During the Summer we’ve been busy working away on the next update to MIDAS, v4.14. This upcoming release contains a whole host of new and improved features. We’re really excited to introduce you to these over the course of the next few weeks here on our blog…

The first new feature we’re unavailing is “Tentative” bookings.

Currently, bookings in MIDAS can be thought of in one of two ways; either as “confirmed” bookings, or an unconfirmed “booking requests“.

“Confirmed” bookings are fairly self-explanatory. Unconfirmed “booking requests” are those which first require approval from an administrator before being converted from an unconfirmed “request” to a confirmed “booking”.

With the introduction of the optional ability to also make “Tentative” bookings in v4.14 you can add bookings which only persist for a certain amount of time before being automatically removed. That is, unless you change them to be “confirmed”.

How is this useful? Well, here’s an example;

Say you have a client who wants to book “Room 1” a month from today, and may also want to book “Room 2” for the same times as well. They don’t know for sure yet whether they’ll need the extra room until next week.

In v4.14, you’d be able to a regular “confirmed” booking for the client to “Room 1”, and also a “tentative” booking (or “hold”) for the client to “Room 2”, which could be set to auto-expire two weeks from today for example.

Once these bookings have been added, then for the next two weeks, both Room 1 and Room 2 will be booked for the client. If you hear nothing further from your client in relation to Room 2, then after two weeks have elapsed, the “tentative” booking which had been added to Room 2 will be automatically removed, freeing up/releasing that slot for other potential bookings! Alternatively, if you do hear from the client within the time frame (before the tentative booking would expire), and they confirm that they do also want Room 2, you can simply update that “tentative” booking make it “confirmed”.

Whether a booking is added as a “confirmed” or as a “tentative” booking is determined by its “Booking Type”.

“Booking Types” allow you to categorize and color-code your bookings, and by default all booking types are “confirmed” bookings.

MIDAS v4.14 allows you to set individual booking types to instead make bookings that are assigned that particular type, “tentative”. For each booking type you make “tentative”, you can also set how long tentative bookings of this type should persist for:

Tentative Booking Types

You can specify a duration (in minutes, hours, or days) that tentative bookings of the selected type will persist for. Also, whether this duration should be measured from the point in time the tentative booking is added to the system, or count back from the start time of the tentative booking.

For example, if a tentative booking is added to the system at 7am on a given day to take place at 4pm the same day, then;
a) A booking type with a tentative persistence of “4 hours after being added”, would mean that the booking would be automatically removed from the system if it hasn’t been confirmed by 11am. or;
b) A booking type with a tentative persistence of “2 hours before booking is due to commence”, would mean that the booking would be automatically removed if it hasn’t been confirmed by 2pm.

You can set different tentative persistence settings for each of your booking types, providing you with maximum flexibility over your tentative booking types.

When “tentative” bookings are being added, they will be clearly indicated on user’s Booking Availability Screens:

Tentative Booking Types