Affino 6.0.16 is the final significant Affino 6 release. It’s the culmination of a greatly improved Affino user experience where almost every interface has been enhanced during the course of the last couple of years. We’ve focused on smoothing out the remaining rough edges in Affino 6 and it’s now a whole level easier than it’s ever been.
This release sees the introduction of Cookie Policies to meet the EU Privacy Directive. These are smart and geo-targeted so that only users from the relevant countries are presented with the policy dialogue. Additionally continued browsing is registered as implied consent so as to minimise any disruption to the user.
Affino ecommerce makes yet another big step forward. In this release we’ve significantly improved shopping baskets which are now editable, can be taken over and handed back to customers, or created from scratch and assigned to customers. The baskets also have greatly improved audit tracking and styling. There are also dozens of significant updates throughout the shopping experience which mean that buying is now more engaging than ever in Affino.
There are some major usability improvements in this release, in particular the new Guest Browsing Mode which allows you to instantly switch to the customer’s point of view when managing the site. It is now much easier to navigate through the Control Centre with better browser tab naming and highlighted drill-down links throughout the Control Centre.
As with all Affino releases, we have upgraded the integrations with a number of 3rd parties to reflect their changed APIs. We also integrate with Broadbean for the first time for incoming job briefs. The integration updates with Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, Metacafe and Google Merchant Centre are critical if you integrate with any of them.
The improvements we have also made to: the checkout, publishing workflows, recruitment, funding platform, geo blocking / targeting, and user export make this an essential update if you’re using any of those elements.
This is also going to be the best tested, most polished Affino release to-date, as we further evolve our quality assurance processes and build up our core project management team. We’ve added a whole new layer of QA in this release so that you can have the best possible experience when you upgrade.
This is very much an incremental release so there should not be many critical changes affecting your site. Most of the updates are intended to make things work smoother and be easier. This release is again our best tested yet so expect a smooth transition and enjoy the benefits.
It is essential that you run through the complete update process starting with the Affino Updater, followed by the System Update, Re-Initialise Site, Design Element Update, Skin Update and finally Clear Guest Cache; all of which are available on the Settings > Update screen.
This release sees the introduction of Cookie Policies in Affino. All EU targeting websites need to comply with the EU Privacy Directive (Cookie Law) which has come into force in the UK and will come into for into all other EU countries in turn.
After x number of page reads the terms of the policy mean that the user is consenting by ‘implied consent’. The Policy document is extensive and we are providing a dedicated guide in the Affino Help Centre as well as a Default Policy Document, which you must edit prior to making live.
Guest Browsing Mode
It is now possible to switch to guest browsing mode at any time using a switch on the App Bar. This means you can browse the pages as would a guest user, whilst still having all the management tools and shortcuts available to you. It also allows you to clear the query cache as you browse.
Editable Shopping Baskets
It is now possible to create shopping baskets for your customers and to support customers live with their shopping baskets. With every shopping basket you can now Takeover the basket and then Return it to the user, and you can assign any basket to any user which means you can create them and simply email users the Checkout link to make their purchase (they will need to log in).
We have also extended the audit process on shopping baskets to assist further with identifying any issues which arise including added Browser String tracking and the latest page that each user is on with their shopping cart. Popup baskets are now modal dialogues so they take over the screen, and Affino now also supports minimal shopping baskets.
Article Export / Import - updated to include the Security Clearance field. Note that only articles which you have the security right for are exported
Broadbean Integration beta - this release sees the initial integration between Affino and Broadbean; It is now possible to receive job briefs into Affino from Broadbean and automatically assign them to relevant sectors and recruitment consultants; Broadbean is one of the leading platforms for distributing job briefs across 55 countries.
Catalogue Import / Export - now additionally supports Page Title, Page Description, Text 4, ISBN, ASIN, EAN and UPC codes; also imports are now targeted to specific Zones (product catalogues)
CDN (Content Delivery Network) File Versioning - we’ve added file versioning to CDN files, this means that on the rare occasion that CDN hosted files are corrupted you can now update the CDN File version on the Update screen which will force the CDN to fetch fresh versions of all the JS and CSS files; there are also considerable additional performance benefits as the core Affino application servers will be hit a lot less
Comments and Ratings - we’ve improved the initial comment and rating presentation and speeded up replies.
Contracts v1 - new Contract management system. This allows you to log all contracts and has automated notifications for contract changes, upcoming contract expiry and actual contract expiry. There’s advanced contract searching and filtering and the ability to track billing and payment status. Note that this was developed initially as an in-house Comrz solution but we’re opening it to all Affino users with the expectation that it will be evolved further to meet broader market needs.
