Menu
« Back to Product Updates

Release 2013.1: Summer 2013

  • Release Date: August 27, 2013
  • Version: 2013.1.1.29054
  • Upgrade Window: August 27, 2013

PDF Icon
Download this Release Bulletin as PDF.

Release Description

Release 2013.1 is the first major release of the ShotSpotter FlexSMAlert Console and Investigator Portal in 2013. (The Investigator Portal was previously known as Incident & Reports Portal or IRP). Although changes on the surface are less noticeable than prior major releases, substantial changes to account and user provisioning have been made which will permit self-service administration of accounts (creation, password reset, etc.) in an upcoming release, and upgrades to the communication architecture have been made to improve uptime and reduce cases of disconnection on poorly performing networks. In addition, a number of functional improvements have been made to the software in response to customer requests, and new searching and reporting capabilities have been added to the Investigator Portal. Finally, a new utility, called theFlex Up-to-Date Utility, is shipping alongside Release 2013.1 which permits IT departments to more easily deploy and update the Alerts Console and Investigator Portal without requiring individual users to download the applications.

Incident & Reports Portal Renamed “Investigator Portal”

To reflect its primary focus on providing post-incident analysis and investigatory data to detectives, investigators, prosecutors, and crime analysts, we have shortened the name of the Release 2012.x Incident & Reports Portal to the Investigator Portal in Release 2013.1. There have been upgrades to functionality in the Investigator Portal (detailed below), and no features have been removed. The name was changed to clarify its purpose.

For IT Departments: Administrative Installation

Due to a limitation imposed by Microsoft on its Silverlight technology, individual users have historically been forced to install Silverlight Out-of-Browser applications such as the Alerts Console and Investigator Portal for each logged in Windows user. For departments with many users and many computers, Release 2013.1 now supports automated deployment via a setup.exe administrative install or via Group Policy Object (GPO) distribution of an .msi files. Please refer to FED-72-04 Deploying ShotSpotter Flex Client Software, version 2.0, dated August 2013, for more information.

Upgrading

Due to the nature of the upgrade to Release 2013.1, existing ShotSpotter Flex apps (the Alert Console and Incident & Reports Portal) will not be automatically updated, and you will no longer be able to log in to any release marked 2012.x.x.x. An uninstall and reinstall will be necessary. SST Support has proactively contacted the IT contacts for all ShotSpotter Flex customers in an attempt to minimize disruption. If individual users wish to manually uninstall and reinstall, they can do so without administrative privileges. Instructions are provided at the end of this document.

Platform-Wide Improvements

Beats and Districts

Since its launch, ShotSpotter Flex has supported grouping incidents by two separate (independent) geographic boundary areas. Although the names are arbitrary, they are commonly referred to as “beats” (the more finely-grained, smaller geographic areas) and “districts” (the more coarsely-grained, larger areas).

Term

Example Image

Explanation

Coverage Areas
(Zones)

 

Area of ShotSpotter coverage

Districts

 

Coarse-grained (larger) level of grouping

Beats

 

Fine-grained (smaller) level of grouping

Parcels

 

Used for address lookups only. (This process is referred to as “reverse geocoding” by GIS practitioners.)

If you do not see Beat and District information in your Alert Console or Incident Portal for any incident, contact SST Support (see below for contact information) who will arrange a support ticket to request the beat and district boundary data and import it into the ShotSpotter Flex platform.

SST Support can accept beat, district, and parcel file data in .KML or ESRI “shapefile” (.SHP) format. Shapefile (.SHP) format is greatly preferred but not necessary. For beat and district information, we can also accept a hand-drawn map for manual conversion.
 

If your beat or district information changes (e.g., if the shapes move or change due to a reorganization of responsibilities within your jurisdiction), SST Support can retroactively readjust the beat and district information for all incidents (or all incidents on or after a certain date).

Release 2013.1 now supports beats and districts throughout the platform, including in searching and summarizing (exporting) data.

