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Article Information

Reference #: RN 2015v1r3
Author: Tech Support
Created: 03.20.15
Last Revised: 03.23.15

Release Notes:
Spectra/myStratus 2015

Volume 1 SR 3



Preview Release (SR1): February 17, 2015
Preview Update (SR2): March 5, 2015
Official Public Release (SR3): March 24, 2015


New or Enhanced Features

The following features have been added or enhanced in Spectra 2015 and myStratus 2015:

Feature Description
New Emailing Service - StudioPlus Mail

StudioPlus Mail provides state-of-the-art emailing functionality in both Spectra and myStratus. StudioPlus has partnered with SendGrid, the world's largest provider of email infrastructure, to provide a new service that is simple to use and cost sendgrid logoeffective.

You can use StudioPlus Mail to:

» Give your clients the ability to unsubscribe and automatically update that information in your software.
» Track open and click-throughs to see if your emails are being opened and, more importantly, if your clients are linking back to your website.

Use rich analytics to see how effective your marketing is and tag emails with email categories (new!) to organize your analytics by campaign.


» See basic analytics right in your software or log into your own SendGrid portal to go deeper.
» Email clients a link to confirm appointments and sessions. The session or appointment will automatically be marked as confirmed in your software.
» Comply with spam laws to ensure maximum deliverability.
» Stop sending emails to invalid email addresses.
» Monitor your usage and manage your email subscription right from your software.

The signup process is built right into Spectra/myStratus. Just go to Maintenance > Preferences > Company Preferences and open the Email page. Check the StudioPlus Mail sending option and then click Sign Up. We will create a SendGrid account for you and you'll be up and running in minutes.

+ StudioPlus Mail overview
+ StudioPlus Mail pricing

Electronic Delivery

You can now use Spectra/myStratus to electronically deliver images and other files to your clients! The software compresses the files into a single zip file and uploads it to your Stratus Drive. You can paste the download link into an email to your client or merge the download information into an HTML email or form letter. For maximum flexibility and automation options, this new feature is incorporated into your session, invoices, production orders, and render profiles.

The Action tab on the ribbon of sessions, invoices, and production orders can be used to deliver files manually...just browse and choose files or a folder.

electronic delivery

Consider using render profiles to automate the process.

+ More about electronic delivery

File Attachments

You can now attach documents (e.g., Word docs, PDF files, Excel spreadsheets, etc.) to your clients, sessions, invoices, orders, and tasks! Attach proposals, contracts, event planning guides, handwritten forms, job sheets, and more.attach files

Just open a client (or session, invoice, etc.) and go to the new Attachments tab on the ribbon. Click Attach File, browse to the file you want to attach, and click Open.

You can also add any of a client's attachments to an email message by clicking Attach Attachment on the email ribbon.

+ More about attaching files

Invoice Import Wizard

There is a brand new Invoice Import Wizard in Spectra and myStratus Desktop. Great for new clients with invoice records in another software, clients who need to import invoices from a 3rd party e-commerce site, or those clients who may need to import a batch of invoices.

Go to the Utilities menu and click Import Invoices to start the wizard.

+ More about importing invoices

Client Import Enhancement

The Client Import Wizard can now be used to update existing clients in addition to importing new ones. The software can match up clients by client number, student ID, or a combination of student ID, organization, and graduation year.

client update

This feature is great for school photographers who receive an updated list of students each year. It can also be used to update a batch of client records by exporting them to Excel, making changes, and then importing them back into the software.

+ More about importing clients

Notification Center

We've introduced a valuable new tool you can use to communicate with your staff/studios.

Open the Utilities menu and click Notification Center. Local administrators can use this page to view existing notifications and create new internal notifications for the studio. Enterprise users also have the option the create notifications for one or more studios. Notifications can be marked as urgent, include a visible time range, and include links.

notification center

We will also use the new Notification Center as a primary way of communicating important notifications to you, such as:

» The release of new software updates, features, or services.
» The availability of new training materials, videos, or blog posts.
» Important notices regarding service interruptions that may affect your business.
» Control Center jobs that are failing and need your attention.

There is a brand new panel on the home page where each user can see and manage their own notifications.


