The last quarter of 2019 saw significant investment in the ProjectFirma platform, thanks to Reclamation, Puget Sound Partnership, and the John Day Basin Partnership. This post provides a Top Ten list of the new stuff we think is pretty cool. If anyone would like a more in-depth discussion or demo of these features, we’re a click away.
10. Date of Last Update. The last updated date now appears on the project detail page and fact sheet for every project. Whenever a lead implementer or administrator saves a change, the date will update automatically. The last updated date is also available for administrators to include as column in the project grid.
9. Grouping of Custom Attributes. Custom attribute groups provide a way to separate certain custom attributes from other custom attributes, typically by theme or concern. This allows for greater flexibility and clarity when displaying and editing your project's custom attributes in all steps of the workflow. Related, custom attributes are now on their own step within workflows, reducing the clutter of the first step, “Project Basics.”
8. Control Custom Attribute Visibility on Fact Sheets. Administrators can manage which custom attributes display on project fact sheets. In addition, we added a toggle that allows logged in users to choose between two views of the fact sheet – with and without the display of custom attributes.
7. Streamline Navigation for Administrators. We improved the layout of the navigation menu by splitting the ever-growing “Manage” menu into more … manageable, “Manage” and “Configure” menus. With all the enhancements tenants are adding to ProjectFirma, we’re trying to keep up and maintain an easy-to-navigate platform.
6. Classification Portfolio Page. Classifications are flexible structures that each tenant can configure for their own reporting purposes. For example, California RCDs use “Project Themes” while Reclamation, Clackamas Partnership, and John Day Partnership all use “Focal Species.” The page that lists all the projects with a certain classification now has a new portfolio layout where you can view the classification's map of projects, expenditures by funding source, and accomplishments. So, another built-in report to help communicate and tell more complete stories about your work!
5. Web Services for Geospatial and Tabular Data. Check out the new “Web Services” page under the “Program Info” menu (must be logged in). After clicking the link to get a token, you can view the full list of data services. Geospatial services include WFS and WMS calls for project location data that can be easily consumed by GIS applications like ArcGIS or QGIS. Tabular services include calls that return data about an individual project or lists of projects, performance measures, organizations, etc. These services allow other systems to easily and dynamically request information from your instance of ProjectFirma. We understand your project tracker is not the only system in your data ecosystem – these services provide integration points and interoperability with other systems you or your partners manage.
4. Project Status & Timeline Display. Administrators can now define project status criteria (e.g., green/yellow/red or healthy/risky), and users can then periodically set their project’s status. This feature addresses a need of Reclamation’s to support project review meetings where staff provide a quick status update on each of the projects they fund/manage; as such, its much lighter-weight than the project update workflow that steps users through each aspect of a project. This new status field can be added as a column to the project grid where administrators can directly update multiple projects. Perhaps best of all, this new status information, along with the history of a project being created, approved, and all updates, is viewable as a graphical timeline. We hope this new visualization provides better contextualization and communication of how projects change over time.
3. Download Project Financial Data. The download full database functionality now includes project budget data. Additionally, for those tenants capturing financial information by cost-type, the reported expenditures now include cost-type information. You might remember this was one of the most ordered items in our recent café exercise.
2. Display Add External Map Layers. While item #5 above makes it easier to get data out of ProjectFirma, this feature makes it a few clicks to add real-time, external geospatial data to your maps. For now we support map layers provided by ArcGIS Online or ArcServer. You can add n-number of feature (vector) or image (map tiles) layers and control which maps have access to them, whether the layers are on by default, or even temporarily deactivate them (all done via a new “External Map Layers” item on the Configure menu). You can also specify the external layer’s field to display when a user clicks on a feature. The screenshot below is a Fish Passage Barrier layer served by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, which we added to the Program Map. Cheers to John Day Partnership for funding this niftiness!
1. Set and Display Targets & Cumulative Charting. Users can now create targets for performance measures and compare these goals with reported project accomplishments. Also, to facilitate tracking of project/program outcomes across time, users can now choose to display reported accomplishments cumulatively (administrators can control whether it’s appropriate for a specific performance measure to be charted cumulatively. These features have existed in Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s EIP Project Tracker (ProjectFirma OG), and in the ProjectFirma backlog for years – big thanks to Reclamation for funding it for the benefit of all!
If you're interested in learning more about these new features or the ProjectFirma Community in general, please don't hesitate to contact us.