Job Task Manager add-on

Introducing the Job Task Manager add-on

Discover an enhanced way to manage tasks within your ServiceM8 system with Job Task Manager.

This add–on is the first member of family that also includes Job Task Manager Pro, and Job Template Task Editor.

This add-on helps you to maximise the use of one of ServiceM8’s most underrated features by enabling you to edit job tasks, change their due dates, and reassign them to different staff members right from the ServiceM8 Dispatch Board. You can even change a task’s status from ‘Completed’ back to ‘Active’.

With this add-on, you can gain better control over how tasks are used and managed inside your ServiceM8 job card.

Find it in the ServiceM8 add-on store ($8.99 /mo)

FAQ

The Job Task Manager add-on is launched directly from the job card toolbar. The staff who will be able to access the add-on will

  • have access to the ServiceM8 Online Dashboard, and
  • have access rights to the Dispatch Board, and
  • have access  rights to view a job card

By default, any staff member with a ServiceM8 account can use their login details to access the ServiceM8 Online Dashboard. This applies to all accounts, irrespective the the Security Role they are given (from Default Strict Contractor Role right up to Default Business Owner Role, and any customised Security Role).

Access to the Dispatch Board is controlled by Security Roles, and by default the only Security Role that has Dispatch Board disabled is the Default Strict Contractor Role.

And rights to see job cards is also controlled by Security Roles, and by default the only Security Role that can only see jobs allocated to them are the Default Strict Contractor Role. All other roles can see any job card in the system

If a staff has the ability to see a job card, then there are no combination of explicit custom security privileges that can prevent them using the Job Task Manager add-on to modify a task.

In summary, if you have field staff and you don't want them to access the Dispatch Board, you'll need to create and apply a custom Security Role to deny them access.  

In parallel to developing the Job Task Manager add-on, we also developed Job Task Manager Pro. 

In a nutshell, Job Task Manager Pro allows you to work with all active tasks across your ServiceM8 system, but it cannot manage completed tasks. Whereas Job Task Manager allows you to manage completed tasks, but it will only work with tasks in one job card at a time. 

At a surface level, they both look and behave in very similar ways. In fact we originally intended this to be one single add-on. However, it became clear during development that there were two distinct motivations for task management. One group of testers had a focus on managing a job almost like a project, with multiple task dependencies and staff and an overall deadline to meet. The other group were admins trying to reign-in a lot of various unfinished or unassigned tasks spanning across multiple jobs in their systems, and were struggling to quickly locate the specific tasks they were looking for and ended up creating unnecessary duplicates. So, rather than make a single add-on trying to be both things to both groups, we split it up into Job Task Manager (single job card focus) and Job Task Manager Pro (system-wide focus).

Both have their advantages over the other.

Job Task Manager can edit both active and completed tasks. Job Task Manager Pro will work with active tasks only.

Job Task Manager can export data to the clipboard or print. Additionally, Job Task Manager Pro can also export data to CSV, Excel, or PDF.

Job Task Manager is fast and with a very small dependency on the browser cache. Job Task Manager Pro has to process much more data, and has a significant dependency on using the browser cache.

Job Task Manager will launch from the job card as a floating window in the Dispatch board. Job Task Manager Pro is not job specific, so is used exclusively in a full window view and is launched from the add-ons menu.

Depending on your needs, one add-on may suit you more than the other. Or, maybe you'll benefit from having both. 

Something that Job Task Manager cannot do is to list out all tasks across all jobs in one go. This is because we deliberately designed Job Task Manager from the context of managing tasks for one job card at a time.

If managing all tasks across all jobs is important to you, then we have Job Task Manager Pro. The 'Pro' version can manage all 'active' tasks across all jobs. But the trade-off is an even bigger dependency on using cache, as  it has a lot more network and API calls to process . For that reason, that add-on will not manage 'completed' tasks for a job, whereas Job Task Manager can. This is because Job Task Manager only needs to search for the tasks specific to the job card it was opened from, meaning it only has to deal with a tiny subset of task data.

In a nutshell, Job Task Manager has been designed to work with the tasks (active and completed) for a single job card only.

This add-on is enabled to 'cache' data into your browser, called 'localStorage'. This technique significantly speeds up the performance of the access to your data, because it is no longer having to fetch it over the network via the API, and instead it is fetching it from your PC's browser cache instead.

