Heritage Operations Processing System
Minor updates and code changes occur every day. Only significant or noteworthy updates are shown here. Updates shown with a green background are only available to HOPS Subscribers.

Time Date
System Updates
00:00 Thu 27 Jul 2017
Scroggins; Danny
Separate fields for group bookings customers' telephone, email and postal addresses have been added to the Group Bookings system.
01:00 Sun 09 Jul 2017
Scroggins; Danny
It is now possible for a competence element's default expiry date to be dependent on the holders's age. This is particularly useful for medical competence elements.

The setting of this default is in the settings of the element (Competence > Competence Elements > Edit).

The thresholds for default competence lengths for each age range are not editable via the front end yet, but please let me know your requirements and I will enter them for you.

It is possible to set a default competence length for any number of 'up to' ages, ie:
- Up to 60, length = 10 years
- Up to 70, length = 5 years
- Above 70, length = 1 year.
00:00 Thu 01 Jun 2017
Scroggins; Danny
Two new pages have been added:

Operations Exceptions week, which shows the operating instructions and additional staff requirements for an 7-day period. New menu option is in the Calendars menu > Ops Exceptions.

Group Bookings week, which shows the group bookings for a 7-day period, including links to the reservation labels etc. Two links at the top of this page direct to a single file with all reservation labels in, and also a printer-friendly version of the weekly list.
00:00 Wed 03 May 2017
Scroggins; Danny
Some improvements to Group Bookings have taken place recently:

Old dates are now not shown in the list by default to reduce the need to scroll miles down the page. A 'show old bookings' link is available at the top to show the old ones.

[Add] links have been added to each date, to save the need to scroll miles back up to the top to add a new booking.

The method of changing the date of a booking has been made more robust to cope better with 'daily trains'. There is now a 'Change Date' link on the 'booking details' page instead of being able to edit the date in the 'booking edit' page.

The order of trains in bookings with more than one train has been improved to make them appear in time order.

A Payment Method field has been added.

The colour of the timetable in operation is now shown on the group bookings pages.

Non-passenger classes of train are no longer shown in the group bookings options.
01:00 Sun 16 Apr 2017
Scroggins; Danny
The titles of the internal group bookings advice sheets have been altered:

"Guard's sheet" is now "Group Booking Advice" (with "for the attention of the guard" in smaller letters underneath).
"Stations' sheet" is now "Group Booking & Payment Advice" (with "for the attention of the Station Master" in smaller letters underneath).

The key difference in principle between the sheets is that one has the payment information on and one doesn't, so that's what the proposed new headings reflect.

This is also so it can be used less prescriptively than only to Guards and Station Masters only, such as some railways who need to advise other departments such as the cafe, museum, workshop, etc, also smaller railways who don't always have guards and station masters, and also to encourage use by other museums etc who aren't railways at all. (The "for the attention of" bits are customisable by each company in System > (company) Details).
00:00 Sat 15 Apr 2017
Scroggins; Danny
Similar to emergency contact details, a warning when medical details are accessed has been added reminding the user that the details should only be accessed in an emergency. When the user confirms that it is legitimate and accesses the details, and email is sent to users with permission 278. This is to enable monitoring of access to this private information.

Users who routinely need access, such as those who update or confirm it with the users, can be given permission 277 to by-pass this check.
02:00 Thu 13 Apr 2017
Scroggins; Danny
A new page has been added in the Group Bookings system showing the Meet & Greeter for each booking on a monthly list.

Booking Office > Greeters.
02:00 Wed 12 Apr 2017
Scroggins; Danny
New permission 276 allows a user to 'follow' new competence element awards (per group).

This is the same as existing permission 204 is for competence awards, for competence element awards.
01:00 Tue 11 Apr 2017
Scroggins; Danny
The availability matrix, applicable to each roster, has had its axis swapped.

Names are shown on the left and side and dates on the top. Users with no availability return are not shown in the table any more, but noted underneath instead.