+ More about the Notification Center

Workflow Hub -
New Sorting and Searching Tools

We've added some new features to the Workflow hub to help you find what you're looking for!


The same customization tools you use on the other hubs are now found on the Workflow hub! Sort, group, and filter the columns. Add columns and show summaries.

workflow sort


A new Search Selector gives you a brand new way to quickly find sessions or orders on the Workflow hub. It works much like the search tool on the Session and Production hubs.

session selector

» Barcodes can be scanned on the Workflow hub to instantly select sessions or production orders.

+ More about the Workflow hub

Production Tracking Enhancements

Do you base your workflow on a projected delivery date instead of when an order is placed? We've introduced a new method of tracking production orders that works backward from the approximate delivery date (as opposed to the default method of projecting forward from the order date).

We've also included some updates to production statuses:

» New Non-Standard Statuses - Create non-standard statuses for things that aren't part of your regular workflow, such as "On Hold," "Cancelled," or "Waiting on Client." These statuses will be available to use when needed but will not be added into the production cycle.
» New Advance Status Option - You'll see a new checkbox when advancing the status of a production order. Check Current Status Not Complete to change the status to "Waiting on Client" or "On Hold" without actually setting the current status as completed.
production status change

Finally, we've provided some communication and trigger enhancements to keep your production on track.

» You can now create Production Order type letters and emails in the Form Letter Builder and the HTML Email Builder.
» Production Order type form letters and HTML emails can now be sent from production and preproduction orders, as well as included in any Production Order Triggers you create.

+ More about production tracking
+ More about production statuses

Session Promotion Enhancements

Session promotions have been enhanced to include promo codes, active date ranges, and quick searches. A promotion will automatically be shown on the session during the active date range. The session Promotions tab also includes quick searching abilities for studios with a lot of promotions.
promotion search
+ More about session promotions

Auto Updates

We've improved how we deliver software updates to ensure you're using the most current release of the software. We want you to enjoy the best experience possible when using our software! The new method makes it simpler for you to roll-out new updates and upgrades.

auto updates

+ More about updates and upgrades

Home Page Services Panel

The Web Services panel on the home page has a new name and includes some new services.

» Credit Card Processing - This section includes a handy link to your online portal and a quick way to launch the End of Day Wizard.
» StudioPlus Mail - This section displays current email usage through your StudioPlus Mail service and gives you a link to your SendGrid portal.

services panel

Accounting Enhancements

We've added a couple new tools that make your accounting work simpler!

» Write-Off Tool - Now writing off an invoice involves less work for you! Just open the invoice and click Write Off Invoice on the File menu. Just enter the amount to write off and the software will create a credit memo and automatically transfer it back to the original invoice.
» Refund Deposit - It just became much easier to refund a customer deposit! Just open the deposit, click Refund This Deposit on the ribbon, and enter how you want to refund the money. The software will automatically create the refund, a new $0 invoice, and then apply both the original deposit and the refund to it.
» Percentage Payments - A new payment feature allows you to quickly select a percentage amount, such as 25% of the invoice total.payment percentage

+ More about writing off an invoice
+ More about refunding deposits

New Business Options

Do you use the word "Session" to describe your jobs? Or maybe you use "Events" or "Tickets." How about your workers? Do you use "Photographer" or is there another term that matches your business better? You can now customize the terminology used throughout the software to better suit your business!

These new options are built into the the Preferences Wizard and can also be found on the General Info page of Company Preferences.

business options

+ More about company preferences

Dashboard Enhancements

Our clients love their Dashboard reports! You'll now have greater control over how you manage the large number of reports you create.


Reports can now be locked to prevent certain users from modifying or deleting important reports.

dashboard lock

» A new security setting has also been added so you can decide which users have the rights to lock and unlock reports.

A brand new message is displayed in the lower right corner of the user messageDashboard Report Properties window to let you know if the report is currently being used on a company-wide or personal Dashboard. This gives you a good indication if you can delete a report or who else might be using it.

