Latest News: MIDAS v4.26 Now Available | COVID-19 Support

Posts Tagged: v4.26

MIDAS v4.26 Out Now!

Since our previous significant update to MIDAS back in July, we’ve been continuing to work hard during the global pandemic on our next update – v4.26.

One of our main focuses for v4.26 has been on replacing the aging calendar (date picker) “widget” that we’ve been using in our software since its inception. This 3rd party component hasn’t been developed or maintained by its original author for many years now. Whilst it has served us well since our very first release, in more recent years its limitations have become more apparent.

One of its limitations has been in relation to selecting multiple dates from the calendar when adding bookings. Traditionally, this involved holding down the Ctrl/Cmnd key on your keyboard whilst picking dates. This obviously put users without keyboards – those using smartphones and tablets – at a disadvantage!

For this, and other reasons we’re now switching to a more modern calendar “widget” for date selection in MIDAS.

New calendar widget in MIDAS v4.26
The new calendar widget in MIDAS v4.26

Highlights of MIDAS v4.26 include:

How To Get MIDAS v4.26…

New To MIDAS?

We continue to be committed to fair and accessible pricing for all organizations regardless of size.

We’re totally upfront and transparent about our pricing structure, and you can purchase MIDAS v4.26 securely through our website and be up and running in no time!

“Self Hosted” Customers:

Self-Hosted customers with active Support Subscriptions will be able to update to v4.26 in the coming weeks. It only takes a couple of clicks – simply log in to your MIDAS system and go to MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Update.

If no update is available, please check back again in a few days time, as we are staggering updates for self-hosted customers over the next few weeks.

“Cloud Hosted” Customers:

Cloud-Hosted customers don’t need to do anything! – All our active Cloud-Hosted MIDAS customers were automatically updated to this latest version of MIDAS this past weekend (14-15th November 2020)


COVID-19 Support

If your business operations continue to be impacted by COVID-19, we’re here to support you!

If your business remains temporarily closed, please see this post for ways in which we can help your business through these challenging times.

Alternatively, if your business is now tentatively restarting its operations, here are 6 ways MIDAS can help your business adjust to COVID-19.


Thank you for your continued support of our software during this unprecedented time in global history! …and remember our friendly support team continue to be here if ever you need us!

A New Calendar Widget

If you’ve used MIDAS v4.25 or earlier, you’ll be familiar with the small calendar “widget” that appears throughout the software allowing you to select dates.

MIDAS v4.26 (and later) now use a slightly different calendar “widget”.

Here’s a comparison of the two:

Above Left: The calendar widget in v4.25 (and earlier) / Above Right: The new calendar widget in v4.26+

What’s changed?

We’ve been developing MIDAS for over 15 years now! Ever since our very first release we’ve been using a Javascript calendar widget originally called “DHTML Calendar”, and which then became “Dynarch Calendar” – or “JSCal2” for short.

From MIDAS v4.26 we’ve dropped JSCal2 in favor of jQuery UI’s “datepicker”.

Why the change?

Back when we started development on MIDAS in 2005, there were very few calendar widgets available that allowed embedding a fully-featured date picker into a web page. After testing a number of alternatives at the time, we chose the “DHTML Calendar” as it was known back then.

This was a freely available calendar widget that had been in active development by the author for two years previous. It provided all the functionality that we needed for use in MIDAS.

Development of the “DHTML Calendar” continued over the years, with regular releases. A re-written “version 2” was then released and the project renamed to “Dynarch Calendar” (JSCal2).

Unfortunately, development of JSCal2 ceased in 2010.

Since then, JSCal2 has continued to function with the odd “patch” or two we’ve made.

However, there comes a time when a decision has to be made about the feasibility of continuing with JSCal2 going forward. We’ve now made that decision and have decided to drop JSCal2 in favor of jQuery UI’s “datepicker”.

jQuery UI’s “datepicker” is in active development and is arguably one of the most popular date pickers/calendar widgets in use today. It has both a large user and developer base and is well supported.

What are the benefits of the new calendar widget?

In recent years, the limitations of JSCal2 have become more apparent.

For example, to select multiple dates in a JSCal2 calendar, a user would need to hold down the Control (Ctrl) or Command (Cmnd) key on their keyboard whilst clicking on a date.

Several years ago become the advent of tablets and touch screen devices this wasn’t a problem – as everyone used a keyboard.

However in today’s world, that’s not always the case and so we needed a calendar widget that would allow selecting multiple dates regardless of whether the user was using a keyboard or not.

We’ve been able to achieve this with the new calendar widget in MIDAS v4.26.

There are also performance benefits over the new calendar widget. Web standards and performance have improved and evolved over the years. The now obsolete JSCal2 – whilst very advanced for its time, is no longer advanced or efficient by today’s modern standards.

