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9.2.0.0 Release Notes


MultiStore 9.2 introduces new elements. Each one of these is designed to enable our online sellers to more quickly and easily sign up for tools and services to enhance their store.

The following services are all, traditionally, frequently requested as customizable, add-on modules. We have taken the opportunity of this release to embed them for your ease of use.

MultiStore 9.2 brings them to your desktop, ready to turn on and go. Integration paths have been written, and configuration settings added so that the services are ready, just to switch on:

Any one of these new services will work standalone, but together they are phenomenally powerful. With MS9.2 you can combine any or all of the services in a single, consummate checkout, as demonstrated below.

Note 1: The Smart One Page Checkout, which is now available for you to buy and turn on, brings an end to asking “are you a returning visitor?”. Simply ask for an email address, and the checkout will retrieve the shopper’s history and guide him through the checkout, making the process quick and easy.

Note 2: buySAFE follows the shopper through the store, giving constant reassurance from its seal and specifically reducing abandonment via the “Lowest Price Guarantee”

Note 3: Notice how using Authorize.Net with its Customer Information Management suite retrieves (for the shopper) the credit card information saved during earlier purchases, and which is being securely stored for merchants in the security of the Authorize.Net vault-like servers.

Note 4: Sign up for AvaTax and your sales tax calculations are handled for you. Filing, too.

Note 5: PayPal Express Checkout – latest research shows that adding the PayPal Express Checkout Button to a store increases conversion by 18%

Note 6: Don’t ever lose international shoppers. Bongo ships worldwide. Sellers don’t need an account, but there are benefits to be had.

All of these services, and many more benefits, can be found on our release pages. Click the tags to navigate around the detail of the MultiStore 9.2 release.

Further detail of the code changes are as follows:

Multi-Ship

By default, all products in an order ship to the same address - whichever address is currently set as the default shipping address on the customer's account. Store owners can change this however, to allow customers to ship to multiple addresses. This is especially popular around the holidays, for gift shopping.

For details on how to establish multi-ship in MultiStore, please visit this page.

In MultiStore 9.2:

  • Multi-ship has been refined to work with “PreserveActiveCart” settings so that abandoned multi-ship orders are consolidated
  • Validation has been put in place to prevent multi-ship shoppers from leaving the shipping method blank
  • Quantity restrictions are successfully observed, allowing an online seller to set a maximum number of items for a single multi-ship order
  • Complex kit items can now be shipped as part of a multi-ship order
  • Free shipping can now be extended to multi-ship orders

Miscellany

Some UI changes have been made to the dashboard of the admin console. The RSS News feed is now higher up the page, and some redundant navigational links have been removed (email settings and gateway settings – see later conversation about the Configuration Wizard.

A number of processes from the admin console (shipping methods, for example) now have navigational help to return to a higher level process.

Quantity discount tables now allow the seller to set the decimal points displayed with the new QuantityDiscount.PercentDecimalPlaces AppConfig. Also, the AppConfig QuantityDiscount.CombineQuantityByProduct allows the control over whether or not color/size attributes should influence the quantity discount structure.

Changes have been made to improve in stock/out of stock messaging for kit products.

Monthly maintenance is much maligned, largely because it is boring and doesn’t help sell anything. However, running regular, periodic maintenance procedures will help to keep data clean and manageable and improve overall site performance. In MultiStore 9.2 we have added new “sweeps” to clean out all deleted carts, including “mini-carts”.

The management of tax rates has been made easier from within the cart, for those people not using the new embedded Avatax service.

The ability to enforce the shopper’s recognition of terms and conditions, has been extended to work with all payment types (check, micropay, echeck PO etc)

The quantities of products within a gift registry can now be edited by owners of the registry.

The popular product layout page called Product.VariantInDropdownList.xml.config now honors product specs.

Inventory.LimitCartToQuantityOnHand is now honored by the Ajax mini-cart.

MultiStore 9.2 makes it possible for you to lock the account of selected customers from the admin console.

Restrictions on coupons (applies to products / entities) work in conjunction with 9.2.

Gift cards, when used in part/full payment by a shopper, now persist if the shopper decides to continue shopping.

Kit Compositions are now differentiated by user entered text.

It is easy for there to be conflict between “limiting to inventory on hand” and “restricted quantities”. In Multistore 9.2 we have made clean business rules which remove all conflict.

The URL rewriter, which is a very popular feature, is now newly robust in its implementation.

We have resolved conflicts between color names and multi-image manager – the problem had been caused by the use of quotes in color names.

