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July 2013 - New Features

Table of contents
  1. Overview
  2. Highlights
    1. Zuora July Release
    2. Zuora Quotes Q2 '13 Release
    3. Zuora 360 Q2 '13 Release
    4. Z-Reporting Upgrade
  3. New Zuora features
    1. Finance
      1. New Feature - Chart of Accounts
        1. User interface
        2. Conversion and new customers
      2. Z-Suite integration now has a field for Recognized Revenue
    2. Commerce, Billing, and Payment
      1. Authorize.net payment gateway integration now supports EUR, GBP, CAD, and USD
      2. New validations for invoice and quote templates
    3. Zuora APIs
      1. REST API
        1. The autoPay field is now supported in all REST API calls to Accounts
        2. Support for autoPay field added to all account calls in our REST-based Java and Ruby Sample Code Libraries
        3. REST API subscription calls now support MRR and TCV fields
      2. SOAP API
        1. WSDL Version
  4. Resolved issues
    1. Billing and Payments
      1. Transferring a subscription between accounts could result in multiple invoices for the same billing period
      2. Invoice failure while rating due to discount date-range boundary issue
    2. SOAP API
      1. Collecting payments with subscribe() call failed due to not resetting payment retry counter
      2. Amend() call allowed negative quantity for unit-based rate plan charges
      3. Undefined error returned for subscribe() calls involving multiple recurring-charge rate plans and auto-set BCD
      4. Invoice cancellation behavior was not consistent between UI and API
  5. Maintenance Release R166.1
    1. Finance
      1. Unable to process some payments without Override Accounting Code permission
      2. Unable to cancel payment after adding accounting code to the payment method
      3. The SOAP API TaxationItem object erroneously required the optional TaxCode field
    2. Commerce
      1. Issues with assurance of unique External ID when adding new Z-360 records to Salesforce data
  6. Maintenance Release R166.2
  7. Maintenance Release R166.3
    1. Finance
      1. Cannot process an electronic payment when using Internet Explorer 8
      2. During a large data migration, the system throws a 503 error "Service Temporarily Unavailable"
    2. Payments
      1. New payment methods fail for European payment processors because the email address was not passed
  1. Overview
  2. Highlights
    1. Zuora July Release
    2. Zuora Quotes Q2 '13 Release
    3. Zuora 360 Q2 '13 Release
    4. Z-Reporting Upgrade
  3. New Zuora features
    1. Finance
      1. New Feature - Chart of Accounts
        1. User interface
        2. Conversion and new customers
      2. Z-Suite integration now has a field for Recognized Revenue
    2. Commerce, Billing, and Payment
      1. Authorize.net payment gateway integration now supports EUR, GBP, CAD, and USD
      2. New validations for invoice and quote templates
    3. Zuora APIs
      1. REST API
        1. The autoPay field is now supported in all REST API calls to Accounts
        2. Support for autoPay field added to all account calls in our REST-based Java and Ruby Sample Code Libraries
        3. REST API subscription calls now support MRR and TCV fields
      2. SOAP API
        1. WSDL Version
  4. Resolved issues
    1. Billing and Payments
      1. Transferring a subscription between accounts could result in multiple invoices for the same billing period
      2. Invoice failure while rating due to discount date-range boundary issue
    2. SOAP API
      1. Collecting payments with subscribe() call failed due to not resetting payment retry counter
      2. Amend() call allowed negative quantity for unit-based rate plan charges
      3. Undefined error returned for subscribe() calls involving multiple recurring-charge rate plans and auto-set BCD
      4. Invoice cancellation behavior was not consistent between UI and API
  5. Maintenance Release R166.1
    1. Finance
      1. Unable to process some payments without Override Accounting Code permission
      2. Unable to cancel payment after adding accounting code to the payment method
      3. The SOAP API TaxationItem object erroneously required the optional TaxCode field
    2. Commerce
      1. Issues with assurance of unique External ID when adding new Z-360 records to Salesforce data
  6. Maintenance Release R166.2
  7. Maintenance Release R166.3
    1. Finance
      1. Cannot process an electronic payment when using Internet Explorer 8
      2. During a large data migration, the system throws a 503 error "Service Temporarily Unavailable"
    2. Payments
      1. New payment methods fail for European payment processors because the email address was not passed

Overview

We are pleased to provide you with a summary of our Zuora July 2013 release (R166, R166.1, R166.2, R166.3), including new features and resolved issues. Also, check our Highlights for Zuora Quotes Q2 '13 release information.  

