Campground Master Version 1.3 - 1.3.4 Release Notes
These release notes are also available as a printable PDF document or as a self-running e-book (click links to download).
Notes on "patch" versions 1.3.1 through 1.3.4:
A few small bugs have been found by our customers since 1.3 was released. Rather than wait for the next major release,
we release new "patch" versions to correct the problems as soon as they are found.
This ensures that the software you use is as bug-free as humanly possible.
Version 1.3.1 contains a patch to correct an error when loading the
database the first time (from a previous version), if the database contains bad references. If you used v1.3 and your
database loaded successfully, then this patch does not affect you.
Version 1.3.2 contains a patch to correct an error when printing multiple receipts with the "Always Preview" option enabled, in Windows Me, 98, and 95. If you
use Windows NT, 2000 or XP, then this patch does not affect you. If you use Windows Me, 98 or 95 then you should update to this version.
Version 1.3.3 contains a patch to correct an error which can result in the message "Customer record is already open in another dialog..." to be
displayed when it shouldn't be displayed.
This happens only when using the "New Reservation" function from the "Customer Details" dialog, which causes that customer record to remain locked and
thus not allow its customer details to be opened again until the program is restarted. (Simply closing and re-opening the program corrects the problem,
but this patch will eliminate that inconvenience.)
Version 1.3.4 contains two bug fixes:
- A workaround for a bug in Lexmark printer drivers has been added to correct a problem with printing black backgrounds.
- The New Reservations dialog has been fixed to show the initial Site Selected on the dialog (it functioned correctly, but the lack of a site number in Sites Selected was confusing).
Version 1.3.5 contains a Win9x printing bug fix for grid-type reports, and may also fix a problem with lock-ups after printing many receipts on Win9x.
Version 1.3 contains some major new features, a number of small enhancements, and a few bug-fixes. We recommend upgrading to the latest version to take advantage of the enhancements and eliminate the bugs. These release notes have been divided into 3 sections, listing the changes since version 1.2.
- Changes to be aware of -- things that might affect what you're used to seeing or how you do things.
- Major additional features -- the most prominent feature additions to this version.
Note: While there should be no problems with the new version, be aware that you cannot go back to using your database with a previous version of Campground Master once you start using this version, due to upgrades that are automatically made to the database. Be sure you make a backup of the database before installing the new version, in case you have any trouble.
- Other minor enhancements -- small changes or additions to the program, and bugs fixed.
Also Note : When you install the new version, the "demo" database (demo.prk) will be overwritten with a new version of the sample database. If you have been working with the sample database and want to save the changes you’ve made, then you need to load it and then use File | Save As to save it to a different name before installing the new version of the software.
Changes To Be Aware Of:
There are a lot of changes in this version that will affect what you see in normal operations. Please read these carefully before installing the new version. Some of the changes can be disabled if you prefer the original methods, but we feel that they are worthwhile for improving the ease of operation and preventing errors.
The Rack view now starts with yesterday by default, instead of today. A red divider line is drawn between the yesterday/today columns as an indicator. This makes it easy to see who should be checking out today (and who's arriving today), to aid in site assignments. This also affects the mini-rack in New Reservations, if starting "fresh" (e.g. when clicking on the telephone icon). If you prefer to start the Rack on today instead of yesterday, you can change this in View / Options / Rack. Note that the Show Available and Show Range options will still use today as the start date by default, even though yesterday is shown.
- The Rack will show black "bars" at the beginning and end of a reservation, to make it easier to visually separate them when reservations are back-to-back. This can be turned off in View / Options / Rack.
- When making a New Reservation, a new customer-selection dialog will appear after entering a name (or partial name) in the Last Name field and pressing Tab or Enter. This will automatically list any matching customers and allow selecting one of them or adding a new customer, or doing a more advanced Find Customer function. This can be disabled if desired (View / Options / Prompts).
- When making reservations that start today, for instance for walk-in customers, a "Check In" button is added to the New Reservation dialog. Use this instead of the Done or Continue buttons to do an immediate check-in.
