New Version 8 Features

This section summarizes new features and changes in CopiaFacts version 8, first released in 2010.  Copia continues to support users of CopiaFacts version 7 and if you do not require any of the new features you can continue with your current version.  Enhancements continue to be made in version 7, for example the print driver support for Windows 7 released in March 2010, but major new features are now being introduced only in version 8.

Version 8 is compatible with version 7 to the extent that it is possible, with care, to run version 8 on some parts of your system while other parts remain on version 7.  However this is not recommended for other than a transitional period.  Obviously, enabling some version 8 features, such as Unicode command files or more than 9 TOSENDx folders, should only be done when no machines are still running any version 7 or earlier Copia programs: and there is no automatic check that this is the case.

Unicode

CopiaFacts programs now use Unicode internally and support Unicode encoding in files such as command files and broadcast lists.  However the default remains to write text files with the Windows default encoding specified in the operating system, as has been the case for all earlier FaxFacts and CopiaFacts versions.

The processing of CopiaFacts command files is now optimized when the files are UTF-8 encoded, but unless you use $unicode commands to specify an output encoding for each type of command file, the files continue to be written using the encoding of the system default code page.

Before you switch to use UTF-8 or UTF-16 encoding, you must ensure that any of your own applications which read CopiaFacts command files can accept Unicode-encoded files with a byte order mark (BOM) which defines the Unicode encoding. Earlier releases of CopiaFacts are in general unable to handle command files with a BOM.

The Using Unicode topic describes the changes in more detail.

Fax Cover Sheets

Fax cover sheets, header lines applied with $apply_gct, and faxed text files can now contain Unicode text.  Annotations are set up in the normal way with the Unicode-enabled FFVIEWER program.  Unicode must be enabled for command files which contain Unicode text to be used in this way.

Locale-Specific Fax Cover Sheet Dates

The output of the DATE_L, DATE_S, DATE_C and TIME_C variables can now be modified by a new CF_DATELOCALE variable so that the dates appear in the correct format for the specified locale. For most major countries, the locale can optionally be assigned automatically from the country code of the dialed number.  The TIME_OFFSET variable is taken into account in determining the transmission date, and this variable also also been enhanced to allow automatic setting from the country or area code of the dialed number..

With a single $apply_gct command and template:

You can create customized date formats on the fax header line automatically from the destination fax number:

Unicode E-Mail

CopiaFacts can now send e-mail using either UTF-8 encoding (which is the default) or any of the principal encodings used for international e-mail.  You can also select iso-8859-1 encoding (or 'us-ascii') which was the default in earlier releases of CopiaFacts.  To handle Asian languages more efficiently, 'base-64' encoding can now be used in addition to 'quoted-printable' for body text and e-mail headers.

 

Job Administration Enhancements

A significantly improved JOBADMIN program combines the functions of the old JOBADMIN and JOBVIEW, providing a single administrative program for broadcast jobs.

Among the enhancements are:

An enhanced JOBVIEW display is built in to JOBADMIN, showing an up-to-date view of all active jobs, with sorting and filtering capability.

A larger number of custom edit pages, together with a full editor for job property files, based on COPIAEDIT.

Job Types can be cloned from one owner to another.

Full context-sensitive help brings up the help page for each edit field and each command.

A new job summary page shows job history and a graphical view of job completion.

Interlocks prevent two JOBADMIN users altering the same property set.

JobType and Owner folders can be deleted from the right-click menu (requires an environment variable to be pre-set).

Enhanced owner filtering allows multiple saved or command-line-selected filter lists, either of owner folders to be included or of those to be excluded.

With the addition of JOBVIEW features to JOBADMIN, the user interface for JOBMON has been simplified and it no longer shows current job status.  JOBVIEW is not included in CopiaFacts version 8.

In the Job Item Status list, you can now filter column values to show a subset of the job items.

A list item (in the first or only list) can be selected for use as the proof or preview item, rather than always using the first item in the first list.

 

COPIAFACTS Engine Enhancements

User Interface enhancements

The graphical interface of the COPIAFACTS engine has been enhanced to cater for the needs of larger users. The user window can now be stretched wider and taller to show multiple columns of line data. In addition the individual line data columns in each set of four columns can be adjusted in width.