Hopefully this improves the readability of the matrix.
14:00 Fri 07 Apr 2017
Scroggins; Danny
Many low-level improvements and behind-the-scenes work has been taking place over the last few weeks. It is good to have time to improve some of these underlying functions etc to strengthen the system as a whole.

One little new feature for you: I have added an option for archiving grades (I'm amazed this hasn't come up before). It can be found in the (department) > Grades, then at the bottom. Let me know if you catch a grade lurking anywhere in the system in a selectable way once it's been archived.
00:00 Mon 20 Mar 2017
Scroggins; Danny
A new warning when Emergency Next-of-Kin details are accessed has been added reminding the user that the details should only be accessed in an emergency. When the user confirms that it is legitimate and accesses the details, and email is sent to users with permission 274. This is to enable monitoring of access to this private information.

Users who routinely need access, such as those who update or confirm it with the users, can be given permission 273 to by-pass this check.
00:00 Thu 02 Mar 2017
Scroggins; Danny
The question papers tool is now back online, with equivalent functionality to before the work stated.

A great deal of work has been undertaken on the underlying structure of the system to enable the new features previously discussed to be added. Although it was my intention to add these new features during the down time, this has unfortunately not been possible.

It will be possible, however, for the new features to undisruptively be implemented onto the new system structure without further downtime.

Some permissions changes have taken place around the question papers system. Not all permissions were directly comparable with old permissions, so it hasn't been possible to make everything totally back-compatible.

Permissions relating to the question papers system:

- 70, required to view and take papers.
- 238, required to mark, review and sign-off papers (sign-off not implemented yet).
- 73, add new question papers
- 71, edit question papers

Question papers can now be linked to competence elements (Competence > Competence Elements > Edit). (A question paper may only be linked to ONE element (but the element may be added to many competences)). As planned, 'test plans' are now a thing of the past.

Question papers become available to users withing x days of their competence element expiring, where x is set in the question paper configuration settings.

Some general tidying of the format of question papers has taken place, but much remains to be done on the format of assessors' pages.

I will continue to work on question papers to deliver the planned upgrades, but I hope the system is now giving the same functionality that it did before the work stated. I apologise this has taken longer than planned, unfortunately lots of unforseen complexities arose during the work.
02:00 Mon 27 Feb 2017
Scroggins; Danny
Unfortunately I have not been able to complete the planned upgrade work on the question papers system in the advertised time. This part of the system will remain unavailable until the work is complete, which I expect will be in the next 2-3 days. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes.
03:00 Thu 23 Feb 2017
Scroggins; Danny
A new Tick Box Mode has been added for editing employees' shifts more expediently.

Reports have been added of totals per user and per year, both available in the Employees menu.

Employees can now request leave via HOPS, permission 267 require and the user must belong to a pool.

Notifications of requests are sent to users with permission 269, and can be approved/declined by users with permission 268. The user is updated by email when their request is approved/declined/etc.
00:00 Thu 23 Feb 2017
Scroggins; Danny
It is now possible to add/edit employee pools, which might make the facilities in the previous updates work a bit better! New permission 271 required.
03:00 Wed 22 Feb 2017
Scroggins; Danny
Some basic functions to assist in the management of employees working shifts have been implemented.

New permissions:
265 - to assign users to an 'employee pool'
264 - to view the shifts of employees (per pool)
266 - to edit the shifts of employee (per pool)

A 'pool' is a group of employees. Permissions are granted per pool, and are almost the equivalent of departments except that a user can only belong to one pool.

I've used SHIFT as the word to describe a person working, to keep TURN for a thing on a roster. (A person could be working a shift AND a turn, ie and employee driving a train.)

A new menu "Employees" is available with a menu option "Employee Shifts" which is a matrix of shifts. Clicking edit under a name will allow you to edit the whole month for that single person, or clicking edit on a date will allow you to edit all the people on that single date.
00:00 Tue 31 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
There will be a period of about 15 minutes' down time at 2200 on Wednesday 1st February. Apologies for any inconvenience.
18:00 Mon 30 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
I have added a tab to the user details pages with a summary list of entries in the Near Miss & Incident Registers that the user has appeared in.

