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Product Updates
Product Updates

Product Update - March 2024

David Simpson
March 1, 2024

Here's all the latest hot gossip from the Beacon product team.

A fond farewell to loading quotes

We've been doing a lot of work to speed up Beacon loading times, and our new interface is blazing fast. So fast that the quotes are just slowing things down now! We've got mixed feelings about the change, but ultimately we've made the decision that speed takes priority over our beloved quotes. Farewell!

Sidebar customisation

You can now add groupings and separators to you sidebar to help organise your record types. Beacon Admins can head over to the Sidebar tab under Settings to try this out. Remember that the changes that you make will affect everyone's sidebars, not just yours!

Card descriptions

You can now add a description to any card on a Beacon record. This is really useful for communicating to other Beacon users what a card is for and how it should be used. You can even add links to your text so you can reference other useful materials that you have created, or Beacon guide articles. Admins can add a description to a card by entering customisation mode and editing the card in the usual way - you'll see a new Description field waiting for you.

Better document merge help

We've improved the process for creating new document merge templates. If you have errors in your document's merge tags then we'll give you some much more helpful information. We also no longer require you to upload a document before you can view the cheat sheet which you would have needed in order to create your document. 🤦

New Facebook import template

Facebook have updated their reports to account for taking donations via PayPal. We've updated our import templates accordingly so you can get back to importing your Facebook donations in the new format. Be sure to check out our guide here to set up the new template.

Some helpful new API documentation

We've added some more thorough documentation for how to build out filters using the Beacon API. We'll add this to the API docs soon, but here's a link so that you can make use of this straight away. Thanks to Ben for this comprehensive summary!

API Rate Limiting

We've added more protective rate limiting to our API to better protect our systems from abuse.

You are now limited to making up to 300 requests per minute. This is a pretty high limit - only two customers were regularly hitting it, and we have reached out to both of them, so this shouldn't restrict your normal use of the Beacon API.

If you exceed this limit, you will be returned a 429 HTTP status code and the following in the response body:

{"error": {"code": "rate_limit_exceeded","message": "You have exceeded the rate limit for API calls. Please try again in a few minutes."}

How we access your Beacon account

We've built a new and more convenient way for our Customer Success team to access your account when they need to. You'll no longer need to add Beacon team members to your account as permanent users. We can now request temporary access to your account which can be granted from your Team Members page by any Admin. The whole process should be smoother and simpler.

MuchLoved integration

Beacon's MuchLoved integration is now live and running for a handful of early adopters. We're working with MuchLoved to make sure that the load that Beacon is placing on their systems is within their tolerances, which is all part of being the first CRM to build an integration with MuchLoved. We're confident that we'll be able to open up the integration to more early adopters soon.

Copying accounts

We've deployed a new system which allows the Beacon team to make copies of the record type configuration of any account. This can be really handy if you need a development account for testing some custom work that you are doing with the Beacon API, for example. It's worth noting that this is a one-off copy, not a synced sandbox environment, so changes to your production Beacon account would not be reflected in any copy that we make for you. Nevertheless, for folks doing more advanced Beacon work, this will be really useful!

Become a Beacon expert with brand new Beacon Lighthouse

If you're new to Beacon and you're looking to really get to grips with your CRM then you can enrol in one of our free online courses through Beacon Lighthouse. We've been diligently working on our brand new Lighthouse site and we've got even more courses for you, wherever you are in your Beacon journey.

Check out the latest Beacon events

We run a variety of events to help you to get the most out of Beacon, including regular clinics, deep dives into specific features, and in-person meetups - the next of which is happening in Leeds next month. We've also got recordings of previous events so you'll never miss something useful. You can find everything listed on the Beacon events page.

Beacon chat: Where all the coolest charity humans hang out

Beacon customers are invited to join our private Facebook Group. It's a place to exchange ideas, tips, and best practices.

You can find the group here and we'd love to welcome you in.

The group is only available to Beacon customers.

I hope you're having an excellent start to 2024, and I'm looking forward to sharing more exciting updates with you soon!