Note: This newsletter covers version 4.1 of the Holiday Letting System, released today.
In this newsletter we discuss:
- The new release, which offers improvements to data integrity and security.
- Other topics relating to the use of LetSys, including data recovery and Windows 10 support.
We are pleased to announce a new release, which focuses on data security and integrity, and also provides improved data recovery. There are also a few improvements and fixes.
Existing users can upgrade to this new release free of charge, as discussed below. The new version has been tested on all current versions of Windows.
The new version can be downloaded from http://erwwen.com/holletsys/download.htm
The full list of the new features is here: http://www.erwwen.com/holletsys/releasehistory.htmIMPORTANT:When you upgrade your software:
Please note that this version will now become the only supported version. Users are advised to upgrade to this new version.
We continue to be asked if LetSys supports Windows 10. The answer is "Yes, indeed!". Windows 10 has in fact been less of a problem than some previous upgrades, although there have been some issues. These all occurred for users upgrading from a previous version of windows. In some cases LetSys needed to be reinstalled. In other cases, the language and time settings within windows were changed which gave problems with dates fitting in the available space. Microsoft appears to have resolved most of these issues now.
You can read more detail in the following two topics on the support forum:
LetSys and Upgrading to Windows 10: http://support.erwwen.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=48
More information about Windows 10" http://support.erwwen.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=49
LetSys itself is still a 32 bit program but it runs fine on either 32bit or 64 bit windows. If you are running 64 bit windows, then LetSys is installed into the Program Files (x86) folder.
When you read that the main focus of the new release is on these areas, you may conclude that some users have lost data! There have indeed been one or two cases of hard disk crashes or computer failure and also cases where hardware errors have corrupted data. In all cases where we've been involved we've managed to recover the data from the transaction log (called the change log in the documentation). This new release should be even more resilient and makes recovering data easier and more automated. But there is still a need to run regular backups and we strongly advise you do this with the built in backup tool (available from the menu, by clicking tools and then backup). Everything you need to recover your system, including both data and settings, is saved into a single file. Your bookings data is critical to your business so we also recommend keeping backups off site, perhaps using physical media or alternatively one of the many Cloud Services.
In our last newsletter we discussed "Keeping your Data in the Cloud". That is, putting your data into a folder that was backed up by a Cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive. See Newsletter 13. Since then, there's been a case where a customer needed to recover a file more than a month old as the most recent copy had somehow become corrupted. Dropbox does, of course, keep backup copies, but only for a month in the free version. This gave us a bit of a headache as the Dropbox backup no longer existed. We therefore strongly advise you take monthly backups even if using a Cloud service. You should check how long your own service keeps old copies of data, of course, and if it is longer than 30 days, you can backup less frequently. Again, this was covered more comprehensively in the last newsletter.
Don't forget to occasionally clean out old data, or you data (root) folder will become very large, which will increase the size of your backups and/or your usage of cloud backup space. There are tools provided to archive old data. See help topic The Archive / Cleanup Window for more information, including more on the benefits of regular housekeeping.
There is also a tool to clean out old data from previous versions of LetSys, run from the Configuration program. See the Clean Up Data button on the Special Tab of the Configuration Program. This will only apply if you have been running LetSys for more than four years and upgraded from an old version.
If you have a web site, I'd like to repeat my usual offer. Search engine ranking is significantly influenced by the number of other sites that link to you (preferably in the same or similar business areas). Would you be willing to put a link to our web site into your site? In exchange I’ll add a link to your web site into our list of users. Better still – give me a reference quote to use as well. See the current list (including references) here: http://www.erwwen.com/holletsys/refs.htm
Here’s my sample link: “For other owner/managers: this property is managed with Holiday Letting System software from www.holletsys.co.uk or www.erwwen.com/holletsys/ “
Please ask your webmaster to add this link, and then send me an email, and I’ll link to you!
I hope the system is proving valuable. Your views are always welcome.
Finally, you might be interested to know that one of our users is successfully running with over 250 properties. We were not sure LetSys could scale that far, but it is running well. It does take a few seconds to start up and it is running on modern hardware.
Best wishes to all users.