Business Catalyst Blog

August release - automatic SPAM detection for comments, tax calculation fixes and 'cookie law' compliance

Dragos Manescu Thursday, August 16, 2012

We are announcing a new Business Catalyst release, scheduled to go live on Monday, August 27.

This release includes several user interface fixes, automatic comments SPAM control via Akismet, compliance with the EU and UK cookies regulation, fixed invoicing and taxation calculation and increased performance for import/export and FTP.

You can read through the following sections to get detailed information about this release:

Features and enhancements

Automatic SPAM control with Akismet

Recently we encountered a significant number of SPAM comments across Business Catalyst websites that have the blogs and forums features enabled, even with "Captcha" configured. As a result, we've decided to integrate Akismet, the defacto SPAM protection solution for comments in blogs. Starting with this release, the automatic SPAM moderation tool will be available for blogs, web apps, pages, announces, bookings. We're looking forward to extend the protection to other areas like Forums if necessary.

You can view some mockups of this feature here.

Regulation: EU and UK Cookie law compliance

With Business Catalyst, you can empower your customers to enable or disable tracking and other cookies that are not mandatory for the basic functionality of their site. This way a website can comply to the European and UK law. Basically, the feature is a module that you or your customer can include it in a page, pop-up or any type of modal window. We will also be providing a tutorial and documentation with details about the BC cookies.

New taxation and invoicing engine

We have improved the algorithm that calculates the correct value of sales taxes, issue known to have generated errors when rounding totals for multiple purchased products. The invoice calculation respects now best practices in the industry, fixing error propagation and including intelligent rounding for 2 decimals.

Performance improvements

During the last month, we have performed several upgrades to our database servers, and have also improved the performance and reliability of our FTP functionality and increased the speed for all the import/export procedures (for contacts, web apps, products).

This can lead to significant performance improvements for webapps with many fields, please test it yourself and let us know if it works better for you.

Customer reported issues fixed in the August release

As usual, we're also listing below the bugs fixed in this release:  

  • Issue 2769013 - Fixed the problem with module_visitorcountrycode that wasn't rendering anything when the customer was accessing the site from UK. 
  • Issue 2866783 - Fixed an issue related to the blogs RSS feature. The dRSS feed was displaying the creation date of the post and NOT the publishing date of the post.
  • Issue 2888914 - Fixed an issue involving Netbeans, Aptana and Eclipse FTP connection to Business Catalyst.
  • Issue 2872185 - Fixed an issue related to not displaying webapps when pagination is involved and when the user moves from one page to another.
  • Issue 2989060 - Fixed an issue related to applying discount codes to products available in multiple catalogues.
  • Issue 2989308 - Fixed the way shipping costs are calculated for Australia Post integrated shipping.
  • Issue 3063521 - Updated an issue involving discount rounding display in order and invoice layouts.
  • Issue 3164429 - Updated an issue related to shipping provider validation when Java Script is disabled.
  • Issue 3183926 - Fixed an issue related to company details in the Partner Portal.
  • Issue 2923580 - Updated an issue that was altering order fields when involved in a non seamless payment process.
  • Issue 3021332 - Updated discount catalogs to work for regular customers as well.
  • Issue 2760774 - Fixed an issue that we involving the expiry date for secure zone when importing a list of customers.
  • Issue 2764748 - Fixed an issue that was dealing with shipping amount validation.
  • Issue 2828396 - Fixed a problem about calculating the total tax using {tag_producttotalextax}.
  • Issue 2828278 - Fixed an issue related to "Advanced Layout Customization" for WebApps.
  • Issue 3151410 - Fixed an usability issue related to "File Manager" that was dealing with switching from one tab to another and not remembering the cursor position in any of the tabs.
  • Issue 3288534 - Fixed an issue related to user deletion when a user is attached to a workflow.
  • Issue 3289302 - Fixed an issue about caching .less files.
  • Issue 3296302 - Fixed an issue about users not being able to delete duplicate customers from CRM.
  • Issue 3307800 - Fixed an issue related to offline payments JS functionality.
  • Issue 2907377 - Updated a feature related to encoding special characters (<>, &) in file names.
  • Issue 2957949 - Fixed an issue causing filling numeric fields with trailing zeros when using web forms in front end.
  • Issue 3220522 - Fixed an issue in the returning page for DIBS (non seamless payment gateway) that was setting this page to a blank one.
  • Issue 3313655 - Fixed the current CRM import functionality that was throwing an "already existing username" exception when importing an updated CSV file with contacts.

Business Catalyst new admin interface updates

  • Updated some SEO metadata visibility cases in the actual WYSIWYG content editor and activating it after the site upgrade process.
  • Fixed some case of SEO metadata view synchronization with the html file
  • Fixed a few usability bugs related to the "File Manager": confirmation message when deleting a folder, scroll bar visibility for multiple files opened, ASCII characters support in the title, preview of .inc, .tmpl, .tpl, .liquid files and other small updates.

