R164: recursive modules, SEO friendly URLs for webapp items, better tablet/smartphone support and more

- Friday, July 01, 2011

We will be launching our next release (R164) on 6 July 2011 at 1:00 AM PST (check local time). The deployment will take a few hours but we anticipate no major disruptions to the Business Catalyst service during this time.

We're continuing in this release to fix top wish list items. We have also fixed a few bugs for web apps and web forms features.

Recursive modules (modules inside modules)

On top of the wishlist, was the ability to display modules inside modules, and especially the ability to insert modules inside content holders. Other example use-cases include (but are not limited to):

  1. Being able to put products or catalogs inside blog posts
  2. Being able to insert any module inside a web-app list or detailed view (webform module, catalogs/products, literature items)

This release we have updated the module rendering engine to allow recursive modules (up to 3 levels deep). We've also updated the content holder user interaface so that users can access the module manager to insert modules. For the rest of modules (like updating product or blogs layouts), users will need to define modules by hand.

Recursive modules

Bonus feature - Increased module limit per page: in order to let you better take advantage of recursive modules, we have also extended the module limit per page to 75.

Device specific site wide templates

Our multi-screen support has just got better by allowing you to define device specific site wide templates. Each template now has a default version for desktop screens and two additional ones (tablets and smartphones). When displaying a page, the system will automatically use the template corresponding to te detected device, if that template has been defined. If no content is defined in a template, the system will fallback to the immediately higher resolution templates (phone falls back to tablet which falls back to desktop).

All versions can be edited from Business Catalyst Admin interface and are also available through FTP as separate files in the Templates folder.

Customizable SEO Friendly URLs for web apps

Continuing the work on this feature, we're now adding the support for customizable URLs to Web Apps module. To take advantage of this feature for your web apps, you will need to enable it from Admin > Search Engine Optimization settings page. The new URL will look like:http://www.yoursite.com/webapp-name/webapp-item-name. The web app item URL part is automatically generated from the web app item title and can be modified when editing an web app item. Similarly, you can edit the web app url, which can be edited from the manage web app screen.

Editing a web app SEO URL

Important note: to accomodate the SEO friendly URL, we have modified the format of the import file. As a result, you would need to re-export the web app items to get the correct version of the import file.

Partial URL matching

As an addition to the customizable URL support in Business Catalyst, we've added support for partial URL matching for Announcements, Catalogs, Products, Web App Items. A request to an URL starting to a friendly URL is redirected to the full SEO Friendly URL using a 301 Permanently Moved redirect .

Example.: user can navigate in the browser to http://site.com/web-app/web-app-item but BC redirects him to http://site.com/web-app/web-app-item-with-a-very-long-name

The Partial URL Matching feature it is a site preference that can be turned on/off in Admin, the Search Engine Optimization page.

Order and workflow notification improvements

As promised following the previous release, we are adding further enhancements to the customizable workflow & order notifications. Thus, starting with this release we have:

  • Made the new layouts available through FTP. Starting next week, you can use Dreamweaver or any other FTP tool to grab the files and edit them, as well as doing bulk transfers between sites.
  • Added new tags to Packing Slip and Package Label layouts: {tag_shippingattention} has been added in the Packing slip template while {tag_invoicenumber}, {tag_shippingattention}, {tag_shippingdescription} and {tag_shippinginstructions} have been added to the Package Label layout.

Other improvements

  • Forum subscriptions: with this release we are allowing users to subscribe to forums and receive notifications every time a new topic is opened. The email notification template allows you to use topic subject and forum name in the email notification subject, making it more easy to filter and read.
  • Updated social integration: we have made a few additions to our social package by adding support for Facebook activity feed and Facebook Send as well as updating the Like module to add support for Facebook send.

Issues fixed by the July 2011 release

  • Deleted categories are no longer displayed when users click "Classify this item" for a webapp/literature item (bug id: 2894067)
  • Fixed a bug causing web app import to fail if boolean fields don't have values set (bug id: 2902846)
  • Fixed a bug in Customer & Web apps reports causing export to fail because selected Filter by Fields values for web apps were not saved (bug id: 2761952)
  • Allow customers to mark the "Attach file" fields as mandatory in the new web form builder (bug id: 2844061)
  • Corrected a problem in the new web form builder preventing users from removing the form from workflows (bug id: 2847538)

Please check the Business Catalyst Knowledgebase for detailed documentation on the new features.


Alexandru Costin
Adobe Business Catalyst Segment Owner