Magda Neagu

Business Catalyst Australian pricing updates

[FINAL UPDATE] Following our announcement about consolidating our payments in USD, we have received a lot of feedback from our Australian user base, partners and customers alike. We want to let you know that we have heard your concerns, and are delaying the transition indefinitely. We are working with our Finance and Taxation teams to put in place a permanent solution, but in the mean time you can continue working with your customers and invoicing them in AUD as before. No changes will come for the foreseeable future.

 

 

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To ensure the highest levels of performance and reliability, we've scheduled a database server upgrade on our Australia and North America data centers. To minimize the customer impact, the upgrade is scheduled at the most convenient hours for the regions and will take up to 6 hours to complete. During the maintenance procedure, creating and updating content, Partner registration, trial site creation, publish from Muse, sFTP, APIs and some site admin sections will not be available for 4 hours on ALL data centers. Additionally, all sites on the AU and NA data center will experience up to 9 minutes downtime sometimes during the maintenance window. Except for the scheduled 9 minutes downtime, the website front-ends will not be impacted by the maintenance.

Maintenance schedule:

  • Start date and time: Sunday, September 14th, 12:00 PM UTC (check data center times)
  • Duration: We are targeting a 6 hours maintenance window

Customer impact:

  • Partner registration, Trial site creation Muse Publish, APIs, FTP and some admin section will not be available for 4 hours on all data centers
  • All websites and services on AU and NA data centers will experience up to 9 minutes downtime sometimes within the maintenance window
  • Creating or updating content on sites located on AU and NA data center will be unavailable during the maintenance procedure

For up to date information about system status, check the Business Catalyst System Status page. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by these service interruptions. Please make sure that your customers and team members are made aware of these important updates.

Thank you for your understanding and support,

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

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Cristinel Anastasoaie

Upcoming USPS integration update

USPS Web Tools will be retiring the RateV3 API next month (targeted date is September 28th). To keep up with the latest update, Business Catalyst is going to update the API integration on Monday, August 18th 2014.

Following the transition, the Parcel and BPM shipping options will be retired and will no longer be available in the new API. To reduce impact on customers, Business Catalyst will update all sites using these shipping options to replace them with Standard Post. All the other options will remain unchanged.

Please make sure that your customers and team members are made aware of these important updates.

Thank you for your understanding and support,

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

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Cristinel Anastasoaie

Scheduled system maintenance on AU datacenter - August 3rd 2014

To ensure the highest levels of performance we will be updating file servers located in our Australia data center. To minimize the customer impact, the update is scheduled at the most convenient hours for the region and will take up to one hour to complete. During the maintenance procedure, publish from Muse, sFTP,  and File Uploads will experience a 30 minutes downtime. Additionally, the site indexing services will not run for approximately 10 hours starting 8 hours before the update window. The website front-ends will not be impacted by the maintenance.

Maintenance schedule:

  • Start date and time: Sunday, August 3rd, 00:00 AM AEST (check datacenter times)
  • Duration: We are targeting a 30 minutes maintenance window

Customer impact:

  • Muse Publish, sFTP, File Uploads, Site replication and some admin section will experience service interruptions
  • Updated site indexes will be available at 2:30 AM AEST

For up to date information about system status, check the Business Catalyst System Status page. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by these service interruptions. Please make sure that your customers and team members are made aware of these important updates.

Thank you for your understanding and support,

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

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Cristinel Anastasoaie

BC.NEXT - New Admin Editor

Editing content in Business Catalyst admin could sometimes be a daunting task for partners and customers alike. The standard editor found in pages and in any other interface from the Manage tab has many limitations, such as the lack of contextual information (styles, fonts, etc.), improper automatic code formatting and stripping, or an unusable code view. The In-Context Editor available in the Edit tab is more user friendly, but it only allows edits of static content.

With the upcoming release and continuing through the year, we plan to change all that. Both editors have reached their limitations and we plan to replace and/or greatly improve them, as webpage editing is the most used feature in Business Catalyst.

A new content editor for admin

With the Public beta version, we’ll start by replacing the standard admin editor, found in all interfaces from the Manage tab, with a more modern one (redactor.js) which we already use in the In-Context Editing and Email Campaign editors. Moreover, we’re changing the editor available when using code view, with the same one used in File Manager. This provides a much better editing experience when editing code. 

