System Preferences

Company Preferences are used to manage how Theatre Manager behaves for all outlets in the database. (This also applies if there is only one outlet). The items that can be changed generally have to do with system maintenance, overall appearance and general behaviour that all users will experience.

Click on a link to the left to view the details of each tab in this window.

The System Preferences Window is accessed through the Setup >> System Preferences Menu.

The System Preferences Window opens.

Licence Tab

The License tab contains information about the components of Theatre Manger currently in use and gives your the ability to purchase upgrades.

Software License Profile

Allows for the entry of a license upgrade. For more information on entering license upgrades click here.
Software Features This is a list of all the possible features that Theatre Manager offers. The features that have check marks beside them are the features that the company currently has access to. In order to receive additional features that the Theatre Manager has to offer the organization must purchase a license upgrade.

Training Database Settings

This is a Training Database A venue can set up a database in training mode for use in staff development. This feature should only be used on a copy of a database to flag to Theatre Manager that it will be used in training mode. When a database is set to Training:
  • The login window is clearly marked that the database is for training purposes (see image to right)
  • All credit cards are automatically shredded immediately so that there are none in the training database.
  • The database is set to PCI Schedule 'C' mode so future credit card payments cannot be saved
  • All merchant accounts are set to emergency mode and this cannot be changed
  • The title of all windows is changed to reflect the 'Training' database status
  • If there were remote offsite backups being made, those are disabled -- just in case
  • Some operational messages that emails cannot be sent, or backups have not occurred are no longer displayed
It is possible to change a training database back into a real one. Since, encrypted credit card are shredded immediately, they cannot be recovered and are gone forever.
Send Emails in Training Mode If Web Services (a TM server with a housekeeper) is set up for the training database, you can indicate if the web listeners should send out emails as part of the test process.
DB User Suffix If you have multiple databases on your server, you should enter a unique database marker for each one. This is appended to the employee ID's in the background so that they are unique per database. We recommend:
  • The last 4 digits of your customer number for your production database
  • Adding a 'T' to that number for a training database
  • Or any scheme you like such as 'Prod' or 'training' - just make them unique

Licence Upgrades

Once a company has purchased a license upgrade the new Customer and License numbers need to be entered to activate the additional features of Theatre Manager.

  1. Open Setup >> System Preferences

  2. Click the Purchase License Upgrade button.

    The Customer and License Number Window will open.

  3. Enter new customer number.
  4. Enter new license number.
  5. Click the Accept button.

    Theatre Manager will now automatically restart to activate the new features.

PCI Security Tab

The PCI Security tab allows the Master User to set the overall parameters of how Employees will log on to the database, the structure of their passwords, and important PCI Compliance considerations for managing retention of credit card data.

Employee Access Management

Logon Window Setting Offers the option to have Employees login:
Minimum Length Sets the minimum length of logon passwords. For PCI compliance, the minimum length is 7 characters.
Unique Passwords The number of unique passwords required by the system. If set to zero, then passwords are not required to be unique. If set to 2, then the same password may be shared by two employees. If set to 3, then the same password may be shared by three employees.
Days til Change Allowed The minimum number of days that a password must be used before it is allowed to be changed.
Days until Expiry The maximum number of days that a password may be used. For PCI compliance, this must not exceed 90 days.
Attempts til Lockout This determines how many incorrect attempts an employee may make before Theatre Manager will lock them out of the system and must be manually re-instated.
IP addresses that can accept cards PCI documentation indicates that any machine that touches credit card information becomes within scope of PCI compliance requirements. If you identify which machines process credit cards (such as box office), then other machines on the network that are used for reporting, management, etc, can be taken out of scope for PCI compliance.

To do so, you can indicate a white-list specific machines or subnet of machines that will process cards by:

  • leaving the list blank to indicate ALL machines process cards
  • Entering one or more specific ip address (eg to indicate specific machines that accept cards
  • Entering one or more subnet masks using CIDR format to indicate a range of machines. For example:
    • means all machines on the 10.10.1.x subnet.
    • means all machines on the 10.100.x.x subnet.
  • Entering a combination of specific ip addresses or subnet masks
  • Enter a specific IP address that is not on your network so that NO user workstations can accept credit cards anywhere
If a machine is whitelisted to allow entering credit cards, then those payment methods appear on the payment window as normal. Machines that are not part of the whitelist, then the credit card payment methods are removed from the payment window and the user at that workstation will not be able to enter cards at all - they will need to go to another machine with permissions to process a credit card payment.
Clicking this button changes options to the current PCI Standards for employee passwords and logon attempts.

Patron Access Management

Patron Password Complexity You can set the required complexity of patron passwords in Theatre Manager to two levels:
  • Passwords must meet the minimum length only. This is the historical setting - and forces the passwords to be at least the same length as the employee PCI passwords. It does not enforce any other rules. Normally, this is sufficient and the web pages give a strength meter to people to indicate if the password is good enough, or not. The reason this is the default setting is because many people have complex enough passwords that they use with modification on various sites, simply by meeting the length criteria, but may not have a special character or some other element. It also helps avoid patron frustration.
  • Passwords used by patrons must meet the same PCI standards enforced on employees that are:
    • At least one upper case character
    • At least one lower case character
    • At least one number
    • At least one special character
    • and minimum length as described in your employee password settings.