The number of lines/threads for which you can display the status is now only limited by the size of your screen.  Along with the enhanced display we have also added default color coding of line status information, and expanded the array of count fields at the top of the summary page.  Some modifications to the $display_box command syntax were needed to accommodate these changes.

Operations in the main section of the COPIAFACTS display are now color-coded automatically and match the colors shown in the headings of the counts area above it.

Additional TOSENDx folders

Version 8 adds the ability to configure more than 9 TOSENDx folders on the $request_dir command, and currently allows folders named up to TOSEND15, though the default remains 9.  Please note that this facility should not be used to create additional priority levels: the nature of the CopiaFacts search algorithm results in lower-priority folders being serviced only rarely, so it makes no sense to configure a CopiaFacts node to scan more TOSENDx folders than is absolutely necessary.

The purpose of this enhancement is solely to make it easier for very large broadcast users to balance loads across multiple nodes.  To make the use of more TOSEND folders viable, it is essential that each node is configured to scan only a subset of available folders. Typically you might have some nodes configured to handle only folders into which you launch e-mail broadcast items, while other nodes scan only folders with fax items. The availability of more folders makes for more flexible configuration of larger systems.

With the increase in the number of TOSEND folders, programs which scan for job items have an optimized scan mode which restricts the search to just the TOSEND folders specified by the priority and retry priorities of a specific job instance.  Selected by the control variable FAST_TOSEND_SCAN, this mode must not be used at sites where it is the practice to move FS files manually from one TOSEND folder to another.

New codes in the SMR 'action' column allow a particular outcome code to cause subsequent retries to be processed in a different TOSEND queue.

From versions dated August 2010 onwards, CopiaFacts version 7 programs will accept a configuration file which enables more than 9 numbered TOSEND folders, but will treat the specified number as if it were a 9.  However you must still configure your system so that no attempt is made to access higher numbered folders on nodes running version 7 applications.

Additional Outcome Class Letters

Version 8 adds six additional outcome class letters (J, K, L, M, N, O) for 'user-defined' retry strategies.  This makes it easier to set up retry conditions for specific outcome codes.  You should not make use of these additional class letters while you still have nodes running CopiaFacts version 7.

Copia VoIP Ports

The initial release of CopiaFacts version 8 includes preliminary support for built-in VoIP ports, which allow voice operations such as IVR to be performed without voice hardware. VoIP ports can be used, for example, to implement a fax opt-out service for people to enter fax numbers which are to be excluded from broadcasts.  IVR operations on VoIP ports use the same infobox scripting that is available for voice boards. The Copia VoIP ports allow inbound and outbound calls, message play and recording, and DTMF detection using RFC2833, SIP info or in-band detection.

Timed Delivery based on Destination Time Zone

The commands to set send date and time have been enhanced to allow the settings to be based on the time zone at destination, which is automatically calculated from the telephone area code or country code.  With this feature, you can optionally specify that fax or voice broadcast calls will be scheduled, for example, so that they automatically start at 9 a.m. in each destination time zone. Timed delivery by destination is supported for all international calls and for domestic calls in the USA, Canada and Australia.  You can also use this feature to schedule e-mail broadcast items if you have a field in your broadcast list which CopiaFacts can use to determine the time zone, and use TIME_OFFSET to show the destination time automatically in a fax header line.

Program Library Names

The Dynamic Link Library (DLL) names have all been changed to use a CF8 prefix instead of F7.  Customer application programs which call the Job Administration DLL (or any other Copia DLL) must be changed to use the new name.  The DLLs with names starting F7 are not used by CopiaFacts version 8.

Automatic Driver Version Detection

For Brooktrout TR1034 and Dialogic Diva boards, the COPIAFACTS engine now loads the correct interface DLL (CF8BM*.DLL or CF8EN*.DLL) automatically.  It is no longer necessary to rename DLLs manually, and you must not do so.

In-band DTMF for Fax Send

The $fax_phone and $alternate_phone commands can now optionally take additional digits, separated from the phone number by a vertical bar (|), which are output as DTMF after connection and before a fax is sent.

Fax Modem Support

Preliminary support has been added for fax transmission and reception using fax modems.  Fax modem parameters are specified using a new $faxmodem command.

Archiving Sent Faxes

A new feature allows archiving of sent faxes in a single TIF or PDF file.  The saved file is built from the actual pages sent, with any customization, and fax header lines, in place.  Other image formats such as PNG can also be saved as separate pages.