Overall, the new editor will come with:

  • Modern visual editor that presents the option for contextual formatting
  • New file manager and link manager interfaces
  • New code view editor with code formatting and highlighting
  • Future capabilities like paste image with transparent upload (to be enabled later

At first, the new editor will be disabled and Partners will be able to switch sites to the new editor from the Beta features section in the Site Settings admin menu. Take the time to try it out and provide us feedback to improve the integration and add any critical functionality that is missing.

Visual InContext Editor with dynamic data support

Since version one, In-Context Editing aimed to make web pages easy to update with little or no training by providing a tool similar to what business owners are used to when creating offline documents. Furthermore, it has always been meant to help designers and developers protect the design integrity by restricting the areas a business owner can edit. 

The current version of the editor partially achieves that, but it is limited in terms of which sections of a page can be edited, while also requiring developers to manually set-up editable regions. Thus, ICE can be an effective selling tool, but less of a site management tool.

With the new rendering engine in place, we now have the foundation that will allow us to enable stunning editing experiences for partners and customers alike. So yes, we’re going to update ICE once again, to solve the two major limitations it has: inability to edit dynamic content and the sometimes tedious process to set-up editable regions.

Although it will be only partially be available in the public beta, the new version of the editor will allow you to:

  1. Automatically detect editable content in the page and highlight it - including site wide templates, page content, content holders and module layouts.
  2. Enable in-context editing of dynamic data (like a product name, or product image)
  3. Link to the admin user interfaces when editing is not possible in context (e.g., product pricing, which is too complex to edit in-line)
  4. Seamlessly work with the Liquid language for dynamic data editing
  5. Preserve backwards compatibility with old ICE mark-up
  6. Automatically detect module generated content and allow users to edit just the content without damaging the module definition

We hope these updates will make editing content on BC a stunning experience.

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

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[Update] Due to some last minute optimizations, we've decided to push the release to Tuesday, 25th February.

On Monday, February 24th, a new release of Business Catalyst is scheduled to take place. The release continues the improvements on search engine optimization, anti-spam measures and admin interface performance. Additionally, a lot more smaller tweaks and bug corrections have been included in the release. Check out below what you can expect.

Canonical URL for products

A Business Catalyst e-commerce site has multiple URLs for products, depending on the number of catalogs a product is included in. This raises a problem with search engine rankings and page scores, as they are distributed amongst the various product URLs.

Our February release takes a step forward in helping partners and business owners make their e-commerce sites more SEO friendly by introducing canonical URL for products. This will allow marketers to choose a preferred URL for a each product and instruct search engines to use that. The page rank and related properties will be consolidated into the selected URL, making it more visible in search results.

By default, BC will pick the first product URL and make it canonical, insert a link rel=canonical in page head and response header to instruct browsers and search engine which is the preferred URL of the product. Customers will be able to change the canonical URL through the edit product interface from admin console or through the import engine (for bulk updates).

SPAM filters for forums

In a continuous effort to reduce spam on customer sites, we have updated our anti-spam engine to also filter forum posts. Starting with this release, we're going to apply IP blacklisting and content filtering to forum posts as well. Additionally, all existing sites settings have been updated to enable content filtering for forum posts (the engine was in place, but a lot of sites did not have it enabled).

Following the release, we will continue to monitor the level of spam getting through and consider additional measures to keep it under control.

Admin user interface updates

For this release we have continued to optimize the new admin user interface performance so that customers get a better experience when managing their site. While the process is not yet complete as there is still room for improvement, we have made some major steps towards a faster and more flexible admin user interface. The change required us to make radical updates on the admin interface structure, as well as the decommission of the old admin interface. Here are some details about the changes made:

  • Admin user interface V2 has been removed completely
  • Admin URLs now start with /Admin and we've dropped the hash convention from the URL; old admin v3 URLs will be redirected to the new pages to preserve backwards compatibility (ex: /AdminConsole/#!/Admin/AdminPage.aspx will be redirected to /Admin/AdminPage.aspx)
  • The iFrame used to display main admin content has been removed
  • The custom menu items (config.json) are still loaded using hash URLs
  • Open Admin (closed beta) applications URLs are loaded at /Admin/AppLoader.aspx?client_id={{CLIENTID}}

Other updates

  • More than 100% improvement when importing email lists on databases of more than 50,000 already imported contacts
  • More powerful passwords are now required for admin users. A password should now contain small and capital letters, a number and a special character; existing users will not be forced to change passwords
  • A new admin report has been introduced to enable site admins to see the list of failed login attempts
  • Paragraph styles support has been added in the new InContext Editing editor 

As always, we have a series of bug fixes and feature improvements that are listed on our forums, so check out the Technical release details there.

