Category Archives: RFP Question

Citizenserve General Technical Features Q&A

These Citizenserve General Technical Features are our response to a formal Permitting and Land Management System Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read on for general technical information about Citizenserve's e-government software solution.

General Technical Featuresl

2.1.1. Describe your software licensing model.2.2.9. Provide details on supported browsers, browser versions and Windows operating systems.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is device and browser-independent and works on any modern browser.

General Technical Features - Servers and Databases

2.3.1. Describe the server environment required for your solution.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a multi-tenant cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution and does not require server hardware or software.

2.3.2. Describe the server minimum specifications (e.g., OS, RAM) needed for each of the required servers.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a multi-tenant cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution and does not require server hardware or software.

2.3.3. Describe the database versions, and patch levels supported as of January 2020. Include a sequence of preferred databases supported by the vendor based on the most stable and best-performing platform for the solution.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a multi-tenant cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution and does not require server hardware or software. End-users can use any device and any browser to access the software.

2.3.4. <>Describe any database CPU and memory resource requirements. Include an architectural diagram that illustrates the database architecture.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is only offered as a Software-as-a-Service solution; the City will not require additional hardware or databases. We do not share diagrams of our database architecture for security reasons.

2.3.5. What are the file standards for database server files?

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a multi-tenant cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution and does not require server hardware or software.

2.3.7. Please provide any installation documentation or standard operating procedures.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a Software-as-a-Service solution; the Citizenserve staff maintains and supports the application and database.

General Technical Features - Integration and Service-Oriented Architecture

2.4.1. Describe the solution’s ability to support single sign-on using an on-premise and cloud Active Directory to authenticate employees/users.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve supports the use of Active Directory for authentication and provides integration to the City’s Active Directory for an additional fee.

2.4.2. Describe the solution’s import/export feature-capability at the application level (above the database layer) and through the application interface.

Citizenserve Response: All reports are available in CSV or PDF file format.  We import data with customized SQL scripts.

General Technical Features - Software as a Service

2.5.1. Please describe in detail the company’s policy for handling the customer’s intellectual property.

Citizenserve Response: We only work with State and Local Government jurisdictions.  Customers own their data in all cases.

2.5.3. Describe the availability of metrics for the City of Redmond to measure consumption of services, such as bandwidth.

Citizenserve Response: The Citizenserve subscription includes unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited processing and unlimited support.  We provide reports on data size or setup monitoring on the City IP address, but we do not use the information for billing purposes.

2.5.5. Describe the options available for exporting data from the SaaS solution for external interfaces.

Citizenserve Response: The City can request and obtain a copy of its data at any time and there is no charge to get a copy.  The copy is provided in Microsoft SQL Server format.

Final General Technical Features

2.6.6. Provide the SLAs for system availability.

Citizenserve Response: From inception, Citizenserve was built as a pay-as-you-go subscription and Citizenserve has maintained a 99.99+% up-time for 17 years.  Any customer recourse for unacceptable service is subscription cancellation.  We have never had a customer cancel a subscription-based on system availability or performance.  Our customers are not locked into multi-year contracts. We appreciate the opportunity to describe Citizenserve's General Technical Features.

About Citizenserve
Citizenserve is a cloud-based community development software suite. We configure our software to meet your needs. In addition to Business Licenses and renewals, we also offer solutions for online Building Permits, Business Licenses, Development Projects, Code Enforcement, and Requests. Explore our site see how we can support your community development efforts!

See how one customer is rolling out Citizenserve in their community.

Citizenserve Web Services Q&A

This description of Citizenserve Web Services is our response to a formal Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read on for details about some of the Web Service features included in our e-government software solution.

1.11   Web Services

1.11.1. Describe the ability to provide web-based self-services. Include the ability to allow customers to submit, track, and pay for services (inspections/permit information for example). Also address how they access their respective information (i.e., permits, plan review, inspection) online.

Our Response: We provide a configurable and customizable online portal. This portal allows citizens, contractors, and businesses to electronically interact with permitting, code enforcement, inspection, licensing, and requests. The portal can be configured as a link off of the City’s website.

  • Planning and zoning applicants can submit applications online. This includes attaching documents, checking application status, and paying application fees online.
  • With our permitting software your constituents can apply for a permit, upload digital plans, schedule inspections, pay fees, and check application status online.
  • Citizens can report possible code violations and check complaint status through the online portal. You can communicate with your citizens effectively and efficiently using our automatic notifications, automated letters, and email templates.
  • Business owners seeking licenses use the portal to submit applications, schedule inspections, upload required documents, and pay fees. Applicants may also check application statuses and download approved License Certificates and ID cards through the portal.