Highlights

Zuora July Release

Our July 2013 Zuora release (7/16/13) includes:

✓ Chart of accounts: Exciting changes are under way in our overall accounting features and especially in Z-Finance. This month we've revamped our accounting codes into a working Chart of Accounts. You'll see new fields and structure, new management tools, and better control - plus fewer errors and greater ease-of-use. If you use Zuora's accounting codes, we encourage you to spend a moment reading the notes below.

✓ Multi-currency support on the Authorize.net Gateway: We've updated our Authorize.net integration to support payment processing in USD, CAD, GBP, and EUR - great news for many of our customers who are expanding into international trade.

✓ REST API / Sample Code Libraries: The Commerce REST API is still growing. Calls to view or update Accounts now support the autoPay field - in the REST API as well as the associated Java and Ruby Sample Code Libraries. In addition, subscription calls in REST now show you the MRR and TCV.

✓ New error messages for invoice templates and quote templates: As we prepare to upgrade our high-volume PDF generator, we've added new warnings and error messages for templates that may be formatted in ways that will conflict with the new software. So if you're suddenly getting warnings or error messages about your templates, read our notes below on new validations for invoice and quote templates.

Read on for more information about these and other changes in the latest release of Zuora.

Zuora Quotes Q2 '13 Release

In the Q2 '13 release, we've implemented numerous major enhancements to Z-Force Quotes with expanded power and configurability: Edit section

✓ Support for more out-of-the box use cases in the quoting flow, including:

  • Capturing electronic payment methods as part of the quoting flow
  • Cancelling a subscription directly via Z-Force Quotes
  • Selecting a quote contact from a parent and/or children accounts
  • Ability to sort, paginate, search quote templates when generating quote document, and associate a specific quote template with the quote. 

✓ Improved quote workflow UI configurability, including:

  • Enhanced Z-Quote Configuration settings page that makes configuring Z-Force Quotes easier and simper
  • Configurable pages that allow admin users to quickly and easily add, update and remove page sections and fields, and change the column layout of lists and lookups. Additionally admin users now have further control over section properties and page layouts.
  • Enhanced lookup fields to add auto-complete functionality, as well as list column configuration in the lookup browse window.

✓ Easier overall usability, including:

  • Ability to localize labels and messages
  • Ability to update contacts and customer account information within Zuora directly from Zuora Quotes

For complete details, feast your eyes on the Z-Force Quotes Q2 '13 release notes.

Zuora 360 Q2 '13 Release

In the Q2 '13 release, we've made few enhancements to Zuora 360:

✓ SalesForce sync enhancements: We've improved SFDC sync performance when running Cleanup. We've add new fields to support sync operations.

✓ New zAPI methods: ThezqueryMore() method is for querying large datasets and the zgenerate() method is for generating on-demand invoices.

✓ Improvements help you determine if Z-Force Quotes or Z-Force 360 are installed. A new display section on the Z-Force 360 configuration screen shows whether Z-Force Quotes is installed. A new zApi tells you whether Z-Force 360 and Z-Force Quotes are installed.

For complete details, see Z-Force 360 Q2 '13 release notes.

Z-Reporting Upgrade

We've made a few changes to our reporting solution, including:

  • User Interface enhancements to make your reporting experience more intuitive.
    • Redesigned the Report List by replacing Action buttons with icons and a More Actions drop-down menu for each report you can take actions on.
    • Made improvements for creating custom reports, such as:
      • Column Selection tab now has a button to sort the Available Columns list.
      • Add options on the Filters tab  and Totals Tab have been redesigned.
  • Reporting infrastructure enhancements to improve performance.

New Zuora features

This release includes the following new features and enhancements.