We hope you will enjoy this release and look forward to your feedback.

The Business Catalyst team

 

 

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Business Catalyst - September 2012 Feature Pack

We’re excited to announce the details of our feature-packed September release, due to go live September 25, 2012.

As Bogdan highlighted in his recent blog post, we’re currently focusing on enhancing our widely used email marketing component, based on the valuable feedback you’ve been giving us as a community. Business Catalyst’s key differentiator is the “all-in-one” solution we’re able to offer Partners and their clients, and in this release we’ve made great progress in offering integration workflows that other solutions simply can’t – for instance, the ability to embed dynamic modules such as blog posts, news items or event bookings from your BC site, right inside email newsletters.

Please take the time to read through the new features, enhancements and relevant documentation below, so you and your clients are prepared and able to take advantage of these new improvements. For a more technical and in-depth list of features/bugs being delivered, read the release notes post on the BC Forums.

New feature highlights

Unlimited, specifiable module templates

You can now specify your own HTML module templates when rendering modules, by simply adding the template’s file path as a parameter.

All you have to do is include the parameter template=”/path/to/mytemplate.tpl” at the end of your module tag, and it will use this source file instead of its default module template. Please use a .tpl file extension as a best practice, as using a standard .html file means that it will also behave as a regular Page on your site.

Unlimited, specifiable module templates

If the template file you’ve specified doesn’t exist, the system simply falls back to the default template instead. You can find more details on this feature in this article.

This opens up a new world of possibilities for your client sites, especially when using modules-inside-modules – allowing you to create and automatically render different module layouts based on the visitor’s device type, a Web App field value, and much more! We’re really looking forward to seeing some of the cool things Partners will do this great system enhancement.

Embed dynamic modules inside email campaigns

We’re enabling you and to insert dynamic modules such as news items and blog posts inside email marketing campaigns, using a completely revamped Module Manager. These modules are then dynamically rendered when the campaign is sent, so the recipient sees the latest content.

There are a range of useful cases where this would come in handy – for instance, including the latest new announcement in your campaign, or embedding an up-to-date list of upcoming events customers can book in to. The goal here is to enable you to predefine templates for your clients with these dynamic modules built-in, or set up an on-going email series with the modules baked in.

Modules inside email newsletters

Using the new specifiable module templates feature detailed above, you can easily create and render these modules in a way that’s email newsletter friendly, opposed to simply inserting the web-version of the module. For instructions on how to get started, read this article.

A fresh set of email newsletter templates

We all know the time it takes to build beautiful email newsletters that look great across the wide-range of email clients out there. That’s why in this release, we’ve put together a brand new set of cross-client compatible email templates for you and your clients to use.

New email newsletter templates

There are 10 new email templates in total, spanning a range of themes, and a great starting point for your next email newsletter. We’ve thoroughly tested this new set of templates across a full-range of desktop and web-based email clients, so you can rest assured they’ll look just as stunning, whatever the recipient is using.

You’ll also notice that we’ve refreshed the template selection screen, making it much easier to get an idea of the template you’re selecting before you apply it. If you’re a Premium Partner and currently offer your clients a custom set of email templates, they’ll continue to work as per usual within the new interface. Miss the old templates? Don't stress - we've packaged them up in a .zip file you can download here.

Additional email marketing enhancements

Enhanced workflows and interface for choosing recipient lists

We’ve made it far easier to search through and select your email recipient lists when creating new campaigns, simply start typing and we’ll automatically filter the through your existing lists.

The ability to “exclude” lists or custom reports from final recipients

Easily exclude a certain list of recipients from your total pool of recipients. For instance, this is especially handy if you’re sending to a large list, but would like to exclude all customers who haven’t made a purchase in the 6 months.