Real-Time Status Monitoring

The COPIAFACTS engine now has the ability to write status information to an MSMQ message queue in real time, thus allowing a customer-written application to monitor progress of a fax or other operation and optionally to display progress information.  For details, see Real-Time Status Monitoring.

Enhancements to the Application Support DLL

There are some additional features in the 'Evaluate' function for handling arithmetic expressions, including the ability to build in conditions to expressions using boolean values.  In addition the functions to read registry values can now access the 64-bit registry.

Alternate Outbound ANI for Toll-Free Calls

A new command $outbound_tf_ani and variable OB_TF_ANI allow a different outbound ANI to be specified when the dialed number is a toll-free number.  Toll-free numbers are identified using new syntax on the configuration file $phone_mask command.

Phone Mask Enhancement

A comma can now be used in the match string (in addition to digits) to match a comma in the supplied phone number.

Grouped Variables

Sets of variables can be defined in a user profile or job properties file, which can be selected as a group based on either phone-number matching or retry parameters.  The main purpose of this feature is to allow a choice of different FoIP parameters for different phone number types, or for retries.

Additional Delete Options

New keywords for the $delete_options FS file command and the DELETE_OPTION variable allow the deletion of e-mail attachment files.

E-Mail Overrides for Settings and Error Handling

The $email_settings command values can be overridden for specific transmissions by new control variables.  In addition you can decide for each outcome code whether the e-mail error handling logic will attempt additional connections using additional MX records.

E-Mail Cache Enhancements

E-Mail attachments are now cached so that they do not need to be re-loaded from disk if the next operation on the same e-mail thread requires the same attachment.  Because there is a single file cache for each thread, this is only done for e-mails with a single attachment. Attachment caching can optionally be suppressed in case a job to be handled on many threads has unusually large attachment.  In addition a new control variable option allows the checking for cached items to be relaxed so that the file timestamp is no longer read.  This eliminates all network accesses for cached items, but should only be enabled at sites where body and attachment filenames are guaranteed to be unique to a job.

$run Command Enhancement

There is a new 'nohide' keyword to allow $run to spawn a visible application.

UTC Enhancements

The COPIAFACTS program and job launchers now handle UTC file timestamps correctly.  When you schedule a job to start after an upcoming daylight savings time change, it will now start at the time of day that you specify, and retry delays are also no longer affected by daylight savings time changes.  However the Windows functions we use to do this are not available on Windows 2000, where this feature is therefore not implemented and manual adjustment is still needed.

Diva Extended Fax Formats

Support can now be optionally enabled for superfine and ultrafine fax formats on Dialogic Diva Server boards.

Encrypted Variables in Scripts

Global variables containing passwords or other sensitive data can be specified by the system administrator in the CFHWL configurator so that the values do not have to be left visible in infobox files.

Pre-process can Reschedule an FS File

The ability has been added to reschedule (delay processing of) an FS file from an infobox pre-process.

Fax Receive Media Type

To avoid accidentally saving received files as separate .1 .2 .3 files, the $media_type keywords 'fax' and 'faxmpt' now both signify that faxes are to be received as multi-page TIF files.  To continue to receive the legacy single-page files with numeric extensions, use the keyword 'fax1'.  In addition, the COPIAFACTS run-time option 'Multi-page TIF receive' has been disabled and always defaults to true.

Simpler Manual Retry Operations

An individual FS file can be manually retried by moving it from FAIL (or SENT) to a TOSENDx folder, though it is preferable to do this using STATUS (or to set a retry strategy which avoids the need for manual retries).  It is no longer necessary to reset the $fax_status1 value before doing this.  we strongly recommend against this operation if the FS file is part of a Job Administration job, because the sent and failed counts cannot be maintained correctly; however it can be done provided that the job status is first manually set to 'being reactivated' (70), and afterwards to 'active' (30).

Destination-Specific Special Actions

A new type of phone, email and domain look-up list, similar to do-not-send lists, can be used to specify pre-processing actions for specific destinations.  User defined and built-in actions will be available.

Printing PDF files

The PRINTTHISFILE system variable has been enhanced so that PDF files can be printed as well as faxable TIF files. You do not require Adobe Reader installed to print files.