Next up: Email marketing improvements

As Bogdan mentioned in the BC Roadmap blog post, starting in September we will be focusing our efforts on specific themes: Email marketing, eCommerce, CRM etc. The first round will be about improving key features of the current email marketing solution, making sure that the core value of Business Catalyst (out of the box integration between components) can bring even more value to Partners and your clients. Stay tuned for more updates as we go along with the September release.


Thank you,

Dragos MANESCU
Adobe Business Catalyst Product Manager

FedEx Scheduled Service Update - August 10,11 and September 1

Dragos Manescu Friday, August 10, 2012

Please be advised that the FedEx production environments will undergo a planned system update on August 10,11 and on September 1, which will result into less than 2 hours of downtime for each day. During the downtime, the FedEx Rating, Shipping, Tracking and Pickup  services will be unable to process certain transactions for all customers.

Start Date and Time End Date and Time Duration Functionality Affected
Friday, 
August 10, 2012
11 p.m. CT
Saturday,
August 11, 2012
12:01 a.m. CT
1 hour Rating, Shipping, Tracking
Saturday, 
August 11, 2012 
11 p.m. CT
Sunday, 
August 12, 2012
12:01 a.m. CT
1 hour Rating, Shipping, Tracking, 
Pickup
Saturday, 
September 1, 2012
9 p.m. CT
Saturday, 
September 1, 2012
11 p.m. CT
2 hours Rating, Shipping, Tracking,
Pickup 

Please notify your customers about the scheduled maintenance.

Business Catalyst Mission, Strategies and Roadmap

Bogdan Rîpă Thursday, August 09, 2012

A week ago we returned from a very productive trip to the Adobe San Francisco office, where we met both our SVP, as well as a couple of very influential partners – Brent and Jason. One action item that we took from that trip was to make sure we very clearly and openly state what is our strategy and roadmap to the whole Business Catalyst partner community.

This blog post is about these concepts, explaining them in the simplest fashion possible.

Business Catalyst Mission

Our mission is to enable online businesses, not websites through a vibrant partner network.

Value Proposition

All in one as key differentiator, both for you as partners as well as for the business owners.

For you it’s the one stop shop that enables you to meet all your customers’ demands, allowing you to grow to be a successful agency, and for the business owners it’s the one place where you go to manage and grow your online business.

Business Catalyst Strategies

  • Treat our partners as real partners, not simply resellers of our solution.
  • Invest in the all-in-one aspect of business catalyst as main differentiator.
  • Reinventing Business Catalyst into a great platform that enables you to make your customers successful online, allowing the right engineering team velocity, scalability and elasticity.

All in one, explained

It's all about integration. It's not about how well the e-mail marketing side of Business Catalyst compares to our competitors (feature-by-feature comparison), it's all about how we can take advantage of the fact that our system offers e-commerce, analytics, CRM and CMS next to e-mail marketing, and how we can combine ALL these to make the world's best e-mail marketing tool by taking advantage of these integrations.

It’s about workflows that will enable partners to sell the integrated solution and all in one vision to business owners.

Tactics / Roadmap

September 2012

Better e-mail marketing/CMS integration, start working towards the platform vision.

  • Enable better integration between e-mail marketing and CMS and e-commerce, by allowing CMS content to be reused in e-mail marketing campaigns.
  • Start executing towards our platform vision, by improving the extensibility of the list layouts on web apps and e-commerce modules.

November/December 2012

Better e-mail marketing/CRM integration; advance e-commerce.

  • Better integration between e-mail marketing and CRM, by enabling things like list exclusions.
  • Expand e-commerce stock capabilities to product attributes.

February / March 2013

Better e-commerce integration; continue working towards the platform vision.

  • Enable better flexibility for e-commerce by enabling liquid in a production-ready fashion.
  • Better e-commerce reporting.

May/June 2013

Platform reinvention.

  • Enable flexibility for our webapps by enabling liquid and web apps API enabling partners to further extend Business Catalyst to SBO needs.
  • Enhance webapps up to a point where an average BC partner will be able to recreate and enrich most existing BC modules (blogs, photo galleries, etc) using web apps.
  • Enable webapps import/export to fuel an ecosystem of partners helping each other.

If you want to learn more about our strategy and focus for the near term, please attend our September 24th partner conference in San Jose, where the BC team members will be present, and more than open to get into more details.

- Bogdan

August 8th Partner Orientation Webinar recordings

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

For those of you who could not attend we have below the links to the Partner Orientation Webinars that took place on August 8th.

