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:



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.


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.

Sticky Notes

Client notes have long been a feature of JCS. They can be linked to clients or specific cases, you can have as many as you like and, for many users, are an invaluable tool for recording notes from meetings, to-do lists, or general reminders.

The Notes window is easily accessed but sometimes you need something much more visible, which cannot be missed. Several users have requested a way to make reminders appear in JCS. This might be a simple check list that can stay on screen as you work, or a big bold red flag which shouts something you absolutely must not forget, such as essential policy reviews or sensitive client issues.

Sticky Notes provide a way of doing just that. Any standard Client/Case Note can be converted into a Sticky Note. You’ll see they’ve been inspired by Windows Sticky Notes, but in JCS these handy reminders will pop up just when you need them – either when the client’s Fact Find, or a particular policy page is opened. They’ll then remain on your screen, unmissable, until the policy page or client is closed.


Aviva Platform Migration 

Over the coming weekend, Aviva will be migrating their Aviva Platform Investments to a new platform. Full details of the migration can be found on the Aviva Platform migration hub here, but the areas of impact for users of JCS will be as follows:

  • Client references and account numbers will be changing
  • Bulk valuation files will no longer be available from the Aviva for Advisers website
  • Minor changes to the electronic remuneration messages for adviser charges

Full details of each change, and how they affect your handling of Aviva Wrap policies in JCS are listed below.

Client references and account numbers

After the migration, all accounts will be allocated a new product reference to replace the account number previously used. This new reference will take the form of the wrapper id followed by a sub policy id. Example AV1234567-001.

All active Aviva Platform policies in JCS should be updated to reflect the new policy number, and Aviva will be providing a report to assist in this exercise. From the 22nd January 2018, you will be able to  download this report from the Aviva for Advisers website at and access the report from Platform Services > Business Reporting > Client by Adviser > Generate

If you have a small number of policies and wish to manually update the information in JCS, please contact tech support to obtain a document for all the steps concerned to ensure that there will be no issues with Contract Enquiry Valuations or Electronic Remuneration processing.

If you have a larger number of policies, we have a tool available in the latest version of JCS that will assist in bulk transforming all Aviva Wrap policies. Please contact tech support, and they will guide you through the process. 

We recommend that you perform one of these processes as early as possible to minimise any issues that may occur with electronic processing of adviser charges.

Bulk Valuation Files

In the past, JCS has been able to make use of a Back Office Valuation Report from the Aviva for Advisers website to update the value of policies. This report will no longer be available after the migration. To this end, we have been working hard to implement direct electronic integration with the Aviva Platform to access the real time contract enquiry valuation service. We aim to have this in place as soon as possible after the migration. Access will be via the usual JCS Contract Enquiry Connections using your Unipass digital certificate.

Electronic Remuneration Messages 

If you are currently receiving electronic statements for adviser charges on the Aviva Platform, these will change slightly from Monday 22nd. For starters, all references will be using the new product reference rather than the legacy account number, so it is important that these are updated in JCS prior to processing any new statements. There will also be some extra information in the message about the legacy account number, so it is important to make sure you are on the latest version of JCS to ensure that all parts of the message are read correctly.

As always, if you need assistance, guidance or help in this area please contact our Technical Support team.