September 25 to September 29, 2023 Release Notes

Features & Improvements

Online payments got a number of behind-the-scenes technical improvements that are frankly too arcane and nerdy to bring up here. But a couple things you'll now notice as a result of the upgrades:

  • The Someone else paying? link on Profile > Financial received some improvements:
    • The link itself is shorter, and whenever necessary, you can regenerate it.
    • The link is good for 400 calendar days. Not only that, whenever someone uses it to make a payment, the 400-day timer resets. No one needs to worry about the link expiring any more.
  • Financial > Settings > Payment Gateways has new, separate Gateway Uses for Forms and Transcript Requests, which were previously subsumed under the "Tuition and Fees" use.
  • All payment screens in Populi have been unified. Previously, the payment pages for application fees and Bookstore—for example—kinda did their own thing. Now every place you can make a payment in Populi behaves the same as it does elsewhere.

Speaking of arcane, nerdy features, we also added a bunch of things to our SSO capabilities:

  • A new SSO setting lets you allow emails as usernames. Previously if you tried logging in with, we'd strip off the With the setting set to "Yes, please", you can now accept the full email address as the person's unique username.
  • When you're in SSO mode and edit a user, you can now decide whether they can use Populi, SSO, or both to log in. If they have Populi credentials then all the normal password stuff like resets and login approvals will work. If they're SSO-only then all that stuff disappears. Default is SSO-only for new accounts, and existing user accounts when you enable SSO will be All, which means both Populi and SSO.
  • Connected to the above, SSO accounts will redirect to the logout URL when leaving Populi, but if you log in through Populi you won't.
  • A new SAML SP setting (enabled by default) lets you opt in or out of automatically redirecting users to your SSO login page after SSO is enabled. Opting out means that the Populi login screen will show a link to your SSO login, complete with a "friendly name" for your SSO IdP courtesy of another new setting).
  • "Partial" logins—one in which someone gets their username and password correct, but doesn't enter an authentication code—is now recorded as a failed login on the Logins report.
  • And when things go wrong with SAML, the error messages have been augmented with useful information about the error.

Overhauled mailing lists and added a few new things while we were at it:

  • Mailing list recipients are now refreshed every 10 minutes.
  • When spouses are merged we will now use the merged name, contact info, etc. in our recipient variables for emails and printed letters.
  • Mailing list history view is now paginated, and includes entries for letters and text messages.
  • One-time lists now autosave and have a new Save as mailing list action.

Updated Aid Classifications to make them more durable and able to handle different kinds of aid situations.

A new setting now lets you automatically import ISIRs for existing students.

A new setting in Account > Security lets you choose which user roles may update the School Calendar.

Added Campus information to the changelog.

Library has a new Reporting view for resources.

We stopped letting you have accounts with the same account number on the Chart of Accounts.

There's another new setting that lets you disable the automatic link-ifying of URLs; legal citations looked like web addresses and it was confusing the robots that live inside Populi.


Fixed a number of timezone issues that burped themselves into view during Daylight Savings Time, which Arizona doesn't celebrate (users from AZ were getting nagged to update their timezones erroneously).

If LCCNs had a hyphen as the third character (which they often do), the LCCN hyperlink would break.

The Previous Education report in Analytics was still pulling info from the Lead record.

The recipient counter on text messages was inconsistently accurate. Hopefully now it is consistently accurate, or at the very least inconsistenly inaccurate.

Fixed the courses filter on tuition schedules to make sure each schedule's filter is independent of the others.

Videos and Focus Sessions

Next week's Focus Sessions...

  • Introduction to Running Courses will get into course settings, lessons, assignments, discussions, tests, grading, and so on. This will be most useful to Academic Admin, Faculty, and Teaching Assistant users. It's scheduled for October 3rd, 2023, 11:00 AM Pacific time.
  • Introduction to Billing will delve into pending charges, invoices, transactions, payments/credits, tuition schedules, fees and so on. This will be most useful to Financial Admin and Student Billing users. It's scheduled for October 5th, 2023, 11:00 AM Pacific time.

After trudging through a video desert for a couple weeks, Josh returns you to green, verdant pastures of Populi knowledge with this latest entry concerning time zones in Populi.

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