Stayin’ alive!

Ok so this post isn’t about all of the ice on the ground here in the ‘burbs of Philly, though that would be appropriate given all the slippin’ and slidin’ on the roads, but instead about a new fix put into the Platform this week.

All web sites have a “server timeout” — after a period of no activity (typically about 30 minutes), the server drops your session. This is necessary for two reasons: (1)  security: if you walk away from your computer, someone else might walk up to it and have access to all of your data on that server; and (2) conservation of server memory: most people leave a web site without formally logging out, and the server has no way of knowing you’re done with your task, so the memory that your session was using is still in use, and unavailable for other users.

We’ve heard from many of you about a point of frustration on the Platform – namely that our server timeout sometimes interferes with the ability for you to do your work.  How’s that? When generating a proposal, sometimes you stay on the proposal review screen for a long time while you’re performing other tasks (perhaps preparing a contract, doing some calculations, etc.) before you proceed to the email/save screen, which is when the Platform actually saves your proposal.

But then the server timeout kicks in, and the Platform drops your session — in case you walked away from your computer — so that no one can subvert your Platform session and expose your data. This is a good thing, right?  Well sometimes there may not really be a security threat — you’re just waiting on the proposal review screen for a very long time — and you end up losing a proposal you were in the middle of. We put a fix in earlier this week called “keep alive.”

On the proposal review screen only, you can now leave the proposal up as long as you want, and you won’t be logged out; that’s because the Platform will continue to “keep alive” your session, so that your work isn’t lost!  A small change, but hopefully a large time savings for you, our customers, which is what we’re all about. (Just keep this new “keep alive” in mind; please don’t leave the Platform on the proposal review screen and go away on vacation for two weeks — because yes, it’ll still be there when you get back, but that’s not a very efficient use of server memory!)

This is another suggestion that came directly from you, so please keep ’em comin’!  Our whole reason for being is to make your life easier through good software.  Please contact us or call us @ 610 572 2555 option 2 at any time for customer support and to offer your suggestions, we really do appreciate it.

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