Release Notes (General Release)

Winter 2017

Software 17.4.375 / Database Schema 47

Ingenico Device Configuration: 17.3.1 / Firmware: 20.0.2.84

Release Date: December 19, 2017

Sherpa tip: If your server is running Microsoft SQL Server 2012 or earlier, contact the support team to schedule your upgrade to SQL Server 2014 or newer. Previous versions of Microsoft SQL Server are not supported, and may cause errors to occur with newer versions of Ascend.

Oregon retailer? Click here to learn how to set up a category flat tax.

Overview video



Highlights

Ascend Online Reports (AOR)

  • The Inventory & Sales History report displays additional details.
  • Select Vendor on the Sales by Category Summary report.

Ascend RMS Client

  • Receive a notification when a transaction is already open on another computer.
  • In Purchase on Accounts (accounts receivable):
    a. When a customer Account Type of Company is selected, First Name and Last Name are not required.
    b. Enter payment Terms for transactions.
    c. Click Manage Account on the customer record to access the Payment on Account screen.
    d. On the Payment on Account screen, view the Transaction Details.
    e. Display the Purchaser’s information in the Ship To section of invoices.
    f. Print additional details on statements.
  • Enlarge and Shrink the text size on Vendor Orders, Work Orders Due, and Work Orders Ready for Pick-up.
  • In a Vendor Order, select a location from the Transfer To drop-down to send the product to Check-Out when it is received.
  • Only Show Available Spaces for Selection is automatically checked in the Spaces dialog box. Uncheck to view all Spaces (including those in user) in drop-downs.

Full Release Notes

Ascend Online Reports (AOR)

  • (new) On the Inventory & Sales History report, check the appropriate options to exclude values for Min/Max, On Order, Committed, and additional Product Details from the displayed results. Overall performance is improved.
  • (new) On the Sales by Category Summary report, Vendor can be selected.
    Sherpa Tip: Once an item is in your inventory, Ascend has no way to identify which vendor a specific item came from – only which vendors a product may be ordered from. Running reports by vendor may inflate your total values.

