Release Notes (General Release)

November 2020 (SCHEDULED)

Software 20.4.91 / Database Schema 85 (change from September 2020)

Ingenico iSC Touch 250 Device Configuration: 20.1.1 / Firmware: 23.2.46.1 (no change from September 2020)

Ingenico Lane 7000 Device Configuration: 20.3.2 / Firmware: 6.81.5 (no change from September 2020)

Release Date: November 11, 2020

Highlights

Ascend HQ

  • Schedule daily, weekly, or monthly email delivery of the Category Analysis report.

Ascend RMS Client

  • (Chase users) We’ve made multiple stability improvements for payment processing with Ingenico payment terminals (iSC Touch 250 or Lane 7000).
  • Access all SMS (text) messages sent to a customer (up to the previous 13 months) any time a message is sent.
  • Use the MPIs tabs in various areas to view all Multi-Point Inspections previously entered for a customer/bike.
  • Use the Email tab to verify previous email messages sent to a customer from the customer record or Customer Panel in a transaction.
  • Use the Customers - Import/Export user permission to limit which employees can manage customer information via spreadsheet.

Full Release Notes

Ascend HQ

  • (new) In Settings > Scheduled Reports, configure automatic email delivery (in XLSX format) for the Category Analysis report.
    Sherpa tip: Only one address can be entered in the Email To field – enter additional email addresses in the CC To field. Separate email addresses in the CC To field with a comma (,) or semicolon (;). In the Subject field, a maximum of 512 characters can be entered.

Ascend RMS Client

  • (new) (Chase users) When an Ingenico payment terminal is disconnected during a payment, the payment is cancelled (or voided) and a warning message displays.
    Sherpa tip: When the device is reconnected, return to the Ascend Desktop to reestablish the connection.
  • (new) When sending a customer an SMS message, all messages sent to the customer from this location in the last 30 days display. Click the Load More Messages button to display messages from the previous six months, up to a maximum of 13 months. Click the Send New Message button to create a message.
    Sherpa tip: A maximum of 314 characters (including spaces) can be entered.
  • (new) In Database Explorer, select the MPIs tab to display all multi-point Inspections entered for bikes in the following areas:
    a. Customers
    b. Sales
    c. Serialization
  • (new) On a customer record or the Customer Panel on a transaction:
    a. Select the MPIs tab to display all multi-point Inspections entered for the customer's bike(s).
    b. Select the Email tab to view the date sent, message subject, email address the message was sent from, and email address the message was sent to.
    Sherpa tip: Emails sent prior to upgrade are NOT stored.
    Hover over the mouse over the Date value to view the time the message was sent.
  • (new) When a computer’s Region settings do not match Ascend’s, a warning message displays.
  • (new) The Customers - Import/Export user permission allows employees to manage customers via spreadsheet.
    Sherpa tip: This permission is NOT checked for existing users on upgrade. This permission is included in the Administrator List permission template.
  • (new) In Reports > Customers, Customers on Mail List and Top Customers by Visits are removed.
  • (fixed) The Work Order Details screen does not resize when very long comments are entered in the Internal Notes field.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) On a product record, the Last Sold Date for the current location on the Location/General and Multi-Store tabs match.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) Inventory value changes share when workstation dates/times do not match the server computer.
    Sherpa tip: Date/time differences between computers can cause many other issues, including errors in payment processing and out-of-balance sales. Configure all computers to set the date/time automatically.
  • (fixed) (Trek dealers) When multiple instances of the same order item (separate line items) exist on a Vendor Order, APPLE price updates do not fail when the order is submitted.
  • (fixed) When opening a work order from the Service Center screen, Ascend does not “freeze”/become unresponsive.
  • (fixed) (Chase users) When taking another Credit or Debit payment after a previous payment failed, Ascend does not “freeze”/become unresponsive.
  • (fixed) (Chase users) When an Ingenico payment terminal is disconnected, Gift Card balances can be checked manually.
    Sherpa tip: When the payment terminal is reconnected, return to the Ascend Desktop to reestablish the device connection.
  • There’s a lot of text here. Need a break? Are you a dog person, a cat person, or maybe you prefer something else?
  • (fixed) When a customer has unfinished (open/incomplete) transactions, their record cannot be removed (hidden).
  • (fixed) Work Order transactions require a customer association.
  • (fixed) On the Work Order Details screen:
    a. Typing in the Space dropdown automatically scrolls to values beginning with the letter typed. The arrow keys on the keyboard can also be used to navigate values.
    b. The next available Due Date is selected regardless of whether the work is assigned to a specific technician or if the Default Work Order Due Time is set later in the day.
  • (fixed) (Chase users) (Trek dealers) When a Trek Card payment is processed manually and/or when other credit or debit card payments were made on the transaction, charges are not duplicated.
  • (fixed) (Chase users) On the Payment on Account screen, transactions associated with a charge can be opened when the computer has an Ingenico payment terminal connected.
  • (fixed) (Chase users) When the computer has an Ingenico payment terminal connected and a new transaction is created after quickly canceling the previous transaction, Ascend does not “freeze”/become unresponsive.
  • (fixed) (Chase users) When an NFC payment exceeds $1,499.99 and/or the transaction total exceeds $999,996.99, Ascend does not “freeze”/become unresponsive.
  • (fixed) In the Discount Calculator dialog box:
    a. Discounts are calculated correctly when the product can be ordered in bulk (Case Qty).
    b. Manually applied discounts (price is changed or an amount is entered in the Discount field on the Sales Item dialog box) are not overridden unless the user resets them.