Control Centre - browser tabs now have the right page name for each Control Centre screen, you will no longer have to remember / click through all your tabs to figure out which one is which; you can also now easily see drill-down links in the Control Centre for faster Control Centre navigation
Coupons - coupon codes now automatically have the spacing removed from them on entry
Customer Ladder / Conversion Events - numerous improvements make it easier and more intuitive to set up customer ladders; conversion event triggers now work better, especially for automated newsletter messages
Dashboard - we have re-enabled the ecommerce widgets in the dashboard and increased the maximum number of guest and member viewing records to 200,000 each; this makes the dashboards considerably more useful again for smaller sites; for bigger sites the move to HTML 5 Dashboards later this year will be where we will look to resolve the remaining dashboard scaling issues
Design Object Sections - now reinstated to make it easier to track Design Objects in multi-zone design setups
Design Styles - it is now possible to style the error messages using Design Styles. You can set the text, panel background and panel border colours
Ecards - it is now possible to manage all the notification messages on ecards
Ecommerce - we have standardised all ecommerce pricing calculations to use a universal ‘black box’ which means that all pricing is now consistent throughout the buying cycle; we have also made multiple improvements in the pricing / discount / tax / coupon calculations
Facebook Integration - offline access updated to support new Facebook API
Forums - Forums have had a major update in terms of look and feel with new action drop-downs and instant reply / quote; forum searches now use the Q search variable and can be tracked by Google Analytics; smart links can also be used to pre-fill forum search terms; tags can now be set on a per-Forum basis; forms can now optionally have IDs on notification; it is now configurable whether or not posters’ own notifications are sent to them and whether or not all signatures are automatically included
Funding Platform v2.5 - further major enhancements to the Funding Platform make this an essential update; lots of ‘real world’ user cases now work much better; new listing options for Most Funded, Most Backers and Most Recent projects; improved layout; it’s now possible to highlight successful projects, all completed projects are automatically removed from the main listing but can be highlighted in any other listing; automatic formatting improvements to prevent pages from being ‘broken’ by project content; It is now possible to see x of y available and Sold Out notices on the pledge options; new Comments tab that anyone can use to commend on a project
Geo Blocking / Caching - we’ve completely re-worked how caching and Geo-blocking work together. We now cache pages for each country when Geo Blocking is turned on; this is essential as there are now a number of elements which can affect the page being delivered based on their geographic location
Google Merchant Centre (GMC) - key updates to allow categorisation of all sub-sections with selected GMC category; updated to support latest categories
Homepage - it is now possible to select on the Zone a Member Homepage, this page is displayed instead of the default homepage to logged in members, in the same way that Facebook displays the Newsfeed page to logged in members. This can either be a channel, or a member’s public profile
Incoming Feeds - further refined ‘cleanup’ function of poor quality inbound feeds
Inventory - Stock Alerts are now configurable so they can be turned on / off and you can set the exact level you wish to be alerted at
Invites - Invite popups are now better looking and more intuitive
Login - resolved a long-standing but highly elusive auto-login issue which was preventing users from logging in under very specific circumstances; improved overall Affino performance
Lookups - completely re-styled, now more usable
Media Library - Affino now supports external web pages as media items, i.e. HTML 5 / Flash pages. Affino captures previews and thumbnails of these pages as they’re set up; these media items can be tracked with Conversion Events and used in the Lead Generation
Metacafe - updated to work with updated Metacafe API; Metacafe videos no longer work within the Affino video player, now only work in Metacafe’s own player
Newsletter Sign-up DE - new single column Newsletter Sign-up option means that it is now possible to tailor newsletter signups even further
Online Forms - we’ve made referral tracking in online forms smarter, it now tracks referrals even when embedded or popping up
Orders - it is now possible to send Order Received Notifications manually, this is for the occasional instances where the automated alerts aren’t sent out / received; helpful notice now displayed if Invoice profile not selected when trying to print invoices
Order Export - now also export buyer’s Job Title and Company information, essential for events / ticketing purchases
PayPal - we now provide more product information through to PayPal for improved PayPal reporting
Product Search - the product search has been updated to prioritise products with higher keyword hit counts over those with lower keyword hit counts
Public Profile - main profile image panel now spans entire profile; it is now possible to see members’ funding projects on their main profile pages; minor formatting enhancements
Recruitment - key fixes make this a critical update for Recruitment; the Jobs (brief) search is now much more intuitive and jobs are matched even when users haven’t filled out their entire profile; we’ve also added candidate change notifications, whereby if a candidate changes any of his personal details then the relevant consultants are notified of the changes; Recruitment Navigation has also been updated to make it more intuitive for both consultants and applicants; recruitment sector attributes are now automatically indexed against Topics for improved recommendations, adding yet another level of job recommendations
Registration - new security contact notification for more granular control over registration notifications
Search Engines - added 429 response when search engines call too many pages simultaneously, greatly reduces random loads on server
Security - we have tightened access to Affino error codes when accessing peripheral Affino applications
Shipping Profiles - it is now possible to block specific delivery postcodes and wildcard postcode ranges
Tips DE - it is now possible to select any of the article image types as the images to be displayed in the Tips DE
User Export - user export has been greatly improved by having new date range, Account and Conversion Event filters; this allows a great deal more granularity on the user export, e.g. users who bought this month or users who signed up for events this week etc.
User Import - it is now possible to both import users and update existing users via the user import.
Who’s Online - it is now possible to only highlight online / recent users with Avatars
Workflows - we have made a number of improvements in the way workflows work, in particular for the confirmation screen, making this an essential update where you’re using Publishing Workflows
The following elements are no longer core to Affino and have been removed:
These are integrations which have had essential maintenance in this release:
Affino benefits from using some great frameworks, here are the updates we’ve rolled out for these frameworks in this release: