New Version 8.2 Features

Version 8.2, released in June 2014, has the principal enhancements shown below.  Version 8.2 is broadly compatible with earlier releases of version 8, but some issues marked with in the list below may need attention.

See also the new Version History by Component topic for a summary of the changes for each component of the CopiaFacts system.

New 'fair' TOSEND Queue Priority Settings

An alternate scheduling mechanism is now provided to prioritize work in the TOSEND folders.  Instead of (usually) processing work in strict priority sequence, this feature allows you to specify the proportion of available work to be taken from each queue.  A higher-priority queue can then be prevented from monopolizing the nodes which process it.  For more information, see the documentation for the COPIAFACTS Queues Tab.

Automatic adjustment of 10- and 11-digit phone numbers

For the purposes of do-not-send and action-code look-ups, CopiaFacts now automatically handles lists and numbers without the need to consider 10- and 11-digits numbers without and with a leading 1 digit.  Until it is known that look-up files all have a single number format, look-ups will be done twice, both with and without the leading 1 digit.

This new processing only affects sites operating in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) area, which is determined from a new $country_code configuration command.  This command will be added by the CopiaFacts server installer for version 8.2 if not already present.

If you use .NDX index files for do-not-send and action-code look-up, these files can be re-indexed using either DNSUPD or the PIN utility to contain only 11-digit formats for NANP numbers: after this only one look-up need be done.  And text-files used as indexes are automatically formatted on load so that only a single look-up is needed.  Users who do database look-ups on a custom data file for do-not-send and action codes can specify using the $country_code command whether or not a single look-up will suffice; if NANP numbers in both formats are present then CopiaFacts will look for the presence of each one.

For more information, please see the Telephone-Number Formats topic.

Automatic Notification E-Mails

The EMDIRECT program can now be configured with triggers which will automatically send an e-mail to the system administrator if specific system failures occur, such as OMACHECK being activated.  EMDIRECT is configured to use the independent SMTP server defined for EMSETUP.  Because EMDIRECT does not use the COPIAFACTS engine to send e-mails, or access the COPIA share, there is a good chance that the message will be sent even if the fileserver, or the node that sends e-mails is down.  If you have access to an 'e-mail to SMS' service you can also of course send yourself an SMS message instead of an e-mail.  The same message will not be repeated more than once in any five-minute interval.

If you currently use OMACK.BAT to send an e-mail when OMACHECK fires, consider changing this to use EMDIRECT instead, as described here.

In addition the EMDIRECT e-mailer has an option to install an entry in the Windows Explorer right-click menu, to provide a convenient means of selecting files to be e-mailed to Copia when support issues arise.

New Action Codes to set maximum baud rate

The action code range 101 to 113 has been re-purposed to allow automatic setting of a maximum baud rate from 2400 to 31200 based on the destination fax number.  The DNSUPD utility has also been changed to use the new codes when creating look-up files based on the baud rates achieved in earlier faxing.  The ability to adjust baud rates for each attempt, using variable groups, remains unchanged, but where a maximum baud rate is already known for a fax number, the new feature is simpler to use.

To accommodate this change, the action codes used to select TOSEND folders have been changed to use the 300 range.

New Action Codes for fax consolidation

The action code values 121 to 128 are used to select fax numbers for which documents are to be consolidated and sent together in a single call.  The actual number 121 to 128 selects the delay interval during which documents are saved up to be sent together.  Intervals of 5. 10, 15, 30,. 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes correspond to these 8 action codes, and all items for a single number processed during the interval are sent together in a single call.  The corresponding documents are saved in folder CALLBACK\CONSOL.  This feature is not yet available for use with Job Administration.

Metered Billing

To support users who have variable loads with occasional high-volume peaks,. Copia is introducing a metered billing option where license fees are based on usage.  The CFHWL license manager has been changed to allow lines to be designated for metered billing.  Engines including such lines will require a connection at start-up and at designated intervals to a Copia central site.  This feature is not available in the initial 8.2 release.

COPIAFACTS engines configured in this way will report line utilization to a monitoring utility running on a local server.  The local monitoring utility will in turn report utilization at intervals to a database at the Copia site for billing purposes.

Installer Enhancements

The COPIAINSTALL program can now download and run Hardware and Port driver installs, avoiding the need for manual downloads.  In addition the contents of the Administator Installer are all included in the main Server Install, so the former is only needed when these tools need to be installed on the administrator's own workstation.

Documentation Enhancements

Many enhancements have been made to the CopiaFacts documentation.  First, in this help file, the Features section has been reorganized into more logical subsections to make topics easier to find.  For on-line web help, we have implemented an advanced full text search feature which is faster and also allows phrase-searching (in double-quotes) and exclusions (preceding the search term with a - sign).

The biggest change is the dropping of the CHM help file and replacing it with an e-book in Windows executable format.  This avoids the many bugs in the ancient and deprecated Windows CHM viewer, and the burdensome security restrictions on the CHM format introduced in recent years by Microsoft.  The e-book format is created from the web help and has similar features, though with standard, rather than the enhanced full text search.  The help file is a signed executable and is installed in the Copia program files folder.  It is displayed in the same way as a CHM file when help buttons or F1 are pressed in CopiaFacts applications.

Finally, all CopiaFacts applications other than command-line applications should now accept F1 to bring up the at least the main application help topic, in addition to the many places where F1 or help buttons bring up context-specific help topics.  If you start a visual application and need help, F1 is now the fastest way to reach the help page.

TE Systems VoIP and FoIP Support

A new DLL interface supports the Diva-compatible API from TE-Systems GmbH.  In addition to Voice over IP and Fax over IP, this API also supports most features of Diva hardware and allows inter-operation between Diva boards and IP ports.

DataMatrix Symbol Handling

CopiaFacts now supports DataMatrix bar-codes to allow an identifying marker to be placed on an outgoing document and retrieved when the document is returned.  Both faxes and e-mailed PDF files can be so marked.

FFVIEWER can also be used to encode and decode DataMatrix 2-dimensional barcode symbols.

Application Support DLL

New and enhanced functions in the Application Support DLL  include:

DataMatrix symbol decoding (see above)

New ConvertFile function to convert from TIF to PDF and vice-versa, and including most of the functions of GCSINGLE.

New HTTPGet and HTTPPost functions to interact with HTTP servers.

The GetToken function has been enhanced by allowing <TAB> in the Separators parameter, to indicate a TAB character.

Job Size Thresholds for Priority Setting

The SMALL_JOB_THRESHOLD variable, and the alternate priorities it controls, have been replaced by an enhanced $priority command and a new $email_priority command which allow up to two job size thresholds instead of one.  The variables will be ignored when the additional parameters on this command are present.  The two thresholds can either select priorities based on job size, or can select priorities based on number of job items processed.

The new $priority parameters, and $email_priority, are ignored by recent releases of CopiaFacts 8.1, and the original variables are retained, though not updated when changes are made to the new values.

Reduction in Job Overhead

Version 8.2 significantly reduces the number of files used by each job.  The former content of the .JCF, .JCX and .JPF files is now held in the UJP file unless legacy (full content) JCF format is enabled.  This leaves only the files .UJP, .JST, .SUM and .LOG.

If you are still running programs from earlier releases which require separate JCF files, set variable V7_JCF to a non-empty value in SYSTEM.UJP.

The JCF content is held on a new $jcf command in the instance UJP, with two parameters for the starting FS number and the (negative) FS count, as in the JCF.  If this command is absent the data will still be read from the JCF file produced by earlier CopiaFacts builds.  The JCX content is held on a new $jcx command as a single comma-separated list.  A new FS number is added to this list for each preview and preprocess FS file created for the job.  Again, the absence of this command will cause the JCX file to be loaded instead.  The JPF files have been completely eliminated: they were used for FS files created by JOBMON for end-of-job tasks, and these FS numbers have now been appended to the $jcx list instead.

