On January 12 Jomres 9.4.0 was released.
This release has a ton of new functionality in the Core and plugins, but to summarise :
- Significantly streamlined the property creation process. In older versions there was a great big form that needed to be filled out to create a property, but in the newest version the form is instead just 6 inputs, 4 of which are dropdowns and in most cases can be left to the default. The remaining two inputs are for the property name and it's email address.
- Once a property has been created, the already existing "sanity check" functionality has been updated to add checks for things like rooms, tariffs, address details, photographs etc. The purpose of these checks are to guide the user through the property creation process, showing which key elements remain to be completed.
- This is a little more subtle. In the administrator area Site Structure -> Property types there's a new dropdown that can be selected titled "What style of property is this?" There are three options, "Hotel/B&B/Pension", "Villa/Cottage/Apartment" and "Both". Both is effectively a fallback option to allow backward compatability plus Realestate and/or Tour type properties. Careful observation of error logs from the userdemo showed us that users might try to create a property management process of type "Tour", but then try to create the properties as Hotels, or vice versa. Naturally Tour type properties wouldn't have room types and errrors would be triggered. This leads us to think that there's a cultural or lingual problem with translating the word Tour for non-native English speakers. Possibly in their native language Tour and Hotel are synonymous, whereas in English they are not. What we've done is tied the "What style of property is this?" flag to the Property Management process used when a property is created. Now, when the property manager uses the Edit Property page, in the property type dropdown only those property types that are relevant for this Management Process and the "Is this an apartment/cottage/villa?" option in property configuration are shown. As a result we've seen a considerable drop-off of error reports from the user demo.
- For the Property Manager, when a property is created, a new email is sent to them welcoming them to the site, It includes links to the property dashboard, it's Preview page, and to the Contact form of Jomres. The Contact form has been modified to allow property owners to contact site administrators, meaning that there's no need for site administrators to setup their own "Contact us" forms. It would be nice in the future to extend this functionality to a full ticketing system, we'll wait to see what the user demand is like.
- The booking form has seen some small tweaks too. The Availability calendar is no longer viewable under the booking form in Bootstrap 3, instead it can be viewed in a modal triggered from a button next to the date selection inputs. Additionally the price summary is always visible and can be seen in a column to the right of the date/optional extras/guest details panes. At some point, time allowing, we'd like to make it so that the price summary slides up and down within that column.
- Microdata in the property header has been improved to present the property location, a direct link and short property description for search engines.
- A recurring question on the forum has lead us to add a new option to Property Configuration -> Tariffs & Currency titled "Swap currency symbol location". This is useful for countries in the EU that like to put the Euro symbol at the front of a price, instead of behind it.
Naturally, to accomodate these changes some plugins have needed to be updated, but we've also added new functionality to the plugins too.
- The Jomres Ical plugin has been updated to allow you to also import ical files into Jomres, and another new menu option offers you a link to a sanitised version of the ical file ( one that doesn't show guest names, numbers etc ) for sharing on other sites. We're not done with ical code, there's more work we intend to add in the near-ish future.
- A new Property Import via CSV plugin has been added, again responding to a common question in the forum. For many years there was a script for importing properties, however it was old, didn't integrate properly into the user interface of Jomres and required very careful building of the csv file. The new import script has fewer column requirements, so it's more robust and integrates properly into the administrator area -> site structure interface.
- There's another Embed plugin available that shows Property Managers how to embed the availability calendars in other sites with iframes.
To Infinity and Beyond!
We're currently focussed on updates to Jomres.net's web site, to make it clearer the sheer scale of features that Jomres offers. Once that's done we'll carry on with Jomres 9.5 changes.
What we're working on and hope to release.
- Ical automatic updating changes. This is still in early stages, but as this is a plugin we probably won't need to time the release to coinicide with 9.5, so we'll keep you updated on these changes.
- Already in 9.5. We're re-integrating property creation functionality back into the core system, meaning that Core system only users will be able to create new properties too.
- Already in 9.5. Facebook Like & Share buttons, and the option to put the property Facebook page in a tab.
- Already in 9.5. Jintour tours can use Coupon Codes. This is only applied if the property is a Tour type property, Jintour tours that are part of a normal hotel booking aren't offered the same discount.
- Created on .