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Boring Toolbox 5.0, July 2020 Release!

In 5.0 we focused on rebuilding the back end of the Boring Toolbox while releasing some innovative features like the IOT connector. We first started by building on the Boring Toolbox’s time savings, standardization, and compliance offerings. Then we moved on to additional long term value services that are always on and working even when you’re not logged in. Let’s have a look.

The BoringBase

At the heart of the upgrade is the addition of a database exclusively built for the Boring Toolbox: BoringBase. Boring Toolbox 4.0 and below loaded all data at login and held it in memory which meant that the Boring Client had to remain open and logged in. But with BoringBase, Boring Toolbox can retain archival information and create services that are always on regardless of the Boring Client being open and logged in.

Live Monitoring Service

The live monitoring tile on the Boring Client dashboard is a critical part in understanding your Milestone XProtect server and camera health. It provides real time notifications when a recording server stops communicating with the management server or when a camera is no longer providing video to the Milestone VMS. While this is an amazing tool as is, the Boring Client had to be open and logged in for the user to receive system status notifications. Many of you expressed that this wasn’t an ideal implementation. Well, we hear you loud and clear, and are excited to share the Live Monitoring Service!

Live Monitoring Service provides always-on recording server and camera health notifications without the Boring Client being open and logged in. This means that you now have 24/7 peace of mind: someone is watching over your VMS and the video will be there when you need it.

Live Monitoring Service will include its original great features (e.g., camera not providing video threshold), while introducing several new settings. For example, Live Monitoring Service will now offer customized notification delivery to match your workflow.

Scheduled Reporting

BoringBase allows us to bring reports to your inbox when you want them without the need to log in to the Boring Client. Aside from the convenience of not having to log in and wait for a report run, scheduled reports bring far more to the organization in terms of work delegation and compliance oversight.  Create different reports for different people and deliver the reports to their inbox when they’re needed.

The best part about this is that it all happens without the Milestone admin intervening and without the receiver of the report having access to any of the Milestone management tools and resources. It’s always on and hands off.

Scheduled Milestone XProtect Report for SOC Operators

Multi-site management

Version 4 was a complete rewrite of the Boring Client. In that version we introduced multi-site management. This feature allowed you to open tabs and connect to different Milestone XProtect management servers and view them all in the same client. Each tab would then populate its live monitoring tile into a global dashboard so that Milestone admins could do a quick health check on the entire Milestone environment. The admins who needed it loved it. But those with more than two or three management servers were struggling with the fact that they had to continuously open the tabs to each of those servers manually.

New for Version 5

In version 5, you can create a hierarchy where a parent site will have pre-configured connections to remote managed sites. This way, if you have access to the parent site, you will immediately be able to see the health status of each of your managed sites right in the global dashboard, saving you the time needed to open up all those tabs upon login. We also used this opportunity to provide push configurations down to the managed sites from the parent. You now have just one place to go to configure the Boring Toolbox regardless of how many sites you manage.

We do still have quite a bit more to do on this part of the application but you gotta start somewhere!

IOT Connector

The IOT Connector from the Boring Toolbox is an innovative way to configure and connect IOT sensors to Milestone XProtect and provide a streamlined way to listen for and dynamically trigger events. Our first integration was with IP Video’s HALO Smart Sensor. If you have not heard of this device, you should definitely look it up. The HALO Smart Sensor can detect vape, THC, CO, aggression, gunshots and more.

It's in the numbers

Why did we decide to make the IOT connector and why is it important?  Well, it’s in the numbers.  As an example 50 HALO sensors would require over 700 generic events and rules but with IOT connector…14!  This means less time configuring, less complexity in management, and less room for error.

The best of the IOT connector is that once you set up your rules initially, there is nothing more to do.  Even if you add another 50, 100, or even 1000 HALO devices using the Boring Toolbox IOT Connector, you would be able to get individual events for each HALO with zero additional configuration needed in Milestone.

That is some time savings, and that is true to our mission.

We are looking for additional integrations

Due to demand in the K-12 and Campus environment Halo is our first integration but we are looking for more! If you make a product and want to integrate alerts into Milestone reach out and we would be happy to discuss how we can work together to make it work on a larger scale.

There are countless optimizations and fixes, but these are the big highlights we wanted to discuss today. We are continuing to build on these features as we deploy new versions of Boring Toolbox so if you have any comments or suggestions, we are all ears.

That's not all

There are a lot of little things which we added and fixed in this version so please do check out our full release notes for additional details.

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