Messaging Guide

Preface

This document describes how administrators can use OVD messaging to send in-session messages to users and to also collect feedback from users through customisable responses.

History

Version Date Comments
1.1 2019-11-05 Review
1.0 2019-01-25 First version

Introduction

Inuvika OVD provides messaging support for administrators that allows them to send important information to users. These messages appear as popups to users when their session is started, or they can be displayed when a user is already in-session.

This feature allows administrators to send messages that simply need to be viewed by users or messages that require varying types of responses/feedback.

In the OVD Administration Console, user responses can be monitored and the results of these responses can be exported for organization records.

Overview

The purpose of OVD Messaging is to allow organizations to communicate important information to users and/or to collect user feedback.

The main workflow of an OVD Message has two halves: the administrator side and the user side.

The administrator creates, publishes, and monitors the progression of a message. Users receive and respond to these messages.

Administrator Experience

The administrator begins the process by creating the message to be sent through the OVD Administration Console (or by using the OVD Session Manager API). They have full customization control and can create messages to simply relay information to users or more detailed messages to collect responses from their users.

Once a message has been published, administrators are able to monitor it's progress among their users, seeing live feedback results in the OVD Administration Console.

Administrators can choose to archive a message (i.e. remove it from messages that users receive in-session), thus concluding the workflow.

User Experience

For the user's experience, messaging is performed seamlessly through their OVD session. Once a message is published, users will see it as a popup at the start of their session and at that point they can respond to it in multiple ways depending on the type of message. A message can also be pushed to running sessions to ensure a user has visibility without the need to log out and back in again in order to receive it.

Acknowledge receipt

Messages that do not require user feedback can be sent with a single response option to indicate a user has received and seen the message. For these messages the user can read the message and click a single button to acknowledge receipt.

Specific response

If user feedback is required, messages can be created with multiple response options. Users will receive these messages in the same way as simple messages, but they will have a drop-down menu containing the possible responses.

Users will select their response from the drop-down and confirm it. These responses can be viewed in the OVD Administration Console, along with a breakdown of the percentage of users that selected each response.

Creating Messages

Messages can be created in the OVD Administration Console. Go to the Users tab and click on the Messaging page.

Here you can view all existing messages as well as create a new message by entering a name that will be used to describe it and clicking "Create Message".

This will add a new message in Draft status and take you to the management page for it. This is where you can now set the details.

General details

The first section to set is general information for the administration purposes.

Important

Once the General details have been set click "Save changes" before continuing onto further sections. Changes in this section will not save otherwise.

Name and Description

The name and description are fields for message identification. These are only visible to administrators and do not impact anything the users will receive.

Publishing Mode

This field can be used to create messages in two different modes.

The "Normal" mode is used for regular messages that will be sent to users. "Test Only" can be used by administrators to create messages for testing purposes only.

Scheduling

Administrators can schedule when messages should be pushed to users. This field can be toggled on and a date and time can be selected for when to send the message.

Message Content

This section is used to create the actual message that will be sent to users.

Important

Once the Message Content fields have been set click "Save changes" before continuing onto further sections. Changes in this section will not persist otherwise.

Window Title

This is the title that will appear on the title bar of the message pop-up.

Content

This is the content of the message. OVD messages render HTML so the OVD Administration Console provides an editor in which valid HTML can be used for complex formatting if it is required. Raw HTML insert is not supported in this editor.

Responses

Set the possible responses users can click here. There are two different response types available for OVD messages.

Important

Messages require a minimum of one response in order to be valid.

Simple response

Simple response messages require only one or two response options. These can be added in the Response fields visible by default and they will appear in-session as buttons at the bottom of the message pop-up.

Multiple response

More complex messages may require multiple responses (ex: polling users). For these messages, click the + beside the last Responses field to add more rows for additional responses.

The in-session message pop-up will then contain a dropdown menu of these possible responses, along with a button to confirm the response once it's chosen.

Note

A maximum of twenty response options is recommended in order to keep the response breakdown graph organized.

Display Mode

Use this setting to choose the restrictions the message pop-up puts on the user in-session.

  • Normal: The message will appear in a normal popup window that can be minimized or closed without responding to it.
  • Always On Top: The message cannot be closed and it remains on top of all other windows in the session. User must acknowledge or choose a response to close the message.
  • Full Screen: The message is created consuming the entire screen. At session start users see only the message and they must acknowledge or choose a response to close it and proceed to the session.

Important

Be aware if links are included in the message content of Full Screen or Always On Top mode messages, they will open behind the message and not be viewable until the message has been closed.

Publishing to Users

Once all the details of the message have been set you must indicate which users to send it to.

Messages can be sent to individual users or to user groups. Select the user or user group and click "Publish for this user" or "Publish for this group".