Configurable Address Lookup

The ShotSpotter “dot on the map” will always be drawn to the maximum accuracy available. Although mislocations do occur, the location of the dot is generally considered maximally accurate (unless the incident is identified as possibly mislocated). This dot is translated into a street address via a process known as reverse geocoding. The process of finding the street address for the dot varies in accuracy depending on the accuracy of parcel maps provided by the client agency to SST. If parcel maps do not exist for the area, or if the dot appears outside of a fixed radius of known parcel boundaries, then the ShotSpotter Flex platform automatically falls back to an alternate mechanism and requests a reverse geocoded address from Microsoft® Bing® Maps service. This latter address is not always 100% reliable, and slight address discrepancies have become the cause of confusion.

In Release 2013.1, the reverse geocoding process can now be adjusted on a customer-by-customer (or even coverage area-by-coverage area) basis. If incident “dots” are found to be falling on the correct locations but street addresses associated with those locations are sometimes inaccurate, please contact SST Support to have the reverse geocoding mechanism adjusted for your agencv.

Always Respond to the Dot, not the Street Address!

Except in rare cases of mislocations, ShotSpotter places a dot at the location at which the gun was fired. (In the case of multiple shooters, the dot is in the middle of the locations; a subsequent Detailed Forensic Report may be requested to plot individual incidents.) Responding to the dot is critical, because street address information may not always be accurate.

Unified User Log-In

All ShotSpotter Flex user accounts have been migrated to a single authentication database in preparation for release later this year of new software features. No changes have been made to existing user accounts or passwords, but future user accounts will require a valid email address. (The email address may be shared among multiple people—i.e., in a distribution list—if desired. For example, dispatch@xyzcity.gov will be a valid username.)

New: The ShotSpotter Flex Up-to-Date Utility

The Alerts Console and Investigator Portal are built on top of Microsoft Silverlight technology. Silverlight Out-of-Browser apps can only be installed on a per user basis. SST received feedback from our customers that this limitation created undesirable installation workload, and starting with Release 2013.1, we introduced the ShotSpotter Flex Up-to-Date utility. The utility installs as a regular Windows application (executable) accessed through a system tray icon:
 

SST Support has coordinated with the IT contacts for all agencies using ShotSpotter Flex to arrange to have this utility installed. As a result, it is unlikely that you will have to install the new versions of the Alerts Console or Investigator Portal yourself. Instead, you will likely see a pop-up window shortly after you log in which looks like this:

After a few moments, the familiar Alerts Console and Investigator Portal app icons will appear on your desktop:
 

Alerts Console

One-Click, Streamlined Installation

The installation process for the Alerts Console (as well as for the Investigator Portal) has been streamlined. End-users can now install with one click, right from the download page, as shown to the right. Local Windows Administrator rights are not required to install Silverlight Out-of-Browser applications such as the Alert Console. The page shown to the right is available at the URLs listed in the table below. Although installation will proceed from any server, in order for you to log in successfully inside the app, you must choose the link correct server:

Server

Install Link

US1

https://us1.shotspotter.net/flex

US2

https://us2.shotspotter.net/flex

US3

https://us3.shotspotter.net/flex

US4

https://us4.shotspotter.net/flex

US5

https://us5.shotspotter.net/flex

PN1

https://pn1.shotspotter.net/flex

ZA1

https://za1.shotspotter.net/flex

Demo

https://demo.shotspotter.net/flex

Tags: More Detailed, Real-Time Information on Alerts

SST constantly seeks to improve the quality of information provided by our 24x7x365 Incident Review Center (IRC) on each alert processed. One recent improvement is the addition of “tags” to our Reviewers’ workstations which result in automatic notification to users of the Alerts Console and Investigator Portal. Some examples of more detailed information which may be available for alerts follow. In each case, text will appear in the Incident Description, and separately more details will be shown in the Comments area.

Some examples of incident details which may be applied by SST’s IRC personnel are:

· Possible fully automatic or high capacity weapon

· Possibly mislocated, dispatch 'near the area of' not precise address

· Possibly located behind building

· Possibly on Northeast side of building

Important Note about Tags

SST’s Incident Review Center prioritizes timely response to new incidents over tagging incidents which have already been reviewed. Tags are applied by personnel whenever possible but on a strictly best-efforts basis. They are not guaranteed to be applied for all incidents. For example, some incidents may occur in front of a building, but the In Front of Building tag may not have been applied if another incident required processing before tagging could be completed.