Departments > Steam Loco > Staff List > Danny Scroggins > NMI Register tab.

This is designed to allow inspectors to easily have a look at NMI entries the person has played a role in.
21:00 Sun 15 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
The question papers system will be UNAVAILABLE for periods w/c 6 February and 20 February for upgrade work.

Apologies for any inconvenience.
22:00 Sat 14 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
The HOPS Introduction Course will be held on 6 May 2017, and the HOPS Masterclass will be held on 7 May.

Both days at Kidderminster Railway Museum. (Kidderminster SVR station, adjacent to the main line station).

Everyone is welcome to attend either or both as you wish. It is recommended to bring laptops and 'play along'.

Please could I ask you to now confirm whether you will be attending, which day(s), and how many people will be in your group.

Saturday 6th May - HOPS Introduction Course.

Intended for organisations that don't yet use HOPS, or are just starting out.


Covering HOPS background, configuration settings, department settings, permissions, competence, rosters, etc.

Sunday 7th May - HOPS Masterclass.

Intended for organisations that already use HOPS and want to get into more detail and advanced features.

This is also a good opportunity to meet and mingle with HOPS Admins from other organisations and discuss tips and tricks.

I am aware that some people's travel plans lend themselves to not too long a day in order to allow travel in one day, and some people's travel plans lend themselves to staying overnight and a long day of HOPS to gain the maximum benefit for the long journey. To enable travel within a day, the main part of the masterclass day will be 10am-4pm. For those who wish to have a longer day, there will be an optional HOPS Surgery between 9 and 10am and between 4 and 5pm. At the HOPS Surgery you can raise your specific local queries, questions and discussion and I'll do my best to answer. It will also be a good opportunity to 'share with pride/pain' with other HOPS Admins, and learn from others' work.

9am - 10am: HOPS surgery for those who wish to start early.
10am - 4pm: The main part of the day for everyone. Training session on HOPS features.
4pm - 5pm: HOPS surgery for those who wish to stay later.

Note that the features in discussion on Masterclass day will include those only available in the Support Licence Scheme. If you are not part of the Scheme but are considering joining then then access to the features will be arranged for you for the day.

Several people have fed back requests for topics they would like to see discussed, please still feel free to do so if you haven't already. I will formulate these into an agenda and circulate nearer the date.

Light refreshments will be provided (tea, coffee, biscuits, sandwiches at lunch time, etc).
02:00 Sun 08 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny

The User's Personal Roster page has been neatened up, with Future and Past turns sorted into separate tabs.

A new Totals tab has been added, showing the total number of turns the person has undertaken in each position, broken down by year.

The Totals tab also shows the number of hours worked in each position, broken down by year, which is a much more accurate way of determining time-experience in each role.

It may be found that a lot of old turns do not have times (most likely as the old time field contained text other than the time). If you wish to investigate having the times of your old railway's turns from previous years converted to 'proper' times, please let me know and I will be able to help ease the process.
21:00 Fri 06 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
Viewing of the list of turn that users have (or have requested to) mutually swap in the department is now controlled by permission 263.
20:00 Fri 06 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
As HOPS has been around for a few years now (in fact 2017 is HOPS's ninth year!) the list of 'Past' base timetables for each organisation might be starting to get a bit long.

To tidy this up a bit I have introduced a new field for each base timetable called 'Suite' where the annual suite of timetables to which this timetable belongs can be selected.

The timetables in the tabbed lists will then be grouped together in suites.
00:20 Thu 05 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
New-ish permission 253 will cause HOPS to send a weekly email to the holder if they have purcahse orders that are:

- Created over 30 days ago but not 'sent'.
- 'Sent' over 30 days ago but not 'Goods Received'.
- 'Goods Received' over 30 days ago but not 'ok to pay'.

This was implemented a little while ago, but I don't think I mentioned it on here.

New permission 256 has now been implemented that does the same as above but monthly instead of weekly.
23:00 Wed 04 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
The ability to 'Force Closed' a purchase order has now been moved to a separate permission - new permission 262.