+ More about Dashboard reports

Other Goodies!
» It will be easier to find clients with the new email search option on Clients hub. Just enter a portion of the email address to find clients (and family members) that match! The phone number search has also been simplified so you no longer need to type in the "%" wildcard to find a portion of a phone number.
» Session types have been enhanced to include new sorting abilities, the option to require the Organization and Grad Year fields for specific session types, and the ability to relabel the Resource field. The maintenance form also has been updated to improve data entry.
» Appointment types have been enhanced to include new sorting abilities. The maintenance form also has been updated to improve data entry.
» A Last Session Date field has been added to the client table in your database. This means you can easily view this information on the Clients hub, as well as use it in your filters, form letters, and HTML emails to find and communicate with clients who haven't been in for a while or to find clients without a session.
» A new Priority field has been added to the column chooser on the Calls hub, as well as to the Filter Builder for "Phone Call" type filters.
» New security options include limiting access to refunds, hubs, invoices, user preferences, and Dashboard report locking. Setting invoice security to No Access will now hide the Invoices tab on clients and sessions.
» The Tools menu has been reorganized to make it easier to find what you're looking for.
» Studio Preferences has been renamed to Company Preferences.
» The Payment Processing Job in the Control Center can now email processing reports to a user.
» Invoices, estimates, and session confirmations have been translated for clients in Belgium. Contact us to add a language specific to your region!
» You can now choose a different composite template for secondary yearbook images.
» The myStratus Mobile App is now available to myStratus Enterprise users.
» A Print button has been added to the email form so you can print your email communications!
Deprecated Features
» The Internet Update Utility has been removed.


Fixed Issues

The following issues have been fixed in this release:

