Project Manager

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Project Creation

Project Panorama puts a “Projects” menu item into your WordPress admin interface. Once installed, you can create individual projects by navigating to the projects menu item and selecting “Add Project.”

Each project has it’s own project page, which can be seen by editing the page and selecting “view project” or going to “All Projects” and clicking the “view” link underneath a the project title (must hover to see.)

You have a few settings to adjust how your projects are displayed, these can be accessed by clicking the “settings” link in the Projects menu. You can change the page url from /panorama/project-name to anything of your choosing, for example /clients/project-name. You can also upload a logo to be displayed on all project pages.

After installation, the most common first steps would be to:

  1. Create accounts for your clients through the WordPress user menu – Give them a role of “subscriber” if you don’t want them to edit projects or “project owner” if you do
  2. Create a new project by going to Projects > Add New
  3. Fill out the project details and add your clients to the project
  4. Send your clients a link to their project dashboard at http://www.yourdomain.com/panorama (unless you changed “panorama” to another word in the Panorama settings menu)
  5. Repeat for all of your projects

Documents

Overview

Panorama supports the uploading and attachment of documents to projects. Documents have the following attributes:

  • Title
  • Description ( 1 – 2 lines )
  • Status
  • File / Link

Status indicates if the document has been approved, is in review, is being revised or has been rejected. This allows you and your clients to work through document revisions until an approval is made. When switching the document status, users have the option of sending an notification to any or all of the users on the project.

Documents can either be uploaded directly to WordPress or you can provide an external link to a document (or folder.) If you’d like to use Dropbox, Google Drive, etc… you can use the external link option and either link to a single file or the folder itself. This is a good way to manage projects with a large amount of assets that don’t necessarily need to be listed individually on the project page.

If you have uploaded a file and specified a URL, the uploaded file will take priority and the link URL will not be used.

Anyone with access to the project can upload a new document. Upon uploading, the user will have the option of sending a notification to any or all of the users on the project.

Overview and Timing

Project Panorama allows you to input key details about each of your project including:

  • Client name
  • Client / project logo
  • Project description
  • Start date (if applicable)
  • End date (if applicable)

If both start and end date are set, Panorama will automatically calculate how much of the project time has elapsed. The calculation compares the current date to the start and end date and determines percentage wise, how much time has past. So if you have a 30 day project and it’s day 15, Panorama will indicate 50% of the project time has elapsed.

Milestones

With Panorama you have the ability to create project milestones in 5% increments. Milestones are a method of indicating events which occur once the project reaches a certain completion point. The most common examples would include billing and meetings. For example, you might bill a client an additional amount once the project is 50% complete. Alternatively, you might meet to review a project at 25% intervals.

Milestones are not tied to task or phase completion. This is because not all projects happen sequentially. In many cases, tasks from phases I, II and III could be done in tandem, thus you can’t align a milestone with a particular phase is complete.

If you’d like the milestones to align with phases because your projects do occur sequentially — just ensure the milestone completion point matches the same percentage as the related phase. For example, if the first phase is 25% of the project then you’d create a related milestone at 25%.

You can assign due dates to milestones as well. If the due date passes and the project completion hasn’t met or exceeded the milestone point, the due date will appear in red. Once completion is reached, the milestone will illuminate in blue and the due date will gray out indicating it was successfully met.

Phases

Most projects are large enough where they have multiple phases. Phases are simply a grouping of related tasks typically organized in order of which they are started. For example, a project often starts with a “planning” phase, as the planning is necessary to complete the remainder of the project. Phases typically are completed in order, but don’t always happen sequentially. Meaning you don’t always have to finish the phase prior before you can complete a task within a future phase.

For example, when designing and building websites we often work on the functionality at the same time as design even though those are two separate phases.

Phases have the following components:

  • Title
  • Progress Type
  • Description
  • Tasks
  • Discussions

Title and description are self explanatory. Progress type refers to how Panorama should calculate progress relative to the phase completion. Meaning if a phase is 50% complete, how should that impact overall project progress? There are four options:

  • Equal weight – each phase is equal in time / effort, so if you have four phases and one is complete the project is 25% complete
  • Hours – You can enter how many hours each phase takes
  • Custom weighting – You can indicate how long a phase takes relative to the other phases (this is a legacy option and is not recommended.)
  • Percentage – If you select “hours” and ensure all phase hours add up to 100 – then the hours act as a percentage. i.e. 25 hours would be 25% of the project.