September 2020

Software 20.3.197 (US/Canada)/20.3.195 / Database Schema 84 (change from May 2020)

Ingenico iSC Touch 250 Device Configuration: 20.1.1 / Firmware: 23.2.46.1 (no change from May 2020 - See below for important notes for device updates for retailers updating from January 2020)

Ingenico Lane 7000 Device Configuration: 20.3.2 / Firmware: 6.81.5

Release Date: September 16, 2020

Ensure Windows® is up-to-date before updating Ascend. Windows® updates may not be cumulative – additional updates may be required after another is installed.

(US only) For best performance, we recommend updating the driver for your Ingenico payment terminal to the latest version. This update is not automatic – see the Update the Ingenico payment terminal driver article to learn how to run this update.

(US only) The Ingenico firmware update may take up to an hour to complete on each device. Do not unplug your payment terminal until the Firmware Update Complete prompt displays. Be sure to restart Ascend after updating the Ingenico payment terminal.


Highlights

Ascend RMS Client

  • eCommerce exports (product uploads) to update inventory quantities on SmartEtailing websites occur every two hours.
  • Customer Shipping Addresses update to match the address entered on an eCommerce sale import.
  • Record PayPal and Stripe payments using the eCommerce payment type.
  • Complete the multi-point inspection checklist to ensure your customers know exactly what maintenance or repairs your technicians recommend for their bike. View inspection history to see what work was previously recommended for the customer.
  • Verify the Ingenico payment terminal model connected to a workstation or reboot the device from within Ascend.

Full Release Notes

Ascend HQ

  • (fixed) On Reports > Sales by Category, products which are in stock but were not sold during the selected dates only display when Include Inventory with No Sales is checked.

