klasusers.com logo

Key Notes Blog

Bringing you weekly posts on conference planning, happenings at Keystone, or how better to put KLAS to work for you!

How's My Driving?

Happy New Year!

I don't know about you, but I can't believe it's already 2019! For me, that doesn't just mean another resolution to fold my laundry right away, or the end of the holiday baking season (though I will miss all those Christmas cookies). It means we're closing in on the first anniversary of the Key Notes Blog and Thursday Forum Tips! 

That's right, we've been doing this every week since last February! To help us review how it's going and adjust course as needed, we put together a quick survey for you. It's only 12 questions long and will be open through the end of the month.

Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated! I'm doing this for all of you, so please chime in to let us know how it's going!

KLASusers Content Survey image

Read more: How's My Driving?

Holiday Celebrations at Keystone

We thought you might enjoy some photos of our holiday decor and staff celebrations here at the office.

This is Keystone's 2018 lobby Christmas tree. It greets all the visitors who come to our front door.

2018 Keystone Lobby Christmas Tree

Here we are gathered around the table enjoying our office holiday potluck lunch. After we eat lunch, we enjoy a cutthroat Dirty Santa gift exchange. The presents piled in the middle of the table are just waiting for us to draw numbers and start the game.

IMG 7489

For more pictures check out the 2018 Holiday Celebrations photo album on Keystone's Facebook page.

A Snowy Day in Raleigh

For this week's blog post, we thought you'd enjoy some of our staff's photos of the snow we got in Raleigh over the last couple of days.

Let's start with a .gif of Katy's cat Paws watching the snowfall through the sliding glass door of her townhouse.


Read more: A Snowy Day in Raleigh

The Stars of Keystone's Staff - John O

The snow has melted, the Holidays are rapidly approaching, and it's time for another post in our "Stars of Keystone's Staff" series. Each will include some basic info and insight into one of our staff members. We hope these posts will provide you a look into who makes up our diverse, supportive, and knowledgeable staff.

"The Stars of Keystone's Staff" written on a field of stars


Basic Stats:

Name of Staff Member: John Owen

Year Hired: August 2002

Current Job Title: Senior Support Analyst

John and Laura in Prague

Read more: The Stars of Keystone's Staff - John O

What We’re Working On

Hello, KLASusers! As we start looking towards the Holidays, I thought this might be a good time to check in with the developers and let you all know where we stand with the big projects that we know you all have on your Christmas Wishlists.

KLAS 7.7 is coming!

I know we’ve been talking about this one for a while now. This is a huge update that impacts every part of KLAS, so getting all the last pieces and touch-ups and testing in place has been a big project for us. Additionally, as hosted customers are upgraded to version 7.7, they will be migrated to our new server.

It’s important to keep our hosting stable, speedy, and secure for you, so we put a lot of work into getting the new server ready for you. It’ll be faster, more secure than ever, and uses a new method for rapid recovery to a backup server in case of failure.

I will be hosting a webinar to take a closer look at 7.7 later this month, but some of the improvements will include:

  • Structural, back-end changes. While these won’t be visible to you at all, we expect them to improve performance and free up some system resources.
  • UTF-8 support. This essentially extends KLAS’ character set, allowing for better handling of diacritics and other “special characters.”
  • New installer. This will usually remove the need for admin access to install or update, make installation and updates easier, and enhance security. It’s a win-win-win!
  • A new method of connecting to the database server. We are implementing PASOE, which will eliminate the need for OpenVPN and reduce or eliminate lost connections due to network drops.
  • APH Census improvements. More back-end changes, this time to how and where APH data is stored. These standardizations will improve our ability to support various options for keeping up with the annual APH Census and ensure accurate, reliable reporting.
  • SCRIBE! High-capacity PCC duplication using Scribe will be fully-functional. This will include the brand-new Service Queue Tab, the ability to include firmware updates and newsletters on all duplicated cartridges, and other upgrades to ensure a flexible and sustainable workflow.

This update will go Live for a limited release in January.

We need this to be a limited release because of the new server and the sweeping back-end changes. In the (unlikely, but possible) event that something goes sideways, it’ll be better for everyone if we can fix a few databases and get the others right from the start, instead of needing to scramble to get a fix in fast for everyone.

We expect to open the doors for everyone in February.

What about Gutenberg?

Don’t worry—this hasn’t fallen by the wayside. As announced this summer, we’re building on our work for Scribe to integrate with NLS’ Gutenberg as well. In fact, we’re nearly finished!

Gutenberg support will be included in the next update after 7.7, and the rollout should follow close behind the main release.

While we’re making good use of North Carolina’s robust testing of our new systems and workflows, we’ll need some extended testing on Gutenberg specifically. We know a lot of you are eager to get on this as quickly as possible, but we also don’t want to set you up on something that doesn’t quite work. We’re balancing speed and prudence, and expect to put this out on limited release in February.

Future Updates?

With the big structural changes and server swap all taken care of, we expect our release schedule to pick back up following the 7.7 release. We have a lot of updates and improvements on our to-do lists, and are eager to get them out to you.

If you have requests for anything to add to our list, or want to make sure we prioritize something you’ve been waiting on, please add it to the KLAS Development Suggestions forum! Posting there will ensure that your suggestion or request is seen by the KLAS Development Advisory Committee (KDAC), who will help us evaluate how valuable it would be to other Users. It also ensures that we have a written record of what people are interested in, which can easily be referred back to or passed among the developers.

We can’t wait to start 2019 off right with some fantastic new features! Thank you all for your continued support, and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Keystone!