The ability to manage default customer ID’s per store has now been extended to improve the implementation of a wholesale-only store.

Kits can now successfully contain elements which are hidden if unpublished.

Significant: The configuration wizard in the admin console has been improved to drive it more successfully as one of the key configuration centers. All payment methods can be handled more easily via this page and each has its own dialog box as shown below, complete with links and help text.

32 deprecated methods have been successfully removed. All have been replaced, over the course of a number of releases, and they were all redundant for today’s application.

Tooltips have been strengthened on a number of pages.

ChangeEncryptKey is newly more aware of error checking. Alerts have been coded.

Emails sent out by the mailing manager fully support HTML.

Mailing Manager now has a new successful UI for unsubscribe.

Topic administration has been refactored and improved.

Adding a topic puts it into update mode.

AuctionCheckout.aspx has been deprecated.

Anonymous Checkout

One page checkout now allows anonymous customers to update their address. One page checkout requires shipping to be recalculated when anonymous users edit their address.

PreserveActiveCartOnSignin defines what happens to the anonymous user’s cart. If true, the cart items will be moved over on signin. ClearOldCartOnSignin defines what happens to the registered users cart. If true the cart will be cleared, if false the items will remain.

  • PreserveActiveCartOnSignin = true & ClearOldCartOnSignin = true: The cart from the anonymous user will remain.
  • PreserveActiveCartOnSignin = true & ClearOldCartOnSignin = false (default): the carts will be merged.
  • PreserveActiveCartOnSignin = false & ClearOldCartOnSignin = true: The cart will be emptied when a user signs in.
  • PreserveActiveCartOnSignin = false & ClearOldCartOnSignin = false: The cart from the registered user will remain.

Anonymous customers' sessions will end when the browser closes.

Sign-in/ForgotPassword logic will now look for the most recent registered customer. This improves the anonymous checkout handling and allows customers to maintain an account and also check out anonymously.

Duplicate Email Rule Changes: Unregistered accounts are never considered in duplicate email logic

New Global AppConfig:Anonymous.AllowAlreadyRegisteredEmail: If true, anonymous users will be able to checkout with email addresses that are already in use.

Anonymous users can now, at the seller’s discretion, be prevented from creating wish lists.

Checkout

With the standard checkout and Basic One Page Checkout, users that sign in during checkout are no longer redirected back to the shopping cart page. If signing in changes the total of the cart (for example with customer level discounts), then the user will be prompted with a hyperlinked message: "Signing in caused your cart to change. Please review our items and go to your shopping cart to modify any items." That message can be customized per site.

Types of Payment

Much focus has gone to payment gateways in the work towards MultiStore 9.2. We are constantly working to reinforce our insistence upon PCI compliance, and we seek out gateways which take security particularly seriously. We have deprecated a number of gateways in this release. This is not necessarily a reflection of their quality, and many of these will return once we have established their fitness for the purpose.

The following gateways are no longer included in our code:

  • Central Payments
  • ECX QuickCommerce
  • iATS TicketMaster
  • viaKLIX
  • YourPay
  • LinkPoint
  • EFSNet
  • Cardia Services

NOTE: YourPay/LinkPoint is now known as First Data Global Gateway and is not available out of the box in current versions.

The following gateway integrations have been updated:

  • Skipjack
  • Payment Express
  • Cybersource
  • HSBC
  • QBMS
  • Worldpay Business Gateway
  • PayPal Website Payments Pro
  • PayPal PayFlowPro
  • Authorize.Net (now with Customer Information Management) CIM

The following new gateways have been added:

In addition to gateways, we also introduce the following forms of payment, all of which are secure and particularly valuable through their attention to ease-of-use:

Google etc

The frequency of change for the Google Product Search (Shopping) feed is now too great to be supported within core code. The feature has not been removed but support is deprecated in favor of an AspDotNetStorefront extension which will be available under maintenance contract and will be released in time for the substantial update imposed by Google on September 22nd.

Google Checkout has been brought up to date with current domestic and international real time shipping functionality. Quantity discounts are more robustly supported when Google Checkout is the payment method.

Soft deleted items (along with nuked products) are now withheld from all sitemaps.

Order Management

MultiStore 9.2 has improved order management features in the following ways:

Improved validation on admin order date range filter fields.

Editing an auto-ship order now has improved UI.

Orders (if configured accordingly) can be edited post authorization but are firmly closed to change beyond payment capture.

The “order option” item now supports local currencies.

View/Manage orders now allows orders to be filtered by: Order Total (range) and SKU.

Orders for countries without zip code now nullify that field.

