Software Update (v2.137 and v2.138)

Written by Robin Morris

v2.138

Major updates

  • Admin Console: show Mondays on the Booking Timeline view
  • Platform: trigger a booking state change event after payments are recorded
  • Platform: allow for "default" index pages so that URLs do not need to end in for example "view" or "find" and instead can end in a simple "/"
  • Platform: improve performance of availability searching when filtering across longer time periods

Minor updates and bug fixes

  • Admin Console: add the button to all Wizards allowing user to go back to the previous step
  • Admin Console: minor updates to the damage deposit form
  • Admin Console: if a payment fails (using the wizard) allow the user to change details
  • Admin Console: improve information given about the Email Marketing Suite
  • Admin Console: support "youtu.be" URLs when adding YouTube video content
  • Platform: improve handling when asked to read and empty iCal availability feed
  • Platform: do not automatically adjust the booking total when refunding
  • Platform: improve highlighting of errors on Bookster booking screens and calendar widgets
  • Platform: provide advanced URL formatting for tree node searches

v2.137

Major updates

  • Admin Console: ensure that Bookster users can add add Bookings taken via other channels
  • Admin Console: integrate Payment Gateways with manual bookings
  • Admin Console: list iCal compatible channels in the Admin Console
  • Admin Console: allow support for iframe HTML tag in WYSIWYG editor
  • Admin Console: create "published" / "unpublished" Services for toggle UI to work correctly
  • Admin Console: show sold out dates as black on the Booking Timeline

Minor updates and bug fixes

  • Admin Console: improved the help text for damage deposits
  • Admin Console: added a link back to the details page from deposit and balance payment pages
  • Admin Console: add support for number and bullet lists to WYSIWYG editors in appropriate contexts
  • Admin Console: show API key to users and allow them to reset the their API key if they need to
  • Platform: the balance due date should never be in the past
  • Platform: added the ability to store a content class for date elements
  • Platform: ensure that YouTube will work over https
  • Platform: add support for Vimeo

Payments in the console

Written by Robin Morris

Taking card payments for bookings in the Tribalogic Admin Console.

We are always looking for areas where we can help out our clients with their business processes. 

After chatting through the next area where we could help out, we decided to implement the ability to take payments and issue refunds directly from within the console.

taking payments actions

You can now: 

  • take a balance payment over the phone by card
  • refund a payment made by the customer*

 taking-payments-card

* supported payment gateways only

Building our own agile development tool

Written by Robin Morris

We needed to organise our development sprints, we could not find the perfect solution... so we built our own.

At Tribalogic we use the Agile methodology for our development - planning detailed work no more than one week in advance.  This means:

  • weekly development sprints; and
  • releasing updates to our Platform roughly every three weeks.

Trac has been our main organisational tool but we needed something to help us work as a team and communicate with our clients.

Basic requirements

  • a list of tasks we could all create, edit and view as a team
  • a way of organising our weekly sprints
  • show clients what we are up to in relation to their tasks

We looked at various 3rd party products such as Jira, agile zen, Planbox, Mavenlink & Pivotal Tracker.  They all have great features and could work well especially using them from the start of a project.

But none of them were quite working for us... 

Building our own

We realised that the Tribalogic Platform could be moulded into a great agile development tool so we set about making some changes that would let this happen.

A "dev tickets" menu

In the Admin Console, we added "dev tickets" into the user menu.  

admin-console-user-menu

Our clients can now view the tasks that we are doing from them right within the Platform Admin Console that they log into every day.

The clever bit is that we have done it in such a way that we can now easily place all sorts of things in the user menu if we choose... which may come in handy later.

An overview of the current sprint / week

To visualise our weekly sprints, we created a Sprint Board.  

sprint-board

The Sprint Board is used to:

  • show the current sprint/week's activity
  • allow prioritisation of the Backlog 

The advantages of using our own software

As a software company, we are in the advantageous position of having the resources to build our own project management tools.  We can refine and alter them as we see fit.

As the expression goes we are "eating our own dog food" on a daily basis so that will force us to refine our interfaces which will have direct benefits to our clients.

