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Tickets

In this section server the purpose to manage every option related to tickets: which type of tickets are available and whether they are time-based or traffic-based, their rate -i.e., how much the user pays per unit of time or data-, and the creation of expendable tickets. The options are grouped in three categories, shown in the Tickets submenu: Rates, Quick Ticket, and Ticket Generator.

New in version 2.5-2013-May: Cyclic tickets

Rates

The Endian UTM Appliance gives the possibility to define several ticket rates in the Add Rates page, by selecting different combinations of the payment (post-paid vs. prepaid) and measuring (traffic-based vs. time-based) options from the appropriate drop-down menu. Depending on the combination chosen, the price for unit of use or for the whole ticket can be set. In particular, postpaid payment allow to define the price per one hour (time-based) or per 10 MB (traffic-based). The prepaid payment, instead, allows the definition of a more precise price and even the unit. In this case, indeed, even the amount of time (in minutes, hours, or days) or traffic (in Mb or Gb) and either the ticket price or the unit price can be supplied.

Note

When entering the ticket price, the price per unit is automatically calculated, and vice versa. This proves useful when offering different prepaid types of tickets and verify, for example, that the cost of four prepaid, 15 minutes duration tickets are more expensive than one prepaid, one hour duration ticket.

Cyclic tickets

New in version 2.5-2013-May.

Cyclic tickets are a new type of tickets that can be offered to Hotspot users. The idea behind the introduction is to assign to a user the same amount of traffic within a period (cycle), that can be repeated an arbitrary number of times (cycle duration). Every user can be assigned one cyclic ticket at a time.

More in details, a cyclic ticket consist of three parts:

  1. a rate, which is the cost per amount of time or of MB of traffic, exactly like other rates
  2. a cycle duration, which is a period of either one day, one week, one month, or one year, during which the traffic must be consumed
  3. a number of cycles, that shows how many consecutive times the ticket can be used. This number is decided by the hotspot’s administrator and is by default 1.

Although all types of ticket can be purchased at any moment and being used immediately, there is one exception: Cyclic tickets whose cycle duration is Monthly always start a cycle on the first day of the month and expire on the last day of the month. As an example, consider a monthly cyclic ticket purchased on the 20th of June. While it is possible to start using it immediately, the first cycle will finish on the 30th of June. It is therefore suggested to start the validity of this ticket on the 1st of July, so the first cycle will expire on the 31st of July.

Cyclic ticket can only be prepaid, i.e., they must be purchased in advance. Residual traffic within a cycle is not added to the next one, ie., it must be used before the end of the cycle or is lost. Cyclic rates can not be used for quick tickets, smartconnect tickets, ticket generator, and account generator: They must be explicitly assigned to an existent user or during the creation of a new user.

The tickets offered can even be made available for SmartConnect™ transactions (see below).

The available types of tickets are shown when opening the Ticket page in a table composed by several columns, which correspond to the options that can be defined in the Add Rates page. The tuples can be ordered by rate name, payment, or measuring mode. The ordering criteria can be reversed if the Reverse Order checkbox is ticked. To search for a particular rate name or to filter among them, fill in the input form located on top of the table with at least one character and press Enter. The columns of the table carry the following information:

Rate Name
The name given to the ticket rate.
Ticket Code

The ASA code for the ticket rate. Although used only for the ASA hotel management system, this field is mandatory. In case there is no ASA management system, fill it with any character or string.

Hint

When not using ASA, use the same string for the rate name and for the asa ticket code.

SmartConnect?
This column shows whether this rate is available for SmartConnect™ transactions, in which case a yes icon will appear in the list, otherwise a no is displayed. A click on the icon toggles the stuatus of the rate.
Bandwidth limiting?
Tick the checkbox to set a fixed bandwidth limit to the rate.
Download
The highest bandwidth available in download for the rate.
Upload
The highest bandwidth available in upload for the rate.
Quick Ticket?

Similarly to the previous, this shows whether this rate can be used for the creation of new quick tickets: In this case a yes icon will appear in the list, otherwise a no is displayed. A click on the icon toggles the stuatus of the rate.

New in version 2.5-2013-May.

Payment
This column appears if the rate requires prepaid or Postpaid payment.
Measuring Mode
This column show whether the rate uses the time-based or traffic-based measuring mode.
Cycle
The lenght of each cycle of the ticket.
Amount
This is the amount of time or traffic available when a single ticket is created with this rate. In the Rate editor this option appears right below the measuring mode. A drop down menu allows the choice between time-based and traffic-based ticket. In the former case, the number of minutes, hours, or days of validity can be chosen, while in the latter the amount of megabytes or gigabytes.
Price
This shows the hourly or per-10MB price and the ticket price specified for this rate. In the rates editor, two textboxes appear that quickly convert the price for unity (10Mb or one hour) into the price for ticket, which proves useful to control the average price per unit of the variout rates defined.
Actions
Choose whether to edit or delete a ticket rate.

