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Posts Tagged: activity tracking

Every MIDAS booking system includes a “Recent Activity” log feature. This allows administrators to audit all activity taking place in their scheduling system.

The log records logins/outs, failed login attempts, bookings and clients added, modified, or removed, emails sent, database backups, and more.

The Recent Activity log can be quickly accessed by administrators from a dedicated toolbar icon.

Data from the log is shown on screen in chronological order (newest entries first), and is split into 4 columns:

  • Date / Time – The date and time that the event occurred
  • Originating IP – The IP address that the event originated from
  • User – The user account that initiated the event
  • Action – The event itself

The Recent Activity log may also be exported directly to Excel.

We’ve made a number of improvements to the performance of the Recent Activity log for MIDAS v4.28.

These include…

Log entries now load in blocks

Recent Activity Log entries are now loaded in blocks, with a "Show More" button available to append the next entries
Log entries are now loaded in blocks, with a “Show More” button available to append the next entries

For each and every action which occurs in a MIDAS system, an entry is made in the recent activity log.

Entries in the log are typically kept for a period of 30 days before automatically being removed. This retention period can be change to keep logs for longer or shorter periods.

For very active MIDAS systems (or those with a long log retention period), the Recent Activity Log can become very large.

To display a lengthy log in its entirety could slow down the viewer’s browser, and in some extreme cases make it appear that their browser has frozen/hung.

To address this, from v4.28 the Recent Activity log no longer displays all its entries at once.

If the log contains a high number of entries, only the newest entries will be shown, along with a “Show More” button at the bottom of the screen. Clicking the “Show More” button will load and append the next set of log entries to entries currently shown on screen.

The “Show More” button will continue to show as long as there are more entries in the log which aren’t currently being shown on screen.

The number of log entries shown on screen is derived from the “Maximum search results to display per page” setting. This setting usually controls the number of search results returned per page via the built in “Search” feature. However, the number of Recent Log Entries shown in each “block” is twice this setting. So if “Maximum search results to display per page” is set to the default of “50”, then 100 Recent Activity log entries will be shown at once.

Failed login attempts are now collated

Failed login attempts are now collated into single entries
Failed login attempts are now collated into single entries on screen

One of the benefits of the Recent Activity Log is that it records all failed login attempts to your MIDAS system.

This may happen, for instance, if a user enters their password incorrectly.

Similarly, if may also happen if someone tries to login to a non-existent account.

In today’s world, hackers use automated tools to try to “brute force” their way into systems. They do this by sending automated login requests using different email/password combinations. Often dozens, if not hundreds, of automated requests could be made every second.

As MIDAS logs failed and invalid login attempts, automated tools could soon flood the Recent Activity log with failed login entries.

To combat this, we’ve made a change in v4.28. Now instead of displaying every single failed login attempt, multiple failed login attempts from the same IP address will show as a single entry. This entry will indicate the total number of failed attempts, the time of the first attempt, and the time of the most recent failed attempt.

Faster rendering and displaying of the log

In addition to loading log entries in blocks, for v4.28, we’ve also streamlined the actual HTML code used to display log entries on screen.

This has more than halved the number of “nodes” (elements) that your browser has to process and render in order to display the recent activity log.

The result is that the Recent Activity Log now loads far quicker than it did before!

Other new features in v4.27

In previous blog posts we’ve covered a number of new features coming in MIDAS v4.27. These include quickly selecting common date ranges, printing individual bookings, and auto-approve improvements for booking requests.

In this post we’ll brief touch on some of the other new features we’re introducing in v4.27.

Search results can now be easily printed

The “Print” icon in the MIDAS toolbar is really flexible! When viewing the Booking Grid, clicking the Print icon allows you to print bookings for the currently viewed date (or date range).

Furthermore, right-clicking the Print icon show advance print options allowing you to further customize booking print outs.

But that’s not all, the Print icon also allows printing in other areas of MIDAS. For example, when viewing reports/statistics, the Print icon will print the current report.

For v4.27 we’ve further extended the Print icon’s functionality in relation to search results.

