Bulk updates are changes made to multiple records at once. For example, changing the ‘booking status for many records, sending emails or adding inventory to bookings are all bulk updates. We have made some big changes to the way bulk updates are handled that will greatly reduce errors and improve the user experience by giving users up to date info on their change requests.
There are two challenges when it comes to bulk updates. The first challenge is simply that they can take a really long time to complete. Groupdesk needed a system for managing tasks that could take a very long time. The second challenge is that your Groupdesk account may have many users all viewing and updating the same data, or related data, at the same time. When one makes a change to a record the other is viewing/has selected, how should that second person see the change? What if they both make a change at a similar time? Whose update wins? These kind of scenarios are what led to the bugs where updates seemed only partially complete, or appeared to have been fully completed but then removed shortly after without warning. Our new bulk update system addresses these two challenges.
The new bulk system does not change how you initiate bulk actions… you still select and then update a group of records. One of the first changes you’ll notice is that these requests respond much faster.
Instead of making you wait for 100s of records to be updated, Groupdesk now simply records your request in it’s Bulk Jobs page and allows you to move on to your next task. You can check the Bulk Jobs page at any time to see the progress of your request. The Bulk Jobs page is accessed from the side-bar menu.
Another change you’ll notice is that Groupdesk now prevents some dangerous updates. When a bulk action is initiated by any user, all of the selected records become ‘locked’. Each record is updated one at a time, unlocking each record as it is processed. When a record is locked any user can still view it as usual, but will not be allowed to make changes to it. If you attempt to update a locked record you will receive a notice that the change cannot be made because the records are locked. This is to keep you informed, so you know to wait a short time and attempt the bulk action again.
Keep in mind that most bulk actions take only a few seconds to complete. This means if a record you are trying to update is locked, it may be as simple as waiting a moment and then trying your action again. In large complex updates, it may mean waiting a few minutes. You’ll always see the name of the person who has locked the records; this makes it easy to talk your colleagues about how to best make changes to the same records at the same time. We are aware that this may slow some users/processes down, however it means less time spent redoing updates that were not completed properly as well as giving everyone more trust in the accuracy of our data and the processes Groupdesk completes in the backend. We’ll continue to work on the user interface for this to make sure you’re given the information you need to complete your tasks in a timely manner, but this is a big first step in the right direction for data accuracy and a truly multi-user system.