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2023 Releases

This page lists Halo Connect's 2023 releases and the changes made in each release.

Version 23.1128

November 28th, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo API version 23.1124.1433

Improvements

Clarification of GUID descriptions in API reference

All fields in the API reference which refer to the Halo GUID now have the same description.


Version 23.1026

October 26th, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo API version 23.1020.1292

Improvements

  • Removed unnecessary data being sent from Halo Cloud to Halo Link.

Version 23.927

September 27th, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo API version 23.926.1244
  • Halo Link version 23.920.1226

Changes

Better errors on immediate queries

Improved the HTTP status codes that are returned on immediate queries.

Summary of changes:

  • Immediate queries failing to execute will now return true http error responses, as opposed to only 200s
  • New errorDetails field with a nested object that contains errorCode, errorMessage, and new errorType field
  • errorType will be http, mssql or halolink - denotes where the issue came from
  • ld errorCode and errorMessage fields in the root response object have been deprecated

Note

For more information on response codes, see API reference:

Staging API reference

Production API reference

Improvements

Secure storage of credentials optimisations

After secure credential store has been in production, we have optimised the calls to the underlying Key Vault.

Bug fixes

Update check case sensitivity

Made version check URL more flexible for the installer by making it case insensitive.

Character limit on subscription display name

The API manager that subscriptions are stored in has a character limit of 100. For sites with names over 100 characters we truncate the name.


Version 23.829

August 29, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.809.1104

Improvements

The version of Halo Link bundled with the current Bp Premier Data Update forces Link to target the Production environment, even if that install previously targeted staging.

To address this, Halo Link now properly respects existing registry settings, and only defaults to Production if a prior installation of Link has not already set Environment in the registry.

Warning

Due to this, the Halo Link installer no longer has an Environment drop-down. To install Halo Link in Staging, please see the updated installation instructions.

Halo Connect is now able to specify which version of Halo Link each individual site should be running, thanks to improvements to how Halo Link checks for updates.


Version 23.803

August 3, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.731.1018
  • Halo API version 23.802.1036

Changes

Removal of deprecated API URLs

The SQL Passthrough API originally used Azure-namespaced API URLs. Custom API URLs were released earlier this year, and the Azure URLs were deprecated. As this release rolls out, the Azure URLs will be removed from Staging then Production.

Staging URLs:

  • Removed base URL: https://am-haloapi-stage-002.azure-api.net/integrator
  • New base URL: https://api.stage.haloconnect.io/integrator

Production URLs:

  • Removed base URL: https://am-haloapi-prod-001.azure-api.net/integrator
  • New base URL: https://api.haloconnect.io/integrator

Features

Secure storage of Bp Premier database credentials

Previously, integrators had to pass their Bp Premier database credentials to the SQL Passthrough with their query, in order for Halo Connect to execute their query on their behalf.

As of this release, Bp Premier database credentials can be securely stored by Halo Connect. An integrator's database credentials will be added to queries they send to Halo Link, after they are authenticated with Halo Cloud.

This feature is backwards compatible for the SQL Passthrough API. It will be required for the Bp Premier API.

Bug fixes

When installing the Bp Premier July Data Update, which included Halo Link, any existing installations of Halo Link were forced to switch to the Production environment. This caused issues for integrators on staging.

This bug fix ensures the Halo Link installer respects the configured environment for existing installations. Note that installing Halo Link for the first time via Bp Premier will still default to production.

Fixed issue with query data that contains duplicate column names

Previously, Halo Link would drop duplicate columns in the return data of a query, as JSON requires unique names. A recently introduced bug meant Halo Link instead tried to parse data with duplicate columns, and therefore errored. This fix returns Halo Link to the previous behaviour.

Fixed bug with invalid Web PubSub tokens

Halo Link sometimes failed to connect to Web PubSub when starting up, which caused it to go offline with the following error:

[ERR] Failed to initialise WebSocket. Unable to connect to the remote server --> The remote server returned an error: (401) Unauthorized.

Halo Link will now renew its Web PubSub credentials and try again to connect.


Version 23.619

June 19, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.619.726

Features

Decreased memory usage

When uploading a query result to Halo Cloud, Halo Link used to put the result data in RAM before uploading. However, depending on the practice server’s available memory and the size of the query response, sometimes this would use up the RAM and cause out of memory exceptions.

Halo Link's query uploading process has been overhauled to instead stream the query result to disk, then stream it to Halo Cloud. This significantly reduces both the overall memory usage of Halo Link, which is good for server health, and reduces the risk of large queries causing out of memory exceptions. Overall, that means less interruptions to data extraction for integrators and for practices using those integrations.