Ascend RMS Client

  • (new) Backup (both manual and automatic) performance is improved for stores with large databases.
  • (new) Payments cannot be processed while the transaction is loading or saving. This change prevents “orphaned” payments (i.e. payments which are not associated with a transaction).
  • (new) In the Spaces list:
    a. Check Sort Alphabetically to keep your Spaces list ordered.
    b. Uncheck Only Show Available Spaces for Selection to display all Spaces (including those in use) in Space dropdown menus.
    Sherpa Tip: This option is checked by default.
    c. Right-click and choose Insert Row to add a new Space above the selected location.
    d. When removing a Space, it is not removed from the list until Save is clicked.
    e. Multiple Spaces can be selected for removal.
    f. When the list is unsorted, click and drag a Space to move it to the desired location.
  • (new) In Work Order Details, enter a maximum time of 99:99 for Est. Time and Actual Time.
    Sherpa Tip: Leading zeros must be entered for single-digit times (e.g. 06:07).
  • (new) Automatic delivery of the Cash Reconciliation Summary reports can be scheduled.
  • (new) Spaces are always released from Work Order Details when the transaction is finished (closed).
  • (new) When a Work Order Detail is marked Completed, the Timer stops automatically and the date is displayed next to the checkbox.
  • (new) Performance for importing and exporting Vendor Orders is improved.
  • (new) The Vendor Order screen is rearranged for easier use.
    a. Select a location from the Transfer To column to begin a transfer for the order item.
    b. On the toolbar, click Toggle Text Size to display text in a larger font.
    Sherpa Tip: User grid customizations share across all workstations in your store. Current customizations reset upon upgrade, but all future customizations are retained.
  • (new) Terms can be entered for customer Purchase on Account accounts.
  • (new) If a customer has an Account Type of Company selected, First Name and Last Name are not required, and Company is required.
  • (new) On the Purchase on Account payment dialog box, check Display Purchaser Shipping Address on Invoice to display the purchaser’s address on statements instead of the selected customer for the transaction.
  • (new) On the Payment on Account screen, click Details (on the toolbar) to view the information entered on the Purchase on Account payment dialog box.
  • (new) A transaction cannot be opened on multiple workstations.
  • (new) Ascend can be installed on new computers.
  • (new) Automatic delivery of the Activity Details report can be scheduled.
  • (new) All large (full-page) receipts use the same format.
  • (new) In-store and vendor product spreadsheet exports are rearranged for easier use. Download the new vendor product template file here.
    Sherpa Tip: Older template files will continue to work until Spring 2018.
    a. PartNo is now VPN.
    b. NonInventory is now IsNonInventory.
    c. MfgrPartNo is now MPN.
    d. The Select All/Select None buttons are replaced with a checkbox above the fields to import.
    e. All fields display in the Select Columns to Import dialog box.
  • (new) When printing Purchase on Account (POA) statements, print only open balance details, only paid balance details, or all balance details.
  • (new) (multi-store retailers) Performance is improved when saving and importing products.
  • (new) When charging to Purchase on Account (POA) and printing large (full-page) receipts:
    a. Terms display.
    b. “Charged to Account” displays instead of “PurchaseAccount.”
    c. Amount Due displays the amount charged to the customer’s account (instead of $0.00).
  • (new) On the Work Orders Due and Work Orders Ready for Pick-up screens, click Enlarge/Shrink to toggle font size.
  • (new) On the Work Order Details screen, Due Date and Due Time display separately.
  • (new) In the Items to Order dialog box, choosing a category also displays products in child categories.
  • (new) In Vendor Orders, click the Help button (on the toolbar) to view related training resources (e.g. knowledge base articles and Ascend University modules).
  • (new) The TCS Total Finished Work Orders report is renamed TCS Total Completed Work Order Details. Use this report to display the total number of work orders marked Complete in the selected date range.
  • (new) The TCS Work Order Add-On Dollars report is renamed TCS Add-On Revenue Details. Use this report to display the total add-on MSRP dollars in the selected date range by vendor.Sherpa Tip: Once an item is in your inventory, Ascend has no way to identify which vendor a specific item came from – only which vendors a product may be ordered from. Running reports by vendor will inflate your total values.
  • (new) The TCS Totals Received by Vendor report displays a Total for Amt Received and a % of Total Dollars value for each vendor.
  • (new) The TCS Service Tickets per Bike Sold report displays the percentage of bikes sold last year which have had an associated work order detail over the past year.
  • (new) The TCS Team Member Analysis report is renamed TCS Service Team Analysis. Use this report to display the totals for transactions, add-ons, and labor items by technician in the selected date range.
  • (new) The TCS Total Add-on Revenue report is renamed TCS Add-on Revenue Summary. Use this report to display total work order add-on MSRP dollars in the selected date range.
  • (fixed) When multiple work orders are selected, Availability cannot be clicked.
  • (fixed) In Options > Services, the Automatic Email BCC value can be removed (cleared).
  • (fixed) Spaces can be assigned to new serial numbers.
  • (fixed) When order items are split, values display correctly in the Product Query utility.
  • (fixed) On the Vendor Order screen, using the tab key on the keyboard does not exit the order.
  • (fixed) Multiple work orders can be selected and removed.
  • (fixed) When no cash is taken, but a payout is recorded, the QuickBooks® General Ledger Summary (IIF) file remains in balance.
  • (fixed) Spaces are released when a repair is marked Complete from the Work Orders Due screen and the transaction is closed.
  • (fixed) Performance on the Work Orders Due and Work Orders Ready for Pick-up screens are improved.
  • (fixed) When a special order is added to a transaction after another has been completed, users receive the Complete Special Order prompt for the additional items.
  • (fixed) When a work order is finished (closed) and the work order detail is marked Complete, it cannot be changed.
  • (fixed) When a product’s Estimated Time value is modified, open work order details containing the product automatically update.
  • (fixed) When a repair item is added to a work order detail, subsequent new work order details added are not automatically populated with this item.
  • (fixed) Scheduled reports do not repeatedly send every minute.
  • (fixed) When a serial number is transferred to another location, its Space is released when it is checked out.
  • (fixed) When selecting the View menu (from the Ascend Desktop) > Vendor Products, no products display by default (and therefore no timeout errors display).
  • (fixed) When transactions are merged via the Select Customer dialog box, the resulting transaction does not display that it is currently open on another workstation.
  • (fixed) In Database Explorer > Users > Time Clock, dates do not appear duplicated.
    Sherpa Tip: Don’t worry – this bug only affected the display in this area. Your Time Clock data was all safe and correct!

