Note: This newsletter covers the new multi-user version of the Holiday Letting System, released today.
In this newsletter we discuss:
- A new release with some major improvements, especially multi-user support.
- Using “the cloud” for backup. Some of our users are now using cloud tools like Dropbox.
We are pleased to announce a new release containing many new features, and in particular "Multi-User" support.
This significant enhancement allows several users to be working with the booking system concurrently, when the data is shared on a LAN (local area network). You can also share data with additional users on "Cloud Storage" (for example, DropBox) although this option is less flexible. Full details on the Multi-user feature can be read (once installed) in Help Topic Running LetSys with Multiple Users.
For the majority of our users, who will still be running with a single user, there are also many other useful features.
Existing users can upgrade to this new release free of charge, as discussed below. The new version has been tested on all current versions of Windows.
The new version can be downloaded from http://erwwen.com/holletsys/download.htm
The full list of the new features is here: http://www.erwwen.com/holletsys/releasehistory.htm
IMPORTANT:When you upgrade your software:
Please note that this version will now become the only supported version.
In the past couple of years, more and more cloud services have been offered by numerous vendors. While I remain somewhat sceptical about the security of any data kept on a server, following a series of high profile data losses, there is no doubt that "The Cloud" offers all sorts of advantages for a Holiday Letting business as we started to discuss in the last newsletter.
Our most frequent support request involves the loss of data, due to many reasons such as hard drive or computer failures.
Therefore we have for some time strongly recommend that you regularly use the built in backup tool. This tool, unlike other backup methods, not only backs up your data as a single compressed ZIP file, but also backs up your settings and makes it very easy to recover these. But you really need to keep a copy off site. You could have your computer and backup disk stolen, or you could have a disaster such as a fire. So why not put your backups into a cloud service like Dropbox, Microsoft Skydrive or Google Cloud? The backups are typically just a few megabytes, so there's no need normally to pay for such a service.
An even better solution might be to alter your LetSys root folder so it resides within a cloud folder. You will see no noticeable difference in performance but all your data is being immediately and automatically backed up to the remote server.
If you do this, and need to work "out on the road" your laptop can also share the same folder and have access to the latest data. For single user environments this will work fine as only one user at a time will want to use the system.
Sometimes you may want to hand over management to someone else at a remote location, or even share the management with them. With the new multi-user feature, you can place the data in a "cloud folder" and both you and your deputy have concurrent and immediate access to the latest status. However only one of you is allowed to make updates, to ensure data integrity. LetSys will automatically detect the second user.
We have several customers now that we know of (and probably more that we don't!) who places their LetSys root folder into a "Dropbox" folder, which is synchronised automatically. There are alternatives to Dropbox, but it remains one of the best for this purpose, and offers up to 2GB free. See http://www.dropbox.com (I have no connections at all with Dropbox – honest!)
I'd like to repeat the offer made in the last newsletter. Search engine rankings are significantly influenced by the number of other sites that link to you (preferably in the same or similar business areas). Would you be willing to put a link to our web site into your site? In exchange I’ll add a link to your web site into our list of users. Better still – give me a reference quote to use as well. See the current list (including references) here: http://www.erwwen.com/holletsys/refs.htm
Here’s my sample link: “For other owner/managers: this property is managed with Holiday Letting System software from www.holletsys.co.uk or www.erwwen.com/holletsys/ “
Please ask your web master to add this link, and then send me an email, and I’ll link to you!
I hope the system is proving valuable. Your views are always welcome.
Best wishes to all users.