Business Catalyst Blog

App of the month: XML Feed

Diana Iliescu Friday, November 06, 2015

Need to export your products to XML? XML Feed app is the easiest way to create feeds in minutes.

XML Feed app allows you to produce any product feed .xml file you like from admin! Sometimes you need to create XML feeds for third parties like your search provider, resellers, affiliates etc. This app allows you to cater to their requirements of feeds with a fully customizable feed layout. All accessible directly within your admin panel in Business Catalyst.

You can create many different xml files in just 3 steps:
1. Click on button Create new feed.
2. Copy and paste xml required layout. Add tags from reference to places where you want your data placed and select catalog source.
3. Press Create to render xml file.

About the developer

XML Feed was developed by Peter Knezek, who is Business Catalyst Partner since 2010. He is working from sketch of web design, simple ICE web sites, to customized e-commerce solutions.

Manage your marketing and BC conversions in a single view

Diana Iliescu Monday, November 02, 2015

9-20am’s marketing management tool provides a new feed integration with Business Catalyst that allows you to track your BC enquiries, quotes and orders, directly within your marketing dashboard.

Thousands of organisations run Business Catalyst as their primary website CMS - a critical component in their online marketing activity, but running effective marketing campaigns online and offline can be a complex and time-consuming task. Using a tool such as 9-20am to manage your marketing activities can not only save hours each month but also provide powerful insights into your lead generation and sales.

What is 9-20am?
9-20am is a marketing management platform that combines a marketing calendar, budget tracking, activity planning and reporting in a graphically rich dashboard with customisable briefing emails at 9.20am each morning! keeping your finger on the pulse.

How does it Integrate with Business Catalyst?
Adding your Business Catalyst website feed to 9-20am is simply a case of pasting the feed URL’s into your Business Catalyst Api settings in Admin. When you add the Business Catalyst feed in your 9-20am marketing plan you will be provided with three URLs - simply copy and paste these URLs into the corresponding fields in the ‘API Integration’ page in your BC websites Admin, Site Settings Menu.9-20am will start recording the data from your BC site on its feed chart, building a full historical view of your web sites enquiries, quotes and sales over time. This data can be tracked right along-side a linear marketing calendar, your Social media feeds, Google analytics, PPC and a growing number of 3rd party data feeds. The data from Business Catalyst is updated in ‘near’ real time so you get a full view of your stats directly in 9-20am, without having to add any manual data again.

9-20am also provides external feeds from exclusive research data compiled specifically for marketers, such as Google Algorithm changes, National and School Holidays, Sporting events etc.. New data feeds are being added to 9-20am every month and provide unrivalled insight into your marketing environment and ROI.

Can I give it a try?
The Business Catalyst integration is one of the first CMS feeds available on 9-20am and the new app is continually being enhanced and with new integrations and external data - take a look for yourself with the free 14 day trial. The BC integration can be added to 9-20am whilst in the trial period with no additional charge if your website is on the BC ‘webMarketing’ plan or above.

The long, hard road to 100% Uptime

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Back in 2012 at the end of the fiscal year, we knew our infrastructure could prove to be a very weak point in Business Catalyst. We were coming after some outages that had caused a lot of hassle to our customers, and with some serious e-mail issues that were limiting business in what they could do on BC. But nobody wants to hear that you are working on infrastructure and operations. This is the nasty, back-end stuff that everyone takes for granted, but that we all miss dearly when it is not up to par. 

So we had to take a serious decision: take the heat for some of the stuff we would not be delivering BECAUSE we chose to invest in infrastructure and operations. Fast forward 2 years and after thousands of man hours invested in this, a very difficult transition of all our datacenters to new locations, a change in our development platform, and we can show some of the fruits of all this work. 

As we are already in the final quarter of this year, we are excited to share with you one of the results of our constant efforts to ensure high levels of performance and reliability.

Many people are interested about the guaranteed uptime for hosted sites. We understand that reliability is one of the main factors when choosing or deciding to stick with a hosting solution, because downtime means losing revenues and opportunities. As a clear illustration of this understanding and also a sign of commitment to operational transparency, here is the data of our system performance from the beginning of 2015:

We hope to be able to deliver in the future similar impressive figures and we thank you for understanding when unexpected events occur.