More information about the security precautions taken to protect data on disk is available to customers upon request.


Version 23.616

June 16, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo API version 23.616.712

Changes

Rollback of parameter encoding in the SQL Passthrough API

Version 23.605 of Halo Cloud included a breaking change to the value field in parameters arrays. This change was only released to staging, and has been rolled back as it proved incompatible with other features.

Version 23.605 also included new options for two fields which are currently not functional. These will not be rolled back.

Bug fixes

Fix for parameters regression

Fixed a regression introduced in version 23.605 where the optional parameters field in the command object in the query body became required.


Version 23.615

June 15, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.615.704

Bug fixes

Fixed obfuscation library license issue

On June 14 we discovered the license for the obfuscation library used for Halo Link had not been packaged correctly, and the obfuscator started to fail due to our “trial” having ended. Integrators using the latest version of Halo Link on staging may have seen issues with it installing or running on June 14 and 15. This has been fixed in today’s release.


Version 23.605

June 5, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo API version 23.605.621

Changes

Parameter changes in SQL Passthrough API

To enable the upcoming features and reduce how much plaintext we transmit, a couple of parameters have changed for both the immediate and async query endpoints.

Warning

The value field in parameters arrays are now base64 encoded.

This is a breaking change, and will require changes to any integrations which use it.

There are also two fields with new options which are being released in preparation for the upcoming Halo Link release. These options are currently not functional.

  • executionMode has a new option scalar
  • direction has a new option inputOutput

See the SQL Passthrough API reference for more information.


Version 23.531

May 31, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.531.596

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue where new installations could require a service restart before Halo Link would begin processing queries
  • Fixed an issue where Halo Link's code obfuscation interferred with asynchronous queries

Version 23.526

May 26, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.525.581

Changes

To prevent code disassembly and tampering, Halo Link's code security has been improved.

Warning

This change may result in Halo Link being incorrectly detected by some antivirus programs as malware. Bitdefender, Trend Micro, and Sophos in particular. The Halo Link System Requirements now include a step for adding the Halo Link directory to the practice server’s antivirus’s allow/ignore list.

In addition, Halo Connect has moved to custom domains and requires access to 2 new specified URLs. This allows practices to increase the security of their servers by ensuring connection to Halo specific URLs. However, this means it is necessary to change which URLs your firewall allows Halo Link to access.

Warning

The Halo Link System Requirements have been updated with the new URLs.

Encrypted subscription keys

Halo Link stores the subscription key for the practice server it is installed on in that server's registry. This value is now encrypted as an additional security measure.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue where new installations could fail when installed silently

Version 23.504

May 4, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.504.399

Re-release

Rollback of 23.503, re-release of 23.403

Halo Link version 23.503 included various security improvements. However, issues were found with version 23.503. So the release was rolled back, and the previous stable version was re-released.

Note

We would still like to release these security improvements at a later date, so the docs have been updated with the new requirements for these improvements version. See the Halo Link system requirements for updated antivirus and firewall settings regarding API URLs and whitelisting the Halo Link install directory.


Version 23.503

May 3, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.502.525

Changes

To prevent code disassembly and tampering, Halo Link's code security has been improved.

Warning

This change may result in Halo Link being incorrectly detected by some antivirus programs as malware. Instructions for resolving this issue can found under Troubleshooting - Halo Link not updating.

In addition, Halo Connect has moved to custom domains and requires access to 2 new specified URLs. This allows practices to increase the security of their servers by ensuring connection to Halo specific URLs. However, this means it is necessary to change which URLs your firewall allows Halo Link to access.

Warning

The Halo Link System Requirements docs have been updated with the new URLs.


Version 23.427

April 27, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.419.481
  • Halo API version 23.421.495

Changes

New query endpoints, old endpoint deprecated

Since we first released the QueryBySite endpoint, which allows integrators to specify the query mode ("async" or "immediate"), the functionality of both immediate and async queries has expanded and diverged. This has complicated the single endpoint, because it has to handle and account for both types of query. It also limits some functionality, such as tailoring query states and error codes to how each query type works.

As of this version, we have introduced two new endpoints that split the async and immediate functionality to their own endpoints. This will mean better state information and error codes for integrators.

Warning

Integrator_QueryBySite_Post with route sites/{siteId}/queries will be marked as deprecated. We will continue to support its use for the next 3 months until July 31.