Tasks

The bottom line of most projects are tasks that need to be completed. Typically a project is broken into phases, each which have their own set of tasks.

In Panorama, if you have automatic calculation enabled as a task is completed it will adjust how complete the phase is which will adjust how complete the project is. Unlike other project management solutions, we’ve intentionally created a tool that allows for partial task completion. Many tasks are too large to either be “not started” or “completely finished.” Tasks that take hours or even days appear to be untouched until their are complete, which paints an unrealistic picture of project progress.Tasks have the following elements:

  • Name
  • Assignment
  • Status
  • Due date

To assign a task to a user, you must have access restriction enabled on for the project, have the user assigned to the project and have saved the project prior to task assignment.

Status indicates how close the task is to completion. If you have phases in which tasks don’t need to indicate partial completion you can download and install our free checklist add-on. The add-on will turn the tasks of desired phases into check lists on the forward facing portion of the website.

Due date indicates when the task should be completed by. If the indicated date passes and the task is incomplete it will be displayed in red on the project page. If you have configured notifications to alert users when the tasks is almost or past due, the notifications will automatically be sent.

Discussions

Overview

If enabled, projects have two areas where you can have discussions. There is an entire project related discussion at the bottom of the page and each phase has an area for discussions.

By default, new messages will not trigger an e-mail notification. You can enable this feature by following the instructions in the notifications article.

If you’d like the ability to attach files to comments consider installing the free comment attachment plugin from the WordPress repository.

Troubleshooting

If you don’t see a discussion area that means that comments have been turned off (either globally or for the project specifically.)

First, try editing the project and looking for the “Discussions” box down towards the bottom of the page. Make sure that “Allow Comments” is checked.

If you don’t see this box it means that the discussions have been hidden. Scroll up to the top of the page and click on the Screen Options tab in the top right. A bar will appear and you can unhide the discussions box.

Progress Calculations

To simplify the amount of work required to manage projects we have several options to automatically or manually determine project progress.

There are three primary options:

  • Manual project and phase calculation
  • Automatic project calculation, manual phase calculation
  • Automatic project and phase calculation

Manual Project and Phase Calculation

The first option is to manually control the completion of both project and phase progress. This means each time you want to show project progress you’ll edit the project and manually indicate how far along the project and each phase is.

Automatic Project Calculation, Manual Phase Calculation

If you’d like you can have the project progress automatically calculated based on how complete all the phases are. Phase progress will still manually be calculated, so you’ll have to edit the project and indicate how complete each phase is. Panorama then will determine how complete the entire project is as a result.

There are three ways you can adjust how Panorama will calculate total progress based on phase completion:

  • Equal weight – Each phase is equal in time / effort, so if you have four phases and one is complete the project is 25% complete
  • Hours – You can enter how many hours each phase takes
  • Custom weighting – You can indicate how long a phase takes relative to the other phases (this is a legacy option and is not recommended.)
  • Percentage – If you select “hours” and ensure all phase hours add up to 100 – then the hours act as a percentage. i.e. 25 hours would be 25% of the project.

Automatic Project and Phase Calculation

This method takes the least amount of time. Phase progress will be determined by the completion of tasks within the phase which will then determine overall project completion.

There are three ways you can adjust how Panorama will calculate total progress based on phase completion:

  • Equal weight – Each phase is equal in time / effort, so if you have four phases and one is complete the project is 25% complete
  • Hours – You can enter how many hours each phase takes
  • Custom weighting – You can indicate how long a phase takes relative to the other phases (this is a legacy option and is not recommended.)
  • Percentage – If you select “hours” and ensure all phase hours add up to 100 – then the hours act as a percentage. i.e. 25 hours would be 25% of the project.

Calendar and Dates

Panorama includes a calendar that compiles all the important dates across all projects a given user has access to. Meaning if a user is a subscriber or project owner, they will only see the dates related to projects they’ve been assigned. Project managers and administrators will see all the dates across all projects.

A small version of the calendar is visible after logging into the Panorama dashboard and a larger version is accessible by clicking on the “calendar” tab of the dashboard.