Finance

New Feature - Chart of Accounts

This month we're taking a big step forward in accounting functionality. We've expanded our accounting codes feature into a true Chart of Accounts. Here are some of the key enhancements:

  1. Accounting codes are no longer free-form text. They are now stored in a Chart of Accounts that you can view on a list page and edit on a detail page.
  2. Pages that accept an accounting code now feature a structured drop-down list of your "active" codes, with the most relevant codes listed first. This increases accuracy and ease-of-use by allowing users to select codes, rather than requiring them to remember and type codes correctly.
  3. There are some differences for tenants with Z-Finance versus tenants without Z-Finance:
    • If you use Z-Finance:
      • You'll access the Chart of Accounts through the Z-Finance menu.
      • The Chart of Accounts includes new fields for Type (e.g., "Assets") and Notes.
      • You'll also see two additional fields: GL Account Number and GL Account Name. You can use these two optional, informational fields to map your Zuora accounting codes to the account codes in your general ledger chart of accounts.
      • See Set Up Chart of Accounts (under Z-Finance) for more information.
    • If you do not currently use Z-Finance:
      • You'll access the Chart of Accounts through the Z-Payments Settings menu.
      • The Chart of Accounts includes a Notes field. It does not allow you to choose the Type (e.g., "Assets"), but automatically assigns one.
      • See Chart of Accounts Settings for more information.
  4. In related data imports and API calls, if you specify an accounting code that is not recognized, it is automatically added to the Chart of Accounts and placed within an appropriate Type based on the context (payment, invoice, etc.). This upgrade is fully backward-compatible and your existing code will continue to work as it did.
User interface

The enhanced user interface is easy and intuitive for most users, even as it provides you with greater control. Unless they are personally responsible for editing the table of accounting codes, the only difference users will notice is a drop-down list instead of a free-form text field.

Conversion and new customers

For existing tenants who have used accounting codes, we've pre-populated your Chart of Accounts automatically with the account codes used in your past transactions. We suggest that you review the chart and deactivate any misspelled or incorrect codes that may have accumulated over time, so that they are not used in future data entry.

For new tenants and those who have not used accounting codes, the Chart of Accounts is pre-populated with standard accounting codes that may be all you need. We suggest that you review the chart, add any new codes that you're sure you'll use, and inactivate any unwanted codes (before they are used in any transactions).

As always, we encourage you to involve your CFO or Controller in decisions about your Z-Finance configuration.

Z-Suite integration now has a field for Recognized Revenue

For Z-Suite users, this month we've added a field for Recognized Revenue to the product detail page. You've been using the Deferred Revenue field to specify a deferred revenue account, and the more general Accounting Code field to specify a recognized revenue account. As we continue to ramp up our accounting features, it now makes more sense to use a matched pair of dedicated fields - Recognized Revenue and Deferred Revenue - that map to your NetSuite accounts.

We've taken the step of pre-populating your Recognized Revenue field with the code you've been using already, so although you now have a little more control than you did before, you don't have to take any action and you won't see any change in sync behavior.

The revenue recognition fields are defined on the Zuora Custom Fields page in our Z-Suite documentation.

Commerce, Billing, and Payment

Authorize.net payment gateway integration now supports EUR, GBP, CAD, and USD

The Authorize.net payment gateway, which formerly supported only US dollars, now also processes payments in Euros, British pounds, and Canadian dollars. So we've updated our Authorize.net integration to allow these additional currencies. This is good news for our customers who do business internationally and can now add Authorize.net to their payment gateway choices.

See Authorize.net Gateway for more information on this payment gateway.

 Our multi-currency support for Authorize.net goes live in our Production environment at 4pm Pacific on Friday, July 19. 

New validations for invoice and quote templatesEdit section

Later this year, Zuora will upgrade the high-performance, high-volume software that generates the PDF files for your invoices and quotes. In advance of that upgrade, we've added a few new validations to catch formatting issues in templates that could slow down or halt the new PDF generator. So over the next few weeks you may see warnings or error messages while uploading a template or viewing a list of your templates.  If you do, the following explanations and guidance should help resolve the issue.

To execute these instructions, you'll need to open the template document and be able to toggle the field code display on and off. There are several ways to do this in most editors. In Microsoft Word, for instance, you can toggle field codes on and off by pressing Shift-Alt-F9 on a Mac or Alt-F9 in Windows.

Here are the two issues you may run into, and a solution for each one:

1. Error message while attempting to upload a template. The message reads like this:

Error: This invoice template could not be uploaded because it contains errors.  In a valid template, each merge field can include either a custom formatting switch (for example: “\# $##.##”) or the "\* MERGEFORMAT" switch, but not both.  Before you can upload and save this template, you must edit it and remove all occurrences of merge fields that contain both a custom formatting switch and the "\* MERGEFORMAT" switch.