Ascend RMS Client

  • (new) eCommerce exports (uploads) happen overnight and every two hours during the day. SmartEtailing processes inventory changes between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm US Pacific time, and processes all other product changes and/or additions at 2:00 am US Pacific time.
    Sherpa tip: Manual exports are no longer available.
  • (new) When an eCommerce sale is imported (downloaded) and the customer’s Shipping Address entered on the order does not match their record in Ascend, their record in your system updates to match the eCommerce order.
  • (new) In eCommerce transactions (created via Ascend Desktop > View menu > eCommerce Sales), the payment method selected on the order displays in the transaction Comments field.
  • (new) When adding ad images to the Ingenico payment terminal, the progress of the process displays.
  • (new) On an eCommerce payment, PayPal and Stripe are included in the Card Type dropdown. (QuickBooks users) These payment types are included in General Ledger Summary (IIF) file export.
  • (new) On the Work Order Details screen:
    a. The dialog box can be resized.
    b. Select the Inspection tab to record assessments and recommendations service technicians made on the customer’s bike. Click the Customer (avatar icon)/Mechanic (wrench icon) button to toggle field order. Click the Email button to send a copy of the form (as a PDF file) to the customer and/or click the Print button to print a full-page copy of the form.
    Sherpa tip: Email and print versions of this form do not use receipt options. This form can also be accessed outside a transaction from the Service Center screen > Inspection button (on the toolbar). When Completed is checked, the Inspection tab cannot be selected – to view an inspection for completed work, select the History tab. A Serial Number must be entered for the Repair Item.
    c. Select the History tab to view past Multi-Point Inspections completed for the customer’s repair item.
    d. When Quantity is changed for a sale item with an Estimated Time value, Est. Time updates accordingly.
  • (new) If a customer does not enter a phone number, is missing shipping address information, or pays via PayPal Express on an eCommerce order, the sale download (import) does not fail.
  • (new) If a customer does not enter a phone number, is missing shipping address information, or pays via PayPal Express on an eCommerce order, the sale download (import) does not fail.
  • (new) (Chase users) When voiding an EMV (chip) credit card payment, the customer is prompted to insert the original card if they use a different card than was used for the payment.
  • (new) (Chase users) Ascend cannot be used while the Ingenico payment terminal is connecting to the computer.
  • (new) (Chase users) In Options > Payment Processing > Pinpad Setup:
    a. The Device field displays the Ingenico payment terminal model which is connected to the computer.
    b. Click the Reboot button to restart the connected Ingenico payment terminal.
  • (new) (Chase users) The Ingenico Lane 7000 payment processing terminal is supported.
    Sherpa tip: Terminals must be purchased from Ascend to have the proper setup for integrated payment processing.
  • There’s a lot of text here. Need a break? Are you a dog person, a cat person, or maybe you prefer something else?
  • (fixed) When making a Credit or Debit card payment from the Payment on Account screen, the Ingencio payment terminal displays the appropriate payment prompts.
  • (fixed) When creating an Inventory Adjustment for a product that does not have an Average Cost value (or $0.00), the product’s Last Cost is automatically entered in the Unit Cost field. If Last Cost is not available (or $0.00), Estimated Cost is used.
  • (fixed) When a sale item is removed from a Layaway or unfinished Work Order, its COGS is calculated into the product’s Average Cost value.
  • (fixed) On the Inventory > Inventory Event Details report, products display when they were scanned in multiple Events during the selected date range.
  • (fixed) In Work Order Details, the selected Space becomes available when the repair is removed (Hidden is checked).
    Sherpa tip: Spaces on repairs removed prior to update may remain unavailable.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) Performance for product sharing is improved.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) Performance for customer sharing is improved.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) When Options > General > Import Only New Products for Vendors is checked, only products which were added (not all products) are uploaded for sharing.
  • (fixed) (Chase users) Performance for the Sale Summary display on the Ingenico payment terminal is improved.
  • (fixed) When a transaction is marked to Keep Open (either using the transaction toolbar button or checking Keep Transaction Open on the Change Due screen), no errors occur.
  • (fixed) (Chase Users) When opening an incomplete transaction (Layaway or Work Order) with a Debit payment, Ascend does not “freeze”/become unresponsive.

May 2020

Software 20.3.106 / Database Schema 83 (change from January 2020)

Ingenico Device Configuration: 20.1.1 / Firmware: 23.2.46.1 (change from January 2020)

Release Date: May 20, 2020

(US/Canada only) Several new features require our support team to manually migrate your data to the new platform – so, to provide you with the most seamless transition, this release isn’t available to download as normal. Schedule a time with us to get your store updated.

