Structurally this was a very big update with a lot of internal changes. Despite the usual testing and while confident in that process, it's always nerve wracking during the actual deployment.

Under The Hood

We deployed a "point" upgrade to Zend Framework (the core technology upon which we build our software) to bring it from 1.5.2 up to 1.5.3.

Another major part of this update was the replacement of our old database layer. We now use Zend_Db at which allows us to slowly, but surely replace our old API completely.

Rental Reserve Booking System

Tribalogic are the technology providers behind the Rental Reserve booking system - see it in action on

Administration Console

There are now 3 new tabs within the Rental Reserve administration console for property managers to use:

Administration Console Settings

  • Extras - offer a cot, highchair or maybe some free champagne. Perhaps you want to be able to charge for additional guests. Add extras for visitors to select when booking.
  • Discounts - give a little back... add a fixed price or percentage based discount to rates.
  • Settings - More to come soon under this tab but for the time being you can set the property capacities here.

Payment Gateway

The Rental Reserve booking screens are now integrated with CyberSource allowing visitors to make payments without jumping away to PayPal.


We have started work on a "multisearch" system with AJAX functionality.

This will probably replace the current "entry name" field in search forms and modules to allow searches on: Entry names, Place names (from & Postcodes. When dealing with place names the directory map search system has been improved to activate automatically for location searching.

Elimination of User Pools

But the largest change in this release is the elimination of "user pools". This concept allowed brands to share user logins and content. While this is in principle still a good construct, it has been causing problems that prevent us from updating and innovating in other areas of our system.

So user pools had to go.

The consolidation has resulted in some user accounts being merged (if they signed up in different pools) and some usernames being changed (if there were username clashes across pools).

Features like sharing user reviews between brands is still possible even without user pools via a "review syndication" system we implemented, allowing one brand to pull in reviews left on another: this is actually more powerful than before as the arrangement does not have to be reciprocal. The access to user data is still restricted and protected; brand managers can only see users who signed up to one of the brands you manage.