What differences will I see?

Probably the first thing you’ll notice with the new calendar widget is its size (compare the two images above). The old JSCal2 widget was quite small and not idea for use on touch-devices. The new widget uses a slightly larger font and increased spacing. This not only helps make it more legible, but easier to use on smaller touch screens.

You’ll also notice that the top part of the calendar widget has changed.

Previously, the top of the calendar contained four arrow buttons, allowing you to jump forward or back by either a month or a year at at time. Additionally, you could also click the Month/Year heading to select a specific month/year to jump to.

The new calendar widget only has two arrow buttons, allowing you to jump backwards or forwards by a month at a time. However, the main month/year header is actually now two separate drop-down lists making it really easy to select a month or year to quickly jump to.

Why use a “widget” at all?

Back when we started MIDAS development there were few native interactive elements you could embed within a web page that would work in all web browsers.

You could essentially include very basic form elements – text inputs, drop-down lists, check/radio boxes, and the like.

There was no native way to include a calendar or date picker within a web page.

Today the range of native interactive elements available include a whole host of controls; including color pickers, sliders, email address and telephone inputs, and even date pickers.

Unfortunately support for native date pickers at present isn’t universal among web browsers. Safari browsers for example have no support as yet for native date pickers.

Those browsers which do native support a date picker element, all render them differently, and only provide very basic date picking functionality. At present, there is no support for selecting multiple dates, for example.

Native date pickers are still in their “infancy”. There may come a time when MIDAS can utilize native date pickers rather than a 3rd party calendar “widget”. For now though, the new calendar widget we’re introducing in v4.26 offers all the functionality we need and should do for the foreseeable future.

New Export Features

In our previous update (v4.25) we added a host of new data export features. This included the ability to export invoice data to QuickBooks, Sage, Xero and several other popular accountancy packages.

For MIDAS v4.26, we’re adding a couple of additional features to the export capabilities of our booking software.

Export Users

MIDAS is already capable of exporting Booking, Client, Invoice, and Resource data in a range of formats.

For v4.26 we’re now also allowing user data to be exportable.

Exported user data includes all privileges assigned to each account within your MIDAS system.

One piece of advice we offer to help customers keep their MIDAS systems secure is that each user account should only be granted the minimum permissions the individual requires.

For customers with a large number of user accounts, this new export option allows system administrators to quickly audit the permissions assigned to every user account.

Refined Client Data Exports

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic is forcing organizations to adapt to how they operate. Throughout this period, we’ve been listening closely to our customers feedback.

We recently published an article on 6 ways MIDAS can help your business adjust to COVID-19.

In addition, we’ve been adding new and improved features in v4.25 and v4.26 to further improve how MIDAS can work for your business in these unprecedented times.

One of our customer’s reached out to use as they wanted a way to be able to collate the email addresses of all their clients who had bookings over a certain date range to let them know that their facilities had temporarily closed.

Now, whilst a list of all client’s details addresses could be exported by MIDAS, there was no easy way to generate a sub-sent list of clients based upon when their bookings took – or were due to take – place.

We’ve addressed this for v4.26! There’s now the option to export all clients, or just details of those clients who have bookings within a specific date range!

Export Clients With Bookings Within A Specified Date Range
Export Clients With Bookings Within A Specified Date Range

Improved Password Hardening

For MIDAS v4.26 we’re improving the password change process for users, with the introduction of a new “Disallow Known Breached Passwords” admin setting:

Disallow Known Breached Passwords

With this setting enabled, whenever a user changes their password MIDAS checks that it doesn’t appear in any known online data breaches.

This feature utilizes the popular 3rd party “Have I Been Pwned” service. This is a database of more than half a billion passwords which have previously been exposed in various data breaches.

Don’t worry though, your actual password is never sent to the “Have I Been Pwned” service. Here’s how it works;

  1. You enter a desired new password in MIDAS.
  2. MIDAS creates a cryptographic “hash” (SHA-1) of the password you entered. The first five characters of this hash are sent to the Have I Been Pwned service.
  3. If hashes with the same first five characters are found in the Pwned Passwords repository, the Have I Been Pwned service responds with all these hashes.
  4. MIDAS sifts through the received hashes to see if there’s a complete match with the full SHA-1 hash of your new password.
  5. If a match is found, your desired password has appeared in at least one public data breach. MIDAS will then display an alert and ask you to enter a different password.
The Change Password dialog in MIDAS
The chosen password isn’t considered secure as it appears in other online data breaches

The new “Disallow Known Breached Passwords” setting in MIDAS will be enabled by default. It can readily be enabled/disabled via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Security.

We’re passionate about security, and this latest improvement is just one of the ways we help keep your account and MIDAS system secure.

Interested in learning more about security in your MIDAS system? Try these links…