Introduction

The News Feed is a great way to keep your customers up to date, using the essensys Mobile App and/or Portal. You can use the News Feed if you have either the Portal or the Mobile App.

You create your articles using the main Operate platform, while your customers can read them using the Mobile App or your Portal. 

NOTE: For the purpose of this guide, news feed items/records are called 'articles'. An Article is an Operate Record, just like an Account or Contact. To learn more, please read essensys Operate Records and Record Types.

Enabling the News Feed

NOTE: To enable the News Feed, you will need to turn off Announcements if you are using them. Announcements will continue to display as long as you have no News Feed articles. 

To enable the News Feed:

  • Log in at operate.essensys.tech
  • Go to Operate Settings.
  • Select Portal, then Operate Portal
  • Under Step 1, you will find a checkbox that lets you 'Replace Announcements with News Feed' - please tick this box and then click Save Settings to enable your changes. 

The change will take place immediately.

You can find your own news feed as follows. 

Once you open the News Feed section, you will see a list where your news article records will be saved. If you are visiting this section for the first time, then this list will be empty. 

Naming Your News Feed

Firstly, you can choose to customize the title that you would like your section to display within the Mobile App. You can do so at the top right of your News Feed section, in the 'Mobile App Title' field.  Enter your desired title, then click 'Save'. 

Creating a New Article

To create a new article, simply follow the steps below: 

Start by clicking 'New' in your News Feed section. This will open a new page, where you can enter your article record details. Starred fields are mandatory. 

  • *News Feed Title - The title will be displayed in your list view and the title of your article's news feed tile, within the Mobile App/Portal. 
  • Location - This determines whether your news is displayed across all locations or only to customers in a specific building. 
  • *Publish Date - This is the date when you wish your news article to be visible from. Use the calendar/time tool to select or simply type it in as dd/mm/yyyy. 
  • Expiry Date - This is the date you wish your article to stop being displayed, if left empty, your article will display indefinitely. Use the calendar/time tool to select or simply type it in as dd/mm/yyyy. 
  • News Feed HTML - The HTML editor will provide the content for your detailed view on the mobile app. Use the visual editor or click the '</>' button to add code.
  • Short Text - This will be the description displayed on your article tile, on the Mobile App or Portal. The text's position is underneath the title. You can enter a maximum of 100 characters.
  • Tag - This is useful to categorize your article. If you would like to customize your tags, please see the 'Customizing tags' section below, within this guide. Tags will be displayed at the top of your news feed. Clicking a tag will filter articles and display only those categorised under the selected tag.
  • Pinned - If you pin your article then it will appear at the top of the list on the mobile app. Tick the box to enable.
  • Image - This image will be displayed on the thumbnail tile on your news feed. Click 'Upload Image' then browse your computer for the one you need.

To complete your news article, click 'Save'. This will save the changes you have made to the record. If the Publish date/time isset before or at the current date/time, then the article will also be published. Otherwise this will occur at the date/time you have set. 

The 'Save and Copy' option will save the record that you are currently editing and will open up a copy, where all the information you entered will be readily available. This is useful when you want to post multiple articles where some of the information is the same (e.g. location, publish date, etc.). It saves you time when publishing multiple articles in one go.

'Cancel' or 'Back to list' will exit your record without saving and will return you to the News Feed section. 

Editing an Article

To edit an existing article, simply find it in your list then click the pencil icon next to it. 

Operate will then open your article record, where you can edit it the same way you have created it. Simply update any field you need to, then save your changes. 

Customizing Tags

If you would like to customize your News Feed tags, please follow these steps: 

  • Go to Operate > Settings > General > Customize > Newsfeed > Standard Fields
  • Scroll down and find the 'Tag' field. Click on it to continue. 
  • Click 'Edit'. 
  • You can now edit the Tags just like any other picklist field. (Learn more about customizing fields in Operate). 
  • Enter a field label - This is the field label text that will be displayed as the field label in Operate, within your News Feed article editing page.. 
  • Picklist values - These are the values that will be displayed within your picklist and which you will be able to choose from. When you click the 'Tag' dropdown list, for example, you will see this list of items. Enter each tag as a separate line. 
  • Sort values alphabetically, not in the order that they were entered in. This way your tags will be ordered alphabetically.
  • Use the first value as default value - do this by checking the checkbox next to the option.
  • Enter Help Text - This text is displayed as a hint next to the tag list.
  • Check the 'Required' checkbox if you would like to make the field required. This will make tags mandatory in your News Feed. This might be especially useful for organization, so that your team does not add any untagged news. 

Click 'Save' when you are ready. 

What the News Feed looks like

The News Feed will have a similar structure on the Portal vs. the Mobile App, but they will each adapt to the device/platform they are being accessed with. Here are some examples:

Portal/Desktop

 Portal/Mobile

Mobile App

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