LightSpeed 3.6

3.6 is out! It’s a big one and it claims to put the ‘speed’ back into ‘LightSpeed’. (Actually, those are my words but I couldn’t resist.)

Many clients complained to me that as of upgrading from LS2 to LS3, they noticed it was slower. This was expected given the switch to a new database engine as the code would need to be rewritten to take advantage of it and the promise that we would eventually reap the reward of this change kept the faithful at bay.

Well, it seems that with version 3.6, we are finally starting to see the benefits of this as it boasts speed and performance improvements for all users. The reports have yet to be compiled but I’ll be very interested to hear from clients with large databases to see if they notice the improvements.

The release notes are long with many improvements in almost all areas of LightSpeed. The focus of this (and several previous releases) seems to be on improving existing features and fixing problems instead of releasing new features. This is something that had been complained of on the forums for a long time and Xsilva seems to have received the message loud and clear.

Backup Notices

Who has time to check their backups every day? Not me. So, what happens if LightSpeed fails to create an archive file during it’s scheduled backup routine? Until now, nothing. Luckily, a new feature has been added that notifies Administrator and Manager level users upon login if a backup has not occurred within the last 7 days. I would have preferred more options than this such as setting the tolerance and emailing a backup report to an administrator, but this will certainly help. Of course, this won’t work for 1-user LightSpeed users that never logout… so, a change in procedure might be in order for these folks.

New Payment Method Options

It always seemed silly to me that the cash drawer opened even if I choose a payment method that didn’t require access to it. It also seemed odd that I could control the number of receipts that were printed depending on payment method. For example, if they paid cash, I only needed one copy for them. If they paid via credit card, I needed two copies… one for them and one for me that they would sign. Thankfully, these two things are taken care of with this version.

New Privilege System

One of the signs of a well designed client/server solution is the separation of duties between the client software that the user runs on their computer and the server that holds all the data. Originally, the server simply held the data and served it out given various requests from the client software, but it’s an increasingly good design practice to remove the burden of making decisions from the client software and program these into the server. As LightSpeed branches out with multiple ways of accessing the data in the LightSpeed server, it only makes sense that these functions would be centralized.

Because privileges need to be standard across the entire system, regardless of the method of access (LightSpeed, LightSpeed mobile, API, etc…), it’s important that these get moved to the server level and that’s what has happened behind the scenes here. The result, if you’re just looking, is a brand new Privileges window. It’s got a cleaner look and even groups the privileges by category because the list was getting so long.

 

In summary, this is a great release for LightSpeed and I’m sure that the new features and increased performance will be well received. Still, as with any major software release, I’m cautioning all of my clients to lay low and wait until the dust settles before applying this upgrade to their mission-critical business system. The ‘point-one’ version shouldn’t be far behind. 😉