There is an iCal feed at the bottom of every calendar which will allow users to import their important dates into different calendar programs like Mac Calendar, Outlook or Google Calendars.

Translating

You can change the language of the calendar by going to Projects > Settings > Appearance > Calendar.

Dates for tasks, projects etc… are automatically output through PHP code. If you have English months in your dates and want to change this, you’ll need to change the language of your server environment or go to Settings > General and switch your date format to one that doesn’t spell out the date.

Templates and Cloning Projects

You may find that many of your projects share a very similar structure or have the same team members. Rather than setting up a new project from scratch, you can use Panorama’s “clone” system to setup Project Templates.

Simply create a generic version of a common project and build out all the details that are likely to remain consistent project to project. Save it as a draft using a consistent label to allow easy recognition in the future, for example “TEMPLATE – Web Design Project.”

Then when a new project comes in the door, simply go to All Projects > Drafts, hover over the template in question and click the “Clone Project” link that appears. This will create a new project copying over all the details and settings from your project template.

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.32.27 PM

If you have the front end editor add-on you can set a project to be a “front end template” by editing the project and clicking the option in the publish box. This will allow users to select the project to use as a template on the front end.

Basic Appearance

You can customize the appearance of Panorama in several ways to ensure it fits the branding of your company.

Basic Appearance Configuration

We recommend you start by uploading your logo, favicon and changing the panorama “slug.” This is done by going to Projects > Settings

Changing the Panorama “Slug”

By default, user dashboards will be located at http://www.domain.com/panorama and projects at http://www.domain.com/panorama/project-name. the /panorama/ in these web addresses is the “slug.” You can change this to any word you’d like, for example “dashboard” or “projects.”

There are some limitations, you can’t have any spaces, punctuation (except dashes) or have a slug that’s already in use. For example, if you have a page called “projects” that is already located at domain.com/projects/ then you can’t use it again for your Panorama slug.

If you’d like to use multiple words, dashes work great, client-projects for example.

Uploading your logo and favicon

You can upload your logo and favicon by going to Projects > Settings > General

There are two upload buttons, one for each respectively. Clicking on them will open the WordPress file uploader where you can select from a previously uploaded image or upload a new image. We recommend limiting the size of the logo to no wider or taller than 250 pixels. It’s best of the logo has a transparent background as well.

The favicon is the little icon that appears at the top of your browser tab. If you have a favicon you use on your website you can upload it here so it’s used within the Panorama pages.

Customizing Colors

We have included color pickers for most of the colors within Panorama. Simply navigate to Projects > Settings > Appearance and then click through “Header,” “Body,” and “Phases” to customize the colors of each section.

Notifications

Panorama allows both manual and automatic e-mail notifications. If you use Slack, you might want to consider the Slack add-on by Real Big Plugins.

Before using either type of notifications, it’s important that you configure the default notification settings. This can be done by going to Projects > Settings and then clicking on the “Notifications” tab.

The default notification settings configure the name and e-mail address that will be used when a notification goes out provided it wasn’t triggered by a specific user. If these are not filled out, it’s possible your e-mail will not reach it’s destination.

Manual Notifications

Once configured, you users can manually send a notification by:

  • Checking the “notify users of update” checkbox when editing a project through the WordPress back-end
  • Changing the status of a document
  • Send a notification through the project page if you have the front end editor add-on installed
  • Uploading a new document if you have the front end uploader add-on installed

Automatic Notifications

You can also enable automatic notifications by indicating which events you’d like to send an e-mail notification and to whom. You can add notifications by going to Projects > Settings > Notifications and scrolling down.

At this time, you can send a notification with the following events happen:

  • A task is completed on the front end
  • A project is completed
  • A task is due today
  • A task is overdue
  • A new comment is left on a project
  • A user is added to a project

Each automatic notification has configurable recipients, subject line and body.

Recipients

You can either enter specific e-mail addresses (separated by a comma) or use the dynamic variable %users% or %target%.

%users% will send a notification to all users on the project.

%target% will send a notification to the user whom the notification is targeted towards, for example the user who has been assigned a task or has been added to a project.

Currently %target% is only supported by the following events:

  • Task is due today
  • Task is overdue
  • User is added to a project

Shortcodes

Project Panorama has three shortcodes for embedding content into other posts and pages, and three shortcodes to add functionality to the projects themselves.

