Exporting to Web Vacancy Grids

Top  Previous  Next


The Export to Web Vacancy Grid function is accessed through the File / Export Menu.  This dialog contains a sections for setting up the export details as well as the export and upload functions.  


If you're using the Online Reservations functionality to retrieve and process E-mail reservation requests, this export function is also considered the "upload half" of E-mail processing since both are most likely associated with your own web site.  Thus the "Upload Site Availability" function on the online request dialog also uses this function, but without actually opening this dialog.  Thus you'll need to make sure things are set up appropriately here before using that upload function.


Setting Up


If you haven't already reviewed it, please see the Setting Up for Export to Web section earlier in the Online Reservations documentation.





The Export to Web feature allows you to show vacancy status on your web site, essentially like a compressed Rack view with no customer details.  The pages can also have active links in each vacant cell on the grid which make a reservation request for that site on that day.


The program will generate the web pages to your specifications, and then you will need to upload them to your web site.  There is an Upload button on the dialog which you can use to upload the pages after creating them, if you've configured the FTP settings (see Maintenance / Online Setup).  Therefore you could easily upload the changes several times per day as needed.  You can also use any 3rd-party FTP software to upload the pages after using the export function.  The pages can also be time-stamped so the web site visitor knows how recent the page was updated.


One or more sets of 12 pages will be generated, one page for each month for the next 12 months (the current month may be partial, starting with the current day). You can select what sites are shown on each set of pages -- show all sites in one set, or make a separate set for each Site Type or Site Class.  If you have multiple Parks set up, also have the option to generate a separate set for each Park.



Selecting Sites


To select which sites to include on the pages, use the "Select Sites to Include" button.  This will open the familiar Site Filtering dialog, where you can select the sites to include by individual site or by Type, Class, and Park.


Next you can choose whether to show all sites on one web page, or create separate pages by type, class, or park.  Of course this will depend on how you want to present them on your web site -- your web site will have to include a link to the first page of each set.  Only one link is needed if they're all in one set, while many separate links might be needed if you show a different site type or class on each page.  Note that you only need to link to the first page in a set (the current month) -- the generated grid will already contain links to the other months.



Date Range


You can select the starting and ending date of the exported grids.  By default it will start today and go 365 days into the future.  However if your season hasn't started yet, you can select a different starting date (but don't forget to change it back to "Today" once the season starts).  Likewise, you can limit the ending date to either a specific date (end of season) or to a number of days into the future.  If you have a slow internet connection, you may want to limit the grid to 3 or 4 months just to minimize the size of the files to be uploaded.



Template File(s)


The web pages will be generated using templates of your own design, so you can match your web page's style.  The templates are basically HTML web page files with two insertion markers in the page:




This must appear exactly as shown somewhere in the template file.  The HTML code for the entire vacancy grid will be inserted here, replacing the marker.  (Don't put it inside a comment tag, or else the entire grid could be commented out!)  




This marker is optional, and will be replaced by the current time and date.  This is just for the visitors' reference, so they know how recently the grid was updated.  This could be placed at the bottom of the page below the grid.



Template File Path


Enter the path containing the template files, or use Browse to locate them. Browse will open a File-Open dialog for the file type ".htt" and a dummy name for the file -- just navigate until you find the folder with the templates and click Open.   Note that if this is blank or specifies a path that does not exist, it will look in the same folder as your database file.


The file or files must be named a certain way:


If showing all sites on one page, the template must be named "All.htt".


If showing separate pages by type, class, or park, you must have one template file for each type, class or park.  This allows you to have different formats or links on each set of pages, accordingly.  The template must have the type/class/park name, followed by ".htt".  If the name contains spaces, replace the spaced with dashes (minus signs).  For instance, for the site type "Normal RV", the template would be "normal-rv.htt".  It doesn't matter if the letters are upper-case or lower-case.


An example "All.htt" template file has been installed to your Campground Master program folder.  You can copy and/or modify that file as needed.  It is a text file, just as all HTML files are text.



Output File Path & Extension


Enter the path for the generated web page files.  This can be the same as the template path or different.  Also select the file extension to be used (the proper extension will depend on your web site design).   Note that if this is blank or specifies a path that does not exist, it will export them to the same folder as your database file.


