April 2010 New Features

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April 2010 New Features


We are pleased to provide you with a summary of our April, 2010 release.


Enhanced Customer Account Search

You may now search customer accounts based on additional criteria, including custom fields on the account, contact name, work phone number and work e-mail address, and the last 4 digits of a payment method (such as a credit card). To use this feature simply type the search term in the Customer Account Search box on the right hand side of the Customer Account Page.

Multi-Year Billing Periods

Z-Billing now allows you to set up product and subscription charges that bill on 18-month, two-year, three-year, and five-year frequencies (in addition to the existing monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual billing periods).

To activate a new billing period, go to Settings > Z-Billing Settings > Define Invoice Periods > Customize Billing Periods. After activation, the new options will appear when setting up the product charge under “Billing Period.”

Localized Dates

We have added support for international date formats.

User Locale and Date Display/Entry: Users can now configure their locale, which will control the date format that is displayed in the user interface as well as the format that the user interface accepts when the user enters dates. For example, a user configured for “English – United States” locale would view and enter dates in the MM/DD/YYYY format, while a user configured for “English (United Kingdom)” would be able to view and enter dates in DD/MM/YYYY format. Existing users are set to “English – United States” locale by default.

To configure a user’s locale, go to Settings > Personal Settings > Manage Your Profile > Locale.

Invoice PDF Templates

Zuora has enhanced the invoice PDF template to allow you to display merged fields in localized date and number formats. For example, you may now configure invoice PDF to display dates and currencies in international formats such as UK (DD/MM/YYYY), or US (MM/DD/YYYY).

A sample invoice template and instructions on how to configure this can be downloaded by going to Settings | Z-Billing Settings | Manage Invoice Rules and Template

Invoice PDF Statements

You may now set up your invoices to include account balance information that is useful for creating statements. We have added two new fields that will allow you to configure your invoices to show full statement information, including the previous account balance, and new balance based on the application of charges on the invoice.

  • Account Previous Balance: This is a dynamically calculated field that represents the account balance before an invoice is posted. For example, if an account had one previous invoice with an outstanding balance of $100, and generates a new invoice for $75 showing the Account Previous Balance, this field would show $100 when displayed on the new invoice.
  • Account New Balance: This field represents the balance on an account after the invoice has been posted. In the previous example, the Account Previous Balance was $100, the invoice balance of the invoice is $75, so Account New Balance = $100 + $75 = $175. A sample invoice template and instructions on how to configure this can be downloaded by going to Settings | Z-Billing Settings | Manage Invoice Rules and Template


Support for Litle Payment Processor

We continue to add to our list of pre-integrated payment processors and payment gateways. Customers may now process payments via Litle, a major payment processor based in the US.

To set this up, go to Settings > Z-Payments Settings > Set Up Payment Gateways and select “Litle” in the drop-down list and click create gateway.

Payment Retry Configurability

With existing functionality, you have the ability to retry payments on a scheduled basis. We are now introducing the ability to track consecutive failed payments per payment method as well as the ability to set the maximum number of payment retries. Additional business rules can be configured to define a time period to not retry a payment. For instance if you define the interval as 8 hours, an automated payment retry will not attempt a payment if the last failed payment was less than 8 hours ago.

See Configure Payment Method Retry Rules for additional information about configuring payment retries, and information about resetting individual payment methods.

Authorize.net Reconciliation Improvements

When processing payments with Authorize,net, you may now configure the application to send the customer’s e-mail address to Authorize.net to aid in reconciliation.

Z-Commerce API

Enhanced Subscription and Account Query Fields

With this release you can now query additional key dates on subscriptions, including the Contract Effective, Service Activation, Customer Acceptance, Subscription Start, Subscription End, and Term End dates. In addition, the Last Invoice Date is available on an Account, and you may now query additional information on an electronic payment method, including the Last Failed Sale Transaction Date, and the Number of Consecutive Failures. For more information, please see the Zuora API Documentation.

Rounding Decimal Implementation

Starting with API v19 (current as of the April 2010 release), all double data type fields in our API calls have now been converted to decimal type. This allows data to be passed without loss of rounding precision. As with other API changes, old versions of the API will continue to support double data types, but converting to the latest WSDL will require changing the appropriate fields to decimal type. For more information, please see the Zuora API Documentation.

Security Enhancement: API User Permissions

To improve your control over users of Z-Billing, you may now configure users to restrict API-access to read-only, or restrict API-users from logging into the application user interface. This is useful in cases where you may be working with 3rd parties who you want to grant API access but restrict their ability to make other changes to your billing information.

Zuora recommends that you create a new custom user role, (for example, "API Read-Only User"), beyond the existing "Standard User" and "Administrator" roles when restricting these permissions. To set this up, go to Settings > Administration Settings > Manage User Roles and select "Zuora Platform" in the list. Then click either Add New Role or View an existing role.

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