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Work is nearly completion on the next update to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software, which is anticipated to be released next month.

In previous posts, we introduced the new setup/breakdown time features and improvements to similar booking searching coming in v4.23. In this post, we’d like to highlight some of the improvements we’ve made to one of our optional “addons”. Addons allow you to further extend the capabilities of your MIDAS system.

For v4.23 we’re updating and improving the “Feeds” addon. Previously, this addon was known as our “RSS Feeds” addon, because it did just that – automatically generating RSS 2.0/Atom data feeds of your upcoming bookings.

Due to popular demand, we’re introducing the ability to sync bookings in your MIDAS system with an external calendar – such as Google Calendar, or any external calendar that’s capable of subscribing to an iCal (webcal) feed. These new capabilities will be included, along with RSS feed generation options, in a newly renamed “Feeds” addon.

For those customers who are familiar with the previous “RSS Feeds” addon, the new “Feeds” addon looks and feels very similar, but includes an additional “Feed Type” selector. The “Feed Type” selector may be used to control the type of data feed you wish to generate; the three available feed types are:

  • RSS (An RSS 2.0/Atom Datafeed – for use in RSS readers and similar)
  • Google Calendar (A feed that will automatically open in Google Calendar)
  • iCal (A iCal data feed that external calendars capable of subscribing to webcal:// URLS can subscribe to)
Improved “Feeds” addon, allowing synchronization of bookings to your external calendar

Depending upon the type of feed you select, the “Feed URL” will update with a link that you can use in your external calendar to synchronize bookings from your MIDAS system to your external calendar.

An extensive range of settings are available, as per the previous “RSS Feeds” addon, allowing you control over which venue(s) bookings and/or which booking types are to be included in your generated feed.

There are also no limits on the number of feeds you can create – you can have a different feed for each of your individual venues or booking types if you’d like!

Existing customers who have previously purchased the older “RSS Feeds” addon will automatically be migrated to the new “Feeds” addon with MIDAS v4.23 at no additional cost! If you’re an existing customer who’d like to be able to add the optional “Feeds” addon to your MIDAS system, you’ll be able to purchase this optional addon at https://mid.as/upgrade once MIDAS v4.23 is released.

We’re excited about these new improvements to the optional “Feeds” addon and we’re sure they’ll be of great benefit to our customers! Remember, we love feedback and feature requests from our customers, so do vote and let us know what you’d like to see in future updates to our software.

MIDAS v4.23 is coming soon! To be notified when it becomes publicly available, please join our mailing list, or to be among the very first to try the v4.23 “Beta”, why not join in the Beta Test? (We reward our Beta testers too!)

Work is nearly completion on the next update to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software, which is anticipated to be released next month.

In our previous blog post, we introduced the new setup/breakdown time features in v4.23. In this post, we’d like to highlight one of the improvements we’ve made in this next update in relation to bulk modifying/deleting “similar” bookings.

The “modify similar bookings” feature allows you to select an existing booking, and then quickly locate other similar bookings to it for bulk modification. The “delete similar bookings” feature allows you to select an existing booking and then quickly locate other similar bookings for bulk deletion.

These features allow you to narrow down the search for “similar” bookings to those which fall within a certain date range, and/or which take place in a particular room/venue, and/or which are of a certain type.

Following customer feedback, we’re improving these options in v4.23 to now also include the ability to restrict booking results to those bookings which take place on particular days of the week.

Limit similar booking search results to specific days of the week

So now, if you want to modify all similar bookings over a date range, but only include those bookings which fall on say a Tuesday, you can!

Previously, you could still do this, but you’d have to list all relevant bookings in the date range, and then painstakingly mark for bulk modification/deletion only those which fell on the specific day(s) you were interested in. In MIDAS v4.23 we’re making this process far less laborious!

We’re excited about these new features and we’re sure they’ll be of great benefit to our customers! Remember, we love feedback and feature requests from our customers, so do vote and let us know what you’d like to see in future updates to our software.

MIDAS v4.23 is coming soon! To be notified when it becomes publicly available, please join our mailing list, or to be among the very first to try the v4.23 “Beta”, why not join in the Beta Test? (We reward our Beta testers too!)

Work is nearly completion on the next update to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software, which is anticipated to be released next month.

In advance of this, we wanted to share with you some of the exciting new and improved features in this forthcoming release…

A commonly requested feature we’re asked for is the ability to add setup and breakdown times to bookings.

As MIDAS allows users to add custom booking fields, some customers add their own bespoke setup/breakdown fields to their MIDAS system to record how long is needed to setup/changeover. This can work well, however, using custom booking fields in this way didn’t alter the actual start/finish times of the bookings themselves, and so could only be used to denote periods within the confines of the actual start/finish times of bookings.