The schedule for this webinar included:

  • Introduction to BC
  • Support – where to get your information
  • Q&A session 

You have below the corresponding links:

In September  we are talking about:

  • Selling on strategy
  • Basic accounts FAQ
  • Q&A

To register for that session as well please chose your region:

If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com  We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.

Official San Jose, US Partner Conference in September - Book your spot!

Jackson Palmer Wednesday, August 08, 2012

We'd like to invite you to attend our official Partner Conference in San Jose on the 24th of September, 2012. The event will be hosted at Adobe's San Jose headquarters, is free to attend, and catering will be provided on the day.

To attend, simply submit the booking form below. We ask that each staff member from your team who'll be attending fill out the form, so we can best cater and manage the event. Due to venue size, registrations will be capped at 140, so make sure your team book in as soon as possible and don't miss out.

Unfortunately, we've reached capacity and registrations are now closed.


24th September, 2012 Schedule

  • 8:30-9:00 Start of day, arrival and set up
  • 9:00-10:00 Official Adobe opening presentation
  • 10:00-11:00 Brent Weaver from BC Gurus
  • 11:00-12:00 "Speed dating" session
  • 12:00-13:00 Lunch break
  • 13:00-14:00 Jason Tinnin from Simpleflame
  • 14:00-15:00 Mike Sallander from Chicago Digital
  • 15:00-15:30 Afternoon break
  • 15:30-16:30 Scott Reynolds from Thrise
  • 16:30-18:00 Official Adobe closing presentation, plus Q&A
  • 18:00-18:30 End of evening, short break prior to social event
  • 18:30-21:00 Evening social event and drinks

August 1st Townhall meeting recordings

Magda Neagu Friday, August 03, 2012

For those of you who could not attend we have below the links to the Townhall meetings that took place on August 1st.

 

We discussed during these meetings about:

  •  Business Catalyst Usergroups
  •  New Partner Orientation webinars
  •  New Partner resources
  •  Updated on the Partner team backlog

You have below the corresponding links:

As always, any suggestions are welcomed.

BC User Groups - find yours!

Diana Herac Thursday, August 02, 2012

BC user groups are taking off!

We're seeing a great momentum for BC user groups all around the world.

Find the user group in your area/country and meet BC professionals just like you. The groups meet once a month for discussions and drinks, so join the one of your choice:

Australia:
Adelaide
Melbourne
Newcastle
Perth
Sydney
Australian

US:
Chicago
Denver
New England
New Mexico
South Florida

Canada
Northern British Columbia
Vancouver  

Other locations:
London
Sweden
Puerto Rico

Please contact the group manager in your area for further details or drop us an email at BC Partner Team.

BC Sandpile meeting

Diana Herac Thursday, August 02, 2012

Join product evangelist Adam Broadway as he leads the conversation at the next BC Sandpile meeting. BC Sandpile is a weekly online meeting run by Business Catalyst partners for the purpose of sharing ideas, best practices, and networking.

Adam will be leading the conversation on building a company, avoiding common pitfalls, and the future of BC. Don't miss out on the chance to ask Adam a question.

Day/Time:

San Francisco: Tues. August 7th at 5pm

New York City: Tues. August 7th at 8pm

London: Wed. August 8th 1am

Sydney: Wed. August 8th 10am

Sign up here to receive a link to the meeting: http://www.bcsandpile.com/meetings/8-7-2012.htm

Partner webinars are back!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Great news: Partner webinars are back in August, with a new format!

Please join us the second Wednesday of every month to learn how to build and take your BC sites live, how to manage your BC account, plus tips and tricks on how to search our knowledge base and contact the support team.

In the first three webinars we’ll cover:

The 8th of August

  • Introducing BC - creating a site using templates - 40 min
  • Support orientation - where to find what you're looking for - 10 min
  • Q&A - 10 min

The 12th of September

  • Selling on strategy - 40 min
  • Basic accounts FAQ - 10 min
  • Q&A - 10 min

The 9th of October

  • Partner setup and orientation - 40 min
  • Partner community - 10 min
  • Q&A - 10 min

We will offer two time slots for each webinar, one for Australia and the other for Europe and US.  Please click the links to register and follow the BC blog for further details.

Catch episode 20 of the BC podcast!

Jackson Palmer Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hear a great interview with Partner Greg Spies, learn about more upcoming Partner events in your area, and of course listen out for a fresh HTML quiz question in Episode 20 of the BC podcast!

Listen to this month's podcast:

Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

To subscribe and receive the BC Podcast each month, you can find us on the iTunes store here or by simply searching "BC Podcast" from iTunes.

In July's Episode :

Related links:

Watch the video recording of Adam's recent "Ask a Pro" session, covering BC's new Dreamweaver CS6 integration.