- Any time a reservation is checked in (whether from the button mentioned above or from other locations), you will be taken to the Rates Selection dialog immediately to enter the transactions. If you prefer not to jump to the rates selection (or even to Transactions) when checking in a customer, you can disable this in View / Options / Prompts.
- When payments are made to a reservation and the Paid-Through date is not changed, instead of simply giving an error and making you go back and change it, you will now have the option to immediately change it to the Last Date and continue.
- When making Payments or any other manual transactions on the Transactions dialog, instead of entering the description, qty, amount, etc. in the grid itself, a dialog opens up for entering the information. Therefore you don't have to select the Payment Method before entering a payment -- you will be prompted for it directly and it will require only a single click to select. In addition, reference information such as check # or credit card information can be entered for payments, Discount type is prompted for Discount transactions, Tax rate for Tax transactions, and so forth. If you prefer to enter the information on the grid as before, you can turn off the new prompts (View / Options / Prompts).
- As with Payments above, adding Charges manually will open a prompt for the details. Taxes can also be automatically added for the charge by simply checking the appropriate tax rates. (To have one or more tax rates checked by default, see Maintenance / Park Setup / Tax Rates.) An additional Tax transaction will be added for each selected rate.
- Charges on reservation receipts will not show the transaction category like they did before (e.g. gift shop : ice), only the description. This allows more flexibility in how the receipts look and avoids making the descriptions too long, but may require some changes to your Rates setup if your descriptions need more detail. Exceptions are made for discounts and credits -- "Discount : " or "Credit : " will still be shown if that word doesn't appear in the description already. If you prefer the old way (categories shown), you can change it in View / Options / Printing.
- Deposits handling has changed so that it tracks deposits actually applied, rather than just deposits paid. This will primarily be noticed in that whenever a non-deposit transaction is added to a reservation after a deposit, a "Deposit Applied" transaction is automatically inserted. This won't show on receipts, and is only used for reporting. Also note that it may affect some Transaction reports if it's not filtered out. There is a new "Deposits" quick-report in Transaction Summary Options for tracking a deposits account balance, and also a Deposit balance adjustment function under Maintenance. Also, the Balance Charges & Payments quick-report now includes only deposits applied, so balancing is more accurate (it won't show reservations with an unapplied deposit as unbalanced). Note that all previous reservations will automatically get a Deposit-Applied transaction added if appropriate when you first load an old database, so the historical data is correct.
- When changing the start date of a reservation from the rack, or when automatically changing it due to a Check-in, you will be prompted for whether they will be staying the same number of days. If you answer Yes, the end date will also be adjusted automatically (if no conflicts are created). This new prompt can be disabled in View / Options / Prompts (so it will change only the start date as before).
- Rates setup -- the "auto-tax" function will only tax "Charge" and Discount" transaction types. If you have any rates defined using "Credit" transactions that used auto-tax, you will need to change the definitions (enter a manual Tax transaction if needed, or don't use "Credit" transactions).
- The Discount Used field is only set for Discount transactions -- it was previously set for Charge transaction types as well, but this has been eliminated to avoid confusion. This generally won't affect you, unless you used Transaction reports of Charges filtered by Discount Used.
- The "cash register" toolbar icon goes directly to Unbound transactions, to speed up counter sales (View/Options/Program to set it back to the other way, to open the generic New Transaction dialog.) The old New Transaction dialog can still be accessed through the Transactions menu.
- When adding the same rate for multiple concurrent sites (from Transactions / Select Rates), instead of just one charge showing on the receipt with something like "(3 x 4)" in the description for 3 days x 4 sites, a separate charge entry is made automatically for each site which includes the site name in the description. This option can be disabled when selecting the rates, in case you have many concurrent sites and don't want the receipt to be that long. If you want this to be disabled by default instead of enabled, you can change it in View / Options / Printing.
- Manager access is now required to do some functions that were available at lower levels before. These include: editing Site details, editing or deleting transactions (except ones "new" in the current session), and un-doing a cancellation/check-in/checkout status.
Major Additional Features:
- Import Customers / Reservations -- An Import function has been added (File / Import) which allows you to import customers and/or reservations from standard CSV or tab-delimited files. The data to be imported can be previewed and edited before importing, and duplicates automatically removed. Customer lists can also be imported from a QuickBooks Export-Addresses file.
