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3dcart Version 4 Announcements

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  • 3dcart Version 4 Announcements

    3dcart V4 is almost here!

    We've completed beta testing on the new features and we're on schedule to have everything finalized July 4th! Deployment will begin shortly thereafter.

    Please keep an eye on this thread for all news regarding the version 4 upgrade and all information pertaining to our exciting new platform!
    Last edited by Shift4Shop-Henry; 06-28-2011, 05:01 PM.

  • #2
    What happens during the upgrade?

    Hi all,

    With the version 4 update just around the corner, we've gotten quite a few questions regarding the upgrade and how it will affect sites already on version 3.2. For example;
    • Will the upgrade be automatic, or opt in?
    • How will the upgrade affect my customized site design?
    • What if I don't want to use a certain feature, will it suddenly be enabled?

    Hopefully this explains the upgrade process better.

    When we update the 3dcart software, there are two main components which come into play - the feature and its settings are placed in your Online Store Manager, and the necessary template code (used by the feature) is placed in the applicable HTML templates. Of course, there's more going on behind the scenes (like additional .asp pages and scripting on the back end), but these two components are the main ones our merchants will see - Feature in the Online Store Manager | Code for the feature in the templates.

    Feature in the Online Store Manager

    For the most part, the Online Store Manager part of the update will be pretty invisible to you. The feature will just "be there" once the upgrade is done. The feature won't be turned on by default, but the settings will be there for you to configure and activate whenever you're ready. The code in the template is slightly different...

    Template Coding for the Feature

    As mentioned, the majority of the new features will also use specific coding in the site templates. It should be noted however that when we update the code in the templates, we won't be updating everyone's unique templates. Your customized templates still reside in your respective theme folders.* We won't touch those at all... Instead, the templates we update are the default templates which reside in the "common" folder. (assets/templates/common)

    So, if the feature is used by a specific template which you may have customized at some point, you will likely need to do a little further editing to that template in order to see the feature in action. For example, let's take something like the new "Recently Viewed Items" feature. This particular feature uses the product listing templates (listing_0.html through listing_3.html) to display the shopper's recently browsed items. When your store is upgraded, you'll have the feature toggle placed in your Store Settings page so you can enable/disable it. However if you've ever made any changes to your listing templates, then the listing template for you is now unique to your theme and therefore doesn't have the new coding on it to show recent items.

    So to fix this and update your listing template, there are two basic options:
    • A) Delete the template from your your theme folder and favor the common folder template. -or-
    • B) Find the code block in the common template and paste it into your customized template.

    Of the two choices, A is the simplest, but you'd also be sacrificing any of the changes you may have already made to your unique template. Option B is a little more advanced, but allows you to keep any of the changes you've already made to the listing pages in the past and simply add the new code to it. To help make things easier - all of the functions we encode into the templates will have commented out "Start" and "End" tags which makes it easier to find, copy and paste blocks of code. For example, the recently viewed items code block starts with:

    HTML Code:
    <!--START: browsing_history-->
    So to answer the questions we gotten so far: The update is automatic from the programming point of view. The features will just be there once everything is upgraded. The features won't be turned on by default - you still will have the option of turning them on if desired - but the feature will be available to you for use whenever you're ready.

    If you have customized design work on your site - whether it was done by us or yourself - the upgrade will not affect those changes. Instead, you will need to either revert to the specific template from the common folder, or otherwise update your customized template to contain the new coding.

    Although this process may not be as "automatic" as some may like, we do it this way in order to make the upgrade as seamless as possible for our merchants and to help minimize potential problems for their live stores.

    We'll keep posting updates to this forum page as they come, so please check back often.
    *A quick note for our newer members reading this: When you select a theme template - let's say theme v32022 - you basically have a theme folder which contains your frame.html template. Now, if you make a change to any of the default templates - let's say listing_2.html - the 3dcart software takes that template from the common folder, and applies it to your theme template (v32022) and your store uses that template instead. This is to ensure any changes you make to said template aren't affected by updates made globally by 3dcart, since we only ever update the common folder. If you ever need to revert to the template from the common folder, you simply remove the template from your theme folder, and the store favors the global template instead.


    • #3
      Checkout the Knowledgebase

      Hello again everyone.

      I just wanted to post another quick update on the Version 4 release. For those that might not be aware, we've already been going through the process of updating and posting instructional KB articles and PDF guides for the new features in our support portal!

      They're interspersed throughout the KB section, but I've also contained them in a special "Updated Features" knowledgebase category to make them easier to find. Click here to see what we've got so far and get a sneak peak!

      There are still a few new features we haven't created articles for yet, but we're still updating them as we get closer to Monday. So be sure to check that section often as well.

      Also, in regards to yesterday's posting, the main question we've gotten so far is - "Will we have a list of the template codes for the updated features?" The term "needle in a haystack" was used several times.

