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August 2011 New Features

Overview

We are pleased to provide you with a summary of our August, 2011 release.

New Features

This release includes the following new features and enhancements.

Z-Billing

The following features have been added to Z-Billing.

New Enterprise Billing Features

In this release, Zuora has added the Enterprise Billing feature set. This includes the Customer Hierarchy features, which help manage the customer account parent-child relationship for the vendor. This includes the following functionality:

  • Invoice subscriptions separately: Allows the charges of a subscription to be billed to a dedicated invoice. This enables a vendor to separate the charges of different services into invoices of their own, even if the subscriptions are under one account. This feature was included in our June, 2011 release. See Invoice Subscriptions Separately and subscribe() for more information.
  • Aggregate usage billing of child accounts at parent account: Usages incurred by child accounts are automatically rated and invoiced against the subscription in the parent account. This typically happens with parent owns a subscription of pooled usage, and every child account shares that service.
  • Invoice subscription to a different account: Allows a subscription at a "division" account to be invoiced at the "corporate" account. For example, this allows a company to centralize the control of invoicing for all service subscriptions by the divisions or groups.

Aggregate the Usage Billing of Child Accounts

In this release, Zuora added the ability to track the usage of child accounts. This applies to accounts configured to use the customer hierarchy feature.

This feature collects the usage records from child accounts and applies them to the parent account. The parent account must contain a subscription with a matching unit of measure (UOM). All of the usage records are rated and billed from the parent account.

For example:

  1. A parent account subscribes to a service and maintains the subscription in its account.
  2. All of the child accounts use the service, and the usage records contain the account identification of the child accounts.
  3. When the usage records are uploaded, the child account does not include any subscriptions with the matching UOM. Because of this, the usage records cannot be billed at the child account.
  4. Zuora links the usage records from the child account to the parent account that contains a subscription with a matching UOM. Zuora rates and bills the usage records from the parent account.

If the account in the example contains more than one subscription with a matching UOM, the usage records will be rated in all the subscriptions as if the usage records were uploaded against the parent account.

By default, this permission is disabled. To use this feature, navigate to Z-Billing > Settings > Define Billing Rules, and enable the Include usage from child accounts when billing? setting.

Invoice Subscriptions to Different Accounts

In this release, Zuora has added the ability to invoice subscriptions to different accounts. With this feature, you can configure a subscription in an account to be rated and billed by a billing run initiated from a different account. This is typically used to create a hierarchical billing situation for larger companies with many departments, divisions, and/or subsidiaries

Previously, a subscription could have a single owner account. After creating the subscription, you could use an owner transfer amendment to change the subscription owner account. With this release, a subscription has an owner account and an invoice owner account. You can now use an owner transfer amendment to change subscription owner account, the invoice owner account, or both.

The subscription owner and the invoice owner accounts must use the same currency settings.

Each subscription now includes an Invoice Owner field. You can use this to assign the invoice responsibility of a subscription to a customer account that is not the owner of the subscription.

All existing subscriptions will use the Customer Name as the default invoice owner.

The feature is controlled by a tenant-level permission. The permission is disabled by default. If permission is disabled, the owner and invoice owner will be set to the same account when you create a subscription. If this permission is enabled, you can specify different accounts for the owner and invoice owner when creating a subscription. Contact Zuora Global Support to use this feature.

The following changes have been made to the Zuora application user interface:

  • If this feature is enabled, you can use the Invoice Owner list to select the invoice owner account when creating a subscription.
  • If this feature is disabled, the Invoice Owner field is read-only, and uses the subscription owner.
  • There is a new Subscriptions-Invoiced tab in the Subscriptions & Amendments section of the Customer Account detail page. This tab lists the subscriptions that are invoiced to this customer account.
  • There is a new field on the Owner Transfer Amendment page to change the invoice owner of a subscription.

The following changes have been made to the Z-Commerce API:

  • The Subscription object includes the InvoiceOwnerId field, used to indicate the invoice owner of the subscription.
  • The Amendment object includes the DestinationInvoiceOwnerId, used to indicate the destination invoice owner during an Owner Transfer Amendment.

You can use these fields with the subscribe(), amend(), and query() API calls. You must have the Owner Transfer Amendment permission to be able to edit and change these fields.

See Subscriptions for more information.

New User Permissions

In this release, we have added the following permissions to the Z-Billing Standard User role:

  • Create Customer Account: This permission allows you to create customer accounts.
  • Create Contact: This permission allows you to create contacts.
  • Create Payment Method: This permission allows you to create payment methods.

These permissions are enabled by default.

If a user attempts to create an account, contact, or payment method without the required permission, they will receive a "Permission required" error if they are using the Zuora user interface, or a "NO_PERMISSION" exception if they are using the Z-Commerce API.

Controlled Release: Encrypted Data Source Option

This is a Controlled Release feature. Contact Zuora Global Support for information about using this feature.

