Summer 2015 Newsletter


Here is our Summer 2015 Newsletter which, we hope, will bring sunny weather.

You'll find here news about Octopus, changes and features recently deployed.

We invite you to read the newsletter until the end to discover what the new version will contain. Among others, the ability to browse tasks and the CMDB in a graphical fashion....

Happy reading!


For a second year in a row, Octopus is proud to be part of the 48 Hour Ride. The event takes place on September 25th to 27th on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and is aimed at collecting funds for the Make a Wish Foundation.

Your support will allows kids afflicted by severe health problems to realize their most desired wish. The magic of a wish allows kids to go on fighting their daily struggle.

You can sponsor the Octopus Team by making a donation. All donations are welcomed, no matter the amount. An official receipt for tax purposes can be obtained for donations larger then 20$.

Thank you for your donations!

New Octopus features

Web forms

Dynamic Web Forms

Fields in Web Forms can now be visible in reaction to entries from previous fields. For example, if the requester marks the "Local administrator rights" checkbox, then you could have the "Justify" field appear. For more information, see the Dynamic Web Forms wiki article. 

Visual Explanation

New type of field: Date and Time

A new type of field has been added to be used in the Web forms: Date and Time, It is available for your incident templates and types of SR and allows to indicate with additional precision the moment of an event. For example the date and time of the last good version of a document that you need to restore, or the moment that a failure of an event occurred. 

The date is selected from a calendar and the hour and minutes are selected using scroll bars. Once the information has been entered, it can be modified directly in the field or with the calendar.

Visual explanation


Use a Date and Time field as the due date or the open date

It is now possible to allow the requester to specify the due date or the open date of a request. This information would be configured within the Web form with a Date and Time type field combined with the Destination column. 

You can choose between Due date or Open date in the new Destination column and the date and time selected will be added where specified in Octopus. You can add the Open date and a Due date to the same request, but you cannot add two open or due dates. 

Note that the regular rules for these types of dates apply, so you cannot have a future open date or a past due date. 

Visual explanation

New fields for Web Portal custom forms: Site and Department

The content of Site and Department reference data can now be used from a Web Portal custom form. When the field type is used, the result of the selection will be copied into the request description. The use of that type will NOT alter the site or department of the request itself


Visual explanation


Simplified configuration

You no longer need to configure multiple ADSIReader executions if you only want part of your Active Directory structure. You can now use the /Exclude option with the parameter of a text file that contains the OU you want to exclude. 

For more information on the parameters, consult the ADSIReader - Integration to Active Directory article. 

Automatically deactivate users in Octopus when they have been deactivated or deleted in Active Directory

Use the /DeactivateUsers parameter to allow ADSIReader to automatically deactivate in Octopus, users with an AD account that has been deactivated or deleted or place in an excluded OU.

For more information on the parameters, consult the ADSIReader - Integration to Active Directory article.

Dependency between requests

We have brought changes to facilitate management of inter-request relationships:

  • Two new ways of adding relations between requests
    • By specifying multiple request numbers separated by comma
    • By using the magnifying glass to perform an advanced search
  • Improvement to the parent-child related incidents
    • A yellow notification will appear at the top a child incident showing the parent's number.
    • By resolving the parent, an activity will be displayed to child incidents.

For more information, refer to the Request Relationships article.

Concept of unavailable user

When an Octopus user is on vacation or unavailable for many days, we can now change his status to "Unavailable". The Octopus user can change his own status from his user file or another person can do it for him. Follow the steps below to make the modification. 

What you need to know

To make these changes in a user file you need the following permissions:
  • Modify his profile - if the Octopus user is to change the option himself
  • Create and modify an Octopus user - if the modification is done by another Octopus user

For more details on permissions, see the Role Management wiki article. 


From the user file:

  • Go to the User tab, in the bottom left section
  • Check the Unavailable field
  • Add a Return date (optional, but recommended)


From the Web portal

  • Go to the My profile section 
  • Check the Unavailable field

  • Add a Return date (optional, but recommended)

Visual explanation

During his absence, if a person assigns a request to the unavailable Octopus user, the following information will advise them that the person is not available:

In Octopus

  • In the assignment field
    • The user's name will be grayed out
    • With the word unavailable or a return date
  • The Assignment to an unavailable person notification will be received if
    • You are set to receive this notification
    • You are member of the unavailable user's group
  • The Unavailable field is checked in the user's file
    • User tab
    • On the left part below the Notes field
  • ​​The Return date is filled (optional)
Visual explanation

In WebTech

  • In the assignment field

    • The Octopus user's name will appear with the word unavailable or a return date

  • The Assignment to an unavailable person notification will be received if

    • You are set to receive this notification

    • You are a member of the unavailable user's group

Visual explanation

Coming soon to your screens

Version 4.1

The 4.1 version of Octopus will be available shortly. You will receive a notification within a few weeks.

Primarily, work was done on the Change module, and a deployment calendar has been added. Also, a way to visually browse the CMDB and the tasks will be available.

A few pictures to make your mouth water...

Change management revisited

Change template - It will be possible to create changes from a template.

Which can be created in the reference data management.

Deployment Calendar

When you display the deployment calendar, deployments are color-coded by impact. Moreover, multiple views are available.

By month: 

By week:

Or the agenda view:

Graphical CMDB

Graphical tasks and workflow management

The Octopus team wishes you a splendid summer!

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