(US only) The Ingenico firmware update may take up to an hour to complete on each device. Do not unplug your payment terminal until the Firmware Update Complete prompt displays. Be sure to restart Ascend after updating the Ingenico payment terminal.


Highlights

Ascend HQ

  • The Analytics > Retail Profit Machine metric adds Av. Work Order, Av. DIS, and NPS values.
  • The Category Analysis report compares sales and inventory performance from year to year.

Ascend RMS Client

  • Work Order transactions cannot be finished (closed) or unmarked as a Work Order unless all associated Work Order Details are hidden.
  • The Inventory in a Hidden Category and Hidden Inventory reports include negative inventory.
  • Allow employees view-only access to product information.
  • Filter customers by their Include in Communications preference in the Customer Query utility.
  • (Chase users) Allow customers to use contactless NFC payments (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Android Pay, Fitbit Pay, Chase Pay, PayPal, VISA payWave).

Full Release Notes

Ascend HQ

  • (new) On the Analytics Retail Profit Machine metric:
    a. Av. Work Order displays the average price of completed Work Order Details (excluding Rental Charges, serialized items, and uncategorized products).
    b. Sales Per Hour includes all employee hours in its calculation.
    c. Email Capture automatically updates if customer information is entered after a transaction is finished (closed).
    d. Av. DIS displays the estimated number of days your current inventory will last if it sells at its current rate.
    Sherpa tip: If a full 12 months (365 days) worth of data is not available, an asterisk symbol (*) displays next to the value.
    e. NPS displays your Net Promoter Score® from Listen360.
  • (new) Use the Category Analysis report to compare month- and year-to-date sales and inventory performance for this year and last year. Click the Export button to save the displayed results as an XLSX file. (multi-store retailers) Results for all selected locations are combined.
    Sherpa tip: Inventory data prior to April 1, 2019 is not available.

