Release Notes (General Release)

Fall 2017 (upcoming)

Release Date: September 12, 2017 (scheduled)

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 technician has available to work on work orders, and schedule work by technician availability.
  • Specify set 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.
View the new release overview video:
 

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)

  • (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 Located field; on upgrade, the Spaces list is automatically populated with all Located 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) In Work Order Details, scan another item to increase its line item quantity.
  • (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) (multi-store retailers) The product sync process’s performance is improved when importing spreadsheets (both in-store products and vendor products).
  • (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 Team Member 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.
  • (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

    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.
    Watch the overview video:

    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.

    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.

    View the new release video:

     

    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.

    Winter 2016

    Software 16.4.244 / Database Schema 37.1

    Ingenico Device Configuration: 16.3.2 / Firmware: 15.0.4.3

    Release Date: December 6, 2016

    Highlights

    Ascend Online Reports (AOR)

    • Work Order History by Serial Number report.

    Ascend RMS Client

    • Order receiving workflow updates.
    • Detailed Work Order receipts.
    • Tax rate override hierarchy.
    • Unlock the Ascend Desktop to customize.
    • Schedule delivery of additional items.

    View the new release video:

     

    Full Release Notes

    Ascend Online Reports (AOR)

    • (new) Use the Work Order History by Serial Number report to view all repairs for a serial number. (multi-store) Search across all locations or a single location.

    Ascend RMS Client

    • (new) Scan a Case UPC with the inventory scanner to record the Case Qty for the product.
    • (new) From the Ascend Desktop, Receive or the Tools menu > Receive Order displays Database Explorer > Orders. On the toolbar, click Active to toggle between only incomplete orders or all orders created in a date range. users can customize their grid view, and changed apply across all workstations. On the lower pane, print labels for selected products. When opening an unsubmitted order, the Receiving option is not checked; when opening a submitted order, the Receiving option is checked.
      The Receiving option does not prevent users from erroneously receiving order items into inventory. Do not check Rec'd for an order item until it is to be added to your inventory.
    • (new) Receipts (full-page and standard) for Work Orders display details for all associated Work Order Details and offer additional options.
    • (new) The default tax rate can be overridden regardless of whether or not the new rate is higher than the default rate. Overrides use the following hierarchy: default, category, product, customer, sale item. Sale item tax rates override all other rates, and tax rate overrides are not combined.
    • (new) When changing databases at login, Ascend must be restarted.
    • (new) Coupons which are applied post-tax (i.e. after sales tax is calculated) can be used any time. Coupons applied pre-tax must be used before any non-Coupon payments.
    • (new) Right-click the white space on the Ascend Desktop and select Unlock Desktop to customize a user's view; right-click the white space and select Lock Desktop to prevent customizations.
    • (new) Style Name and Number, Year, Gender, and Season can be entered for products. These fields can be entered when importing a vendor product spreadsheet.
    • (new) In a transaction, select a product and click Avail (on the toolbar) to view availability for all integrated vendors.
    • (new) Search for order items in Database Explorer > Orders. Double-click an order item in the lower pane to open the order.
    • (new) (QuickBooks® users) General Ledger Summary (IIF) files can use a class hierarchy.
    • (new) On workstations where a payment terminal is install, select the Help menu > About to view the device's firmware software version.
    • (new) eCommerce product exports (uploads) include pricing for sales promotions which begin on the next day.
    • (new) eCommerce product exports (uploads) include only products on which the eCommerce option is checked. On upgrade, this option is unchecked on any products which do not match the previous criteria for inclusion.
    • (new) The tax rate applied to a sale item is retained until it is manually overridden.
    • (new) When a product's Estimated Time is changed, Appointment Length in all incomplete work orders is updated.
    • (new) Schedule delivery of:
      a. The Customer Liability Summary, Credit and Debit Card Summary, and Time Clock reports.
      b. SQL queries (designated with an orange icon) with only a date range or no parameters. Results save in CSV format.
      c. (QuickBooks® users) General Ledger Summary (IIF) files.
    • (new) On the eCommerce Sales screen, orders are automatically hidden as soon as their Status is changed to Complete. These sales continue to display in Database Explorer > Sales and customer history.
    • (fixed) Keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) continue to work after clicking Preview in a transaction.
    • (fixed) The Receiving History in a vendor order displays the correct user who received a session.
    • (fixed) Layaways cannot be created with no customer or product(s).
    • (fixed) Labels, receipts, and reports print to the appropriate printers selected in Options regardless of Windows® settings.
    • (fixed) When a report is scheduled for email delivery on the last day of each month, it is not emailed every minute when the current month contains less than 31 days.
    • (fixed) When editing a product, the price on existing sale items is not changed.
    • (fixed) Multi-store performance is improved.
    • (fixed) When the Open Cash Drawer option is checked on a payment type, the cash drawer opens.
    • (fixed) (QuickBooks® users) When a Warranty Item is recorded and resolved in the same date range, the General Ledger Summary file remains in balance.
    • (fixed) Reprinting a receipt for a completed transaction does not change its Finished (completed) date.
    • (fixed) When change is due to a customer in a transaction, multiple Change Returned payments are not recorded.
    • (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.

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