All users and groups that have permission 191, which was the permission previously required to do this, have had 262 added. (It was also always possible to force closed the user's own purchase orders, this is no longer the case.)

A new 'Delete' function has also been added to purchase orders. This is controlled by new permission 261. It is strongly recommended that this permission is only allocated to the Finance Manager or other senior person.

A new option has been added to the view list drop down to view all the Forced Closed purchase orders. Access to this list is controlled by new permission 260. (This is because I suspect there will be a lot of deleting of old Forced Closed POs about to take place!)

Please let me know if you find any problems.
20:00 Wed 04 Jan 2017
Scroggins; Danny
A 'copy' function has been added to the Group Bookings system.

This has been quite difficult to complete as when a booking is booked on a particular train, that train may not be running on the date that the booking has been copied to. (So, in these circumstances, the user is asked to select the new trains they require).

Please let me know if you find any problems.
19:00 Fri 30 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
Some behind-the-scenes work has taken place on some rostering functions today, with no intended changes to front-end behaviour. Please let me know if you find any problems.
00:00 Wed 28 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny

Some changes to passwords are taking place.

- New temporary passwords issued by HOPS will now be random combinations of characters, rather than the old word-and-number system.

- New passwords specified by users now have to confirm to some slightly enhanced rules about length and complexity.

Reminder: Passwords are (and have always been) case-sensitive.
01:30 Sun 25 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
Dear Danny,

Regarding the Roster Construction page and the tick box feature for multiple operations..... Please could this be expanded and made even more useful by allowing multiple turns to be selected by tick box and then allocated to the same user?

Very useful if you have paid staff on a regular pattern of work five days per week!



I have now added this to the tick box system.

It was quite a job, as I had to make it respect the user's expiry date, lapse date and competence level, and compare it to the turn's grade requirements, and then compare the whole lot to the department's tolerance settings on assigning users who are not-competent, expired or lapsed!
19:00 Sat 24 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
To enable a slightly greater level of customisation of the new competence pages I have made new permissions 257 to view competence history for the department and 258 to view the user's own competence history.

I have done the usual thing of giving everyone (and group) who had the old permissions the new ones, so take no action and no change will happen.
12:30 Thu 22 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
A new version of the HOPS competence profile profile pages has now been released.

The previous version had become extremely busy, and feedback indicated that it was becoming over-complicated, so hopefully this will help present the information in a clearer format.

In this new version, the overview competence profile gives a list of positions and elements and the person's competence, but clicking the position name now leads to all the rest of the details of each competence.

I hope you find it an improvement.

Screen shots:

23:00 Mon 12 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
Significant development has taken place to bring the Near Misses & Incidents Log into a serviceable state.

It is now possible to:

- add new registers and edit existing ones (permission 239 required, intended to be held by the HOPS Admin)

- add Owners and Target Completion Dates to Actions

- add updates to Actions

- close actions (and re-open them if required).

- view a list of Actions in each Register, and their status (incomplete, overdue, complete, etc).
01:00 Thu 08 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
A new special type of 'additional' turn called #Reserve# has now been implemented.

#Reserve# additional turns are added in the same way as all other types.

A setting is available in the Position Settings that sets this particular type of additional turn to behave in a special way. There is the facility to specify a number of days before turns that a 'Reserve Roll-Up' will take place.

When the roll-up takes place, on any main turns in the position, within the number of days range (or before) to which the #Reserve# is applied that are vacant, the reserve person will be rolled-up to hold the main turn, and the reserve turn removed. If the main turn is not vacant then the #Reserve# will be removed.

(It is recommended to only have one #Reserve# applied to a turn, otherwise one will always be removed at the time of roll-up.)

New permission 249 (by department) is required to assign reserves, and new permission 250 (by department) is required to view reserves on the roster (as it may not be required to complicate the viewable roster with reserves that may never be required). Users who are reserves can always see that they are reserves, even without permission 250.

