details of which are available on our web site at docs.esb-agile.co.uk.

This release continues the trend of migrating pages from the legacy ASP.NET Webforms technology to the newer MVC framework, reflecting our ongoing commitment to ensuring the platform benefits from the latest innovations in technology. Although there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes, there’ll be no breaking changes from an end-user’s perspective.

Secure Messaging

This release introduces secure messaging – a facility for communicating securely with customers via the Self-Service portal. Traditional e-mail templates cannot typically be used to transmit sensitive data owing to the fact that e-mail is not considered a secure transport mechanism.

When you send a secure message within ESB, a notification is sent to the user via email advising them that a new secure message is waiting. They can then log into their Self-Service account to read their message(s) securely. The crucial difference with this approach is that the content of the message is only shown to the user once they are authenticated within the secure Self-Service portal. As this mechanism is commonly used by organisations such as banks, we expect many users will already be familiar with how it operates. Existing ESB customers who already have a Self-Service My Account can benefit from this new feature by simply adding the My Messages option to their portal and marking existing e-mail templates as secure. For more information about this exciting new feature, please contact your Pentagull account manager.

What’s new for End-Users?

  • You can now bulk-close multiple items at once from the work basket.
  • The list of Object Templates in the work basket filter is now displayed alphabetically rather than in a seemingly random order.
  • If you’re viewing the Notes tab of an item and there are more than 10 notes to display, you will now have an Add Note box at the top as well as the bottom of the page, so you won’t need to scroll all the way to the bottom just to add a note.

What’s new for System Configurators?

  • We’ve introduced a new permission to control viewing of related items. Previously there was a single View permission that allowed you to view an item directly and via the Related Items tab. This new “View as Related Item” permission lets you grant users the ability to view an item on the Related Items tab without being able to click through to view the item itself. The behaviour is fully backwards compatible so you won’t see any changes to your existing configurations as a result of this feature, as anyone who currently has View permission will automatically gain View as Related permission.
  • The System Configuration module has received a number of enhancements, including a better A-Z sort function on list form fields, enhancements to the E-mail Log Viewer and the ability to link form fields of the customer object to Self-Service user preferences.

What’s new for Developers?

This release introduces a new web service method for logging events, refines some API methods to improve consistency, and adds some new CSS classes to elements of the self-service portal to make it easier to apply visual customisations.

ESB for Android

The latest release of the ESB for Android app now includes support for sub-forms and client-side business rules. An issue has been resolved that caused the integration with Google Maps to fail on certain devices, and there have also been a number of other improvements – including better spacing of on-screen elements, and improved performance when displaying very large object templates that have many hundreds of fields. Note that if you want to take advantage of sub form support you will need to upgrade the core platform to 19.10.


The following enhancements have been made:

  • The customer search has been improved by adding an “exact match” feature.
  • When adding enquiries to the queue there are a number of configurable extra fields which are available including Name, Description, Classification, Postcode, referral reason and pre-arranged visit.
  • There is a new back office face 2 face wallboard available which will show the enquiries which are in the queues along with times etc to monitor the current state.
  • A new customer history page has been added which enables users to view the selected customer history in a new window whilst continuing to use ESB and log enquiries.
  • You can now create a customer using the selected address from the processes page.
  • Address history has now been added to the customer history. So when a customer is selected the history shows both customer history and address history but if just an address is selected address history is only available.
  • There is a new configuration option to move the customer history from the bottom to the top of the processes page. If the history is moved to the top it is hidden under an accordion by default and needs to be expanded by the user to view.

In some rare instances customer enquiries were missing from the customer history - this has now been resolved.

Capita SCP

Our interface to Capita’s SCP payment portal now supports the ability to pass contact details such as name, address and e-mail address to the portal. This means that if you already collect contact details as part of the ESB form you can pass these to Capita so they will be automatically populated, preventing the need for the customer to re-enter their details and leading to an overall improved user experience.

Civica eStore

The interface to Civica’s eStore product for taking online payments has been enhanced to support single sign-on. This means that if a user has already authenticated to the ESB Self-Service portal and submits an online payment, they will automatically be logged into the eStore portal and can take advantage of features such as saved cards and payment history.

Civica Paylink/CheckoutUI

There have been further enhancements to the Civica Paylink interface to better support back-office payments. These include the ability to pass a ledger code, and to take payments from multiple payment sources including cardholder not present, chip and PIN, cash and cheque.

There is also now support for customers using Civica’s CheckoutUI product.


A new API has been added to the ARC GIS mapping provider that provides the ability to query map layers from within business rules.

GreenText SMS Gateway

In ESB version 19.10 we removed the 160-character limit on SMS messages, as most providers and devices are now able to handle longer messages. We are able to confirm that customers using our interface to the GreenText SMS gateway can take advantage of this capability as soon as they upgrade to ESB 19.10.

To learn more about any of these developments, please get in touch.

Other news stories

Yet another local authority benefitting from our HWRC booking system
Yet another local authority benefitting from our HWRC booking system

Bristol City Council are our latest customer to go live with our HWRC booking system. The integration of the system will provide effective traffic management and queue reductions at their existing Waste Reuse and Recycling Centres Avonmouth and Days Road. In addition to this, the system will also help manage congestion for the opening of the new site Hartcliffe Way, opening its doors on 21st June, by ensuring every visitor has their own allocated time slot.

ESB 22.04 Released
ESB 22.04 Released

Pentagull is pleased to announce the release of version 22.04 of the ESB platform. This release continues the recent trend of incremental improvements to reliability and usability as well as providing some feature enhancements.

Pentagull welcomes another two customers!
Pentagull welcomes another two customers!

Pentagull are thrilled to announce that South London Waste Partnership’s (SLWP) HWRC booking system and Hertfordshire County council’s commercial waste booking system have both gone live and are already receiving a high volume of bookings.

Providing our support for Ukraine
Providing our support for Ukraine

We are horrified by what’s going on in Ukraine, as I'm sure you are. Particularly cutting are the scenes showing young children and families fleeing a war zone or worse. At least 3 million people have fled their homes to escape conflict in Ukraine. Leaving behind jobs, belongings and loved ones, they now face an uncertain future. This morning we made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Things are all go at Pentagull at the moment!
Things are all go at Pentagull at the moment!

Here at Pentagull we are finishing the financial year off with a flurry of activity. South Lanarkshire Council are our latest customer to go live with our HWRC Booking System, meaning they are now seamlessly taking bookings for Carluke Recycling Centre.

Password Advice
Password Advice

We suggest to both our employees and customers that employing a strong password, with a mix of capitalised letters, numbers and special characters is the most effective way of reducing the chance of being compromised by unauthorised access. However, we don’t force regular password changes for several reasons.