Credit Card Management

Theatre Manager can implement either Schedule "C" or "D" for the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) - the choice is yours. You can define a retention period for credit card information before it is 'shredded' per PCI DSS standard 3.1

Note: Users find ways to type credit card into note fields, more so when using Schedule 'C' compliance because the credit card storage capability has been disabled.

You can use a feature in the Patron List window to search and identify data that could be construed as clear text credit cards attached to patrons. That kind of data would be in violation of PCI guidelines.

A shredded card means that it will be stored in the database as '#### **** **** ####'. This renders the PAN useless for all purposes. However, given the first 4 and last 4 digits of any card, you can still search for the patron.

Converting from schedule D to Schedule C compliance will shred all cards currently in the database EXCEPT those set up for future post dated payments. Since that business already exists, those few cards will remain until the final post date payment is take for the patron. At that time, the card will be shredded immediately. This prevents disruption of existing commitments to patrons.

Generally, if you want to take post dated payments and retain the minimum card data in the database, use Schedule D with one day retention.


Schedule C: Shred cards immediately after use Using an online payment gateway and the Schedule "C" setting means that cards will not be stored in the database. The PAN is sent to the processor to get the authorization code and token from the merchant provider. Those are stored in TM (not the card itself) and the merchant token is what is used for voiding cards. It puts the workstation in scope of a PCI device, but not the database.
Schedule D: Encrypted credit card data Schedule "D" compliance with about 120 days of retention is sufficient for most venues, especially if you are using post dated payments or may have to deal with refunds for cancelled events.
Retention Period The number of days credit card information will be retained before it is shredded in a Schedule D environment. Normally 90 days will handle most business cases, and the recommended maximum is 365 days. If you set it to one day, then all cards are shredded right away, except those that are saved for post dated payments.
Schedule D: Post Dated Payments This option allows storage of encrypted cards for post dated or recurring payments only. Once the last payment is authorized, the card is shredded. It effectively, is the same as the above option with 1 day retention, except that it is far more restrictive in when Theatre Manager will try to make a stored card. This should result is a venue having vastly reduced exposure risk for stored cards under PCI.
Generates a completely random 60 character key to use as part of the encryption key process that will be unique to the venue and re-encrypt all cards in the database.
Immediately shreds credit cards longer than the Retention Period as noted above.

Search Patron Data for Credit Card Information

Mask PAN when displayed; the first six and last four digits are the maximum number of digits you may display. Not applicable for authorized people with a legitimate business need to see the full PAN. Does not supersede stricter requirements in place for displays of cardholder data such as on a point-of-sale receipt. PCI DSS standard 3.3.

Use this feature to identify where there may be data attached to patrons that could be construed as a possible clear text credit card in violation of PCI DSS standard 3.3.

When using this search option, patrons will be listed that have a series of 3 or 4 numbers repeated 4 times. This means that anything with at least 12 contiguous digits in the various search fields might result in a match (note: it may not be a credit card).

Searching for 12 contiguous digits might find things like 4500 000 000 000 or 5200 0000 0000 0000. It doesn't matter if there are one or more spaces between the numbers or not. Data that will not be found are phone numbers like 518-444-5555 or conditions where numbers are separated by something other than spaces.

Searching may take a short while. Tests on a very large database (400,000 patrons) with a lot of other data on a fast server yielded a total of 131 possible patrons within 8 seconds. Your mileage may vary.
A full PCI scan on a machine with a TM database on it WILL provide FALSE POSITIVES, if you are using SVG maps and pick your own seats. The vector information for points in a map contain a lot of numbers which consistently fool disk level PCI scan's into thinking they are credit cards.


Fields searched for possible card data are:

  • Patron
    • general notes, volunteer notes, donor notes, household notes, and the three customizable note fields on the notes tab
    • marketing field #5
    • donor publication name
    • Client asset notes entered on the client asset setup in the 'donor' tab on the patron window.
    • These could be entered on the various tabs in the patron window.
  • Donation
    • Donation notes, custom fields, donation publication name, tax receipt name and other donation text fields.
    • These would be seen on the donation window.
  • Order
    • Internal and external order notes and ticket comments
    • These would be seen on an order payment window and can also be seen in a list of orders
  • Credit card
    • comments or name on card
    • These would be seen on the credit card tab on the patron window.
  • Task notes
    • on the task comments window.
  • Staff/Volunteer History
    • Notes on the Activity setup window
    • Notes on the history evaluation and duties fields


Fields not searched for any card data

  • Transaction card number field (T_CARD_NO) is not validated as it contains reference numbers for other payments (e.g. check #'s). If somebody used any payment method that is not of type credit card -- but they typed a valid card number in the field -- there is not much Theatre Manager can do. Since there is no way to manually place an edit check on check number field to verify that it is an actual check number (that look like credit cards) after the fact in Theatre Manager because that leads to audit issues; such as changing past information which Theatre Manager doesn't allow. If there are credit card numbers in the check # field, then it's a manual task for Arts Management Support to find them and clear them. Please contact Arts Management Support directly if this applies to your specific situation.
  • Theatre Pricing map SVG data - which can be false positive


To search Patron data for credit card information, you perform the following steps:

  1. Click the Patron button in the main toolbar / ribbon bar.

    The Contact List window opens.

    For more information on the Contact List window click here.

  2. Select PCI Data Check and click the Search button.

    Any patrons who have a 12 digit string stored in any of the fields indicated will be displayed.