Shortcodes for Projects

You can use shortcodes to show and hide content based on phase or milestone completion. The shortcodes that allow you to do this are:

[before-phase][/before-phase]
[during-phase][/during-phase]
[after-phase][/after-phase]
[before-milestone][/before-milestone]
[after-milestone][/after-milestone]

Simply wrap the content you want to appear in the appropriate portion within the shortcode and Panorama will automatically hide or show it depending on the phases state.

For example, if you wanted to have different content for all three phases, you might have something that looked like this:

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 6.44.59 PM

Embedding Content Outside of Projects

If you want to embed a project, portion of a project or list or projects into a post or page you can use one of three shortcodes.

Project List

You can display a list of all projects by using the

[project_list type="all" status="all" sort="start"]

shortcode. Project list has two options, which project types you’d like to display and the status of projects to display.

  • Type: Can be “all” or the slug of the project type you’d like to list, for example “marketing.”
  • Status: Can be “all” “active” or “complete”
  • Sort: Can be “start” which sorts projects by start date or “end” which sorts by end date
  • Order: Can be “ASC” (ascending) or “DESC” (descending).

Embed a Project

You can embed an entire project into your page or post by using the

[project_status]

shortcode. Project status has several options:

  • id: This is the page ID of the project you’d like to embed
  • progress: Do you want to display the progress bar, can be “yes” or “no”
  • overview: Do you want to show the overview? can be “yes” or “no”
  • milestones: How do you want to display the milestones? Can be “full”, “condensed” or “no”
  • phases: Do you want to display phases? Can be “yes” or “no”
  • tasks: Do you want to display tasks? (note: phases must be set to “yes”) Can be “yes”, “complete”, “incomplete” or “no”

Examples

[project_status id="792" progress="no" overview="yes" milestones="no" phases="yes" tasks="incomplete"]

[project_status id="792" progress="yes" overview="yes" milestones="full" phases="yes" tasks="complete"]

Embed a Portion of a Project

If you’d like to just embed a portion of a project, you can do by using the

[project_status_part]

shortcode in a slightly different way.

There are two attributes you must fill out:

  • id: This is the ID of the project you’d like to display
  • display: What portion of the project you’d like to display, can be:
    • documents
    • overview
    • progress (allows additional attribute of “style” with options of “full” or “condensed”)
    • phases (allows additional attribute of “style” with options of “all”, “complete”, “incomplete” or “no”
    • tasks (allows additional attribute of “style” with options “complete” or “incomplete”

Examples:

[project_status_part id="792" display="documents"]

[project_status_part id="792" display="overview"]

[project_status_part id="792" display="progress" style="full"]

[project_status_part id="792" display="phases" style="all"]

[project_status_part id="792" display="tasks" style="tasks"]

Note: We’ve tried our best to ensure shortcodes render well across a wide range of themes. It is possible that your theme may not render projects in an ideal way and CSS modifications could be required.

User Accounts

Project Panorama gives you control over who can access projects and what capabilities they have. This starts by assigning users an appropriate “user role.” WordPress has several user roles built in such as subscriber, author and administrator. When you create or edit a user in WordPress you can choose which user role they have.

Panorama uses the same user management system as WordPress. To add a user to Panorama, simply login to WordPress and go to Users > Add New. You’ll provide the users name and e-mail address before selecting the appropriate user level.

User Levels

Panorama adds three new user roles in addition to taking advantage of the existing WordPress user roles. The list below details each user role and their Panorama capabilities:

  • Subscriber – Can access any project they have been assigned to on the front end, they can upload and approve documents (they can’t see projects or anything else on the back end.) Typically clients should have the “subscriber” role.
  • Project Owner – Can access any project they have been assigned to on the front end, update tasks from the front end and can edit their projects in the back end.
  • Project Manager – Can create, edit and access any project and can upload media.
  • Project Creator – Can create and manage their own projects or any project they’ve been assigned to
  • Editor – Can do everything a project manager can but can also edit pages, posts, etc…
  • Administrator – Can do everything (as you’d expect)

For a more detailed breakdown of each role, see below.

Project Owner

Users who are assigned the “Project Owner” role can only see and edit projects they are assigned. They are unable to add new projects or see any project that wasn’t assigned to them (including open projects.) Project owners who are logged in will only see their projects when on a page that includes the project listing shortcode.

