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Specials & Value-Add Setup in webConnect

Product Version: 3.0, 3.1
Document Version: 1.1
Last Updated: 1 April 2013
Author: John Snelling

OVERVIEW

Webconnect ODP version 3 has introduced the ability to select various pieces of textual information that can be used to describe the rate being displayed to assist in explaining any specials or value add components that are included in the rate. This textual information that can be used includes:

  • Rate level voucher text
  • Rate Name
  • Rate Description
  • Extra Name
  • Extra Description
  • Ability to associate icons with the text to improve visibility


Whilst the development has been done alongside the creation of compulsory extras, Specials and Value Adds can be used without compulsory Extras

SETUP STEPS

The settings to control how and what Value Add information is displayed are global to all product types and so there needs to be a good level of consistency across the data setup to ensure that consistent results are displayed. Before starting with the configuration some thought needs to be given to decide which text will be used for what value add or special descriptions. Some basic questions/considerations before starting would be:

1. Is there a need for compulsory extras to be used, and if so which extra(s) will be used.

2. What types of 'value add' information is to be displayed. Some examples would be:

  • Description of any compulsory extras that is included
  • Stay pay information when it applies
  • Description of any 'value add' or inclusion for the rate like fruit bowls etc
  • General date specific rate information that needs to be display

It is recommended that each category of text to be displayed is allocated a specific field in the database, so that for example Rate Voucher Text 10 always had any general rate information

3. Are icons going to be used to further highlight rate information, if so where are they going to be sourced from


In the setup examples below we will assume the following points:

  • Rate level voucher text 9 & 10 will be used for any general rate information that may need to be different based on date and to describe specific rate inclusions like meals, fruit bowls and the like
  • Rate Text will be used to describe any compulsory extras that are included
  • The standard icons included in the distribution files will be used and we will highlight stay pays, meals and any general value adds.

Configure Service Search

The Service Search results cannot show the textual information about the rate, but can be configured to display icons in the same column as the option description and comments appear, for example:


 

1. To display voucher text information the Internet INI ICOM_RATE_VOUCHER_TEXT_FIELDS needs to be declared with the Voucher text to be exposed via h2h (eg: 1,2,3)

2. Whether icons appear on the search results page is determined in the first instance by the serviceSearchRateIconIds key in webconnect.config. By default this is blank and so no icons will be displayed. Adding this entry will tell the system what conditions icons will be displayed for. For example the following entry would set the system to display an icon if there is a stay pay condition, any compulsory extras and if any rate level voucher text is present and so we could see up to 3 icons per option.

<add key="serviceSearchRateIconIds" value="stayPay,rateText,voucherText"/>

Icons can be associated with a range of data and the full list of valid settings for this key are:

stayPay

Display an icon if the rate being shown has had a stay/pay deal applied to it

lastBookableDate

Display an icon if the rate displayed is affected by a last bookable date (i.e. Sell x days/months before Travel)

       rateName       Display an icon if the rate had any Rate Name values that were non-blank

rateText

Display an icon if the rate had any Rate Text values that were non-blank

compulsoryExtras

Display an icon if the rate being shown includes one or more compulsory extras

compulsoryExtras1…5

Display an icon if the specific extra was compulsory and included in the rate

voucherText

Display an icon if the rate had any text completed in the rate level voucher text fields

voucherText1..10

Display an icon if the spe cific rate level voucher text was non-blank

When hovering over a valueadd icon text will appear.  The text is dynamic for almost all values used in serviceSearchRateIconIds except for the generic voucherText and compulsoryExtras values. For voucherText and compulsaryExtras the text is customised through the Labels.xml file in section ServiceSearch.  Modify the value of the following labels:

  • compulsoryExtras: <Label name="compulsoryExtrasIconTitle" value="Rate includes compulsory extras" />
  • voucherText: <Label name="voucherTextIconTitle" value="Voucher Text" />

Below a screen capture of the ServiceSearch.aspx of the Lables.xml file.  Label <Label name="voucherTextIconTitle" value="Voucher Text" /> has been changed to <Label name="voucherTextIconTitle" value="Check out our super duper value add options on this rate" />

The result of this in webConnect service search when hovering over the icon is as follows:

 

3. The standard distribution provides the following icons which can be associated with various types of data and be displayed accordingly.