  3. You can now go through and manually remove the data.

    This will entail checking the fields described above, deleting the numbers and saving the record.

  4. You may find the following checklist helpful when removing data.

    Click the icon to download the checklist.

Shredding Credit Cards

In Theatre Manager, 'shredding' credit cards means removing the middle 8 digits of a credit card number so that what is stored in the database is only the first four and last four digits of the number: 1234-xxxx-xxxx-1234. Cards stored in this manner cannot be accessed for use (because those 8 digits aren't masked - they really no longer exist). Users can still search the database for a credit card using the first four and last four digits for reporting and transaction history.

There are two choices for 'Shredding' Credit Cards. The first method, Shredding Unused Credit Cards, allows a venue to set the number of days a credit card is stored in the usual encrypted format in the database (and is therefore available for use as a payment method for post-dated payments or in the patron's credit card tab), and then after that period, a card is considered "unused" and is shredded of its middle 8 digits.

The second method, setting the database to Schedule C: Shred Immediately, will shred cards and never store them in the database. This is rarely used, as it may prevent some common or desirable business functions (and maintaining Schedule D: Encrypted Credit Card data, the default PABP/PCI Compliant method will not prevent those functions).

Shredding Unused Credit Cards

this action cannot be undone!

The simplest solution for venues to have a higher degree of security in their database, than that allowed by the PABP/PCI compliant data encryption of the credit card numbers, is to "shred" unused or old credit cards in patron records.

"Shredding" removes the middle 8 digits of the number and renders the card information unusable (as it is stored - you can still swipe or enter the card again in the future with no problem).

To do "shred" a credit card, you perform the following steps:

  1. Open the PCI Security Tab in Setup > System Preferences.
  2. Under Credit Card Management, click the Shred Unused Credit Cards button.

    A dialogue opens, asking for a retention period during which cards are considered active (and therefore, not "unused"). We recommend at least 90 days, 365 as the longest.

  3. Click Shred Cards to immediately shred cards that have not been used in a number of days greater than that set as the retention period.

Schedule C Shred When Used

All the credit card data in theatre Manager is stored using AES256 encryption with rotating keys. An independant company has auditied the safety of the information and practices in theatre Manager to ensure it meets PCI PA/DSS 2.0 storage requirements. Visa has approved Theatre Manager as an application that can accept credit card payments using best practices.

A venue may choose to shred cards immediately after use for added security. This means that full card data is never stored in the database. Voids can only be done using the merchant providers internal token if you have not yet done end of day. After end of day is completed, refunds require you to input the card number again.

Shredding Credit Cards stores only the first and last 4 digits of a credit card number for informational purposes. For example:

When you shred yoiur credit card date the following business capabilities and functions are impacted:

  • You cannot process post dated payments
  • You will not be able to refund using the original payment/credit card number. You will have to ask the patron to give you the number again.
  • You may not be able to refund an entire event using the card used for purchase
  • You will be unable to process automatic season renewal.
  • All existing payment / credit card information within the system is now unavailable.
  • The above are only a few functions that will be impacted.

If your venue wants to shred credit cards after use, you perform the following steps:

  1. Make a complete backup of your Theatre Manager Database just in case you want to change your mind later. Click here for more information on Backing up.
  2. Chose main menu item Setup >> System Preferences.

    The System Preferences window opens.

  3. Click the PCI Security tab.

  4. In the Credit Card Management section, change the radio button to Schedule C: Shred cards immediately after use.

    The first Warning dialog opens.

  5. Click the Yes button.

    The second Warning dialog opens.

  6. Click the Yes button.

    The third Warning dialog opens.

  7. Click the Yes button.

    The fourth Warning dialog opens.

  8. Click the Yes button.

    The Confirmation the data has been shredded data dialog opens.

  9. Click the Yes button.

Changing the Cryptography for Credit Cards

Credit cards stored in a database must be encrypted using a key that is distinct to the venue per PCI DSS standard 3.6. This must occur:
  • Immediately after the initial implementation and data conversion has taken place
  • on a minimum of an annual basis. If the procedure is not invoked manually, it will be done automatically during any upgrade.
  • if there is any suspected security breach at the organization

To change the cryptography of credit card information at any time:

  • Log in as Master User
  • Go to the System Preferences->Security Tab
  • Click 'Change Card Encryption key' button at the bottom left

You will see a dialog similar to the one below that asks you to confirm the step and the reasons why the step is required. Click 'Yes' to continue.

Some notes about this process:

  • Theatre Manager will generate a completely random a 40 character key to use as half of the encryption key process that will be unique to the venue and re-encrypt all cards in the database.
  • This encryption key will not be known to the user and will not be known to Arts Management
  • You can still use theatre manager while this process occurs to sell tickets and take credit cards.
  • This process should be performed at least annually.
    • A venue will be reminded to do it after 350 days
    • If it is not done, within the required time frame, then it will automatically occur during any upgrade that occurs 350 days since the last time the venue's encryption key was changed
  • It should be performed at any time you suspect a security breach to any part of your network (make sure you also address whatever the security breach might have been).

Appearance Tab

The Appearance tab contains default text for various areas of Theatre Manager. These fields can be edited to language that best suits the organization. Click on any of the fields in the right hand column to edit the text.