- Merge Customers -- The Find Customer dialog now has a Merge function on it. If you find multiple entries in the customer list for the same person, select all of the ones to merge and press the Merge button. You will then be able to select which one of them to keep. The rest will be deleted after all of their reservations and transactions have been transferred to the one customer record you kept. This function is available to the Manager access level only.
- Export Transactions to QuickBooks (see File / Export) -- This new feature allows you to export the Campground Master transaction data to a file that QuickBooks can import. All of the charges will be transferred by transaction category, and all of the receipts will be transferred by payment method. The daily totals can be exported to QuickBooks either as General Journal entries for each category / payment method or as a single Cash Sale transaction with line items breaking out the category details. If you have accounts receivable (e.g. you add charges to reservations before payments are received, such as monthly rent), you can have the A/R balance go into an Accounts Receivable account. Deposits can also be assigned to a separate QuickBooks account until they're applied, to track advance deposits as a "liability" against the actual receipts.
- Export to Web Vacancy Grid (see File / Export) -- This new feature allows you to show vacancy status on your web site, essentially a compressed Rack view. You can select what sites are shown, by type or class, on each set of pages (one page per month for the next year), and use web page templates of your own design to match your web page's style. Font and colors can also be defined. Each vacant site in the grid can also be linked to a script on your site, or set up to generate a simple E-mail request for a reservation. You can use this export function as often as you like to keep your web site up to date (you will need to transfer the pages to your site after they are generated -- automatic uploading is not yet implemented.)
- Day Passes -- These are essentially done as reservations, with no site assignment and no check in/out needed. Customer information can be entered, or you can set up a generic "Day Pass" customer if you don't collect customer information. Day passes are created just like reservations (start with the Telephone icon) -- when making a new reservation, as long as no site has been selected then a "Day Pass" button will be present on the New Reservations dialog (it will change to "Check In" if a site is selected). Clicking the Day Pass button will open a Rates Selection dialog listing "Day Fee" rate types (a new rate type added specifically for this kind of function). You can then add the appropriate charge and print a receipt, which will show "Day Pass" instead of a site number. Note that you can create Day Passes for multiple days like any other reservation. Day Pass reservations will also show up on the reports like Arrivals, Departures, and On Site. If day passes are not needed by your campground, you can disable this function completely (View / Options / Program).
- Site Class (and Park) filtering and Advanced filtering -- Any of the tab views and reports that previously could only have a Site Type selected now offer more options. Site Classes have been added to the drop-down lists on the tab views for quick selection (and if you have more than one Park defined, Parks are also listed). There are also Advanced and Default filter selections, allowing you to select any combination of Site Types, Site Classes, and Parks. The Default filter will be saved, and used initially on startup and whenever Reset/Today is used on a tab view. In addition, other reports that previously had only a Site Type selection list now have advanced Site Filtering, which allows Site Type, Class, and Park selections.
- Gas Meters -- in addition to Electric and Water meters, gas (or propane) meters can now be tracked. To enable this, you will need to enable the 3 Gas Meter fields in Maintenance / Data Field Definitions / Site Fields.
- Meter reading shortcuts -- You can now right-click on the entries in the Meter List reports to do a direct reading/charge for a reservation. This function opens the Transactions dialog, which then automatically opens Select Rates with the appropriate rate types listed. You can also view reservation or site details, enter manual readings without adding reservation charges (through Site Details), and list all reservations for the site (past, present and future).
- Transaction Details -- You can view all of the details of each transaction while in the Transactions entry dialog. Just check the "Details" box, and then scroll the list to see the details. Depending on your access level, some details can also be edited, for instance the reference information and notes.
- Accounts Receivable reporting -- An A/R balance quick-report has been added to the Transactions Summary Options. This will show changes and total A/R, which is essentially charges less payments and deposits applied (deposits not yet applied are excluded). An A/R balance adjustment function has been added under Maintenance so you can set an initial A/R balance and make adjustments if needed. These are added as separate transactions so their date/time/operator is also tracked for adjustments.
