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Another month, another big update: Release 2012.10 is now rolling out to all Táve 3 studios and includes some frequently requested improvements for orders and packages. Your current version and build number can be seen at the bottom of Táve 3, above our logo.

New Unified Orders Page

Over the past few releases we’ve been gradually improving usability, adding utilities like flyouts, and better organizing the information you want to see. Today’s release continues that process by unifying the Orders page, eliminating the dedicated Order Viewer and Invoice Viewer and thus means less clicking to get to data. Here’s an example:

The order totals flyout includes more details, including taxes and discount totals:

 

Order Revisions

Modifying an order after it’s booked is verboten, so when a client wants to make a change you needed to void the order and modify a duplicate. Unfortunately, that process could get a bit tedious and error-prone as you also had to reallocate all payments to the new invoices after booking the revised order. Now there’s no need as we’ve introduced a new revision action that will automatically create a new version of the order, leaving the original version untouched. You can access the previous versions any time by hovering over the revision icon and clicking on one of the snapshots.

Automatic Invoice Numbering

Our advanced object IDs aren’t the easiest things to read, so we’ve added much more understandable numbering to all orders and invoices. With the exception of order revisions (which include the revision number, like R1 or R2), the new numbers are numeric and thus much easier to understand and convey over the phone. The new numbers are based on the job’s event date (or if there isn’t one, the date the order/invoice was booked or created). The final 3 Numbers are a counter for that date. One of the conveniences of this numbering scheme is that the invoices numbers will be sequential and similar to the order itself. These numbers are now used throughout the app, including printouts and client facing pages:

The printout button seen above is a new addition to the client facing invoice page in this release as well.

Split Payments

When a client pays you for more than one invoice in a single payment, you no longer need to merge your invoices to match, as you can now split a payment between multiple invoices.

% Discounts in Packages

When % discounts were added to Táve 3, they were only added to the quote and order editors. As of today’s release, you can now add % discounts to packages as you’d expect.

Job Date Conflicts

While the New Lead Worksheet and the Event Editor include an agenda so you can easily see potential conflicts when scheduling an event, there was nothing on the job overview itself to alert you to potential conflicts on the job date. Today’s release adds a schedule flyout when you move your mouse over the job date text on the job overview. If we find a conflict, we add a warning icon next to the date as seen here:

General Improvements

Most of the remaining changes in Release 2012.10 are bug fixes or minor tweaks (such as the invoice editor’s new option to evenly divide the balance across all open invoices). One of the more significant improvements behind the scenes has been a completely new incoming mail processor, which has dramatically improved the reliability of the BCC system. The previous system was using Google Mail and was having issues with the high volume of very similar incoming messages. The new system uses Sendgrid, our outbound email provider. This new system has exciting possibilities and we look forward to adding even more email features using it. We hope you enjoy our 2012.10 release!

As you may have noticed, Jason and I have been releasing a series of small updates over the past few months without much fanfare. However, a few of the items released last night need to be called out as they affect the way you interact with your clients, so we’ve labeled it Release 2012.9 (previously called 3.0.9) and put together this blog post to highlight the updates.

Automatic Invoice Reminders

We’re all about making you more money with less work, and now that’s even easier with automatic invoice reminders. These brand-level settings (found at the very bottom of the brand editor) allow you to send up to 3 reminders to your clients about open invoices and even use your own quick response templates for each of them:

In this example, we’re sending a reminder 2 weeks prior to an invoice’s due date, on the day that it is due, and then finally when it becomes 5 days past due. In order to soften the first email we’ve customized the template to talk about the invoice simply being ready and payable online. The past due email on the other hand has been customized to be more explicit about what will happen if it remains past due.

We send the reminders at 8am in the studio’s local timezone each day and only on the exact day specified (so, for example, a new invoice due in just one week will never receive the “two weeks before due” email. Likewise, an invoice due today but created after 8am will not receive the “on the due date” email).

If we’ve sent reminders on behalf of your studio, we’ll send a summary of the activity to your studio’s email address so that you know what we’re doing on your behalf. You’ll also be able to fix any emails that couldn’t be sent due to a recipient not having an email address:

If your brand has a bcc address for outgoing mail, you’ll also get a copy of the actual emails as well.

You have to enable these reminders, as they are off by default.

Payment Promises & More Offline Payment Options

Not every client wishes to pay online, so we’ve expanded the list of offline payment options to include “Pay by Phone” and “Bank Wire Transfer”. You can also include these payment options and instructions on printed invoices too, which is especially helpful if your client needs to take a printed invoice to the bank.

In addition, we’ve removed the payment options page from client access entirely. Instead, the payment option buttons are included directly on the invoice page:

One of the downsides of your client selecting an offline payment option is not knowing that “the check is in the mail”, so we’ve reworked the offline payment page to add a form so that your client can easily let you know when to expect their payment to arrive. The email includes which offline payment page they used as well.

Contact List Exports

While T3 does nearly everything T2 did and a whole lot more, there are a couple things it doesn’t yet do. One of those things we hear about most are contact list exports. In T2 this was one massive export via a link in Settings. In T3 we’ve made it a lot more useful by adding the contact list exports, both CSV and vCard, directly to the Contacts section.

So now you can export only booked clients, only leads, just clients with balances, or vendors, etc.

Recent Updates

Speaking of features from T2, the other most-requested T2 feature was also released to T3 recently; the agenda calendar on the homepage now shows you all of the events on a given day and lets you create new events from there as well. Here’s an example we posted to our Facebook page when the availability calendar flyouts were released:

A common request we hear is “where should I start?” as well as “what all does Táve do?” We’ve helped address these two questions with a new setup progress bar. Clicking on it takes you to a page full of important areas to look into and ways to get more out of your account:

Also, just in case you missed it, we opened a new public chatroom a couple months back where users can come and chat with us or other users. It’s a great way to get instant answers to your questions, make suggestions, or just get to know us. You can join the public chat by using the box on the right side of any helpdesk page or directly by going here. Please use your real name so that it’s easier to help you with any support tickets or issues.

System Upgrades

Did you notice how insanely fast most pages load now? Our average page load times are now a third of what they were when our last blog post was published, with some pages regularly clocking in at only 0.08 seconds!

While our system was minimally affected by last month’s major Amazon AWS outage that took down the likes of Netflix, Intagram, Pinterest, and many other popular websites for half a day, it lead us to make some changes to our infrastructure. The net result of our work over the past month is that we’ve doubled the amount of CPU power and quadrupled the number of web servers powering T3. Instead of several powerful machines, we’re now using many mid-range servers across multiple availability zones. We’ve also adopted the AWS Elastic Beanstalk service for managing application deployment and autoscaling to further improve the ease of bringing new servers online when needed.

If you’re interested in how we’re doing on the systems front; our third-party availability reports are publicly accessible at status.tave.com. Clicking on the application, such as “T3” at the bottom of the page let’s you dig deep into our availability history. For instance, you can easily review our uptime for the entire month of July or see when we were briefly affected by the major AWS outage at the end of June.

What’s Next?

Our development roadmap is loaded with important updates and great ideas that we’ve assembled from talking to users via the helpdesk and our public chatroom. Our focus for the near future is on the items that most broadly improve the system for the most users.

We’ll likely continue to roll out new features as they become available, rather than waiting for a major release. Keep an eye out on Twitter and Facebook for the latest.