Zuora has added the ability to export a secure version of encrypted data source fields. In this release, Zuora has added the ability to view and export the AchAccountNumber field of any PaymentMethod data source object.

To be able to use this feature, you must sign a security contract with Zuora and store your public key in the Zuora System. Zuora decrypts the fields and exports them to a file. We then encrypt the file using your public key, insuring that the fields are never available in plain text format.

To use this feature:

  • In the Zuora user interface, select Encrypt Export before making an export.
  • Using the Z-Commerce API, when creating an Export object, set the Encrypted field to "true." Note the Encrypted field has been added for this feature.
  • Zuora will create a file with the .gpg extension. You can use your private key to decrypt the file.

If you exported encrypted fields without specifying the "encryption" option (Encrypt Export or setting Encrypted to "true"), the encrypted fields are masked (replaced with "******").

If you delete the record, the exported file will be removed, but the export record is kept to track all encrypted export history. In the Export history, a lock icon in the File type indicates an encrypted record.

If this feature is not enabled for your tenant, you can use the API to set Encrypted to "true," but the API will return an error message.

The encrypted fields are never selectable in a Z-Commerce API query() operation. If you attempt to select an encrypted field, you will receive an "invalid field" error.

See Data Sources for more information about using Zuora data sources.

Z-Payments

The following features have been added to Z-Payments.

Cancel Electronic Refunds (Chase Paymentech Spectrum Gateway)

In this release, we have added the ability to cancel electronic refunds. Currently, this functionality is supported only for the Chase Paymentech Spectrum gateway.

You can cancel processed refunds that have the status "Marked for Submission." You cannot cancel refunds that have been settled by the payment gateway.

We have added a Cancel option for processed electronic refunds, located in the Refund detail page.

You can also use the Z-Commerce API to cancel electronic refunds. To cancel a refund, you must pass the refund ID and the refund status.

The following is an example of a SOAP message that sets the status of an electronic refund to "Canceled:"

<soapenv:Body>
 <ns1:update xmlns:ns1="http://api.zuora.com/">
     <ns1:zObjects xmlns:ns2="http://object.api.zuora.com/"
    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:type="ns2:Refund">
         <ns2:Id>4028923930fdf8a30130fdfc27a30068</ns2:Id>
         <ns2:Status>Canceled</ns2:Status>
     </ns1:zObjects>
 </ns1:update>
</soapenv:Body>

This feature is controlled by a new permission, Cancel Electronic Refund, located in the Refund category. This permission is enabled by default for all tenants who have the Refund permission.

See Refunds for more information about refunds in Zuora.

Resolved Issues

The following issues were resolved in this release.

Z-Billing

The following issues were fixed in Z-Billing:

Bill Cycle Day Not Returned in Subscription Charges

Previously, Zuora did not return the bill cycle day (BCD) correctly for subscription rate plan charges. Performing a query such as select Id, BillCycleDay from RatePlanCharge would return values only if RatePlanCharge was configured to use "specific day of month."

In this release, querying the BCD from RatePlanCharge will work correctly for all BCD values.

TaxationItem and Refund Objects Not Connected to DefaultPaymentMethod

Previously, the TaxationItem and Refund objects were not connected to DefaultPaymentMethod.

This issue has been fixed in this release.

Controlled Release: Updates to the Usage Data Source

Note: This is a Controlled Release feature. Contact Zuora Global Support for information about using this feature.

In this release, we have improved the way in which the Usage data source connects to RatePlan and RatePlanCharge. You will now be able to use the following fields:

Data Source Field
RatePlan Name
RatePlanCharge AccountingCode
RatePlanCharge ApplyDiscountTo
RatePlanCharge BillCycleDay
RatePlanCharge BillCycleType
RatePlanCharge BillingPeriodAssignment
RatePlanCharge ChargeModel
RatePlanCharge ChargeType
RatePlanCharge Description
RatePlanCharge DiscountLevel
RatePlanCharge Name
RatePlanCharge NumberOfPeriods
RatePlanCharge OverageCalculationOption
RatePlanCharge OverageUnusedUnitsCreditOption
RatePlanCharge Quantity
RatePlanCharge TriggerEvent
RatePlanCharge UOM
RatePlanCharge UpToPeriods

Z-Suite

The following issue was fixed in Z-Suite.

Incorrect CRM ID Mapping

Previously, the CRM ID was mapped incorrectly between Zuora and NetSuite.

In this release, the mapping has been fixed, and the field is passed properly.

Z-Commerce API

The following issue was fixed in the Z-Commerce API.

ZOQL: No Default Value for the Order By Clause

Previously, when using the Zuora Object Query Language (ZOQL), results would not be sorted if you did not specify either ascending (ASC) or descending (DESC) in the order by clause.

In this release, the ZOQL sorts results in ascending order if you do not specify ASC or DESC in the order by clause.

For example, the following two statements will return results in ascending order:

select * from Account order by ID" = "select * from Account order by ID asc

select * from Account order by ID" = "select * from Account
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