Once you have finished selecting the users or user groups to send to, click "Publish this message" at the end of the page. This will move the message out of Draft status and process and publish it to the selected users.

Important

Once a message has been published it can no longer be edited so please ensure all information is correct before publishing.

Managing Messages

You can click "More details" beside a message in the OVD Administration console to view message properties and management actions.

Message Status

Messages have five possible statuses and these affect the management of them.

  • Draft: All properties of the message can be edited as it is still in the creation phase.
  • Queued: The message is being processed before it is published. In this status the message is being queued up for the users that are required to receive it.
  • Acknowledged: The message has been published to users.
  • Completed: The message has been seen and acknowledged by all users.

    Note

    Messages are checked for completion via an hourly process so it may take some time for a change in status to be reflected correctly. This means that when a message has been acknowledged by all users it will take up to an hour for the status to change to Completed.

  • Archived: The message is not active anymore and has been archived. All progression data, reports, and details are preserved and viewable but the message will no longer be seen by users.

  • Deleted: The message has been deleted. All associated reports and data are deleted as well. This status will never be visible to administrators as the data will no longer exist.

Important

Message statuses are updated via an hourly process so it may take some time for a change in status to be reflected correctly. Ex: when a message has been acknowledged by all users it will take up to an hour for the status to change to Completed.

Searching for Messages

To view specific messages you can use the filter at the top of the OVD Admin Console Messaging page. This filter allows you to search for messages by:

  • message name: the name set by the administrator for identification purposes
  • status
  • publication date: a range of time can be set for this to get all messages published in that time frame

Editing

Editing an OVD message is only possible in Draft status. While a message is in Draft status all message properties can be changed.

Once a message has been changed from Draft Status, the administrator can make limited changes to the message. Their options are:

  • Edit the Name and Description. These are fields only the administrator sees and do not impact users.
  • Archive the message. This will archive all existing data and reports for the message and remove it from active messages (i.e. this message will no longer be seen in-session).
  • Delete the message.

Duplicate

Messages can be duplicated through a message's details page. Clicking "Duplicate this message" will open a page for a new message with all fields pre-filled with the same information as the message being duplicated.

This can be used to copy re-occurring messages or to create messages similar to others so you can just edit a few details instead of creating the whole message from scratch.

Force Message Delivery

Messages are delivered to users on an hourly schedule. Once per hour the system checks for any queued messages and processes and pushes them to users.

You can click "Force Message Delivery" in a message's details page to push the message immediately to active sessions (instead of waiting for processing to occur automatically on the hourly process). The message will appear in-session as soon as it has propagated.

Note

Clicking this option will not override any message scheduling. Messages will still be sent out according to the specified time if one has been set.

Monitor Progress

The progression of a message can be monitored in its details page.

Use the Statistics section to check:

  • Percentage of users that have acknowledged the message.
  • Total number of users the message has been published to.
  • Total number of users that have acknowledged the message.
  • Pie chart breakdown of the number of users that have selected each response (including "No Response" for users that have not acknowledged the message yet).

Delete/Archive

Deleting or archiving a message will remove it from active messages. This means the message will no longer be seen in-session by users.

The difference between the two is in what happens to the data associated with the message.

  • Archive this message: All progression data, reports, and details will be preserved and viewable.
  • Delete this message: All associated reports and data will be deleted and no records of this message will remain in the system.

Message Reports

When a message is published, a report is created for each user receiving the message. This report details when they received it and records their response.

In the OVD Administration Console Reporting tab there is a Messaging page where these reports can be viewed.

Searching/Filtering

Message reports can be searched using the filter at the top of the Message reports page in the OVD Administration Console. Reports can be filtered by:

  • Message: the name set by the administrator for identification purposes or the message ID
  • User
  • Status: there are three possible message report statuses
    • Acknowledged: the message has been seen and/or responded to by the user
    • Delivered: the message has been sent to the user but they have not seen and/or responded to it
    • Awaiting Delivery: the message has not yet been sent to users
  • Date of Completion

Exporting Data

Once you have filtered the results to get the desired data, it can be exported by clicking the "Export CSV" button at the bottom of the search filter.

Known Limitations

LDAP Server Limit

When using Active Directory or LDAP user groups with a lot of members, the message processing algorithm may not be able to extract the complete list of members for the group. This leads to issues where the resulting reports list is non-exhaustive as not all members were fetched.

When this occurs the Session Manager will raise a warning in the log to alert you of the issue.

The reason for this issue is due to LDAP server limits. For instance, the default value for OpenLDAP is 500. This means that if your group has more than 500 members, the Session Manager will only create 500 reports for this group and any additional users over the first 500 will have no reports generated for their responses.

The server limit can be expanded on the directory server (AD or LDAP) but this may lead to performance issues with the service so these impacts should be considered before taking any actions.