Fall 2017

Software 17.3.191 / Database Schema 43

Ingenico Device Configuration: 17.3.1 / Firmware: 20.0.2.84

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Overview video



Highlights

Ascend Analytics

  • The Daily Sales Summary and Category Health Summary reports display the date/time.

Ascend RMS Client

  • Configure an address to automatically receive a copy (BCC) of all emails sent from your system.
  • Specify users as Technicians, set the amount of time (minutes) each has available to work on work orders, and schedule work by their availability.
  • Predefine Spaces for storage of repair items and/or serialized items.
  • Check a gift card’s balance from the Payment dialog box.
  • The Sales by Sales Person report displays all applicable users, regardless of whether the user is hidden.
  • Many branded EMV cards (e.g. REI-branded MasterCards) can be processed without error.

Full Release Notes

Ascend Analytics

  • (new) On the Daily Sales Summary and Category Health Summary reports, an Ascend logo and the date/time display.

Ascend Online Reports (AOR)

  • (new) On the Inventory & Sales History report, check the appropriate options to exclude values for Min/Max, On Order, Committed, and additional Product Details from the displayed results. Overall performance is improved.
  • (fixed) The Inventory by Category Detail report returns only in-stock products in the selected category.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) All reports display and run when a location is no longer used (closed/unsupported).
  • (fixed) Performance for the Ascend Health Checkup report is improved.
  • (fixed) The Daily Accounting Summary and Customer Data Capture reports display valid results as soon as they are accessed.

Ascend RMS Client

  • (new) In certain situations where a branded EMV (“chip”) card (e.g. REI-branded MasterCards) does not utilize full EMV standards, it can be processed successfully.
    Sherpa Tip: Since EMV technology is still relatively new in the US, standards can be something of a moving target. There may still be some
    scenarios where a valid card cannot be processed due to an incorrect setup by the issuing bank.
  • (new) When processing a Gift Card payment, the Amount field is automatically selected. Click Check Gift Card Balance to check the card’s available balance directly from the Payment dialog box.
  • (new) Up to 12 Quickie buttons are available in Work Order Details, and the dialog box is restructured to show additional detail.
  • (new) Manage the hook/location names you use from Work Order Details or Options > Sales and Returns > Work Orders > Spaces. In Work Order Details, the Space dropdown replaces the Location field; on upgrade, the Spaces list is automatically populated with all Location values from incomplete work order details and serial number records. Spaces already in use on a repair display in italic orange text, and in use for a serial number display in italic blue text. Sherpa Tip: Managing Spaces requires the System Tools user permission.
  • (new) The Sales by Sales Person report displays hidden (removed) users who have completed sales during the selected date range and can be delivered on a schedule. All values display in two decimal points.
  • (new) In Options > Services, enter an Automatic Email BCC address to receive a blind carbon copy of all emails sent via Ascend.
    Sherpa Tip: This option shares across all computers at your location (not across multi-store locations). Once set, this field requires a value.
  • (new) In Options, the Vendor Update tab is removed. Specify Trek pricing levels in the Trek tab, and toggle the Import Only New Products for Vendors option on the General tab.
    Existing product information is overwritten when the Import Only New Products for Vendors option is unchecked. Always back up your Ascend system before importing product spreadsheets. Previous information cannot be recovered without a backup.
  • (new) Work Orders Due and Ready for Pick-up are redesigned for easier use. Mark repairs which must be worked first as Important. Users can customize their grid view. Filters can be applied to refine work orders by technician, status, location, due date, and more.
    Sherpa Tip: User grid customizations and Service Technician filter share across all workstations in your store. Current customizations reset upon upgrade, but all future customizations are retained.