When performing a search (via the “Search” toolbar icon), the Print icon can now be used to send the search results to your printer.

The Recent Activity audit log can now be exported to Excel

The “Recent Activity” feature in MIDAS allows administrators to view a log of all recent user activity within your booking system. This includes log ins and outs as well as bookings added, modified, and deleted.

Each entry in the Recent Activity log is timestamped with the user who performed each action, as well as their IP address.

This allows a full audit trail to be maintained for actions taking place in your MIDAS system.

For v4.27, we’ve added an “Export” button to the Recent Activity log. This allows you to easily export the log to Excel.

Exported client data now includes current credit and tax exempt status

Whilst we’re on the subject of exporting data from your MIDAS system; Exporting client data (MIDAS Admin Options → Export → Clients) in v4.27+ will now also include each client’s current credit and tax exempt status.

Note: This information will only be included in exported client data if the user performing the export has been granted the “Can use invoicing” permission.

Improved booking import support

As you may be aware, MIDAS allows you to import bookings from 3rd party software.

When importing bookings, MIDAS needs to know the date format used in the data you’re importing.

Every 3rd party application stores/exports dates differently, and so we strive to support as many different date formats as possible.

Currently supported import date formats are:

  • DD.MM.YYYY (Example: 23/07/2021)
  • DD.MM.YY (Example: 23/07/21)
  • MM.DD.YYYY (Example: 07/23/2021)
  • MM.DD.YY (Example: 07/23/21)
  • YYYY.MM.DD (Example: 2021/07/23)
  • YYYY.DD.MM (Example: 2021/23/07)
  • YY.MM.DD (Example: 21/23/07)
  • YY.DD.MM (Example: 21/07/23)
  • DD.MM.YYYY HH.MI (Example: 23/07/2021 16:30)
  • MM.DD.YYYY HH.MI (Example: 07/23/2021 16:30)
  • HH.MI.SS – Day DD Month YYYY (Example: 16:30:00 – Friday 23 July 2021)
  • HH.MI-HH:MI, Day DD Month YYYY (Example: 16:30-17:30, Friday 23 July 2021)
  • Day DD Month YYYY HH.MI – Day DD Month YYYY HH.MI (Example: Friday 23 July 2021 16:30 – Friday 23 July 2021 17:30)

For MIDAS v4.27, we’re adding support for a couple more date formats:

  • DD.Mon.YYYY (Example: 23-Jul-2021)
  • DD.Mon.YY (Example: 23-Jul-21)

This extensive range of supported date formats for your raw booking data should cover the formats used by most 3rd party applications.

If you have booking data that you wish to import that doesn’t conform to one of the above date formats, please let us know and we’ll try and add support in a future update.

Advanced filter improvements

When advanced printing or when generating invoices, MIDAS offers an advanced “filter” option. This allows you to include/exclude bookings from your printout/generated invoice(s).

For v4.27 we’ve imported these advanced filters to now allow blank (empty) search terms.

This improvement now allows you to include/exclude bookings where a certain booking field is blank, which previously you couldn’t do.

We’ve also further improved the advanced print filter to allow filtering of bookings by invoice.

This allows you to now generate a printout of bookings which match, partially match, or don’t match a particular invoice number.

Custom logo improvements for cloud hosted customers

MIDAS allows you to “co brand” the software by uploading your own logo. This logo then appears throughout the software. For example, it is included on the login screen for your MIDAS system. It can also then be included in various templates in MIDAS – including email and invoicing templates.

Your logo may be added/changed via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Appearance → Logo.

Our cloud hosted customers may notice that when changing their logo, the changes are not immediately visible. This is due to the way our network “caches” static content, like logos. Sometimes it can take up to 24 hours to a logo change to be visible.

We’re improving this for MIDAS v4.27. Now, when our cloud hosted customers change their logo, their new logo should be visible right away!

How To Get MIDAS v4.27…

MIDAS v4.27 isn’t yet publicly available. It is expected to be made available to Beta Testers soon, with a full public release shortly after. In the meantime, why not check out some of the new features that were included in v4.26 ?