Mandatory Data Tab

Defining Mandatory Data for Marketing Purposes

On the Mandatory Data tab, you can define which information is required when adding new patrons, households and companies. Normally, you would want:

  • Patron name or company so that you can identify the patron when they call back or have tickets printed for them
  • Full Address Information (street, city, state/province, zip/postal) so that you can mail items, obtain better credit card rates with AVS (address verification) and better identify patrons with similar names during your next interaction with them
  • A Phone Number in case you need to contact them in cases of a show being cancelled, time altered, moved venues, or any other emergency requirement
  • Email cannot be made mandatory at the box office since there is no guarantee that a patron has one and email addresses must be unique to a patron or household


Full Profile vs Limited Profile (AKA Guest Checkout)

The behaviour of patrons can be different for phone/walk up sales and to online/web sales. You can indicate what kind of data is mandatory in either case:

  • BoxOffice/Phone Orders the left side of the mandatory screen indicates which data is mandatory for patrons who contact you at the box office or via phone. This is considered the complete set of data for a full patron. Typically is is the name, address, and phone information described above
  • There are good reasons to have Online Sales follow the same data requirements as box office. Implications include consolidation of all interactions with the same patron under one account.

    It is possible to relax those rules and gather less data for online sales by indicating what the minimum data is for Partial Profile Patrons on the right side of the screen. If you gather less data than a full profile, the patron record created is called a Partial Profile patron.

Full profile patron information applies to BOTH box office and web sales, unless you choose to allow Guest Checkout for online sales, which has some operational and data merging implications

Guest Checkout causes a Limited Profile Patron to be created, unless the patron chooses to supply all the mandatory information of their own volition along with password when buying online.

Full Profile Patron Data Requirements

Name Info Select what names must be given before a patron record can be saved.

Full profile patron information is for BOTH the box office and web patron sale data, unless you are allowing Limited Patron Profiles for online sales.

Patron Address Checking this box means that the patron's address must be entered before a patron record can be saved. Only one out of the two address lines need to contain information.
Patron City Checking this box means that the patron's city must be entered before a patron record can be saved.
Patron Province Checking this box means that the patron's province must be entered before a patron record can be saved.
Patron Postal Code Checking this box means that the patron's postal/zip code must be entered before a patron record can be saved.
At least on telephone number Checking this box will require a minimum of one phone number be given before a patron record can be saved.
Area codes on all phone numbers Checking this box will require all phone numbers given be accompanied by an area code before a patron record can be saved. These days, this option should always be enabled du to the prevalence of 10 digit dialing and cell phones

Payment Data

Why Did Patron Buy Checking this box means that the reason that the patron has made a purchase must be provided before a sale can be completed. The why did patron buy data is entered via:
  • a drop down list that is found on the payment window.
  • a list window on the web checkout screen if there is a ticket and/or gift certificate in the cart
  • a hidden field in tmTemplates/tmCheckoutDonationReasonToBuy.html containing the default reason to buy for donations. (This file is normally customized for each venue). This enables a patron to check out online with only a donation in the shopping cart faster and with less questions.
The values listed in why did patron buy code table can be customized for each outlet. If you have made the donation reason to buy mandatory, you will need to select a value from this code table to out into tmTemplates/tmCheckoutDonationReasonToBuy.html
The why did patron buy code table value must be enabled to be used otherwise it will be rejected for online donations.
Pressing this button will set the above options to the default settings that Theatre Manager recommends.

Limited Profile Patron

Mandatory Data Options Please refer to a more complete description of the Limited Patron feature and the ramifications.

Limited Profile Patron Implications (Guest Checkout)

Using the Limited Profile feature is a venue choice. While it allows the patron to specify less information during checkout, it also:
  • shifts the burden of managing correct data from the patron to the box office after the fact, including de-duplicating patrons who buy online frequently without creating an account
  • May affect credit card rates on authorization and increase chargebacks
  • May limit ability to deal with emergency situations like show cancellation due to weather or other conditions of force-majeure

Limited Profile Patrons are enabled in System Preferences->Mandatory Data tab. If enabled, it allows for Web sales checkout on the web site as an option. The limited patron profile creation and checkout web pages note which fields (e.g. name, address, etc) a venue expects the user to enter.

There are some general pro and cons to using the feature that we've heard from Theatre Manager users that we've listed below. Most venues that try it realize that the burden of data management shifts to the venue and eventually disable it. Most web sites that deal with any sort of shopping cart require full identification these days for fudiciary responsibility to the credit card issuers.

  Pro's Con's
Full Profile
  • Patron provides all the address and contact data for use be the entire organization
  • Patron can achieve benefits from frequent buying such as:
    • cumulative ticket discounts of better seat offerings
    • aggregation of donations for recognition
    • renewal of subscription seats
  • Patrons can have pre-sales access based on a mail list that identifies them as belogning to a group with benefits
  • can get replacement tickets for print-at-home easily
  • expedited checkout in the future
  • can review any past purchases at any time.
  • etc.
  • patron is responsible for managing their account
Limited Profile
  • minimum requirements of name and email address make check out relatively fast for a one time thing.
  • contact data that is elective may affect future marketing capmaigns
  • limited ability to aggregate data for a customer as they are all separate customers
  • patron may have limited customer service options
    • cannot access the account later on without requesting a password reset
    • cannot reprint any print-at-home tickets until they can log in
    • will call tickets should require extra verification of the identity of the patron
    • phone exchanges should require user to provide extra identification related to the purchase such as the specific credit card
  • venue may pay more for credit card charges is there is lack of Address Verification.
    • Some banks may actually decline cards more often in cases of limited identification sent with the credit card. Often address and zip code verification mitigates rejection and charge rates.
    • generally, venue may be subject to more fraud (and liability if it occurs for incomplete data)
  • the venue is responsible for managing the extra accounts that are created and merging them. Limited data tends to pollute the database (garbage in-garbage out)
  • does not encourage repeat business
  • etc.