      The answer is yes! I will have a list of those code blocks for everyone. However, I'm waiting until everything is finalized and "set in stone" before I post that information - since it could literally change the moment I post it.

      So, as soon as I can compile an accurate list of those code block tags for everyone, I'll be posting them to the same Knowledgebase link I referenced bove.

      Thanks everyone for following us so closely on this. We're almost there!


      • #4
        3dcart Version 4 Release Notes

        Happy Friday everyone!

        Today's update introduces the Version 4 Release Notes. Hot off the presses!

        Click here to Download the PDF for your reading pleasure.


        • #5
          Hello All,

          Hope our US based Merchants had a wonderful holiday yesterday full of sun, fireworks and BBQ!

          Today's update is simple.

          Version 4 is done and ready for deployment!

          Our next step in the upgrade process will be to create a deployment schedule - which I will post here as soon as it is available - to keep everyone informed of the upgrade progress.

          What to expect

          The next few days will be very busy for us while we prepare to migrate live stores over to the new platform.

          This process will incorporate the following:
          • Preparing production servers for the new software
          • Manually moving and monitoring a few live sites at a time to gauge the migration
          • Developing automated scripts to help with the mass migration
          • Begin a deployment schedule to begin migration

          Barring any complications, our projected plan is to have our entire customer base fully moved over to version 4 in the next two weeks.

          Please stay tuned to this posting for updates as they arrive. As mentioned, we will be providing a deployment schedule as soon as it is available to keep our merchants informed of the progress.


          • #6
            Hi all,

            I'm VERY happy to report that we've begun the first phase of the live roll-out for version 4. I'm also very happy to present you all with a little surprise...

            Have a look in the Settings => Design =>Themes & Styles section of your Online Store Manager, and you should see 12 brand new templates for you to use!

            All the new themes are named with the new v400xx convention, and they should be towards the bottom of the "Available Templates" tab. And if you don't see them just yet, you will soon. I've been advised that within the next 30 minutes everyone will have access to these and can apply them to their sites as desired.

            Oh, did I mention, some of these new templates have built-in flyout menus?

            That's right! The following new templates have flyout menu capability already built into them.
            • v40001
            • v40003
            • v40005
            • v40006
            • v40007
            • v40009
            • v40011

            So, if you have a category with sub-categories in it; a simple hover of the mouse pointer will expand those sub-categories into view.

            Enjoy your new templates and have fun!


            • #7
              Hi everyone

              Sorry for the lack of updates. As you can imagine, our developers have been extremely busy getting the servers prepared and keeping us on track for the roll-out, so it's been a bit difficult for me to get proper updates to report.

              Today we began the roll-out process. All our demo accounts are now on version 4.
              Furthermore, we upgraded one production server with the version 4 update and we're currently monitoring it closely for any issues.

              Barring any unforeseen problems with today's roll-out, we will continue the process to a group of servers tomorrow, followed by a slightly larger group of servers on Friday; again, all while closely monitoring the updated servers for issues during the process. If any issues are found, we will correct them as quickly as possible and continue with the process on Monday.

              To reiterate a previous point, we're very happy that many of you are as excited by the version 4 update as we are. However, we also want to ensure that you will also be happy and satisfied with the Version 4 features when they ultimately roll out to your stores. So please stay tuned to this page. Rest assured, I will update this page as information comes my way.

              Thank you all for your understanding and patience.


              • #8
                Hello all,

                Just a quick update regarding the upgrade process. We had a big push of server updates done yesterday and many of our merchant stores were upgraded successfully. However, during that process we discovered a small issue with the automated script that was designed to handle the bulk of the updates for us. We're addressing this issue with the script while we return to manually updating servers as we were doing earlier in the roll-out. I don't yet have an ETR on when the automation will be fully addressed, but we are trying to get everyone on V4 as quickly as possible.

                Also, we've had some reports of merchants seeing V4 features on their accounts, but the Version Logo - located at the bottom left hand corner of the online store manager - was still referencing version 3.2.2. The most likely cause of this is the image being served from the browser's internal cache memory instead of showing the updated file. So if you notice V4 features on your account (i.e. group deals, daily deals, make an offer, etc), but the version image still says 3.2.2, try clicking on your browser's refresh button while holding the SHIFT key on your keyboard. This forces the browser to refresh and display all files from the server rather than its internal memory.

                As mentioned we're doing everything we can to have everyone on V4 as quickly as possible and we thank you all for the kind words, anticipation, patience and understanding.


                • #9
                  Hello again, everyone!

                  Another quick update before I call it a (LONG) day.

                  Upgrades are still occurring at a steady pace. We're currently at 70% completion for the whole process and we hope to have it all done soon.

                  As with any major service provider upgrade; we've hit a few snags along the way, but they've been quite minor. Still, we've learned valuable lessons from them that will be applied to future upgrades.

                  If you haven't been upgraded yet, hang in there. We're almost there!

                  See you all again tomorrow!