New Beds24 V2 plugin Alpha testing
As you may be aware, after months of work our new Beds24 ( V2 ) plugin is almost ready, and I'd like to invite our users to help us in the testing process.
The Beds24 (channel manager) v2 plugin has been completely re-written to take advantage of new functionality in Jomres, most notably the REST API and Webhook features. If you´re not familiar with this new functionalty, don´t worry about it, most of it happens in the background however it provides us with significant performance and feature benefits.
If you are willing to help us test V2 of the plugin, there are a few things you need to know.
First off, this should be considered Alpha quality code. Whilst incidences of exploding servers and Jomres chasing your dog around the garden are rare, you should nevertheless not use this software on a live/production server. This is the testing phase and so you should be working with test data/properties, not live sites. If you install it on your live server and break something, we will point fingers and laugh at you.
Your test Jomres installation will need to be running version 9.8.29. This is because of a new feature in this version that we're calling deferred messaging. This feature allows us to trigger "fire and forget" tasks that will run in the background. The goal is to have certain tasks that can run independant of the existing Jomres session, meaning that they don't slow down the site visitor's experience, be they manager or guest.
You should not have an older installation of the Beds24 plugin installed on the testing server. This code has not been tested against data created with the older plugin, and there are lots of changes to how property information is stored. We do not consider this plugin to be backwardly compatible with the older data.
What do we need you to do?
Whilst we have tested this new plugin as thoroughly as we can, there's never any substitute for putting new code into the hands of our users for them to break for us. It's inevitable that users will use new software in ways that we didn´t anticipate, and it's this point when unexpected behaviour might throw up unexpected results. Therefore, we'd appreciate it if you would install the plugin and link some test properties in Jomres to one or more test properties in your Beds24 accounts.
Create rooms, create tariffs. Confirm that prices are updating to Beds24. Note, when updating prices to Beds24 there is still the limitation that Beds24 will only accept prices from "Today" and up to one year in the future. Jomres is capable of sending more dates, however right now Beds24 don't accept prices for greater than a year in the future.
Create bookings in Beds24, confirm that they are importing into Jomres, and bookings created in Jomres are sent to Beds24.
The dashboard functionality uses webhooks too, which means that if you move a booking in the dashboard from one room and or date to another, then those changes should be replicated in the corresponding bookings in Beds24.
What do you do if you find a bug?
Please raise a ticket with us at https://tickets.jomres.net ( these will not count towards your total ticket count, bugs never do ). Tell us what you did to cause the problem, setting out the steps as clearly as you can so that we can replicate it on our own servers.
What do you do if you want a feature that doesn't currently exist?
Then you are in luck, because now is the time to mention it. This stage of development is about ensuring that the new V2 plugin is on parity with the older V1 Beds24 plugin. This new version, however, is designed to provide a foundation for new features, plus it should be *significantly* faster due to the complete rewrite and adoption of new technology in Jomres. If there is a feature that you want to see in the plugin, again please raise a ticket. We may not be able to satisfy all feature requests, but we'll certainly do what we can.
Why should you test this plugin?
One could easily argue that it's our code, we should test it ourselves, and you'd be ( sort of ) right. We have tested it as thoroughly as we can, however as mentioned above users often do things in ways that we didn't anticipate or expect. Jomres itself has evolved considerably over the years and a lot of that has come about through users doing things in ways that we would never have thought of. Some of them were just plain wrong, but some of them were clever and innovative and caused us to re-think how we did certain things in the system. As a result, the software has grown and evolved into the tool you use today. This new plugin is the same. We build a solution that we think you need, you experiment on it, then let us know what's good and what's bad. Eventually we arrive at a solution that makes us all happy.
* All plugins mentioned are available in the Jomres Plugin Manager.
* This plugin only offers Bootstrap 3 template files, so you will need to be running an installation that supports them. You can use one of the Jomres Quickstarts if you aren't already doing so.
* Your test installation should be accessible via the internet. Whilst most testing would work on your desktop, unless you are port forwarding then Beds24 notifications cannot be pushed to your Jomres installation, so any bookings in the Beds24 UI would not be updated on your Jomres installation.
To begin with you will need to install both the Webhook Core and API Core plugins. You will not need to configure anything in them, but they do need to exist in your system. The Beds24V2 plugin will create a REST API key pair for the manager when you first visit the Channel Management (Beds24) page, at this moment in time there is no mechanism for storing these details in Beds24's control panel, but it is something that is being worked upon. Once this information is stored in your Beds24 account then Beds24 will be able to access your installation through the Jomres REST API.
It also creates a Webhook authorisation method for Beds24. It is these Webhooks which the Beds24V2 plugin uses to handle updates to the Beds24 Channel manager, therefore it is imperative that you install these two plugins before installing the Beds24V2 plugin.
Next, install the Beds24V2 plugin.
Like the previous version, you access the system through the frontend once you are logged in as a Property Manager. The menu option to access the feature is now in Settings -> Channel Management (Beds24).
On the main page you will see a list of the properties that you have in the system and in Beds24 ( You may have to register your key in your Beds24 control panel first ). Once Beds24 offers the ability to store the REST API key against your account on their service, then at the top you will see the REST API key pair. For now these are hidden.
If a property exists in both Jomres and Beds24, and the property API is the same on both properties, then these properties are automatically assigned to the manager you are logged in as.
If properties do not share a key, then if they exist in Jomres you are able to export the property to Beds24 ( I.E. create a related property on Beds24's server ). If you have properties in Beds24 then you can import them into Jomres.
Once a property is assigned to you then no other manager can administer that property, just like in the previous version of the plugin. You will know if the Beds24 and Jomres properties are linked and therefore assigned to you, because they will have a "View Property" button next to them in the list. There is not currently a feature to change this assignation once set.
When you have imported/exported a property, use the View Property button from this page. You will be taken to the Room Type Associations page.
This page allows you to adjust the room type associations, however if all goes to plan you should not need to modify them. If you import a property from Beds24 then you will be able to link the room types during the import phase. If you export the property then new room types are created in Beds24, however if you make a mistake during this phase then you can use this Room Types associations page to correct that.
If a room is added or removed through the normal Jomres UI ( E.G. by modifying the number of rooms in the Rooms & Tariffs page ), then the system will automatically update the total number of rooms available for a room type on Beds24's servers. The only time this will not work is if you have a room type in Beds24 ( E.G. Double room ) and that room type already has a booking. Beds24's API will not allow us to remove that room type, in which case you would need to cancel/move the booking on their servers, then remove the room manually through their UI.
You will also see on this page the Notification link and the Property's API key. In most cases you probably not need to use them, but the information is nevertheless available to you.
At the bottom of the page, you will see two buttons. These buttons allow you to either Import or Export bookings from or to Beds24. If you have imported or exported a property you can choose to use these buttons to send or receive existing bookings, however in the normal course of operation you should not need to use them as bookings should be imported and exported as they are created.
We that that this is enough to be getting on with. Again, if you come across any issues, please do contact us via the ticket system.
Most Importantly : Have fun.
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