Latest News: MIDAS v4.28 Out Now | Refer-a-Friend | MIDAS Turns 15

Category: Development

Our support team often receive emails from customers who are having trouble receiving email from their hosted MIDAS booking system.

We have a dedicated “Why am I not receiving email from my MIDAS system?” article in our extensive Knowledge Base to try to help users resolve their email deliverability issues.

Now, assuming email settings are correct in a customer’s MIDAS system, then the most likely cause is a missing or incorrect SPF record for their organization’s own domain.

SPF stands for “Sender Policy Framework” and its purpose is to prevent unauthorized sending of email purporting to be from someone within your organization.

It’s function is best explained with an example…

Let’s assume that your cloud-hosted MIDAS system resides at “demo.mid.as”, and your own organization’s own domain is “example.com”.

You may wish your MIDAS system to be able to send emails appearing from “bookings@example.com” even when your booking system is hosted at another domain (i.e. demo.mid.as).

However, if an SPF record has not been correctly configured on your “example.com” domain to authorize “demo.mid.as” to send email on behalf of your organization’s own domain, emails sent from your MIDAS system will likely not arrive.

In a previous blog post we explain the importance of SPF in more detail. This also covers how to correctly set an SPF record for MIDAS email delivery…

Anyway, back to email settings in MIDAS itself. These may be configured via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Email.

Email settings and SMTP Test button in MIDAS.

When choosing to have outgoing email sent via your organization’s own SMTP (mail) server, an “SMTP Test” button is shown. This allows you to send a test email to yourself using the SMTP settings you’ve entered.

Starting with MIDAS v4.28, we’ve added an SPF record check into this SMTP test for cloud hosted customers.

This will attempt to retrieve the SPF record for your domain, and warn you if it’s not been correctly configured to allow your MIDAS system to send email on behalf of your organization.

We hope this check will help our cloud-hosted customers to correctly setup an SPF record for their domain to ensure email deliverability.

Reset Invoice Counters

We’re giving administrators the ability to reset invoice counters in MIDAS v4.28.

Previously, invoice counters could only be reset through the optional MIDAS API.

What are invoice counters?

Each time a new invoice is generated or created in MIDAS, it is assigned a unique incremental number. This is prefixed with an editable string of characters.

So for instance, if the invoice prefix was set to be “MIDAS”, then the first invoice added in MIDAS would be numbered “MIDAS0001“. The second invoice would be automatically assigned “MIDAS0002“, the third “MIDAS0003” and so forth.

Separate counters and prefixes exist for both deposit and cancellation invoices too, as well as for credit notes.

Whilst their prefixes can be changed at any time, the numeric “counters” themselves are internal and couldn’t – until v4.28 – be easily changed.

That meant that if your invoice counter was up to 0123 and you wanted to change prefixes from “MIDAS” to “TEST”, the next invoice to be generated would be “TEST0124”.

Why you might wish to reset a counter

Some of our customers commented that it would be useful to be able to “reset” invoice counters back to 0001.

This is particularly useful for users who first wish to test the invoicing capabilities of MIDAS by creating some example invoices. Then once they’re comfortable with the invoicing features of MIDAS, start using them for “real” invoices.

Until now, the only way to reset an invoice counter was via the optional MIDAS API.

For MIDAS v4.28, we’re providing the means to reset an invoice counter without requiring the API.

Administrators can reset an invoice counter at any time via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Database → Database Tools → Reset Invoice Counter.

The Reset Invoice Counter screen looks like this:

Reset Invoice Counters in MIDAS

The screen displays the current counter for regular, deposit, and cancellation invoices, as well as for credit notes.

To reset any of these counters back to 0001, simply click/tap the corresponding “Reset” button.

To prevent the chance of this resulting in duplicate invoice numbers in MIDAS, counters may only be reset if no other invoices/credit notes with same prefix exist in the database.

Therefore, before resetting a counter it’s recommended that you either remove all existing invoices with the current prefix, or change the prefix to something else.

Invoice/Credit Note prefixes may be modified via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Invoicing.

Watch for Venue Availability

In MIDAS v4.28, we’ve introduced a new “Notification Center“. In earlier versions of MIDAS, this functionality could be found within the “My Messages” screen.

As part of the new “Notification Center”, we’ve added a brand new type of “Watch” notification. “Watch” notifications allow you to be automatically notified whenever certain activity occurs within your MIDAS booking system.

For example, you may wish to be notified whenever a new booking is added to a particular venue, or when a particular type of booking is modified. You may also wish to be notified whenever certain “consumable” resources are running low.

From MIDAS v4.28 you can now create Watches for “Venue Availability”.

New Venue Availability Watch option in MIDAS v4.28

We know if can be frustrating when you go to book a room and find that it’s already been booked.

Well, wouldn’t it be great if MIDAS could automatically notify you should that timeslot become available again?

That’s exactly what Venue Availability watches allow you to do!

Simply select a currently occupied date, room, and time slot, add a new Watch, and MIDAS does the rest!

Should the unavailable time slot become available again (for instance, if the existing booking is moved or deleted), MIDAS will automatically notify you.

New Notification Center

For MIDAS v4.28 we’ve overhauled the “My Messages” screen, and renamed it to the “Notification Center”.

All the previous functionality of “My Messages” has been retained, but we’ve given the screen itself a bit of a “facelift” to de-clutter and simplify things.

We’ve even introduced a new “Watch” option… but more on that later.

For users with the “Can use Notification Center” permission, their Notification Center may be accessed via the new “bell” icon in the MIDAS toolbar.

Here’s how the new Notification Center itself looks:

The new “Notification Center” (formally “My Messages”) in MIDAS

The Notification Center comprises three components:

  • Messages
  • Reminders
  • Watches

The numbers in the upper right corner of these component’s icons denoted the number of notifications currently in each section. Clicking the corresponding icon toggles the display of notifications for that particular section.

In the lower right corner of each icon, there’s a smaller icon that allows you to add/configure each section.

Messages

The “Messages” section displays internal messages you’ve received from other users in your MIDAS system. The “+” icon allows you to leave a message for another user:

Leave a message for another user

For more information on messaging another user, please see the Help Documentation.

Reminders

The “Reminders” section displays both booking and custom reminders you’ve set. To set a new booking reminder, simply select a booking in the Booking Grid, and then “Add Reminder”. To set a custom reminder, click the “+” icon near the bottom right of the “Reminders” icon in your Notification Center:

Set yourself a custom reminder

For more information on Reminders, please see the Help Documentation.

Watches

The “Watches” section displays watch notifications. These are generated when certain activity that you specify occurs within your MIDAS system. The “cog” icon adjacent to the “Watches” icon is used to configure your Watch notifications.

Configure “Watch” notifications

There are three types of Watch notification available:

  • Bookings
  • Consumables
  • Venue Availability

Bookings” allows you to monitor and be alerted to new activity in certain venues, and/or for certain booking types, and/or for certain resources.

Consumables” allows you to monitor levels of your consumable resources.

Venue Availability” allows you to be alerted if and when a currently unavailable time slot for a given venue becomes available again. This is a brand new feature introduced for v4.28, which you can read more about in this post.

For more information on Watch notifications, please see the Help Documentation.

Notification Center Settings

You can adjust your Notification Center settings from within the Notification Center via the “cog” icon in the upper right corner.

Notification Center Settings

These settings allow you to control how and when you receive notifications from your Notification Center.