September 8, 2009 New Features

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September 8, 2009 New Features


We are pleased to provide you with a summary of our September 8, 2009 release


Account Balance and Negative Invoices

For invoices that reflect on a credit back, the total amount for the invoice is negative. These negative invoices can now be factored into the account balance for a customer. There is a new setting listed under Billing Rules (under Admin) that has a setting for this: "Include invoices with negative totals in the Account Balance?". If this is set to yes, then negative invoices will be included in the account balance. The default setting is no so this setting needs to be changed in order to take advantage of this new feature.

Naming Convention Change to PDF Invoices

PDF invoices will now be named according to the following format: <invoice number>_<account name>_<invoice date>.pdf. This will allow for quick identification of invoice number, account name and invoice date. Draft invoices will be identified as such. See below for the format:

  • Posted Invoices: INVnumber_AccountName_InvoiceDate.pdf
  • Draft Invoices: INVnumber_AccountName_InvoiceDate_Draft.pdf

Invoice Display to Show Adjustments Subtotal

The invoice display in Z-Billing will now have a new invoice total section that includes a subtotal for adjustments. You will now see the total amount, payment total, adjustment total and the invoice balance.


Filter for Payment Export

The Reports section will now have a new section for exports. Payments is the first of several exports that will be available from here. With this release, payment exports by status or a specific date range are now available.

User Administration

IP Address Restriction for Standard User Login

Administrators can now restrict access to the application by setting a range of IP addresses that are allowed. This is an added security measure that will prevent those outside of a set IP address range from accessing the system (e.g., if the IP address range is set for your company's IP address(es), then only users logging in from these IP addresses can log in successfully). With this release, the standard user role is the only user role that can have their login restricted by IP addresses. Restricting login by IP addresses is not applicable to the Administrator role.

Resetting Password Requires Resetting Security Question

Currently, users must answer their security question when changing their password or when the administrator resets their password. For added security, users will now have to reset their security question if their password has been reset by the administrator.

Z-Commerce API

Time zones for Datetime Objects

Starting with version 11.0+ of the API, the time zone will now be returned for datetime objects. In the past, only the time was returned (without the time zone). Our time zone is GMT -08 all year around. Any datetime passed in another time zone will be converted to GMT -08.
Combined Subscribe() and SubscribeWithExistingAccount() Calls

Starting with version 11.0+ of the API, the Subscribe() and the SubscribeWithExistingAccount() calls will be combined into the Subscribe() call. When using a previous version of the API, no change is required for the call(s). With version 11.0+, pass in an account ID to the subscribe() call to create a subscription with an existing account. Additionally, this will allow the Subscribe() call to be used in the .NET environment.

Generate Invoice Call

The new generate() call makes it possible to generate an invoice using the API. This call accepts the invoice target date and any filtering criteria (e.g., recurring charges only) and will create a single invoice for an account. The invoice created will be in draft status. This call enables the user to "preview" charges via the API. This call is not intended to replace bill runs as bill runs will generate invoices across all accounts if needed.

Update Invoice Call

It is now possible to update the status of a single invoice using the API. This is used to post or cancel a draft invoice. Additionally, a posted invoice can also be un-posted and returned to a draft status. A canceled invoice can be deleted. This call is not intended to replace the more comprehensive Bill Run functionality.
Asynchronous PDF Invoice Generation for Subscribe and Generate Invoice Calls

Both API calls will generate PDF invoices asynchronously which will result in better performance. In the past, the Subscribe call generated PDF invoices synchronously.

Z-Force Quotes

Managed Package

Z-Force Quotes is now packaged in a managed package, which allows for future upgrades to be made without uninstalling the original package.

Edit Button

Users can now more easily edit existing charges on a quote. There is now an "Edit" button on the Quote viewer on the Opportunity object, as well as on existing products when the user chooses "select products". Clicking on the button allows the user to make changes to the charges on that product.

International Date Formats

Z-Force Quotes now supports display and entry of dates in three formats: mm/dd/yyyy, dd/mm/yyyy, and yyyy/mm/dd. The date format will be chosen based on the Locale setting of the user in Salesforce. Currently 4 locales are supported: US, UK, Australia, and China. All other locales will default to US date format.

Volume Pricing Support

Volume pricing is now fully supported in Z-Force Quotes. Entering a quantity will calculate the list price and the overall list total price based on the tier in which the quantity falls (e.g, if the volume pricing is set to 0-5 units = $10 per unit, 6-10 units = $15 per unit, then entering a quantity of 7 would populate the list price as 15, and the list total as 7*15 = 105). A discount or a new total price can then be entered in order to override the list price if so desired.

Total Discount Amount

Quote charges now store a "Total Discount Amount" field which tracks the dollar amount of discounts on recurring and one-time charges for reporting purposes.

Support for Multi-Currency Rate Plans

Rate plans shown in the product selector now conform to the quote currency. For example, if the quote currency is set to GBP, when choosing products, only products and rate plans that include pricing for GBP will be displayed. In addition, the charges will all show GBP pricing.

Quote Lock-Down

After a Quote is successfully submitted to Z-Billing, the "edit" button is removed from the quote display, which can help to prevent the submitted quote from being edited. If "Enable in-line editing" is enabled in Salesforce, users will still be able to edit most fields by double-clicking the fields. To prevent users from editing such quotes, we recommend that this option be turned off in Salesforce.

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