We recently finalized and posted our latest build of SOLO Server: 126.96.36.199.
There are a lot of internal enhancements to help us better communicate account status updates with our customers, including in-app notifications when our servers are updated with new features. In fact, you may have found your way to this blog post through our new notification engine! We have also fully automated our monthly credit card billing process to save time for our accounting department.
Daily Process Enhancements
First, while looking through the archives of our previous blog posts, we realized that we never announced a feature specifically geared to significantly reduce time-consuming administrative issues that tend to be commonly associated with the nature of subscription-based software sales. Two new batch jobs were previously made available:
- Courtesy Billing Reminder: This optional job will send an auto-generated e-mail to your customers in advance of their next subscription billing date. This e-mail will remind your customers that their credit card is about to be charged for the next installment and provide them with a link to a page where they can cancel their subscription, if desired.
- Expiration Date Notification: This optional job will send an e-mail to your customers warning them of the approaching expiration date of the credit card they have on file. This e-mail will include a link to the Customer License Portal, where they will be able to conveniently update their credit card information in advance of the next renewal date.
We know that these daily jobs — each designed to allow Instant SOLO Server Authors to be proactive instead of reactive — will result not only in a boost of revenue flow for your business but also a noticeable reduction in the amount of valuable time spent on support-related activities. Please open a support ticket to have these configured on your account.
In this most recent build:
- The subscription billing process was enhanced to support a special condition preventing the Expiration Date Notification daily job from working under all conditions.
- The customer subscription expiration notification daily process has been a great tool to notify customers when their software maintenance or software license is about to expire or has expired. This daily process now supports two new settings to provide more control over the notifications being sent to customers:
- ExcludeActivePaymentPlanLicenses – Determines whether to exclude licenses associated with an active payment plan instance. Since these customers are set up for automatic billing, you may want to exclude them from an expiration notification warning.
- ExcludeUpgradeLicenses – When set to true, any licenses with Upgrade status will be excluded regardless of the upgrade behavior specified on the product option.
Here are some additional features that you may want to check out:
- All customer notification related daily processes now support a new OverrideOfferProduct optional input parameter. Previously, e-mails were only sent to eligible customers who have the Notify Product setting enabled on their customer record. When enabling this new parameter, e-mails will be sent to all eligible customers regardless of the Notify Products setting. This allows you to leverage the new Cart Options released in SOLO Server 188.8.131.52 to disable the display of the notification checkboxes on the shopping cart and customer license portal.
- When manually activating a license through the Protection PLUS 4 manual activation page in the administration interface, you can now optionally ask your customer for the name or description of the computer being activated and specify an Installation Name during activation. This name or description will show up in the activation log to make it easier to identify computers using the license, helping make license audits easier.
- The SOLO Server shopping cart can process credit card transactions in any single currency, as chosen by the author. Our shopping cart PayPal Payments Pro integration now supports specifying the currency code for transactions.
- Auditing of database changes on the Authors, Products, and Product Options tables is now enabled by default, allowing you to track the who, what, and when of all changes are made to these tables. Previously this auditing feature needed to be enabled manually.
- We have noticed that many modern browsers have made changes to prevent the SOLO Server embedded reports from showing up inline. The Save to Disk checkbox is now checked on all reports by default.
- To allow for more elaborate Product Option descriptions, the description field is no longer limited to 255 characters.
You can read the full release notes here.