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K2 Platform Classic (5.4) Release Notes

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K2 is proud to announce that K2 Five has now been rebranded as K2 Platform Classic. K2 Platform Classic builds on K2 Five and focuses on making it easy to build and use K2 solutions. Use these release notes to download the product, request a product key, and read about new features, including upgrade information and links to helpful resources about K2 Platform Classic (5.4).

Download and Product Key

Download the installer from K2 Partner and Customer Portal. If you're upgrading from K2 4.7 you will need a new license key to install K2 Platform Classic (5.4). Get a license from K2 Partner and Customer Portal.

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Main Features

K2 Platform Classic (5.4) adds new features and enhancements that help you deliver powerful solutions across your business. Below are some of the main features added in K2 Platform Classic (5.4). For a detailed list of the features below and enhancements, please see What's New in Platform Classic (5.4).

K2 Workflow Designer

  • Save Function Result: Added the Set Variable function to the Data section in the Context Browser. Use this function to update the value of an existing variable. You can drag this function into any SmartField and use the SmartField Composer to configure the function. You can easily use the variable containing the function multiple times in the workflow.
  • Reminder emails: Use the Rich Text Editor to customize the look of reminder emails with rich text and HTML content.
  • Start Workflow SmartAssist: Added a How will your workflow start? tip message to the Start step when building a workflow. This tip acts as a visual reminder that your workflow does not have any automatic start events and might need configuration. This tip replaces the previous yellow spanner icon.
  • Task reminders: Added SmartObject Reminder to the Reminders tab on the Task step. Use this option to add a SmartObject reminder that calls a SmartObject method after a set interval, or on a specific date and time. This reminder can be used in many ways, such as updating a SharePoint list or sending a text message to the person working on the task to remind them that they have an outstanding task.
  • Set email importance: You can now set the importance of an email by selecting a priority level. You can do this for the email on the Send Email step, and the Email Reminder on the Task step.
  • Validation: When you select the Before Deadline option on the Task step, but you have not defined a deadline on the Deadline tab, a validation indicator shows on both the Email reminder and the Redirect reminder. For more information see Error Console and Indicators.
  • Step tab validation: Design-time validation messages now appear on step tabs to indicate missing or deleted references and variables, and highlight missing or incorrect configuration on the step.
  • Custom Steps: Extend your environment by adding custom steps in the workflow designer. These custom steps can help speed development time in workflows, since you can now expose Service Object methods as steps in the workflow designer toolbox, allowing easier drag-and-drop configuration of workflow steps that use SmartObjects to interact with other systems and technologies.
  • Deploy message: Added Workflow Start Events warning message when deploying a workflow. This message acts as a visual reminder that your workflow does not have any automatic start events and might need configuration. The Show Me button takes you to the Start step where you can configure the start event on the step.
  • Split step: Added a port limitation to the Split step when designing a workflow. Each step has a limit of 12 ports for connecting incoming and outgoing lines to a Split step. This means you need to cater for both incoming lines and split paths and ensure that the total does not exceed 12 ports. Example: If you connect one incoming line from another step, 11 of the 12 ports are still available. If you connect two incoming lines, 10 ports are still available.
  • Configuration Panel: When you add a Logic (Decision, End, Merge, Split, Timer, or Loop) step onto a Placeholder step and no label is specified, the Show Label checkbox will be unchecked. Check the checkbox to show a label. All other steps dragged onto the Placeholder step keep the step name and the Show Label checkbox is checked by default.
  • DocuSign: The Body field on the Create Envelope step is no longer a required field.
  • Edit previously deployed workflow: You can now load a previous version of a deployed workflow, edit it, and re-deploy it.
  • Error console Copy Button: use the Copy button in the workflow Error Console window to copy all the error messages' text to the clipboard, and then paste somewhere else such as Microsoft Notepad, an email or Word.
  • Reporting: Wait for System: Improved Reporting capabilities on a Workflow allows you to quickly see what took the longest on the Workflow Instance and where adjustments are required. The Activity Duration report now includes the duration of a sub-workflow and SmartObject Method (wait for external system) steps.

K2 Designer

  • K2 About Dialog: Use the About Dialog page to determine the current version of K2 in your environment. You can also view and copy a list of previously installed versions and fix packs, and download the list as a CSV file.

