R167 – finalized Facebook login integration, more usability quick-wins in the backend, Dutch language support

- Monday, September 26, 2011

Hi everybody,

We’ll release R167 tomorrow – a release that continues our track of BC improvements. As the Adobe MAX conference is coming, we’ve decided postpone some bigger announcements post MAX, so please bear with us until Oct 13th :)

Facebook signup improvements

As some of you know, the BC Pro plans feature a deeper Facebook integration, where you can sign up or sign in a secure zone on BC using Facebook. However, the current implementation wasn’t finalized, as it was missing some key functionality, which we have now built:

  • Automatic redirect to a member zone after login
  • Request additional information on signup
  • Sell membership to secure zone on signup

Continued improvements of the UI v2 interface

In our quest to improve the usability of the administrative interface, we’ve continued to touch up a lot of the screens, improving the way we render forms in the backend. We hope you’ll appreciate the quick improvements here and there; they are laying the foundation of a future, more significant improvement of the admin that will be announced soon.

  • Fields were rearranged with labels aligned to the right followed by input field, for better readability
  • Some sections available through tabs navigation (eg. in Orders -> Payments) or links (eg: Show More Options) became collapsible panels for easier navigation
  • Improved list look and feel by converting them to grids with actions (View, Edit)

We’ve also added Dutch language support, the vast majority of which was contributed by our partner Promate Internet Products!

Improving the site creation wizard

One area that received improvements this sprint is the new partner registration and site creation wizard – we’ve both improved the look and feel of the wizard (featuring a great HTML5 "cover flow"-style UI for selecting the template), but we’ve also improved the foundation of the site creation, fixing many problems related to DNS reliability. An empty template was also added to allow you to get started with an blank slate.

More fixes and improvements

I'll list only the most significant ones, but as you might expect we've continued nailing down bugs and fixing issues with BC:

  1. SSL enforced when logging into the admin – to improve backend security.
  2. Tuned the frontend rendering engine for some performance improvements for serving content – requests should be served almost twice as fast now :)
  3. Improved email campaign reliability  by implementing a smart retry mechanism for our e-mail queue
  4. Invoice management improvements – when a site is globally disabled for nonpayment of the subscription, invoicing will be paused to allow an easier re-activation of the site later
  5. Added the "Credit Card Processing" form which the user can use to add a required minimum amount (useful for "donation" forms where the user inputs the transaction amount)
  6. Added the "Web Form Security" form field which can be added to any web form to improve anti-bot protection

Deprecated functionality

As we continue to add new features, we also need to cleanup old functionality which might no longer be useful, but to requires time to maintain.

One of these is Manage Meta Data in Admin menu. It might be used to specify meta tags in HTML head, for example charset="utf-8" or keywords="my site keywords". This has been removed from the menu, although the functionality will continue to work. We recommend to use the site template itself to put metadata, or Page Properties dialog in page Design editor. You could also setup a content holder with these if needed to be edited by your SBO customers.

We also removed old WebForms building UI. Only the new UI, which has been the default since July, is now available.

Sincerely,

Alexandru | BC General Manager

P.S. Post-MAX, we’ll be announcing several important improvements to the platform. Stay tuned :)

P.P.S. Check out this great video from Adam, we’re all pumped up about where we’re going :)

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