To enable limited profile patrons/guest checkout:

  1. Choose Setup >> System Preferences and choose the Mandatory Data tab.

  2. Under Allow Limited Profile Patrons On there are the following selections:
    • Web sales checkout - checking this box enables patrons with limited patron data to buy tickets.
    • Web sales mail list add - checking this box enables patrons to sign up for mail lists giving only essential information (email address, name). Click here for more information about this feature.
    • Credit card swipe - checking this box will enable patrons to purchase using the information on their credit card (name on the card). This is most useful for auctions and is described further here.
  3. Make the appropriate selections for your organization's needs.
  4. Next, you define the mandatory fields you want limited profiles to contain in the Limited Profile Web Sales Checkout Patron Data section.

    This is where you set the minimum data patrons must provide to access the web sales checkout.

    If you mail tickets, please make patron address, city, state and zip code mandatory.

    If all tickets are held for will call or print at home, then set as many of these options as you'd like (even none).

Limited Profile Rules

This section contains some of the rules that Theatre Manager implements, depending how the limited profile patron is created.

Guest Checkout for Web Sales

Enabling Guest Checkout for online sales means that the patron:
  • Can buy online and add items (tickets, gift certificates/passes, donations) to their cart
  • Begin the checkout process
  • The web sales process will ask them if they want to:
    • Log in to a previously created account using their email/password. This attaches the cart to an existing full profile patron.
    • Create a new Account which will ask the user to supply all information - and create a new full profile patron
    • do a Guest Checkout which will use the data requirements on the right side of the mandatory data window. If the patron enters:
      • Only this minimum data and no Password, a Limited Profile Patron is created during guest checkout and an employee may need to subsequently find and merge them (if its a duplicate), or capture more data later. A guest checkout cannot log back in online and see their prior purchases
      • All the information and a Password, then a full profile patron will be created. By providing the password, the patron will be able to log in online and review prior purchases.


Guest Checkout Options are Based on Cart Contents

If the Web Checkout limited profile is set, you can restrict when the Limited Profile option is available based on the contents of the cart. The choices are any one or more of:

  • Tickets - if only tickets are in the cart, the patron can do limited profile checkout
  • Donations - if only donations are in the cart, the patron can do limited profile checkout
  • Pass/Gift Certificate - if only Passes/Gift Certificaes are in the cart, the patron can do limited profile checkout
  • If Multiple items are checked, then the patron can check out using limited profile if only those checked items are in the cart. Eg if Donations and tickets are checked, then the patron can use limited profile if a donation and/or ticket are in the cart, but not if a pass is in the cart


What the Patron Sees Online at checkout

If the Limited Profile Patron feature is enabled in System Preferences -> Mandatory Data, the following will apply during checkout:

  • Patron still has the option of logging in to an existing account to see prior purchases
  • Otherwise, a new patron will always be created if they choose the quick checkout process and provide their name & email (at minimum), and other data you deem mandatory
  • Theatre Manager always verifies the email address.
    • If the email address already exists in the database, this 'new' patron will be added to the existing household.
    • If the email does not exist, a brand new household will be created.
    A patron who checks a shopping cart out online as a Limited Profile Patron has no login credentials.
    • Ordinarily, this means they cannot log in and see past purchase history.
    • However, if they visit the web site and ask for their password to be emailed, they can log in with their email and password and purchase again. If they do that, they will be required to complete the patron information that they did not complete the first time (thereby becoming a full profile patron),
    • If they never log in and simply buy again (they don't ask for their password), they will have to provide their name each time they checkout.
    If limited profile is used, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that all events be set to require print at home - so that the customer is emailed their tickets.
  • At the box office, 'Limited Profile Patrons' are indicated on the patron list using a new icon. If you edit the patron contact card for one of those patrons at the box office, you will then have to complete the missing information before the data can be saved.
  • You should implement a data management policy to find and merge 'Limited Profile Patrons' on an ongoing basis if you allow the feature. This is because several records are created for the same patron if they never log in, but use the same email.

"Quick Add" to a Mail List online

The limited profile patron feature can be used to allow patrons to do a "quick add" to a Mail List online using a quick submit form. This will allow them to be added to a Mail List without providing all the standard patron data normally required for a full log in. Instead, all that will be required is name, address and email.

The form can be placed either within the Theatre Manager web pages, or outside on your main shell site, depending on where you want to display the form and capture the data. The form is not a standalone page, but rather is incorporated into another page, whether on '' or ''.

The concepts in this topic are designed for the more experienced user. Please contact your web designer if you want to implement this advanced web feature.