SmartForms

  • Table control: Several changes have been made to the table control improving ease of use and styling. After upgrading you may notice that existing forms look different at runtime, especially forms that were customized by using custom themes or custom styles. Refer to KB003514 - Updates required for custom CSS for steps on fixing your forms. Below are the enhancements made to the table control. Below are the enhancements made to the table control.
    • Table column resize: You can now use the column resize widget to change the column width of a table. Set column size by percentage, or drag columns to resize.
    • Table control: You can now move the Table control using the move widget. This allows you to easily move the control on the canvas.
    • Table copy format to new row: This enhancement allows the first row of a table to be configured then use the insert-row button to get the rest of the table styled in the same format.
  • Forms: Added a new property Background Image, that you can use, for example, to brand a form with a custom background image.
  • Button Control: Added a new property Style to the button control that you can use to apply action styling to buttons, for example Quiet Action or Destructive Action.
  • Forms: Renamed the Form properties section headers and moved properties into the appropriate sections.
  • UMUser: Added two methods, Get Roles for User and Get Roles for Groups, to the UMUser system SmartObject. Executing the new methods with the input properties returns a list of roles or groups the user belongs to.

Integration

  • SAP HANA: Integrate K2 and SAP HANA by using an OData endpoint and the OData Service Type to create SmartObjects that represent SAP data/entities. Once the SmartObjects are created, you can integrate with SAP HANA from workflows, SmartForms, and other components that can interact with K2 SmartObjects. See KB003461 - How To: Integrate K2 and SAP HANA using an OData service instance.
  • Cloud Storage Broker: Added methods to the File and Folder SmartObjects for retrieving items or properties - Get Info by ID, Get Share URL by ID, and Get Share URL. Note that the Cloud Storage features (Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive) and Dynamics 365 for Sales are no longer available from the Features page in K2 Management. If you previously enabled these features you can continue to manage the existing service instances via K2 Management> Integration> Service types page.
  • Exchange Broker: Added a From field to the Email SmartObject to enable Microsoft Outlook Send On Behalf of or Send As functionality.
  • SmartObject system mappings: You can now use the current date and time, and current user details as system values in advanced SmartObjects.
  • REST service type: Set query string spaces encoding using the Use legacy query string parameter encoding service key, either current encoding (+) or legacy encoding (%20).

K2 Management Site

API

  • Register a custom Event Bus receiver to take an action when a workflow goes into an error state at runtime. For example, you may want to send an email notification to your IT helpdesk when a workflow encounters an error so that a system administrator can investigate and repair the error. For more information see KB003546 - Handling the On Any Workflow Error Event with the Event Bus.

Installer

  • In this release, software prerequisites have changed, support for certain third-party software has been removed, and newer versions of third-party software is now supported. The installer prevents upgrades from previous versions of K2 that do not meet the supported requirements. See the Compatibility Matrix for a list of supported software for K2 Platform Classic (5.4). Here is a summary of the changes:
    • Unsupported: HTTP bindings. K2 sites must be configured as HTTPS. If you are upgrading, see What you need to know when upgrading below for more details.
    • Unsupported: SQL Server 2014 (the installer will prevent installing or upgrading if this version of SQL server is detected).
    • .NET 4.8 is a new requirement and is required by the K2 Setup Manager.
    • The K2 Setup Manager now detects when the installer has a blocking issue, you will be notified, view the log files, and fix the error after which you can select the recover option in the K2 setup Manager. This option allows you to continue the install from the point where the error occurred.

Deprecated functionality and components

  • REST and OData service types: The Certificate Store Location and Certificate Store Name service keys have been deprecated.
  • The Cloud Storage features (Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive) and Dynamics 365 for Sales are no longer available from the Features page in K2 Management. If you previously enabled these features you can continue to manage the existing service instances via K2 Management> Integration> Service types page.
  • Documentation for deprecated components (such as the Silverlight-based Workflow design tool) is no longer available in this and future versions of K2 Platform Classic product documentation. You can still access content for the deprecated components from the K2 Five (5.3) user guide. Since legacy components are only provided for backward compatibility and are no longer maintained, there should not be operational or functional differences with legacy components in this or future versions of K2 Platform Classic. Be aware that deprecated/legacy components may be removed from future versions of K2 Platform Classic.
  • All the Package and Deployment SmartObjects and Service Objects were deprecated in K2 Platform Classic. These artifacts are removed and no longer supported. If you upgraded from a previous version, you can still find them in K2 Management > System > Package and Deployment or K2 Management > Integration > Service Instances. Keep in mind, if you currently use any of these SmartObjects or Service Objects in your solutions, they are no longer supported or maintained. For a list of the deprecated SmartObjects see the What's New in K2 Platform Classic (5.4) page.

