Business Catalyst Blog

Learn about our upcoming December 2012 system update!

Jackson Palmer Monday, November 26, 2012

This month, we’ve been hard at work on another feature-packed system update. This update is scheduled to go live Tuesday December 4th, and includes a range of exciting enhancements, new features you can take for a test drive in beta, plus some great improvements to our help and support workflows.

For a complete list of features and bug fixes addressed in the upcoming release, please refer to the official release notes post on the community forums.

Feature highlights

Improved Web Form and Comment security

We’ve introduced four important changes/updates that will help you protect client sites from human or automatic spam bot attacks on web forms and comments.  

1. We've introduced a new native CAPTCHA engine that will be available in parallel with the current engine. We've made it more difficult to visually read, but also more secure against spam bots that base their actions on image detection. You can switch between the existing and new CAPTCHA engines under Site Settings > Captcha. Learn more here.

2. We've also integrated reCaptcha, Google's popular image verification engine. reCaptcha is available for web forms, however will not be available for blog comments or for the tell-a-friend module. You can insert reCaptcha from the “Misc” tab of the web form builder.

For details on setting up reCaptcha for web forms, please refer to this article.

3. We've improved our integration with Akismet, and starting with this release BC should detect spam submissions faster and with more ease,  once the engine has begun learning.

4. All new web forms will have the BC 'honeypot' spam protection module enabled by default. The "Web Form Security" module, which currently is available in the eCommerce tab of the web form builder, will be renamed to "Anti-bot Spam Protection" module, and will be applied by default to all new web forms.

In-product help resources

We’re introducing a new in-product help system which will provide you with relevant help resources, based on the current area of the system you’re working in. For instance, if you’re building your first web form you will be presented with a range of articles and tutorials on the topic of web forms.

http://www.businesscatalyst.com/_blog/bc_blog/incontext-help.PNG

 

Improved support workflows

Based on your valuable feedback, we’ve completely revamped our Help & Support area. As part of this revamp, we’ve also decided to switch live chat and ticket submission tools. Submitting new tickets and managing your existing tickets will be quicker, easier and not require any additional login credentials.

http://www.businesscatalyst.com/_blog/bc_blog/helpsupportpage.PNG

For all the details of the upcoming support changes, make sure you read Vlad’s recent blog post.

Beta features

With this system update, we’re also launching several new features in beta. These features / enhancements can be enabled under Site Settings > Beta Features.

Updated interface for setting page SEO metadata

We’re introducing an intuitive interface for editing Page SEO metadata, for both Partners and your clients. The SEO Metadata fields now correspond to the following standards-compliant content inside the HTML page:

  • <title>...</title>
  • <meta name="description" content="...">
  • <meta name="robots" content="noindex">

If a page contains <meta name="robots" content="noindex">, even if added via Dreamweaver or other code editors, the page will automatically be excluded from your sitemap.xml and BC site search.

The new interface can be activated by going to Site Settings > Beta Features > SEO Pages. This will involve migrating some of existing metadata from internal BC systems into page content itself (titles, metadata set with old UI V2 interface, and Exclude from search setting), which is done automatically for you.

New in-context campaign editing experience for business owners

We’ve introduced a new editing experience for your business owner clients that’s intuitive and separates content from style inside your email campaigns. Using InContext Editing mark-up, you’re now able to define editable regions inside the HTML code of your email newsletter templates. Editable regions can be applied on both static (text, links, images or html) or dynamic (modules) content. When your client goes to edit the content of this template, they’re only manipulating the raw content itself, and hence are unable to break elements or the overall layout.

Enabling this feature under Site Settings > Beta Features > Email Marketing will split the campaign editing experience for Partners into two tabs - "Developer Editor" and "Client Editor" - with the latter being the in-context editing experience your clients will see.

For details and to provide your feedback on this feature, refer to this forum document.

Import/Export of product variations

As part of our on-going inventory control for attributes beta development, this update we’re enabling Import/Export of product variations via a CSV or TAB file.

Improved analytics engine

We’re introducing a new and improved analytics engine, that will bring faster and more accurate reporting your client sites. In addition to performance improvements, this feature also includes:

  • A new report that displays visits from mobile devices
  • Browser and OS Version reports now show the latest versions of the visitor’s operating system or browser, based on the request header data received

 

As with all beta features, keep an eye out on this blog post and the community forums for further details and the opportunity to provide your feedback on these in-development enhancements.

Introducing our new and improved Help & Support experience

Vlad Stanilescu Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Over the past few months, we've received an incredible amount of feedback on Business Catalyst's Help & Support workflows. I'd like to thank everyone who provided this feedback, and walk you through the upcoming improvements you'll see as of our next system update.

These changes are targeting only the partner community, so the white-labeling will not be affected, as the client workflows remain the same.

In-product help resources

We've undertaken a thorough review of our help content and starting with the next system update, will begin to bring the most valuable resources right inside the product - when and where it's relevent.