The prices of upsell products now persist throughout the cart and checkout.

Tax calculations correctly handle discounts and taxes are recalculated correctly when shipping addresses change.

Performance and Security

Licensing now caches per URL.

A problem, previously caused by connections in the connection pool being dropped too soon, has been fully resolved in MultiStore 9.2.

In our ongoing diligence with PCI compliance, we see an emerging translation of the ruling “Do not store sensitive authentication data after authorization (even if encrypted)” – this is newly translated to disqualify autocomplete on sensitive data. We have therefore added AppConfig "DisablePasswordAutocomplete". if this is enabled then auto complete will be turned off for all password fields on the site. This will stop browsers from auto-populating account credentials. This hands the control to the online seller.

We have improved error logging robustness.

Query strings are no longer used to pass even benign messages.

In a store with significant accounts or a heavy burden of products, application startup can take many seconds. The startup is now modified to prevent multiple restarts. A message (editable at restarting.htm) warns visitors during restart.

Shipping

Basic one page checkout now allows anonymous customers to update their address. One page checkout requires shipping to be recalculated when anonymous users edit their address.

The handling of dimensions for packages passed to carriers has been improved. This includes the validation of decimal-based dimensions for Fedex.

The display of shipping costs in Standard Checkout is now robust.

USPS MaxWeight defaults to 70, their actual weight limit.

Multidistributor shipping calculation is no longer in beta mode.

AllowShipToDifferentThanBillTo is now honored in the Basic One Page Checkout.

The checkout flow (one page checkout) has been improved such that once shipping rates are calculated, the shopper must make a very conscious action to edit his/her shipping address – thereafter recalculating the cost of shipping.

Skins and UI

MultiStore 9.2 introduces a new AppConfig: Signin.SkinMaster. This setting determines which skinid will be applied to a user after they sign in.

Javascript conflicts that were preventing some representations of logo and product helpers are now removed.

The popular template-switching has been revived. Templates can be applied on the following page attributes (in order of precedence): PageURL (AppConfig: Template[p-64-myproduct.aspx]) Product or EntityPages (AppConfigs: TemplateShowProduct.aspx or TemplateShow[ENTITYNAME].aspx) Page overrides by implementing overridingTemplate variable.

Contact Us form can now have CAPTCHA disabled with the "ContactUs.UseCaptcha" AppConfig.

Master pages for all skins pick up all stylesheets in the App_Themes/Skin_# folder.

Store-Consciousness

With each release of MultiStore we work on increasing the managed segmentation of store-aware features. In MultiStore 9.2 we introduced or improved the following elements:

  • 'Has shipped” notifications are now store-aware.
  • Real-time shipping rates are now filtered by store.
  • String resource import now supports multiple stores.
  • The Excel import is now store–aware.
  • AllowCustomerFiltering is store-aware on the front end only, as requested.
  • AllowEntityfiltering is now store-aware through all hierarchical levels.
  • SEO metatags on a topic apply just to the store to which the topic is mapped.
  • Receipts are store-conscious.

MultiStore in the UK and Europe

The existence of VAT.AllowCustomerToChooseSetting is not, it seems, well known. With this set to true, the shopper has the opportunity to select the status (VAT inclusive/exclusive) of prices as he moves through the cart.

The VATCheck endpoint is now configurable via appconfig.

When VAT is set to “inclusive”, shipping rates now assume the same logic and display inclusive values.

Advanced search “price filters” now take customer level and VAT into account when returning results.

Customers with valid zero-rated VAT Registration IDs will not be charged VAT.

The app config VAT.HideTaxInOrderSummary has been deprecated. The tax line in order summary will be shown when showing VAT exclusive prices and hidden when showing VAT inclusive.

The notation Other (Non U.S.) is now an editable string resource.

WSI

The Web Services Automated Interface is provided as a developer tool as a valuable part of MultiStore 9.2, without the need to buy full source code. With each release we strengthen the power of the tool. The following changes are introduced with 9.2:

  • Documentation has been improved.
  • WSI now offers Micro Image Resizing.
  • “Nuke customer” is now honored within WSI. (oh, some days, don’t we all need just a little of that?)
  • WSI updated to include store mapping functionality for Products, Categories, and Customers.
  • LookupTableFieldType method in WSI now works as expected.
  • The “IsReadOnly” element is now supported on WSI Product KitGroup elements.
  • The “InventoryQuantityDelta” element is now supported on WSI Product KitItem elements.
  • WSI “GetProduct with IncludeVariants” attribute set to true now works as expected.
  • WSI now supports the nuking of a variant.