Site Redesigned! (Finally)

Well the last design had a good run and it did what it needed to do. But it was looking dated and needed an overhaul. We have a adopted a more modern WordPress style site with some of the new bells and whistles. It runs smoothly and has a lot better SEO plus a boost to performance. Should be a great start to a more interactive experience.

While I was looking over the redesign, I did a little bit of research on archive.org (check it out if you never have) and got to see a few older iterations of our site. I thought I’d share some of them for kicks and giggles (yes I used a sanitized form of the phrase).

Announcing FASTbook 5.6

FASTbook 5.6 is here. This is the largest update we’ve had in years, and for good reason.

We have added much of the necessary work to prepare for the new database version and bring FASTbook up to par with more of the leading edge technologies. The database is now running on dialect 3 which means improved versatility. Also, all the financial fields have been changed from floating point to binary-coded decimals. This is a more accurate method of saving decimal numbers. In the past there were some issues with rounding that could occur. This eliminates those. There were some other changes at the database level to improve performance.

We have added a new calendar report that should work much faster and allow printing of multiple months at a time. There is also a simple report-building feature that turns SQL statements into nice looking reports (For Advanced Users who understand SQL).

There is a slight change to the look and feel of FASTbook. We have changed the desktop icon from the old blue ‘F’ to a new purple background with a lightning bolt. This was in response to a lot of confusion with our original logo and the popularity of Facebook which had adopted a similar logo. There is a new splash screen on start-up and some of the icons along the main toolbar have been updated to be more visible and represent their purpose a bit more.

To assist with FASTbook Online processing events can now be canceled from the calendar screen. You can right click on the event below the calendar and select ‘Cancel’. Also, when you get in program messages about new FASTbook Online events, the subject line should show the event name if applicable.

Here is a list of other features and changes in FASTbook 5.6.1.1505

  • Added fbclient.dll location to the about screen
  • Added invoice fields to event auditing
  • Added error handling for corrupt calendar filters
  • Removed some corrupt calendar filters from the demo data
  • Updated default calendar color from tan to light blue which drastically improves the aesthetic
  • Updated version check to background threading to avoid stoppage when websites are down
  • Updated Reporting components and print drivers for stability and better support for Windows 7/8/10
  • Fixed mouse wheel support on report previews
  • Fixed an issues in Event Detail where clearing show times might generate an error
  • Fixed copyright year in executable information
  • Fixed an issue where one could not book labor once it had been booked for that day
  • Fixed custom user field editing error when dates are used and then information deleted
  • Fixed room booking schedule to allow for entire email to be exported

Please Note:

This update contains a substantial update to your database. It is recommended that you make a backup of your fbdata.fdb file prior to running this update. This is a precaution in case anything out of the ordinary should occur.

For more information on this release or to schedule an update, please call us at (480) 517-9990 or email our technical support at support@eventsoft.com

What If My Firebird Version is Wrong?

The latest version of FASTbook checks to see if you are running the correct version of the Firebird database. This is to assure maximum stability and prevent any data corruption issues. It also greatly improves the efficiency and speed of the program.

As of this writing, the correct Firebird version is 1.5.6. If either your server or client files are out of date, here is what you should do.

Server

If the server is not version 1.5.6, you can download it here: Download Link

This should be installed by a skilled IT person on your database server, while no one is using FASTbook. Its usually recommended to uninstall the old version completely before installing the new one. Make sure to also stop the service if its running. We have had issues with the install not correctly stopping the server first.

After 1.5.6 is installed, your server files should be up to date.

Client

If your client files are out of date, you can do the following:

Go to your Firebird database server and locate the Firebird install directory. In it is a subdirectory named ‘bin’. Within that directory should be a file named fbclient.dll. Right clicking it and going to properties should help you determine if it is indeed the correct 1.5.6 version.

Take that file and place it somewhere that all the client machines have access to. Also, make a copy of the fbclient.dll file and name it gds32.dll.

Now you will need to replace any instance of those two files with the new ones we just prepared. Both files should be copied over.

The most likely places for them to be are – Your fbwin50\bin directory – Your Windows\system32 directory – Your Windows\syswow64 directory

If you find it other places you can replace those as well. The above mentioned should be the most common locations.

Once you have removed any old versions of fbclient.dll and gds32.dll, and you have replaced them with the new versions, you should be able to relaunch FASTbook without the warning. This last step will need to be applied to every workstation FASTbook is run on.

Assuring the versions are proper helps eliminate many inconsistency issues, data stability issues, and performance speeds.

If you have any issues or need assistance, please contact Event Software technical support.

FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.21.1449

Here is a list of NEW features and changes in FASTbook 5.5.21.1449

  • Upgraded Reporting components for stability and better support for Windows 7 and 8
  • Improved Excel (XLS) exports
  • Fixed issue where invoicing and reports would not show a preview but would still print.
  • Fixed issue preventing the deletion of fees and tickets
  • Fixed issue where a daily resource report was not calculating overtime labor properly.
  • Moved Attachments tab to the top portion of Event Details screen to make the layout more consistent with event level items
  • Ctrl-A will now make a screenshot and create an email to send to our support staff
  • Changed database connection error so it was more user friendly
  • Fixed payment totals on invoice
  • Removed outdated accounting integration in favor of new exporting modules
  • Fixed a number of windows integration bugs, including text not always appearing on tabs
  • Total attendance label on Room Booking Schedule was overlapping data, this was corrected
  • updated internal XML processing components
  • updated internal HTML viewing components used in social screen
  • updated development environment and OS to increase better compatibility with Win 7/8
  • upgraded compiler for stability and performance enhancements
  • updated toolbar and menu’s for better integration into windows 7/8
  • Added notification for installations that are using an incorrect version of Firebird**
  • Improved FASTbook update notification so it no longer warns for versions older than what is currently installed
  • New room’s were forced to be created with an initial capital letter. This restriction was removed.
  • Updated color drop downs on some screens

Please Note:

This version checks to make sure you have the proper version of Firebird both client and server. If you do not you need to update those components immediately as running the wrong version may cause database instabilities.

For more information on this release or to schedule an update, please call us at (480) 517-9990 or email our technical support at support@eventsoft.com

FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.21.1395

NEW FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.21.1395

Here is a list of NEW features and changes in FASTbook

  • Upgraded to a faster memory manager should increase application speed and reduce memory issues
  • Fixed some memory leaks that occurred sporadically in the application
  • Improved error message when attachments fail to open. It now lists the text of the message not just the error number.
  • Added next/prev buttons to sub resources this will allow you to scroll to the next room while within each resource.
  • Added subevent attendance total to ticketing tab
  • Added subroutines to help prevent overloading SQL engine.
  • Fixed copyright dates on executable (internal does not effect user)
  • Fixed bug that would sometimes cause Room Event Monthly Timeline to draw incorectly
  • Fixed rate calculations on rooms that were scheduled past midnight and/or had more than 12 hours per day.
  • Updated some queries to better use indexes (speed enhancement)
  • Fixed bug preventing Equipment report from running.
  • Added routines to help FASTbook work with new installer.
  • Added option to Event Information report allowing for a solid line instead of double dashed line.
  • Fixed Event Information Report to correctly show which labor rate is being used.
  • Added routines to Invoicing screen and Event Information report to help prevent redrawing issues and sql overload
  • Fixed rate multi assign so it correctly assigned square foot rates

For more information on this release or to schedule an update, please call us at (480) 517-9990 or email our technical support at support@eventsoft.com.

FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.21.1336

NEW FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.21.1363

Here is a list of NEW features and changes in FASTbook

  • Fixed bug in Copy Subevents that caused the show times to get the wrong embedded date.
  • Extended new add client pop-up to allow for address and communication information entry.
  • Fixed menu pointing to old fbsetup.exe file
  • Fixed a TChart error message that occured randomly.

For more information on this release or to schedule an update, please call us at (480) 517-9990 or email our technical support at support@eventsoft.com.

FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.20.1359

NEW FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.20.1359

Here is a list of NEW features and changes in FASTbook

  • Introducing the new Client Detail screen – this new screen is similar to Event Detail but is centered around a single client not a single event. This new functionality makes FASTbook useable as a contact management system as well as an event scheduling system. Also, more fields to store internet related items such as emails and URLs were added.

Client-Detail-Screen-Main

For each client you will be able to access:
  • Contacts
  • Tasks
  • Notes / History
  • Events
  • Attachments
  • Invoices

 

client-detail-lower-grid

 

  • Adding new clients and contacts in either Event Detail or FASTbooking should now be much faster. You will only need to add the bare minimum of information at the time. This will allow you to book as quickly as possible and let you go back later to fill in more detailed information about new clients/contacts.
  • Added ability to set FASTbook Online passwords in contact editing.
  • Added a new labor overview in the calendar screen. A third tab ‘Labor’, behind ‘Month’ and ‘Week’, allows you to see a labor overview for any given day.

Labor-Tab---Employees

  • Employees can now be added at the location level on the new Labor view. This will allow someone to be scheduled as a booth operator, house manager, etc.
  • Fixed bug in event labor scheduling.
  • Added a field in room setup that designates a room for use in net square footage calculations.

Rooms-Setup-Net-Use-Checkbo

  • Added two buttons to Event Detail to automatically calculate square footage, gross and net, for events. Each room’s square footage added together will compute the gross square footage. Each room that is marked as ‘use for net’ will be added to achieve net square footage. When not using the new buttons, the fields are free form entry as they always have been.