  • (new) Specific users’/mechanics’ availability can be entered for work order scheduling.
    a. In a user’s profile (Database Explorer > Users), check This user is a Service Technician to specify users who can be scheduled for work orders.
    b. In Options > Sales and Returns > Work Orders > Scheduling, select By Time.
    c. From Work Orders Due or Work Orders Ready for Pick-up, click Tech Settings (on the toolbar) to enter the number of minutes available per date for each user/mechanic. Time may be entered one, two, or four weeks at a time. Click the arrows to navigate dates. If the values are the same as a previous date range, select that week from the Copy Settings from dropdown menu and click Copy.
    d. In Work Order Details, click View Availability to schedule a due date based on mechanics’ scheduled work time. Assign the repair to either any available mechanic or a to specific mechanic. The next available date is automatically selected, but can be changed at any time.
    Sherpa Tip: If you prefer to instead only allow a specific number of work orders to be scheduled on a date (regardless of users’/mechanics’ time), simply keep Options > Sales and Returns > Work Orders > Scheduling > By Number selected.
  • (new) Work Order Details do not require a Repair Item.
  • (new) Users can customize their grid view in Database Explorer > Serialization.
    Sherpa Tip: User customizations share across all workstations in your store.
  • (new) Multiple serial numbers can be entered for products with electronic components (e.g. e-bikes). The In-Store Location field is renamed Spaces and shares the values entered for work orders.
  • (new) In Reports > Work Orders, run built-in reports for Trek Certified Service.
    a. TCS Total Finished Work Orders displays the total number of work orders created in the selected date range.
    b. TCS Work Order Add-on Dollars displays the total add-on dollars in the selected date range by vendor.
    Sherpa Tip: Once an item is in your inventory, Ascend has no way to identify which vendor a specific item came from – only which vendors a product may be ordered from. Running reports by vendor will inflate your total values.
    c. TCS Average Hook Turn displays the average number of days taken to complete work orders.
    d. TCS Totals Received by Vendor displays total units and dollars received by vendor in the selected date range.
    e. TCS Service Tickets per Bike Sold displays the total units of labor items added to a work order with a serialized item.
    f. TCS Technician Analysis displays the totals for transactions, add-ons, and labor items by technician in the selected date range.
    g. TCS Total Add-on Revenue displays total work order add-on dollars in the selected date range.
    h. TCS Work Order Time Variance displays the total time from work order creation to completion in the selected date range.
  • (new) QuickBooks® General Ledger Summary export (.iif) files can be exported regardless of date format.
  • (new) In Work Order Details, enter Est. Time and Actual Time in hours and minutes (format HH:MM). Enter a maximum time of 99:99.
    Sherpa Tip: Leading zeros must be entered for single-digit times (e.g. 06:07).
  • (fixed) eCommerce exports (uploads) do not return the message “Failed: Upload - UploadError, CatSync File Does Not Exist.”
  • (fixed) Date and time display in the Reservation dialog box.
  • (fixed) Special Order prompts correctly calculate Quantity Needed values based on current inventory levels. Special order items’ quantities can be changed in transactions.
  • (fixed) In Work Order Details, in-cell editing is only available when the corresponding setting checked in Options and quantities are not combined into a single line item when multiple products are scanned.
  • (fixed) If a user clicks Cancel on both the Enter Serial Number and Select Customer prompts when creating a work order, a blank, removed (hidden) transaction is not created.
  • (fixed) When installing the current version of Ascend, users are prompted to install additional Microsoft® software which the Ascend program requires to install successfully.
    Sherpa Tip: Before installing Ascend on a new computer, be sure to continue to check for and install Windows® updates (restarting the computer
    as prompted) until there are no more updates available. Windows® updates are not cumulative, and each update may trigger another required update.
  • (fixed) In the Scheduler utility, appointments can be added to the correct date.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) In a vendor order, edits made using in-cell editing are shared across all locations. Reorder (min/max) values at the editing location do not reset.
  • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) Product sync performance is improved.
  • (fixed) While the Transaction screen is loading, toolbar buttons cannot be selected. This change also prevents the Finished date from changing on completed transactions and prevents completed transactions from reopening.
  • (fixed) In certain situations, no error occurs when installing a new version of Ascend.
  • (fixed) Coupon Codes and Descriptions match regardless of which drop-down menu is used for selection.
  • Summer 2017

    Software 17.2.157 / Database Schema 39

    Ingenico Device Configuration: 17.1.0 / Firmware: 20.0.2.84

    Release Date: June 6, 2017

    Overview video



    Highlights

    Ascend Online Reports (AOR)

    • (multi-store retailers) Run the Sales by Category Summary report for multiple locations at once.
    • (fixed) The Inventory by Category Detail report returns only in-stock products in the selected category.
    • (fixed) (multi-store retailers) All reports display and run when a location is no longer used (closed/unsupported).
    • (fixed) Performance for the Ascend Health Checkup report is improved.