When the choice of the Rate type is Cyclic, the rates editor changes slightly, displaying the following configuration options, instead of Price:

Duration of the cycle
The duration of one cycle of the rate, that can be either one day, one week, one month, or one year.
Price per cycle
The cost of each cycle.
Default number of cycles
The default number of cycles for the validity of the ticket. If it is not specified, the value 1 will be applied.
Total price examples
As soon as the price per cycle has been entered, this table calculates the total price for the cyclic ticket for some relevant number of cycle (e.g., 7 or 14 Days, 3 or 6 months and so on).

In the rates editor, one additional setting can be specified for the ticket:

Validity

This option defines the expiry dates for the single tickets created out of this type and appears only in the rate editor. The four possible values, chosen from the drop-down menu are:

  • Always, unlimited validity

  • From ticket creation allows to specify the length of validity of the ticket, measured in either minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months from its creation.

  • From ticket first use like the previous one, but the validity starts when the ticket is first used to access the hotspot.

  • Until the end of the day, the ticket shall be used within the current day.

    These values will be the default for the new tickets that will be created, though they can be overridded on a user basis when associated to a user under Accounts ‣ List ‣ Edit / Add ticket ‣ Add ticket.

Warning

After one ticket rate has been saved, only the rate name, the rate code, or the availability for SmartConnect™ transactions are changeable. Indeed, changing anything else would lead to have inconsistent accounting data. Hence, in order to modify a price for a rate, rename the existing rate and create a new rate with the original name. Suppose for example that there is a rate called hourly whose cost should be modified. First, rename that rate to something like OLD-hourly, then create a new rate with the original name “hourly”.

Quick Ticket

This page is used to create a new, single user account, whose username and password are automatically generated. To do so, optionally supply the first and last name of the user, then click on the desired rate among those displayed.

Hint

Only rates available for SmartConnect™ are available for quick tickets.

After clicking on the rate button, the username, password, and rate are shown on the screen: At this point the selection of the language for the user is possible. These accounting data can be printed by clicking on the Print information button. The new account inherits all the default settings -defined in Hotspot ‣ Settings- and is listed in the Accounts page. It is a normal account on which all actions can be carried out.

Ticket Generator

With the ticket generator it is possible to create a specific number of tickets which share common settings, including a predefined ticket rate. This option proves useful when there is the need to create a large set of prepaid ticket codes for customers that can directly use it on SmartConnect™ to access the hotspot, or even to use them as demo or evaluation codes. To be able to use a ticket, however, the customer must be registered: If she is not, she will be required to create a new account, an operation that can be easily carried out by the customer herself without the necessity of interaction of the hotspot’s administrator.

The Ticket Generator page is split into two boxes: On the upper side the input forms can be filled in to quickly create new tickets, while the lower side contains a table listing the already generated bulks of tickets. After at least bulk of tickets has been produced, a link will appear between the two sides, Show generated tickets, that can be clicked to show all the tickets available (see below).

There are two groups of options available in the generator to create new tickets:

Ticket Code
Define the prefix text (string) to use when creating the bulk of tickets, the length of the tickets’ name, and which character sets should be used to generate the random tickets.
Settings
The number of tickets to generate and the assigned rate that should be assigned to the tickets, among those already present in Rates.

To generate the bulk of tickets with the specified settings, click on the Generate tickets button: A sample of the first 5 ticket - code combinations will appear. The whole bulk will be generated only after clicking on Confirm, otherwise a click on Cancel will delete even the 5 samples shown.

Beneath the ticket generator options, all previously generated bulk of tickets are listed in a table whose columns are:

Date
The date and time on which the tickets have been generated.
Generated Tickets
The number of tickets that have been generated.
Actions

There are three available actions on each bulk:

Load Settings, to load the setting used to create those tickets and reuse them to generate a new bulk.

Delete tickets, to remove all the tickets created in that generation. This action will only delete tickets that have not yet been consumed.

Export as CSV, to export the list of tickets combination in CSV format.

Clicking on the Show generated tickets link leads to the page showing a table with all the generated tickets, that can be (reverse) sorted by either the ticket’s code or creation date, with the option to hide unused or expired tickets. Specific codes can also be searched for using the input form next to the Code: label.

The table shows the ticket code, which user has used or has been assigned a ticket -if any, the ticket rate, the ticket creation date, and an optional link to either delete a single unused ticket code or to expire a ticket code in use. When the table contains a large number of tickets, pagination is available to split the list.

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