Cool new task management features

While task management functionality may not be everyone's idea of excitement, here at CitySoft HQ, we love it.  And, we've recently launched some spiffy new task management features.  

Automated email reminders

We've added the ability to send automated messages to users when an assigned task is overdue or almost due.  You just set it and forget it.  The software takes care of the rest.  Now, when a user has upcoming or overdue tasks, the system sends them and their supervisor a nicely formatted email.

Pop up reminder screen

Similar to the email reminders, there is a new feature that can display a pop-up window to users who have upcoming or overdue tasks.  Now, when a user logs in the first time, they can be immediately shown a window containing their tasks.

Together, these enhancements help make it easier for users and their managers to keep track of what needs to be done every day.

Lots of UI improvements

Over the years while building our large software platform, we often focused on function over form.  Too often the result was functionality that worked but did not look as nice as it should.

Fortunately, the user interface (UI) is catching up with the features.  We have spent more time in recent months improving the Community Enteprise UI and the work is paying off.  Many of these changes are on the administrative side of the system, where content and data is managed.  We have added many new icons, graphics and inline support documentation and tips to help users navigate the system's many features.

We have also streamlined many features.  For instance, a web page can now be created in one step instead of three.  And, a document can be added to the system from within the web editor link tool (to make it easier to upload and link to a document while creating a web page.

We have also added a lot of contemporary design and UI elements to our free web site themes.  These can be seen in our theme library.

The work continues but the good news is that the admin UI is now sleak and contemporary.

New 'Copy Page' feature in Pages module

With the ability to host and manage multiple sites from one instance of our platform, some clients end up having many sites and many pages.  One result is the need to copy page content frequently from one site to another within the system.

In the old days copying pages within CE required cut-and-paste work.  Now, the process has been automated.  For each page in the system, on any site, you simply click an icon, choose where to copy the page to, and you're done.

New And / Or Grouping For Custom Reports

We have added And / Or Grouping to our report filters.

A strength of the Community Enterprise platform has always been the ability to create highly customizable reports.  Customization has included the ability to select exactly which fields, the order of the fields and the filters to be applied to the data.  For instance, you could select all donations that came in between certain dates and for certain funds.

However, in the past report filters had to be all "And" filters or all "Or" filters.  The created some limitations when users attempted more complex reports.  Now, we have included a grouping feature for report filters.  This allows for both "And" filters and "Or" filters to be used within groups, such as "A AND (B or C)" where the letters are filters.

This is an exciting enhancement that will make life much easier for our clients and users.

Recent Items Admin Sidebar

We've added a very useful Recent Items admin feature that I just wanted to mention.  When using the admin side of Community Enterprise, it can take a while to browse to all the data you want to see and use.  To cut down on the time spent moving from one module (e.g. Contacts) to another (e.g. Organizations), we've created an admin sidebar that tracks all the recent items that you've viewed (e.g. a contact, application, organization, event, committee, etc.).  The feature then displays links of the 10 most recent items.  As a result, your most recent items are never more than a click away.

New Native, Built In Blog Functionality

Well this is exciting.  The Community Enterprise platform now has native, built in blog functionality.  In fact, this blog runs on it.

No longer is there a need for separate third party blogging tools.  Instead, for the same price and within the same platform you can have a blog within or next door to your web site.  

Our blogging tools include typical blogging features such as the option to:

  • Post in multiple categories
  • Include social media sharing links on screen
  • Choose the number of posts you want to appear per screen
  • Use the summary or full post as the blog entry
  • User our built in blog themes are easily implement your own


Community Enterprise Supports Responsive Design

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Sometimes it's important to state the obvious.  Community Enterprise (our software platform) supports responsive design.

Responsive design is a term thrown around by tech consultants, but mainly it just means that a web site will scale down smoothly and display well in mobile browsers (e.g. in smart phones and tablets).  That's it.

Responsive design is easy to do and any good content management system will support it, including ours.  There is no magic to it.  In fact, there are many good design frameworks to make it easy.  We have many client sites that use the Bootstrap and Skeleton responsive design frameworks.

So, if you are using this platform and someone asks you if it can support responsive design themes, the answer is yes.

I hope that helps!

Cool additions to Advance Member Search

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The CE platform includes configurable features for both a basic and advanced member search.  In the last couple of years, we've spent the most time on improvements to the advanced member search.  For instance, it includes a nice "proximity" search feature via an integration with Google Maps so that users can search by zip code and get a list of nearby results.

More recently, we've enhanced this feature by creating one search box which is smart enough to accept a zip code, city or state values and produce results.

Then, users can directly email members who are displayed in the search results.  If members don't want to be in search results or don't want to be emailed, they can easily opt out.

New Calendars Based On Categories

A great new feature of the Community Enterprise platform is the ability to create separate calendars for each different category setting.

For organizations with many different events and many different types of events, this feature can make it easier for administrators to display events and easier for users to access the event information.

As a simple example, this feature would allow a client to set up a "Community Events" calendar on one page and a separate "Training Events" calendar on another.  In these calendars the events could be entirely different or include some overlap depending on how the events were tagged.

There is no limit on the number of differnt calendars that can be displayed.