Explanation / resolution: In the new PDF generator, a merge field will not be allowed to contain both a formatting string (e.g., "\# ###,###,#00.00") and the "\*MERGEFORMAT" switch. To resolve this error:

1. Open the document and toggle to display the field codes. Find fields that include both a formatting string and a MERGEFORMAT switch ("\* MERGEFORMAT"), like this:

Merge_Fields_example_04b.png

2. Remove the MERGEFORMAT switch, including the backslash and asterisk, leaving a blank before the right curly brace, like this:

Merge_Fields_example_04c.png

3. Do this as needed with all the fields that contain both a formatting string and the MERGEFORMAT switch.

When finished, toggle off the field codes and save the template. You should not receive this error the next time you upload the template.

2. Warning message while uploading a template or viewing a list of templates. The message reads like this:

Warning: Inconsistent merge field fonts in template may affect performance.

Explanation / resolution: This message is caused by merge fields that use a different font depending on whether field codes are toggled on or off. For instance, a field configured to display the field values in Arial looks like this:

Merge_Fields_example_04a.png

But when you toggle field codes on, you might find that the field codes are formatted in Times New Roman, like this:

Merge_Fields_example_04d.png

This type of extra, "invisible" formatting makes no difference in the resulting document, but slows down the PDF generator and delays the production of your invoices or quotes. To eliminate this warning message:

1. With field codes toggled on, select the field:

Merge_Fields_example_04g.png

2. Set the font and font size of the field codes to match the font and font size of the field value.

Merge_Fields_example_04e.png

3. Do this as needed with other fields that have the same issue. If the entire document is designed to use a single font and font size, the fastest way to do this would be to toggle field codes on, select the entire document, and set the font and font size for the entire document all at once.

When finished, toggle off the field codes and save the template. You should not receive this warning once this has been done.

When creating new templates in the future, it's good to start by downloading the latest template and reviewing the current set of instructions. For invoice templates, these are at Settings > Z-Billing Settings > Manage Invoice Rules and Templates. For quote templates, you'll find them at Z-Force > Quote Templates.

Zuora APIs

REST API

The REST API is in controlled release. Contact Zuora Global Support to learn more about enabling it for your tenant.

The autoPay field is now supported in all REST API calls to Accounts

The autoPay field, which was added in R165 to our REST API Create account and Update account calls, is now also supported in our Get account and Get account summary calls. With this enhancement, auto-pay is now supported in all calls to view or update accounts in our REST API.

The Zuora REST API and related Java and Ruby Sample Code Libraries are designed to help you easily build web-based subscription storefronts (as opposed to the full back-office functionality of our SOAP API). Especially for B2C web stores, it's good to have the option of enabling auto-pay in your customer accounts, allowing you to automatically collect from customer credit cards every billing cycle.

Support for autoPay field added to all account calls in our REST-based Java and Ruby Sample Code Libraries

Now that all of our REST API account calls support the optional autoPay field (see above), we added auto-pay support to our REST-based Java and Ruby Sample Code Libraries as well.

For more about our REST-based software development kits, and links to extensive Java and Ruby code samples, see our REST Sample Code Libraries page.

REST API subscription calls now support MRR and TCV fields

REST API calls that view, preview, or create subscriptions now return the contractedMrr and totalContractedValue fields as part of the subscription detail. Similarly, REST API calls that change, renew, or cancel subscriptions now return the totalDeltaMrr and totalDeltaTcv fields. These new fields show the total of (or the change in) the Monthly Recurring Revenue and Total Contract Value for the subscription. The REST calls that support these fields are:

This powerful enhancement lets you instantly show your customers the financial result of the action being previewed or implemented - or have your application log the numbers for your own daily storefront activity report. This update brings the REST API up to parity with the SOAP API for this valuable information.

SOAP API

WSDL Version

For Release 166 the WSDL version is still 48.0, as originally released with R165. See The Zuora WSDL for information about downloading the current version.

Resolved issues

The following issues were resolved in this release.

Billing and Payments

Transferring a subscription between accounts could result in multiple invoices for the same billing period

When changing a subscription's owner, under certain circumstances it was possible for an invoice to be generated for the original owner and then, if the billing period was still open, another invoice to be generated for the new owner for the same period. The result was two invoices for that subscription, for the same billing period, to two different owners.

