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Blackout 4.6 Product Manager's Debrief

Today we're happy to announce the availability of Blackout 4.6, featuring an all-new way of creating Blackout rules with dtSearch syntax!

After loading up the new release, you'll immediately be able to take advantage of the new functionality on existing and new Blackout projects. Each rule group has been outfitted with a new dtSearch section letting you quickly input your dtSearch strings!

Below, Blackout Product Manager Marko Iwanik answers three key questions users may have about the upcoming release in a conversation with Milyli's Director of Product Management, Tim Randall.



TIM: What use cases were in mind when planning and designing dtSearch syntax for Blackout?

MARKO: It's no secret that many of our customers have told us that regular expressions are tricky or difficult to write. While we offer extensive support services for helping create regular expression rules, we've never stopped looking for new ways to simplify automated project creation.

In our conversations with our customers, we've often heard that users are familiar with creating proximity searches and utilizing wildcards, stemming, and fuzziness with dtSearch but weren't familiar with how to do that with regular expressions. It's not uncommon to get asked, "can we use dtSearch with Blackout?"

We felt that this familiarity was essential to creating a comfortable environment for our users to take advantage of Blackout projects. That said, it wasn't something that could just be put directly into Blackout! dtSearch is a syntax primarily used for identifying if a document contains some pattern rather than identifying exactly where that pattern is.

Careful planning has been critical to ensuring the searches you create result in redactions being placed as you would expect. I heavily encourage you to look at the release notes and our Blackout documentation to see some differences. For example, we've included special syntax that will help further specify what parts of match strings will ultimately redact!


I'm looking forward to all the new ways our users identify information for redaction using the power that dtSearch brings!



TIM: What other substantial features should excite users in Blackout 4.6 and why?

MARKO: This release has a few other minor updates to take advantage of, including:

  • We're expanding our support for CSVs, both automated and manual, with added support for TSV files

  • We've introduced the ability to configure the logging level for Blackout as well

On top of these changes, we continue to look for ways to improve application performance. This release has improvements to image projects when placing a massive number of markups on a single document, as well as improvements to the amount of SQL activity we generate when running an image project on documents with a very high number of pages.


We plan to bring dtSearch functionality to Blackout Analyze and have some exciting updates planned in Q1 for external redactions. We will also introduce our first find and redact feature, find and redact for images!


TIM: What should Blackout users and watchers lookout for in 2023?

As always, the Customer Advocacy team continues to deliver new ways to help get into Blackout projects. Shortly after the release of Blackout 4.6, we'll introduce new documentation that shows examples of how to write dtSearch expressions similar to regular expressions we've sent out before. We'll also be looking at providing some examples of dtSearch strings that help redact documents in new ways!

At the end of 2022, the Customer Advocacy team also worked hard on making substantial changes to our Blackout documentation. Most pages now include both a video and a downloadable one-pager. If you haven't seen them yet, head to the live Blackout documentation to take advantage of these new resources!

If you have an account review coming up, join us to learn more--I'll be there to talk roadmap! If you don't, reach out to our CA team or schedule your account review at a time that works for you! I can't wait to share the Blackout roadmap with you!

Finally, if you are interested in receiving additional training on this release (at no cost), you can sign-up directly on our support website by following this link!



TIM: Thanks, Marko! Now, if you'd like to hear a little more, our Customer Advocates have a video summary below.




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