The next update to our Web Based Room Booking and Resource Scheduling software MIDAS is fast approaching, and throughout March we’re giving you a first look at some of the new features and improvements you can look forward to in MIDAS v4.12..

A growing selection of templates are available and editable within MIDAS, allowing you to customize and tailor the appearance of various parts of the software, as well as printouts and emails.

Templates are constructed using a combination of common HTML code and special MIDAS variables – don’t worry if you’re not familiar with HTML, we’re produced a handy “What is HTML and how do I use it within my MIDAS templates?” guide, complete with simple examples.

MIDAS also includes a visual WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) template editor where you can simply drag/drop/insert elements into your templates, rather than entering raw HTML code.

Since the introduction of templates, email templates in particular contained a special %CONTENT% variable. This variable would be automatically substituted for generated content when an email was sent. For example, here’s some simplified content for a Booking Confirmation email template in MIDAS v4.11:

Dear %CLIENT_FIRSTNAME%,
Details of your confirmed booking at %DATABASE% are as follows:
%CONTENT%
We look forward to seeing you then!

In the above template, when a booking confirmation email is sent, the variable %CLIENT_FIRSTNAME% is automatically substituted with the forename of the client the notification is to be sent to and %DATABASE% is be substituted for the name of your MIDAS database (usually your organization’s name).

The %CONTENT% variable is then replaced with details of the client’s bookings, and would include the booking fields that had been selected via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Fields → Show In → Booking Confirmation.

Using the above template, the resulting email content may look like:

Dear Joe,
Details of your confirmed booking at St James are as follows:

Date/Times: 21/03/2016 @ 09:00 – 10:30
Venue: Room 1
Resources: x1 Laptop, x1 Data Projector

Date/Times: 21/03/2016 @ 09:00 – 10:30
Venue: Room 2
Resources: x4 Tables, x20 Chairs

We look forward to seeing you then!

For MIDAS v4.12, we’ve overhauled email templates to give you far greater flexibility and control over the generated content of emails. The rigid %CONTENT% variable has been replaced with more useful variables. For example, a new booking confirmation email template may now look like this:

Dear %CLIENT_FIRSTNAME%,
Details of your confirmed booking at %DATABASE% are as follows:

<bookings>
Dates/Times: %START% – %FINISH%
Venue: %VENUE%
Resources: %RESOURCES%
</bookings>

We look forward to seeing you then!

…as you can see, the original %CONTENT% variable has been replaced in v4.12 with a <bookings> … </bookings> section, in which you can add your own text and variables to customize the generated content exactly as you’d like. You can also include content from any custom booking fields you’ve added to MIDAS – for example, if you’ve created a booking field named “Test Field”, you can insert the variable %CUSTOM_TEST_FIELD% into the <bookings> … </bookings> section. (This brings email templates in line with the format of templates in our optional Digital Signage and Web Calendars addons, which have always supported <bookings> … </bookings> template sections)

We’ve also added support for a couple of new variables too; %BOOKING_COST% and %TOTAL_COST%.

%BOOKING_COST% can be added within the <bookings> … </bookings> section and will be substituted for the cost of the individual booking (including both venue and resource usage).

%TOTAL_COST% can be added anywhere in the template and will be substituted for the total cost of all the bookings listed in the email.

When editing templates via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Templates, a complete list is displayed of all available variables that can be inserted into the current templates.

We believe replacing the limited %CONTENT% variable with a flexible <bookings> … </bookings> section in email notifications will give customers far greater control over the appearance and content of emails sent through MIDAS.

MIDAS v4.12 is expected to be made available to Beta Testers later this month, with a general release shortly after. We’re currently looking for additional testers to help test and provide feedback/bug reports on pre-release versions of our software. Becoming a tester is free and no experience is required, and what’s more we’ll reward you for your participation! Find out more about becoming a MIDAS Beta Tester here.

If you would like to be notified when v4.12 is fully released, then why not join our Mailing List?

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