Here are the release notes for this version…

  • Accounting Exports
    • Decreased the export time when exporting to QuickBooks with a large number of GL accounts configured
  • API
    • Corrected a potential error when creating an invoice with a walk-in customer
  • Browser
    • Improved performance when logging in and switching between Browser tabs
    • Resolved a display issue with decimal quantities displayed in the Order Requests area
    • Task progress windows no longer appear under as a blank entry under the Window menu
  • Credit Card Processing
    • Australian customers can now process payments through Tyro Payments
    • Improved workflow when processing transactions on external credit card terminals
    • Processors can now be to set to display Address Verification System (AVS) results when processing keyed-in transactions
    • Refund and void amounts are now automatically set to the appropriate value based on the return invoice balance and the original payment amount
    • Swiped sales made through Merchant Warehouse now display the customer name correctly on their virtual terminal
    • External credit card terminals are now managed in a central setup window, and stations select a terminal to use under Station Setup
  • eCommerce
    • Addressed an issue when uploading photos for child products to Web Store if the child’s master product also has photos requiring upload
    • Customers downloaded from Web Store and Magento are now created with the correct tax code
    • Improved the handling of discounted line items when downloading orders from Web Store where promo codes have been used
    • Improved the mapping of description fields when uploading products to Magento
    • Payments that are downloaded from Web Store and Magento now appear with their correct source ID on End of Day reports
    • Product images now print on orders and invoices downloaded from Web Store if enabled on the Company Setup window
    • Products are now uploaded to Magento with tax-inclusive pricing when enabled
    • Removed an incorrect timeout error that could appear when uploading large numbers of products
    • Removed extraneous error messages when downloading orders from Magento
    • Resolved a potential crash when switching the upload target from Web Store to Magento
    • Updating a product’s main image now correctly flags it for upload to Web Store
    • Uploading to Magento now checks for the presence of the LightSpeed-Magentor Connector before beginning upload
  • General
    • Addressed a rare case that could cause serialized products to not be added or removed from inventory correctly
    • Fixed a rare crash that could occur when logging out
    • Administrator and Manager users are now notified on login if no automated backups have completed successfully in the last 7 days
    • Corrected a display issue that may cause inventory quantities greater than 7 digits to display as scientific notation
    • Corrected a rare case that could cause documents to pre-populate with the same address when adding customers that have no address information entered
    • Reloading a customer on a document no longer causes the contents of the PO field to clear
  • Import Tools
    • Improved handling of file encodings to prevent a crash when importing non-UTF8 encoded text files
    • Updating products can now re-link child products that are not linked to an existing master product
  • Invoice
    • Addressed a rare issue that could cause an invoice total to display as zero dollars in the Browser after taking a credit card payment
    • Corrected issues with the calculation of backorder quantities when prompted to backorder products
    • The tax code for the invoice no longer resets when generating an invoices from an order or quote if the tax code has been manually set
    • Walk-in customer information is no longer reset when converting a quote to an invoice
  • iStats
    • Customer names are now escaped correctly to prevent the Intelligence tab from loading as a black page
  • Job
    • Invoicing a job with different tasks now sets the labour quantity correctly
  • Labelling
    • Add checks to prevent a crash when designing a label that is too small to have a printable area
  • LightSpeed Server
    • Adjusted the logging level to prevent unnecessary log entries from appearing in the Console application
    • Improved performance when 10+ clients are connected
    • Improved performance when handling large numbers of connections
    • Improved the speed of large database queries
  • Live Rules
    • Queries to run live rules are now generated dynamically to avoid potential crashes
  • Login Window
    • Resolved a display issue on Mac OS X 10.7 when connecting after one or more failed login attempts
    • The last used server is now stored correctly when closing the login window with the close button in the top-left corner of the window
  • Multi-Store:
    • Updated the replication options label to clarify functionality
  • Payments
    • Added checks to prevent hidden characters from being pasted into the Number field when saving payments
    • Payment methods can now be configured to automatically open the cash drawer
    • Payment methods can now be configured to automatically print a set number of invoices
  • POS Screen
    • Addressed a rare crash that may occur if only one product photo has been added
    • After scanning a serial number, the focus now moves to the next serial number entry field
    • Corrected an issue that could prevent customer phone numbers from displaying correctly in search results
    • Exiting the POS screen without the privilege to return to the Browser now correctly frees up the user license that was in use
    • Improved performance when scanning products to add to an invoice
    • Invoicing a product that contains international character in its custom fields no longer causes a crash
    • Phone numbers longer than 10 digits are no longer truncated incorrectly
    • Product sell prices are no longer displayed twice on pole displays
    • The window to select historical credit card payments when doing an invoice return is now only displayed if the original invoice has credit card payments present
  • Printing
    • Addressed a display issue when printing full-page invoices that contain prices that use international currency separators and have a decimal value that end with a single zero
  • Privileges
    • Re-designed privilege window with support for server-side privileges
  • Products
    • Resolved an intermittent crash when adding or replacing large numbers of product photos
  • Purchase Order
    • Addressed a rare issue that may cause inventory quantities to not transfer correctly when creating a PO from an order
    • Changing the tax code on a PO is now reflected correctly when re-opening the PO
    • Serialized products received on POs no longer appears as individual inventory history records
    • The PO status is now set correctly to ‘Partially Received’ when appropriate
  • Reporting
    • Added an Inventory Count report that only shows products that are marked as Current or that have an inventory quantity
    • Deposits on SROs, quotes and orders are now displayed correctly on Accounts Receivable Aging reports
    • Disabled filters that are not applicable when running Accounts Receivable reports
    • Printing an End of Day report on a receipt printer no longer cuts off data on the right side of the page
    • Removed the timestamp that was incorrectly displaying in the date column in multiple reports
  • Scheduled Tasks
    • Timestamps are now displayed correctly when viewing historical tasks in the Scheduled Task History window
  • Server Manager
    • Successfully removing a licensed server will now release the license key for that server
  • Set Product Info
    • Setting the POS and/or Web Categories for products is now reflected immediately
  • Setup
    • Corrected a potential crash when deleting POS and Web categories
    • Importing GL Accounts from MYOB that contain special characters will no longer cause a crash
    • Improved the scaling quality when inserting a POS logo larger than 255 x 140 pixels in the POS Setup window
    • Primary POS and Web categories are now displayed correctly after creation
    • Removed unused field translations from list
    • Saving a tax name longer than 10 characters no longer causes a crash
  • Smart Finds
    • Public Smart Finds now display for all users without requiring a re-save
  • SRO
    • Addressed a potential crash when printing SRO labels
  • Taxes
    • Corrected an issue with the calculation of compound taxes if the compound tax is not the last defined tax in the Taxes setup window
  • Tills
    • Resolved a potential crash when re-opening a till when international currency separators are used
  • Transfer Inventory
    • Fixed a rare issue that could cause transfers of decimal quantities to display extraneous decimal places in the warehouse inventory quantity
  • Updater
  • LightSpeed clients now log out before starting the auto-update process

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