Trace File Enhancements

The 'trace to file' and 'trace to display' options have been extensively optimized and now consume substantially fewer resources.

 

New License Manager and Line Configurator

A new configuration manager (CFHWL) simplifies the configuration process by allowing sets of similar lines or threads to be configured in a single step:

The new application also make it easier to install license keys issued on maintenance renewal and to perform other licence management tasks.  The existing configurator FFHWL can still be used unless you add boards, ports or configurable features which are only supported in version 8.

 

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Features

Where appropriate, CopiaFacts applications have added ease-of-use features specific to Windows 7 and Sever 2008 R2.  (Recent CopiaFacts version 7 releases will also run under these operating systems.)  For example in FFEXTERN, preview thumb buttons allow the scanning for work to be enabled and disabled from the taskbar, without opening the window:

 

CopiaFacts SMTP Gateway

Version 8 adds support for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 to the CopiaFacts SMTP Gateway.  The changes required by these operating systems in Windows Control Panel applets mean that the Gateway Manager becomes a normal program which can be accessed from the start menu.  This change has been made in all supported operating systems not just Vista and above.

If you upgrade a machine already running the CopiaFacts SMTP Gateway, we recommend that you uninstall the Gateway first and reinstall it after upgrade from the main Copia Server installer.

The SMTP Gateway is Unicode-enabled and can handle incoming e-mail in all principal international encodings.

 

FFMERGE

Major enhancements have been made in FFMERGE which make it much easier to use as well as more powerful. The principal changes are:

Simpler installation, with just the basic driver parameters specified at installation time in FFMRGNT

Much easier troubleshooting of installation problems with enhanced trace information

The ability to specify a task name on the action line, which references a template specifying all the parameters for the merge.

The ability to run multiple merges concurrently, or to configure separate automation tasks with different parameters

No longer necessary to set up the parameters before each merge operation.

Simplified communication between the driver and FFMRGMV, with no need to use message queueing on Vista and above

The changes are described in more detail in the linked topics.

 

Other Changes

Help Viewer Enhancements

The reference manual has been re-indexed to make the index more comprehensive and easier to use. And in the on-line manual, you can now enter a search term in the index tab, to highlight all the index entries which reference the term.  Just press the Search button on the index tab to move to the next occurrence of the entered word in the index.

In the CHM version of this manual, there is a new block of buttons which allow navigation to previous, home and next topic, navigation to sections within larger topics (the Contents button), and from the Menu button, printing the contents of an individual topic, sending feedback to Copia, and expanding and closing the toggle buttons on the page.

Place the mouse over one of the buttons to see its function.  Note particularly the Contents button which provides a very quick way of navigating through a topic with subheadings.

In the on-line version of the help file, a new multi-tabbed interface is described in the topic Using the CopiaFacts Reference Manual:

The frequently-referenced appendix D (system variables) has been extensively revised, clarified, and re-indexed, and a list of variables which set job options has been included in the $job_options topic.

We welcome feedback on the documentation, which you can send using the rightmost ('envelope') button!

FFVIEWER Enhancements

Fax Reply Capability: the Send Fax dialog in FFVIEWER now has an option to exclude the fax being viewed from the transmission: at the same time the dialog field for 'fax phone' has a pull-down which will contain the ANI and the TSI of a received fax, of available. This allows a reply fax to be sent back to the originator of an incoming fax.

Annotations: A new right-click menu while editing annotation contents gives access to the most common variable names you might want to insert.

Help file: the FFVIEWER help has been incorporated into the main CopiaFacts help (this document) and has been expanded with new illustrations added.

CopiaFacts Client (FFCLIENT)

The CopiaFacts desktop client software now offers prioritized preparation of fax previews.  Instead of sending a fax, you can select immediate processing by the COPIAFACTS engine, and then view exactly how the fax will look, including the rendering of variables on a graphical cover and header line details.

Office 2010 Support

Support for Office 2010 (32-bit and 64-bit) has been added to Document Converter.  For all supported versions of Office, error handling has been improved and documents which Office fails to open, or for which a pop-up dialog is created, are detected earlier.

To reduce the complexity and size of the CVSINGLE application, support for Office 97, Office 2000/XP, EIStream Imaging and Imagemaker Imaging have been dropped, but support for these items remains available in CopiaFacts version 7.

