Light Blue 7.1 release notes

Light Blue 7.1 adds new features to Light Blue 7, and is a free update for everyone who’s subscribed to our online services or is already using Light Blue 7.

GDPR-related changes

GDPR is an update to the data protection laws throughout the EU. Light Blue Software already complies with GDPR, and we’re adding some features to Light Blue 7.1 that can help you to comply with it in your own business.

Updated licence agreement: GDPR requires data controllers (i.e. you!) to have a contract in place with their data processors. Agreeing to the updated licence agreement that comes with Light Blue 7.1 forms this contract.

Recording clients’ consent to receive marketing communications: Light Blue has always allowed you to record which clients have chosen to receive marketing communications from you, and we’ve added some extra enhancements to this in Light Blue 7.1:

  • You’ll find a command in the Housekeeping section of the Records menu that allows you to set the mailing list opt-in checkbox for all of the contacts in your found set. If you decide to remove all of your existing clients from your mailing list so that they will need to opt in again, this tool allows you to do that quickly and easily.
  • When you tick the mailing list opt-in checkbox, Light Blue now presents a dialog that allows you to record the date and reason for this. When someone opts in by checking the relevant box when filling in one of your forms, this is automatically recorded for you. The mailing list consent details are included in Light Blue’s built-in contact details printing template.
  • You could already include a mailing list opt-in checkbox in the contact fields in Light Blue’s forms, but we’ve now added an alternative mailing list opt-in checkbox that you can include anywhere in your form that will allow your client to set this opt-in for all of the contacts on that form. You can also include more explanatory text with this checkbox, to ensure that your clients understand what they’re doing.

Including booking forms in your contract PDFs: You could already choose to include your booking form as part of the contract PDF that’s sent to you and your clients once they’ve signed their contract, but we’ve made this setting easier to find and more flexible by moving it into the ‘Advanced Options’ section of the contract template. You might find this particularly helpful if you’re asking clients to opt into your mailing list as part of their booking form, or if you’re including other checkboxes that are relevant to your contract as part of the form.

You can now include checkboxes within the text of contracts: You can now have checkboxes within the text of a contract in Light Blue. When you’re editing a contract or contract template, you can use the ‘Insert Checkbox’ button to add optional or required checkboxes. Required checkboxes have to be ticked by your client before they can submit a signed contract.

When you are accepting a signed contract from the Inbox, or viewing a signed contract from the Activity panel of a shoot, any checkboxes that you included in the contract are listed for you to make it easy to see which options your client chose.

Including checkboxes within the text of your contract could be helpful if there are specific terms that you want clients to acknowledge, or options that you want to give them. For opting into receiving marketing communications, we would recommend using one of the mailing list opt-in options that are available as part of the booking form instead of a checkbox in the contract text, because using one of our ‘official’ options will automatically set the appropriate fields on your clients’ contact records in Light Blue.

If anyone has any questions about including checkboxes in their contracts, or needs any help setting them up, please let us know and we’d be delighted to help!

Identifying old personal data that can be removed: We’ve added a tool to the Housekeeping section of the Records menu that allows you to easily identify old records that you might want to remove from Light Blue if you can no longer justify holding the personal data that the contain. The ‘Find Old Records’ command allows you to specify which types of record you’re searching for, and how many years back you want to go. For example, you could search for all contacts that haven’t had any shoots, appointments, or sales within the last 6 years (or whatever you decide is reasonable). Once you’ve found these old records, you can check them carefully and then use the ‘Trash Found Records’ command to delete them.

Providing clients with a copy of the information that you hold about them: We’ve added a ‘Linked Records’ option to the list of optional extras when printing contact or shoot records. This is particularly helpful if you ever need to provide a client with a copy of all of the personal data about them that you hold, because printing a contact record with this option enabled will print both their contact details and a list of all related pieces of information.

Reduced information option in calendar feeds: Light Blue 7 added a ‘Show Only That I’m Busy’ mode to calendar feeds, but for situations where you want to give someone a bit more information about what you’re doing but don’t want to give out any personal data about clients we’ve now added a ‘Title & Location Only’ mode.

