Affino 8.0.0 - Speed and Simplicity Release

Affino Featured Affino 8 Affino SaaS + -
2018AfBlgAffino8V1700-min

With the release of Affino 8, it is now faster, simpler to learn and deploy, more relevant, more secure, and fully responsive throughout all display side interfaces.

 

We have streamlined Affino’s management interfaces wherever possible towards the best practice approach and have removed hundreds of settings throughout. This means that all Affino management aspects have become that much easier, and your team and audience will have the best user experiences.

 

Expect Affino 8 to be considerably faster than Affino 7 as we have modernised the core page serving engine across-the-board, as well as removing all the classic elements. By removing the classic elements Affino now becomes considerably more secure and robust, and it will be much simpler to identify and resolve any future issues should they arise. We will further tune Affino 8 over the coming weeks as it is deployed more widely and we roll out a new generation hosting architecture.

 

Affino 8 has been five years in the making, and sets a new baseline for years to come with the great responsive front end, and a great platform for extending Affino so that it delivers the most engaging experience across content, events, media, member communities and online stores. The underlying platform changes will allow us to accelerate further the speed at which we evolve the Affino service over the coming months and years.

 

This Affino release is the best tested release yet, with every interface tested multiple times and covering multiple scenarios. It means that we have identified and resolved a number of legacy issues above and beyond simply refining the Affino experience, and have added some nice touches throughout Affino to improve the experience. That said, it is simply not possible to test every client use-case so it is essential that the digital teams lead a solid test round within each organisation when updating to Affino 8, especially around custom and complex workflow, as well as all the basic ones such as registration, ecommerce and pro forma sales.

 

We hope you enjoy the greatly improved speed and simplicity or this release, which will only improve further over the coming releases as we further optimise the Affino service both on the code level and infrastructure over the coming months.

 

Upgrade Guidance

 

Major Update - this is the single biggest and most intensive Affino update for a number of years which means that you will need to set aside time to prepare and then test thoroughly. If you have a staging service then test all public facing screens, as well as all custom components and integrations, and key commercial workflows.

 

You will need an Affino 8 licence key to be able to update to this release, so please contact either the support team or your account manager to schedule in a session for updating your Affino instance. The Affino team will be on hand to support you for the day. In the event that you want to update out of hours, then we can schedule in an early update on a Tuesday / Wednesday or Thursday.

 

Design Scripts and Custom Templates will need to be reviewed as we have moved all of the JavaScript elements to the base of each page to ensure the fastest Page Speed and highest ranking on the Google Page Speed analysis, which in turn is important for SEO page ranking. It is highly likely that if you have page elements which require the JavaScript to be loaded up in the header then those elements will be impacted and will need updating.

 

The update itself takes some time, and is considerably longer than a typical Affino update, so be aware and schedule accordingly. You should set aside a window of 30 minutes whilst the update is running. In practice it will typically take 10 minutes or less but it is essential to have contingency in this case.

 

It is essential that you run through the complete update process starting with the Affino Updater, followed by the sequence of the system and design updates laid out on the Update screen. Note that this is now a new more simple sequence compared with Affino 7.5.

 

Note also that whilst we have been consolidating many of the profiles, some settings will now be managed from the fewer remaining profiles, e.g. we have moved the Invite Message Settings from Personalisation Profile to Public Profile where you will need to set them for optimal on-site networking.

 

Key Enhancements

 

Content

This release sees the removal of all the classic content types, in particular all the legacy classic article types and wherever possible we have migrated straight across to the responsive equivalent types, e.g. Events become Responsive Events and Event Listings become Smart Events Listings. This means it is now much simpler when managing content, with fewer but much more capable responsive content types.

 

Note that legacy media formats are still available in the media library but will be addressed in a future Affino update.

 

Design Centre and Page Layouts

Affino now has a single Design Centre which works across all display side content and interfaces, as we have removed all classic design aspects. We have also simplified many of the design interfaces, in particular Skins and Design Objects, making the whole design implementation process that much more intuitive.

 

We have made a great number of visual improvements throughout the Affino display templates and design elements in this release so that your sites will look that bit better especially across all devices.

 

Profiles

We have removed hundreds of attributes across virtually every one of Affino’s profiles, as well as dozens of profiles in their entirety. This will greatly improve Affino’s performance, as well as the speed at which you can roll out or update new aspects of Affino.

 

On the off-chance that one or more of those hundreds of settings was critical to you please share with us on the Affino Feature Request forum and we will review how best we can meet your needs.

 

Classic

It is crucial to note that with this release all the classic elements in Affino, whether they be content, design, message types, creative types, or modules such as polls, have been removed. If you have been running classic sites on Affino then please do an audit and update to the new responsive elements wherever you can prior to the update.

 

If you have not been using classic elements then you will simply appreciate the benefit of having them and all associated settings removed.

 

Member Types

We are introducing two levels of member types into Affino over the next couple of releases. This means you’ll be able to have a hierarchy of member types which then influence what demographics, including job applicant details you capture. In this release you’ll see updates on the User Import and Export to support this.