    Ascend RMS Client

    • All standards (small) receipts use the same format.
    • Use the Coupon Wizard to download Ascend-created coupons.
    • Down Payments on the Customer Liability Summary and Customer Liability Details reports match.
    • Tax Item descriptions can be entered for Tax Types.
    • VOID APPROVED scenarios may be lessened.
    • Shipping values display on all receipt types.

    Full Release Notes

    Ascend Online Reports (AOR)

    • (new) The Sales by Category Summary report is reorganized. (multi-store retailers) The report can be run for multiple locations at once.

    Ascend RMS Client

    • (new) Standard (small) receipts for customer account (Purchase on Account) payments and gift receipts match the format of receipts printed for all other transactions.
    • (new) Sorting in Database Explorer > Products and Vendor Products is improved.
    • (new) Download Ascend-created coupons (e.g. Trek Connect Retail Marketing, Trek promotional sales) using the Coupon Wizard. Sherpa Tip: Coupons cannot be re-downloaded using the Coupon Wizard – modifications must be made manually. (multi-store retailers) Coupons can be downloaded at any location, and automatically share between locations.
    • (new) (multi-store retailers) Remote inventory quantity update performance is improved.
    • (new) The Customer Liability Summary and Customer Liability Details reports use the same calculations for the Down Payments value.
    • (new) (multi-store retailers) Performance is improved when importing large vendor product spreadsheets.
    • (new) Use the Tax Item field to enter a description for Tax Types. This value is included in General Ledger Summary exports (IIF files) for QuickBooks®.
    • (fixed) A product cannot be added to the same sales promotion (On Sale) multiple times.
    • (fixed) In the Discount Calculator, users without the appropriate permissions cannot view Cost values.
    • (fixed) In certain situations where an EMV (“chip”) card does not utilize full EMV standards, it can be processed without returning a VOID APPROVAL receipt. For full details on this scenario, see the Season of Transformation post on our blog. Other situations may still return a VOID APPROVAL receipt.
    • (fixed) Full-page (large) receipts for Work Order transactions include shipping values.
    • (fixed) In certain situations, no error occurs when installing a new version of Ascend.
    • (fixed) eCommerce exports (uploads) do not return the message “Failed: Upload - UploadError, CatSync File Does Not Exist.”

    Spring 2017

    Software 17.1.168 / Database Schema 37.1

    Ingenico Device Configuration: 17.1.0 / Firmware: 20.0.2.84

    Release Date: March 28, 2017

    The Ingenico firmware update may take up to 15 minutes to complete on each device. Do not unplug your payment terminal until the Firmware Update Complete prompt displays.

    Overview video



    Highlights

    Ascend RMS Client

    • Streamlined special order workflow and improved tracking.
    • Default Mobile primary phone type.
    • Improved full-page receipts for work orders.
    • (QuickBooks® users) Separate eCommerce payments in General Ledger Summary.
    • (multi-store retailers) Streamlined serialized transfer workflow.
    • Scroll through long Comments fields.

    Multi-Store Retailers: Spring 2017 includes the framework for Stratus, a faster and more reliable multi-store platform. While the look and function of the Ascend program won't change, the support team will need to oversee each retailer's move to our beefier cloud setup.

    Click here to schedule your upgrade appointment after you’ve updated all locations to this version.

    Full Release Notes

    Ascend Analytics

    • (fixed) Tabs containing Inventory metrics display without error.
    • (fixed) Dates can be entered manually or chosen using the calendar.
    • (fixed) Set and display goals for the Work Order Add-on Dollars, Labor % of Sales, and Work Order Productivity metrics.

