Isotope eCommerce 2.4 beta1 has arrived! We are very excited about all the new features that made it into this beta release and would like to give you a little insight to the most important ones. Let's get started!
Full PHP 7 support!
We have always stated that Isotope is built with flexibility in mind. Yet, we obviously do care about performance and try to improve things whenever we can. Performance, however, depends on many factors. One is the software itself but there's also the platform underneath the application which needs to be fast. With full PHP 7 support you can now upgrade your server infrastructure and benefit from the incredible speed improvements the PHP core developers have been working on!
Note that Isotope eCommerce has a few dependencies which we worked on as well so you will need to update the whole stack, not only Isotope eCommerce itself.
No more MooTools in the front end!
Note that some third party plugins/scripts (e.g. the ElevateZoom gallery) are built on top of jQuery or other libraries. For them you obviously still need to include the appropriate library.
Thanks to nuun GmbH for sponsoring this feature.
New and improved reports!
Isotope 2.4 contains a new report to show sales statistics compared between members and quests. The sales report now also shows the number of items in totals column. Thanks to Lars Pinnow for this pull request.
Additionally, reports can now not only be performed against the order date, but also for the payment date. Apart from showing when the money actually came in, you will also see statistics for what's actually paid (e.g. unpaid orders will not show). The same is available for the shipping date.
Default variant for a product!
Product variants are a very powerful concept within Isotope eCommerce. They allow you to have global product attributes and override only the stuff that changes for certain variants. Now you can mark a variant as being the default variant for a certain product. This means that on the initial page load of a product detail, the respective variant will already become preselected for the customer.
Skip payment and shipping methods in checkout process!
Up until now you always had to select a shipping and a payment method even though there was only one option available. In some countries this is even required by law, in others it's not and depending on what you build on top of Isotope eCommerce this additional step might just have bothered you. Now you can let Isotope eCommerce skip those steps by using the new checkout module configuration options.
Responsive images have been integrated into the Contao core since version 3.4 but you could not use them within Isotope eCommerce without some rather challenging template modifications. Isotope 2.4 now provides seamless integration so you can focus on making your website responsive instead of coding stuff in your templates!
Be aware that responsive images to not work with the inline and ElevateZoom gallery due to their nature.
Edit products from within the shopping cart!
Ever added a product to the shopping cart and you went like "Doh, this was the wrong variant"? Don't worry no more! Now you can click on the "edit" link in the shopping cart and you'll be redirected to the reader page the product was added with the product options prepopulated. You can change the values and click on the new "Update Cart" button to store the changes in the cart.
We have integrated the standalone extension terminal42/contao-fineuploader so that you can benefit from advanced file uploading features in the front end. Your customers can thus now upload files using ajax. We have even added support for chunked uploads so that your customers can upload gigabytes of data (imagine you provide printing services) before continuing to the checkout process!
For those knowing about the FineUploader project already: FineUploader is now licensed under the MIT license and 100% free software!
Thanks to Digitaldruck Meissen for sponsoring this feature.
Back end usability improvements!
One thing that bothered many people was the way Isotope handled the display of order details in the back end. You always had to add at least one order details front end module of which the first one was used to display the order details in the back end order history. This felt awkward for a lot of people and it obviously always was rather a workaround than a solution. Now you can specify the template that should be taken for rendering those details in the store configuration which also makes it easy to use different ones for different store configuration settings!
A very common mistake when using Isotope eCommerce for the first time is that people tick the price attribute for both, the product itself and the variants too. However, this cannot work. You cannot have a price for the product itself and the variant as well as this leads to unexpected outcome. This is now validated so you cannot make that mistake anymore. It also provides the foundation for third party developers to define whether a custom attribute is for variants or base product settings only.
The "sort-on-page" feature is a widely unknown feature but it's there! Isotope allows you to order products differently per every page the products are displayed on! This view can be reached when clicking on this well-known world ball icon next to the sort dropdown and it now includes product images so you can spot the products you want to sort faster.
The file tree product attribute is now sortable. You might know this feature from the Contao core gallery content element. Just tick the sortable checkbox in the attribute settings and Isotope eCommerce will do the rest for you.
Front end improvements!
In Isotope eCommerce, product types sort of bundle different products with the same attributes or behaviour. Thus, chances are very high that the styling of those might be the same in the front end which is now even easier to achieve as you can now add CSS classes to every product type. The product list as well as the reader will include these classes for every product.
The product list now also contains all the pagination information so you know about the total products found in the product list. It is thus very easy now to display information such as "Displaying 12 of 42 products".
The related products front end module now supports more filter settings such as the new/old filter and support for custom SQL conditions.
As always, we have included a lot of smaller improvements and tweaks. These also include new hooks and extension points for developers, new and improved Simple Tokens to use within the notification center and more!
This is a beta release!
Isotope eCommerce 2.4-beta1 is a beta release and we ask you to test it thoroughly but please do not use it in production yet!
We are very much looking forward to your feedback, especially on working with Isotope eCommerce on PHP 7 and speed improvements for e.g. the product list which is most likely the performance bottle neck of all eCommerce solutions.
We are very proud and hope you enjoy the new features!
The Isotope eCommerce Team