Include and exclude recipient lists

New campaign performance report for email clients recipients are using

A brand new report for monitoring which email clients your recipients are opening newsletters with. Keep an eye on this metric, and make sure you optimize your campaign content to look great in the most popular clients.

Updated “sending” status for campaigns so you can easily monitor it’s sending progress

Keep an eye on the sending progress of your campaign as it sends to recipients.  

Improved import .csv template for mailing lists

Streamlined import template, to speed up your day-to-day imports

Other great feature improvements

Refreshed Toolbox (previously Module Manager) for Admin v3

A completely revamped module manager (aka Toolbox) that neatly docks to the right of the WYSIWYG editor.

Revamped Module Manager

Easily add Google Apps accounts for domain email

Simply select the new “Use your Google Apps account for email” when adding or editing your domain. Read this article for further details.



We hope you enjoy this month’s system update, stay tuned for more great updates next month!

Thanks,
Jackson.

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Cristinel Anastasoaie

Business Catalyst Service Maintenance, June 2012 - Updated

Last update - June 27, 01:30 PDT - To ensure the highest security and performance levels for our services, we're applying a software update on all our database servers. To minimize the customer impact, the updates are scheduled at the most convenient hours for each of the data centers and will take up to eight hours to complete.

During every of the three maintenance procedures, the services requiring users to login will experience 2 downtime windows 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 hosted on the datacenter under maintenance will experience intermittent service interruptions due to database failover procedures. Please find below the maintenance schedule and the list of affected services:

Start of maintenance Duration Datacenter Customer impact Systems affected
Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 1:00 AM PDT (check local time) 7 hours North America
  • 2 x 25 minutes downtime for all services requiring users to login; this will impact sites on all datacenters
  • several intermittent website front-end interruptions for sites on North America datacenter
  • Admin Console, FTP, APIs, Partner Portal
  • Websites front-end
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012, 11:00 AM PDT (check local time) 4 hours Europe
  • 2 x 25 minutes downtime for all services requiring users to loginthis will impact sites on all datacenters
  • several intermittent website front-end interruptions for sites on Europe datacenter
  • Admin Console, FTP, APIs, Partner Portal
  • Websites front-end
Saturday, June 30th, 2012, 3:30 AM PDT (check local time) 8 hours Asia Pacific
  • 2 x 30 minutes downtime for all services requiring users to loginthis will impact sites on all datacenters
  • several intermittent website front-end interruptions for sites on Asia Pacific datacenter
  • Admin Console, FTP, APIs, Partner Portal
  • Websites front-end

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

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Cristinel Anastasoaie

Important Security Policy Updates - Effective December 14th

Updated - Friday, 25 November: to reduce the amount of work required to update existing websites, we are keeping the {tag_recipientpassword} functional until our January release. All the other changes will be released as planned on December 14th.

Effective December 14th 2011 we will be updating the way we handle CRM user passwords, for security reasons. In order to achieve a greater level of security, we are going to update some of our Admin Console user interfaces and CRM APIs. Existing customer reports will also be altered during the update.

Below is a list of user interfaces and APIs impacted by the change:

  • BC Admin > Customers > Customers > View customer details: CRM user password will be obfuscated
  • BC Admin > Customers > Customers > Edit customer details: CRM user password will be obfuscated; site admin or partner will still be able to update the password
  • BC Admin > Reports > Customer Reports > New Customer Report > Step 2 - Select fields: Password field will be removed from the list of available fields, making the password field unavailable in Customer Reports
  • BC Admin > Reports > Customer Reports > Saved Customer Reports > View data: Password field will be removed from ALL saved reports; customer sites will be altered
  • BC CRM APIs > ContactList_Retrieve, Contact_RetrieveByEmailAddress, Contact_RetrieveByEntityID, Contact_RetrieveByExternalID, Contact_RetrieveByUsernamePassword, Contact_Retrieve, Contact_Retrieve (message name Contact_Retrieve2), Contact_Retrieve (message name Contact_Retrieve3) - Password field will return an empty value.
  • Moved in our January release: BC Admin > Email Marketing > Create campaign - {tag_recipientpassword} will be deprecated and customers will be unable to send the password in email campaigns; when running the campaign, the tag will return an empty value.