JOBCL Enhancements

The JOBCL utility used to create and launch job instances has been enhanced to make it easier to call from a worker-box or batch file.  A new file= parameter analyzes the file extension and automatically processes the file as a template, document or list.  And empty parameters are now ignored instead of causing an error.  This makes it straightforward to invoke the utility for example using input from the Copia SMTP Gateway, when the type and sequence of attachment files is not known in advance.

JOB Reporting Enhancement

A new JOBXLDATA application, for use at end-of-job, extracts job data directly into a formatted Excel file.  The format and content is controlled by a simple parameter file, incorporating a field list similar to the existing data extractions for tab-separated and DBF files.  The output detail list can be optionally filtered and sorted.

The program can create either a full table of job items, or a summary sheet, or both.  There are some additional fields available for extraction, including text descriptions of the outcome class and the status message.  In addition the parameter file can now be specified on the command-line, allowing an end-job task to produce output in multiple formats.

Extended TOSEND folders

Job Administration users will be able to specify more than the current limit of 16 TOSEND folders.  This feature is not yet enabled in the initial 8.2 release, but is documented in detail for planning purposes. The topic Extended TOSEND Queues describes the concepts, and the topic Configuring TOSEND Folders includes a discussion on implementation strategies and the benefits which can accrue.

Enhanced E-Mail Operations

E-Mail Archiving:  A new KEEP_EMAIL variable will cause an e-mail to be archived in a similar manner to the KEEP_FAX operations.  The e-mail content can be saved in a file with extension .EML or .MSG.

E-Mail Caching:  A new secure caching mechanism has been introduced for outbound e-mail, allowing multiple files of each type (body, alternate body, HTML attachment, binary attachment) to be cached (instead of just one as before).  Caching is suppressed for single-item jobs as well as for temporary and recently created files.

E-Mail authentication: When sending via an ISP (as configured in EMSETUP) the ability to log in securely is now fully supported.

Support for IPv6:  CopiaFacts outbound e-mail now supports IPv6, both for DNS and SMTP.  Support is currently disabled by default, but can be selected using an $email_options keyword of   IPv6.  To use this option successfully, your operating system, network, router/modem and WAN connection must all be configured for IPv6; however where a specific route does not support IPv6 the e-mail will be sent using IPv4.  We expect to see some small throughput enhancements from the use of IPv6.

A few of the e-mail outcome codes have changed in v8.2.  If you are using a custom SMR file, you should update it with the codes from the current CF8.SMR.

Inbound Active-Active Scheduling for BladeWare

With BladeWare 2.4.8 and later, CopiaFacts running on multiple registered nodes can guarantee that call handing is balanced across all active nodes, even if one or more nodes are down. This is implemented using the new $inbound_delay configuration command.

In addition CopiaFacts allows multiple BladeWare registrations on a single node, to handle multiple accounts, and OTFCONFIG has been modified so that it no longer assumes a single registration per node.

New System Housekeeping Tools

A new CFHK application can be used to configure regular deletion and archiving tasks, and then a companion service application runs the tasks on schedule.

CopiaFacts Client Administator

The FFCLTADM program now supports setting up mailboxes by importing XLSX files, in addition to XLS (and CSV).

Enhancements to Grouped Variables

A new type of grouped variable activation has been introduced: a Line VarGroup variable is a variable activated only for specific lines or line groups.  At the same time the maximum number of variable groups has been increased to 30 and the the restriction that only a single variable group can be activated has been removed.

Because multiple groups can be activated the  VARGROUP_USED variable is no longer set and the $log_options keyword VarGroup has been removed.  The VARGROUPS_USED variable (spanning one or more attempts) will  continue to show the variable groups used.  The original $phone_vargroup command is accepted but no longer actioned: use action codes instead to activate variable groups based on phone number.