Event-Detail-Square-Footage

  • Fixed the copy rate to other client categories function when copying square footage rates. Previously no rate amounts were being copied.
  • Altered both labor reports to show house labor if present.
  • Added ability to set custom font in personal preferences. This custom override font is currently NOT used on any reports. This is just a provision to allow new reports and updated older reports to have a specified user defined font. At this time no reports use this, but in future updates they will start appearing.
  • Fixed bug in edit task that caused the grid not to update after new tasks were added.
  • Added button on menu bar ‘List Panel’ that will hide or show the right side list bar.

listpanelbutton

  • Community page now shows up once per week instead of oncer per log in.
  • Rearranged a few fields on Event Detail to better utilize screen space.

Event-Detail-Screen-Sales-R

  • Reworked email authentication. It should now work with most email systems.
  • Changed icons for showing and hiding panels.
  • Added functionality to prevent users from being deleted while they are still in use.
  • All new versions of FASTbook should be designed to better utilize larger monitors. Previously screens were designed to fit 800×600.
  • Fixed screen cursor getting stuck on hourglass in labor.
  • Fixed Ticklers checkmark so that it more accurately denotes when an event has ticklers.
  • Fixed a bug in event labor where it was not refreshing after saves.
  • Fixed bug that left the database connected, though not accessible, after a bad login attempt.
  • Updated internet components internally.
  • Updated database drivers internally.

For more information on this release or to schedule an update, please call us at (480) 517-9990 or email our technical support at support@eventsoft.com.

NEW FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.19.1335

NEW FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.19.1335

Here is a list of NEW features and changes in FASTbook

  • Reworked balanced due/refund due logic in invoice. (7/2011)
  • Fixed charge checkboxes in edit charge/tax/discount screen.
  • Added global filters
  • Updated all printer subroutines, assuring support for windows 7 and 64bit machines. This should fix sporadic reporting issues sometimes associated with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 systems.
  • Added NEW Avails & Bookings calendar report. This new report can show either bookings or avails on a landscape or portrait calendar. It can also print out multiple months at the same time.
  • Removed “New Style” monthly calendar report. This report was made obselete by the new Avails & Bookings calendar report.
  • Fixed preview screen for calendar reports, should correctly be ablle to be emailed now and added a Print to PDF button.
  • Fixed PDF creation routines for all reports.

For more information on this release or to schedule an update, please call us at (480) 517-9990 or email our technical support at support@eventsoft.com.

Printers!!

Give me a moment to rant, won’t you?

Printers, can I tell you how much I despise printers and all the headaches they create for me? Not only do printers affect my professional life, but they seem to make my personal life much more complex than a typewriter with an ego should.

It seems that every time the folks at Windows decide I need to update some feature on my computer that I never knew existed or don’t use in the first place, my printer stops working. I didn’t unplug anything or delete anything or change any settings on my system except for FINALLY updating after the hundredth time of seeing the dumb reminder to update. I think I purposely leave my computer on, just so I won’t see that pop-up every time I just want to do a little online shopping or make a funny tweet about something my cat did. Don’t mock, my cat is hilarious. Anyway, it drives me crazy, especially since I print something maybe once a quarter. So when I attempt to print my boarding pass for the one trip a year I get to take, an hour later, some tears and some very violent threats to my printer, computer and the ridiculous people who invented such unnecessary “tools” to make my life “easier”, before I ever get to see the dreaded “Group C” on my boarding pass. I should have just saved the headache and checked in at the airport anyway.

Professionally, printers have it out for me as well. Reports in FASTbook use whatever your default printer on your system to generate the print preview and whatever is generated in the print preview is what is spit out on the actual print. Well, guess what, almost EVERY TIME Windows makes an update, your print drivers and print spoolers are changed as well, which means FASTbook now has issues printing reports. This typically requires all print drivers being removed from the computer, a PDF Printer installed (we always recommend BullZip, it’s free, easy and seems to work well www.bullzip.com), then trying to generate reports with the PDF printer as the default. Once we have tricked Windows into working with the PDF printer, you should be able to install your printer’s updated print drivers and make your printer the default.

It is a lot of headache for something that seems so easy and trivial, but as it turns out is the nature of the beast.

NEW FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.19.1327

Here is a list of NEW features and changes in FASTbook

  • Fixed some old links in the Help menu.
  • Added Social Media information for Event Software in Help menu. This should make being part of the FASTbook community much easier.
  • Renamed ‘FASTbook Direct’ to ‘FASTbook Community’ in the Help menu.
  • Added links for our Facebook page into the Help > About screen.
  • The ‘What’s New in the Community’ screen will now display when you log into FASTbook. This will inform of you any changes or additions in the lastest update, new product releases, community conversations, etc. This screen includes:
    • Latest blog entries
    • Facebook posts
    • Twitter updates
    • Contact information for Event Software
  • Added an option in a new tab in Personal Settings to disable the ‘What’s New in the Community’ from displaying on start up.

For more information on this release or to schedule an update, please call us at (480) 517-9990 or email our technical support at support@eventsoft.com.