  • To use this feature, you must let the mail list be visible on the internet. For information on how to do this, click here.
  • You must allow limited profile patrons to be added using mail lists. To learn more about this setting click here.
  • If the patron's email address already exists within the database, creating a limited profile patron will create a new patron within the database. Your Box Office staff will need to be vigilant about merging duplicate patrons.
  • At minimum (when used on the main website such as ''), the form will need to collect three fields in order to subscribe the patron to the Mail List:
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Email Address

A sample file can be found in your WebPageEN directory in tmTemplates/tmMailListQuickAddInsert.html. If you need assistance locating this file, please contact your web designer. The sample file shows how you can use hidden parameters, checkboxes and lists all around a form that is submitted.


The entire form would appear like the example below:

*** Insert form parameters here (see below) ***

When building the form, it must open with the following framing code:

Then enter the form contents.

If you wish to pass a parameter for a hidden input (for example, adding the patron to a specified Mail List), the code would be:

Click to add me to the Comedy mail list.

where '5' is the sequence number of the Comedy Mail List. The sequence number of the Mail List can be found within the Mail List window or on the List of Mail Lists search window. This will produce a listing on your form such as :

Click [button] to add me to the Comedy mail list.

A similar line can be used to create a checkbox (as in the sample provided), by using the code:

Click on one or more of the following:

which would create a checkbox to add the patron to Mail List 5, 10, and/or 12.

Click on one or more of the following:
[ ] Comedies
[ ] Dramas
[ ] Musicals

The file also provides List support, where a list of options can be displayed:

Choose from the following options:

Mail List #5
Mail List #10

Choose from the following options:
[The names for Mail List 5 and Mail List 10 will appear in the drop down]

And finally, close the form by collecting the First Name, Last Name and Email Address fields:

As stated above, if the form is used OUTSIDE Theatre Manager - meaning it is not on the web site but rather on the shell site of ',' then you have to make sure that the form includes the three fields for name and email.

However, if the form is served up by Theatre Manager from within the Apache server, then you can end the form after the options by adding the form closing code:

and the patron will be added to the selected mail lists.

Quick Mail List Sign-up Online

Limited profile patrons also allows quick sign up to any number of mail lists by providing only name and email info (rather than the usual new sign up or sign in process).

Quick Add Setup

  • This feature is a simple form on your web sales site. Users can select which mail lists they'd like to receive from a list defined by the venue.
  • You need to set up a form to tell TM which mail lists to include on the form that users will select from.
  • Please refer to the samples in the web page tmMailListQuickAddInsert.html. You can find the latest Web Pages .
  • Double-click that file to preview what it will look like, then open it with a script editor (WordPad on a PC, Apple Script Editor on a Mac) to make the changes to it representative of your venue (ie. add your mail lists to it in place of the samples). For example, this is the page opened for preview:

    And this is the same page opened in a script editor:

  • So using the example in a script editor, you would change the name of the mail list at the end of each line to match a mail list you have set up in your database.
  • Save the edited file then place it in your web pages folder under TMtemplates.

Confirmation Email

If the patron was not logged in when they subscribed to a mail list (the only gave their name and email), they will receive an email asking them to confirm their subscription to the mail list. Patrons who follow the usual sign-in routine will not be subject to this confirmation process.

If they do not confirm their subscription to the mail list(s), they will automatically be removed from the mail list after a specified number of hours (default 24) in Company Preferences. This occurs during the end of day process when other web information is purged.

  • To change the default setting go to Setup > Company Preferences and open the End of Day tab.
  • In the bottom left, there's a section for Web, Logs & Shopping Cart Retention Policy settings.
  • Set the Purge unconfirmed mail list number of hours to the desired setting.

If the email address a patron uses here exists in the database already, the patron in the database will be added to the mail list. If the email address does not exist, then a new 'limited profile patron' record will be created for the patron.

Credit Card Swipe

There is a convenient quick-add feature that creates a patron by swiping their credit card. This might be best used during the admittance process for Auctions. The process works as follows:

  • You start by setting the Patron List window to search by credit card. For more info on the Patron List window, click here.
  • Then, when you swipe a credit card, it will find the patron if that card number is in the database.
  • If the card number does not exist in the database, TM gives you the option to quick add the patron attending the auction.
  • Patrons added in this way will be 'limited profile patrons'. That is, the name on the card along with their credit card on file stored in the database.
  • In an auction setting, if there are bid packets, you can give the patron the patron number created during the swipe.
  • You can now sell auction items to this patron using the auction process.

As with any limited profile patron, if you edit their actual address data, you will be required to provide the minimum information normally required of the box office.

Edits Tab

The Edits tab contains patron data management information for Theatre Manager.

Data Editing

"Unknown" Phone Number
The phone number which can be used if there is no patron phone number. This number will be ignored when checking for multiple patrons.
First Name Connector
The connector which will be used to join first and last names in reports and letters.
Greeting Name Preference
The greeting preference used when sending material to patrons.

Auto Capitalize
Controls Theatre Manager's ability to set mixed case letters during entry and reduces the necessity to use the shift key. Several methods can be chosen to control this process.

Never Capitalize - Removes this option by always accepting exactly what is entered.

First Time - Capitalizes the first letter of data entered into a field the first time it is entered. When the field is edited, the changes will be saved as entered.

Mac: Except for <Option> <Tab> - Capitalizes the first letter of any word entered into a field unless the <Option> key is held down when <Tab> is used to move into the next field. When the <Option> key is depressed, and <Tab> is used to move to the next field, the data is recorded as entered.

