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Posts Tagged: beta

Help Make MIDAS Even Better!

What makes our MIDAS room & resource booking system the fully-featured and comprehensive complete scheduling solution of choice for organizations across the globe? Well, that’s due in no small part to a small group of “beta testers” many of whom are existing customers too!

What is a Beta Tester?

MIDAS BetaA Beta Tester is someone who tests pre-release versions of our MIDAS scheduling software that aren’t quite ready to be released just yet, and reports any issues/glitches they encounter to us so that we can resolve them before the release becomes publicly available. This also gives our testers a “first look” at new and improved features too and their feedback and comments on these are invaluable to us and often result in changes before a new/improved feature is fully rolled out.

Can anyone become a Beta Tester?

Yes! Regardless of whether you’re an existing MIDAS user or not, anyone can apply to become a BETA Tester. You don’t need any programming experience or knowledge, there’s nothing to download… and it’s completely FREE!

What is required?

A few weeks before each significant new update to MIDAS is due to be released (we currently release significant updates approx 3-4 times a year), we’ll email you inviting you to test it. You’ll be provided with a link and a user account to our online Beta Test Suite, where you’ll be able to login and start testing using just your web browser. The email we’ll send will also include details of what’s new, improved, or changed in the new version we’d like you to test, along with details of anything specific we’d like your help in testing for the new version.

What are the benefits?

To us, the benefits are enormous, as this testing helps us identify and correct potential issues before a new version gets released… in return you’ll get first access to be able to explore new features before anyone else, and have a real input into the direction of our software! …oh, and we’ll also reward you too!…

Beta Rewards

Earlier this year we introduced our “Beta Rewards” program.
We want to recognize, acknowledge, and reward the valuable contribution Beta testers make to the success of our software!
As a Beta Tester, every bug you report in a pre-release “beta” test is assessed for its severity and likelihood and logged.
Once the version you’ve been testing is fully released, then if you’re already a MIDAS customer, we’ll credit* your account with an amount based on the number of bugs you reported, their severity, and likelihood of occurrence. This credit can then be applied to future support subscription renewals and/or upgrades and addons for your MIDAS system. If you’re not yet a customer, the same credit will be available as a discount off your initial MIDAS purchase*.
What’s more if you regularly partake in our beta tests you’ll get an acknowledgment in the software credits too!

Get Involved!

With MIDAS v4.13 fast approaching (more on that coming up in our blog throughout June), now is the perfect time to become a MIDAS Beta Tester!
Apply Now at https://mid.as/betatesters or contact us if you have any questions!

* Credits may only be used against our MIDAS software, subscriptions, addons and upgrades and have no cash equivalent.

Coming Soon in MIDAS v4.01

Back in August we released MIDAS v4.00. This was a major release of our room booking system, culminating in over 8 months of development. Crucially, it utilizes a different, faster, and more efficient database architecture than previous versions.

Much of the original MIDAS code was re-written from the ground up, and many new features were added. Since then, we’ve been working hard on making MIDAS even better, and we’ll soon be releasing v4.01.

The primary focus for v4.01 has been to further optimize the speed and performance of MIDAS. In our benchmark testing, on average,
MIDAS v4.01 is 15% faster than v4.00 !!

Whilst the main focus for v4.01 has been on performance, we’re also squeezing in a few new features too:

Full Screen Mode

If you’re accessing MIDAS in a browser that supports the new “Full Screen API”, you’ll see a “Full Screen” link on both the login screen and within MIDAS itself:

Switch to full screen mode
Quickly Enable Full Screen Mode

Clicking a “Full Screen” link will make your MIDAS run in “full screen” mode – MIDAS will fill your entire screen! No tabs, address bar, taskbar or other items cluttering up your screen. You’ll be able to see your booking grid at its largest possible size!

You’ll be able to exit full screen mode at any time by clicking the “Exit Full Screen” link or by pressing “Esc”.

At time of writing supported browsers include: Firefox 15+, Chrome 22+, Safari 5.1+, and Opera 12.1+.

Additional Export Options

In v4.01, we’ve improved the Export function within MIDAS. Now you can export Resources and Invoice Summaries in either XML, CSV, or TXT formats. This is ideal if you wish to use this data in 3rd party applications (such as Quickbooks, etc).

Export Resources and Invoices
Export data in a range of file formats

Set Operating Hours for all Venues at once

Setting up your venue’s “Hours of Operation” is generally something you’ll do once. Still, it can still be quite time-consuming clicking lots of green squares for each hour period during the week for each of your venues. That’s why in v4.01 we’ve added an “All Venues” checkbox.

Set Operating Hours for all Venues at once
Quickly Apply Hours Of Operation To All Venues

If you select this box, when you click “Save Changes”, the Hours of Operation for the currently selected venue will be applied to all your venues!

Improved Booking Information “Client” Tab

The Client tab of the Booking Information Panel in v4.01 now also includes a list of the client’s Paid and Outstanding invoices when you “hover” over a booking for any particular client. You can further click any invoice from these lists to jump straight to that invoice!

List paid and outstanding invoices
A Client’s Paid and Outstanding Invoices

Better User Experience when making “Booking Requests” on Smartphones/Mobile Devices

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know we recently introduced a mobile version of our main website. We’re currently in the process of developing a mobile-specific version of MIDAS too, which should make an appearance sometime next year. In the meantime, however, for MIDAS v4.01 we’ve made the Public Booking Request feature much more “mobile friendly”. It’s now easier for people to check room availability and make bookings requests through their smartphone or similar mobile device:

Public Booking Requests in v4.00 on Opera Mobile on a Smartphone
How the Public Booking Request form for MIDAS v4.00 renders on a Smartphone
Public Booking Requests in v4.01 on Opera Mobile on a Smartphone
How the Public Booking Request form for MIDAS v4.01 renders on a Smartphone

Keep Your Browser Up-to-date!