Ascend RMS Client

  • (new) On Work Order transactions:
    a. The transaction cannot be finished (closed) until all active (not hidden) Work Order Details are completed.
    b. The Work Order button (on the toolbar) cannot be deselected until all Work Order Details are hidden.
  • (new) Performance on the Inventory Event Details report is improved.
    a. When a large number of products are included in results, the report does not time out.
    b. Items with the Not Scanned discrepancy are not duplicated in displayed results.
    Sherpa tip: Inventory adjustments were not duplicated – inventory values are correct. Only the report results display incorrectly.
  • (new) In Reports, Inventory in a Hidden Category and Hidden Inventory include products with a negative quantity.
  • (new) (multi-store retailers) When an extremely large number of customers exist, sharing is not impacted.
  • (new) On transactions, sale item Quantity for serialized items can be set to -1. Quantity cannot be 0 for any sale item.
    Sherpa tip: When exchanging products for a customer, always use the receipt form the original transaction.
  • (new) The Reports - Online Reports - Customer Transaction History user permission is renamed Reports - Customer Transaction History.
  • (new) The Products/Vendor Products - View Only user permission allows employees to view product information without editing it.
  • (new) On the Customer Query utility, the Communications column displays whether or not Include in Communications is checked, and the Email column displays the Email Address entered. Use the Include in Communications filter to limit results to only customers who have/have not agreed to receive mailings (email or postal) from your store.
    Sherpa tip: In the Product Query utility, Communications and Email display on the Customer (lower) pane. If the customer declined to provide an email address (Declined is checked on the customer record), Declined displays in the Email column.
  • (new) (Chase users) The Ingenico payment processing terminal displays the Subtotal, Shipping, Total Savings, Tax, and Total due (along with all sale items) on the current transaction.
  • (new) (Chase users) When processing integrated credit or debit payments using the Ingenico payment processing terminal:
    a. Customers are only prompted to choose Credit or Debit as a payment type regardless of the card issuer. When a customer uses a debit-capable card, Debit displays as the first choice available and is selected by default.
    Sherpa tip: Customers can also press the Cancel button on the keypad to process their payment as Credit.
    b. Customers may use near-field communication (NFC)-capable payment methods (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Android Pay, Fitbit Pay, Chase Pay, PayPal, VISA payWave) for purchases.
    Sherpa tip: American Express (AMEX) and Discover (DISC) payments cannot be taken via Apple Pay. NFC payments cannot be voided. Depending on the customer’s device settings, authorization (e.g. passcode, fingerprint, Face ID) may not be required for payments under $250. If payment is $250 or more and the customer does not have an authorization method configured on their device, a signature or PIN entry on the Ingenico payment processing device is required.
  • There’s a lot of text here. Need a break? Are you a dog person, a cat person, or maybe you prefer something else?
  • (new) Performance for eCommerce sales imports is improved.
  • (fixed) When a customer has Notes on their account, the Search field in transactions remains selected.
  • (fixed) In Database Explorer > Customers, the History tab displays when a transaction is out of balance.
  • (fixed) In Database Explorer > Customers, matching results display regardless of search parameter used.
    Sherpa tip: Non-numeric characters are ignored when searching phone numbers.
  • (fixed) On the Reconcile Inventory screen, extremely large numbers of sections and/or products can be reconciled.
  • (fixed) On the Work Order Details screen, users without the Work Order Scheduling Override permission cannot approve a Due Date which has exceeded its available number of repairs.
    Sherpa tip: This permission is also required to override a Due Date which has exceeding its available technician time – however, this functionality was not affected and has continued working correctly.
  • (fixed) In Database Explorer > Locations, the Name field cannot be blank.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) On a product record, Sales History displays correct values when items have been removed from a transaction.
  • (fixed) When backing out of a new Vendor Order without saving after removing all order items, Ascend does not “freeze”/become unresponsive.
  • (fixed) In Reports, the following reports can only be saved as a PDF file:
    a. End of Day > Daily Accounting Summary
    b. Inventory > Inventory
    c. Inventory > Inventory by Category Retail
    d. Inventory > Inventory by Vendor
    e. Sales > Sales by Category Details
    f. Inventory > Reconciled Inventory
    g. Sales > Sales by Category Retail
    h. Sales > Sales by Category Summary
    i. Sales > Sales by Vendor Retail
  • (fixed) On the eCommerce Sales screen:
    a. Status changes can be applied when only one order displays.
    b. The screen does not time out when a large number of orders exist in your system.
  • (fixed) When Options > General > Force Login is checked, users must sign in to access the Inventory Center screen or to add a Payout.

January 2020

Software 20.1.144 / Database Schema 77 (change from October 2019)

Ingenico Device Configuration: 17.3.1 / Firmware: 20.0.2.84 (no change from October 2019)

Release Date: January 29, 2020

WINDOWS 7 IS NO LONGER SUPPORTED.

This version cannot be installed on Windows 7 computers. If your server computer is running a current version of Windows, it will be able to update to January 2020, but any workstations on Windows 7 cannot update. Once updated, server PCs cannot be rolled back to previous versions of Ascend, and your Windows 7 workstations will be unusable.

Check our minimum hardware requirements to ensure your store continues running smoothly.

You may be able to upgrade your computer’s operating system using Microsoft’s Windows 10 media creation tool. Be sure to back up your Ascend system AND the entire computer to an external drive before running any upgrades/updates.

After updating your server computer, you may need to restart the Ascend Agent service.


Highlights

Ascend HQ

  • Sales/Hour (based on Ascend Time Clock values) and Customer Data Capture rates display on the Sales Team Analysis report.
  • Export report values as an XLSX file.
  • The Analytics Retail Profit Machine metric displays a quick overview of prominent values for your business.

Ascend RMS Client

  • Rental Items sold from a Reservation are automatically added to the associated Rental transaction.
  • Cancel Reservations with a single click.
  • Enter a Start Date when a work order doesn’t require immediate work.
  • Edit Internal Notes for a Work Order Detail or Comments for a transaction directly from the Service Center screen.
  • Display sale items on the Ingenico payment terminal.