Nobody can promise 100% uptime or not to expect issues. But what we can promise is full commitment to excellency in this field, and to deliver new features and functionality and improve BC a bit more every single day. The road ahead is open, now that our ground is secure. 

Thank you
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Adelaide BC User group Meeting – October 26th

Roxana Moldovan Monday, October 19, 2015

This month the Adobe Business Catalyst Group is welcoming a special guest: Scott Reynolds, who is driving all the way over from Sydney to Adelaide in his Aussie trip, to join the group members for a chat and a drink.

Please register on the Facebook event page. We hope to see you there.

  • Topic: Special guest – Scott Reynolds.
  • Day - Monday 26th of October, 2015, 5pm
  • Royal Oak Hotel, 123 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide.
  • Thank you for another amazing MAX

    Magda Neagu Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    One more year has passed and we find ourselves once again thanking our partners for participating in another amazing MAX Unconference. With content coming both from the BC team and from partners themselves, with step by step examples and detailed instructions, with inspirational sites and 2016 planning, this conference has yet again brought a year's work to a close and started a new chapter for us. 

    Some of you who were not able to be there were kind enough to stick with us through the live feed, and for those who were not able to we now have the BC unconference recordings available for viewing. 

    Recordings:

    We start a new chapter now by finishing our work on BC Next and moving on to core modules updates. As a first step we plan to have a Townhall webinar at the beginning of November, with more details on the releases and plans for 2016. 

    Enjoy the BC unconference recordings and let us know if you have any feedback for us to incorporate in our future plans. 

    The BC Team

    Episode 50 of the BC Podcast – Beth Kahlich

    Scott Reynolds Wednesday, October 07, 2015

    In this month’s interview Beth Kahlich from the Dallas Search Engine Academy shares her experiences as a Business Catalyst Partner and an SEO business owner.

    Tune in for Episode 50 of the Business Catalyst 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.

    In this episode:

    • Michael Sallander announces the BC App of the Month.
    • Beth shares tips on running a successful business.
    • Beth answers questions from the Business Catalyst community.

    During this interview, Beth shares a lot of what she has learned over the years. I'm listing a few highlights, but you should listen to the entire interview to get the most out of her experiences.

    Get Out Of The Office. Don't Give Up.
    Beth has done all types of marketing over the years, but she has found that getting out of the office, and meeting people face-to-face has been the best way to attract more clients. But, it isn't a one-time event. It's about building relationships.

    "The big thing is to be regular and not give up. You can't just go to the Chamber of Commerce for a month and expect all of this business to roll in. You have to form relationships with people. And, as you form those relationships, and they understand what you do, then suddenly you will get an email or a phone call…Whatever marketing you do, don't give up on it."

    It took Beth two years of hard work to build up her business where she wanted it to be. Beth encourages others to stick with it, “because it's worth it”.

    Qualify.
    Spend too much time with those who don't invest in their online business can destroy your productivity. That's why it's important to find your ideal customers as quickly as possible. Beth shares some ways to qualify.

    Training.
    Beth does a lot of training. This has led to lots of work. She feels as though it attracts the right kind of work.

    Interview.
    Don't spend your first interaction with telling the prospect how great you are. Ask questions, stop talking, and listen. Learn as much as you can about them. This will give you clues on if they are serious about investing in their online business.

    Plan Long-term.
    If you prospect is looking for a quick-fix and not a long-term plan, you want to know that as soon as possible. Make sure your prospect knows if you are offering a long-term solution.

    "We are going to do all of the things above the board that are not trying to fool Google. That are going to increase your visibility in search engines. We are going to measure the baseline. We are going to see what happens when as we make these recommended changes. We'll modify our plan to make the good stuff work better for you...We are not going to put you in a position...that will damage your site in the long run."

    Your Quote is Valuable.
    When you quote on a project, you are building a valuable plan. Get paid for that work.
    "If you work on a quote for hours and you give them all of your knowledge, that's a product. You should be compensated."
    By charging for this work, you are also qualifying prospects. You will learn how much investment they are willing to put into their business.