 

Other Enhancements

 

Blogs - we have improved the formatting and layout of the blogs with enhanced listing and detail views

 

Campaigns - it is now possible to designate where the preferred location is for Campaigns to be displayed within articles, i.e. between text two and three or between text three and four. We have also added the ability to display the campaign in-article to advanced articles.

 

Checkout - we have made multiple fixes and enhancements to the checkout across the board, making this an essential update for ecommerce sites. One key improvement is to add URL support for adding products to baskets, essential for 3rd party integrations and custom links.

 

Contact Meta Data - it is now possible to display either the contact’s statement or bio on Feature Articles

 

Contact Notes - we have improved the listing of contact notes so that they are now listed in full throughout the CRM, including on opportunities, production elements, projects, contract, bills, pro forma orders, and broadcast events.

 

Conversion Events - new Cancelled Order conversion event trigger which fires when an order is cancelled; new Added to Security Group event trigger which fires when a user has been added to a particular security group. Note that you need to have Security centre access to be able to set the security group assignment on conversion events. We have also introduced two new conversion event actions, it is now possible to remove user topics and remove users from mailing lists as well.

 

Directories - it is now possible to multi-display directory entries across multiple directories

 

Imports / Exports - we have further refined Affino’s imports to improve the performance and speed of the imports and improve the error handling, especially in the event where there are 100,000’s of errors with import records.

 

Messages - greatly improved listing of messages with more stats on click through rates, bounce rates, open rates and unsubscribe rates. Additionally allows sorting by all columns / stats.

 

Panels - it is now possible to set a box shadow on drop-down panels

 

Publishing and Media Workflows - have both been considerably streamlined

 

Topics - added support for External Topic ID for 3rd party taxonomy integrations

 

Security - we have renamed the Unrestricted security right to be Non-secured so as to avoid any future doubt / confusion over what it means. It still serves the same purpose.

 

Seminars - multiple seminar updates, in particular improved presentation of speakers with better showcasing of their job titles, companies and seminar participation.

 

Fixes and Minor Enhancements

 

Fixes are elements which didn’t work as well as they should, and have now been made to work better. Minor enhancements provide subtle improvements that most people won’t notice (some will love), but which nonetheless improve on the overall Affino experience.

 

Account Merge

 

Articles (next and previous, copy)

 

Article Carousel DE

 

Awards (multiple)

 

Catalogue Item Import / Catalogue Attribute Group / Catalogue Attribute Group Import

 

Checkout (multiple)

 

Commerce Analysis

 

Contacts (search)

 

Contacts DE

 

Contact Lists

 

Content Subscriptions (multiple)

 

Conversion Events (triggers)

 

Coupons

 

Design Centre / Object Designer

 

Design Frames

 

Directory

 

Forums (multiple)

 

Internet Explorer (compatibility)

 

Inventory

 

Invites

 

Mailing Lists (subscriptions)

 

Media (downloads)

 

Messages (multiple) / Message Templates

 

On Page Feedback / On Page Feedback Analysis

 

Products (VAT display)

 

Pro Forma Orders / Pro Forma Invoices

 

Registration

 

Sales Leaderboard

 

Sales Report

 

Search / Scoped Search / Search DE

 

Section Feature Scroller DE

 

Smart Article Listing DE (multiple)

 

Smart Button DE

 

Smart Prime Related DE

 

Subscription Plans

 

Subscription Status

 

Tax Transactions Report / Tax Period Summary Export / Deferred Income Report

 

User Import

 

Removed

 

All remaining Classic Affino elements are removed in this release. It means that if you have any classic content then you need to migrate it to responsive prior to updating.

 

All Classic designs, etests, competitions, creatives, catalogue items, channels and sites will either be removed entirely or taken offline in the event that it is content which can be migrated to responsive.

 

Content which can be migrated to responsive which includes most articles and media will automatically be migrated to the best match, and in the case of articles if there is no direct match then will be set as an Advanced article.

 

In all we are removing forty two distinct data tables, hundreds of data fields, hundreds of control screens, hundreds of thousands of lines of code, and hundreds of settings from the remaining profiles.

 

Key elements which have been removed include:

 

Bulk Media Uploader (temporarily removed, new version in upcoming release, use Zip upload for now)

 

Catalogue Units

 

Classic Design Centre

 

Competitions

 

Dropbox (temporarily removed to update API)

 

Etests

 

Groups

 

Inventory Variation Import / Export

 

Payment Gateways - removed legacy payment gateway support

 

Polls

 

Product Messages

 

Stunts

 

Welcome Profile (superseded)

 

Wishlist Profiles (temporarily removed)

 

Universal Connector Profiles

 

Integration Updates

 

These are integrations which have had essential maintenance in this release, if you rely on any of them then you’ll want to update at the earliest opportunity:

 

Dropbox - temporarily removed to update API

 

Twitter - temporarily removed the integration management, will be reintroduced soon

 

Facebook - temporarily removed the integration management, will be reintroduced soon

 

Component Changes

 

Affino benefits from using some great frameworks, here are the updates we’ve rolled out for these frameworks in this release:

 

JQuery updated to - no change

 

JQueryUI updated to - no change

 

HighCharts updated to - no change

 

TinyMCE updated to - no change

 

Video.js updated to - no change

 

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