The notes below are a summary of the important changes and additions to version 1.1.
The release notes have been divided into 3 sections:
Version 1.1 Release Notes
Note: While there should be no problems with the new version, be aware that you cannot go back to a previous version once you start using this version, due to upgrades that are automatically made to the database. Be sure you make a backup (or 2) before installing the new version, in case you have trouble getting it to run. Then you can re-install the old version and restore from the backup database if needed.
- Changes to be aware of -- things that might affect what you're used to seeing or how you do things.
- Additional Functions -- the major additions to this version.
- Other minor enhancements -- small changes or additions to the program.
Also Note: When you install the new version, the "demo" database will be overwritten with a new version of the sample database. If you have been working with the sample database and want to save the changes you've made, then you need to load it and then use File | Save As to save it to a different name before installing the new version of the software.
Changes to be aware of:
- All of the menu choices and dialogs that used to be "View or Edit..." have been simplified to "... Details". For instance, "View or Edit Reservation Details" is now "Reservation Details"
- The "Customers" tab view has been changed to "On-Site" so that it's not confused with the customer database. (Since it shows reservations in the selected date range, not all customers.)
- The On-Site tab is now sorted by the Site by default, instead of Last Name. (Just click on the Last Name header to re-sort)
- The Discounts in the customer database were changed from hard-coded discounts and ID's to a set of 3 discount/ID pairs, where each of the 3 discounts is from the Discount Types pick-list. Now a customer record is limited to 3 discounts, but they can be any of your defined discounts from the pick-list (instead of only a few check mark options). The Customer Details dialog has drop-down lists to select the discounts (which does require an extra click compared to the checkboxes). The first discount assigned (the top one on the dialog) will be the default discount assumed to be used when a new reservation is made.
- Customers can now have up to 4 extra vehicles entered. The Customer Details dialog has been changed so that one vehicle can be entered directly on the dialog, and then you can click on the "More Vehicles..." button to add (or view) the others.
- The Customers icon button invokes "Add a New Customer" rather than just "Customer Details" (which used to always show the first customer). You can still browse customers or do a Find from there instead of adding a new one, so it can still be used as before, but it now saves a step for adding new customers.
- A "New Reservation" button has been added to the Customer Details dialog, so you can start by finding or adding a customer's details and then enter a reservation. This button will close the customer dialog and open the New Reservation dialog with the customer information already filled in.
As a result of this new button, you may find it more convenient to start a reservation by entering (or finding) customer information first, then using "New Reservation" to create a reservation for them. This helps minimize the jumping around on the New Reservation dialog where the customer information is at the bottom, and avoids the need to go back and forth between the New Reservation dialog and Customer Details to enter more customer information.
- The Find Customer dialog has been enhanced with various filtering options. As a result, by default it will not show any customers in the list until search text is entered (to avoid delays with long customer lists). To see all customers without filtering, uncheck the "Filter" checkbox. If Find Customer is invoked from a New Reservation dialog with a partial last name, it will show any matching customers by default and select the first one found -- pressing the Enter key will immediately select that one, or you can use the up/down arrow keys to highlight a different one and then press Enter to use it. You can also search by address, phone, license plates, and several other fields, most of which are smart "text within" searches -- for instance, search for any customer with "5628" within one of their phone numbers, ignoring any non-digits (so "555-6283" or "(205)628-3412" would also match). A function to open the Find Customer dialog directly has been added to the Customers menu (the one selected will then open in a Customer Details dialog).
- The Find Reservation dialog has also been enhanced with filtering options. It will show any reservations for customers staying the next week by default (including any that have started earlier and are still present this week or are starting in te next week). You can search by a date range (using the reservation start date or the date that the reservation was made), and also narrow the search results by filtering for a confirmation number, last name, site, operator, or notes. A function to open the Find Reservation dialog directly has been added to the Reservations menu (the one selected will then open in a Reservation Details dialog).
- When printing single records (eg. the "Print" button from Customer Details, Reservation Details, etc.), the format has changed to a simple list of "field : value", with no grid lines/headers. Also, any fields that are blank will not be printed, to shorten the table. Both of these formatting changes are options that can be turned on or off (in case you prefer the old format) -- see View:Options:Printing.
- The dates printed on the reservation receipts will use the new date format setting (see View:Options:Program).