This issue was resolved in this release.

Invoice failure while rating due to discount date-range boundary issue

An unanticipated and rare use case in which a discount charge is applied, cancelled, then reapplied to a subscription, involving recurring charges with overlapping date ranges, could cause an invoice failure under certain circumstances. The offending invoice was skipped and, on a run for only one account, an error message was returned.

This issue was resolved in this release.

SOAP API

Collecting payments with subscribe() call failed due to not resetting payment retry counter

The SOAP API subscribe() call, when used to collect payments, was not resetting the failed-payment-retry counter for that payment method to zero after a successful payment. This could cause subsequent payment attempts for that customer to fail because it appeared that the payment method (e.g., a customer's credit card) had repeatedly failed without any intervening successes.

This issue was resolved in this release.

Amend() call allowed negative quantity for unit-based rate plan charges

In previous versions, amend() calls for unit-based subscriptions could pass a negative Quantity without an error response. Since the RatePlanCharge does not support negative units, Zuora should have returned an error.

This issue was resolved in this release.

Undefined error returned for subscribe() calls involving multiple recurring-charge rate plans and auto-set BCD

When creating a subscription with the SOAP API subscribe() call,  involving multiple product rate plans with recurring charges, on an account with a previously-deleted subscription and a Bill Cycle Day set to AutoSet, an UNKNOWN_ERROR was returned.

This issue was resolved in this release.

Invoice cancellation behavior was not consistent between UI and API

Repeatedly generating and cancelling a discounted invoice with the SOAP API resulted in a disagreement between the SOAP API and the UI over the invoice discount amount and balance, due to a difference in workflow.

This issue was resolved in this release.

Maintenance Release R166.1

The R166.1 release (July 19, 2013) resolves the following issues:

Finance

Unable to process some payments without Override Accounting Code permission

In R166, accounting codes containing an ampersand caused one of two undesirable behaviors. Either a new accounting code would be created, containing an HTML ampersand entity (&) or a payment operation would fail with a message that the user does not have permission to override the Accounting Code on payments. 

This issue is resolved in this maintenance release.

Unable to cancel payment after adding accounting code to the payment method

In R166, adding an accounting code to a payment method could cause Zuora to retroactively apply that accounting code to an existing payment that used that payment method. This resulted in being unable to cancel that payment.

Zuora no longer attempts to retroactively apply the new accounting code to payments. The issue is resolved in this maintenance release.

The SOAP API TaxationItem object erroneously required the optional TaxCode field

The SOAP API TaxationItem object is used to apply tax charges to invoice items. A defect in R166 caused this object to treat the optional TaxCode field as a required field.

This issue is resolved in this maintenance release.

Commerce

Issues with assurance of unique External ID when adding new Z-360 records to Salesforce data

When inserting a record into Salesforce (e.g., during a sync operation), Salesforce requires assurance that the provided record ID is unique. There were issues with our implementation of the standard approaches to this, resulting in difficulties with posting Payment, PaymentInvoice, and RefundInvoicePayment objects in Zuora 360.

The issue is resolved in this maintenance release.  The fix of this issue also requires the upgrade to Zuora 360 version 2.61 release. Please contact Zuora support for the installation URL. Special upgrade notes, including a link to upgrade instructions, can be found here.

Maintenance Release R166.2

The R166.2 release (July 25, 2013) includes internal fixes.

Maintenance Release R166.3

The R166.3 release (July 31, 2013) includes the following resolved issues.

Finance

Cannot process an electronic payment when using Internet Explorer 8

The following error occurred when manually processing an electronic payment using Internet Explorer 8:

You do not have permission to override Accounting Code on payments. For more information, contact your company administrator. None of your changes have been saved.

This issue was resolved in this maintenance release.

During a large data migration, the system throws a 503 error "Service Temporarily Unavailable"

During a large data migration, system performance becomes slow and throws a 503 error "Service Temporarily Unavailable."

This issue was resolved in this maintenance release.

Payments

New payment methods fail for European payment processors because the email address was not passed

When a new payment method is created manually through the user interface, the authentication call fails for European payment processors because the required email address is not passed to Authorize.net.

This issue was resolved in this maintenance release. Now if an email address is entered when a new payment method is created, the address is passed to Authorize.net.

Last modified
13:05, 27 Mar 2017

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