Bits & Pieces ChangeLog – May Edition May 29, 2009
This is the first in a series called “Bits and Pieces” that will serve as an annotated ChangeLog for what’s new and changed on MotorsportReg.com. We release updates frequently, as often as several times per week, and the changes range from small bug fixes to important new features or changes in behavior. If you’re a customer of ours, this is your cheat sheet for staying on top of what’s happening.
We’re going to try to do this at least once a month but perhaps every other week time and schedule permitting. This particular update has been in my drafts folder now for almost a month and it’s time to get it out before it becomes too unwieldy. So let’s get to it:
Week ending May 1st
- Restored the Time Machine capability in the registration form preview to see how it will look at different dates. If you use early bird discounts or late penalty fees, for example, click the Preview Options bar above the form and enter a different date. By default we use the date registration opens.
- We replaced our SPEED promo on the home page with a link to Jarno Trulli’s Abruzzo website for aid to the victims of the earthquake in Italy last month. To date the effort has raised €40.281,85 to help the citizens rebuild.
- Resolved failures when deleting an event with validation rules on the registration form.
- Resolved failure when cloning an event with an assigner without an event segment checked. An assigner should never be without an event segment but there are ways it could have happened previously so this fix prevents the cloner from throwing a meatball.
Week of Cinco de Mayo
- If a discount code could be redeemed more than once per person, it was possible for someone to redeem it more than once for a single event if they made multiple payments. Closed this loophole.
- Attendees editing their own registrations is one of our top requests for club race and autocross organizations. We rolled out the behind-the-scenes portion of this feature and are working on the remainder.
- Added the ShareThis widget to let participants post event links in Facebook, Twitter and other social networking services. Usage has been positive and helps organically spread the word about your events.
- Blue Ridge Region of the SCCA is using our new REST API to embed a dynamic calendar of events into their website. Follow the link and click “Register” to see it in action.
- For PCI DSS compliance and security reasons, we redirect our payment processing through a managed server in another colocation facility. The upside is that we are fully compliant and customer data is as safe with us as with your bank or Amazon. The downside is that the remote server is “dumb” – it simply processes payments and does not know whether or not an attendee is logged in. When Joe Blow gets to the payment page and walks away from his computer for an hour letting his session expire, returns and clicks “Pay”, the remote server happily processes the payment. But when Joe is redirected back to finish his registration, we no longer know who he is and his registration is left incomplete. To try and prevent this, we added a behind-the-scenes timer that pings our system every 10 minutes on the payment page to reduce the likelihood of a session expiring while Joe tries to find his credit card.
Week ending May 15th
- Added anti-caching headers to report system to help prevent web browsers displaying stale report data. Subsequently found this causes problems with MS Internet Explorer1,2 so we scaled back to a basic Expires header. This should still have the desired effect although it may not resolve people who use HTTP proxies.
- Updated AxWare report to strip the “$” from the “Amnt.” column so it will be picked up properly.
- Launched our very own MotorsportReg.com Facebook “Fan” page at http://facebook.MotorsportReg.com. Become a fan and watch for some cool integrations between MSR and FB!
Week ending May 22nd
- Added ability to reorder Club Questions. This will change the order of appearance when participants add your organization to their profile as well as the order that you see them when reviewing their records.
- Resolved bug with Blacklist status not preventing all registrations.
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Week ending May 29th
- Reinforced our session expiry helper with a pre-submission check that verifies the user is logged in before sending the request. This prevents incomplete registrations by blocking the user from processing their payment if their session expires.
- Resolved formatting issue with Google and Yahoo calendar links where certain invalid characters were not properly escaped.
- Resolved bug where organizers adding a blank registration would get a meatball if the person was already registered. Expanded this search to check for canceled registrations as well as active.
In addition to those changes, there are some other things we’re doing behind the scenes to make our customer service better. I’m hoping we’ll have it ready for June and we’ll share more about it then.