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Home Blog Upcoming Release v4.0 of Booking & Appointment Plugin for WooCommerce

Upcoming Release v4.0 of Booking & Appointment Plugin for WooCommerce

The next release of Booking & Appointment Plugin for WooCommerce, v4.0 is going to be a major release. It is expected to release on 5th June 2017.

Below is a summary list of the changes that we have done:

  1. Completely revamped the Product Page UI for Booking Settings
  2. Beautifying the frontend UI page
  3. Changes in the way booking settings are saved
  4. Saving each booking in wp_posts
  5. Beautifying the admin Global Booking Settings page
  6. New features
    6.a. Booking Range
    6.a.1. Create multiple
    6.a.2. Create booking range by selecting months
    6.b. Multiple day bookings
    6.b.1. Ability to set Maximum Booking length
    6.b.2. Ability to enable or disable weekdays
    6.c. Remove calendar icon

We started working on this update in mid February 2017. That was after we had just finished the planning for all our plugins for 2017. Some of the features in this update were ready as early as March, but due to the release of WooCommerce 3.0.0, we had to shift our focus to that. We wanted to make sure our existing customers didn’t face any issues after updating to WooCommerce 3.0.0. So until April 5th, we were mostly occupied with issues pertaining to that & releasing an update to all our plugins.

4.0 is a major update. Please test on a staging site if you can, and make a backup for peace of mind.

Below are the details of each point mentioned above:

1. Completely revamped the Product Page UI for Booking Settings

The Booking meta box on the Add/Edit product page has been re-organized.

Currently we have 8 tabs as shown below:

Current Booking Meta Box
Current Booking Meta Box

All the above settings are now made available in 3 tabs:

General tab

Booking Meta Box
New Booking Meta Box

A new field, Booking Type has been added. Earlier we didn’t have a clear identification. We had Recurring Weekdays, Specific Dates, Enable Time & Allow Multiple days. Now, we have divided into 2 main booking types: Only Day, Date & Time

Only Day booking type further has 2 options: Single Day & Multiple Nights

This was earlier called “Allow Multiple days”. Since the checkout date in this case is not included in the booking period, some customers had mentioned that we should mention that it is based on nights & not days. Hence the change of term to Multiple Nights.

Availability tab

Set Booking Availability
Set Booking Availability – Weekdays, Specific Dates, Time slots, Special Prices

The Availability tab allows you to select the bookable weekdays. It also allows you to set a maximum booking & a special price for each weekday. The prices were earlier being taken from the Special Price tab. That tab has been removed now.

The Set Availability by Dates/Months allows you to add Specific Dates, Holidays & Date Ranges.

Add Specific Dates, Date Range, Month Range & Holidays
Add Specific Dates, Date Range, Month Range & Holidays

Similarly, for Appointment Bookings, you will be able to add time slots right from the Availability tab itself:

Add Time Slots
Add Time Slots

A Save Changes button is added to every tab. You won’t need to go all the way up & click on Update button to save your booking settings.

Google Calendar Sync tab

The Google Calendar Sync tab is unchanged. That one stays as it was previously.

Fixed Block Booking, Price by range of days tab

The Fixed Block Booking & Price by range of days tabs are hidden by default. They only get enabled for multiple day bookings.

2. Beautifying the frontend UI page

Some changes have been added to the frontend product page.

Frontend Product Page
Frontend Product Page

As shown above, the booking fields have a border around them, and for Appointment bookings, the customer now has a message to select a date first & then the time. Earlier the Booking Time label was not present.

3. Changes in the way booking data is saved

Due to the changes in the way the booking settings are now added to the product, those settings are now stored differently.

Booking Product Data

Now the product’s booking settings are also saved individually along with being saved in a single json object in woocommerce_booking_settings meta key.

wp_postmeta records for a bookable product
wp_postmeta records for a bookable product

For the next few updates, we will continue to save the product’s booking settings both individually & in the single record as well. Eventually the woocommerce_booking_settings record will be removed.

Booking Order Data

For each order that is placed, we are now adding some meta data to the wp_postmeta table:

wp_postmeta booking order meta
wp_postmeta booking order meta

Once you update the plugin, an automatic update will be run on your current booking product settings. If for some reason, that update fails, then you will be notified about it with an admin notice.

Update Failed Notice
Update Failed Notice

If the update fails for some reason, you will have a chance to run it manually either by clicking Update button above. You could also visit the Booking -> Settings page in that case.

Update Failed Notice

So you will have an option to run the update from 2 places.

Please bare in mind, this is mandatory for the update process to be completed. Your bookings will NOT function smoothly unless this is done.

4. Saving each booking in wp_posts

From v4.0, each booking order that is placed will be stored as a post in the wp_posts table. A new post type, bkap_booking will contain all the orders placed through the Booking & Appointment plugin.

wp_posts

The View Bookings page will eventually show the records from this table instead of showing from the wp_booking_history & wp_booking_order_history tables.

5. Beautifying the admin Global Booking Settings page

We have given a new style to the Global Booking Settings page. Nothing major there, but it looks better now:

Global Booking Settings

6. New features

This update largely contains backend changes more. There are only a few new features:

6.a. Booking Range

6.a.1. Create multiple

Earlier we did have the option to add a booking range where the admin could specify a date range that is supposed to be bookable. Now, the admin can specify multiple ranges throughout the year that can be bookable. Admin can also set if they are recurring yearly or not.

6.a.2. Create booking range by selecting months

In the Availability tab, you can create a range simply by selecting a start month & end month.

6.b. Multiple day bookings

6.b.1. Ability to set Maximum Booking length

So far, we have had only Minimum number of nights to book, where you can set number of nights that is required minimum for the booking to proceed. We have now also added a Maximum number of nights to book option in the Availability tab.

This will be useful when you want to limit the booking length.

min_max_nights_bookable

6.b.2. Ability to enable or disable weekdays

For Multiple Night bookings, it was not possible to disable weekdays from the settings. We do have a filter that allows to disable specific weekdays when using Multiple Night bookings. But now, that has been added in the UI itself in the Availability tab.

6.c. Remove calendar icon

Some customers had asked us if it’s possible to remove the calendar icon that gets displayed on the frontend booking field. That has been added now. We will also add an option to add a custom calendar icon there. Currently you can either use the default icon or remove the icon.

This field is added in Booking -> Settings -> Labels & Messages page

Remove Calendar Icon

Testing

If you can help us do beta testing for this release, that would be great. Please email us on vishal@tychesoftwares.com or drop a line in the comments below if you can help.

Browse more in: Booking, Plugin Update, WooCommerce

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Mario
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Mario

Great news… I would love to test it asap

Vishal Kothari
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Thanks Mario for volunteering. We will get back to you next Tuesday or Wednesday. The plugin’s 1st round of bugs will be fixed by then.

Mario
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Mario

Thank you! I must admit some of the changes are addressing user interface aspects which I hoped could have been improved. You read my mind! I am looking forward to testing them on the field!

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