I wanted to provide some feedback on the latest SSA version 2018.2 (with latest patches).
For the users its's fine but I have serious concerns about the move or Project (config) management into the UI and the quality of it.
Maps of different projections within the same Project
The ability to add maps of different projections within the same Project is fantastic.
I like the ability for users to move NamedMaps up and down the order. I think that will be popular.
The problems with labeling in SSAA 12.2.2 are fixed. This is good news.
However I'd still like the option to have labels not switched on by default if the layer has been uploaded with labels.
Thumbnails home page
I'd like to see more characters of the Project name to show, or introduce two lines. At the moment it gets cut off with some unfortunate results. This one should be Southwark Licensing…
I'd also like to see the browser's Back button to take you back to the config that was on before selecting 'Project Home'.
Lack of switch user button
Now that more administration is carried out in the UI there is more of a need for me to switch between users (admin to standard user, for example). This is currently a painful experience because of the lack of a switch user button in the Cog wheel / Options menu item.
So, if I was signed in as the standard user and I wanted to then log in as admin I would have to:
Doing this once is annoying. But I'm going to have to do this multiple times in the course of my work (and what about those users who may have different roles?). Having a simple switch user button would avoid all that hassle.
Project (config layers) management being in UI instead of Admin Console
I'd like to see the ability to switch between Projects within the Projects settings page. The new set up means that you have to close Project Settings and switch config and then go to Project Settings again. The old Admin Console allowed switching within the Admin Console. So, PB has effectively introduced more steps to do a similar task. Annoying.
There is often a lag delay in the click action (e.g.: placing a tick in a tick box) and the action actually happening (e.g.: the tick appearing).
Try this for yourself. Try adding a friendly name. I'm finding that I click inside the friendly name box I have to wait several seconds before I can start typing. Again, very annoying.
There is a lot of waiting around for the black progress circle to complete…
It took 1 min 27 seconds from the moment I selected a new NamedMap (1) and clicked Save (2) to wait for the black circle to finish…
It also took 1 minute 40 seconds to save a friendly name change.
The time individual tasks take to complete needs to be sped up significantly.
This concept has been introduced…
But this is frustrating as I now have to remember to ensure that everything is back to how I want it (every time) before saving the project. I can see how this is going to get annoying.
I can see what PB is trying to do but having the Project management in the UI does not feel robust and responsive enough. Too many times I'm finding that I am sitting around waiting for lists to load up in the Project Settings window stopping me from making the swift changes that I need to make. I wonder if some of the delay or click lag problems in Project Settings is because it is slowly loading in all the NamedMaps in that Project.
Anyway, it's incredibly frustrating and not a problem I had when the layer management was in Admin Console.
Having layers / Project management in Admin Console (as it was with configs in SSA 12.2.2) seemed to work better. Would PB consider putting Project (config, as it was) management back into the Admin Console?
It can be quite a trawl go through all the NamedMaps in a Project (especially when it takes long time to load them all in). This is exacerbated by the fact that the NamedMaps are expanded to show the layers within them….
Whereas when configs where managed in the Admin Console the list of NamedMaps in the config was concise and collapsed, and therefore easy to review and pick out.
A suggestion would be to collapse the NamedMaps so that the layers are not shown by default. A +/- minus would allow the admin to show all layers with the group if they want. It could look like this mock up…
The old Admin Console had a function to move NamedMaps up and down the order. The new Base Maps settings has this function, but the Business Maps settings does not.
It's a pain to have to come out and change the NamedMaps order in the UI and save. So, can I suggest a move row button is added to the Business Maps section...
When saves are complete (when the black circle disappears) the screen remains in the frosted-over state and I can't go to do other admin tasks. Instead I have to select the X. This takes me back to the home page where I have to select edit again in the project I want to edit. This is a pain. I need to be able to stay within a Project to do multiple edits and then save and close when I'm ready to do so.
Sorry to be blunt, but I think changes made on the admin side need immediate attention. They all represent a retrograde step for admins and will just end up annoying them.
Thanks for that thorough response.
Although I feel somewhat bruised by the experience of moving to 2018.2, and then reverting to 12.2.1, I do still look forward to seeing the development of 2019 versions.
Some closing thoughts and requests about SSA 2109:
· The abilities and experience of administration in SSA 2109 must be as good or better than now where everything managed in Admin Console. This is a core concept that must run through all your discussions about SSA administration.
· Please go with concise design. The beauty of Admin Console (AC) is that everything is in one place and on one screen without the need to scroll down. Yes, AC needed a bit of work, but broadly speaking it was fit for my administration purpose. (I do however appreciate that you have a technological need to move away from AC). Running admin in SSA and/or Spatial Manager (SM) means that elements are scattered and on pages that require scrolling through - this leads to more clicks and more admin frustration. Please, please ensure that the new administration platform has everything I need to do in in one box and one screen (albeit with multiple tabs).
· Although I appreciate that some NamedMaps adjustment can be done in SM the ability to manage the design, contents and structure of NamedMaps in Mapinfo (and the SSA Uploader) should continue. Running through Mapinfo should always be the primary route of NamedMaps management.
· SSA needs to be able to handle large amounts of data. I appreciate that some of our delays may be caused by large data holdings but SSA must be built to accommodate that. I do of course appreciate that there'll always be some limits in an enterprise GIS
· If admin is indeed moving to SM then SM needs attention before embarking on that course. It needs to be faster, concise and more reactive. Right now I could not deliver the same level of administration to our users if I had to do administration through SM
· I'm certainly not against the ability to adjust projects/configs within SSA, but this shouldn't be at the expense of no longer being able to do it within one concise and contained admin console/location.