Going forward, use the following endpoints:

  • Integrator_QueryBySiteAsync_Post with route sites/{siteId}/queries/async
  • Integrator_QueryBySiteImmediate_Post with route sites/{siteId}/queries/immediate

Refer to the SQL Passthrough API reference for more details.


Version 23.403

April 3, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.321.396

Changes

The Halo Link updater service was previously called “updater”. It has now been renamed to “Halo Link Updater”. This is only a cosmetic change for clarity, such as when looking for the Halo Link Updater in the Windows Services dialog. It has no impact on functionality.

Bug fixes

Fixed installer bug caused by pixel errors

Fixed an installer issue that impacted Windows Server 2012 R2 where the installer would fail due to pixels extending beyond the boundaries of the dialog.

Fixed install reboot issue

Fixed an issue with the automatic updater that erroneously triggered a server reboot in certain update scenarios.


Version 23.310

March 13, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.310.362.0

Bug fixes

If Halo Link fails to upgrade, it will attempt to rollback to the previously installed version. Previously, if the rollback process failed, Halo Link would be uninstalled from the server.

Version 23.222 included a fix for this issue. However, more cases were subsequently found. Therefore, this version includes a new fix for the rollback issues.

Improved handling of hardware survey errors

Version 23.222 included a new hardware survey feature that depends on a third-party library. Despite Halo Connect not using printer-related data, the library would error if printer services were disabled on the server. This caused cascading errors, which caused Halo Link to fail to upgrade, triggering the above rollback issue.

Printer services being disabled on practice servers was commonly due to a Microsoft recommendation from 2021. This was a stop-gap mitigation for a security vulnerability. Microsoft have since patched the vulnerability, however some practice servers still have printer services disabled.

Read more about the PrintNightmare vulnerability.

Halo Link now handles errors from the third-party library.

If the Halo Link service stops unexpectedly, the Windows Service manager should restart it automatically. This has been reported to not work in some cases, resulting in some instances of Halo Link requiring manual restarts.

To mitigate this issue, an hourly scheduled task has been added to Halo Link to check if it is running and if not, attempt to restart.

Known issues

Potential installer incompatibility with some Windows Server 2012 R2 installations

An issue was reported where the Halo Link installer failed on a Windows Server 2012 R2 installation due to font rendering differences. This issue could not be replicated on other Windows Server 2012 R2 installations, or on other versions of Windows.

End of life for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 is planned for October 2023. As such this issue is unlikely to be fixed unless replicated in newer Windows environments.

See the Microsoft Lifecycle documentation for more information about Windows Server 2012 End of Life.


Version 23.222

February 22, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.221.281

Bug fixes

Fixed a bug that caused the update rollback process to uninstall Halo Link and and the Halo Link Updater. This affected both existing staging installations of Halo Link that tried to update and new installs using staging.

Machines that installed the 23.220 Halo Link staging release will need to reinstall Halo Link

Since this issue caused Halo Link and its Updater to be uninstalled, affected machines (any that tried to update to 23.220) will need to manually re-install Halo Link.

Current integrators were emailed more information with the 23.222 release that included the fix.

This bug did not impact production.


Version 23.220

February 20, 2023

Includes:

  • Halo Link version 23.213.250
  • Halo API version 23.215.266

Changes

Handling queries when site is offline or unreachable

  • A HTTP POST sent to sites/{siteGUID}/queries immediately returns 504 if the site is offline or unreachable. This eliminates the need to separately check site availability.
  • Async queries no longer retry when the site is offline or unreachable.

Features

New endpoint to check a site's state

  • Added a HTTP GET sites/{siteGUID} endpoint so integrators can check site metadata including availability. See API reference for more information.

New query statuses to represent offline or unreachable sites

  • Added Initialisation Failed Site Offline and Initialisation Failed Site Unreachable states for immediate and async queries.

To improve our diagnostics, our ability to optimise Halo Link for the hardware used by practices, and plan future upgrades, Halo Link now conducts a lightweight hardware survey on session initialisation. The gathered data includes:

  • Windows version
  • Harddisk space
  • Installed RAM
  • CPU data

Note

This survey collects strictly infrastructure-level details. It does not include user or license information.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug where Halo Link and Halo API could disagree about how many pages had been successfully uploaded and would get stuck in a retry loop.
  • Fixed a bug where Halo Link would fail to start if the site GUID was not in the registry.
  • Fixed a bug where command.text was overwritten when sqlQuery field and command object both existed in the request body.
  • Fixed a bug where the Halo Link service would restart if sending a heartbeat failed.

Prev: 2022 Release notes Prev: 2024 Release notes