You will be able to access all this great content by simply hovering or clicking on "Help & Support" from inside your Admin Console. You're also able to search for help content and access the new support page from the same area.

Here's a sneak peak:

A new Help & Support page

We've completely redesigned our Help & Support page to give you easier access to the resources you need. Simplicity and usability were our key goals, and from the new page you'll be able to:

  • Search and browse help documentation, tutorials and community help resources
  • Browse the community forums
  • Chat directly with the support team
  • Submit a new support ticket
  • View system status updates
  • Access other popular resources

Here's a preview of the new and improved page:

Better live chat and support ticketing tools

Based on your feedback, we've made the decision to switch back to the live chat tool we were previously using. We're also moving out support ticketing system over to a leading tool in the customer service space: Zendesk.

Submitting new tickets will be quicker and easier than ever, with no additional login required. You'll even be able to record and upload a screencast right from the "submit a ticket " screen.

Updating, replying to and following up on a ticket will be also be easy and intuive - all you have to do is reply on the email you receive when the case was created, or to one of our agent's replies.


Documentation improvement project

In addition to all these, we are now planning to work on improving our documentation as well, and also engaging the Partner community in this project. We would appreciate if you could give us some valuable feedback on what you think is important to work on, and also let us know if you would like to contribute to our efforts, by filling this short survey.

 

We hope you find the new Help & Support experience to be a big improvement and step in the right drection. You'll see the changes in line with our upcoming system update, currently scheduled for early-December. Keep an eye on the BC Blog for release notes and a final release date next week.

Over the coming months, we'll continue to gather your valuable feedback and utilize it to continue enhancing the support experience for all Partners.

Thanks,
Vlad.



Book your spot - Official US Partner Christmas Parties!

Jackson Palmer Monday, November 19, 2012

As promised, we've teamed up with BC Partners across the US to bring you a selection of great end-of-year parties to attend.

All events are free to attend - so come along and network with fellow Business Catalyst Partners, talk shop, and let your hair down.

Make sure you click the links below to RSVP and book your spot(s) - you entire team are welcome. See you there!

Chicago

The party kicks off at 6:00PM on 11 December, 2012. Brought to you by Adobe and Chicago Digital.

Book your spot now!



New England

The party kicks off at 6:00PM on 12 December, 2012. Brought to you by Adobe and Thrise.

Book your spot now!



Denver

The party kicks off at 7:00PM on 7 December, 2012. Brought to you by Adobe, BC Gurus, Ebway Creative Solutions and MediaTrik.

Book your spot now!



St Louis

The party kicks off at 7:00PM on 12 December, 2012. Brought to you by Adobe and Simpleflame.

Book your spot now!



Albuquerque

The party kicks off at 2:00PM on 13 December, 2012. Brought to you by Adobe and Dashbee.

Book your spot now!



Managing your sites with the Dreamweaver extension for Business Catalyst

Magda Neagu Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hi everybody,

If you are editing your websites in Dreamweaver our December release will bring a few changes to the Dreamweaver extension for Business Catalyst. Starting with December 4th version 1.0.2 and older versions of the Business Catalyst extension for Dreamweaver will be deprecated.
To continue working on your websites we advise you to download the latest extension version (1.0.3.) from http://www.businesscatalyst.com/support/dw
If you fail to upgrade your extension by that time, you will no longer be able to login to Business Catalysts websites from the Dreamweaver interface.

The Business Catalyst team

Book your spot - Official Australian BC Partner Christmas parties!

Jackson Palmer Monday, November 12, 2012

It's that time of the year again, and we've teamed up with BC Partners in Sydney and Melbourne to bring you two great regional end-of-year parties.

Both events are free to attend, and are bound to be a lot of fun! Come along and network with fellow Business Catalyst Partners, talk shop, and let your hair down.

Make sure you click the links below to RSVP and book your spot(s) - you entire team are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there.

Sydney Christmas Party

Sydney Christmas Party 2012

The official Sydney Christmas party kicks off at 7:00PM on 14 December, 2012. Hosted at Bar 100, in The Rocks. Brought to you by Adobe, Pretty Pollution, Bosweb, and 2CreativeMedia.

Book your spot now!



Melbourne Christmas Party

Melbourne Christmas Party 2012

The official Melbourne Christmas party kicks off at 5:30PM on 5 December, 2012. Hosted at the Hub, Melbourne CBD. Brought to you by Adobe, Design Experts, TNMG Designs, and iFormat.

Book your spot now!



If you're in the US, don't fear! Stay tuned for details on official US end-of-year parties in the coming days.

BC Sandpile - November meetings

Diana Herac Wednesday, November 07, 2012

BC Sandpile is a weekly online meeting run by Business Catalyst Partners for the purpose of sharing ideas, best practices, and networking.

