Category: Development


In the very early days of MIDAS, each “venue” (room/bookable space) you added to the system could have a name and a maximum occupancy level (capacity) setting.

Over the years as MIDAS has developed and improved, the number of venue options has greatly increased; today you can set hours of operation, simple and complex hire rates, venue managers, venue blocking rules, alternatives, and rich HTML descriptions.

These additional options have given our software even more flexibility for a wider range of applications, however, when you increase the number of individual venue settings/options available, this in turn can increase the time it takes to setup or make changes to a venue.

That’s why last March, in response to customer feedback, we introduced a way to allow you to “bulk modify” venues, so that users no longer had to modify settings for each venue one at a time.

Manage Venues Screen

The “bulk modify” venue feature allowed more than one venue to be selected at a time from the Manage Venues screen, and when the “Save Changes” button was clicked, the current venue settings/options would be saved for all selected venues.

However, some users didn’t appreciate that all venue settings/options (with the exception of the venue name) would be applied to all selected venues, including capacity, rates, hours, managers, etc.

Therefore, to provide even grater flexibility for users, for v4.21, we’re making it even simpler!

Now, when you have multiple venues selected on the Manage Venues screen and you click ‘Save Changes”, MIDAS will prompt you to select which current settings you wish to apply to your selected venues:

Bulk Modify Venues Options

This new additional dialog will give users full control in making it easier and straight forward to make specific bulk changes to venues, and we’re sure you’re going to love it!

Check out some of the other new and improved features coming in v4.21 here.

MIDAS v4.21 is coming soon! To be notified when it becomes available, please consider joining our Mailing List

In addition to the new deposit invoice features coming in MIDAS v4.21, we’re also introducing a number of other invoicing features in the next update to our booking and scheduling system:


Mark invoices as complete even if not paid in full

When invoices are created or generated in MIDAS, administrative users may freely edit their content up until the point when the invoice is either printed or emailed to the client. At this point, MIDAS assumes that the invoice has been “finalized” and therefore locks it from further editing.

This ensures that the invoice printed/emailed to the client exactly matches the invoice stored within MIDAS.

Finalized invoices indicate the invoice total, the amount already paid (which initially will be zero), and total still due (invoice total minus the amount already paid)

Until the “total due” reaches zero (i.e. the invoice has been paid in full), the invoice will continue to be flagged as “outstanding” (and then subsequently “overdue” if the length of the specified payment term is exceeded)

However, we’ve heard from customers that there are instances when they would like to mark an invoice as complete, even if there is still an amount outstanding on it. An example case might be where a client has been invoiced for the use of 4 venues, but when it came to it, they actually only used 3.

Of course, one solution to this would be to invoice the client after their booking(s) have taken place, and that way you can ensure that they’re only invoiced for their exact usage. However we appreciate that this isn’t always possible and that some customers invoice their clients in advance of their bookings taking place.

That’s why for v4.21 we’re introducing a way to mark an unpaid/partially pid invoice as complete.

When updating an invoice’s status, there’ll now be an optional “Mark outstanding amount as credit?” tick box. If selected when updating an invoice’s status, the outstanding balance on the invoice will be marked as a “credit” on the invoice, therefore reducing the “total due” to zero and marking the invoice as complete.


Quickly “copy” the contents of an invoice to a new invoice

Wouldn’t it be great if you could “clone” (copy) the contents of an existing invoice to a new blank invoice?

Well starting with MIDAS v4.21 you’ll be able to do just that!

Simply view the invoice you’d like to copy and click/tap the new “Clone Invoice” icon. After confirming that you’d like to copy to the contents of the current invoice to a new invoice, MIDAS will create a brand new invoice identical to the current invoice, but without an invoice date and without any payment against it.

As the new invoice doesn’t have an invoice date (because it hasn’t been finalized), the client the new invoice is to be for and the contents of the invoice can be freely edited.

We’re sure this feature will save lots of time for our customers who regularly produce similar or recurring invoices for their clients.


The “Pay invoice online” features can now be configured to allow partial payments

Until now, the “Pay Invoice Online” features of MIDAS, which allow your clients to pay their invoices online would only allow clients to pay invoice in full.

If a customer wished to mark a partial payment then an administrative user would need to manually process their payment and then manually update the status of the invoice within MIDAS to reflect the partial amount paid.

