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Software

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    New Visa Authorization Requirement

    It seems as if everywhere you look, you see new cyber-security practices being implemented. For example, Visa recently introduced new requirements for businesses that store cardholder payment information for use in future transactions, such as recurring payments and installments. These requirements restrict card use for anything other than a specific authorized use.

    How it works

    The first time the information is used in a “future use” transaction, Visa passes back a new Transaction ID element (Visa’s term) on authorization requests. The business must retain this ID and send it with subsequent transactions in the “future use stream” for this card/Transaction ID. But only for this specific card and Transaction ID.

    That’s not all

    Visa also requires that the merchant obtain and store …



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    Advantage Speaks Chinese at Bayard

    When Advantage moved to .NET in 2012, it paved the way for Unicode. Unicode is a computer industry standard that enables the use of other characters in addition to Latin, such as Cyrillic, Hindi, Japanese or Chinese. In its recent upgrade to 2016.0, Bayard took "Advantage" of these new capabilities to address the needs of its Hong Kong Subsidiary, Bayard Asia. For the first time, thanks to Bayard, Chinese characters are displayed on Advantage user screens. Awesome!

    Bayard Asia

    Bayard has had a presence in Asia since 1977, operating mainly from Hong-Kong. There, it publishes 5 magazines in traditional Chinese (Little Toy Car, Little Red Apple, Little Red Panda, Red Apple and White Antelope), and also markets 6 publications in English, from the "Box" collection (Story Box, Adventure Box, …



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    Creating Custom Report Output---the Easy Way

    With the 2018.7 release of Advantage comes an improved way to create custom report output, based on your select criteria. This functionality is available at the browser. It’s easy, it’s robust, and it’s a great way for end users to create custom reports and outputs.

    One of the best features of the browser-based approach is the ability to see real-time results. You can both see the results and export them to a CSV or PDF file. In addition, you can run this from within Advantage, incorporating the report into a jobstream or scheduling it to run on a regular basis.

    When you add a new select set in the browser, you are prompted for the Select Set Type and Data Source. These are validated drop-down fields; each also has a “quick search” tool to allow you to find values based on words or …



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    One City per Postal Code? Not Always

    When looking at postal codes around the world, there are cases where two different cities are served by the same postal code. For example, the zip code 94608 in California is used for both Emeryville and parts of Oakland. One postal code, two cities.

    Additionally, there are cases where the name of the city varies, depending on the language. Brussels is a great example. In Dutch, it’s Brussels. In French, it’s Bruxelles. Both are official languages of Belgium.

    Within AdvantageCS, cities can be set up to handle both of these cases, thereby making address self-service more targeted to the customer and label generation more specific. Both are subtle ways to improve customer service and provide a more personalized product to your customers.

    Using the Postal Code setup view, you can now …



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    Extensibility Services in Advantage

    Advantage offers many integration options within a technical ecosystem. One of those is done through Advantage’s Extensibility Services framework. This framework allows our clients to create custom implementations of standard interfaces (e.g., address hygiene). This approach is an integral part of AdvantageCS’s open system strategy.

    The mechanics of the framework are straightforward: Advantage provides the extensibility service contract and interface files while the developer provides the implementation of the service. The service itself could be local to the Advantage software, distributed on a network, or web-based. In contrast, Advantage also supports many out-of-the-box point-to-point integrations to specific vendor packages (e.g., CyberSource for credit card transactions).

    The …



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    ‘Tis the season to give online gift certificates

    The Cider web platform provides a robust environment for customer self-service and order placement.  Now, just in time for the holidays, the platform also supports payments made through gift certificates.

    Gift certificates are already a native payment method in the Advantage software package, but now the Cider platform will also support payments made via Advantage gift certificates. You can choose whether or not a certificate is usable for web orders. 

    This feature also permits the ability to use a partial amount of the gift certificate, with the remaining amount available for future orders.  Online customers can enter a gift certificate number directly, if they choose. If a customer has a partially redeemed gift certificate on file, they can select it and use it for payment.

      …



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    Card Vault Coming Soon to Advantage

    The Importance of Data Security

    In late summer of this year, news broke that Equifax had been the victim of a massive data breach, likely one of the largest thefts of consumer data ever---see article here.  As one of three primary agencies charged with tracking consumer credit in the US, Equifax fully understood the consequences of what it means for a consumer to have sensitive financial data stolen.  While it appears that a sophisticated hack was involved, the case highlights the importance of data security and the risk that a company takes on in handling sensitive data.

    The theft of one’s Social Security number, credit card data, or other personal data can cause many problems in today’s world.  It also costs businesses billions of dollars (maybe it’s trillions of dollars by now) a …



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    Advantage Integration with Microsoft Dynamics

    Along with the development of the Advantage integration with Salesforce.com, the same integration points were worked out with Microsoft Dynamics. Dynamics is a line of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software applications that can be cloud-based or on-premise. We plan to have integration for the CRM application, as many of our clients use it for their customer and prospect relationship management. We’ve completed an initial prototype-level for this integration.

    The integration with Advantage will provide a host of additional tools, including the capability of handling subscription-based products, membership, one-off products, and conferences and events. Advantage allows the different departments inside the organization to efficiently manage …



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    Spectacular Savings on Cider

    Take advantage of this special offer now before it ends

    Were you at one of the Advantage User Group meetings earlier this year in San Antonio or Brussels? If so, you remember that Dan Heffernan (our Vice President and Chief Product Manager) announced a special promotion on the Advantage eCommerce platform, Cider. But if you missed it, this offer is still good and here it is:

    FREE Cider license for clients with a license to the Web module who begin an implementation of our eCommerce platform (Cider) by December 31, 2017. (Clients who begin Cider implementations after December 31, 2017, will need to purchase a Cider module license.)

    Plus, for Cider implementations that begin by December 31, 2017, AdvantageCS will provide 60 FREE hours for theming, branding, customizing, or training, …



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    Customer Relationships Are Moving On

     Starting with release 17.5 of Advantage, you can work with customers in an Accounts and Contacts mode (which parallels how Salesforce.com structures customers).  You can move your customer maintenance view into this mode, search for Account customers and then view the contacts at an Account, displayed in a lower pane.

    This replaces---and substantially improves---the Location Customer feature.  In that feature, Advantage automatically created a “location” customer, where now it creates an “Account” customer.  A “location” customer was identified by a special address code; now an Account customer is identified by the customer Account? field set to Y.

    The Consolidated Overview by Location customer (which was difficult to access and did not include Access Management & Billing agreements) …



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