Arable Web 8.1.0

Release Notes

Release Date: August 12, 2020

Instance affected: Production


Browsers: IE 11, Chrome 83, Firefox 78, Edge 83, Safari 13.1/12.1

Type of Release: Minor

Version: 8.1.0

Release Overview

Arable Web 8.1.0 is a minor release expanding on the new alert notification framework for the Arable Mark 2 to now also include rainfall alerts, GDD growth stage alerts and inactive location alerts. There is also a new flexible user interface for configuring notifications, including being able to set alert thresholds and communication channel subscriptions on a specific Arable Mark 2 device. Inactive location alerts are set to beta status as we explore how well they integrate with the other functions in the system. One example use case combines inactive location alerts with frost events so the user is made aware of any communication issues before going to sleep for the evening.

The release also introduces a fallback to remote-sensed data for wind speed and wind direction when no local anemometer is installed. This feature utilizes IBM/The Weather Company’s cleaned historical data and is an approximation of the wind at the Arable Mark location.

The Arable Web Graph-Time feature is being gradually updated to have any multi-location and two-measurement combination displayed. In this release, all measurements except soil moisture and GDD can be plotted in a single graph for one location. The soil moisture graph now adjusts the y-axis scale to the data range retrieved for better granularity.

Advanced Analytics has new, more powerful pipeline tools. A script-based embedded BI solution has been added that uses scheduled notebooks to combine multiple data sources and custom models. A few disease models were developed for specific customers in this release. Please contact the Arable salesteam for more information or to discuss how to utilize this capability within your organization.


New Features

  • A new settings page, Alerts (Mark 2), has been introduced and takes the place of the previous abbreviated configuration for alerts that were in the Account settings page. Here you can configure how you want to receive alerts (mobile push notifications, text SMS, or voice call) and which alerts (weather alerts, crop health alerts, and/or device alerts). You can configure these alerts for the whole organization as default settings or specific to one location. Threshold parameters are associated with the Mark 2, while the communication channel subscriptions are per user. If you are in multiple organizations and change your default communication settings, these will apply to yourself in all organizations. On the other hand, if you change a threshold as an org admin, this will apply not only to you but also other users that have access to this specific Mark 2 device. Apart from this new Alerts (Mark 2) notifications page, there are a set of new alerts introduced with this release. These new notifications are reflected in the Arable Web activity log, where a filtering tab is included per alert category:
    GDD: Triggered when a crop passes from one growth stage to the next as defined on the Arable Web Seasons page. The alert threshold is checked daily and an alert is sent at 8:00am local device time.
    Rainfall: Triggered when exceeding a defined rainfall threshold as defined on the Arable Web Alerts (Mark 2) page or the Arable Mobile Settings tab. The default threshold is 0.1 inches/2.54 mm per hour. There is a hysteresis implemented, meaning that unless there is a gap of at least six hours without rain, a new alert will not be generated for a second rainfall event.
    Inactive Location: Triggered when a device location goes from an active or new status to an inactive, dormant, retired, or removed status. The timing is set to the same as for the inactive state, i.e., if more than 8 hours have passed since the last report, the inactive location alert will be triggered. We recommend you enable this alert alongside a frost event alert in order to get a pre-warning of communication issues before you go to sleep for the night. The inactive alert feature is currently set to beta as we work to improve the interaction with other alerts, and when to recommend a physical visit.
  • Locations without a local anemometer will now present historical remote-sensed data for wind speed and wind direction in Graph-Time. New charts for daily and hourly wind have also been added in the Location Weather dashboard, and show both observed and forecasted data from remote-sensed data if not available locally. Any remote-sensed data is labeled Remote Data. The wind direction cardinality denotes where the wind comes from (e.g., Westerly winds) and arrows show from-to direction (e.g., from West to East).
    Note that for the current wind values, these will use the last historical hour available, which can have up to a 6-hour delay due to data processing and cleaning by the remote-sensed data provider (IBM/The Weather Company). The remote-sensed data is also given at a 10-meter height in this release as provided by the source. We are working on validating the best process to downscale to the height of the Arable Mark in a future release.
  • The Graph-Time capability has been updated to allow the selection of two measurements and graph these in the same chart with individual y-axes. All measurements except soil moisture and GDDs are supported in this release. Y-axes are synchronized when they are the same units for both measurements (e.g., minimum and maximum temperature).
  • The Graph-Time chart for soil moisture has been adjusted so that the max and min y-axis values are aligned with the data range for the time data series in order to make changes more visible. One decimal point has also been added to increase the readability in other places such as the Map.
  • On the Account page, the user is now able to generate an API key to use with the API. The key is specific to a user and gives access to the data streams associated to all Arable Marks for which the user has visibility. It is possible to refresh the key in the same user interface. Only the latest key is active.
  • To improve the performance and usability, the Arable Web Teams page Locations column was removed, decreasing the number of data requests to the backend API for rendering. Any arable power users have also been hidden from the user interface. Finally, the Teams page now only shows the members by role when the user opens the details of the team.
  • Apart from showing a 3-digit (major, minor and maintenance) release version on the Account page, there is also now a build number for internal and beta testing versions in order to be able to track updates from Arable engineering.

