Arts and culture business platform, Tessitura, launched Version 16 (v16) on July 27, 2022. With a focus on membership and user experience, this much-anticipated upgrade offers a variety of improvements, big and small, for users to get excited about.
As with any major system upgrade, there are plenty of questions around functionality and major considerations users need to be aware of, especially for users who have a custom website. First, let’s look at some of the exciting updates of v16. Then we’ll cover key considerations to discuss with your web developer about the upgrade.
V16 features many improvements to membership and constituent functionality. There are two specific enhancements that are particularly exciting from the web user end.
The first is tracked benefits. Before v16, custom websites couldn’t retrieve the benefits available at each membership tier, and users needed to contact staff or keep track of the benefits they have already used on their own. The new tracked benefits functionality allows members to log in to your website and see what benefits they still have available. For example, if part of your membership includes 4 guest passes, a member can log into their profile and see that they have 2 out of their 4 guest passes remaining. (It’s important to note that Tessitura users interested in implementing new v16 functionality will likely need to undergo a larger website update.)
A great example of improvement and reorganization in the constituent setup is that 16 has decoupled postal addresses and phone numbers. Previously every postal address had Phone 1, Phone 2, and Fax number fields, stemming from the days when landlines were more ubiquitous. With v16, all phones are now stored separately from addresses, while still leaving users the option of associating phones of any type with a postal address. This type of increased flexibility is beneficial for the organization, the web integration, and the end user.
APIs, Web Application, and Improved UX/UI
Organizations will see an improved integration ability with Tessitura’s API once they implement v16. In prior versions, Tessitura allowed a significant amount of website integration through their API, but the v16 version of the API significantly expands the functionality possibilities for an integrated website.
Current Tessitura users are most likely very familiar with using the platform through the Windows app. In a move to improve the UI and UX of the software, Tessitura has migrated more of its software to a web interface. The web-based application will make it easier for users to access the platform without needing to access a dedicated Windows device. Though not all the UI/UX changes have been launched yet, we’re excited for their eventual release.
Additional Upgrades You May Need to Make or Consider
The rollout of v16 will affect other software tools you use. Some of them will need upgrades of their own to work properly once your site has been upgraded to v16. Here’s what you can expect to see when it comes to TNEW, SmartSeat, and ACE Commerce.
For TNEW Users
The TNEW functionality in v16 will be upgraded by Tessitura. Any custom features that you use, such as a calendar or my account, will require some updates. If your website is using the SOAP API, your website will need to be updated to use REST.
For SmartSeat Users
SmartSeat version 2.10 is currently upgraded for v16. Any previous version of SmartSeat will need to be upgraded either prior to or at the same time as v16 for optimal performance. If you are using any custom features in SmartSeat, they will need to be verified to ensure those features are working properly.
For ACE Commerce Users
If you are using ACE Commerce, it will need to be upgraded to the version of ACE Commerce that supports v16. New v16 features like membership benefit tracking can be added as customizations, although they are not currently available to the web user out of the box.
For ACE Commerce Users with Customizations
In addition to upgrading ACE Commerce to the version that supports v16, websites with existing customizations will need modifications to keep those features functioning properly. Some customizations related to memberships can be replaced with new v16 Tessitura membership features, but that will still require website changes as well as data migration within Tessitura.
All of these upgrades warrant a chat with your developer. By taking time to talk through and plan your roadmap, you can ensure the smoothest possible transition and are less likely to miss key considerations.
Talk with your web developer about compatibility with the web platforms you’re currently using. Though v16 will make integrations easier through an expanded API, many of those platforms have not had time to upgrade their API code to connect properly with v16. It’s critical to evaluate how many of your current vendors have made the updates to prevent you from losing functionality and inquire into when the API updates are expected to be completed.
Tessitura’s rollout of v16 comes with many enhancements that will improve your member experience and make the platform more user-friendly. Though you may want to make the upgrade immediately, we are encouraging users to use v16 as an opportunity to start planning their future work and make the switch when the time is right.
Need assistance with your Tessitura web integration? Get in touch with Adage today!