Tracking bookings through to Syndicates

Written by Robin Morris

Track your booking source.

track-syndicates

Every booking that goes through the Tribalogic Platform is assigned to a "Syndicates".  This is used to identify where the booking came from - email, own website, phone etc.

But what about bookings that came via a 3rd party website or a link in an advert?

Your Tribalogic website can track the visitor and assign any booking to a Syndicate of your choice.

Software update (v2.136)

Written by Robin Morris

Major updates

  • Admin Console: allow deposits to be recorded after a booking is made
  • Admin Console: allow payments to be refunded
  • Admin Console: improvements when viewing a single booking
  • Admin Console: allow Stripe gateways to take phone payments
  • Platform: created an Element type for storing key-value pairs
  • Platform: give Client's the ability to prioritise their own Development Tickets
  • Platform: add a new Sprint Board that allows Client's to view the exact stage of Development Tickets

Minor updates and bug fixes

  • Accommodation: updated feed to support new Parks Resorts accommodation feed
  • Admin Console: add feedback for when Subscription payments fail
  • Admin Console: add a switch interface for when there are exactly two Services to choose between
  • Admin Console: improve help when setting up weekly rates in Bookster
  • Admin Console: when viewing an Entry, restrict the 'Create new...' option to the same Type
  • Platform: implement the concept of protected Syndicates
  • Platform: include service ratings in FeeFo reviews
  • Platform: load some booking calendars using AJAX to avoid caching
  • Platform: convert distance from search to be cache friendly

A nudge in the right direction

Written by Robin Morris

Sometimes a user needs to be given a nudge in the right direction.

The Tribalogic Platform is a flexible and powerful directory tool, allowing us to do some great things for our clients.  A good example is how we can give preferred listings additional prominance throughout a website.

Example - Caravan Sitefinder "Book online" parks

When searching for caravan parks and campsites, Caravan Sitefinder shows the user a bookable park that matches their search criteria above other listings.

sitefinder-header-logo

booking-parks

User reviews - filter and export

Written by Robin Morris

Filter and export user reviews from the Admin Console.

Filtering user reviews

In the Admin Console, quickly search through reviews left by users on:

  • date (created, experience, reply)
  • Editors pick (yes / no)
  • Entry id
  • Entry name
  • Reply (yes / no)
  • State (moderated etc.)

review-filters

Export

It is now also possible to export your User Reviews in Excel format.

Review export drop down in the Tribalogic Admin Console 

Content updates now go live instantly

Written by Robin Morris

Improvements to our Platform mean that updates to content will, in most cases, now be published instantly.

quickopen

To aid performance, we used to have a cache that expired after roughly two hours for all content - meaning that updates applied in the Admin Console may take that long to appear on your website.

Software update (v2.135)

Written by Robin Morris

Major updates

  • Admin Console: new search filters for User Reviews
  • Admin Console: add the ability to export User Reviews
  • Admin Console: add dev tickets so our Clients can view and comment on developments
  • Admin Console: improve work-flow when creating some Entry Types - allow Entries to be auto-subscribed Service upon creation
  • Booking: ignore case when comparing emails logging to view a guest booking
  • Platform: major improvement in caching structure, updates to Entry content will now be published live instantly

Minor updates and bug fixes

  • Admin Console: allow Entries to be "promoted" into other menus
  • Admin Console: created a new Element allowing Users to be associated with Entries
  • Admin Console: catch an exception when updating a Client and the email is already in use
  • Booking: fixed minor validation issues with the iCal export
  • Platform: JavaScript: Update jquery.cookie to v1.4.

Performance - using a content distribution network

Written by Robin Morris

Page speed is a key metric in conversion and so we do all we can to improve our Platform.

web lightening

Content distribution network

A measure we have taken is to serve out Platform content using a Content Distribution Network.

A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance.WikiPedia

This provides the Platform with various performance benefits:

availability
improved up-time
performance
faster delivery of images, JavaScript etc.
geographic
content is served more locally, reducing latency to the user, no-matter where they are in the world

We are constantly looking at ways to improve, so this is just one of the ways we are improving performance on the Platform.

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