Assigning a project to a project owner is done by:

  1. Editing the project you’d like to grant access to
  2. Selecting the “Access” tab in the overview section of the page.
  3. Checking “restrict access to specific users”
  4. Adding a user and selecting the account you’d like to give access to.

Project Creator

Users who are assigned the “Project Creator” role can add, edit, delete and publish their own projects. They can’t see or edit any other projects unless they’ve been assigned to the project by someone else. If assigned to the project, they can edit and update said project.

They can’t however, access any other parts of the site nor can they can’t create posts, pages, etc…

Project Manager

Users who are assigned the “Project Manager” role can add, edit, delete and publish projects. They can’t however, access any other parts of the site. They can’t create posts, pages, etc… This allows you to have users who only manage projects but can’t touch the rest of your site.

Administrators and Editors

Administrators and editors are given all access to managing projects, much like Project Managers.

Subscribers

Typically, clients should use the “subscriber” role. This will allow your clients to login to their project without the ability to edit or update the projects themselves. If you’d like to hide the WordPress dashboard from clients all together consider using a plugin like WP Hide Dashboard.

You may also want your clients to login and be directed to a page that lists all of their projects. If this is the case, try installing Theme My Login. This will allow you to create a public facing login form, for example at http://www.yoursite.com/login, and then choose to redirect clients to a page that uses the project listing shortcode, maybe at http://www.yoursite.com/dashboard.

After you’ve created a project you’ll probably want users to see it. Most customers also need to restrict projects to specific users. Once you’ve assigned users to a project as detailed in the access management documentation there are two ways you can have users login to access their projects.

Project Access

You can control who can access a project by editing the project itself and navigating to the “Access” tab at the top. You have the following options:

  • Hide projects from search engines (enabled by default)
  • Restrict access to specific users – if disabled, anyone with the project web address can see the project progress
  • Allowed teams
  • Allowed users

Teams are simply groups of users, you can read more about them here.

Allowed users are the official users who are part of this project. What capabilities they have will depend on the user role you’ve assigned them at the time of account creation. Any user entered here will see the project on their Panorama dashboard, be available to have a notification sent to them and have tasks assigned to them.

Users who have administration or project manager user roles will still be able to see the project even if they are not assigned. They will not however, appear in the list of users for task assignment or notifications.

Direct Link Access

If you don’t want to require logging in to access projects, you can provide clients with a direct link to the project instead.

Unless you want this to be a publicly available project, we recommend keeping the “hide from search engines” setting left on.

Once you’ve created the project, you can simply copy and paste the project web address into an e-mail, Slack or other communication tool. For example, if you have a project located at http://www.yourdomain.com/panorama/website-redesign-for-company-xyz you can just send them that link directly.

NOTE: Using this method you will be unable to assign users to the project preventing the assignment of tasks or sending of notifications.

Projects Dashboard & Logging In

user-login

If you want to send people to a generic page or to a listing of all projects they have been assigned to, you can send them a link to the “address” folder your projects are located at.

So if a single project address is http://www.yourdomain.com/panorama/website-redesign-for-company-xyz you’d send people to http://www.yourdomain.com/panorama/. Once logged in, the user will only see a list of projects assigned to them (unless they are a project manager or administrator.

Teams

To simplify and organize which users are assigned to which projects, you can create teams within Panorama. This is done by going to Projects > Teams within the WordPress dashboard.

Teams have a title, description, assigned users and optional icon or image.

Once a team is created, you can assign the team to projects which prevents you from manually having to reenter the same users each time. Teams could be used for both internal teams or clients. Permissions of the specific users are maintained, so a subscriber assigned to a team will be a subscriber for all projects the team is assigned even if other users have higher permissions.

Through the Panorama dashboard, you can navigate to the “teams” tab to see which teams you are part of. Clicking into the team will show you a segmented list of projects assigned specifically to the team — giving you better insight into team productivity and progress.

WooCommerce Integration

The Project Panorama WooCommerce integration allows customers to purchase a project through WooCommerce. Upon purchase, WooCommerce will clone a project from a specified template and assign the customer to the new project. At that point, the customer can login and review or manage the project themselves.