Miscellaneous Enhancements and Changes

In the $attempt_record command, the unused 'extra' field has been re-purposed to record the TOSEND queue number from which the attempt was made.

In FFVIEWER a sub-menu has been added to select the document size (Letter, Legal, A4, B4, A3) when a new document is created.  A new added page will be the same size as the first page of the document.

In FFVIEWER we have added a 'hot-edge' option to scroll the image and annotations instantly to the appropriate edge when the mouse is held just outside the image.  This option can be selected on the settings dialog.

The $system_dlls command now only supports optional DLLs: the majority of the DLLs formerly used with this command are now required to be present.

The $log_field command now allows DATAx fields to be configured to truncate overlength data on the left rather than on the right.

In OTFCONFIG, the "sip:" prefix is automatically removed from the first field on the Calls page if entered there in error.

In Job data extraction programs JOBDDATA and JOBXDATA, the PRIORITIES value is now a comma-separated list of TOSEND queue numbers representing each attempt.  Previously no delimiters were used and alphabetic values were used above 9.  The same applies to the new JOBXLDATA extraction program.

In the COPIAFACTS engine, .FSX files are no longer created when an FS file has bad syntax.  COPIAFACTS has in the past handled syntax errors in FS files by moving a truncated FS file (without the error lines) into FAIL, along with a copy of the original file with extension changed to .FSX. We have now simplified this process: when syntax errors or missing files are detected in the FS file, it is moved to FAIL in the same way as for transmission errors. The file is unchanged except that $fax_status1 and $fax_status2 commands are updated (or added if absent) and an $attempt_record command is added at the end.  The file may of course still need manual editing to fix the problem which caused the rejection. However it is no longer necessary to find and restore an .FSX file to check the precise failure reason and to be sure that all the original commands are still present.

On the COPIAFACTS Scrollback page, the scrolling has been enhanced to be smoother on slow connections such as a remote virtual machine.

On the COPIAFACTS Summary page, a special key/mouse combination can be used to kill a long-lasting fax transmission in an emergency.

The check for DOMAIN_LIMIT is now suppressed if the $email_options keyword ForceISP is used.

FFTRACE now presents a list of program names to select from when the Add button is pressed on the File/Applications dialog.

In SERCONF, setting the default Document Converter operations now sets up pre-processing in FFEXTERN as well as setting the $convert_types command.

JOBADMIN now asks for confirmation before modifying SYSTEM.UJP.

FTPUPLOAD now has an option to use passive mode FTP.

TRCVIEW has a new option menu item (which defaults to enabled) to select 'Start at end of File'.

For the Timed Delivery by Destination feature, the latest IANA time-zone database data (2014b) has been incorporated, along with updated NANP area code definitions.

In a $type query infobox, the $run command has a new nomonitor keyword.  This works like nowait, but effectively cuts the spawned program loose so that it is no longer monitored, nor capable of returning an exit code or being terminated.

CVSINGLE now supports Libre Office 4.1 and 4.2 for optional conversion of Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents.

The $var_def_copy command now has an optional parameter to allow the automatic copying of post-receive variables (PR_...) into a generated workerbox FS file.

Log entries in FFBC are now written to a log file in the TEMP folder of the current user under FAXFACTS\USERJOBS.

In FFBC the broadcast list is now only automatically scanned, for purposes of $dns_file and $var_def BCFx filtering, on initial load. This avoids the delay on a large list when switching tabs, when the list was repeatedly checked in case these items had changed.  A new button is provided so that you can manually scan the list if you do make a change that affects these filters, but the list will be filtered again automatically before launch.

Custom SMR files (specified by $retry_parms) are now used, along with CF8.SMR, to provide a more efficient look-up of outcome descriptions from outcome codes, in various job data extraction applications and in JOBADMIN.

We recommend that you update any custom SMR files to match the latest content of CF8.SMR, transferring to a new custom file only the specific changes that you require.

Dropped Features

See this subtopic.