Release Note: Messenger 5.5 February 2014


After our prestigious 3rd win in a row at the annual bett awards, we are pleased to bring you the latest update to messenger v5. This release brings with it some significant changes to the behind the scenes elements to improve stability and enhance performance for your benefit and this forms the bulk of the work in this release; we have also addressed a few annoying bugs that some of you have reported. We hope that you like it and we’d love you to let us know what you think!

Major feature:

  • Database sharding; the ability to put different schools on different databases, thereby lessening the load of SQL server/performance.
    • In non-technical terms, we have spread the software running messenger over more machines/databases so they all share the load and therefore deliver better user experience and greater stability!

Minor fixes:

The following areas have received bug fixes; to see detail please click on the arrows.


  • Ability to export an individual recipient's message with full message content (rather than just a list of message recipients).

Groups, Contacts and Recipient Selection

  • Gender list on the left now shows the count in brackets.
  • Sending email message to “Each parent/student combination” error message resolved.
  • Address book – when adding contacts the contact types “Mobile”, “Home”, “Work” are fixed and cannot be edited as this was causing some errors and conflict with some MISs.
  • When no contacts were selected from a group there *has* to be at-least 1 contact selected. Otherwise that group will be deleted from the recipient criteria.

History and Authorisation

  • Displaying emails in Message History had, at times, displayed some characters such as " and & etc as their encoded HTML characters (e.g. &lsquo and &amp etc.) This is now fixed.
  • Added a Tooltip for Cancel and Authorise buttons to the authorise message view. When you hover over the 'x' or the 'tick' you will see an explanation for their function.

Compose Messages

  • Letter message can now be saved to message library for future use as user defined template.
  • New token available in all message formats - "$schoolemail$" will insert the email address as defined in the Account Settings area.
  • Token capitalisation enabled for He|She etc. If you want the resulting output to have a lower case pronoun then edit the token to read he|she, for example "Your child has a note for you. It is in her|his bag." or "Your child was late today. He|She must be on time tomorrow."
  • Bug affecting the incorrect Gender specific pronoun being applied in Emails and Letters. Big apologies for this one; some female students were incorrectly referred to as "he" in some emails. This is now resolved.
  • Message library updated.
    • Enabled by default for new customers; to update your library an administrator needs to go to Tools > Account Settings > press the "Copy Standard Message Library" button > press Ok in the confirmation pop-up.
    • Old library templates can be deleted manually from the compose message screen. See our guide on time saving for more help.

Account Settings

  • Customers moving from Pay as You go messaging to Unlimited tariffs were still being shown the SMS balance left. This is now resolved.