Category: Development


Coming Soon: Reviews Addon

With the latest update (v4.24) to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software fast approaching, we’ve been introducing some of the highlights of the new update over the past few blog posts.

In our previous post, we revealed a new editable “Booking Feedback” template and options to allow your MIDAS system to automatically send your clients and customers a post-booking follow-up email. This could be used, for example, to thank them for their recent visit and to encourage them to use your facilities again soon.

To further enhance and extend this new feature, we’re also introducing a new optional “Reviews” addon, which works in conjunction with this feature, allowing you to automatically collect feedback, ratings, and reviews of your facilities/business on leading independent review sites, such as Trustpilot.

Initially, the new optional “Reviews” addon supports four leading independent review platforms;

https://collect-reviews.com
https://reviews.io
https://trustpilot.com
https://trustspot.io

How It Works

The “Reviews” addon works by automatically notifying an independent review collection platform after a client’s booking has taken place at your facilities. The review platform then in turn sends out a review invitation by email to your client asking them to leave a review or rating of your business on their website.

Here’s how the process works:

  1. A client’s booking in MIDAS takes place.
  2. Shortly thereafter, MIDAS automatically sends the client a post-booking email (the content of which is customizable via a template)
  3. When this email is sent, it is also transparently BCC’d (Blind Carbon Copied) to your chosen review collection platform
  4. The review platform then in turn sends the same client an invitation to rate and/or review your business on their independent review platform

What you’ll need

In order to be able to take advantage of the functionality the optional”Reviews” addon offers, you’ll need the following:

Complete documentation for the new Reviews addon is available online.

Once MIDAS v4.24 is released, new customers will be able to purchase the new “Reviews” addon along with MIDAS through our secure site.

Existing customers with valid subscriptions and who run MIDAS v4.24 will be able to add the optional “Reviews” addon to their system by upgrading.

Are there any other review platforms you’d like to see included in this addon in the future? Let us know!

MIDAS v4.24 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 v4.24 “Beta”, why not join in the Beta Test? (We reward our Beta testers too!)

Over the past few blog posts, we’ve been revealing some of the new and improved features on the horizon in the next update to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software, v4.24.

In this blog post we’d like to introduce you to a new automated email notification you can configure to be automatically sent to your clients shortly after their bookings have taken place.

Those of you familiar with the extensive email notification capabilities that MIDAS has will know that you can already configure MIDAS to automatically send clients booking confirmations, reminders of their upcoming bookings, invoice payment reminders and more – in fact there are no fewer than 10 different email notification types available in MIDAS, each of which may be individually customizable through templates.

For v4.24 we adding in an additional email notification template to the list – that for “Booking Feedback”. The idea being that a short time after a client’s booking has taken place, MIDAS can automatically send them a courtesy follow-up email. This email could simply thank the client for their custom, or invite them to provide feedback on their room hire experience at your organization.

New “Booking Feedback” email template in MIDAS v4.24

As with all other editable templates in MIDAS, the new “Booking Feedback” template may be freely modified and customized to suit your particular requirements through the use of simple HTML code and placeholder variables. Templates are accessed and modified via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Templates.

(as a side note, eagle-eyed viewers may also note from the above screenshot that we’ve also now made the Template Preview and Template Code areas vertically resizable! – previously these were a fixed height)

Once you’ve customized your “Booking Feedback” email template, you can then enable it and control how after a client’s booking has concluded to wait before MIDAS should send the email via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Scheduled Tasks.

Enable a Scheduled Task to automatically send an email to a client after their visit

For these post-booking emails to be automatically sent to your clients, you’ll need to have Scheduled Tasks correctly configured on your server. If Scheduled Tasks are correctly configured on your server, the “Last Run” time indicated in the above screenshot should show a time within the last 60 minutes). Now, all our cloud-hosted customer’s MIDAS systems are already configured to run scheduled tasks, however for self-hosted customers, if you’ve not yet configured Scheduled Tasks on your server, please see the following KB article for guidance: How to configure your server to run Scheduled Tasks.

We hope our customers will appreciate this new notification and template addition to the forthcoming v4.24 update. In our next blog post, we’ll take a look at how the functionality of this new “booking feature” feature can be further enhanced with a brand new optional addon… so stay tuned to our blog to discover more in the coming days!

MIDAS v4.24 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 v4.24 “Beta”, why not join in the Beta Test? (We reward our Beta testers too!)

As the wet and windy wintry weather shows no sign of letting up here in the UK, we continue to put the finishing touches to the next update to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software, v4.24.

In the previous blog post, we announced support in v4.24 for a new multi-select custom list field. In this blog post, we’re revealing a new user permission we’re adding to our forthcoming update.

“User Permissions” in MIDAS allow administrators to precisely control what each user account within the system can access. From very restrictive “view only” permissions to fully-fledged administrator – and everything in between! In fact, there are well over 30 individual permissions that can be set on a per-account basis – a full list of which can be found here.

For v4.24 we adding a new additional user permission: “Can Bypass Venue Blocks”. To understand the purpose of this new permissions, we first need to understand what “Venue Blocks” actually are..

Back in 2014, we introduced “Venue Blocks” to MIDAS. You can read more about this cool feature in this blog post. Essentially, venue “blocking” allows administrators to set up rules so that when a certain venue is booked, another venue is then automatically blocked from having any bookings during the same time period.

An example of where this may be useful is in a Church environment where you have a quiet prayer room adjacent to a sports hall. It may be desirable to prevent noisy bookings taking place in the sports hall if there’s a prayer meeting happening in the room next door. This is where Venue Blocking comes in.

Another example might be a large room which can either be hired as a whole space, or sub-divided and hired as two separate, smaller, rooms. Obviously, if one of the sub-divides is booked, a booking couldn’t take place in the space as a whole at the same time, so again, this is where Venue Blocking in MIDAS becomes useful, as you can easily prevent this from occurring.

Until now, however, there has been no way to “override” venue blocks, short of removing the blocks from venues themselves. That’s why we’re introducing the new “Can Bypass Venue Blocks” permission for v4.24:

New “Bypass Venue Blocks” permission in v4.24

This permission isn’t granted to any user by default, however any user account which is subsequently granted the “Can Bypass Venue Blocks” permission by an administrative user, will then be able to make bookings in venues regardless of any venue blocking rules defined.

We’re sure this additional user permission will be of considerable use to customers in helping them manage their bookable spaces more effectively. And once again, this improvement is being implemented as a direct result of feedback from our users. We love hearing feedback and suggestions for improvement and new features from our customers, so why note take a moment to vote on some popular suggestions and let us know what you’d like to see in MIDAS in the future!

MIDAS v4.24 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 v4.24 “Beta”, why not join in the Beta Test? (We reward our Beta testers too!)

The new decade has gotten of to an unusually windy and wet start here in the UK, as the country’s been taking a bit of a battering with Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis in quick succession. It’s not been very nice weather to go out in at all! So instead, we’ve been spending a lot of time indoors working away at the next update to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software.

Our first update in 2020 includes a host of new and improved features, which we’re going to give you a look at in the coming blog posts.

In this post we’re going to cover the first of these new features coming in MIDAS v4.24:

Multi-Select Custom List Fields

One of the reasons our room bookings software is so flexible and versatile is that we allow you to create your own bespoke booking fields, and more recently your own bespoke client fields too!

The types of custom booking/client fields you can create in MIDAS are as follows:

  • Checkbox – A “tick box” field
  • File – (self-hosted editions only) Allows uploading/attaching of files and documents to client records
  • List – A drop-down list of pre-defined items
  • Number – A field that will only accept numerical input
  • Range – A “slider” control allowing selection of a numeric value within a defined range
  • Text – A single-line text field
  • Text Area – A multi-line text field
  • URL – A navigable web link to an external resource

Documentation on how to create and use custom fields in your MIDAS system may be found here, and we also have a short tutorial on custom fields too:

TUTORIAL: How to Control & Customize Fields in MIDAS

Until now the custom “List” field allowed users to select a single item from a pre-defined drop-down list of items created by an administrator, and assign the selected item to the booking or client record.

For v4.24, we’re expanding the custom “List” field options to additionally include a “multi select” list option – so administrators will now be able to create drop-down lists from which users may select multiple options.

Administrators will of course also be able to select which option (or options) in the list are selected by default, and also control whether the list is visible to all users, or restricted to just certain users:

New multi-select custom field option in MIDAS v4.24

We’re excited about the new custom “multi-select list” field option coming in v4.24. Once again, this has been implemented as a direct result of customer feedback. 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 v4.24 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 v4.24 “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 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 “Data Feeds” addon.

For those customers who are familiar with the previous “RSS Feeds” addon, the new “Data 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 “Data 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 “Data 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!)