Browser Detection
We want you to have the best possible user experience when using MIDAS in your favorite web browser. We support our scheduling software in all 5 major browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera). A list of the minimum and recommended versions for each of these browsers we support may be found here.

Keeping your web browser up-to-date is so important! That’s why, starting with v4.01, MIDAS will display a notification if your browser is too old to use MIDAS, prompting you to update:

Outdated browser detection
Unsupported Browser Warning

Additionally, if your browser meets the minimum version we support, but falls short of the version of your browser we recommend, MIDAS will also show a notification:

Update your browser
Old Browser Warning

These notifications are enabled in MIDAS v4.01 by default, but may be turned off if desired.

It’s a very exciting time for web based development – there are lots of new and emerging technologies and standards (such as HTML5 and CSS3). Some of these are already used by MIDAS v4 (such as the new “drag & drop to reschedule bookings” feature).

If you’re stuck on an older web browser that doesn’t support these standards/technologies, you won’t be able to take advantage of all the features that MIDAS (and internet in general) has to offer.

Plus you’ll be potentially exposed to web based security threats that emerge all the time if your browser is not kept up-to-date.

To allow us to continue to develop new and exciting features for MIDAS, we have to “phase out” support for older browser versions, as they become too old, and newer versions are available.

For instance, we took the decision in 2010 to drop support for Internet Explorer 7.

Now that IE10 is available for Windows 8 (and soon to be available for Windows 7 users), it’s likely that in the not too distance future we’ll be dropping support for IE8 too. Internet Explorer 8 is now nearly 4 years old – which by today’s fast evolving browser landscape is very old!

Don’t worry, MIDAS v4.01, will still be supported on IE8. The introduction of this new notification system with MIDAS v4.01 will hopefully encourage users to update their older IE8 browsers. That way they’ll be prepared for when support ends for older browsers, such as IE8.

UPDATE: 1st January 2013 – MIDAS v4.01 is now available!

Try MIDAS v4 Now!

Keen readers of this blog will know by now, that we have a major update coming to MIDAS this Summer!

A lot has changed in this update and it’s packed full of new and improved features. It also uses a new database format, and has much of the original code re-written from the ground up!

Whether you’re an existing user or totally new to the MIDAS way of online scheduling, we need your help to “test” this new update. This allows us to help identify and fix andy issues before its public release!

Becoming a Beta Tester couldn’t be easier. It’s completely free, there’s nothing to download, and you don’t need any programming experience or knowledge! All you need is your web browser and a bit of spare time! So why not sign up right now!

The more people we have testing this pre-release “beta” version of our popular room scheduling software, the sooner we can release this exciting new update!

Click Here to try MIDAS v4 Now!

Coming soon in v3.15…

MIDAS v3.15 is nearing completion, so we thought we’d take a moment to tell you about this upcoming update!

The most exciting improvement in v3.15 is a complete redesign of the “Hours of Operation” screen for your venues. In earlier versions of MIDAS you were able to set a single opening and closing time for each day of the week per venue. Outside of these hours, no bookings would then be permitted. This worked great if a venue was open from say 9am-5pm. However, if there were multiple open/closed periods during a single day – i.e. 9am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm, the “Hours of Operation” settings could not accommodate for these.

So, following feedback from our customers, we’ve made this possible in v3.15:

Hours of Operation

The “Hours of Operation” screen is now a grid of 24 x 7 squares. Each square represents a one hour period of time. Clicking a green square will turn it red. A red square means that the venue is closed during that particular hour of the week. Clicking the square again will turn it green, meaning that it is open during that hour.

You can also close a venue in 15 minute increments by right-clicking a square in the grid instead of left-clicking. For example, right clicking on a full green square once will close that venue for the first 15 mins of the selected hour. Right-clicking for a second time will close the venue for the first 30 mins of the hour. A third right click will close the venue for the first 45 mins of the hour. Continuing to right-click further will allow you to instead close the venue for the last 45, 30, and 15 minutes of the hour.

There’s also a new print setting in v3.15 which allows you to change the sort order in which your bookings are printed. In previous versions, printing a set of bookings will print them in chronological order. In v3.15, you’ll now also be able to sort them by venue, type, client, or any other booking field – in either ascending or descending order!

We’ve also introduced a date range selector on the modify/delete similar bookings screen to allow you to restrict the search results to a particular date range. Previously the search would return all future matching bookings, which, depending on how far in advance you add bookings to MIDAS, could return many results, so this new filter should be quicker, and return only those matching bookings you’re actually interested in.

There are also a number of small issues that have been addressed in v3.15 that have been identified since the release on v3.14 in October last year.

Want to try v3.15 for yourself now? – Why not become a Beta Tester. We’re looking for people to “road test” upcoming versions of our software to help us identify any issues/bugs before they are released. This is crucial in ensuring a rock-solid product, so we’d really appreciate your help! – You don’t need to be a programmer, and you can spend as much or as little time beta testing as you’d like, all we ask is that you have a play and if you spot any issues let us know so we can fix them!

If you’d like to help make our software better by becoming a tester, please visit mid.as/betatesters