Icon

Name

Default Use/Association (serviceSearchRateIconIds)

HotDeal.png

None

HotDeal_Light.png

None

MealDeal.png

None

MealDeal_Light.png

None

SpecialDeal.png

None

SpecialDeal_Light.png

None

SpecialEvent.png

None

SpecialEvent_Light.png

None

StayPay.png

Stay/Pay deal included in the rate (stayPay)

StayPay_Light.png

None

ValueAdd.png

All other fields

ValueAdd_light.png

None


Adding stayPay to the serviceSearchRateIconIds key will display the (StayPay.png) icon whilst adding any of the other key words will display the (ValueAdd.png) icon.

 

4. The association between which icon to display and the keyword used in serviceSearchRateIconIds is maintained via a specific set of styling (CSS) and so if you wish to change the association then this file needs to be edited. It is shared.css found in the All_Looks subdirectory of the Webconnect installation. By default it looks some like:

.rateicon
{
width: 60px;
height: 20px;
display:-moz-inline-block; display:-moz-inline-box; display:inline-block;
margin: 1px;
}
.rateiconrateName
{
background-image: url('images/rateicons/Valueadd.png');
}
.rateiconrateText
{
background-image: url('images/rateicons/Valueadd.png');
}

The .rateicon section is defining the style for the icon and then each of the .rateicon+FieldName sections are defining the location and name of the icon to display where the FieldName matches the valid entries for the serviceSearchRateIconIds key.
For example, if you wished to display the existence of Extra5 being compulsory as a being a meal deal then you would do the following:

    1. Add compulsoryExtras5 to the serviceSearchRateIconIds key
    2. Set the .rateiconvoucherText5 entry in shared.css to:
      .rateiconvoucherText5
      {
      background-image: url('images/rateicons/MealDeal.png');
      }

Configure More Info Pages

Icons

If icons are configured to be displayed on the service search page then they will also be displayed on the rates tab of the option level more info page.

Value Add Text

In addition to the icon display you can also configure the page to display more detail about the 'Value Adds' included in the rate. This allows you to use various pieces of text to give more detail about what the rate does, or does not, include. The default installation will have no value add information displayed. The configuration of what is to be displayed, is similar to configuring the icon display.

1. The list of data fields that can be displayed is defined in the Webconnect.config setting for rateGridValueAddIds. This setting takes the same list of values as serviceSearchRateIconIds except for the StayPay one which is excluded. This will control the source of the information displayed about the rate.

2. There are then several label.xml settings that will control how the data is displayed. There are 5 labels to control the heading for the Value Add section with defaults of:

<Label name="valueAddHead" value="Value Adds" />
<Label name="valueAddHeadingDateFrom" value="From" />
<Label name="valueAddHeadingType" value="Type" />
<Label name="valueAddHeadingDescription" value="Description" />
This produces the Value Add Section header:

3. The type column displays the source of the data and its content is defined. There is a setting for each source with default values of:

<Label name="valueAddTypeRateName" value="Rate Name" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeRateText" value="Rate Text" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText1" value="Voucher Text 1" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText2" value="Voucher Text 2" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText3" value="Voucher Text 3" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText4" value="Voucher Text 4" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText5" value="Voucher Text 5" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText6" value="Voucher Text 6" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText7" value="Voucher Text 7" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText8" value="Voucher Text 8" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText9" value="Voucher Text 9" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText10" value="Voucher Text 10" />
The settings used for these need to match the setup of the system and reflect what data is being stored in each category. Based on our assumptions about the setup of this system we would have labels of:
<Label name="valueAddTypeRateText" value="Meal Inclusions" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText9" value="Inclusions" />
<Label name="valueAddTypeVoucherText10" value="" />

There are some points of note:

    • Text can be output without a type and in this example we have grouped both Voucher Text 9 & 10 under the type 'Inclusions'
    • That has been done by removing the label for the Voucher Text 10 data and the type column will only be displayed if there is text of that type to display
    • There is some 'fuzzy' logic around the treatment of dates where we try to remove any duplicate text information if the stay actually crosses a season. The intention with this is to suppress duplicate sets of text whilst being specific about the date that compulsory extras

Changing Icons

You not have to use the icons that have been issued with the system. Clients can source their own icons and either:

    1. Follow our naming convention and replace those distributed as part of the standard Webconnect install
    2. Use their own naming convention and change the sharded.css entry to reflect the new name.

HOSTCONNECT

The value add textual information is also available via the OptionInfo call in Hostconnect. There is a new ValueAdd structure that is returned when any of the rate related Info types are used (S, R, D). This structure returns the relevant date and text information describing the rate and it is described in more detail in the HostConnect documentation.