Behavioral changes

  • The Cloud Storage features (Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive) and Dynamics 365 for Sales are no longer available from the Features page in K2 Management. If you previously enabled these features you can continue to manage the existing service instances via K2 Management> Integration> Service types page.

What you need to know when upgrading

  • You can upgrade to K2 Platform Classic (5.4) from K2 4.7 or K2 Five (5.0, 5.1, 5.2, or 5.3). For more information see the Upgrade topic in the installation guide. 
  • You cannot upgrade directly from K2 4.7 to K2 Platform Classic (5.4) if you have 4.7 installed on-premises with the K2 database in Azure SQL. In this case, you must first upgrade your K2 4.7 installation to K2 Five (5.0), then upgrade to K2 Five (5.1), then upgrade to K2 Five (5.2), then K2 Five (5.3), and finally upgrade to K2 Platform Classic (5.4).
  • If you are upgrading from a previous K2 version other than K2 Five 5.3, ensure that you read the previous release notes to understand the install changes, considerations, changes in the product, and requirements in each prior release. Here are the links to the previous release notes, K2 Five (5.0), K2 Five (5.1), K2 Five (5.2), and K2 Five (5.3) and KB002045.
  • When upgrading or installing your K2 environment, first make a backup of your K2 database, this allows you to revert the environment in case of a failed upgrade.
  • You may need to disable antivirus software before you install or upgrade K2. Some antivirus software may cause blocking or performance  issues when running the K2 product installation.    
  • The K2 installer blocks installations if your SQL Azure databases do not meet the minimum requirements. See the Compatibility and Support Matrix for the minimum supported version.
  • K2 no longer supports HTTP, and so the K2 Setup Manager requires you to configure your K2 sites as HTTPS. The Configuration Analysis Tool will check for HTTP. When upgrading or reconfiguring your K2 environment, HTTP bindings are still allowed, but if the default binding is HTTP, a configuration analysis error displays. The HTTP site will still work if accessed directly but will fail when hosted in an iframe where the domains are different. The repair option in the Configuration Analysis Tool will not fix the error. Environment owners should add an HTTPS binding to their site in IIS and then reconfigure K2 to set the new HTTPS binding as the default. When the reconfigure completes, the configuration analysis item will be in a warning state. If you are sure that you are accessing K2 sites using HTTPS, use the repair button to configure requireSSL which sets cookies as secure. If you upgrade while using HTTPS as your default, a configuration analysis warning displays if requireSSL is not yet configured. Use the repair button if you are sure that you are accessing K2 sites through HTTPS, note that once repaired, accessing K2 sites over HTTP will not work.
  • Before upgrading to K2 Platform Classic (5.4), ensure all app items in the category All Items/Apps/K2/Framework/Core, including all child categories of the Core category, are checked in. Failure to do so will result in a failed upgrade. See KB002419 for the resolution if you have already upgraded before checking in the artifacts.
  • If you are using K2 for SharePoint and upgrading from K2 4.7, there is an updated app available. You must upgrade the K2 for SharePoint app and re-run the K2 for SharePoint Registration Wizard.
  • K2 Platform Classic (5.4) and K2 Five (5.3) introduced some styling, table control, and feature terminology changes. Because of this, your forms may look slightly different after upgrading and you will notice different terminology when formatting controls, views, and forms. After upgrading to K2 Platform Classic (5.4), you can decide if and how you want to update your forms, but no immediate changes are necessary. For more information see KB003514 - Updates required for custom CSS and KB003071 - Understanding the impact of the new SmartForms Text Styles.

Important Considerations

  • Table control: Several changes have been made to the table control improving ease of use and styling. After upgrading you may notice that existing forms look different at runtime, especially forms that were customized by using custom themes or custom styles. Refer to KB003514 - Updates required for custom CSS for steps on fixing your forms.
  • If you are using K2 for SharePoint, re-run the K2 for SharePoint registration wizard after the upgrade.

A list of Known Issue and Bug Fixes are available in the What's New in K2 Platform Classic (5.4) topic.

Fix Packs

Fix Packs contain fixes for issues reported in K2 Platform Classic (5.4). K2 recommends that you test these Fix Packs before you deploy to a production environment. For a listing of fix packs for this version of K2 Platform, see KB003547.

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