Equipment Reservations Payments

kgudger's picture

I'm setting up a CM site with reservable equipment. I've looked into Reservations, MERCI and civiBooking. We need a reservation system with the ability to charge / pay online for the equipment rental. I haven't found anywhere how to integrate Reservations or MERCI into civiCRM to use the payment options. civiCRM seems like it will work for classes, and I guess one could set up a reservation as an event, but I would really like to have the nice features of the Reservations (or MERCI) module. Anyone done this? Have any suggestions?
(P.S. civiBooking seems broken?)


Unfortunately there isn't a

kreynen's picture

Unfortunately there isn't a great solution for this yet. There is That is the original version of Drupal Commerce based solution that was used for the Open Media Foundation's $5000 SaaS solution ($2000 setup + $3000/year). Unfortunately that project was never promoted to a full project on, the original developer no longer maintain it, and it isn't openly documented or supported.

I just committed Reservations: CiviCRM Payment is a proof of concept solution I wrote after seeing how a station was using a CiviContibute form to charge viewers for DVDs. That solution worked really well since the revenue for DVD duplication showed up in the same reports as the income from training and memberships. It was also a really sneaky way for collecting the contact information of potential donors. Everyone who bought a DVD of a football game, graduation ceremony, or city council meeting was adding themselves to the organizations contact database.

Reservations: CiviCRM Payment needs several days of development to work out of the box. The proof of concept version requires the user to manually create Financial Type and configure a CiviContribute form with the Other Amount option enabled. The Other Amount is normally a text are that allows the person to type an amount other than the suggest amounts, but using CiviCRM equivalent of hook_form_alter, the amount can be prepopulated from a Reservation node in an uneditable field. The proof of concept version doesn't update the Reservation node from Unconfirmed to Confirmed, but I thought that would be a logical workflow. Users create an Unconfirmed Reservation. This triggers an email from Reservations: Email with the link to make a payment though CiviContribute. Once the payment is made, the Reservation is confirmed.

Currently none of the groups that I'm familiar with who have funded or contributed code to the Reservations module and submodules charge members for Reservations. MNN doesn't even charge for membership. channelAustin charges more for premium memberships that allow longer reservations, but they don't charge for the reservations themselves. Most of the smaller stations hardly have enough equipment that online reservations even make sense.

If someone were to fund or contribute to finishing Reservations: CiviCRM Payment, I think it would be a popular solution for community media groups since so many of them already have a credit card processor configured in CiviCRM for memberships, event fees, and donations. It would just be an extensions of something they already understand vs. yet another system to configure and maintain.

What about Rules

kgudger's picture

Thank you for your informative post. I was wondering if there was a way to use civiContribute to collect the fees. Would something like this be possible using Rules? I don't know much about it, but I was wondering if you could set up a rule to redirect the user from a completed reservation form to the contribution form with the right amount charged in it?

It seems that civiCRM payment is still a 2 step process - make a reservation, get an email, come back and pay. Couldn't a Rule be used to go directly from the reservation form to the civiContribute form?

What would be the best way forward? Is it worth my checking out civiCRM Payment?