- Some columns were rearranged on the tab views (Rig Size and Rig Type columns swapped, some new columns added).
- On the Transactions tab view, the "Options..." button will only open the summary report options dialog if "Summarize" is already checked -- otherwise it will open the new detail-mode options dialog to select the visible fields (mentioned later).
- Tax Rates -- You can define up to 4 different tax rates. See Maintenance/Park Setup/Taxes to set them up. You will select a Transaction Category for each rate (they should each have their own Transaction Category defined in the Pick Lists) and enter the rate. Now whenever you add a Tax transaction, only the pre-defined tax rate categories will be in the drop-down list, and the rate for the category selected will automatically be filled in and the total tax calculated.
- Rates definitions -- You can now define any number of "Rates", which can be used for the site base rates, add-ons, merchandise, etc. Rate definitions are basically a collection of predefined transactions -- once rates are defined, you use the "Select Rate(s)" button on the Transactions dialog to quickly select one or more appropriate rates from a list. For instance, select the standard daily rate and a 50A add-on charge and an extra vehicles charge. In many cases the appropriate quantities will be filled in for you, so just click on each rate and click "Add". All of the appropriate transaction entries will then appear in the Transactions dialog, including appropriate taxes. Reversing charges are just as easy, just click the "Invert" option to add negative transaction amounts.
Rates are categorized into several "types" (base, add-on, credit, merchandise, etc.), and can be defined for specific site types, discounts, days of the week and seasons/dates, so that only the most appropriate rates are shown in the Select Rates list. (Note that you might decide that you need to set up your Site Types differently so that rate selection is easier.) For each rate, you also indicate whether it's for a number of days, weeks, months or years, whether it's per-site (for concurrent reservations), and whether the operator needs to enter some other quantity value when the rate is selected (eg. for merchandise, number of extra vehicles, etc.). More details are covered in the manual.
- Metered Electric and Water -- support has been added for metered electric/water charges and tracking readings. Each site will store the last reading, the date of the reading, and the reservation for which the reading was taken (see the Site Details dialog.) You then set up a Rate for metered electric/water (there's a special category for each so they're easy to select) with the amount per unit. The current and previous meter readings will be added to the transaction description, so the transaction template in the rate should have a short description like: "Metered kwh:". The receipt will then show something like "Electric: Metered kwh: (1000-800)" in addition to the Qty (200) and rate (eg. $.06).
To enter meter readings and add the charges to a reservation, just go to Transactions, click on the Select Rate(s) button, select the "Electric Meter" or "Water Meter" rate type, and double-click on the rate in the selection list (you can define multiple rates if needed, and even have rates for different seasons, discounts, and site types). A new dialog will appear with a simple entry field for the current (new) reading. Enter the number and press Enter, and everything is updated (click Done if finished selecting rates, etc.).
If you need to update the reading without charging a reservation (for instance to enter the beginning meter readings or fix a reading), you can do it from the Site Details dialog. You can also go through the transaction process as above and then Cancel the transaction once the reading is entered -- the Last Reading and Reading Date for the site will still be updated. In this case, the reservation information is recorded with the reading (whereas the reservation link is cleared out if you enter a reading manually on the Site Details dialog).
To get a list of the meter readings for all sites that you can print out, see the Reports menu for the new Electric/Water Meter Lists.
- Invoices and Confirmation Letters -- In addition to the original 1/2-page "ticket form" of reservation receipt, there is now a more traditional full-page Invoice format and a Confirmation Letter format. You can select any of the 3 formats as the default, and also change the desired format when printing a receipt. The confirmation letter text can be customized (see Maintenance / Park Setup / Confirmation Letter Text), and the position of the address on the invoice and letter formats can be positioned for use with window-envelopes (see View / Options / Printing).
- Quick-receipts and faster invoice printing -- A no-color option for the reservation ticket has been added for quicker printing (and for non-color printers), plus a no-lines option is available for the full-page invoice, bringing the print time down to about 10-15 seconds (instead of the 45 seconds typical for the color reservation ticket). In addition, another "Quick receipt" form option has been added for printing simple receipts, which prints in under 10 seconds. This new format is similar to the no-lines invoice, but has "Receipt" at the top instead of "Invoice", and does not have the Notice/signature area at the bottom. It can also be printed on smaller (1/2 sheet) paper such as A5 paper if there aren't too many transactions.
