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Digital transformation is vital for state and local governments to better serve their residents with productivity improvements for agency employees and enhanced online experiences for residents.

To support these efforts, Accela works hard with every major release to incorporate customer driven requirements, technology modernization, new features, and other usability improvements to help our agency customer maximize the value they receive from their Accela software.

For the Fall 2022 release, specific improvements include:

  • Usability enhancements to V22.2 of the Civic Platform with new search functionality, and many other usability improvements
  • To further our work in payment processing, we’ve included a new pre-built PayPal Commerce platform integration to simplify payment processes
  • Incorporation of new authentication protocols within Communication Manager and a stronger password policy to increase security
  • A new staging environment that makes software updates easier for agencies to implement

The Fall 2022 release continues to evolve Accela offerings with features and functionality that help governments accelerate their digital transformations.

Features for SaaS and self-hosted customers:

Related Records Search – Many Accela customers use the “related record tree view” feature to organize records and see the volume of and relationships between records. Accela is now enhancing performance for this view, adding pagination, a default record count display, a quick filter based on record attributes, and improved sorting options. The result? An estimated 10-times faster loading of records, while filtering and sorting options drive increased productivity and efficiency.

Convenience Fee Calculations – The new release includes an enhancement for those who calculate service fees within payment processing. Accela has added a minimum fee option to the service fee setting, which if desired, can calculate percentage-based fees and set fees, and default to the greater fee amount.

Space management enhancements – Accela users typically view and manage spaces in the global navigation toolbar. The new release enhances this functionality, adding consistency in viewing and managing the product spaces to make it easier for users to organize and manage workspaces, and improve agency user efficiency and productivity.

Communication Manager – For the communications functions within the Civic Platform, some administrators use Microsoft Exchange Servers for Communication Manager. To ensure ongoing security, Accela implemented Oauth for Exchange Online and NTLMv2 for Exchange On-Premises. This addresses Microsoft’s announced phasing-out of Basic Authentication, while modernizing and enhancing the security of Civic Platform’s Communication Manager authentication protocols.

Features for SaaS Deployment:

New staging Environment – With V22.2, Accela is offering a new environment dedicated for early-release testing. This means non-production and production environments are always on the same version and updated at the same time, to not upset the work agencies might be doing in training or testing during major releases or service packs.

Global Search – Users will now find a “show only” exact match option on the Global Search form. This new checkbox allows users to search for an exact match without having to use quotation marks. The search returns only the transaction or reference records that exactly match the staff user’s keyword or phrase. This enhancement makes it easier for users to locate the records they need, improving efficiency and productivity.

Other Search Enhancements – The Standard Choice MAX_ALLOWED_LIST_ROWS is now updated to reflect other Elasticsearch improvements. It defines how many rows of results are displayed for each group list page in Global Search results. Further updates display record results in columns and bring more major search forms and capabilities into the consolidated Global Search area — where staff users can easily find, review, and view transaction and reference records that are important to them as they perform their daily tasks.

Securities Enhancements – With phishing attempts, bad actors continue to try and leverage passwords of authorized users to gain access to systems. With V22.2, Accela adds a new password security feature that limits excessive invalid login attempts in a specific amount of time, to prevent accounts from being accessed by unwanted sources. After six login attempts within one-hour, further attempts will disable that user’s account and an administrator will need to verify the user and then re-enable the user account.

PayPal integration – In the 22.2.2 release, Accela offers a pre-built, PCI-compliant integration to PayPal Commerce platform, which includes their payment gateway and payment processing. Agencies can use PayPal Commerce through both Accela ACA and the back office, and the integration is set up through a simple configuration process and does not require any development work.

New Enhancements with Other Accela Products

Accela Citizen Access (ACA) – Enhanced account registration allows a resident to log into their account, and see history, work in process, payments, and other information relevant to them. For residents, this reduces the account registration process from eight steps to just three, to improve the user experience.

Accela Mobile – The new version of Accela Mobile includes a “Route Sheet Order” option that creates a route in the job listing for an inspector. The routing is defined in the back office and is applied automatically when this option is selected. This makes it much easier to create an optimized route, increasing speed and efficiency for inspectors. Additional updates to Accela Mobile include enabling users to more clearly factor in an address, manage image uploads more effectively, and better track inspector locations from the back office.

Civic Applications – Civic Applications are the pre-built configurations used by customers to shorten implementation time, leverage best practices in configuration and design. With the Fall 2022 release, the Civic Application for Environmental Health now allows public users to click a link in Accela Citizen Access and get inspection information for a particular food service business. With the ability to download a detailed report, residents can better understand many safety elements, including cleanliness and adherence to proper food preparation procedures.

For additional resources around the Fall 2022 release, you can:

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