Internal PDF-to-TIF Converter

The Document Converter now includes an optional PDF converter which can be used for PDF files when neither Acrobat nor Adobe Reader is installed.  This should convert most documents more quickly than the Adobe product.  We also plan to make available selectable optimizations for particular types of PDF document, to reduce the size of the resulting output files.

Ghostscript Support

The February 2010 release of Ghostscript (8.71) introduced changes to defaults which cause it to create TIF files with multiple strips, which are not directly faxable on some supported boards. CopiaFacts version 8 changes some of the default Ghostscript parameters to avoid this issue.  If you use Ghostscript and override these defaults, you may need to change your settings: see the Using Ghostscript topic for details.  The latest release of Ghostscript (9.x) has resolved this issue.

Conditionals in Text Files

Conditional processing (if, else, else if, end if) is now optionally available for most text files used in fax, e-mail and SMS transmission, including HTML job documents, e-mail and SMS body text, and ASCII files being converted to TIF for faxing.  This feature allows values in broadcast list columns to be used to select different blocks of text for an individual recipient.  For details, see the Conditional Text topic.

Broadcast List XLSX file support

An enhanced internal Excel-file handler now allows us to support Office 2007/2010 XLSX files as broadcast lists.  Such files previously required Excel 2007 to be installed.  For details, see the Fax Broadcasting topics.

In addition, in XLS and XLSX files, the XLS_KEEP_NL variable allows newlines in XLS cells to be preserved for Word Merge applications.

Enhanced File Find Performance

For applications running on Windows 7 or on Windows Server 2008 R2, CopiaFacts now uses the higher-performance OS functions for finding files in folders. This principally affects the COPIAFACTS engine, JOBADMIN and JOBMON.  Note that the main benefit from this enhancement occurs when the application is running on these operating systems, not when the files reside on nodes with these operating systems.

Job Administration List Entries with Multiple Targets

Job Administration list handling has been enhanced so that it is possible to designate a list column or column range (MULTI_TARGET_COLUMN) to contain multiple targets with a specified delimiter (MULTI_TARGET_DELIMITER).  When a list row has multiple, delimited entries, it will be replicated as many times as necessary with one of the delimited entries in each row.  The original list is not changed, only the number of items launched from it.  For e-mail broadcasts, this can be used to create multiple recipients from each list row, with the recipient list (To: and Cc:) shown in each e-mail.

Randomized FS file pickup

A new job option keyword ReverseFS causes launched FS files to be named with the 8-digit filename reversed.  This ensures that the FS files for multiple jobs in the same TOSENDx folder are picked and mixed more randomly than when the FS numbers are sequential. The notional sequential FS number can still be included in extracted job data, and JOBREPORT output in FS number sequence is maintained as before.  For more details, see the Randomized FS File Pickup topic.

Abbreviated JCF format

For version 8, Job Administration JCF files contain only the first FS filename followed by the negative value of the file count.  To run version 8 in parallel with nodes running version 7, add a variable V7_JCF with a non-empty value in SYSTEM.UJP to retain the old format.

Extract Job Failed Destinations

A new JOBXFAIL program extracts fax numbers or e-mail addresses that have failed during a job, to a list which can be used as a do-not-send list if another broadcast has to be done to the same uncorrected list.

CALLMON

A new edition of CALLMON works with the .STATS files introduced recently, and also displays information about e-mail in addition to fax traffic.

Variable Names in Job Documents

The processing of variables in the $job_document command has been enhanced, to allow a document name to be specified in a list variable so that different documents are sent to different recipients.

FFBC Enhancements

To simplify both modes, the interactive and command-line modes of the broadcast launcher have been split into two programs, FFBC and FFBCMD.

FFSR Enhancement

The search and replace utility can now take a list of multiple replacements that are to be performed in each file.

TRCVIEW Enhancement

The highlight feature in TRCVIEW has been enhanced so that you can highlight (search for) multiple different strings at the same time.  In addition the F9 key can be used to toggle a line-number filter, so that only items relating to the yellow-highlighted Copia line number are shown.

E-Mail Parsing in the Application Support DLL

New functions are provided in the Application Support DLL to parse and manipulate components of an e-mail address.

Enhanced HTML Rendering for Graphical Cover Annotations

The supported HTML subset has been enhanced to include fonts, paragraphs, lists, horizontal lines, and bitmap image insertion.