Windows: Except for <CTRL> Click - Capatilizes the first letter of any word entered into the field unless the <CTRL> key is held down and clicking is used to move into the next field. When the <CTRL> key is depressed, and the click is used to move to the next field, the data is recorded as entered.

Always Capitalize - Capitalizes the first letter of any word entered into a field.

Disable Postal Code Edits
If selected, the program will not validate a Countries Postal/Zip code requirements.


Canadian Format : xxx xxx

American Format: xxxxx or xxxxx-xxxx

New Zealand Format: xxxx

Disable Telephone Number Edit
If selected, the program will not validate a countries telephone number requirements.


Canadian/American Format: (xxx) xxx - xxxx

New Zealand Format: 0800 xx xx xx or 021 xxx xxxx or 025 xxx xxx or 0Y xxx xxxx where Y is a number between 3 and 9.

Email Address Domain Verification

E-mail addresses will not be verified when entered into Theatre Manager.
Internet Only
E-mail addresses will be verified when entered through web sales.
E-mail addresses will always be verified when entered into Theatre Manager. This can slow down data entry but is the most accurate.

Box Office Tab

Ticket Reservation Display Letters

Letter Display Determine if the price code or the seat code from the Buy Window shows on the seat in the map display.

If you change the setting to or from 'Price Code' and 'Promotion Letter', you will need to verify future performances to change the actual letter display on the map.

Set Colour of seats for current sale Click on this box to bring up the colour palette window. You can select both the foreground and background colours.
Set Colour of seats for current exchange Click on this box to bring up the colour palette window. You can select both the foreground and background colours.

Play Sell Warning Colours

Performance has begun or is over Click on this box to bring up the colour palette window. You can select both the foreground and background colours.
30 minutes until Performance starts Click on this box to bring up the colour palette window. You can select both the foreground and background colours.
1 hour until Performance starts Click on this box to bring up the colour palette window. You can select both the foreground and background colours.
2 Hours until Performance starts Click on this box to bring up the colour palette window. You can select both the foreground and background colours.
4 hours until Performance starts Click on this box to bring up the colour palette window. You can select both the foreground and background colours.

Held Seat Setup

Hold Letter Clicking on each letter brings up the colour palette window allowing you to select both the foreground and background colours. Seat hold letters are always represented with lowercase letters.
Hold Description You can define the meaning of the seat hold code by entering a description beside each of the 26 lower case letter codes.

Web Tab

The Web tab is used to set some global behavior of all Web Listeners for all outlets in the database such as:
  • are any of them allowed to be active? (i.e. this is a global shutdown switch)
  • the hold letter tp be used for internet sales - it is common across all outlets
  • the hold letter to be used for social distance or associated seats. The letter selected is also common across all outlets

Web Sales Options

Enable Web Sales Checking this box enables the use of the web sales module.
Maximum Tickets The maximum number of tickets that can be purchased in a single web order. This is a global total for all tickets in a cart and can be overridden on the:
  • Event window to give different limits for an entire event -OR-
  • Performance web tab to give different limits for single performance.
Remove The default time, in minutes, before the start of a performance when it is removed from web sales. This is the default time for all Events. This can be overidden in individual events. Click here for the steps on changing the default time on the event.

Special Hold Letters

Internet Sale Specify the hold letter that will be displayed on the map when a web sale is in progress. We recommend altering the colour of this hold code to make it stand out on the map during the sales process.
Social Distance or Associated Seat Specify the hold letter assigned to associated seats.

The lower case letter q is suggested as the default.

These are seats that are held automatically for a patron when they buy a specific set of seats an might be used fort dinner theatre or ADA companion seats. We recommend altering the colour of this hold code to make it stand out on the map during the sales process and afterwards as permanent holds.

You can create unique social distance seating on each pricing map to suit your needs.

Report Queue Options

Enable Report Queue When set, the TM Listeners are able to start processes that will allow users to run reports in background if the user clicks the Queue button during the report generation process (instead of clicking Done),

There are a few things to consider:

  • You will need to enable the employee to use the Report Queue in their employee preferences report tab
  • Running reports in the background on a web listener will require CPU resources on that machine
  • If your venues TM Servers need all of the Web Listener CPU resources during onsales, you may need to:
    • refrain from running reports in the background during onsales -or-
    • dedicate a TM Server machine to only act as a report server (and not process wep sales)
This setting enables you to quickly disable background reporting during a large onsales if you need all the resources on your all your web listeners to be doing web sales.
Refer to Enabling Reporting Servers for all steps in setting up the report queues.

Backup Tab

Local Backup

The schedule of backups can be set along with retention. A TM server on a designated machine will coordinate the backups. See the setup below for the TM server

Backups Occur at Enter the times of the day that you want backups to run. Generally, at least two is recommended like 2:00 am and 2 pm (2:00,14:00) unless you have streaming replication enabled, in which case you likely only want one.
Hourly The number of hourly backups that you want the system to retain. This number can be greater that the number you want to run in any one day. if so, then more are kept across multiple days. 4 to 6 is recommended.

example: if you want to keep 9 hourly backups and do 3 backups daily, then you will have 3 backups per day (the hourlies) for each of the past 3 days.

Daily The number of days of daily backups that will be kept. 15 days (half a month) or more is recommended.

note: if backups are not run for 5 out of the past 15 days, then 15 days of daily backups means that 15 distinct days are kept, which will be across 20 days in total.