We’ve listened to customer usage cases, and as a result, we are delighted to announce that MIDAS v4.23 will now include full support for specifying setup/breakdown times for bookings!

If these features are enabled, then the standard Add/Modify Bookings screen will include two additional fields, by default named “Setup” and “Breakdown” (but the good news is that these names are customizable!). These fields allow specifying a setup period before the start time of each booking, and a breakdown period at the end of each booking:

New Setup/Breakdown Fields in MIDAS v4.23

In the above screenshot, a booking is to be added from 8am – 10am, with a 30 minute setup period before hand, and 15 minute breakdown period afterwards. The resulting booking would render in the booking grid as follows:

A booking in the Booking Grid indicating a 30 minute setup time before the start of the booking, and a 15 minute breakdown period at the end

As you’ve come to expect from our software, we give you loads of control over settings and the new setup/breakdown time options are no different!

Firstly, the names “Setup” and “Breakdown” may not be the most applicable to your business or operational needs, so we allow you to choose from a list of alternatives, for “Setup” these include; “Arrival”, “Build”, “Fit up”, “Get in” “Load in”, and “Rig”. For “Breakdown” these include; “Departure”, “Derig”, “Get out”, “Load out”, “Reset”, and “Strike”… and if none of those are suitable, you can enter your own bespoke labels for these pre/post booking fields. Furthermore, you can also set a default value for each, and like other booking fields, choose whether the appear on printouts, and precisely control which users these fields are presented to:

Customize the pre/booking time fields with bespoke names and default values

If addition to be able to control the appearance/visibility of these new fields, we’re also giving you control over their functionality, with a host of new settings:

Control how the new setup/breakdown fields function

You can choose whether the times shown on the Booking Availability screen should include setup/breakdown times, you can choose whether setup and/or breakdown times for bookings are allowed to overlap with other bookings, and also whether setup/breakdown times are allowed to overlap for resources.

What’s more, you can also control how setup/breakdown times are handled with respect to invoicing:

Invoicing options for setup/breakdown periods

You can include/exclude setup/breakdown times from being invoices, or indeed appearing on your invoices.

We’re excited about these new features and we’re sure they’ll be of great benefit to our customers! Remember, we love feedback and feature requests from our customers, so do vote and let us know what you’d like to see in future updates to our software.

MIDAS v4.23 is coming soon! To be notified when it becomes publicly available, please join our mailing list, or to be among the very first to try the v4.23 “Beta”, why not join in the Beta Test? (We reward our Beta testers too!)

MIDAS v4.22 Out Now!

We’re excited to announce the release today of v4.22 of our MIDAS room booking system, which includes the often requested feature of “custom client fields”.

Similar to the existing “custom booking fields” feature we first introduced back in 2010, which allows administrators to add further bespoke booking fields to their MIDAS booking system in addition of the standard booking fields, the new custom client fields feature provides similar functionality now to your client records.

What’s more, customers running self-hosted MIDAS booking systems can now also attach documents (for instance insurance certificates, signed contracts, etc) directly to client records through the use of custom client fields.

Here’s What’s New & Improved in v4.22:

  • New: Custom Client fields
  • New: Venue Utilization report based upon venue capacities
  • New: “All Days” tick box to allow setting venue rates for all days at once
  • New: MIDAS now warns if its database isn’t compatible with current software version
  • Improved: Option to split resources into categories when printing bookings as a table
  • Improved: Booking Grid View filter setting now persists between session
  • Improved: Booking Information Panel can now be scrolled if lengthy notes, etc are present
  • Improved: Booking Information Panel now remembers selected tab between sessions
  • Improved: Booking Information Panel “Pin” now remembers its state between sessions
  • Improved: Default Booking Type field no longer shown on Add/Modify Client dialog if no booking types defined
  • Improved: XML settings file migrated to JSON
  • Improved: Performance improvements (Pages now load ~200ms faster than before)
  • Improved: HiContrast theme
  • Improved: Initial page title now indicates friendly database name if only a single database is defined
  • Improved: The MIDAS updater now also automatically updates any installed addons
  • Improved: Logging for IPv6 and IPv4-mapped IPv6 addresses
  • Improved: Custom Logo shown when logged in (in bottom left) now auto hides if booking information panel would cover it
  • Update: Stripe for SCA regulation (3D Secure support)
  • Fixed: Cumulative roll-up of various fixes for issues discovered since v4.21

How To Get MIDAS v4.22…

New To MIDAS?

We are committed to fair and accessible pricing for all organizations regardless of size. We’re totally upfront and transparent about our pricing structure, and you can purchase MIDAS v4.22 securely through our website and be up and running in no time!

“Self Hosted” Customers:

Self-Hosted customers with ongoing Annual Support Subscriptions will shortly be able to update to v4.22. It only takes a couple of clicks – simply log in to your MIDAS system and go to MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Update.