- Purge function -- A "Purge old data" function has been added to the Maintenance menu. This will allow purging transactions and reservations prior to a given date, to decrease database size and speed up reporting functions. Only transactions that "balance" will be purged (i.e. no balance is due for the reservation), and a backup of the database is made before purging which you can use as for historical reporting and reference. If a reservation or customer has an outstanding balance, those unbalanced transactions will not be purged regardless of age. Customers who don't have any reservations or transactions can also be purged if desired, to help clean out old customers who don't return often. Deposit and A/R balances are maintained by making "Adjustment" transaction entries automatically (generally only necessary when purging Unbound transactions, which don't have to balance to be purged). Any customer who has reservations and/or transactions purged will show a summary of purged reservations in their Reservation History (# of reservations and total # of nights), and a summary of the total amount of previous payments made in their Transaction History.
- Swap Sites -- To simplify the process of swapping sites between two existing reservations, a "Swap Sites" function has been added to the right-click menu for the mini-rack in the Assign or Change Site dialog. To use it, start with Assign or Change Site from one of the reservations to swap, then find the site with which to swap in the mini-rack window. Right-click on the reservation that you want to swap with and select the Swap Sites function. If the swap would create a conflict with another reservation, it will not be allowed.
- Customer Warnings list -- Under the Customers menu, there's a new function to list all customers with warning flags. This list can be sorted and printed like other reports, and you can view or edit their details by double-clicking them in the list.
- Changes to Groups and Linked Site Handling -- There has been a basic philosophy change in the way "linked" (concurrent) reservations are handled, which allows groups to be handled much easier. First of all, the customer can now be changed for any reservation. (Manager access is required to change the customer if it's already checked in.) In addition to making it easier in general to fix customer-selection mistakes, this allows you to individualize each reservation of a group. Also, a "Group Name" is shown for group reservations, which is basically the reservation's original Customer. Therefore, you would typically make the initial group reservation (with multiple sites) under the wagon master's or tour group's name. That initial customer becomes the group name and will show with the reservation even after individual customers are changed. Then as group members arrive (or call to confirm), you can change the reservation to that particular customer (adding new customers as needed). A right-click function is available on group reservations (only) to change the customer. Then you can add transactions to each individual reservation when they check in.
- Linked site changes, continued -- The other big change is that reservations can still be "linked" without being for the same customer or even having the same dates and status ("synchronized"). Therefore when individuals of a group arrive, you can change the customer, dates, status, etc. without losing the "link" -- they won't be synchronized with the rest of the group reservations any more, but they will still show as being linked with the other reservations in the reservation details and Quick-Info. In fact, the only way to "unlink" them is to delete or cancel the reservation. Also, as long as reservations are still synchronized, a "master" reservation is designated and you will be encouraged to make any transactions with the master reservation. For groups, this master reservation is also a slightly darker color than the rest (which also helps visually separate adjacent groups on the rack).
Other Enhancements and Changes:
A function to "Find all Reservations for this site" has been added to right-click menus for sites, which will show a list of all past, present, and future reservations. This function is available on the right-click menus for empty sites or site labels on the Rack.
- An "Assign site" function has been added to the right-click in the mini-rack when making a new reservation. This has the same function as double-clicking on an empty site or using the Add Selection(s) button, and was simply added for convenience.
- Customer information cannot be changed on the Assign or Change Site dialog (it can still be seen but editing is disabled).
- Multi-line notes can now be entered for customers, reservations, and sites. To enter multi-line notes, click the "..." button at the right end of the Notes text field (e.g. on the Site Details, Customer Details, New Reservation or Reservation Details dialogs). A new dialog will open with a large window for entering notes. (This also aids in seeing single-line notes that are too long to see normally.) When multi-line notes are displayed as a single line, for instance on the Detail dialogs or in lists, each line break will be shown as a double-backslash (" \\ ").
- When doing Unbound Transactions or Customer Transactions, the Select Rates button defaults to Merchandise rate types for quickly entering merchandise sales.
- If a Qty is entered for Payments, Refunds, Deposits, or Credits, it will be indicated on the receipts (previously only the total amount was shown). This can be useful for entering multiple coupons as Credits, for instance.