The good news is that for v4.21 we’re introducing a new “Allow Partial Invoice Payments” setting which if enabled will then allow your clients to enter an amount they wish to pay towards their invoice, rather than the only option being to pay it in full. Of course if the new “Allow Partial Invoice Payments” setting isn’t enabled, then the online payments feature of MIDAS will behave as in previous versions and only allow invoices to be paid in full.

We want to provide our customers the most flexible and versatile invoicing features in a booking system we can, and so we’re sure that the exciting improvements to invoicing coming in our next update will be great additions!

MIDAS v4.21 is coming soon! To be notified when it becomes available, please consider joining our Mailing List

Coming Soon in MIDAS v4.21: Deposit Invoices

It may be a new year, but we’ve been hard at work on the next update (v4.21) to our web based room booking and resource scheduling system, and we’ll be giving you a “first look” here on the blog at some of the upcoming features you can expect to see.

Invoicing has been a staple feature of our software for many years, and following customer feedback, for v4.08 we expanded the invoice generation capabilities of MIDAS to also allow generating “Cancellation Invoices“. When enabled, this feature will automatically charge a cancellation fee to your clients and generate an invoice accordingly if their bookings are cancelled (removed from the system) at very short notice.

This feature has been well received by customers, many of whom have also asked for the ability for their MIDAS system to generate “deposit” invoices too.

Well, we’ve listened and we’re excited to announce that “Deposit Invoices” are finally coming in MIDAS v4.21!

When generating invoices for bookings and deposit invoicing is enabled, MIDAS will instead generate two invoices; the usual “regular” invoice and a separate “deposit” invoice.

Deposit Invoice Settings in MIDAS v4.21
Deposit Invoice Settings in MIDAS v4.21

The amount charged on a deposit invoice can either be set to a fixed amount, or it can a percentage of the overall total booking cost.

Furthermore, there’s also the option to deduct the value of the “deposit” invoice from the “regular” invoice, or for the deposit charge to be in addition to the main booking/hire charge.

MIDAS v4.21 is coming soon! To be notified when it becomes available, please consider joining our Mailing List

Following on from our previous post, you’ll know about some of the difficulties and challenges we’ve faced over the years in ensuring a consistent user experience can be delivered for our users, regardless of which web browser they’re using.

In response to customer feedback, updating and improving some of the visual elements of MIDAS has been the main focus for our next update, v4.20.

This blog post outlines some of the key visual changes we’re making in order to improve the user interface (UI).


Deprecating some old, less popular themes

The standard (non-HiRes) version of the “Default” theme is being retired, along with the “Pastel” and “Classic” themes.

Pastel Theme for MIDAS
The “Pastel” theme (shown above) was the least used optional theme by our customers. We may re-introduce a similar theme in the future, but for the time being the “Pastel” theme will no longer be available in v4.20

Classic v3 Theme for MIDAS
The “Classic” theme (shown above) was originally introduced with the release MIDAS v4.00 and was based on the icons in the previous pre-v4.00 interface for MIDAS. As there were significant changes made to various icons between MIDAS v3 and v4, the “Classic” theme’s primary purpose was to ease the transition to v4 for long standing customers familiar with icons from v3. MIDAS v3 was superseded by v4 over six years ago now, and so this interface is now very dated. As such, the “Classic” theme will no longer be available inn MIDAS v4.20.

Standard Resolution Default Theme for MIDAS
The non-HiRes version of the “Default” theme (shown above) was primarily aimed at self-hosted customers who were installing MIDAS onto a server which didn’t support serving SVG images. The non-HiRes default theme version was identical to the “Default-HiRes” theme, but with high resolution SVG icons substituted for lower resolution PNG images.

Nowadays, all modern servers can be configured to correctly serve SVG images, with the majority of them being able to serve such content natively. (All our cloud-hosted customers are defaulted to the high resolution, rather than the standard resolution, “Default” theme)

The purpose of the non-HiRes “Default” theme is therefore now for all intents and purposes redundant, and so it has been removed from v4.20.


Updating Existing Themes

High Resolution SVG graphics in MIDAS
The previous “Default-HiRes” theme has been updated and renamed to “Default” for v4.20. The “BrushedSteel”, “HiContrast” and “Slate” themes have all had a face lift too. All of these themes now boast high resolution SVG icons, and improved layouts.

Brushed Steel Theme for MIDAS

High Contrast Theme for MIDAS

Dark Slate Theme for MIDAS

We’ve also increased the size of some visual elements to better aid those with sight difficulties or those accessing MIDAS on very small screen devices. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the login screen under the hi resolution “Default” themes in both v4.19 (left) and v4.20 (right):

MIDAS v4.19 login screen MIDAS v4.20 login screen
v4.19 Login Screen v4.20 Login Screen

Introducing New Themes!