If no update is available, please check back again in a day or so.

“Cloud Hosted” Customers:

Cloud-Hosted customers don’t need to do anything! – All our active Cloud-Hosted MIDAS customers will be automatically updated to this latest version of MIDAS over the coming weekend!

Thank you for your continued support of our software, and we hope you’ll enjoy the new features and improvements in MIDAS v4.22!

If you have any questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you!

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at SPF and why its important in ensuring email from your MIDAS room booking system is reliably delivered.

SPF stands for “Sender Policy Framework” and its purpose is to prevent unauthorized people from forging your e-mail address and pretending to be you. SPF has been around for a number of years now, but in recent times has been growing in popularity as more and more websites and email providers start enforcing it.

As our MIDAS web based room booking systems are capable of sending email on your behalf, it’s important to understand how SPF works and how it can help solve email delivery issues in MIDAS.

Take for instance the following example Scenario:

  • Your MIDAS system is running on domain “A” (i.e. your-organization.mid.as)
  • Your MIDAS system is configured to send emails to appear as though they are sent from an email address belonging to domain “B” (i.e. your-organization.com)
  • An email is sent from your MIDAS system to a recipient with an email address on domain C

In the above example, the receiving mail server for domain C queries the SPF record on domain B to check whether domain A is authorized to send mail on behalf of domain B. If it isn’t the email is rejected.

An SPF record is simply a TXT record in a given domain’s DNS, and a simple example may look similar to this:

v=spf1 +a +mx ~all

The format of an SPF record begins with a version number; the current SPF version is “v = spf1”.
Following the version string, any number of expressions may be included which are evaluated in the order they appear. These consist of an optional “qualifier” (+, -, ~, or ?) and a “mechanism” (all, a, mx, ip4, or include). The first mechanism that is matched in the SPF record determines the result of the entire valuation of the SPF record.

Qualifiers:

QualifierResultDescription
+PassDefines an authorized sender
(If no qualifier is specified, + is assumed)
FailDefines an unauthorized sender
~SoftFailDefines an unauthorized sender
(however it may not notify the sender that their email failed)
?NeutralDefines a sender whose legitimacy isn’t determined
(In such instances, sending is allowed)

Mechanisms:

MechanismApplies if…
allalways
aAn A (or AAAA) record of the polled (or explicitly specified) domain contains the IP address of the sender
mxAn A (or AAAA) record of the polled (or explicitly specified) domain contains the IP address of the sender
ip4The specified IPv4 address is the IP address of the sender or of the specified IPv4 subnet which contains it
includeAn additional SPF request for the domain specified in the include statement contains the IP address of the sender

SPF records cannot be over 255 characters in length and cannot include more than ten “include” statements.

Example SPF record:

 v=spf1 +a +ip4:1.2.3.4 -ip4:5.6.7.8 +include:somedomain.com ~all 

In the above example:

  1. Email delivery will be allowed if it originated from the same domain it was sent (+a).
  2. Email delivery will also be allowed if it originated from the specific IP address 1.2.3.4
  3. Email delivery will be rejected if it originated from the IP address 5.6.7.8.
  4. Email delivery will be allowed if it matches the rules defined in the SPF record on “somedomain.com”
  5. All other email sources will be softly rejected (~all)

Bringing it back to MIDAS…

If you run a cloud-hosted MIDAS system at the domain “your-organization.mid.as”, your organization’s own website is “your-organization.com”, and you wish to allow your MIDAS system to send email on behalf of addresses @your-organization.com, then you should setup/modify an SPF record on your-organization.com.

This SPF record would authorize your hosted MIDAS system to send email on behalf of your organization. Failing to correctly set an SPF record for your domain may mean that emails sent from your MIDAS system may not reach recipients.

For our hosted customers, you can simply include “include:_spf.midas.network” in your-organization.com’s SPF record. Your new/modified SPF record may then look similar to this:

v=spf1 +a +mx include:_spf.midas.network ~all

In the above example:

  1. Email delivery will be allowed if it originated from the same domain it was sent (+a).
  2. Email delivery will be allowed if it originated from the same mail server as it was sent (+mx)
  3. Email delivery will be allowed if it matches the rules defined in the SPF record on “_spf.midas.network”. This will allow your hosted MIDAS system to become an authorized sender of email for your domain.
  4. All other email sources will be softly rejected (~all)

Remember, SPF records are simply TXT records within your domain’s DNS. If you’re not sure how to set/modify DNS records for your own domain, you’ll need to defer to the domain’s administrator, registrar, or hosting provider who should be able to assist in making the necessary adjustments to your domain’s DNS record

Further reading from our Knowledgebase:.