- The "Print New Transactions Only" function on the Transactions dialog will now print the transactions from the last session if no new ones have been entered yet. This allows you to go back and print another "new" invoice after closing the Transactions dialog.
- An option has been added to the Batch Receipts function to print new transactions only (which will print transactions from the last Transaction dialog session). This simplifies batch-printing of monthly invoices, for instance, without having to print the entire transaction history.
- When receipts are printed, all Tax transactions of the same category (tax rate) will be combined into one line on the receipt. For instance if 5 charges are added and each one included an auto-tax transaction for sales tax, only the total sales tax will show on the receipt instead of 5 separate tax transactions. This also applies if multiple rates are added with taxes, etc. (This is an option that can be turned off if desired, in View / Options / Printing.)
- When using the Fit to Page printing option, text will not be stretched to the full width if it's already small enough to fit on the page -- it will be shrunk if necessary to fit, but not enlarged.. A new option, "Allow stretching to the full width", can be set if the old behavior (enlarging to the whole page width) is desired.
- The Extended-Stay and Free Site checkboxes are now available on the New Reservations dialog, minimizing the need to go to Reservation Details to set these.
- When changing sites for a reservation, any Preferences set previously (including site type/class) will be taken into account automatically and only sites matching those preferences will be shown. You can uncheck the "Use" box next to "Site Preferences" at any time to disable the preferences filtering (the "Use" checkbox is also a new feature to allow the preferences filtering to be enabled or disabled easily).
- On reservation details, the linked reservations are shown in a drop-down list so they can all be seen, with more details.
- The "Show all totals as positive" option for Transaction report Summary Options has been changed to "Show charges & expenses as positive values (invert)" -- all values will be inverted even if they were initially positive, to properly show negative values.
- The categories selected with the "All Charges" and "All Receipts" quick-picks in the lists on the Transactions tab view have been changed to match the category selections on the quick-reports -- that is, Credit transactions are now included with charges instead of receipts.
- Find Customer and Find Reservation dialogs -- after entering search text, pressing Tab will do the search and automatically select the first item in the results.
- When sorting by last name in Find Customer, those with the same last name will be sorted by first name (secondary sort).
- In some cases (see below), Canceling the Find Customer dialog will actually take you to Add New Customer. The button will be appropriately labeled "Cancel / Add New" when this is the case.
- An option has been added to do a Find Customer instead of Add New Customer when the customer icon on the toolbar is clicked (or F3). If you then click "Cancel / Add New" on the Find dialog, it will revert to Add New Customer. If you select a customer and "Use", it will open the Customer details for that customer.
- An option has been added to have Find Customer show all customers initially, instead of none, when starting without an initial name to find. Only the most important fields are shown initially (name, city, state, and notes), but after making any filter changes the fields shown will change accordingly, so for instance you can see all fields for all customers by checking and then unchecking the Filter By box. This option is under View / Options / Program. Note that this can make the Find Customer dialog open very slowly if your customer database is large.
- When selecting transaction categories, the "reserved" categories are not allowed -- for instance, "Payment", "Deposit", etc. cannot be selected for a Charge transaction.
- The Discount Used can be selected from the Select Rates dialog, for easy comparison and selection of discounts, especially useful when the Select Rates is opened automatically when doing a Check-in.
- Rates can now have minimum and maximum stay restrictions. For instance, set the minimum days for a weekly rate to be 6 days, and it won't show up in the selection list for shorter stays. (Note that this is not strictly enforced when actually selecting the rates, so if you try to add 2 weekly rates to a 9-day reservation, it will still be allowed.) This can also be useful for things like 3-day rate specials.
- Improvements have been made to the auto-calculation of the number of days when selecting rates. Negative days are also calculated automatically if the reservation is paid past the Last Date, making refunds for early check-outs easy.
- When printing receipts for "new transactions only", lines have been added on the receipt for Previous Balance and Balance Due, in addition to the Statement Balance.
- Rates can now be set up based on Site Class instead of (or in addition to) Site Type. This allows more flexibility in Site Type definitions, without requiring duplication of rate definitions.
- An "Unassigned" option has been added to the Site Type selection drop-down for appropriate tab views (Arrivals, Departures, On Site and Payments Due), for quick viewing of unassigned reservations, including day passes.