Updated Components

1. ShotSpotter Flex Server (version 2013.1.0.29041)

2. ShotSpotter Flex Alert Console (console displays build 2013.1.0.29041)

3. ShotSpotter Flex Investigator Portal (portal displays build 2013.1.0.29041)
 

Other Changes Issues Addressed in Alerts Console release 2013.1:

  • The Copy Incident Details to Clipboard button is now available at all times; it is no longer disabled after an incident has been closed.

· An issue which rarely caused Alert Console not to display the “toaster” pop-up window during has been addressed.

· An incompatibility caused by a third-party piece of “macro” software which caused intermittent “white screens” on the Alerts Console for a specific customer has been addressed and resolved.

Investigator Portal
(formerly Incident & Reports Portal)

One-Click, Streamlined Installation

The installation process for the Investigator Portal (as well as for the Alert Console) has been streamlined. End-users can now install with one click, right from the download page, as shown to the right. Local Windows Administrator rights are not required to install Silverlight Out-of-Browser applications such as the Investigator Portal. The page shown to the right is available at the URLs listed in the table below. Although installation will proceed from any server, in order for you to log in successfully inside the app, you must choose the link correct server:

Server

Install Link

US1

https://us1.shotspotter.net/flex

US2

https://us2.shotspotter.net/flex

US3

https://us3.shotspotter.net/flex

US4

https://us4.shotspotter.net/flex

US5

https://us5.shotspotter.net/flex

PN1

https://pn1.shotspotter.net/flex

ZA1

https://za1.shotspotter.net/flex

Demo

https://demo.shotspotter.net/flex

Simplified, Reorganized Search Panel

The Search panel at the top of the window has been simplified and re-organized.

The number of panels has been reduced from five to four, and new search features have been added to the date range and incident details panels.

New Search Shortcuts for Date Ranges

Investigator Portal 2013.1 now provides “search shortcuts” which make searching for incidents over common periods of time easy. Simply click the calendar shortcut icon between the begin and end labels:

in order to select a search time period from a list of commonly-selected time periods:

Search by Beat, District

Investigator Portal now permits you to limit your searches to specific Beats or Districts. (ShotSpotter Flex supports two levels of geographic areas, which are arbitrarily named “beats” and “districts” each of which can have any number of polygonal areas.)

Beat and District names are automatically loaded from the data provided to SST by your department. (For more information, including how to provide Beat and District information to SST, see the Beats and Districts section below.) When searching, you can select one or more Beats or Districts from the drop-down menu, or type them in manually:
 

Incident Tags

SST’s Incident Review Center will tag an incident with one or more descriptors when time between one incident and the next permits. For example, an incident may appear to involve a Fully Automatic Weapon, or the incident may occur In Front of Building. Each of these tags can be searched for in the Tags field.

Important Note about Tags

SST’s Incident Review Center prioritizes timely response to new incidents over tagging on incidents already published. Tags are applied by personnel whenever possible but on a strictly best-efforts basis. They are not guaranteed to be applied for all incidents. For example, some incidents may occur in front of a building, but the In Front of Building tag may not have been applied if another incident required processing before tagging could be completed.


Updated Components

1. ShotSpotter Flex Server (version 2013.1.0.29041)

2. ShotSpotter Flex Alert Console (console displays build 2013.1.0.29041)

3. ShotSpotter Flex Investigator Portal (portal displays build 2013.1.0.29041)
 

 

Other Changes Issues Addressed in the Investigator Portal release 2013.1:

· All ShotSpotter Flex user accounts have been migrated to a single authentication database in preparation for release later this year of new software features. No changes have been made to existing user accounts or passwords, but future user accounts will require a valid email address. (The email addressmay be shared among multiple people—i.e., in a distribution list—if desired. For example, dispatch@xyzcity.gov will be a valid username.)

