Kenny Page

Updates to display of homepage elements on narrow-screen devices

To improve usability on narrow-screen devices such as mobile phones, the behaviour of homepage tabs and widgets will be modified from Saturday the 21st October 2017.

When viewed on a narrow screen:

1. Homepage tabs will now be collapsed into a drop-down menu which can be expanded by tapping upon the “hamburger” icon at the right hand side.

2. Homepage widgets will be collapsed by default, and can be expanded by tapping on the down arrow icon at the right hand side of the widget header. When expanded, they can be collapsed once again by tapping on the up arrow icon at the right hand side of the widget header.

 

Example homepage at "normal" width

Fig 1. Example homepage at “normal” width

 

Example homepage at "narrow" width, collapsed

Fig 2. Example homepage at “narrow” width, collapsed

 

Example homepage at "narrow" width, expanded

Fig 3. Example homepage at “narrow” width, expanded

 

Update to allow downloading of entire personal library

As of Saturday 26th August 2017, a new feature has been added to the NHS ePortfolios platform that allows users to download the entire contents of their personal library in a single ZIP archive file.  To utilise this feature, firstly browse to your Personal Library as normal, then click the new “Download your library” button:

Initially, the “Download ZIP archive” button will be disabled (greyed-out) as no ZIP archive will have been created. To schedule the creation of a new downloadable archive of your personal library, please click on the “Create ZIP archive” button:

If  the creation of the ZIP archive is pending (or your personal library contains no files), the “Create ZIP archive” button will be disabled (greyed-out).

Please allow up to 24 hours for the ZIP archive to be created. Once the archive has been created – and is available for you to download – an email message will be sent to the email address registered on your account notifying you of this.

To download a ZIP archive that has been created, browse to your Personal Library as normal, click the “Download your library” button, then click the “Download ZIP archive” button as shown below:

 

Please note: The ZIP archive will contain any and all files that you have uploaded into your Personal Library, irrespective of which role you were using when the file was uploaded.  The ZIP archive will not, however, contain any other files you may have uploaded elsewhere, e.g. your profile picture, signature image or any Certificates and Exams.

 

Update to indicate “undeliverable” ticket request email messages

Due to the volume of email messages that are sent as a result of Ticket Requests, the “deliverability” of these email messages is of great importance.  Often, ticket requests are not received by the intended recipient, not because of any technical issue, but simply because the email message to which the ticket was sent was invalid.

 

To help address this, we have recently introduced a new status flag that is shown beside ticket requests when we have received notification from the destination that the associated email message was not accepted. The new status flag looks like this:UNDELIVERABLE

Should you see this indicator on your ticket overview page, this indicates that the email message was not delivered.  In this situation, first obtain confirmation from the intended recipient of the email address to which the ticket is to be sent.

If the message was undeliverable because the recipients email mailbox was full, you may wish to use the “Send Reminder” option in the Actions menu to send another email message to the same address once they have cleared space in their mailbox.

If the recipient confirms their email address is different from that to which you sent the original message, use the “Copy” option in the Actions menu to send a copy of the undeliverable ticket to a new email address before deleting the original request.

 

 

Unscheduled downtime event – Thursday 20th July 2017

A failure with the networking infrastructure at our hosting provider (specifically, the Microsoft Azure UKSouth region) resulted in the NHS ePortfolios website at http://www.nhseportfolios.org becoming unavailable/unresponsive to all users on three occasions on Thursday the 20th July 2017:

  • At 21:49 to 21:55 (6 minutes)
  • At 22:05 to 22:10 (5 minutes)
  • At 22:29 to 00:58 (149 minutes)

Following identification of the cause of the outage, updates were provided via the @NHSePortfolios Twitter account between 23:13 and 01:05.

No data was damaged / compromised as a result of this incident.

