Release Note: Messenger 5.01 November 2012

The November 2012 release of Messenger provides a number of great new features that have been selected and included based on feedback from our customers.  Groupcall would like to thank all of you that take the time and effort to feedback to us.  Without you there really wouldn't be a Groupcall!

The rest of this page provides a brief description of the major features that we've added into the release.  We very much hope you like what you see...

Multi-language Support for SMS and Email

This release of Messenger offers the ability to communicate with parents in their mother tongue.  Using the ‘home language’ field in the MIS, Messenger users have the ability to translate SMS and email messages into 64 different languages ‘on the fly’ using Google Translate.  To understand a little more about Google translate (it’s very interesting) please click here to find out how it works and what are the challenges with computer based real-time language translation.
Selecting Translation

We don’t, however, leave it all in the hands of Google, and provide you with the ability to view and modify any of the translations manually should you have a native speaker close at hand.
Modify Translation

The following 53 languages are supported:

Afrikaans Dutch Hindi Maltese Spanish
Albanian English Hungarian Norwegian Swahili
Arabic Estonian Icelandic Persian Swedish
Belarusian Esperanto Indonesian Polish Thai
Bulgarian Filipino Irish Portuguese Turkish
Catalan Finnish Italian Romanian Ukrainian
Chinese (simplified) French Japanese Russian Vietnamese
Chinese (traditional) Galician Korean Serbian Welsh
Croatian German Latvian Slovak Yiddish
Czech Greek Lithuanian Slovenian
Danish Hebrew Macedonian Malay

In addition to 12 Alpha-languages;

Armenian Georgian Kannada Tamil
Azerbaijani Gujarati Latin Telugu
Basque Haitian Creole Lao Urdu


Attendance Searching and Messaging

Sending messages to parents based on their attendance codes can be very useful whether it’s to communicate with parents when their children are currently in school (showing a present mark) or whether they are absent, authorised or otherwise.

Attendance Search Type

The latest version of Messenger allows students to be selected based on their attendance marks and even provides the ability to select attendance marks over a date range. You can select from predefined sets of criteria: Absent No Reason, Absent Any Reason, Present, or First Day Absence; or indeed select to search on a combination of attendance codes using the Selective Attendance Codes option.

Attendance Search Results

Refresh Now

Messenger is scheduled to collect information from the school MIS on a regular basis; core pupil contact information once a day, attendance two more times a day.  Sometimes it may be necessary to refresh this information e.g. if new people are added to the system and they or their parents need be contacted, or if you want to get updated attendance.
With this latest release of Messenger you can request a refresh of the information in order to guarantee you’re working with up-to-the-minute information.

Improved Password Security

In this release of Messenger we have tightened our policy around passwords and provided additional functionality to enable expiry of passwords after a specified number of days (default 90).  All existing passwords will continue to work and password expiry will be switched off by default.
New passwords will have to meet the following criteria:
* It must be a minimum of eight characters in length,
* Usernames and passwords can’t be the same,
* Option to select that a password can’t be the same as the previous five passwords.
* Choose required password strength from: "No minimum", "Medium", "Strong" or "Very Strong"