Mambo Gamification Platform v5.9 – Release Notes

Gamification platform
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What's New in the Gamification Platform?

What’s New in the Gamification Platform?

It’s official, we’ve stashed away our classic update emails and have gone public! This will be the first post in our new Mambo Gamification Platform Release series.

We’ll be able to give you more information thanks to the added space. It’s also great for posterity, you know, for when you want to reminisce about that cool feature! And, as a bonus, it keeps us accountable about keeping you informed

So without further ado, let’s get back to the topic at hand.

What’s new? What’s been brewing since our last release?

Well, I’m glad you asked! Here’s a quick list of what’s changed since the previous release:

  1. Analytics Segmentation by Tags
  2. User Authentication – LDAP and Username/Password
  3. Administrator Authentication – LDAP
  4. Security Improvements – CSP, CSRF, Reporting Errors
  5. Performance Improvements – Leaderboards, Activities
  6. Cloud Infrastructure Provisioning Automisation
  7. Other Improvements and Bug Fixes

As always, we recommend upgrading to the latest version so that you have all the newest features, enhancements and fixes available.

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Analytics Segmentation by Tags

Analytics Segmentation by Tags

Analytics is fundamental as a strategic and high-level tool. This is because you always need to know if you’re steering the ship in the right direction.

However, when you segment your data you gain real actionable insights. The power comes from being able to answer really specific questions. Questions such as:

Which sales team is performing better overall or exhibiting particular traits? What countries refer the most customers to us? Which of our contact center support teams are most effective by customer?

So how do you enable this goodness in your gamification platform’s reports?

As you can already segment your game mechanics and users by tag, it felt like a good fit. So we added an option to also segment your analytics by tag.

Now when you edit or create a tag, you will be presented with a new option called Track in Analytics. Enable the option to get your analytics segmented by the tag.

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User Authentication

User Authentication

We are happy to announce authentication for users! This was one of our most requested features, so we’re excited to have it ready for you.

You can now configure Mambo to authenticate users with usernames and passwords or using your corporate Active Directory.

Stay tuned as we will be supporting new authentication mechanisms in the future. However, do let us know if you would like to see support for any particular authentication mechanism!

Mambo Internal Directory

You can use the internal directory when you want Mambo to authenticate your users. The authentication will happen using a username and password. Then, after logging in, the user will be redirected to a page of your choosing.

LDAP User Directory

Connect Mambo to your existing Active Directory or to any authentication provider which supports LDAP. Users can then log in using their existing credentials and have their Mambo accounts created automatically.

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Administrator Authentication

Administrator Authentication

We’ve taken the opportunity to add support for LDAP authentication to the Administrators as well. You can now allow administrators to login using their existing Active Directory credentials. The added benefit is that we’ll synchronise the accounts automatically with Mambo.

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Security Improvements

Security Improvements

As always, security is a hot topic and at the forefront of many peoples’ minds. So this year we decided to put our app through a number of security and penetration tests to make sure we can live up to our Enterprise standards.

I was happy to know we scored pretty well in the tests but alas, it wasn’t a perfect score. So we did what we always do, we came up with a plan 🙂

The first step was to harden the APIs to make them more secure (the results of which are below).

The next step will be to further revamp the authentication mechanisms to allow better management and control of your security (coming in 2020).

CSRF

What is this CSRF I speak of?

Well, according to OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project), CSRF is:

“Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) is an attack that forces an end user to execute unwanted actions on a web application in which they’re currently authenticated.”

I don’t know about you but we didn’t like the sound of that. So this was the first one we addressed.

Content-Security-Policy Header

Next on the list were the Content Security Policy headers. This isn’t as scary as the first one. In fact, on its own, CSP headers are known to have their vulnerabilities. However, as part of a wider strategy, they are a recommended good practice.

I don’t think I’m going to dig into the details on this one as it’s quite a snooze fest! Suffice to say we’ve added this layer to our APIs as well.

Reporting Errors

Error reporting is a delicate art. Obviously, the gamification platform needs to let you know when something is not right, but not enough to let you figure out how the software is made. Otherwise, someone might use that information in mischievous ways.

All our APIs were already designed with error handling from the start. However, there are several layers that are executed before we get to the APIs. These were not included in our error handling. Now we’ve extended our support to all areas of the app, ensuring we reduce any possible information leakage during an error.

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Performance Improvements

Performance Improvements

We made a few performance enhancements in the latest version of the mambo gamification platform. Why? Well, who doesn’t want a bit more performance! 🙂

Actually, the reality is that we are dealing with millions of users and activities. Therefore performance is always an important topic.

Here are some of the improvements you will find in the new version of the Mambo platform:

  1. Performance boost of almost 400% when regenerating leaderboards
  2. Fine-tuned the activity tracking algorithm and decreased by up to 250ms processing time
  3. Added support for clever request caching and multi-threaded environments to the Java SDK
  4. We’ve scaled our production environment to support larger volumes of data input
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Cloud Infrastructure Automation

Cloud Infrastructure Automation

This one is specifically for our On-Demand and Managed Services customers. As part of our journey towards continuous deployment, we automated all of our cloud infrastructure deployment and upgrade procedures.

Thanks to this, we can now release new versions of the Mambo gamification platform with the click of a button. Well, it involves typing a command, but trust me, it’s as easy as clicking a button!

We’ve built-in support for blue-green deployments. In other words, we can deploy with virtually no downtime.

Besides, automation allows us to control the environments of our managed services customers. For instance, we can quickly create development, staging and production environments. We can also migrate data between environments and scale them dynamically.

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Other Improvements and Fixes

Other Improvements and Fixes

The list of improvements is long, too long to fit into one post. However, we’ve summarised the most interesting improvements below. Also, you can find the full list of changes with details in the Support Portal.

Summary of other interesting improvements:

1. Allow behaviour based activities to carry ad hoc points.

2. Added time zone settings for each site. Determine which time zone you want to operate in and what is the first day of the week.

3. Included the ability to filter specific user activities by date, behaviours performed and rewards earned in the Administration Panel.

4. Added the ability to define the units of measure to be displayed in a KPI’s RAG status.

5. Added custom field types that support the upload of images.

6. Extended the user search to include the display name field and added the ability to select specifically which  fields should be searched.

About Alessandro Giannone

Serial Entrepreneur with a passion for code, sales and coffee.

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