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Accela Spring Release 2022 Delivers Product Enhancements to Improve Usability and Propel Modernization

Today, Accela is announcing our Spring 2022 Release, which includes updates and enhancements to many aspects of the Accela product line. These include the 22.1 versions of:   

  • Civic Platform (back-office) for SaaS and self-hosted customers 
  • Civic Platform (back-office) for SaaS-only customers in Azure 
  • Accela Mobile  
  • Accela GIS  
  • Accela Citizen Access  
  • Civic Applications  

For major releases, all software companies must consider three aspects:    

  • New products, features, technologies   
  • Admin and usability enhancements  
  • Technology modernization 

Accela has introduced new technologies in the past 12-18 months, including Accela Insights, Premium Citizen Experience, and others. This release reflects substantial customer input, and focuses on usability, technology modernization, and administration updates and enhancements. As agencies push to increase the numbers and types of licensing and permitting functions to the web, it is critical these three foundational areas are also incorporated into major releases to ensure the best outcomes and ROI in the long run.  

More specifically, version 22.1 of Accela’s product line will:  

  • Improve administration and usability with search enhancements that make it easier for customers to find information in their Accela systems  
  • Ensure agencies can create intuitive and attractive forms, and build them faster 
  • Continue to evolve the product to allow agencies to derive high quality insights and intelligence more easily from their process data  
  • Ensure agencies can provide highly engaging and useful interfaces for citizens   
  • Continued development of pre-built Civic Applications   

Accela Civic Platform V22.1: SaaS and Self-hosted 

For the core back-office systems, we have focused on improved speed and usability for administrators, which include: 

Forms design enhancements – finalizing the conversion of the forms tools into the Oxygen user interface (built on the Angular JS framework) and a new back-office intake form which enables staff to view forms in different displays for small and larger monitors.   

Administration Search – configuration search capability with easier filtering on text to quickly find the configuration parameters admins are looking for. 

Auto refresh enhancements to Record Header – continuously updates information in the record header so users can quickly view the information and know it is current and accurate.  

Accela Civic Platform V22.1: SaaS-only  

A vast majority of our new customers choose SaaS deployment, and a high percentage of our current self-hosted customers are actively moving or planning a move to SaaS. For this reason, Accela introduces certain new capabilities exclusively for customers hosted in our Azure cloud infrastructure.  

For the Spring 2022 Release, we’ve also added new ways to administer and implement our technologies more easily, including:  

Global Search – Accela has enhanced staff global search with a consolidated and convenient “Everything Card” display of all the searchable components, such as transaction records, documents, locations, license professionals, assets, contacts and parcels, along with the ability to view both active and inactive records on the results list.  Below is an example of the “Everything Card.” 

accela-spring-release-feature1

Enhanced Scripting Management – With V22.1, Accela provides SaaS customers with the ability to access, view, and download the past seven days of EMSE scripting logs, helping them to validate scripts, manage scripting functions, and diagnose potential issues more easily and with increased clarity.  

Customer-Managed Backoffice Login Screens – With user-defined background images for each environment, users will know instantly and intuitively which environment they are logged in to.   

Enhancements to CSG Forte Integration – Deeper integration with CSG Forte payment gateway, allowing EMV terminals to be used at point-of-sale for processing multiple record payments in a single credit card transaction and enabling trust account deposits. 

It also allows them to associate fees with specific records or not have them associated with records, such as for basic document requests.  

Accela GIS (SaaS and Self-hosted) 

For GIS, we now support several new features, including:  

Support for Esri Federated Login – The new integration now supports Esri ArcGIS servers that are configured with federated, user-based login, providing additional features and functionality.  

ArcGIS Server Support – Accela now supports V10.9 of ArcGIS Server. 

Vector Tile Base Maps – This allows users to choose a vector tile base map option when creating maps and supports the combination of raster and vector base maps. This enables the creation of custom base map galleries or the combination of custom base maps with Esri’s default base maps.  

Accela Insights (SaaS-Only)  

Accela Insights is the advanced data visualization and reporting tool based on Power BI and is available at no extra charge for Accela’s SaaS customers.  

For V22.1, Accela Insights will include a “My Dashboards” portlet, giving users a faster way to navigate to and find their specific dashboards for the solutions they are using.  Here is an example of a “My Dashboards” view.  

accela-spring-release-feature-2Accela Citizen Access (ACA)  

For the Spring Release, Accela has added a highly requested capability to ACA called Multiple APO. This allows public users to add multiple addresses, parcels, and owners on a single application, reducing dependencies on back-office staff to enter this information after the initial application has been submitted. It also improves search capabilities for citizens, allowing them to more easily identify a property to apply for a permit or other function. Below is an example of the multiple APO UI, and the ability to search using multiple data elements.  

accela-spring-release-data With V22.1, we’ve also redesigned the account registration process for residents, so they can more easily register on an agency website to complete an application, and gives them better access to their status, history, and payments.   

Accela Mobile  

Accela Mobile is Accela’s primary mobile application for agency field workers. For V22.1, Accela focused on features to increase user productivity, including:   

Enhanced Checklists – This feature makes it easier to create personalized checklists that better reflect the needs of specific inspectors and code enforcement officers across various functions and domains. Here is an example of a personalized checklist.  

accela-spring-release-4  More Information for Inspectors – This includes the ability to include additional information for field workers, which could be the history of past violation or inspections, attached photos or documents, or comments an inspector should pay attention to.  

More Hardware Options – This release also includes support for devices that support running Android apps on Windows 11 OS (pending general availability from Microsoft). This gives customers more options for the hardware being used in the field.    

Civic Applications  

Civic Applications are Accela’s pre-built solutions used to shorten configuration and development time, better highlight solution functionality and domain expertise, and often reduce the costs for implementation and maintenance over time.   

Standard Integrations – Accela now includes the following standard integrations with all Civic Applications, reducing the time to build and test if they were created on-site:  

  • A new CERS adapter for environmental health customers who are running CUPA programs in California   
  • Pre-built CSG Forte and PayPal integrations    

Pre-Built Dashboards – In Fall 2021, Accela introduced pre-built dashboards, based on Accela Insights, for several Civic Applications. These dashboards reflect valuable ways to view Accela data for each specific Civic Application and are provided at no additional cost. For Spring 2022 Release, we’ve added dashboards for the Fire Prevention and Occupational Licensing Civic Applications.   

Environmental Health Civic Application – This release includes tools and programs to better meet the needs of our Decade customers as they consider migration from their Envision Connect systems to the Accela Civic Application for Environmental Health. This includes migration tools for data and reports and several other key elements. With this release, the Civic Application for Environment Health also includes 23 new pre-built reports.  

For More Information 

This blog has been a very high-level summary of all the components in the Spring 2022 Release. To get the additional detail you may be looking for, here are some resources:   

  • Download the Spring Release Solution Overview here 
  • Access the Release Notes from the Success Community here  
  • View the Spring 2022 Release on-demand customer webinar here 

In addition, you can always contact your Account Executive to with any further questions or to request a demo.   

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