- The Search Grid function (Alt-S or F9) can now be used to Search in the New Reservations dialog to quickly jump to a specific site (or locate a customer), like it does on the Rack view. The Search Grid function is also available on the right-click menu.
- A New Reservation function is available on the right-click menu when clicking on the Site name (or type) on the rack. This is useful when no empty cell is readily visible for that site.
- A Payments Due filtering option has been added to allow showing any reservations with their paid-through dates coming up within a given number of days in the future.
- Transaction Notes entered on the Transactions dialog will now only be attached to the new transactions, instead of all of them. To see notes for a specific transaction, check the "Details" box and scroll the list to see the other fields.
- Additional fields have been added to the Transaction History view (reference, payment type, and discount used).
- Charges and Discounts are printed on receipts in their "original" order, instead of putting all discounts below all charges.
- When a Discount is used that doesn't exist in a customer's list of discounts, it's added to that customer automatically (if there's room).
- When the "Enter Deposit" function is used from the Guarantee Reservation dialog, it not only opens the Transactions dialog but immediately prompts for deposit information.
- Nearly all dialogs now support Ctrl-Enter as a quick way to do the "Done"/"OK"/"Save"/"Close" function.
- Both Site name and description are shown on the site quick-info window (instead of just the description).
- There are now 5 possible tax rates instead of 4.
- The "Intended Stay" value on the Reservation Details has been replaced with the actual number of nights.
- When printing a reservation from the Reservation Details dialog, linked reservations are also printed.
- The number of nights has been added to the reservation quick-info popup window.
- When editing values in a grid (e.g. Transactions), the entire value is selected initially so it can be replaced without back-spacing over it.
- A new color coding has been added for checked-out reservations with a non-zero balance (red text).
- When summarizing transaction reports, it will default to Daily summarizing instead of Monthly.
- An option has been added to Transaction summary reports to include a column for Prior dates, with an all-time total.
- An option has been added to Transaction summary reports to include Cumulative totals for each period.
- Options have been added to Occupancy reports to group by each Site or Site Class (instead of just Site Type).
- Options have been added to reports to show summaries Quarterly.
- An option has been added to the Occupancy, Unfulfilled, and How-heard reports to show total possible sites along with the calculated number. This only applies if not showing the report as percentages, and when selected will show the values in fractional format (e.g. "3/6"). Previously this was the standard way, but now it can be turned off so only the number ("3") is shown. This is helpful when the data needs to be exported to Excel, for instance, for further manipulation.
- Reservation filtering has been added to the Occupancy, How-Heard and Unfulfilled reports, in place of the Site filtering (Site filtering is a sub-function of reservation filtering).
- Reservation filtering now includes filtering by Free Site and Extended Stay status.
- The Transactions tab can now be viewed by Clerk and Reservation access levels.
- Meter reports, mailing lists/envelopes, and the Backup Database function are now available to Reservation access (previously required Manager level).
- The options on the Meter reports are remembered each time, and the date range is remembered relative to the current day. For instance, if you enter dates 40 and 30 days prior to today, the next time you open the report it will use dates 40 and 30 days prior to the new current day.
- The Payments Due tab cannot be viewed by the Clerk level.
- Fixed transaction reports so that if it's showing by Operator (e.g. the Balance quick-report), all operator names used will be included even if that operator is no longer in the database.
- Fixed a bug with Unfulfilled Reservations report calculations.
- Fixed so a reservation's Discount Used is properly updated after entering transactions.
- Fixed synchronization of the day-of-week reservation fields.
- Fixed How-Heard & Unfulfilled reports to remember their filter settings properly.
- Fixed the fields that should be synchronized with reservation changes (don't sync time/date made, for instance)
- Fixed a bug when splitting a reservation with a Blocked date (blocked date on original should be cleared).
- Fixed Transaction Quick-Reports so option changes made before the quick-report button is pressed are saved and take effect (e.g. Hide Zeros, Summarize-by, Orientation, etc.).
- All known possibilities of creating conflicting reservations have been eliminated (there were some cases where concurrent reservation changes could cause conflicts of one was changed).