Issue ID Keywords Description
3774 Google Sync Converting an appointment to a session may cause it to disappear from the Google Calendar. Resolved.
3980         Production Orders Deleting a production order type may not remove all statuses associated with it. Resolved.
4006         ClientsClient record window may pop to front when saving a child record. Resolved.
4125 Hubs Refreshing a hub after rearranging columns may produce an error or incorrect data. Resolved.
4126         Invoices Price list package name should show in bold on an invoice. Resolved.
4144         Form Letters The Form Letter Builder may not show correct insert options when modifying a hyperlink. Resolved.
4163 Reports Non organization-type sessions may show on Organization Session reports. Resolved.
4171         Price List Maintenance Price list item maintenance may not allow setting the next gift certificate number. Resolved.
4175 Dashboard [Enterprise Version Only] Drilling down into a Dashboard report may show no data when using fiscal calendar. Resolved.
4188 Production Creating a credit memo may automatically create production orders if Studio Preferences are set to create production orders when a certain percentage of invoice is paid. Resolved.
4190 Emails Emails sent from a session may not link to the session (but only to the client). Resolved.
4191 Filters Filters of type "Sessions with Promotions" may incorrectly show no data. Resolved.
4193         Invoices Adding a composite to an invoice with no image numbers may produce an error. Resolved.
4194 Invoices Invoices may not save when modified from a production order. Resolved.
4198         Communication WizardSending a test email from the Communication Wizard may include duplicate images in the body of the email. Resolved.
4199 Dashboard [SQL Version Only] Adding a custom session label to any Dashboard report that supports session fields may produce an error. Resolved.
4202 Printing Printing a UPS ship label may include the wrong ship-to name. Resolved.
4203 Filter Builder The "Booked By" session field is not available in the Filter Builder. Resolved.
4204 Dashboard Creating a Dashboard report that filters by a session custom field may produce an error. Resolved.
4206 Production Orders Saving a production order may not check all data entry validations. Resolved.
4212 Triggers Deleting a pending trigger may not remove that trigger from the list to process. Resolved.
4215 Invoices Some fields may be cut off when printing an invoice. Resolved.
4220         Preferences The Preferences do not allow selecting a PNG file for watermark image. Resolved.
4221 Data Entry Validations Sending an email to a client may incorrectly prompt user for phone call data entry validations. Resolved.
4222 Form Letters Emailing a form letter from the client Communication tab may produce an error. Resolved.
4226 Image Detail Sheet Exporting an image detail sheet may produce an error. Resolved.
4227 Pictorial Directory Inserting a field for "Edit Image Caption" in a Pictorial Directory may produce an error. Resolved.
4228 Production Searching by order type on the Production hub may produce an error. Resolved.
4229 Production Exporting a work order or purchase order may not include the order number in the filename. Resolved.
4233 Triggers Attempting to process a trigger which sends an email to a client with an invalid email address will appear to process successfully but will actually fail. Additional validation added. Resolved.
4234 Calendar [Enterprise Version Only] Work week calendars at studio locations may pull settings from the corporate location. Resolved.
4235 Today's Snapshot Charts in Today's Snapshot may not properly reflect discount amounts. Resolved.
4237 Emails Sending a form letter or HTML email from an invoice may produce an error. Resolved.
4238 Messages Hub The Messages hub may not sort by date/time correctly. Resolved.
4239 Tasks Hub The Status Change window may not show any statuses when advancing the status of tasks from the Tasks hub. Resolved.
4242 Filter Builder Custom payment fields do not show the custom label in the Filter Builder. Resolved.
4246         Filter Builder [Enterprise Version Only] The Filter Builder may not show all session types. Resolved.
4247         Sessions Importing images into a session may create image folders which should not be created. Resolved.
4248         Sessions Hub Printing from the Sessions hub does not include session type. Resolved.
4251 Workflow Changing the "Search By" filter in Workflow may produce an error. Resolved.
4256         Calendar Sessions and appointments may not show correctly on month view of the calendar when the computer is set to display time in 24 hour format. Resolved.
4257 Invoices Printed invoices may show an incorrect title for Australian customers. Resolved.
4260         Payments When a credit card is denied, a new payment may still be created. Resolved.
4261 Clients The "Last Session Date" may not update on the Summary tab of a client. Resolved.
4262         Contact Sheet Composite names may not display properly when printing a contact sheet. Resolved.
4263 Printing Printing a session confirmation for a business-type client may fail. Resolved.
4267 Utilities [SQL Version Only] Cannot backup a database larger than 2 GB. Resolved.
4268 Triggers Processing triggers may not correctly process preproduction status triggers. Resolved.
4269 Rendering Rendering ordered images with a render profile set to "not flatten" may produce an error. Resolved.
4270 Filter Builder [Access Only] Creating a filter of type "Clients with Family Members" may produce an error. Resolved.
4271 Home Page Home page Tasks panel not displaying tasks that are assigned to a department but not a user. Resolved.
4272 Triggers Invoice status triggers create tasks that are attached to the client and session but not the invoice. Resolved.
4273 Google Sync Google Sync may produce an error trying to delete a contact that no longer exists. Resolved.
4274 Payments Payments may disassociate from their parent invoice. Resolved.
4278 Email Categories Email categories may not show in combo boxes on trigger maintenance forms or in the Communication Wizard. Resolved.
4279 Email Sending an email using SendGrid may produce an error. Resolved.
4280         Maintenance The Mobile Devices Maintenance window may not allow user selection. Resolved.
4286 Printing Printing a customer deposit may produce an error. Resolved.
4287 Invoices Some columns may overlap on a printed invoice. Resolved.
4291         Sessions Selecting a photographer or assistant on a session may fail after originally saving that session with no photographer or assistant selected. Resolved.
4292         Clients Lead sources are not displayed in alphabetical order on client record. Resolved.
4297         Workflow [Access Only] Entering an order number in the Workflow order selector may produce an error. Resolved.
4299         Contact Sheet Printing a contact sheet from the Workflow hub may show incorrect images if using the highlighted option. Resolved.
4300         Messages Hub[SQL Only] Displaying "Communication - Complete Date" column on the Messages hub may produce an error. Resolved.
4301         Payments The Refund Method list may not show all options when creating a new refund from a credit memo. Resolved.
4310         HTML EmailsSending HTML emails may result in some incorrect formatting in the received email. Resolved.
4314 Clients Deleting a client record may result in a message that the enterprise server check failed. Resolved.


Additional Information

Spectra Users

Spectra 2015 is available to all Spectra customers with a current maintenance plan.

+ Download Spectra 2015
+ Read more about Spectra software updates and upgrades

myStratus Users

We will automatically upgrade all myStratus accounts to the 2015 version on the morning of March 31, 2015. If you use the myStratus Desktop App, you will be prompted to download the 2015 version of the desktop app when you log in on or after the 31st.