Certificate Functionality Added

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CitySoft has added new Certificates functionality to the platform.  Initially, the feature works in conjunction with events and applications.  With this feature, administrators can set up pdf or word documents that are certificates to be awarded to users for participating in events (e.g. trainings) or for submitting applications.

Once set up, the certificate documents will include merge fields (e.g. "Dear {First Name},") and will be downloadable both on the web site and in the administration section.

Thus, when users attend training seminars, the process of creating and distributing the related certificates can be almost entirely automated.

Performance Improvements

In recent months we have added many performance improvements to the platform.  Many of these improvements come via caching techniques.  While the details are somewhat technical, CE now include multiple levels of caching from the server level to the application level.  The caching takes place both on the web site (ie "front end") and within the administration section (ie "back end") of the system.

While these improvements will continue, we have already seen a dramatic improvement in page load speed as a result.

Major Manage Your Profile Enhancement

In the latest build ( we have finally released a major enhancement of our "Manage Your Profile" functionality. This is where a user on a web site that uses our system can login and see their basic information in the database, update their data (e.g. changing an email address) and so forth.

This enhancement introduces a stylish set of tabbed screens where a user can not only see and update their basic contact information but can also access information on their event registrations, form submissions, donations, membership information, email subscriptions, interests, committee memberships, and a lot more.  This gives users a much fuller view of their data in the database and their interactions with organizations using the software.  So, for instance, they can see all their past event registrations, their donation history, and so forth.

We'll be adding a lot more to this area in future releases, but this is a good start in terms of giving users much more visibility into their data in the system.

For those interested in the technical details, this feature uses jquery heavily.

Nice Client Redesign

I just wanted to take a moment to highlight a nice client redesign at  This client has been using our platform for a long time but was in need of a major visual re-design.  Their internal team led the process and was able to launch a major re-design on our system with minimal extra cost.

Update on FOSS release

We're inching closer to our FOSS (free and open source) release of CE.  We're just in the process of tightening up some code.  That can take a while since we have a lot of client needs to focus on as well.  But, we will definitely get this out the door soon (in a couple of months I hope).

New Free Design Themes

We've been busy bees here but haven't been posting enough.  There is a lot going on and I'll try to keep the news a bit fresher.

One exciting thing that happened recently was the release of a couple of new free design themes.  We've titled them "Professional" and "Ease" (why do theme names always sound goofy?  I don't know).  You can find them in our theme library here -

These themes are entirely free although there is often some need for a developer to stylize them for the particular needs of a client.  That part may or may not be free depending on your skill level.

Hope that helps!

New Event Registration Quota Feature

I just wanted to take a moment to mention another new feature that we are excited about that is part of the new release.  It is a new quota feature for event registration.  We have long had a quota feature for overall event registration, of course.  But, this enhancement allows you to create a quota for each price / option within a single event.

So, for example, if you have an even registration for a conference, and then you have a number of separately priced options within the event (e.g. a special dinner, a site visit, and so on), you can now apply quotas to each of those items.  So, if you only have space for 50 people at a dinner or golf outing within a larger event, this feature will allow you to set quota limits for each of these separately priced items.

This feature will be included in our upcoming version 7.2 release.

New Version - New Features

We have a new version of our system that is almost fully baked.  We'll have full release notes for it, but I just wanted to preview a few cool features here.

1. Admin global search
In the new version, administrators will be able to search for contacts and organizations from any admin page.  For clients using our CRM features, this will cut down on the clicks needed to get to your data.

2. Lots of ajax
Like the rest of the world, we are incorporating lots of "ajax" UI features to make the system cooler to look at and easier to use.

3. Job boards
We have added a number of improvements to our new job boards module making it really ready for prime time.  If you wan to provide your community with job board features (posting and searching for resumes and job listings), this feature is worth checking out.

4. Email individuals
While our system has long had an Email module for sending email newsletters and the like, we now have a feature that allows you to send an email to an individual from within our system and log that email for future reference.  So, you no longer need to switch between your email program and our system when emailing contacts.

5. Admin only tabs in Applications
We have added a cool feature to our Applications module that allows administrators to create private tabs and fields as part of an application that appears on the web.  This allows administrators to create sections of applications that can be used for internal review and evaluation while still offering a public application that users (ie job seekers, grant seekers, other applicants) can fill out online and submit to you. 

There's lots more but I'll leave it here for now.

More beautiful designs plus free theme templates

Following up on the post below, I want to take a moment to highlight some more beautiful design running on our system.  They are:

As with the previous post, these  designs were mostly done by third party designers and then moved into our system.  There is no forking and no customizing of the base code necessary to get these and almost any kind of design into our system.  Our templating system and APIs are very flexible and can accomodate almost any kind of design.

I just want to say thanks and kudos to some of the third party designers who made these (and other) wonderful designs for our clients (in no particular order):

Also, let me take a moment to mention that we also have free design themes (ie templates) that have been developed for CE.  You can see them here:

These free themes can be quickly added into our system for no cost and then styled to look the way you want.  For cost conscious clients, it's a good way to avoid designing from scratch.

Highlighting some nice redesigns

Several of our clients have recently redesigned their websites which are hosted on our platform and I just wanted to take a moment to highlight them.

They are:

In addition to being great looking sites, these designs showcase the ways in which CE can support practically any design without restriction.  And, all of these designs were done by third party designers showing how any designer can design for our system.