Weekly Day/Time:

  • San Francisco: Tuesdays, 5pm (all times adjusted in relation to this time)
  • New York City: Tuesdays, 8pm
  • London: Wednesdays, 1am
  • Sydney: Wednesdays, 12pm

November 6th (7th in AUS):

Joseph Salinas from Grounded Software will show off his most recent Business Catalyst project - a financial tracking tool that makes great use of web apps. He’ll show us how he used Bootstrap with web apps to create a great experience for his client. http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/post/Web-Apps-Bootstrap-with-Joseph-Salinas/

November 13th (14th in AUS):

Tim Gentle from Design Experts will explain his technique of using card sorting during the sales process. The outcome of the card sorting technique assists you to prepare for a Business Catalyst solution. Tim will define card sorting, explain why it's effective, and go over the specifics on how to involve the client during the card sorting process. http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/post/card-sorting-tim-gentle/

November 20th (21st in AUS):

Beth Kahlich will walk us through a Business Catalyst website that uses API extensively. She will show us how the API made it possible for food-related charities to share resources by allowing registered users to add products, edit those products and much more. http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/post/api-beth-kahlich/

November 27th (28th in AUS):

Mike Sallander from Chicago Digital & BC AcadeMe will demonstrate an event registration implementation that will have you wondering why you would ever use another method. This implementation is dynamic, adjusting based on the customers input and best of all, still uses the BC built-in events module, so you can still access registrations and event follow up emails. http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/post/event-registration-mike-sallander/

Full schedule: http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/

Reminder: Please switch to SFTP by December 12

Marius Andreiana Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Business Catalyst now supports the SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) protocol when connecting to sites remotely via Dreamweaver and other supported clients. The SFTP protocol encrypts both user credentials (username/password) and the actual data being transferred. 

We recommend that all users switch to using the SFTP protocol starting today, to ensure the security of sites being connected to. New sites setup in Dreamweaver will already use SFTP by default.

For information on making the switch and a list of supported clients, please refer to the following article: Connecting to your site using SFTP. The switch is as easy as:

  1. Editing your connection in Dreamweaver or preferred FTP client
  2. Changing the protocol from FTP to SFTP
SFTP support

As mentioned in October release announcement, we will close regular, plain text FTP support on December 12th.

Thank you,
Marius

Listen to our fresh October 2012 episode of the BC Podcast!

Jackson Palmer Monday, October 29, 2012

Hear an interview with BC Partner and entreprenuer Michelle Dale, founder of Virtual Miss Friday, get all the details on our latest system update, and of course listen out for a fresh HTML quiz question in Episode 23 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 October's Episode :

System maintenance announcement

Magda Neagu Saturday, October 27, 2012

To ensure the highest security and performance levels for our services, we're applying a hardware and software update on servers located in our Dublin and Sydney datacenters. To minimize the customer impact, the updates are scheduled at the most convenient hours for the region and will take up to eight hours to complete.
During the maintenance procedure the Admin Console Access, Partner Portal, FTP, Dreamweaver extension, Muse, Business Catalyst APIs, Partner registration and Trial site creation will experience 2 service interruptions of up to 30 minutes each (first one at the beginning and the second at the end), impacting sites on ALL datacenters.
Additionally, throughout the maintenance procedure, website front-ends for sites located in the respective Datacenter that have heavy database usage my experience service interruptions of maximum 5 minutes.
Please find below the maintenance schedule and the list of affected services:

 

Start of maintenance Duration Datacenter Customer impact
November 3rd , 2012, 5:00 AM PST (check local time) 8 hours Sydney
  • 2 x 30 minutes service interruptions for Admin Console Access, Partner Portal, FTP, Dreamweaver extension, Muse, Business Catalyst APIs, Partner registration, Trial site creation; this will impact sites on all datacenters
    • Several intermittent website front-end interruptions for some sites on Sydney datacenter
November 17rd , 2012, 3:00 AM PST (check local time) 5 hours Dublin
  • 2 x 30 minutes service interruptions for Admin Console Access, Partner Portal, FTP, Dreamweaver extension, Muse, Business Catalyst APIs, Partner registration, Trial site creation; this will impact sites on all datacenters
    • Several intermittent website front-end interruptions for some sites on Dublin datacenter


For up to date information about system status, check the Business Catalyst System Status page.
We apologize for any inconveniences generated by these service interruptions. Please make sure that your customers and team members are aware of these important updates.
Thank you for your understanding and support,
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team
 

October Townhall recordings

Magda Neagu Friday, October 26, 2012

Hi everybody,

Thank you for another 2 lovely sessions yesterday. In case you have missed our live sessions you have below the recordings.

Our agenda for the session included:

  • Introduction and updates
    • Switching to SFTP
    • SJ Conference update
    • Public Roadmap update
    • New business team
    • Release details
    • Partner resources updated
  • Introducing Zero to Hero – Brent Weaver
  • Q&A

The recordings for the two sessions are below: