Community

Welcome! In this forum, you may add reports about HIFIS features that are not working as you expect, ask if others are experiencing the same issues, and express ideas for improvement.

Please note that this is a community-driven forum for mutual assistance. It is not an official channel for reporting bugs, and simply posting about it here does not mean that any action will be taken to resolve it. To officially report an issue, email support@hifis.ca 

 

Bugs vs. Not Bugs

There are a lot of different types of issues that can be found in a given software, and not all of them are bugs. The reason that we're making this distinction between bugs and non-bugs is in how you deal with them. Bugs are things that cannot be fixed locally, whereas a lot of other issues can be resolved at a local level. Let's go through the various types: bugs, configuration issues, performance issues, usability issues, user error, and non-issues.

Bugs

Everyone has heard the term bugs befo…

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There are a lot of different types of issues that can be found in a given software, and not all of them are bugs. The reason that we're making this distinction between bugs and non-bugs is in how you deal with them. Bugs are things that cannot be fixed locally, whereas a lot of other issues can be resolved at a local level. Let's go through the various types: bugs, configuration issues, performance issues, usability issues, user error, and non-issues.

Bugs

Everyone has heard the term bugs before. Specifically, a bug refers to a technical glitch in which the software does not work as the developers intended. When something should work but doesn't, that's a bug. When a bug is present, the only thing you can do is report the bug to the HIFIS Client Support Centre. Bugs tend to get resolved more quickly than other requests, but they would be fixed in a future update to the software, so at a minimum you must wait until the next software version. Some (made up) examples of bugs are:

  • When a user selects a particular option in the "Reason for Turnaway" field, the user can't save the Turnaway record (this is made up, don't worry)
  • When a user has the Display right for Health Issues, they can't actually Display the Health Issue unless they also have the Edit right for Health Issues (this is made up, but there have been similar real issues)
  • When a user clicks the Reset Password button, the whole server crashes (also made up, don't worry)

Non-Issues

A non-issue is when a user complains about something and there is no issue because what they're complaining about is by design. In this case, there's nothing to fix other than to explain to the user why things are the way that they are. Some examples of non-issues are:

  • A user complains that when a client is booked in at another shelter, they can't book them in at the shelter they work at. It might look like a bug to them, but the cause of this would actually be because of the Concurrent Book-Ins setting. Many communities intentionally prohibit a client being booked in to multiple beds at the same time. So the user is complaining about something that is intentional.
  • A user complains that when they create a Bulletin, users at other shelters can't read it. It might look like a bug, but the cause of this is because Bulletins, like many other things, are owned by the Service Provider that created it. Either this is a non-issue (that's how Bulletins are supposed to work) or a configuration issue (can be addressed through user rights).

User Error

A particular type of non-issue is user error. This sort of issue occurs when a user reports that something is broken or not working because they are doing something wrong. It might look like a bug to them, and you might be scratching your head trying to figure out why they have a bug and nobody else does, but when you look into it, you discover they are doing something quite incorrectly. We're highlighting this as slightly distinct from other non-issues because you can identify this as being fixable by more training, or maybe you'd just discovered a usability issue (see below). Some examples of user error are:

  • A user complains that they can't book a client into a shelter bed, but they have the correct rights to be able to do so. When asked to show it not working, you realize that the client they are trying to book in has an active service restriction, and the user is getting a pop-up notification that they are ignoring.
  • A user complains that any time they add a service restriction, it's not creating an alert for that client. You investigate and discover that all of that user's service restrictions have a start date and time equal to the end date and time, so the user had been successfully restricting the client for 0 minutes, and had done this multiple times because she thought it wasn't working.

Configuration Issues

Configuration issues are quite common. What this means is that someone set up some part of the software imperfectly and a user is discovering that they would prefer for it to be configured differently. In this case, it's almost always within your power to address. Some examples of configuration issues are:

  • A user complains that there isn't an option that they need in a particular drop-down menu. The cause of this is someone not adding that option to the drop-down menu, which can be easily fixed.
  • A user complains that they can't run a particular report. At first, that sounds alarming (maybe it's a bug?), but then you try to run the report and it works fine. After some investigation, you find out that a front-line staff is trying to run a report for administrators, and you've used Report Categories to configure who had access to the report.
  • A user complains that they can't see a client's income records. The cause of this is because they don't have the user rights to do so; either this was a mistake (configuration issue) or intentional (a non-issue).

Usability Issues

Usability issues are not bugs, but are sometimes similar to non-issues. A usability issue is when the software is difficult to use, but nothing is actually broken. A note here is that a usability issue is often subjective. One user might find a usability issue with some aspect that another user has no problem with. There is nothing you can do about a usability issue except to request to the HIFIS Client Support Centre that they improve the software. However, since usability issues are often subjective and technically, nothing's broken, they are often considered to be a very low priority by the HIFIS Development Team and are addressed slowly. Some examples of usability issues are:

  • A user finds it annoying that they can only select one goal per case. They're working on multiple goals with a client and they don't want to have multiple case files open. This is how the software is supposed to work, so nothing is broken, but the user would prefer that the software worked differently, so it's a usability issue.
  • A user complains that they can't delete a Housing Placement they created in error. This sounds like it might be a bug (should work but doesn't) or a configuration issue (incorrect user rights) or even a non-issue (you've decided that they shouldn't have permission to delete Housing Placements). However, the way that a user can delete Housing Placements is via the Administration menu through Client Service Delete, so they might have permission to do so but they don't know how. This isn't intuitive, so it could be seen as a usability issue.

Performance Issues

Performance issues have to do with the technical performance of the software and the server that's running it. Time-outs, lagginess, and frequent downtime are all indicators of poor performance. Sometimes, performance issues can be resolved by your IT Support - perhaps the server that's hosting HIFIS 4 doesn't have enough memory or bandwidth. Sometimes, however, a performance issue is caused by some inefficiency in the software, and so it needs to be reported to the HIFIS Client Support Centre and addressed by them. Some examples of performance issues are:

  • A user complains that it takes forever for reports to load, or a particular report when they run it for a long date range or for many clients.
  • Users complain that they can't login to HIFIS 4 at 10:00 at night, when they are at their busiest. This suggests that too many people are trying to login at the same time and the server isn't equipped to handle it.
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Modify automated emails

HIFIS automated emails (account creation, password reset) are missing some vital information like the person's username and the URL to the HIFIS instance! I'd like to update the email to include at a minimum the person's username and the HIFIS url, but it would be great to be able to include some custom text in these emails, such as a link to training materials or help documentation.

Goods & Service Categories

With HPP (and previously CHPI), and for other reasons too, that it would be really helpful to have a "category" field for Goods and Services drop-downs. Like how the Session Activities are associated with a Goal category. The default category could be "General" and for communities who don't need to categorize their services and goods, they don't need to do anything extra.

  • HIFIS Client Support Centre ticket 12400