Weekly The number of weeks of weekly backups that will be kept. Between 4 and 8 is recommended.

Like the above, this is the number of distinct weeks of backups that are kept. If you keep 4 weeks of backups, but one week got missed for some reason, then TM will keep the 5th week as well.

Monthly The number of months of monthly backups that will be kept. 12 or more is recommended
Yearly The number of years that an annual backups should kept. About 5 is recommended and/or you may want to set this to coincide with the government (IRS/CCRA) requirements for electronic storage.

Backup and Notification

The daily backup script is designed to send a message to the server to update the date of last backup. If it does not, then you can deceide how long you can run without a backup before the message is displayed on startup.

Last Backup The date and time that the backup script was last known to have run. If this field does not change, then backups are probably not running.
Last Size The size of the file in the last backup. This file will increase in size.
Prior Size The size of the file in the second to last backup. This file will increase in size.
Remind in The number of days to wait until a reminder is created at a startup that the backup script did not run. Can be set between 1 and 7 days.
Threshold Enter a threshold for the differences between the current and the prior backup sizes. If the difference is over the this threshold, you will receive a warning. We recommend it is small - like 0.5%

Remote Backup

This allows you to send the backups off to another machine in the office or offsite if you want to push backups to a second safe place. Its something that we recommend.

Backup Type You can indicate what kind of offsite you want - the options are:
  • None - no offsite back will be attempted
  • FTP - this is used to send your backup to an FTP site. TM Server will attempt secure connections and fall back if necessary. You can use tools like Filezilla to set up your own PC based storage.
  • HTTP - will sent your backup data over HTTPS to a server.
  • AMS Cloud - if you have this feature, this will back up your data to the AMS cloud. No other credentials are required. It cannot be enabled in a training database.
Backup URL The URL that the backup will be sent to. Only applicable to the FTP and HTTP methods. For AMS cloud, this will be specified for you
User Name The user name to log into the remote backup location.
Password The password used to log into the remote backup location


Enabling a TM server to do backups

At least one of your TM servers should be enabled for backups.

  • This is preferably the one that is NOT running on the database server so that you have off machine backups.
  • You can enable this on multiple machines if you wish.. However it is better to enable remote push of the database instead.
Normally, a backup path (shown below) is local to the machine, but you can make it a network share if you know how to to that. Example
Platform Local Path Network Path
Windows C:\BoxOffice\Backups Log TM Server in as user that has access to network file share (i.e. set the service to login as a person with access to the share as per he sample to the right)
  • Type share name as //Share + path
  • Share: //pt-bkp01\Backups
  • Path: \TheatreManager
  • Share + Path: //pt-bkp01\Backups\TheatreManager
Windows \BoxOffice\Backups You'll have to mount a remote volume that will appear in the volumes directory that you allow read/write access to
  • Type backup path name as \volumes + path
  • Share: \Volumes\DiskMount
  • Path: \TheatreManager\Backups
  • Share + Path: \Volumes\DiskMount\TheatreManager\Backups

Other Tab

The Other tab contains details on miscellaneous information with Theatre Manager.


Data Management

Keep Transactions after posting to the G/L Checking this box causes some non-financial transactions to be kept after posting to the GL. Unchecking it allows those transactions to be purged after a period of time
Otherwise Purge After Determine the number of days to keep the non-posting transaction records before purging them.

Update Management

Check for Updates Daily When this box is checked, your theatre Manager system will check on a daily basis to see if there is a newer version available. This should be done for PCI compliance by enabling the update checking port for this. No download will happen, it is a notification only.
Automatically TM Minor Updates When enabled
  • TM will automatically pull down and update itself with newer versions. This is done via a secure connection (using TLS 1.2) to our update servers
  • Versions that cross any release boundary that require new database fields for new features will download only after the TM server has added the new fields into the database.
  • Listeners restart themselves after updating. Users at workstations are reminded every four hours that the release is waiting for them if they ready to install it. On start up of TM, a workstation will be automatically updated.

Replication Monitoring

Enable database replication monitoring Some sites have specifically set up live streaming database replication - in order to have a failover database with the most current information, should the machine hosting it fail.

Enabling this flag will cause Theatre Manager server to monitor the replication process and update the 'last verify' date. This can be used through the API to find out if monitoring is working. if this option is

  • not checked - the API will return disabled
  • checked - the API will return
    • ok - if the last replication time check is within a recent time period
    • yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss+00:00 - a full ISO8601 timestamp (with timezone) representing the last time that replication was verified as running. This is the same date that is shown below.
    • None - if replication is not enabled and running for the database
Last Verify The date and time that the last replication verification occurred successfully.

Cache Settings

Enable cache for Theatre Manager Desktop Theatre Manager tries to optimize how it reads data from the database and will avoid reaching out to get some data in a number of cases. If you are having trouble with messages saying record not found, when it is really there, you can disable most of the cache.

Uncheck Enable cache for Theatre Manager Desktop to stop the cache being used for the desktop. It will apply to all workstations. You can specify mac platform and windows platforms independently.

Enable cache for web sales (Classic Listener) Uncheck Enable cache for web sales (Classic Listener) to stop the cache being used in the classic listeners. They have very little need for caching, so you may want to uncheck this if you have problems with some carts checking out a ticket.

You can specify mac platform and windows platforms independently.