    To learn more, listen to the entire interview.

    Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

    Resources mentioned in podcast:

    App of the month: Image Deskman

    Diana Iliescu Tuesday, October 06, 2015

    Image Deskman is a fully featured image editor inside your browser. Utilizing the power of the Adobe Creative SDK and BC's v3 API we have blended together a seamless integration of image manipulation and ease of use.

    Some of the core features include:

    • Fully featured site file explorer.
    • Edit and save image files directly from your BC account. No downloading required.
    • Clear interface and quick upload for simple or complex file structure
    • One-click edit and filtering to find the files you are looking for.
    • Image editing features such as: Enhance Effects, Frames Overlays, Stickers, Orientation, Crop, Resize, Lighting, Color, Sharpness, Focus, Vignette, Blemish, Whiten, Redeye, Draw, Splash, Text and much much more.

    You can now crop, resize, lighten and touch up images all server side! There is no longer a need to train clients or staff to use image editors, photoshop, FTP and other tools. It can now all be part of Business Catalyst, built in and all for the price of your lunch.

    About the developer

    Image Deskman was developed by Rick LLC. They like to get their hands dirty with everything from simple web sites, to complex computer game programming and hardware prototyping.

    BC sites can start accepting payments through Stripe!

    Magda Neagu Wednesday, September 30, 2015

    We are excited to announce that starting with October 1st, BC e-commerce sites can start accepting payments through the Stripe. We will initially roll out Stripe in our EU data center, and then about one week later in US and AU.

    With no merchant account, setup fees or monthly fees required, Stripe is one of the most requested addition to the Business Catalyst platform. Stripe supports businesses in US, Canada, Australia, UK and other european countries. It automatically handles conversions so that you can charge customers in their local currency

    The Business Catalyst integration includes support for one time payments as well as recurrent payments for all countries and most of the currencies Stripe is offering support for.

    We hope you will enjoy using this new integration. Please let us know if you have any feedback or questions and our support team will be happy to help. 

    The Business Catalyst Team

    MAX Unconference details

    Magda Neagu Monday, September 28, 2015

    Hi everyone, 

    We have less than a week to go, so I wanted to share with you the MAX unconference details. We are excited to meet you on October 4th, starting at 1pm in room 503 at the LA Convention Center. If you have not managed to register but have a MAX pass please just join us at the room. We will do our best to accommodate everybody. 
    Our agenda for the day will include:

    1:00 1:10pm: Opening and explaining the agenda of the day Paul Chirita
    1:10 2:00pm: BC Open Platform Advances Radu Cosnita
    2:00 2:30pm: Earn money while you sleep: Creating recurring apps with the new BC Joe Wellborn
    2:30 3:15pm: BC apps: Discover the potential of apps for a more scalable and profitable web business Mike Sallander
    3:30 3:40pm: BC LiquidAdvances Cristinel Anastasoaie
    3:40 4:25pm: How To Build a Liquid Library to Speed Up Development Scott Reynolds
    4:25 5:10pm: Practical use of Liquid libraries Dave Haggblad
    5:10 5:40pm: BC strategy for 2016 Cristinel Anastasoaie
    5:40 6:00pm: Closing remarks, Q&A

    Following the unconference please join us for networking and drinks on the patio at Spear Steak and Seafood House. Transportation will be provide from LACC to Spear. The mixer will start at 6:30pm.

    Hope to see you all there,
    The Business Catalyst team.

    Webinar recording: How module_data is changing the way we develop

    Diana Iliescu Friday, September 18, 2015

    Thanks to those of you who attended our September's BC webinar with Michael Sallander.
    In this webinar Mike Sallander revealed a few development recipes using the module_data tag. This new tag in Business Catalyst is creating a myriad of new possibilities for website development with BC. Using the simple tag interface that all BC developers have come to love, you can now make server side API calls.

    If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recording here: How module_data is changing the way we develop.

    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.

    See you next time!
    The Adobe Business Catalyst Team