- Batch receipt printing -- There is now a function to batch-print Reservation Receipts on the Reports menu, with filtering options. For instance, print receipts for all reservations made today, or all reservations ending tomorrow with balances due, and so forth.
- Mailing Labels / Envelopes -- These functions have been added to the Reports menu, and also on the right-click menus of some tab views. Various filtering options are supported. Note: to adjust the position on the page, see the printer offsets on the View|Options|Printing dialog. Also remember to use File|Printer Setup to set up the proper paper & orientation for labels and envelopes.
- Printing from right-click -- The right-click menus for the tab views now have Print functions. In addition to performing the normal "print the view" function like the Print icon on the main toolbar, you can print a receipt or envelope for the selected reservation. Some views also have batch-printing and mailing labels/envelopes functionality as mentioned above. These will allow you to print labels/envelopes/receipts for all reservations shown on the current view (for instance, all of today's arrivals, this week's departures, all payments past-due, etc.)
- Quick-Search -- Alt-S will invoke a search function from any of the tab view reports, to search for a site or a customer. Just press Alt-S from the main screen and a search dialog will open, enter the text to search for, and press Enter. It first looks for a site containing the text (any part of the site name or description). If there are no matches, it will then search for the first reservation (in the currently shown report) with the Last Name starting with the entered text. If it finds a match for the site or customer, it will bring it into view (if necessary) and highlight it. Note that on the rack, customer searches will start with the first visible date and stop at the end of the date range -- it won't search for reservations on previous dates.
- Confirmation Numbers -- A confirmation number field has been added to reservations. The number is automatically generated from the internal reservation record ID when you make a reservation, but you can customize the format of the number by specifying a prefix (eg. "CJ503") and minimum number of digits. (See View|Options|Program.) The confirmation number is shown on the Reservation Details screen and on the Quick-info window (when you double-click on a reservation in the Rack, for instance), and they will be printing on the receipts so they could be used with confirmation form-letters. Reservations made before the upgrade will not have confirmation numbers. You can change the formatting any time, and it will only affect new reservations entered from that point on.
- Customer warning flag -- a "Warning" flag has been added to customers, which can be set on the Customer Details dialog (see the lower left corner next to the notes). This will show up as a "Warning sign" icon on the New Reservation dialog, so you can use it to warn you of a black-listed customer or that there are special notes you need to check before making the reservation.
- Payments Due filtering options -- A variety of options have been added to the Payments Due tab view, and the default sorting column has been changed to Days Overdue. Use the new Options button above the grid to select various filtering options and customize the display to suit your needs. Any options selected will be remembered the next time you start the program.
- Field selections for most tab views -- All tab views (except the Rack) now have an "Options..." button, which will allow you to select which fields (columns) are visible. This makes it easier to format the reports to your needs, especially for printing. Most fields can be turned off (and a few new ones were added that can be turned on), except the basic fields like Site and Names where needed. Field selections are remembered, even when the program is shut down.
- Inquiry option -- There is a new "Inquiry" button on the New Reservation dialog (on the bottom next to Waiting List and Can't Book). You can use this to record customer inquiries without booking the reservation. Inquiries can be displayed on the "Non-Reserved" tab view, and are also counted in the statistics for the "Unfulfilled" report in the Reports menu. You can turn inquiries into pending reservations (or immediately check them in) from the Reservation Details dialog.
Other minor enhancements:
- The active "Tab View" is highlighted with bold tab text, and any disabled tabs (due to operator access levels) are greyed out.
- Icon keyboard shortcuts -- Each of the "icon" buttons can be invoked with a function key. Since F1 is "Help", the icons start with F2. So, F2 is Reservation, F3 is Customer, F4 is Transaction, F5 is Save, F6 is Backup, F7 is Log in/out, and F8 is Print. In addition, F8 will print from any dialog that has a Print button on it.
- Tab view keyboard shortcuts -- You can jump to any Tab View (Rack, Arrivals, etc.) by pressing Shift with the appropriate function key -- Shift-F1 for the Rack, Shift-F2 for Arrivals, and so on.