Update, 25 July 2017: Root Cause Analysis provided by hosting provider:

RCA – Network Infrastructure – UK South

Summary of impact: Between July 20, 2017 21:41 UTC and July 21, 2017 1:40 UTC, a subset of customers may have encountered connectivity failures for their resources deployed in the UK South region. Customers would have experienced errors or timeouts while accessing their resources. Upon investigation, the Azure Load Balancing team found that the data plane for one of the instances of Azure Load Balancing service in UK South region was down. A single instance of Azure Load Balancing service has multiple instances of data plane. It was noticed that all data plane instances went down in quick succession and failed repeatedly whilst trying to self-recover. The team immediately started working on the mitigation to fail over from the offending Azure Load Balancing instance to another instance of Azure Load Balancing service. This failover process was delayed due to the fact that VIP address of Azure authentication service used to secure access to any Azure production service in that region was also being served by the Azure Load Balancing service instance that went down. The Engineering teams resolved the access issue and then recovered the impacted Azure Load Balancing service instance by failing over the impacted customers to another instance of Azure Load Balancing service. The dependent services recovered gradually once the underlying load balancing service instance was recovered. Full recovery by all of the affected services was confirmed by 01:40 UTC on 21 July 2017.

Workaround: Customers who had deployed their services across multiple regions could fail out of UK South region.

Root cause and mitigation: The issue occurred when one of the instances of Azure Load Balancing service went down in the UK South region. The root cause of the issue was a bug in the Azure Load Balancing service. The issue was exposed due to a specific combination of configurations on this load balancing instance combined with a deployment specification that caused the data plane of the load balancing service to crash. There are multiple instances of data plane in a particular instance of Azure Load Balancing Service. However, due to this bug, the crash cascaded through multiple instances. The issue was recovered by failing over from the specific load balancing instance to another load balancing instance. The software bug was not detected in deployments in prior regions because it only manifested under specific combinations of the configuration in Azure Load Balancing services. The combination of configurations that exposed this bug was addressed by recovering the Azure Load Balancing service instance.

Next steps: We sincerely apologize for the impact to affected customers. We are continuously taking steps to improve the Microsoft Azure Platform and our processes to help ensure such incidents do not occur in the future. In this case, we will: 1. Roll out a fix to the bug which caused Azure Load Balancing instance data plane to crash. In the interim a temporary mitigation has been applied to prevent this bug from resurfacing in any other region. 2. Improve test coverage for the specific combination of configuration that exposed the bug. 3. Address operational issues for Azure Authentication services break-glass scenarios.

Unscheduled Downtime Event – 12th May 2017 & 13th May 2017

08:27 on Saturday the 13th May 2017

Access to the NHS ePortfolios platform at https://www.nhseportfolios.org has now been restored.

08:25 on Saturday the 13th May 2017

We have now received notification that access to the NHS ePortfolios platform can be restored and are working to action this.

06:55 on Saturday the 13th May 2017

The NHS ePortfolios platform remains offline as part of co-ordinated containment efforts.

Further information will be posted here and via the @NHSePortfolios Twitter account when we have an indication as to when the platform will be re-enabled.

22:55 on Friday the 12th May 2017

The NHS ePortfolios platform still remains offline as part of co-ordinated containment efforts.

Further information will be posted here and via the @NHSePortfolios Twitter account when we have an indication as to when the platform will be re-enabled.

20:55 on Friday the 12th May 2017

The NHS ePortfolios platform remains offline as part of co-ordinated containment efforts following the rapid spread of Malware within associated but disconnected networks.

Further information will be posted here and via the @NHSePortfolios Twitter account when we have an indication as to when the platform will be re-enabled.

18:00 on Friday the 12th May 2017

The NHS ePortfolios team within NHS Education for Scotland have complied with an official request and temporarily prevented access to the NHS ePortfolio platform at https://www.nhseportfolios.org.  This is a precautionary measure, taken to ensure the safety of users’ data.

Further information will be posted here and via the @NHSePortfolios Twitter account when we have an indication as to when the platform will be re-enabled.

 

Need help?
If you are having a problem with you NHS ePortfolio account please contact the Support team via the Help section of you account, or email us at support@nhseportfolios.org
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