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Archives 03/2013

Postmaster v1.3

Postmaster v1.2 brought a huge list of API changes, including the new Hooks API ‐ which allowed you to send email for any hook in ExpressionEngine. v1.2 also allowed developers to use the API for the first time by providing detailed documentation and extensible core classes. v1.2 was well tested and the feature set was great, but in the end it still proved problematic when developers wanted to send email for things other than parcels and hooks.

So the only natural solution was to create a new API for things outside of channel entries, templates tags, and hooks. Rather, the all new Notifications API allows you to send email at anytime using CRON and HTTP Requests. The Notifications API is highly extendible so developers can perform any additional logic before and after emails are sent. For example, the new Notifications API was used to create the CartThrob Abandoned Cart Notification. This allows you to contact users that have abandoned their shopping cart after specified periods of time.

While this is a great new feature, it is the underlying API that really empowers Postmaster to be anything you want. We provide the API's and the tools to make whatever kind of notification a reality. Take our word for it, creating a reliable full-featured notifications API is very difficult, and takes a lot of time to get right. By leveraging these new API's, you will save yourself a lot of time and money.

And as always, Postmaster v1.3 is a huge release, bringing 9 major new features, and over 16 bug fixes. The underlying API's have also been optimized and made even more abstract to provide consistency throughout the entire application. And best of all, these changes have been made without breaking the existing API.

Postmaster continues to provide the most advanced features and usable API's for sending email for ExpressionEngine. If you haven't tried it yet, v1.3 will most definitely not disappoint.

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Safecracker Registration v1.2

It's been a long time since there was a public update to Safecracker Registration. Too long... So without further delay v1.2 is now available. The key to release was bring the add-on up to speed for EE v2.5.5 and all the usability fixes that were made over the past year. There was a number of significant bugs fixes alot with some new templates tags. While there were no public updates, the entire add-on got a complete overhaul and was thoroughly tested by other developers.

Safecracker Registration is one of those add-ons that just works and has been proven in the sites I have built. It's a simple, focussed, and stable add-on open to a wide array of possibilities.

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Google Maps for ExpressionEngine v3.2

We have been hard at work over the last few months implementing the latest round of features for Google Maps for ExpressionEngine. v3.2 includes some of the most highly requested features to date, and we couldn't be more pleased with the results. With 14 new features, and over 12 bug fixes, this is our best and most stable release to date.

Current Location

Current Location Screenshot First and foremost, you can now plot the user's current location on the map using GPS or IP reverse location lookup if no GPS is available. The current location feature utilized the HTML5 Geolocation API and will update map each time the location or accuracy changes. You can even see your GPS accuracy, which is represented by the standard blue radius.

Improved Importer

Many improvements and settings were added to the importer. You can now even use the importer with CRON jobs so users are not obligated to wait hours for JavaScript to run in their browser. A huge amount of attention to detail was taken to add proper query throttling to ensure there are no PHP timeouts and you can adjust the importer specifically to your needs. And since Google Maps premium geocoding API is so expensive, we even added Yahoo Boss! compatibility* for a cheaper option.

*If the Yahoo geocoder is use, the Google Maps fieldtype will not work since it requires a response specifically from Google.

World Borders

Current Location Screenshot If you ever need to outline the borders of countries to show sales regions (for example), you will mostly find youself plotting loads of polygons and running channel entries loops just to ouput this. We now provide a new tag to easily plot any country with coordinates stored in a local database. Queries are quick and efficient, and polygons are loaded asynchronously by default to ensure load time is as quick as possible. Everything is totally configurable (of course).

Roadmap

The updates definitely don't stop here. We have full roadmap ahead to continue providing the best Google Maps experience possible. The next obvious enhancement is providing better options for big datasets. Currently everything in the template is procedural, but having the ability to plot large datasets asynchrosounly without added nodes to the DOM is key. And to do that we need to provide a completely abstract and infinitely configurable search utility that is fast and will serve any feed you need. And since we are going that far, adding a specific Google Maps index that allows you to search entries with multiple locations (currently only 1 location per entry is required).

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