Affino has multiple Channel Types as the foundation for how you set up and manage your Affino sites. In many cases each Channel type is an entire application suite provided by competing solutions. It’s only in Affino that these are all brought together and can be managed seamlessly.
We have spent the past five years working through the process of migrating these all to responsive, which has been a very significant undertaking. This year is when we complete the migration with the launch of Affino 8.
Here is a roadmap for where we are, and the upcoming developments that we will be undertaking with the move to Affino 8 which will be 100% responsive, faster, simpler and easier to manage.
The following elements have all been extensively developed as responsive channels, and meet most and in some cases all the goals we have for them.
In all instances we have evolved the responsive components to be simpler to manage, more powerful in their capability, and much better looking than their classic counterparts.
We will keep evolving these channel types, in particular the Articles and Site Search, but the others are now all very solidly in place
The following are all elements which are being used widely on Affino sites in responsive, and are being evolved continuously. We still feel we have more work to do on them, whether it be to move them to the latest generation responsive design framework (a constantly moving target), or because we want to add more functionality before signing them off.
For example we are still adding more field types to Dynamic Forms with each release, about to release a massively updated Event Detail, and new generation of Online Directory in the up-coming release.
The following are the remaining Channel types we will be transitioning to responsive. Not all Channel types will be making the cut, some because we have better ways for handling their functionality now, whilst others are either features who’s time has come and gone, or which never reached critical demand by Affino users.
The Channel types are by order in which we’ll most likely be rolling them out, some are targeted for January / February, such as Forums and Product Search, whilst others are a bit further out and priorities may shift:
The following Channel types are all expected to be discontinued in Affino 8, mostly because there is no longer a need for them, or we have new preferred approaches.
In a couple of instances it is because there’s not enough market demand for them, so it makes sense to leave them out of Affino until that demand picks up again.
Chart - handled within Media Items
Competition - not core commercial functionality, there are higher priorities from Affino's customer base.
Document - handled by Media Library
FAQ’s - new FAQ article presentation style entirely removes the need for an FAQ channel.
Funding - currently rolling this out on a custom, per project basis.
Glossary - not sure this is needed any more as a standalone feature, can be handled through related content for now if needed.
Group - the group spaces never really took off in Affino and are an overlap with Forums which are going to be further evolve into collaboration spaces in responsive, we’ll be focusing on forums / collaboration for the immediate future.
Invites - incorporated in My Messages
Location - this has been useful as an article type, not so much as a geographic directory and is not being used actively, so will be deprecated for now.
Personnel - simply not needed with the up-coming Contact DE which is far more powerful and capable than the Personnel directory every was.
Poll - not core commercial functionality, there are higher priorities from Affino's customer base.
Print Preview - this was useful for classic pages, however with responsive page designs and simply clearer design implementations we feel this is no longer needed.
Saleable Article - the concept was to allow users to sell an individual article. Never really took off, and now better handled through subscriptions and media sales.
Social Campaign - similar to Facebook ads, allowed users to purchase ads directly on a site and target specific demographics. The biggest issue with this is that you need massive scale, which very few communities have. We will re-explore this and alternative approaches as Affino communities evolve and scale in the future.
Status Updates - not core commercial functionality, there are higher priorities from Affino's customer base.
Store Management - this was an exploration into user managed stores, the various ventures we worked with never took off, and the regulatory environment is very uncertain on this for the coming year so we’re stepping back from this for now.
Test - etests are not much used in Affino. The classic version is great, but a really significant solution all by itself. We’re looking at how we can roll out a much more focused version in responsive, and the right partner(s) to do so, so might be transitioned by the launch of Affino 8.
We have two new Responsive Channel Types, one which just came out in the latest release, and one in the near future:
HR (Human Resources) - brand new Channel Type where we will be surfacing a new HR Suite for Time Sheets, Skills, Absence Management (holidays, sickness etc.) and in the future will be extended as needed.
Awards - great commercial awards platform, covering everything from sales, through to dedicated sponsor management, delegate capture, table sales, awards entry, judging and more.
We'll also be adding a number of further Channel Types which are on the roadmap, and which we'll keep you posted on as they are rolled out.
If you have any thoughts, then either get in touch, post to your forum, or post a reply in the comments below.