One key feature is our ability to set User Notifications and Assignments. When citizens, contractors, and businesses act on an application through the citizen portal, staff and departments are notified. For example, if a staff member requests a revised plan document, the notification matrix will notify staff when the document is uploaded.

Additional Configuration


1.11.2. Does the solution allow custom branding (City of Redmond logo, for example)?

Our Response: Yes.

1.11.3. Describe the ability to generate online permits for simple projects that meet defined criteria including data validation.

Our Response: We support flexible workflows that incorporate data validation. We can easily configure a workflow for simple permits that generates the permit online based on specific data validation. If the City elects, we can configure the online portal to enable the contractor to download and print the permit.

1.11.5. Describe the integration into the solution including the ability to process multiple payments or partial payments for both permits and invoices.

Our Response: Our software can collect a single payment and apply it across multiple permits and/or invoices. Partial payments can be configured as part of the payment process; for example, applications can require plan check fee payment up front. Multiple payments can be applied and tracked, with custom reporting available to show detailed historical payment information at the invoice level, permit level, or both.

1.11.6. Does the payment solution allow for guest checkout options?

Our Response: This depends on the payment processor that the City chooses.  Most payment processors provide a checkout process that does not require “registration” or an account with the specific payment provider. Thank you for allowing us to discuss Citizenserve Web Services with you.

About Us


Citizenserve is a cloud-based community development software suite. We configure our software to meet your needs. In addition to Business Licenses and renewals, we also offer solutions for online Building Permits, Business Licenses, Development Projects, Code Enforcement, and Requests. Explore our site see how we can support your community development efforts!

Here's what one customer says our software:
“This modern, intuitive, and easy-to-use software system will provide complete customer care to help our municipality provide online services to our residents. With the COVID-19, we saw how important it was to be able to connect with our residents using technology. Citizenserve will help enhance the building department processes by making it quicker by decreasing waiting times, submitting applications, and paying for applications online. The goal will be to eventually manage the entire permit and licensing system online from intake, through plans review and on to inspections.” See the full article here.

Financials and Cashiering, Fee and Payment Processing Q&A

This Financials and Cashiering discussion, including Fees and Payment Processing was prepared in response to a formal Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read on for information about some of the cashiering and financial features included in Citizenserve's e-government software solution.

1.9     Finance

1.9.1. Describe the solution’s abilities to create, manage, secure, and report (ad-hoc and scheduled) on financial transactions.

Our Response: Citizenserve enables complex fee calculations, and your subscription includes fee schedules maintenance. Fee schedules include end dates. To enable payments, we integrate with a customer’s payment provider(s); we do not store credit card information. All data in the database is encrypted. We use web services with HTTPS or TLS encryption with authentication to communicate with external systems like payment processors.

We also use web services or a daily batch file to send Payment information, accounts receivable information, and other financial information to the City’s financial system.

Our software includes a standard suite of financial reports. We also develop custom reports to meet the City’s requirements as part of our unlimited support.

1.9.3. Describe how payments are processed and posted.

Our Response: We integrate with the City’s payment processor(s) and do not store credit card information. Successful payments are recorded in Citizenserve, and associated balance due fields are updated. Unsuccessful transactions are also logged for follow-up.

1.9.4. Describe the refund process.

Our Response: We configure our user roles with rights to take and modify payments. For refunds, simply reverse the payment in Citizenserve; through integration or report, we pass the data to the City’s financial system, and the City’s financial system processes the refund.

1.9.5. Describe any financials and cashiering controls the system provides.

Our Response: Citizenserve provides multiple ways to implement business rules.  We use conditions to enforce business rules; for example, a condition can require payment before issuing a permit.

For more information about these services, view this Online Cashiering Services Demonstration

1.9.6. Describe the period/year end closing processes and financial reporting capabilities. Provide a diagram where applicable to illustrate the end-to-end process.

Our Response: The City's financial system handles period and year end closing processes. Citizenserve integrates with the City’s financial system via web services to pass AR, payment, and refund information. We create any custom reconciliation reports for the GL and/or Refunds.

1.9.9. Describe the solution’s integration possibilities with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Our Response: We can integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365 using custom web services or any available APIs. Citizenserve’s technical architects develop the code to send data from Citizenserve or accept data into Citizenserve; if an API is not available, the City’s resources develop the code to send data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 or accept data into Microsoft Dynamics 365.