- More tab view shortcuts -- You can also use the Tab key to move to the "next" tab view (shift-tab moves backwards).
- When making a New Reservation, double-clicking on the mini-rack view in the dialog works the same as clicking the "Add Selection" button on that site. In addition, if no date has been selected yet, then the date of the cell you double-click on will also become the First Night for the reservation. (So it works just like double-clicking on the rack to start a reservation for that site). You can double-click on as many sites as needed to add concurrent reservations.
- There is a new option to skip simple confirmation prompts like "Check In?". Warnings and other prompts that require a decision will not be skipped. (See View|Options|Prompts)
- There are several options for the date formatting on the reports, so you can show the year, change the month format, etc. (see View|Options|Program).
- There is a new option to prompt (or not) when trying to make reservations on "unavailable" days for a site (so if this is a common occurrence, you can turn off the confirmation prompt and accept it automatically). Note: Don't confuse this with conflicting reservations -- this only applies to dates marked as unavailable in the Site Setup.
- Added a street address and 2 phone numbers to the Site record. You can use the address to show an address to have visitors send mail to, and also 1 or 2 phone numbers assigned to a site (for instance if you have pre-assigned instance phones). These will be printed on the reservation ticket/receipt for the customer's convenience.
- Columns for the number of Adults, Children and extra vehicles were added to the On Site view. On all views, columns for disabled fields are removed.
- Added more reservation color codes, for combinations of group/comp/extended flags with pending/confirmed/guaranteed status.
- Added separate color coding for each weekday, rather than just a weekend color.
- Added site availability options by each weekday, in case a site or other rental unit is only available certain days of the week. These fields are disabled by default to save space and processing time in default configurations -- you can enable them in Maintenance/Data Field Definitions/Site Fields.
- On the Transactions dialog (and other dialogs with editable grids), the Enter key acts like Tab and move to the next field in the grid (instead of just accepting the edited value, it now also moves to the next column).
- Reservation Details dialog -- the hotkey for "Find" conflicted with "First Date", so the Find Date key was changed to Alt-I
- Reservation Details dialog -- Added a checkbox for the "Inquiry" option, and also a "Pending" checkbox (Pending status was previously only indicated by all of the other checkboxes being unchecked). Also, some checkboxes will be disabled depending on the current status (for instance, you can't change a Cancelled reservation to Checked Out).
- Added a "Group" checkbox to the New Reservation dialog for convenience.
- Added a Last Name hotkey, "Alt-L", to the New Transactions dialog for quickly jumping to the customer information.
- Transactions tab view -- reports can now be grouped/totalled by individual site.
- Transaction Item descriptions on the Reservation ticket/receipt are shrunk if necessary so that the text fits in the description column.
- Customized receipt notice -- You can change the "Notice to Guest" text on the reservation receipts -- see Maintenance / Park Setup / Notice message for receipts.
- When printing "New transactions only" from the Transactions dialog, the receipt will show "Statement Total" instead of "Balance Due"
- Individual "Printer Setup" for the receipt types, labels, envelopes, and grid reports, which are saved. Allows different paper sizes, orientation, and printers to be used for each format.
- When adding deposits on the Transactions dialog, it will not automatically put the balance in the Amount field (so you don't have to erase it before entering the right value).
- Balance Due is shown on the reservation quick-info popup windows.
- Some of the checkboxes on the Reservation Details dialog were rearranged -- Waiting and Cannot Book were moved down with the Confirmed and Guaranteed checkboxes, so all "status" indicators are together.
- On the New Reservation dialog, the "Clear All" button was changed to "Clear Sites" (same function, just a clarification). The "Clear Sites" hotkey is now Alt-E.
- The "New Transactions" dialog (which comes up from the cash register icon) has been rearranged and simplified (and removed some of the buttons that are not necessary).
- After restoring from a backup, opening a database, or other actions where the operator is logged out automatically, the Log In dialog is shown for you to log in again.
- Fractional cents can now be shown on transactions (for instance, .05125 for tax rates, 1.899 for propane prices, etc.) down to 5 digits.
- Fixed date-selection controls to handle international date formats (month/day/year).
- Increased the demo limitation from 50 reservations to 100.
- Added a "Re-adjust dates" function to the demo so it can be reset to the original setup.
- ... and a number of small bugs were fixed.