· An internal change was made to the user authentication mechanism which permits more flexible deployment of the IP client via .MSI installer, batch installation, or on Mac OS X computers.

· The date and time of the selected incident has been added to the Details tab so that users do not have to switch back and forth between tabs.

· When an incident search involves too many incidents or takes too long due to network connectivity, users were previously shown a “disconnected” icon. IP now reports that the search took too long and requests that the user attempt a more limited search.

· The incident type list has been adjusted so that it does not extend off the screen on monitors with reduced vertical resolution.

· The multiple gunshots icon now displays properly in the incident type list.

· Incident counts on printed reports have been reconciled with the number displayed in the incident list, regardless of the setting of the “Include Auto-Acknowledged Incidents” checkbox.

· An issue in which audio waveforms were displayed but occasionally would not play audibly was resolved.

· An issue in which audio waveforms for a prior incident were left visible on the details tab for a subsequent issue was resolved.

· An issue in which Dispatcher users were unable to log out successfully has been fixed.

· The list of coverage areas is now alphabetized. (For many customers, this change will not be evident because there is only one coverage area.)

Detailed Upgrade Instructions

Manual Upgrade Procedure

1. Remember Your Server

Each ShotSpotter Flex customer is assigned a ShotSpotter server, deployed in the SST data center (“in the cloud”). Before beginning this procedure, please make a note of your server name. You can find the server name in the lower right-hand corner of the main window of either the Alert Console or the Investigator Portal:

 

or in the lower left-hand corner of the login screen:

2. Manual Uninstall

In any Flex console, either the Alert Console or the Incidents & Reports Portal, you can uninstall simply by right-clicking anywhere within the application window and choosing Remove this application…:

 

 

5. Install the New Alert Console or Investigator Portal

Once you have upgraded Silverlight, “installing” the new ShotSpotter Flex consoles, either the Alert Console or the Investigator Portal (or both) simply requires browsing to one of the URLs listed below and following the instructions. (For security reasons, note that the “installation” is quite limited. Technically speaking, you are installing simply a Silverlight application running in Out-of-Browser mode.)

Please look for the server name you wrote down in step 1 above and use the link on that row to find the installation software:
 

Server

Install Link

US1

https://us1.shotspotter.net/flex

US2

https://us2.shotspotter.net/flex

US3

https://us3.shotspotter.net/flex

US4

https://us4.shotspotter.net/flex

US5

https://us5.shotspotter.net/flex

PN1

https://pn1.shotspotter.net/flex

ZA1

https://za1.shotspotter.net/flex

Demo

https://demo.shotspotter.net/flex

Once you have clicked these links, you will be taken to an installation page which permits the installation of either the Alerts Console or the Incidents & Reports Portal:

On this page, users simply click on the green arrows labelled “Click to Install” for either the Alerts Console or the Investigator Portal (or both). In each case, they will see a security confirmation warning such as the following:

This is not the normal Windows User Account Control (UAC); it does not require administrative privileges for installation. After the user clicks the Install button, the application will run immediately:

Other Resources, Documentation, and Support Links

The right column on the installation page contains several links which may be useful during the installation process or subsequently.

 




Use the Compatibility Checker to make sure this computer has the necessary network and internet site access to run ShotSpotter Flex.


24x7x365 chat with our Incident Review Center is available, who can initiate Support tickets, escalate to Customer Support, and answer questions about usernames and passwords.

For IT Administrators: please see FED-72-04 Deploying ShotSpotter Flex Client Software, version 2.0, dated August 2013.

Support

SST Customer Support is available to all customers with valid ShotSpotter Flex Support contracts. You may contact SST Customer Support:

Via Live Chat:

From either the ShotSpotter Flex Alert Console or the ShotSpotter Flex Investigator Portal, look for the chat links:

\


or by following this link in any web browser:
 

https://chat.shotspotter.com/chatrequest

Via Phone:

Phone support is available Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. Please contact our support team during these hours at: +1 (888) 274–6877, then dial option 4.
 

Via Email:

Email support@shotspotter.com. Please include as much detail as possible so we may better serve you quickly.

Product: ShotSpotter Flex