The first step in creating a purchasable project is setting up a project template for users to purchase. This is simply creating a project in Panorama like you normally would but leaving it as a draft.

You’ll likely want to restrict access to specific users and hide it from search engines in the Access tab of the Panorama project.

The final step is to click the “WooCommerce” template checkbox under the publish box — this will make the project available to WooCommerce for purchase.

 

Step 2. Creating the Product

After you have a template setup you can create a product for people to purchase. To start, create a product much like you would any other WooCommerce product by going to Products > Add New.

Add a title and description that will inform users what project they’ll be purchasing.

Then, select “Panorama Project” as your product type from the product type dropdown.

You can fill out any relevant details like price, sale price, etc…

Upon purchase, a user account will be generated. You can select what user-level you’d like the purchaser to have giving them more or less ability to manage the project. See this article to get a detailed breakdown of what permissions different users have.

Step 3. Accessing the Project

After purchase, the user will get links to the project in their receipt and through the e-mails delivered to them. They’re username and password will be e-mailed to them as well through the WordPress login system. They can then log in and access the project they’ve just purchased.

Create Your Form

Create your form just like you would any other form.

Keep in mind you’ll have the ability to map the following information into a project you clone when you set up a feed:

  • Project title
  • Client name
  • Project description
  • Project start date
  • Project end date
  • User to assign (either a user ID or via the user’s e-mail address)

To ensure the project start and end date map correctly we recommend using a Gravity Forms date field.

To properly setup user access, you can either supply an e-mail field where the user enters their e-mail or use a hidden field that is automatically populated with the current logged in users ID or email address.

Once complete, save the form and move on to set up a feed.

Setting up a Feed

By going into your form settings you’ll see a new option to create a “Project Panorama Feed.” This is how Gravity Forms will know that you want this form to interact with Panorama.

Once you edit the feed you’ll see a list of projects you can choose to have cloned when this form is submitted. Note that it will only let you select a project that is saved as a draft.

You can also choose if you’d like a new account to be created if the current user doesn’t have one (requires that you supply an e-mail address in the assign user field below.)

Once you’ve selected those two options you can choose which fields should populate the project title, client, project description, start date, end date, etc…

Notifications and Confirmation

You’ll likely want to setup a confirmation message or a custom notification message to help users access the project they’ve just created.

Confirmations

Confirmations are the message a user gets once the form has been filled out. Since the project will have already been generated by the time they receive the confirmation, you could provide a link to the Panorama dashboard page, e.g. https://www.yourdomain.com/panorama/ (unless you changed the slug) would allow them to quickly access the project.

Notifications

You can also setup a custom notification from Gravity Forms to send the user a link where they can log in and access the project. This can be done by navigating to the “notifications” settings within your Gravity Form. You’ll create a second confirmation e-mail that sends the user who filled out the form a link to the Panorama dashboard, e.g. https://www.yourdomain.com/panorama/

Alternatively, you could create a Panorama notification for being assigned to a project by going to Projects > Settings > Notifications.

Conditionals

Within the Project Panorama feed, you can create a conditional, meaning the feed will only run under specific circumstances. This is useful when you want to clone different projects based on the answers that are provided.

For example, if you’re selling a project for either buying or selling homes — you could have a dropdown where the user indicates which project they’d like. Using the conditional you would choose to only fire the feed cloning the “selling” project when the appropriate field is selected. You would then create a second feed with the opposing conditional, indicating it would only run when “buying” is selected.

Sprout Invoice Add-on

The Sprout Invoices add-on will allow you to create estimates, invoices and accept payments all through your Panorama projects!

To get started

  1. Install Sprout Invoices
  2. Install the Project Panorama Sprout Invoices add-on plugin

Creating a Project

Both Panorama and Sprout are organized around the concept of “projects.” The Sprout Invoices add-on allows you to associate a Sprout Invoices project with a Project Panorama project.

We recommend you first create the Panorama project you’d like to create an invoice or estimate for. Once complete, go to Invoices > Projects and create a new Sprout Project.

From here you’ll be able to select the Panorama project you’d like to associate.

Once you have the project created, you can go to Add Invoices within Sprout to create a new invoice or estimate.

Simply select the new Sprout Project you’ve created and the invoice will automatically appear in your clients dashboard and within the Panorama project itself.

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