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Synchronizing local and online bookings: Part and Full Updates

We have written a complete document that walks a user through all the steps needed to sell through the BookingCenter Global Booking Network. Please download the Online Checklist from the BookingCenter Support Area if you are having any troubles. There are troubleshooting tips found here.

By keeping the CRS up-to-date, you will assure there are no double-bookings and inventory is always correct. You can automate your updates. There are five types of updates: Part Update, Inventory Update, Full Update, Image Update, and 'Live Sync'. The updating process can be automated as well. MyPMS users, click here for updating information.

To prepare your datafile for an Upload, make sure the following are entered correctly:

  • Make sure you have clicked the ‘Setup’ button on the top of the ’Internet Configuration’ window (Parameters | Internet Configuration) to setup the export of files for your computer.
  • Make sure you have a connection chosen to connect to the Internet (such as Dial Up - Manual, etc.)
  • If you want to connect automatically every x hours frame, choose the ‘Automatic Update’ and click the time frame you'd like to use - learn how to do this.
  • Make sure you are happy with the classification for how bookings will be brought down from the Internet - Review, Confirmed, or Unconfirmed.
  • Make sure the admin.bookingcenter.com address is listed as your Admin Server
  • Provide the correct SMTP server address and your name & password for your Internet connection. Usually your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will provide this to you, as this is the server you use when connected to the Internet to SEND email.
Regardless of the type of update chosen, all bookings, modifications, and cancellations from ANY Global Network Partner are sent to you during the Update.
Part Update
    Only availability information changed since the last Upload was successfully accomplished is sent to the CRS during a Part Update. This keeps your local booking database synchronized with the CRS. You can do a Part Update by choosing ‘Update Internet” from the BookingCenter menu or the Home screen.
Inventory Update
    The uploads ALL your bookings since you started using BookingCenter. All booking regardless of the date will be sent to the CRS. This can be done by pressing the button on the Parameters | Internet Configurations screen called “Update Availability”.
Full Update
    When your images, marketing messages, or Company Information changes, BookingCenter sends these new files to the CRS and to all the Global Booking Partners that list your property so that current policies, rates, images, etc. are used to represent your property. Expect the Full Upload to take between 1 and 5 minutes, depending upon the sizes of each of your files.
    Any image or message that has been modified since the CRS was last updated will overwrite ones on the CRS. Keep in mind that the CRS will display only those images that correspond to the requirements that are listed in your Member's Area (login to http://members.bookingcenter.com ). Please make sure you read the ’Check your images’ section carefully.
    In order to accomplish a Full Update, you must have registered for the BookingCenter Network and entered the correct Lock Code into your BookingCenter software. Your Parameters | Company Information | Register section should have the ‘Network Distribution’ checked ON to enable the Full Update, as shown here:
    If your Network Distribution option is NOT clicked and you have signed up for the network, please email support@BookingCenter.com and we will help you get the proper code.
    Once you are ready to perform a Full Update, go to the Parameters | Internet Configuration and choose the button labeled Upload All Info as shown here:
      hint: only Upload Images when you have changed your images. If you have NOT changed your images, DO NOT upload Images.
Image Update
    An image upload replaces all the images that BookingCenter uses to represent you on the Global Booking Network. If you change even one image, you need to perform an Image Update and all images will be replaced.
Automatic Update
    The Parameters | Internet Configurations area of your BookingCenter software allows you to automatically update every hour, 3, 6, 12, 24, or at startup. By setting the box to “automatically update”, your computer will automatically connect to keep the CRS - keeping your management computer and the CRS “synchronized”. Remember that the computer that is maintaining the datafile needs to be setup as the computer that connects to the Internet. In a networked environment, this is the Server computer, and is set by clicking the button "Network Manager" on the computer that will act as the Network Manager.
'Live Sync'
    With BookingCenter Desktop Version 5, BookingCenter introduced 'Live Sync' which keeps your BookingCenter Desktop PMS synced after each new, modified, or cancelled reservation. 'Live Sync' is recommended only for those users who have a broadband Internet connection such as DSL, ISDN, or cable modem. By choosing this option from your Internet Configuration screen, after each reservation change, BookingCenter automatically updates the CRS and all in the Global Booking Partners with the current availability - assuring up-to-the-second availability synchronization between your local operation and the CRS & Global Booking Network.
    It is still recommended to use the 'automated update' with Live Sync, set at one or three hour intervals. If you are using the Member's Area to track booking details, make sure to perform a 'Full Update' once a day to upload ALL information about the day's bookings and status changes to the CRS. By doing this, your remote managers can view specific booking and guest details from the day.
MyPMS

Updating MyPMS does not update the CRS nor Partner sites with edits of marketing or rate information unless the manager chooses to do so. When making 'content' changes (except reservation changes), it will be necessary for a MyPMS user to perform a Full Update in order for the changes to propagate across the Network. Look under the Front Desk menu, click "Setup"; this brings up the main Setup window. Choose "CRS Full Update" and this changes the descriptions, etc. in the CRS and Global Booking Network within about 3 minutes. Check the Member's Area to see the changes.

Troubleshooting

If you are experiencing problems with Updating to the Internet, or other BookingCenter services, here are some likely causes:

Problem: Error #0: Sockets: No Data Record

Solution: You are using a firewall that prevents BookingCenter from communicating with the Central Reservations Systems. We have seen this happen with the Personal Norton Firewall and some other software firewall products on the internet. Simply turn OFF the firewall, quit BookingCenter, and try again. If the problem is gone, then you must slowly 'tighten' security restrictions until both your firewall needs and the ability to communicate with BookingCenter's Central Reservation System are met.

Problem: Firewall Errors Prevent Updates or Credit Card Transactions

Solution: You are using a firewall that prevents BookingCenter from communicating with the Central Reservations Systems. While we don't work with firewalls and establishing security protection for our custoemrs, we have found that a decent network adminsitartor can help enable these services while still providing a good protection against inreuders. here are the common protocols we require to work for various services:

Service
Host Name
Protocol
Credit Card Processing auth.bookingcenter.com HTTP
Part and Full Updates to the CRS admin.bookingcenter.com FTP
Live Sync admin.bookingcenter.com HTTP
Automated backup of datafile (can be backup.bookingcenter.com or customer's web host) FTP
Networking BookingCenter Deskltop clients client dependent anming and drive mapping AppleTalk (Aple Mac networking) or Windows Networking/SAMBA for Windows and mixed networks
MyPMS connectivity mypms.bookingcenter.com HTTP

Problem: Error: Sockets: Time Out

Solution: You are not connected to the Internet or have expired the internet connection. This happens if yuor internet conection dropped out (in teh case of a DSL or cable modem, for example) or you are using a dial-up and the connection re-set itself. Simply quit BookingCenter. Connect to the Internet and confirm it by visiting a website or making a search engine query, and then re-lauinch BookingCenter and try again.

Problem: Notifications of Updates (Part or Full) are not getting through. I get the 'Network Results Screen Success' but nothing changes online from the update.

Solution: You are not able to notify the BookingCenter server (admin.bookingCenter.com) by either HTTP nor SMTP that your Desktop software just did an Update. This leaves all the updates 'unprocessed' on our servers and the changes you sent not used. We see this in particular instances where there are proxy servers used on the LAN or on satellite systems that have been optimized for HTTP traffic and employ strange 'tunneling' programs for network enhancements.

We have a specific help document for this situation at: http://www.bookingcenter.com/help/emailing.html

We have written a simple document that explains the steps to sell through the BookingCenter Network. Please download the Online Checklist from the BookingCenter Support Area if you need more help with understanding the synchronization process of the software to the CRS and Global Booking Network.