Bulk Dispatch

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    Chip Phillips, Community Manager

    Howdy Garry,

    Thank you for sharing this feedback! I'm glad you were able to get in touch with my colleagues Bowie and Kevin in Support. Let me address each of these items-

    1) When exporting submission data or receiving dispatch data, we use UTC because that's how the data is itself recorded in the system, in part because, unlike time zones, UTC doesn't change.

    Using UTC gives users the power to then manipulate the data on their own, with a starting point that's more neutral. Further, as we have customers who have users reporting in from multiple time zones, using UTC eliminates some of the uncertainty when tracking Submissions in those use cases. 

    I understand the challenges that may arise when converting times for local user reference. A potential workaround that other users have found success with is using Excel formulas to automatically convert UTC data. Here are some third-party sites with guided steps and walkthroughs on this workaround

    https://excelribbon.tips.net/T010739_Converting_UTC_Times_to_Local_Times.html  

    https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/3540-excel-convert-utc-gmt-to-local-time.html#a1

    2) The Reminder column on the Bulk Dispatch upload CSV file is used similar to the Reminder section when manually creating a Dispatch. In this case, the Reminder time affects when your users will receive an email with a calendar invite attached to it. This allows them to add the Dispatch to the calendar they use on their devices:

    Scheduling a dispatch that is taking place on a day that's up to 7 days away will allow the user to see fields that have been filled out by the dispatcher in advance, but will not become a Submission that's ready to fill out until the day it was scheduled for. The Dispatch will display as Upcoming on their device, and the user can only review the pre-filled fields:

    The user should not be able to complete any fields on a Dispatch until the day it is scheduled. If you have specific examples and screenshots where a user is able to complete a future Dispatch before the day it is scheduled, please let us know and we would be happy to further investigate!

    3) The Duration column on the Bulk Dispatch upload CSV file is used to set how long the Dispatch will show up on the Dispatch Calendar, and/or the calendar the user utilizes on their devices. This setting does not affect how long a Dispatch remains on a user's device for their completion, as a Dispatch will remain on a user's device until it is completed or manually re-assigned by an Admin from the website.

    For the second and third items, I can understand how the terms Reminder and Duration can be ambiguous in their actual use. I will be sure to provide this feedback to our Development teams, along with the Feature Request for the potential uses of these columns that you shared in your comments. 

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    Mandeep C

    Hi Guys,

     

    The Import template for mass importing of Dispatches is a good option but has one main issue.

    I want to highlight the  crucial issue which is the date time format which is hard coded to UTC format which does not seems logical.


    The template created from the Apps is having the date/time format issue which is a bug and does not seems that it can be addressed from other alternative options. 
    By -design  the dispatch imports is intended to  work in UTC only and that's the issue to be fixed - Users cannot change the dattime field in the csv files specially when you have many dispatches to be imported .

    The GoCanvas time format in our case is AEST - when you create Dispatches the date/time format is OK but the import template is not matching the correct timeformat as per the GoCanvas set up. Since it's a CSV file you cannot put a formula in the datetime field.

    I hope the issue will fixed as high priority.


    thanks,

    Mandeep 

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  • Howdy Mandeep,

    Thank you for taking the time to share this feedback. I'm glad you have been able to connect with my colleague Nathan in Support to explore this matter as well.

    Our Product team has intentionally designed import function to work in UTC to improve dispatch integrations with other systems across time zones. Using UTC provides a starting point that's more neutral and eliminates some of the uncertainty when tracking Submissions from multiple time zones as well.

    A potential workaround would be to copy your dispatch time data column into another Excel spreadsheet, use a formula to convert from AEST to UTC, then copy the converted times into the Dispatch Template as data that can be uploaded via CSV file. Please feel free to refer to the third party sites listed above as references to assist with setting up this conversion.

    I understand that this solution adds extra steps, and I have shared your feedback and the potential hurdles with our Product managers for their consideration.

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