When the files are generated, the template names will be converted to lower case and will be prefixed by "vacancyMM", where MM is the month offset (00 for the current month, 01 for the next month, etc.). For instance, "vacancy00all.html" if you're exporting all sites on one page, or "vacancy00normal-rv.html" for the Normal RV site type if you're exporting separate pages by site type.





You can use the Repeat dates setting to adjust how often a new set of date column headers appears in the grid.  We recommend every 20 rows, so that when the visitors scroll the page they will always be able to see the headers, even if they have a low-resolution monitor.  You can change this value to fit your tastes. or blank it out to avoid repeating the column headers at all (except the top and bottom, which will always have them).


The font face and size for the grid can be entered to match your web site.  Keep in mind that these are the literal strings that will be used in the <font face=??? size=??> tags in the HTML page.  The font face will be enclosed in quotes (so you don't need to enter quotes).


You also have complete control over the colors used in the grid.  Use the Define Grid Colors button, which opens up a Color Key dialog for defining the colors.  Note that some color definitions only affect the foreground or background color -- these are indicated with comments like "BG ignored" and "FG ignored".  Some colors can be defined separately for Mon-Fri cells and Sat-Sun cells, so weekends can be seen easily.


Finally, each vacant site in the grid can have a text designator in it for Vacant, Reserved or Unavailable, and the "V" (vacant) cells can optionally be linked to a script on your site, or set up to generate a simple E-mail request for a reservation.  You can define the link format to anything you want -- it will be enclosed in a hyperlink tag like <a href="(your link here)">.


Link Format


The default link format can be used to send an E-mail to you with the details of the request.  (Of course you will need to insert the correct E-mail address yourself).  In case the default link is overwritten, here is a suitable default:


mailto:(your park E-mail)?subject=Reservation%20request%20for%20site%20<site>,%20arriving%20on%20<date>


Note that any non-alphanumeric characters in the link format after the "?subject=" part should be entered as "escape sequences" using percent signs (%) and 2-digit hexadecimal values, to avoid problems with some web browsers.  Thus in the example above each %20 is actually the space character (the space character's value is 20 hex, or 32 decimal).  You might want to refer to an "ASCII character chart" for reference, if you need to include other values.  Once the above line is read by the web browser and the escapes converted, it will become:


mailto:(your park E-mail)?subject=Reservation request for site <site>, arriving on <date>


The link can have <site> and <date> markers in it as shown above, which will be replaced automatically by Campground Master when creating the HTML files, to include the site and date for the corresponding cell that the person clicked on in the vacancy grid.  There are actually 4 different date formats that can be specified, so you can use whichever works best for you our your web site:





May 23, 2006








If you have an existing reservation-request form on your site, your webmaster may be able to set up a cgi-script which can be used in place of this E-mail link that will automatically jump to the form and insert the site and date information.  It's also possible to extract the parameters using Javascript code in your form's web page.  To pass the site and date as parameters to your reservation form page, use a link format like this:




Note the "?" and "&" characters before <site> and <date-mdy> -- these are standard separators for parameters in links.  Sample Javascript code to extract these parameters into your form's site and arrival date fields has been included in the next section.



Finishing the Export


When everything is set the way you want it, click the Export Web Page Files button.  The pages will be generated and you will see either a "success" message or an error message, if something didn't work (e.g. a template file was missing).


All of the settings will be saved when the dialog is closed, so the next time you want to generate the pages, you only need to click the Export Web Page Files button.



Uploading the Pages


After exporting, you still need to upload the pages to your web site (unless you host it on your own computer, which is not usually the case).  There are many good FTP programs available to assist in uploading, or you can use the built-in FTP uploading function.


The primary benefit to using a 3rd-party program is that the uploading can be done in the background while you continue to use Campground Master, whereas the built-in function must complete the upload before you can use other Campground Master functions.


To upload the pages with Campground Master, simply click the button Upload Files to Web Site.  (The FTP settings must be configured first -- see Maintenance / Online Reservations / Other Online Interfaces / Online Reservations Connections & Options).  A progress window will be shown to indicate how far along it is.  Once the upload is complete, you can close the dialog.




Further Topics:


 Sample Javascript to insert form values from vacancy grid


 Sample Web Reservation Form


Example web page result: https://campgroundmaster.com/3/vacancy00all.html


Downloading Requests


Processing Requests


Online Request Details


Uploading Site Availability Data


Online Reservations Setup


Online Reservations Overview



Page URL https://CampgroundMaster.com/help/exportingtowebvacancygrids.html

Campground Master Home