K-12 releases nifty new features and enhancements for the 'ON' products approximately every four weeks, so keep an eye on this space for details about the latest updates. To find What's new between monthly releases, use the icon in the upper right corner of this help panel. As always, thank you the feedback that helps shape these releases.
We hope you enjoy the following updates! (Updated January 10, 2017)
In December, we announced that an Early Adopter Program for Blackbaud ID is coming soon. We expect to begin accepting schools interested in this EAP this month.
Tip: Interested in participating in this EAP? Sign up here.
To learn more about the Blackbaud ID initiative, please:
Follow blog posts in the online user community.
Stay tuned to sign up for an upcoming webinar with Janet Wittenberg, K-12 product manager. (The webinar is currently scheduled for February 6, 2018 at 1pm EST.)
Blackbaud ID will enable each user to access multiple Blackbaud products and services with a single email address and password. For example, users employed by your school could access the 'ON' products, Raiser's Edge NXT, and the online user community with one login. Additionally, users can select to use two-step authentication for increased security.
For the first phase of this EAP, we will focus on the experience for school staff who use 'ON' products. Therefore, parents and prospective families will not be able to participate and will not use the new Blackbaud ID to log in. A platform manager will use roles to manage the authentication with Blackbaud ID. Users with the selected roles will sign in with an appropriate email address.
However, if your school participates in the EAP, even users who do not participate (such as parents) will notice a change in their login experience. All users in EAP schools will see the new login page. From there, only users in roles selected to participate in the EAP will be redirected to set up or link a Blackbaud ID to 'ON' and enter their password.
Blackbaud ID also works with other identity providers or directory services, such as Azure AD and other SAML 2.0 compliant identify providers. (Eventually, these providers will replace LDAP based authentication services.) When you use a SAML 2.0 complaint identity provider, Blackbaud ID will refer to your directory services for user authentication.
Blackbaud ID can be configured to work with ADFS or Azure AD. If your existing LDAP authentication doesn't currently work those, contact Janet.Wittenberg@blackbaud.com so we can discuss your migration to Blackbaud ID.
If your school uses Azure AD on top of LDAP with Active Directory, or if you can enable ADFS, you can migrate users to use Blackbaud ID instead of LDAP. When you connect your school's email domain to Blackbaud ID, users receive an email indicating that their account will be converted to use Blackbaud ID. The next time they login, they'll be guided to enter their network password and set up their Blackbaud ID account (for the first time only).
Schools that use Google have options too, based on your desires and whether you also have a SAML 2.0 compliant identify provider (such as Azure AD).
If you have a SAML 2.0 compliant identify provider (such as Azure AD), we recommend you setup Google to Single Sign On (SSO) via Azure AD. Next, setup Blackbaud ID to Single Sign On (SSO) via Azure AD. This ensures user passwords are managed in a single place. When a user logs into an 'ON' product and select to access gmail, Google Calendar, or other Google links, Googleuses the same Azure AD session to authenticate the user (which creates a single-sign-on experience). This works for all Google users who are also in your active directory. Any users with an email domain that's not registered in the Azure Active Directory will be authenticated directly by Blackbaud ID.
If you don't have another identity provider and don't want to use Google as your school's main source for user records, you can continue to use the Google Single Sign On (SSO) and set it up it to authenticate via the existing 'ON' sign-in page. The common Blackbaud ID session provides the single-sign on experience when a user logs into both 'ON' products and Google Apps.
If your school want to use Google as your identify provider, you can setup Blackbaud ID to authenticate back to Google for your school domain. Any users who are not on your Google -managed domain must be managed with Blackbaud ID.
Note: When a user accesses the Blackbaud sign in page, they can select to Sign in with Google. This uses their current, active, Google session to authenticate with Blackbaud ID. Students or school staff members can use this option even when their Google school email domain authenticated via option A or B. The user is then prompted to enter a password.
When you add a user, the maximum length of the username is now longer. Any valid email address (even very long ones) is now acceptable as a username and will not be truncated.
Tip: This is necessary to enable users at schools with Blackbaud ID to use their email addresses for authentication.
The Student, User, Candidate, and Faculty lists now feature new columns that break up a user's primary address into individual parts (ex. Address Line 1, State, Province, etc.), making it easier to analyze address-specific information.
Contract lists now feature additional filters including a Not Returning option giving schools the ability to show students who are or are not returning. The existing Fees column has been updated and is now known as Fees Total. This column shows the total of any fees expected to be paid by the family. Fees Detail has been added as a new selectable column to display the details of any fees expected to be paid. The Fee Name and Fee Amount also appear on a new line for better readability.
In addition, schools can now use Advanced Lists to show whether a user is set as a Responsible Signer.
With this release, Assignment Annotations for online submissions have a new look and functionality. The biggest change comes with supported file types which jump from only four to over 100 including most image, document, audio, and video files. We’ve also improved the mobile experience for teachers as assignment annotations now support draw mode on tablets and other mobile devices. In addition, this change improves performance including reduced load times when using Assignment Annotations.
For more details on this change, make sure to head over to the K12 Tips and Tricks community blog and our online help center as well.
Tip: From any 'ON' product, a What's New topic automatically appears after a new release, so you know what's what. When you close What's New it won't automatically reappear until the next update. To find What's new between monthly releases, use the icon in the upper right corner of this help panel. A platform manager can control who sees this help panel by enabling or disabling the Help Panel task for users and roles.