Defect Fixes

  • In the Arable Web Map view, an untitled location did not display its device ID in the naming pop-up like it does in Arable Mobile. This issue is now resolved.
  • A support user ID called poweruser+[TenantName] could show up as a member of an admin team. This user only existed for Arable Customer Success to provide better support. We have removed this extra user ID in this release.
  • The All date selection in Arable Web Export was influenced by the local time zone of the browser. As such, for Europe and Australia, selecting All dates included the day before the first reporting date, thus the Export button was grayed out. This has been fixed.
  • There were some style issues in the Hourly-Daily graphs for IE11 browsers in previous releases that have now been resolved.
  • The Arable Web banner number for active and inactive states on the Device tab were not always up to date, and the sorting by status in the table did not always function. This has been fixed.
  • In earlier releases, there was no explicit warning that a Mark which had been set to send frost alerts failed to sync and thus did not feed the alert process in the backend. In this release we added the capability to send an inactive location alert through the same channel if the underlying device has gone into inactive state (defined by 8.5 hours of not syncing). Both alerts need to be selected by the user in Arable Web Notification settings.
  • When a user created a new team, it was not clear that they also needed to press return after entering the team's name in order to get the confirmation that the team is selectable. Help text has been added to avoid confusion.
  • Complete Google Analytics events have been added for the new features in order to help Arable Customer Success to better guide users.


Known Issues

  • Wind data provided by the local Davis anemometer can be skewed in some cases due to wrong mapping from pulse count to degrees. This is being worked on and is expected to be updated with a hotfix once we have worked through the problem.
  • Wind data as shown on the Arable Web Map page is the average for today. This is planned to be changed in a future release to current wind in order to be more actionable.
  • Remote-sensed wind data takes some time to process before being presented, which can lead to up to 6 hours of wind data not being available at the time of reading. This wind data will fill in again as time elapses. Future enhancements will provide current, remote-sensed, on-demand data.
  • The Web UI for the Map and Settings pages does not explain to the user whether GPS is missing for a Mark (e.g., that it is temporarily deployed indoors). Help text is planned for a future release to tell the user to move the Mark into GPS coverage (i.e., outdoors) and potentially to allow manual entry of the GPS coordinates for prolonged deployment inside.
  • Devices may not be sorted correctly on the Devices tab until the user clicks on an arrow to sort them.
  • To enable confirmation of successful soil moisture probe installation in real time, we plan to add Bridge status as part of the deployment message from the Mark to the backend, and have it populate in the API and UI (on the Device tab).
  • Sorting by last sync on the Device tab may show the pending ones at the top, regardless of sort order. This will be fixed in an upcoming release.
  • Frost and heat alerts are currently triggered based on the max/min 5-minute value of the hour. A hysteresis of 2°C above the threshold has to be achieved before another alert would be triggered again. This means that one 5-min anomaly value could lead to a retriggering of the alert. An improved algorithm for the min/max temp that uses, e.g., the average of the top five 5-min values, is being assessed for an upcoming release.
  • After having sent out an invitation to one or more users via the Arable Web Teams invite feature, it is not possible to see a confirmation that the invited user has received the email. They will show as invited until they have accepted the invitation (user shows up in list with assigned role).
  • The Mark 2 marker in the Map view can be grayed even if the device is syncing correctly. This was a cosmetic issue but will be fixed in the next release by allowing up to four hours of delay in syncing before showing the icon as grayed out on the map.
  • Currently the NDVI graph does not show any indication that a drop can be due to cloudy days. To circumvent any misunderstandings, users can also review the solar radiation with the two-measurement graph feature.
  • The maximum length for a location name is currently 20 characters. We expect to change this to 30 characters in the next release.
  • The Arable Mobile Map view does not contain rain for the current day in the 10-day historical precipitation measurement. It is planned to include this in the next release.
  • In the current release, it is not possible to search for a location in the drop-down list when creating a new season. A search function similar to what exists in Export and the Graph-Time dropdown will be added in the next release.
  • The Arable Web Plant tab uses different input data for ETc and precipitation charts, which can make the day delineation confusing. Precipitation for today is built up using hourly observations up to the current hour and with remote-sensed forecast for the subsequent hours of the day. Today is categorized as partly observed data. ETc, on the other hand, only changes to observed data after the day is completed and as such the values shown for today are forecasted data. Better explanations are expected to be added with the next release.