1.10   Impact Fees

1.10.1. Describe the capabilities to manage and track impact fees, credits, and payments.

Our Response: We have great flexibility in configuring impact fees to meet your business rules; there is no “one size fits all” approach. Impact fee calculation examples include basing the fee on meter size, or tying the calculation to application checkboxes or drop-down lists. More examples include automatic calculations, or manual entries by staff. Staff add credits to a customer’s impact fee, or calculate credits based on overpayments (if overpayments are allowed); credits are carried on the permit and applied to the next payment.

1.10.2. Describe spatial integration functionality for tracking impact fee information in specific geographic area.

Our Response: We create an unlimited number of custom fields for properties and permits. The fee table for each permit type can easily incorporate the custom fields into fee definitions with no programming. Any custom field on the permit application or in the property information can trigger Impact Fees.  Typically, property information contains the necessary location information or GIS integration provides the relevant information necessary for impact fee calculation. Thank you for your interest in Citizenserve Financials and Cashiering.

About Us


Citizenserve is a cloud-based community development software suite. We configure our software to meet your needs. In addition to Business Licenses and renewals, we also offer solutions for online Building Permits, Business Licenses, Development Projects, Code Enforcement, and Requests. Explore our site see how we support community development!

Here's what one customer says our software:


“This modern, intuitive, and easy-to-use software system will provide complete customer care to help our municipality provide online services to our residents. With the COVID-19, we saw how important it was to be able to connect with our residents using technology. Citizenserve will help enhance the building department processes by making it quicker by decreasing waiting times, submitting applications, and paying for applications online. The goal will be to eventually manage the entire permit and licensing system online from intake, through plans review and on to inspections.” See the full article here.

Online Zoning Software Q&A

The following questions were included in a formal Permitting and Land Management System Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read our responses below for more information about some of the Zoning features included in Citizenserve's e-government software solution.

1.6     Zoning

1.6.1. Describe the solution’s capabilities to process citizen’s applications, track zoning, and land use processes.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve planning and zoning software completely automates the process of application, review, routing, resubmittals, and public notification. Applicants can submit applications, attach plan documents, pay application fees, and view the status of their applications through the online portal. Applications are automatically routed to the appropriate reviewers based on your workflow routes. Plan reviewers have access to searchable electronic reference materials including building code handbooks, GIS layers, and property history.

You can track due dates for public notices and legal advertisements based on the hearing dates you select. You can easily build your plan review reports by selecting comments from custom libraries of review comments. We will build the custom libraries of comments during implementation to include comments associated with the City’s building, fire, and other codes, and will maintain the libraries as part of our unlimited support. You can electronically comment on plans with the Electronic Plan Review tool by adding notes, highlights, and other annotations. Through a flexible and user-friendly interface, Citizenserve helps keep your projects organized and on schedule.

1.6.2. Describe the solution’s capabilities to generate hearing and public notices.

Citizenserve Response: We create a wide variety of hearing and public notices; all templates are developed custom for the customer, and can include any fields from Citizenserve. You can track due dates for public notices and legal advertisements based on the hearing dates you select

1.6.3. Describe the solution’s capabilities to schedule meetings and hearings. Describe how the proposed solution integrates with Outlook to share this information with internal staff and external customers, including the ability to check resource calendars for availability.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve has built-in calendaring that is browser and device independent.  Activities in Citizenserve can be sent to the user’s work calendar in Outlook or Google via the built-in calendar integration feature.  Two-way custom integration is also possible using Exchange Web Services.

1.6.4. Describe the solution’s capabilities to store and report on case information, hearing results and pending case information.

Citizenserve Response: A complete case history and status can be maintained in Citizenserve, including hearing results and any pending case information. We will identify required reporting during implementation, and will build custom reports to meet the City’s requirements. The City can decide which information to share on the public portal so that relevant parties have access to current case and status information.

1.6.5. Describe how the land use management capabilities of the zoning application flow into the plan review process in terms of addressing any related parcels?

Citizenserve Response: Plan reviewers have access to searchable electronic reference materials including GIS layers and property history. You can easily build your plan review reports by selecting comments from custom libraries of review comments. We will build the custom libraries of comments during implementation to include comments associated with the City’s building, fire, and other codes, and will maintain the libraries as part of our unlimited support. You can electronically comment on plans with the Electronic Plan Review tool by adding notes, highlights, and other annotations.

1.6.6. Describe the solution’s capabilities to attach PDF or Word documents to zoning applications. Can multiple files be attached to the applications? Can links be provided to an external document management system?

Citizenserve Response: Both PDF and Word documents can be attached to zoning applications; multiple files can be attached to an application. Links can be provided to an external document management system if this integration has been included in the implementation.