February 2011 New Features

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February 2011 New Features


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


Data Sources for Customizable Data Extraction

Z-Billing has always had open access to data via extracts and open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Data Sources are pre-joined data associated to key objects that can be readily extracted through the Zuora User Interface or APIs. Data Sources are available for Account, Invoice, Invoice Item, Payment, Rate Plan, Rate Plan Charge and Subscription. You can choose which data to include, filter this data, define time periods and select the export format for each Data Source. This feature further extends Zuora’s focus on having an open platform with easy to access data to support your individual business requirements.

To access this feature in the Zuora User Interface, please go to Z-Reporting > Data Exports > Data Sources.

Greater Control of the Bill Cycle Day Setting

We’ve added more user controls over which Bill Cycle Day settings to display in the Zuora Product Catalog. The following selections may be configured to display or not display giving you greater control to only display the Bill Cycle Day options for your business:

  • Default from Customer Account
  • Specific Day of Month
  • Subscription Start Day
  • Charge Trigger Day

To configure the Bill Cycle Days to display in the Z-Billing Settings and the Product Catalog, please go to Settings > Z-Billing Settings > Define InvoicePeriods > Customize Billing Day and select the Billing Day options your company would like to support. Next, go to Product Catalog > Product > Rate Plan > Rate Plan Charge > Timing and Frequency of Charge > Billing Day and set the default Billing Day for the charge based on the Settings configuration.

Please note that if you deactivate an option, any existing charges that use the deactivated billing day option will continue to use that option for billing.

Custom Fields on Usage

You may now configure custom fields on the Usage object. These custom fields can be used for reporting purposes or to enable specific business logic. Custom fields may be created and maintained via the User Interface, and can be accessed and populated by the API. In the future, the display of usage fields on the Invoice PDF will also be available.

To set up custom fields, go to Settings > Z-Billing Settings > Manage Custom Fields. To add custom fields via the user interface, go to Z-Billing > Billing Operations > Usage > click on the usage Status to edit the usage custom field.

Only usage that has not been processed in a billing run (for example, in “Pending Process” status) may be edited.

Display of Custom Fields on the Invoice PDF

Our invoice PDFs have been enhanced to support custom fields. You can now include custom fields from Accounts, Subscriptions, Invoice, Invoice Items, Payments, Refunds, Invoice Item Adjustments, and Invoice Adjustments on your Invoice PDF. You can configure your invoice PDF template by going to Settings > Z-Billing Settings > Manage Invoice Rules and Templates. To display custom fields on your invoice PDF template, enter the custom field API name in the appropriate place on the Invoice PDF template.


PayPal Adaptive Payments Integration

Z-Payments now supports direct integration to PayPal's Adaptive Payments. Merchants with PayPal Business Accounts and API Access to Adaptive Payments can simply enter their credentials in Zuora to seamlessly integrate with Adaptive Payments. Standard payments (PayPal’s "Simple" Adaptive Payments) are supported by passing in the preauthorization into Z-Payments so that Z-Payments can manage the payment collections. PayPal’s Adaptive Payments allows for an improved user flow with embedded payments and the overall vetting/merchant acceptance process is reduced from the PayFlow Pro credit card vetting.

Please contact Zuora Customer Care to enable this gateway in your environment. Once this gateway is enabled, you can manage the gateway by going to Settings > Z-Payments Settings > Setup Payment Gateway.

User Interface Enhancements for Payment Method Retry Rules

In our previous release, we added the ability to modify Retry Rules for each individual Payment Method via the API. The ability to modify the payment method retry rules is now available directly in the Z-Payments User Interface. You have the flexibility to use the default payment retry rules or you can customize the payment retry rules when creating or editing a Payment Method. This means you can change payment retry rules for a specific credit card or another grouping such as BIN range. You can define the maximum number of consecutive failures allowed and the retry interval that prevents a Payment Run from retrying the payment during this interval.

You can manage these settings in Z-Payments or Z-Billing by going to Customer Accounts > Customer Account > Create New Payment Method or edit an existing Payment Method and deselect Use Default Retry Rules to configure the retry rules for such payment method.

User Interface Enhancements for Transferred to Accounting Flags

With Z-Payments, you can easily track the statuses of each transaction with respect to your integration with your accounting system by using the Transferred to Accounting field on all transaction objects (including Invoices, Payments, Refunds, Invoice Item Adjustments, and Invoice Adjustments, and Credit Balance Adjustments). With this release, a transaction’s status may be set to Yes, No, Error, Ignore, or Processing using the Z-Payments User Interface. In addition, special rules apply to any transaction that is set to "Yes" that prevent users from making any changes to a transaction after it has been transferred (this rule may only be overridden by users whose profiles have been set up to have permission to override transaction). You will need to create a user role that allows users to "Override Transferred to Accounting" for each transaction type in order to access this feature.

This field is displayed and edited in the User Interface and the API. To view/edit the Transferred to Accounting field, select the Transaction you would like to edit (for example, a specific invoice) and click Additional Details.


Z-Force 360 Performance Improvements

With this release, we implemented significant enhancements to improve the performance of our Z-Force 360 sync enabling it to run twice as fast. These changes are made on the back end so there is no action required by Z-Force 360 customers in order to begin experiencing faster synchronization times.

Additional Z-Force Quotes Fields

The Z-Force Quote templates have been enhanced to support additional fields to give you greater customization capabilities when creating Z-Force Quotes. The following fields have been added:

  • Product Name field of the Charges in Salesforce.com
  • Owner field of the Salesforce.com Account
  • Owner field of the Salesforce.com Opportunity
  • Email and Title fields of the Salesforce.com Bill to Contact
  • Email and Title fields of the Salesforce.com Sold to Contact

Z-Commerce API

Data Sources API

Data sources are accessible via the Zuora User Interface as well as via the API. For more information on viewing, querying, and exporting data sources via the API, please see our API documentation.

Payment Method Enhancement to Support PayPal’s Adaptive Payments

Zuora now supports PayPal Adaptive Payments. In order to use Adaptive Payments, you will need to create Zuora Payment Methods with the Adaptive Payments’ pre-approvals. With Adaptive Payments, you can offer PayPal “simple” payments by providing the PayPal account and the Pre-Approval via the API. See PaymentMethod for more details.

New API Call to Describe Zuora Objects

Zuora now supports a REST-based API call to obtain metadata such as name, field type and characteristics for the Zuora object. This describe call is supported for Account, Invoice, Invoice Item, Payment, Rate Plan, Rate Plan Charge. This feature is supported with API version 29. To use this feature, please call https://www.zuora.com/apps/api/describe/object. Please see API documentation for more details.

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