That’s the end of the GDPR-specific changes we’ve made in Light Blue 7.1, but read on to find out more about the other features and bug fixes that we’ve added.

Other client portal changes

  • When you export a contract template, you can now include that contract’s booking form as part of the same export file. This makes it easier to supply a booking form and contract to other photographers, who can import these templates into Light Blue 7.1 in just one step.
  • The emails that we send on your behalf when a client is working through a form or contract are now optional. Contract and form templates now have checkboxes that allow you to choose whether an email is sent when it’s published, submitted, etc.
  • Miscellaneous checkboxes and popup menu choices from a booking form are now included in the contract PDF.
  • When displaying a checkbox value from a form, we now display it as “yes” or “no” (or your localised equivalent) instead of “1” or “0”.
  • When a form that contains hidden fields is submitted, the email that’s sent to you and your client no longer includes those hidden values.
  • Fixed a problem where the “no contacts” warning could be displayed when setting up a contract or form and you have deselected the existing contacts.
  • Fixed a problem where a blank Purchase record could be created when accepting a contract with a booking fee that was paid offline.
  • Fixed a problem with editing contracts where, if a paragraph ended with italic text, an asterisk could be added to the end of the paragraph.

macOS calendar features

We’ve rewritten the way that Light Blue interacts with macOS calendars and reminders. While you shouldn’t notice any changes in the way that most of these features work (apart from loading macOS calendar events into Light Blue’s calendar being much faster!), we have had to disable the old feature where ticking off a Light Blue task from the Reminders app would tick that task off in Light Blue as well.

Do please let us know if you have any feedback about these changes to how Light Blue works with macOS calendars and reminders!

Emailing

  • We’ve added reply buttons to emails that have been sent from Light Blue (you could already reply to emails that you’ve received).
  • When editing an email template, the plain text version that’s automatically saved at the same time now has its paragraph spacing formatted to more closely match the HTML version.
  • Fixed a problem where creating an email to the found set in Mail would only create an email to the first contact.

Miscellaneous changes

  • We’ve improved the speed of loading large numbers of shoots.
  • If you’re using a proxy server, we now encrypt the password.
  • Added a ‘Reassign’ command to the Task Manager options menu, which allows you to reassign all of the selected tasks to a different member of staff in one go.
  • Added a ‘Business Address’ field to the ‘General Preferences’ section of the Preferences window, and a corresponding %BusinessAddress% mail-merge tag.
  • Fixed a problem with the capitalisation of some types of activity when included in shoot or contact printouts.
  • It’s now easier to query for shoots that have a particular tag, because we’ve added a calculated tags field (in addition to the existing option of querying the linked tags). We’ve also added a %ShootTags% mail-merge tag.
  • Added a “Warn If Invoice Is Older Than Other Invoices” option to the ‘Finances’ section of the Preferences window. This allows you to enable or disable the warnings that appear when you try to create an invoice, but already have invoices with dates that are ahead of the one you’re trying to use.
  • Added ContactMailingList, ContactVATNumber, and ContactNameMaiden parameters to the Light Blue API.
  • Fixed a database error that could occur when running an income and expenditure or tax report.
  • Changed the way that duplicated records are named from “Duplicate of ‘original record name'” to “Original record name copy”.
  • The quick search box now includes a wider selection of fields in its queries, including quote descriptions and the net and gross totals of quotes, sales, purchases, and payments.
  • When linking a received text message to a shoot, Light Blue is now a bit smarter about linking to an existing contact instead of offering to create a new one.
  • Added an “Update Linked Contact’s Address” command to the contact fields on quote, sale, purchase, and payment records. You can use this to update the linked contact’s address if you’ve added or edited the address from a quote, sale, purchase, or payment.
  • When you’re editing a text message template, you’re now given an estimated number of parts for that message. The number of parts can obviously change if you include mail-merge tags in the template, because the mail-merge tags will be replaced by real data when you use the template.
  • Fixed a problem where, when creating a task from the Home screen and trying to link it to a Quote or Payment record, the search box didn’t work properly.
  • Fixed a problem where, when using a date filter for the Task Manager other than ‘All Outstanding’, going to the linked record from an un-dated task could sometimes take you to the wrong record.