Full Release Notes

Ascend HQ

  • (new) On Reports > Sales Team Analysis:
    a. Sales/Hour displays the total sales dollars divided by the total number of hours worked (as recorded in Ascend’s Time Clock utility).
    b. Customer Data Capture metrics display statistics on how consistently salespeople collect customers’ contact information.
    Sherpa tip: Transactions with no sale items (e.g. gift card/certificate sales) are not included.
  • (new) On Reports, click the Export button to save the displayed results as an XLSX file. On Reports > Sales by Category, export category and product (SKU) values separately.
    Sherpa tip: Exports save to the Downloads folder specified in your browser settings. Percentage values do not display the percentage sign. Categories are not nested – parent and child categories display at the same level.
  • (new) Category assignments update every night. Reports > Sales By Category displays results for correct categories.
  • (new) On the Analytics screen, use the Retail Profit Machine metric to view average bike price, average bike add-on dollars, sales per hour, and email capture rate values at a glance. Toggle the metric to display benchmark values.
    Sherpa tip: Additional values will be added in future releases.
  • (fixed) Sales information is included when the transaction was finished (closed) in the current or previous year, even if it was created much earlier.

Ascend RMS Client

  • (new) (multi-store retailers) In Database Explorer > Locations, locations which are no longer supported (e.g. closed) are removed (hidden).
  • (new) Use Reports > Reservations > Rental Inventory to view cost and quantity information on your itemized rental fleet.
  • (new) When a Rental Item is sold from a Reservation, the converted in-store item is added to the Rental transaction.
  • (new) Use Reports > Reservations > Rental Fleet Movement to track when Rental Items were received and/or converted to in-store inventory.
  • (new) On the Reservation Center or within a Reservation, click the Cancel button to remove all Rental Items, remove the Rental Charges item from the linked Rental transaction, and remove (hide) the Reservation with Status Cancelled.
    Sherpa tip: If the Rental Items are Checked Out, the Reservations – Override permission is required to cancel the Reservation. Reservation Items are checked back in.
  • (new) Users cannot access Reconcile Inventory from the Inventory Center screen if they do not have the System Tools user permission.
  • There’s a lot of text here. Need a break? Are you a dog person, a cat person, or maybe you prefer something else?
  • (new) On the Work Order Details dialog box:
    a. Enter a Start Date if the customer’s repair does not require immediate attention and work can begin at a later date.
    Sherpa tip: Uncheck Completed to enter a Start Date.
    Work Order Turnaround metrics still calculate based on the date the Work Order Detail was created – this will be addressed in a future release.
    b. Click the star icon to mark the repair as Important.
    c. The Internal Notes field is larger to accommodate additional text.
  • (new) On the Service Center screen:
    a. Start Date can be added to the displayed columns.
    b. Click the Edit button (pencil icon) next to Internal Notes and/or Transaction Comments to toggle the ability to enter additional notes on or off. When finished, click the Save button (arrow icon) to add them to the transaction or Work Order Detail.
  • (new) (Chase users) The Ingenico payment processing terminal displays all sale items on the current transaction.
  • (new) Performance on the Reservation Center screen is improved.
  • (fixed) (Trek retailers) When a product does not have a SKU or vendor Part Number value, it is excluded from APPLE label updates.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) When a new location is added, it is automatically active (i.e. not removed/hidden) at all locations.
  • (fixed) On a Reservation, checking in a single Rental Item changes the Reservation’s status to Checked Out.
  • (fixed) When the Due Date is changed on a Work Order Detail, the View Availability dialog box always displays the selected date/time (instead of reverting to the next available date/time).
  • (fixed) (Chase users) When voiding (removing) a Credit Card payment or printing/reprinting a signature receipt, Ascend does not “freeze”/become unresponsive if there is a problem with the receipt printer.
  • (fixed) In Database Explorer > Customers, the History tab displays when a transaction is out of balance.

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