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Getting ready for new version 4.3 coming out in December 2011

Our next version upgrade is scheduled for December 14th and this page contains important information about the new version.

Please read carefully to:

  1. Check and adjust settings in your account to ensure smooth operation after the upgrade and
  2. Get familiar with key changes in Wild Apricot software after version 4.3 upgrade

If you want to ask any questions, please post to this forum thread we have created specifically about version 4.3 upgrade:
Discussion forum thread: Getting ready for version 4.3. In this way we can share our answers with everyone. 
And, of course, feel free to send any questions to support. 

Check and adjust settings to prepare for data conversion in 4.3

We list below things you need to check and potentially adjust in your account in advance of the new version.

  1. Review your event registration email template currently called "Paid confirmed registrations (offline payment)".
    In 4.2 this email template is only used for offline (manual) payments - while a separate email template is used for online payments.
    In the new version 4.3 it will be used for all event registrations, whatever the payment method is (template name will be changed along the way too). Review and adjust this email template to ensure that its text makes sense for both online and offline payments.
    See: Event emails transformation
    See: Default Event Emails on how to view/change the default (global) template.
    If you have customized it for any particular event, go into the event in question (obviously you should only bother with upcoming events) and also review/change the event-specific template (See: Customizing event emails )
  2. Review your membership application and renewal templates
    In 4.2 we have renewal emails for each payment option (online and offline) plus a separate email for free membership levels.
    In the new version the renewal emails are simplified into three emails: Renewal pending, Renewal confirmed and Recurring renewal failed.
    See: Membership emails transformation
    See Default membership emails to view/edit default(global) emails
    If you have customized these emails separately for any particular membership level, go to that level to update email templates.
  3. Review and clean up outstanding accounts receivable
    In version 4.2 your members/contacts don't have a way to see their invoices and current outstanding balance so any messy data (e.g. invoices which are not settled even though the payment has been received) is only visible to the administrators.
    In version 4.3 current outstanding balance will be prominently shown to each contact - as well as a history of invoices and payments. We recommend reviewing your open balances (e.g. via - Finances / Reports / Aging Receivables ) to ensure it is correct and would not cause any confusion for your contacts. (One of the ways you can adjust the balance is to record a manual payment with a special tender to write off or adjust the balance due). See Complimentary transactions and special discounts
  4. Review and edit your payment instructions.
    Make sure they contain full information on payment methods you accept. In version 4.3 each transaction (e.g. event registration, membership application) will generate and present an invoice with these payment instructions.
    You can adjust payment instructions from Settings / Payment setting. Scroll down to the Payment instructions section. 

Get familiar with key changes in version 4.3

Comparison table

Area

Current functionality in Version 4.2

Changes in version 4.3

Online self-service

  • Members can log in to edit their profile, update email preferences, etc. They can't view history of transactions/invoices/payments.
  • All contacts can now log in to: 
    • View their contact profile fields
    • Change email preferences
    • View current total outstanding balance
    • View full invoicing and payment history
    • Pay outstanding invoices online
    • If membership is overdue/inactive, special notice message is displayed
    • (Members can do some additional things, as before - update member fields, renew membership, change membership level)
    • Any contact can now use 'Forgot password' function to reset password

Email bounces

  • Each email bounce (emails which had delivery problems) are forwarded back to site administrators. Each bounce has to be reviewed manually and administrators have to switch off emails to all contacts with out of date emails.
  • Email delivery status is now tracked and recorded for emails
  • There is now a way to search for all contacts with email delivery problems (e.g. to call them up and get the new address)
  • If a particular contact has persistent email delivery problems (e.g. email no longer valid), system automatically disables sending emails to that contact
  • Individual email bounces are no longer forwarded to administrators

Password generation

  • When applying online, prospective member enter their own password.
  • Initial passwords are now generated automatically during membership applications, event registrations etc. and emailed to the person.

Membership applications from archived/lapsed/suspended members

  • These people cannot apply (using the same email address) - administrator has to manually adjust their old records or delete them first.
  • Archived/suspended members can apply online and system automatically reactivates their old record. Lapsed members are prompted to log in - and can then renew membership.

Payment settings and workflow

  • There is a setting to enable online and/or offline payment. 
    Workflow at the end of each transaction (e.g. membership application): 
    • If both options are enabled, user has to select payment method (online/offline). 
    • Online payment method allows user to pay online for this particular transaction in progress. If online payment fails, user can't come back later and pay - the whole transaction has to be restarted.
    • Offline payment method displays payment instructions, workflow ends with open invoice in the system and administrator waiting for check in the mail.
  • There is no longer a setting for offline payment. 
  • Workflow: 
    • Every transaction ends with an invoice generated and payment instructions displayed. 
    • If online payment is set up and user desires to pay online, there is a button to pay online any invoice with outstanding balance - or several invoices at once.

