Download a beta (test) copy of the next version.
22nd November 2013. The next release is now available for testing. (V184.108.40.206). This latest release fixes a number of issues found during beta testing and adds new functions.
This new release introduces major changes to permit more than one user to work with the system at the same time, providing 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 are below. We now would welcome users who would like to test.
More details on the new functions are below.
To download this beta, click on the link below. This will download HolLetSys4.0.exe. (The file has
been fully virus checked.)
See the installation notes below. (The
file is 2.2 Megabytes in size)
Click here to download.
Important: It is essential to take a backup before installation with the Backup Tool. If you have done this we will be able to support you in the event of migration problems.
List of enhancements:
The following enhancements are implemented in LetSys 4.0:
- The system protects user data when multiple users are using LetSys from more than one computer at the same time. The system works with full function when users are connected on a local area network, but it also provides a warning when two PCs are attempting to share the same data through "the cloud".
- The settings have been moved to the root folder, into file LetSys.ini" This means that if one user changes settings in a multi-user system, other users easily pick up the changes. Settings are still backed up by the backup tool, but now there is no need to restore settings after recovering the root folder from a backup as this happens automatically. Thus the "Restore settings" button has been removed from the configuration program.
- It is now possible to start LetSys and to specify an alternative root folder, with a command line parameter. This means you can restore a backup into a different folder from the current root, and then inspect old data - for example for a property long since deleted. Once you've done this, start LetSys without the override and you are back to your current data.
- A new activity log has been added, primarily to help diagnose any problems that occur with multi-user updates. However this should be of use for all users; for example you can see exactly when a booking was updated and who made the change, all in a single log. You can view who started and shut down LetSys and when. The log can be viewed from the status window using tools / Open diagnostic log.
- The menu items and buttons (on the Status Window) for save and save/exit have been redundant for some time, and have now been removed. There is now a new "Exit" button and menu item which simply closes LetSys.
- If you try to close LetSys with one of the editing windows open, then it is possible you are editing data. You are given the option now to cancel the closure (or continue discarding any changes.)
- You have always been able to open any bookings file by double clicking it in Windows Explorer and the file is then opened showing the first record in the booking window. When you do this the file is now locked to prevent other applications (including LetSys) writing to it.
- New Web Site options are provided on the Web Tab of the Configuration Program. Most users operate a single web site and this allows you to specify the Local Website Folder and the Local home page just once, rather than separately for each property. If you specify these options then LetSys will automatically remove the duplicate entries under each property when you save the new configuration.
- Settings which specify the location of your local web site now allow you to specify the path of the local web folder relative to the root folder. You should use this if you are running a multi-user system, to avoid the problem of an incorrect path on the second and subsequent machines. The local web index page can also be specified relative to the local web folder, as required.
- LetSys has previously taken backups of files each time a data file is changed. This resulted in numerous files with the .bak file extensions appearing in the root folder and subfolders. All file backups are now saved in the Windows Temporary directory and not in the LetSys folder. These backups had rarely if ever proved of much use and increased the amount of data stored. You can recover the last version of the data from this directory if needed, and can quickly open the windows temporary folder from the status window by selecting Tools / Open Windows Temporary folder. Bookings files have the property number pre-pended thus: Pnn-filename.
- The data cleanup tool (run from the special tab of the configuration program) now removes old backup files from the root folder and subfolders. It is recommended that users run this tool once LetSys 4.0 has been installed and tested.
- A new tool to synchronise folders is now provided. This allows an "incremental backup" of the root folder to be made to a different location. It is particularly useful if you need to run LetSys from a Laptop when away from the office, as it allows you to synchronise the data on the laptop very quickly, and later to restore any changes to the main machine.
- The LetSys Root folder can be inaccessible if located on a network and the network is down. An additional check and a more helpful message is now written should this be the case.
- When searching for bookings, the Search Window now displays the surname and first names as separate fields, to make it possible to locate updated bookings (where a second user has changed a booking.)
- The "right-click" context menu on the status window has been removed. We think few, if any, users actually used this pop-up menu. It allowed bookings to be created or edited, which can more easily be done with a simple left-click. The menu also allowed bookings to be deleted. Deletions should instead be handled by first opening the booking and then clicking delete. This is safer as the booking can be properly inspected prior to deletion. Removing this little used function also prevents a possible "lockout" in a multi-user environment.
- If two users on different machines are sharing the same registration code and try to start LetSys at the same time, the second instance of LetSys will not run.
- When you run the Configuration Program from LetSys (by clicking Tools / Configure LetSys) LetSys is immediately closed to prevent problems when users forget to restart LetSys.
- If you have a multiuser license, then the configuration program checks that a second user is not active when confiuration changes are made.
- When cancelling a booking, the default option is now "Retain all funds paid, defer repayment". This is the most frequently selected option as most users need to establish whether they can relet before knowing how much to refund.
- Option Tools / View local Website has been removed from both the Status and the Booking windows, as it was a duplicate of Web / View Local Website which should be used instead.
- This version has been tested on Windows 8, and the help file has been updated to cover how to run under Windows 8.
- A number of minor problems were fixed. As always, LetSys 4.0 will become the only officially supported release once it goes generally available later in 2013.
This version is downloaded and installed in exactly the same way as the more fully tested release. Just run the downloaded install module and follow the instructions. Please ensure LetSys is NOT RUNNING when you upgrade.
Existing users are strongly recommended to backup their data before installation. (That is, the contents of the LetSys folder and your settings. The backup tool provides a very easy way to do this.)
Note: You need the free utility eFTP if you want to automatically
upload the web availability file, more
information / download.
If you have already installed a previous version, there is no need to
uninstall your existing version. Just install the new beta version "on
top" of the old one. All the components will be replaced, but your
configuration settings and your own data will be unaffected.
You may possibly encounter some problems with this version - please
report them. Contact details are here.