December security update FAQ

Q: Can a Partner or Site Admin still update a CRM user password in the Admin UI?
A: Yes, Site Admins and Partners can still enter a new CRM user password through the Edit Customer UI. The new value will be saved and used to login to secure zones.

Q: How can a Partner or Site Admin help CRM users recover their passwords?
A: Since the CRM user password is no longer readable by Site Admins or Partners in Report or in Manager Customer UIs, we encourage Partners to use the following methods to help customers retrieve their passwords:

  • Use "Email Login Details" from Customer Details > Manage Customer Subscriptions screen
  • Update login pages to include a "Forgot Password" form which customers can use to retrieve their secure zone passwords; Read the Allowing Customers to view and update CRM details article on the Business Catalyst Knowledge base for more information on how to help secure zone customers retrieve their passwords.

Q: What happens when password field is left in the import file?
A: We will update the import functionality so that it does not overwrite the existing password with a blank password. Starting with next release, leaving the password field blank, will keep the existing password. The following uses cases are going to apply when updating or inserting customers through import & API:

  • If contact exists in CRM and password field is left blank in the import file, the system will keep the value existing in the database
  • If contact exists in CRM and password field includes a value in the import file, the system will update the password with the value provided in the import file
  • If contact does not exists in CRM and password field is left blank in the import file, the system will create a new contact and will not generate a password for it
  • If contact does not exists in CRM and password field includes a value in the import file, the system will create a new contact and create a password based on the value provided in the import file

Q: Following the January release, can Partners or Site Admins still automate the Secure Zone login by appending username and password to an URL?
A: No. Starting with our January release, site customers will have to enter username and password when accessing a secure zone. To avoid entering login credentials the next time they access the site, site customers can check the "Remember me" checkbox.

Q: Following the January release, can partners send the login details to contacts created using import or APIs?
A: Starting with our January release, we will replace the existing workflow used to send login information with a more secure one. Partners will be able to include in the email a one time token which will redirect first time users to a screen where they can enter their password.

We will send a separate email communication to all Partners whose sites are using customer reports or APIs to retrieve CRM user passwords.

Please make sure that your customers and team members are aware of these important updates.

Thank you for all of your help and support,

Cristinel Anastasoaie
Adobe Business Catalyst Product Manager

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Cristinel Anastasoaie

Scheduled System Update - October 31st, November 1st and 2nd

We are planning to update our database and server infrastructure between 31 October and 2nd of November. For each datacenter, the update will take up to 6 hours and will cause two downtime sessions of up to 15 minutes each, one at the start of the update and another one at the end. During the downtime, the following Business Catalyst services will be unavailable:

  • Admin Console Access
  • Partner Portal
  • FTP
  • Dreamweaver extension
  • Muse
  • Business Catalyst APIs
  • Partner registration
  • Trial site creation

Additionally, the during each of the planned downtimes, the Business Catalyst front-end service will experience up to 1 minute of service interruption that will display a "Site under maintenance" page for site visitors.

Please find below the schedule and expected downtime hours for each of the data centers.

Monday, October 31st, Asia Pacific datacenter update:

  • Duration: 6 hours and 15 minutes
  • Start time: Mon, 21 Oct, 21:00 Sydney time (check local time)
  • Downtime (affecting all sites): up to 15 min, starting 21:00 and ending 21:15 (check local time);
  • End of maintenance: Tue, 1 Nov, 3:15 AM (check local time)
  • Downtime (affecting all sites): up to 15 min starting 3:00 AM and ending 3:15 AM (check local time)

Tuesday, November 1st, North America datacenter update

  • Duration: 6 hours and 15 minutes
  • Start time: 1:00 AM PDT (check local time)
  • Downtime (affecting all sites): up to 15 min, starting 1:00 AM and ending 10:15 AM (check local time)
  • End of maintenance: 7:15 AM PDT (check local time)
  • Downtime (affecting all sites): up to 15 min starting with 7:00 AM and ending 7:15 AM (check local time)

Wednesday, November 2nd, Europe datacenter update

If you have any questions, please contact Business Catalyst support team.

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