What’s New

June 2017

User Interface Updates

The Heurist user interface has been cleaned up with a new tabbed structure, along with a host of other refinements based on usability testing and user feedback. Particular emphasis has been on creating a more minimalist, unified look, with greater integration of elements.

Tabbed Structure

The new tabbed structure is based on the primary functions required at various stages in the design and use of your database:

The Manage tab organises commands for creating and managing your database within a more logical set of dropdown menus. The primary administration commands are now available via these menus, although more advanced commands (e.g. copy, clone and delete database) are still available from the Administration dashboard.

The Add Data tab also structures commands for entering or importing data into dropdown menus.

The Find-Analyse-Publish tab has a more minimalist look. The Filter Bar now shows just the Filter box and Filter button. The Saved Filters pane structures your saved filters within a hierarchical structure, which should make it easier to organize and find saved filters; commands are available from individual right-click context menus.

The various views available for viewing and publishing your data have also been refined. The Network Diagram view provides additional informational and interactive elements (see New Features | Improved Network Visualisation). The Custom Reports view should now provide a more intuitive experience, and includes a revamped toolbar and more robust code creation. The Export view provides a simplified, but still powerful, set of export options.

New Profile Menu

User-centric options are now available from a dropdown menu available by selecting your user name on the Main bar. In addition to setting your preference options, you can manage your tags, workgroups, users etc. all from one location.

Viewing Records

When editing records in Full mode in the Data Entry screen, a number of additional options are available to help speed up data entry. You can now use the Save & New Record option to save any changes to the current record and immediately create a new record. The Duplicate Record option lets you create a new record based on the current record data (the new record will have a new ID). And the Previous and Next buttons let you quickly scroll through a subset of records (based on the same record-type).

Quickly Open your Databases

If you have created more than one database, you can quickly open another (in a new window), by selecting it from the database dropdown available in the header section.

New Term List Context Menu

Terms (including Relationship terms) in a vocabulary now show a context menu when hovered over. Options (from left to right) are:

  • Add a child term.
  • Delete term.
  • Add an image to a term.
  • Import a list of terms to this vocabulary (this reads a CSV text file containing terms, one to a line, and optionally extended labels and standard alpha/numeric codes, if available).
  • Export this vocabulary as a CSV file.

Improved network visualisation

Heurist’s network visualisation tool has recently been upgraded to allow a much greater degree of interaction, including the drag-and-drop definition of relationships between entity (record) types or between individual entities (records). The tool can be used in two distinct contexts.

Database Structure

First, the tool can be used to visualise the relationship structure of the database as a whole, that is the connections between entities which are defined by pointer fields (single arrows) and relationship marker fields (double arrows). The diameter of each node and the thickness of the connecting lines show the frequency of occurrence in the database (log or linear scales).

Nodes showing the pointer and relationship fields defined, along with tools to create relationships and edit the record structure.

The Visualisation tool provides a convenient visual alternative to the Manage Structure function, which is useful for a more table-driven approach to managing complex databases and for the organisation of record types into functional groups.

Results Network

The network visualisation tool can also be applied to any filtered subset of the database using the Network Diagram tab in the results visualisation panel. In this mode, it shows individual entities (records) and their connections to other entities. New connections can be added by dragging a connection between nodes, and individual records can be edited by clicking the pencil icon.

Visualisation of the connections within a results set, Digital Harlem project Result of filter on left; visualisation of connections on the right (an individual, their address at different times, an event and the locations where it took place)