14.0 Applicant Release Notes

  • Production Deployment Date: February 14-17, 2015
  • Training Deployment Date: December 26-30, 2014

Applicant Enhancements Summary

  • Download Application Zip Files
  • Apply for Grants – View Grant Opportunity
  • Other Applicant User Interface (UI) Enhancements
    • Frameworks Upgrade
    • Registration Username Validation
  • System to System (S2S) Changes
  • UTF-8 Upgrade – UI and S2S
  • Adobe Reader 8
  • Browser Support for SSL and TLS
  • Training Environment URL Change
  • IP Address Changes

Download Application Zip

Add ability to download copy of processed application (Zip file) made available to the agency

  • Organization AORs and Individuals can download their submissions
  • EBiz POC (and AOR with MPIN) can download all submissions for their organization
  • Copy of the processed applications (Zip files)are retained for 180 days after submission to Grants.gov

Apply for Grants - View Grant Opportunity

  • Enhance Apply for Grants to display entire opportunity including Synopsis and details if available
  • View Grant Opportunity Tab & Link Names
    • Full Announcement tab: Renamed to "Related Documents" for clarity
    • Application Package tab: Changed link from "Download" to "Select Application Package to Download" to resolve 508 compliance issues
    • Added reference to Applicant FAQ on the Application Package tab

Other Applicant UI Enhancements

Upgrade UI frameworks

  • Enhance pagination
  • Mover box buttons

Other Applicant Enhancements - Registration Username Validations

Update the validation for Username entry on the Applicant Registration (Organization and Individual) page to only allow alphanumeric characters and the following special characters: question marks, periods, dashes, underscores, and @ symbol.

Applicant System-To-System (S2S)

  • Enhance security by disabling support for SSL v2, SSL v3, TLS v1, and SHA-1 certificates.
    • Port 443 will only support:
      • SHA-2 certificates
      • TLS v1.1 and TLS v1.2
    • Port 446 will only support:
      • SHA-1 certificates (until December 31, 2015)
      • SSL v2, SSL v3, and TLS v1.0
  • Soon after Release 14.0 deployment, Applicants are encouraged to obtain new SHA-2 based digital certificates from a recognized Certificate Authority (CA) and move to port 443.
  • Separate CA certificates can be purchased for Training and Production or the same CA certificate can be used for both Training and Production.
  • Most S2S users are currently using port 446. However, if anyone is using port 443 in Training or Production, please contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at support@grants.gov.
  • New Applicant Web Service created allowing applicants to download zip files – GetApplicationZip
  • Existing Applicant Web Services will be enhanced to return information on submissions made from a previous certificate if provided to Grants.gov
    • Certificate request form is modified to collect prior certificate information
    • Affected web services
      • GetApplicationInfo
      • GetApplicationList
      • GetApplicationStatus
      • GetApplicationInfoAsThirdParty
      • GetApplicationListAsThirdParty
      • GetApplicationZip

UTF-8 Upgrade - Summary

Upgrade to UTF-8 to support special characters in free-form text fields

  • Included: Adobe Form fields in PDF submissions, Grants.gov website pages, S2S Web Services and submission XML
  • Attachment filename validation still in effect: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore, hyphen, space, period, parenthesis, curly braces, square brackets, ampersand, tilde, exclamation point, comma, semi colon, apostrophe, at sign, number sign, dollar sign, percent sign, plus sign, equal sign, and limit the file name to 50 or fewer characters

Grants.gov is upgrading to UTF-8 to resolve issues related to database and file system special character transformations which currently occur:

  • Retrieved Grants.gov data contains "??" or garbled characters when displayed on the user interface or generated zip file PDFs/XML and when returned in the web services
  • S2S submissions are rejected when the hash value calculated using the transformed special characters does not match the applicant supplied hash value
  • Transformed special characters may cause field values to exceed the maximum field length and cause validation errors, database update errors, or truncated data

UTF-8 Upgrade - Additional Details

Before using special characters in applications, Applicants should be aware of how agencies handle special characters:

  • If the Grantor system is UTF-8 compatible, Grantors will be able to view submission data as submitted by the applicant
  • If the Grantor system is not UTF-8 compatible, Grantors may not be able to see or process submission data with special characters

Applicants using S2S systems not compatible with UTF-8 will continue to have issues with sending and receiving special character data to and from Grants.gov

Adobe Reader 8 Support

With the deployment of Release 14.0, Adobe Reader 8 will no longer be supported. Please visit http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/ Click to View Exit Disclaimer to download Adobe Reader.

Browser Support for SSL and TLS

Browsers used to access Grants.gov must support TLS v1.0, TLS v1.1, or TLS v1.2. Please check browser options to verify settings. Browsers only using SSL v2 and/or SSL v3 enabled will no longer be supported.

Training Environment URL Change

  • Release 14.0 will be deployed to the Training environment on December 30, 2014.
  • The new URL for the Training User Interface will be https://training.grants.gov.
  • The new URLs for S2S will replace "https://at07ws.grants.gov" with "https://trainingws.grants.gov".
  • Initially, the current Training (AT07) URLs will be rerouted to the new Training URLs.

IP Address Changes

There will be new IP addresses for the Training and Production environments with the new Grants.gov infrastructure. The new Training environment IP addresses are as follows:

  • Hostname: training.grants.gov / IPv4: / IPv6: 2605:9500:4:95::30
  • Hostname: trainingapply.grants.gov / IPv4: / IPv6: 2605:9500:4:95::31
  • Hostname: trainingws.grants.gov / IPv4: / IPv6: 2605:9500:4:95::32

The new Production environment IP addresses are as follows:

  • Hostname: www.grants.gov / IPv4: / IPv6: 2605:9500:4:95::40
  • Hostname: apply07.grants.gov / IPv4: / IPv6: 2605:9500:4:95::41
  • Hostname: ws07.grants.gov / IPv4: / IPv6: 2605:9500:4:95::42