We’re also adding THREE exciting new, high resolution themes to v4.20!

Honeycomb

New Honeycomb theme for MIDAS

Squares

New lilac Squares theme for MIDAS

Wood

New Wood effect theme for MIDAS

Additional new themes may also be added down the line, but for v4.20 a total 7 distinctly different themes will be included as standard. No longer will there be a need to download and install (in the case of self-hosted customers) or request (in the case of cloud-hosted customers) additional optional themes for your MIDAS system. All 7 of these themes are included as standard.


Custom themes

Self-hosted customers will also still be able to “tweak” and customize their own visual themes for MIDAS, however the process for doing so will be slightly different then before. We’ll shortly be updating our Knowledgebase with instructions in this regard.


Future development

The new way in which themes are handled starting with v4.20 will make it easier for us to introduce further themes in the future, as well as lay future foundations for an often requested “white label” edition of MIDAS.


MIDAS v4.20 is coming soon, however we would love you comments and feedback on these theme updates! Please consider joining our Beta Test so that you can explore these new and improved themes for yourself (Oh, and we reward our Beta testers too!)

MIDAS and Internet Explorer 11

Here are MIDAS HQ we love getting feedback from our customers! Whether positive or critical, all feedback is important to us as it helps us to continually develop and improve our MIDAS room booking & resource scheduling software and service to make it the best it can be!

Our customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and you can read some of these comments on our website and also on independent review sites such as TrustPilot.

However, in recent times a handful of customers have commented specifically in relation to the user interface (UI) of MIDAS, which a few perceive as now a little “dated”.

We wanted to begin addressing this for our next MIDAS update, v4.20, and so we’ve introduced a number of changes and improvements in this area which you can read about in the following blog post.

However, we also thought it would be useful to explain some of the challenges we’ve faced with regards to the UI over the years.

As you may or may not know, MIDAS has been in continuous active development for well over a decade, and our philosophy has always been to support ALL popular web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Apple Safari, and more recently Microsoft Edge).

Room Booking System for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge This has been an enormous task over the years, but we feel strongly that our users should have a choice of which web browser they use, with a consistent MIDAS experience between browsers, and not be forced to use one particular browser in order to be able to access and use our MIDAS software.

It’s fair to say that the most difficult web browser to maintain support for over the years continues to be Microsoft’s Internet Explorer series, primarily because it has always lagged way behind all other vendor’s browser offerings in terms of its development, updates, and support for the latest standards (the web has developed and evolved significantly over the years we’ve been developing MIDAS, and Internet Explorer doesn’t keep up!).

To some extent we’ve been “held back” over the years by our decision to continue to support customers who force their uses to use Internet Explorer, however, as of today the only version of Internet Explorer we officially support is 11, having deprecated support for IE10 & 9, IE8, IE7, and IE6 over the past decade.

MIDAS and Internet Explorer 11 Continuing to support MIDAS in IE11 for the very small (and ever decreasing) percentage of our users who continue to use this old browser limits how we can develop MIDAS, particularly in terms of the user interface.

Whilst we would have loved to have dropped IE11 support long ago, Microsoft have committed to providing mainstream support for IE11 until the end of life of the operating systems upon which it is installed – namely, Windows 7, 8 and 10. Windows 7 & 8 have both now reached their EOL (End Of Life) for mainstream support, however Windows 10 is still actively supported by Microsoft and will continue to be for the foreseeable future (for a minimum of at least two years).

That’s why we’ve taken the difficult – but necessary – decision that at some point during 2019 we’ll officially be dropping IE11 support in MIDAS.

This won’t necessarily mean that MIDAS will suddenly cease to function for IE11 users next year, but it does mean that over time new features and new user interface elements and enhancements may not display or even function correctly if you continue to access MIDAS using Internet Explorer 11.

If you’re currently an IE11 user, there is however, plenty of time to switch to a different web browser and there’s plenty of choice when it comes to modern alternative web browsers.

MIDAS will continue to be supported in recent versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Opera.

We appreciate that this may affect a very small number of users, but we hope this blog post gives some insight and understanding as to why we’re making this decision and also gives you plenty of time to switch to an alternative, more modern, web browser.

As ever, if you have any questions or concerns over how this may impact you and your organization’s use of MIDAS, please don’t hesitate to contact us and our friendly team will be only too happy to help!