Incomplete (abandoned) transactions

  • Transactions which ended up with user selecting online payment but not completing it right away, are marked as 'In progress' for 24 hours and then as 'Abandoned'
  • A contact is created immediately after a user started any transaction (e.g. membership, event)
  • Records for incomplete transactions are shown as 'in progress'
  • There is no longer a concept of 'In progress' or 'Abandoned' transactions (the only exception are donations - for now). As soon as transaction is confirmed, an invoice is generated - and it stays as an open invoice until payment is either received through an online payment or recorded manually by the administrator. Before a transaction is completed/confirmed, it is not shown to site administrators at all and no contact record exists. Only the originating user can view his/her own incomplete transaction - to complete it as desired.
  • No record is created until the user clicks on "Confirm and proceed with payment"

Online payment

  • Each self-service transaction had to be paid separately (e.g. membership application and registration for 2 events has to be done as three separate self-service transactions and payments)
  • Ad-hoc (manual) invoices could not be paid online (because there was no self-service transaction - ad-hoc invoices are created by administrators
  • Online payment can only be done right away during the self-service transaction, payment cannot be retried later - the whole transaction has to be repeated. (Except for event registrations - these are stored and can be accessed by initiating event registration again and payment reattempted)
  • Each self-service transaction generates an invoice (except for donations). Multiple transactions (invoices) can be paid with one online payment. (Exception: automatic recurring payment for membership. This invoice has to be paid separately)
  • Ad-hoc invoices can be paid online - like any other invoice - by following a link in the invoice email to view and pay this invoice online
  • Any invoice can be paid online at any time (e.g. someone registered for an event, tried to pay online, his card was declined. He can go home, get another card and then pay the outstanding invoice by following the link in the invoice email or simply by logging into his profile)

Using on-account credits

  • Overpayments, partial payments and other credits can be recorded by the administrator but are not visible to the end user and are not taken into account during online payment 
  • Each online payment is always for the full amount of the transaction
  • Overpayments, partial payments and other credits are displayed to the end user with all the invoices and can be applied during online payment - i.e. user would only have to pay net outstanding balance
  • Once invoice is created, administrator can apply discounts/credits to it and then online payment can be done for the outstanding balance only

Emails

  • There are separate email templates for manual and for online payments because the workflows are slightly different for manual and online payments (applies to event registrations, membership applications and renewals)
  •  There is a unified workflow since any transaction can be paid online at any time (as long as online payment is enabled in the account). Thus, the number of email templates has been reduced across the board
    See: Email Transformation

Other notable changes

  • New or changed macros:
    • Macro Invoice_details_URL: This link allows viewing invoice details and paying without logging in. If you are using a standard template for invoice, we will automatically insert a link to the standard invoice template during 4.3 upgrade. People will be able to view and pay the invoice by following that link. If you have customized the invoice template, you would have to add this link manually once version 4.3 launches.
      Note: if user would like to pay other open invoices or to see a full balance the user would have to login
    • Macro Member_profile_URL renamed to Profile_URL and is now available for any contact (not only members)
    • New macro Invoice_PublicMemo (Payment_PublicMemo etc.) is available for financial documents emails (invoice, payment, refund, donation). (Corresponds to new field "Comments for payer" in the admin back-end)
    • New macro Contact_Balance_amount macro shows contact balance amount and links to contact profile (to Invoices and payment tab)
    • Membership-related macros are now available in email templates: Member_Renewal_Date, Member_Next_Renewal_Date, Member_Since, Member_Status, Member_Level_Fee, Member_Level, Member_Level_Full
    • Enabled macro EventField_... in invoice emails
  • Advanced search to find contacts with open balance
  • Members in Pending status can now use member-only event registration types. This enables a scenario where people can register for an event and apply for membership at the same time - and then pay once.
  • Automatic recurring payments:
    • "Invoices and Payments" tab in contact profile shows next recurring payment as one of the invoices with expected next payment date and amount. There is also Cancel button to cancel the recurring payment
    • Invoice for recurring payment is automatically generated as soon as payment is received. If it failed, then no invoice is generated and "Recurring renewal failed" email is sent to a member (see below membership changes)
  • Availability of event registrations (if limit is used) is updated immediately upon each registration confirmation step (when invoice is generated).
  • When registering for an event, system suggests appropriate actions: "Login", "Renew membership", "Apply for membership"
  • Failed donation (i.e. credit card declined) can now be paid later and is shown to the user when logged-in
  • Invoice for any transaction can now be billed to another person, e.g. event registration of "John Smith" can be billed to "John Doe". For self-service transactions, billing person is determined automatically and cannot be changed. Admin can change invoice's billing contact from backend
  • Contact details screen has a new button which generates and emails new password to the contact. This email uses new customizable template: Settings / Contact settings / Password email
  • New design theme which will use the latest capabilities of our content management system to enable so-called 'flexible' layout, meaning that page width will not be fixed but will instead expand/shrink depending on the visitor screen resolution
  • Logged-in users will see a special warning message at the bottom right corner of the screen if they have an open balance, incomplete transactions, or lapsed membership

4.3 Screenshot gallery

Contact profile view

Contact can login and get access to their profile settings, payment history and online payment option

Invoices and payments tab in contact profile

Note, if there is an incomplete transaction it will show a message and will provide an option to complete online payment

Email contains link to the online invoice

Online invoice (after member clicks on the link in the email)

Email log with failed emails

Review email delivery status from the email logs

Contact with auto-disabled emails due to multiple failures

Advanced search settings related to email delivery

Allows you to find all contacts with email delivery problems so you can call them to get updated email addresses

New credit card entry screen

Event messages

Users can register for membership first and then get access to members only event registration.

Event emails transformation

Membership emails transformation

New theme - gray

Administrator to process credit cards

Note, this is available for Authorize.net and PayPal Pro payment systems only

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