The following things are cached –

  1. Staff member information
  2. Company information
  3. Job information
  4. Task information

So, to answer the question 'What does the Clear Cache button do?', it effectively wipes all the information out of the cache and starts again from scratch. Clearing the cache can significantly slow down the performance of the add-on until such a time it has had a chance to re-cache the information. However, for Job Task Manager this is not a huge issue as only a small number of records need to be pulled for a single ServiceM8 job. For our other add-on, Job Task Manager Pro, it is a much different story as it may have to pull hundreds of records at a time as it searches through multiple ServiceM8 jobs.

But why would you want to clear the cache to start with? 

Some businesses have IT security policies that may require users to ensure cached information is removed from the browser at the end of a session. Others simply worry about having that information stored in their browser given the risks we see today in the cybersecurity space. Or, perhaps they needed to access the ServiceM8 Online Dashboard from computer that they wouldn't normally use, so making sure they clear the cache after they've finished is a sensible idea. There are a myriad of reasons why you may want to clear the cache.

As a rule of thumb, if the computer you are using is your normal work computer, and it is being managed for malware and viruses, then it's usually ok to leave the cache alone. If you are uncertain, then play it safe and clear the cache once you've finished accessing ServiceM8 and the add-on for the day. 

The Clear Cache button only removes data that was fetched and stored by the Job Task Manager add-on. It will not remove any other data you might already have in your cache used by other programs and applications. Only the following cache information is removed –

  1. Staff member information
  2. Company information
  3. Job information
  4. Task information

If you need to flush your entire web browser cache of data not related to Job Task Manager Pro, use your browser's normal options to do so. 

Each of our add-ons are currently designed as ServiceM8 Serverless add-ons, which means they are hosted directly by ServiceM8.

There are many advantages to providing you access to our add-ons this way, and we prefer this approach.

However one limitation is that the add-on will need to be  re-authenticated every 15 minutes.

While this might feel disruptive at first, extensive user experience testing has indicated it does not really detract from the overall goal of providing the functionality the add-on intends to provide.

Depending on the future success of this and our other add-ons, we may look at moving them to our own managed server environment.

In the meantime, you are prompted twice before reauthentication is required - at the 12 minute mark urging you to save any current edits; and again at the 15 minute mark where reauthentication must take place in order to continue using the add-on.

The add-ons have been tested across a range of platforms, including the ServiceM8 Online Dashboard app, Chrome, Edge, and Safari browsers.

One of the export options available is the ability to print the Task List Table. Unfortunately, this option does not appear to work with the ServiceM8 Online Dashboard app.

If the ability to print out a hardcopy is important to you, then we recommend you open the ServiceM8 Online Dashboard from a browser instead.

As of this time, we are still in the development and testing stages of the Job Template Task Editor add-on. 

We believe that this third member of the Job Task Manager family of add-ons will nicely round out the suite of tools you will need to effectively manage your ServiceM8 Job Tasks.

 

 

While we have taken every care and effort to create this add-on, as with any technology there comes a risk of data loss. By subscribing to and using any of our add-ons, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions, End User License Agreement, and our Privacy Policy. Please read them carefully.

Manage one Job or All Jobs.Your Choice.

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Job Task Manager

Job Task Manager is designed for managing all tasks in a single job card. Launched directly from the job card, it operates as a floating window within the Dispatch Board. 

Job Task Manager has three filters (Active tasks, Completed tasks, and All tasks) and allows you to update, reassign, reactivate, or change the due dates of tasks. 

This add-on is ideal for managing simple project jobs with distinct stages.

Job Task Manager Pro

Job Task Manager Pro is accessed from the Online Dashboard ‘add-on’ menu and offers a full-window experience.

Job Task Manager Pro’s main advantage is the ability to manage all active tasks in the system, regardless of the job card they’re attached to. You can update, reassign, change due dates, and even perform bulk actions across multiple tasks all in one go. 

Note: add-on manages ‘active’ tasks only.

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Job Template Task Editor (in development)

Job Template Task Editor is an advanced add-on designed to help you manage and edit tasks inside Job Templates.

With this add-on, you can modify tasks inside Job Templates, including their names and assigned staff members, or remove tasks entirely.

Note: there are some limitations due to the lack an available ServiceM8 API to manage Job Template objects.