If the setting to trigger a Reserve Roll-Up is not set in the positions setting then #Reserve# additions will not roll up, so, as usual, take no action to precipitate no change in system behaviour.
00:30 Thu 08 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
A need was identified to indicate newly-qualified staff and staff with probationary competences on rosters.

The proposed solution to this was to introduce a new competence level in the same line of promotion, directly below the 'actual' level of competence (ie, 'Driver) and calling it, for example 'New Driver'. Newly-qualified staff are added to this grade until they complete their probationary period.

A new attribute has now been added in the Grades settings to allow users of a particular grade to be highlighted on rosters.

Setting the grade of, for example, 'New Driver' to be highlighted achieves the goal of highlighting new staff on rosters.
00:30 Thu 08 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
We are aware of an issue with TalkTalk and Tiscali users receiving emails from HOPS tonight (7-8 Dec).

We will look into this issue (but as no changes have taken place to HOPS emails recently to cause this it may not be something within our gift to effect).

[No further issues have been experienced and no changes were made to HOPS either before or after this, so I believe it was a one-off problem at the TalkTalk end.]
22:00 Tue 06 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
There is now a new page in Purchasing > Budget Spend Totals that shows a breakdown of spending in each budget in each period.

New permission 254 required for each budget required and 255 for the overall totals.
17:00 Thu 01 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
AMENDED 2/12/16.
The 'Commercial' menu has been split into 'Purchasing' and 'Booking Office', with the group bookings menu options moving to the latter.
00:00 Thu 01 Dec 2016
Scroggins; Danny
Permission 192, for approving purchase orders over the spending limit, has been separated into two permissions:

192 for approving.

252 (new permission) for receiving emails requesting approval.

All existing holders and groups with 192 have had 252 added, so no change will be felt unless the permissions are now altered.

Note that allocating a user 252 without 192 will result in them receiving an email but not being able to do anything about it.
01:00 Tue 15 Nov 2016
Scroggins; Danny
The column and row headings in the Distribution of Turns tables in Roster Validation have been set to repeat at intervals. This is to assist in the visual correlation of large tables in departments with large numbers of users/turns.
23:00 Mon 14 Nov 2016
Scroggins; Danny
A new table on Roster Validation has been added that shows the distribution of turns per GRADE.

This is similar to the existing table that shows the number of turns per POSITION.
22:00 Mon 14 Nov 2016
Scroggins; Danny
Turns on unpublished rosters ARE now shown on the Personal Roster list again, (as long as the viewer has permission to view unpublished rosters in that department).

This undoes the update of 20 September (which took them off this list).

The turns shown on the personal roster list from unpublished rosters are clearly marked as unconfirmed to ensure that no-one mistakenly believes those turns are definite (which is the reason these were taken off the list back in September).

"You can please some of the people some of the time........."
17:00 Wed 09 Nov 2016
Scroggins; Danny
As you may have noticed, some format changes to HOPS have taken place this evening. Please let us know if you find anything looking odd!
15:00 Wed 09 Nov 2016
Scroggins; Danny
A 'repeat' function has been added to the Base Roster turn editing page, the same as already exists on the Roster turn editing page. This allows the creation of several identical turns in one go.
14:00 Wed 09 Nov 2016
Scroggins; Danny
It is now possible to set a new user's privacy settings when creating the user (permission 231 required). This is designed to help in administering offline users who can't change their own settings.
11:00 Wed 09 Nov 2016
Scroggins; Danny
The colour of "Expired" competences is now shown in light purple instead of light blue. This is to make "Expired" distinct from "Lapsed".

"No record" is now shown as white instead of red.
00:00 Thu 03 Nov 2016
Scroggins; Danny
Apologies the monthly Competence Expiry emails didn't work as planned on 1st November. These emails were upgraded to include more information about competence elements causing competences to expire during October and and error there caused them to not be sent at all!

They were all sent on 2nd November. Some users may have received two copies of the same email, apologies for this.

Just in case you're ever stuck, the list of competences expiring is always available as a list in a tab of the Competence Matrix. (The email is only really a prompt and, like any email, shouldn't be relied on.)