    Ascend RMS Client

    • (new) Schedule delivery of the General Ledger Summary report.
    • (new) MasterCard “2 series" bank identification number (BIN) ranges and JCB Discover cards are supported.
    • (new) When Ascend is unable to communicate with the payment terminal installed on the workstation, Ascend does not appear to become unresponsive.
    • (new) When overriding a sale item's tax rate, the Sales Item field is automatically selected.
    • (new) When a sale item is on special order, users can view details for the associated purchase order from within the transaction.
    • (new) When a sale item is not in stock or has insufficient quantities, the prompts to special order the item are simplified and streamlined.
    • (new) In a Vendor Order, the Transaction column displays whether a special order item is associated with a Work Order or a Layaway.
    • (new) (multi-store retailers) When a vendor product is modified, the user chooses to update the Estimated Cost with the vendor product Cost, and additional hidden (removed) vendor products exist, the product can be saved without error.
    • (new) When creating new customers, the primary phone type defaults to Mobile. The secondary phone type defaults to Home.
      Always verify phone type with the customer. Customers may be charged for incoming SMS (text) messages, and Ascend does not alert users if a message cannot be sent (e.g. non-mobile phone number).
    • (new) When printing full-page receipts for work orders:
      a. Space is better utilized so that repairs with minimal products and/or details do not always require multiple pages.
      b. Discounts display correctly based on the configuration in Options > Receipts > Extra Receipt Options > Print Discount.
      c. Customer phone numbers are formatted for readability.
      d. Fields without a value entered do not display.
    • (new) (QuickBooks® users) Check Options > QuickBooks > Export Settings > Separate eCommerce Payments to display each eCommerce payment on its own line in the General Ledger Summary (IIF) export. The Memo field displays the customer's name and selected card type.
    • (new) (multi-store retailers) In Check-In Transfers, scan a serial number to check in the associated transfer item. When associating a serial number in Check-Out Transfers, scanning a serial number selects the appropriate serial number.
    • (new) Comments fields with long entries display a scroll bar.
    • (fixed) On the General Ledger Summary report, New Down Payments only displays totals from the date(s) selected.
    • (fixed) When no customer is associated with a sale and the cashier chooses to email a receipt, the Select Customer dialog box displays.
    • (fixed) When searching Database Explorer > Orders by PartNo, results with hidden order items display only when Show Hidden is selected.
    • (fixed) Products' quantity cannot be reset when saving vendor products.
    • (fixed) The Inventory by Category Summary report displays the correct values for pending transfers.
    • (fixed) Cash Reconciliation Starting Float values are retained day-to-day.
    • (fixed) When a product's tax rate is changed, the new rate is reflected on sale items.
    • (fixed) The Aged Inventory report does not time out when it is run for a reasonable date range.
    • (fixed) Keyboard shortcuts ("hotkeys") in Vendor Orders function as expected (see Keyboard Shortcuts: Vendor Orders).
    • (fixed) In Vendor Orders, item costs cannot be changed after they are received.
    • (fixed) The Price of  existing sale items does not change when the product's MSRP is modified.
      Sherpa Tip: If you need to apply a discount percentage to a sale item based on its new MSRP, simply remove it from the transaction and re-add it, then apply your discount again.  
    • (fixed) No errors occur when a user clicks Back after making changes to a Transaction or a Vendor Order.
    • (fixed) Tax rates with more than three decimal places (e.g. 6.725%) always display and calculate correctly.
    • (fixed) When Comments in a layaway contain special characters, removing the transaction retains correct inventory values.
    • (fixed) When a payment terminal is installed on a workstation, disabling integrated payment processing (Options > Payment Processing > Type > (none)) also disables the payment terminal.
      Disabling payment processing on a workstation affects all workstations. Do not disable payment processing unless instructed by Ascend support. 
    • (fixed) When updating the Device Ads status and Ascend is unable to communicate with the payment terminal, Ascend does not appear to become unresponsive.
    • (fixed) Tax is not recalculated on finished (closed) transactions, regardless of whether or not the default tax rate has changed.
    • (fixed) When a Trade-In payment is removed from a transaction, inventory values are adjusted correctly.
    • (fixed) When a sale item for a Work Order Detail is not in stock or has insufficient quantities, the user is prompted to special order the item.
    • (fixed) When a Trek Card is swiped again before the original payment has finished processing, the card is not charged multiple times without a duplicated record in Ascend.
    • (fixed) When a pre-tax Trade-In payment which is not associated with a product is removed, no unnecessary inventory adjustments are made.

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