Workflow - Progress Update

Over the last few months we have been busy working on a suite of new features for JCS, which we plan to release by the end of 2019. “Workflow” is a broad term, meaning different things to different people, so here is an overview of what to expect in the initial Workflow release:

  • The Workflow system is implemented by creating “Tasks” which are the individual elements (‘to do’) of each Workflow.
  • It will be possible to create templates of Tasks, which are called “Workflows”. At any time, a user will be able to select from a menu of these Workflows to initiate a pre-defined sequence of Tasks.
  • These Workflows may be a linear sequence of Tasks (where one Task starts after a previous Task is completed), a group of Tasks, which can be pursued simultaneously, or any combination of the two. The rules of Workflow templates will allow for a great deal of flexibility of Task progression, which will be able to model all real world scenarios.
  • There will be a new concept in JCS: “Groups”. It will be possible to assign JCS Users to any number of Groups and you will be able assign Tasks to either individual Users or Groups. Users will be able to find Tasks which have been assigned to them personally but also Tasks which have been assigned to Groups of which they are a member.
  • It will be possible to look at Tasks from the “higher” level of Workflows, to see which Workflows are in progress and what their status is. You will be able to drill down to see which Tasks in a Workflow have been completed, which Tasks are currently in progress and which Tasks will be created in the future when the current Tasks are completed.
  • When upgrading to the Workflow system, Diary Reminders will automatically be migrated to “Tasks”. It will be easier to find Tasks which are outstanding, which are linked to particular Client or Case, or which are assigned to a particular JCS User.

After the initial release of these features we intend to continue to develop Workflow in JCS. Depending on demand, this may include enhanced reporting, greater automation of commencing Workflows, or integration with third party software.

We will soon be in a position to offer pre-release demonstrations of the features described above. If you would like to have a sneak preview then please contact us.

Client Production Summary Report

In the latest JCS version there is a new report, which we are sure will be of interest to many of our users.

The Client Production Summary report gives an easy-to-digest overview of the financial value of clients to your practice. In just a few clicks you can see a summary of records from the Sales Ledger, Time/WIP Ledger, Commission Receipts Ledger and Disbursements Ledger, within any date range, arising from any client in your dataset.

As well as working for individual clients, the report can total the figures for all clients of a particular Adviser and/or all clients of a particular Client Code.

If you would like us to add filters to the report options, so you can use the report for additional groups of clients, then please get in touch.



Contract Enquiry Update

Recently we have been working hard behind the scenes to make contract enquiry/policy valuation services more reliable and not have to depend upon too many machine configurable settings to be able to make a connection with Product Providers and Platforms.

The latest release of JCS includes the following changes for users of contract enquiry/policy valuations:

  • Unipass certificates no longer need to be selected each and every time from MS Windows, as this is handled internally within JCS. You will still need to select the Unipass certificate from External Connections in JCS, and some connections that did not need this to be set in External Connections previously, may need it now, but you will be prompted the first time you use the connection.
  • Machine level settings for SSL/TLS, and which versions need to be enabled are no longer required for JCS. This is now all handled internally within JCS on a per connection basis, customised for each Provider to provide the maximum level of security that is offered.
  • Machine level settings to allow for non standard SSL redirects are no longer required, as this is all handled internally within JCS. An example is connections with Scottish Widows which previously required special configuration.
  • Support for the highest TLS v1.2 level encryption on machines that do not support this within Windows, or have it disabled, as it now handles this internally.
  • The ability in the future to integrate with Platforms and Provider interfaces that we were not able to before. Watch this space.


As part of this upgrade process, JCS has also moved Contract Enquiry services with Aviva and Friends Life, from their original messaging platforms to their new combined messaging platform, which is more reliable, has access to a wider range of products, uses industry standard fund codes, and the fund names are now human friendly names rather than internal codes, for example "Aviva Pensions Newton Multi-Asset Growth S2" instead of "NOP AvNewtM-AGro2".

These will all be moved over to the new service automatically when you install the latest version of JCS, but you may need to add your Unipass certificate to the Aviva connection in External Connections.

You should also find that if you have any old Friends Provident pensions or bonds, these can be valued using the new Aviva service as well.

As always, if you encounter any issues, please contact our Technical Support who will assist you.


Important Upgrade to JCS

Over the past few months, our Development team have been working on a major upgrade to JCS, which is now available for download.

If you have already installed the March 2019 release of JCS (version 28.101.08), you will immediately notice it has an updated look and feel, with a new colour scheme and high-definition font, suitable for 4K monitors.

A new modern ribbon interface has replaced the drop down toolbars at the top of the main window. You can now easily access all the various JCS features with a couple of clicks of the ribbon. 

Initial feedback from early adopters has been very positive and are confident that it will soon become second nature to all our users.  As always, we welcome feedback and of course, we will consider any suggestions you might have to further improve navigating around the software.

Part of the “Home” tab of the JCS ribbon, with easy access to the most commonly used pages

As well as these more obvious changes, a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to keep JCS up to date with the latest Microsoft Office features and security updates.

The last few months have also been particularly busy for our Tech Support, who on top of their usual work, have had to assist several clients with a number of issues related to recent Microsoft Office and Windows updates:

Unrecognised Database Format

This issue affected some users of JCS who had not updated the software for a couple of years. After installing a particular Windows update, they were unable to start JCS, which would report an “Unrecognised database format” error. This particular problem has been resolved for all users of JCS.

Disk I/O Errors

This error, which can occur at random times whilst using JCS, is also caused by recent Windows updates. We are hopeful Microsoft will soon provide a permanent fix for this issue, but in the meantime, they have recommended a particular workaround. If you think you have been affected, please call JCS Tech Support who will be able to assist in installing the workaround.

Mail Merge Problems

This problem can affect users of Word 2013 and earlier. When attempting to perform a mail merge, after selecting a source, Word will shut down and fail to complete the mail merge. This problem can be caused by installing JCS version 28.101.08 (or higher), which uses Microsoft components incompatible with these older unsupported versions of Word. There is a simple workaround for this problem: convert the source .xlsx file to a .csv before attempting the mail merge. As Microsoft no longer offer support for Office 2013 we also are unable to fully support it, therefore we recommend that you upgrade to a later version of Microsoft Office.

Considerations Before Upgrading JCS

As with most major upgrades to software, the latest version of JCS does require more computer resources (RAM) that previous versions. 

Before installing, we recommend

  • You confirm with your IT that you have enough RAM available (minimum 2GB)
  • Microsoft Office 2016 or later. If you use Office 2013 or earlier and perform mail merges on the same PC as running JCS, please check you are happy with the workaround detailed above
  • Minimum screen resolution of 1280 x 800

The latest version of JCS is available here:



JCS Update Notice
JCS is in need of a behind the scenes refresh, and we aim to complete this refresh before the end of 2018. You will find more details below, but the important thing to note is that from sometime after September 2018, JCS will no longer be supported on some of the older operating systems, and will be blocked from installing on these systems. The operating systems that we are discontinuing support for are Windows XP (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (unless it is patched to service pack 1 or greater).

We believe that this will affect only a very small number of our clients, but hope that this gives you enough notice to move away from these operating systems if required.

Our plan is to update the database runtimes that JCS uses, to the latest versions from Microsoft. The current database runtimes have proven both effective and reliable for the last 8 years, but it is now time to put them out to pasture. We hope to make the transition as seamless and easy for our users as possible, and you should not notice any significant impact on your use of the software.

Look out for further news in the coming months, but in the meantime, please ensure that if you are affected by the changes in minimum requirements, you put together an upgrade plan.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our technical support at; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.