Special Offer

LiveCart 1.4.0 released

25 October 2010

LiveCart 1.4.0 is a major update that has mostly focused on improving the usage convenience, both from administrator and customer perspectives. This is a long term support release with updates available at least until October 31, 2011.

For a detailed list of changes please see the change log section below.

What's coming up next?

1.4.0 is just a beginning of a series of changes coming in the next couple of months. First, we're looking to add more standard design themes and offer an easy way to modify them (the tools to support this have been fully implemented in the 1.4.0 release). Secondly, work on 1.4.1 release will start almost immediately and it is expected to see another release in about the next 6 weeks. Some of the planned core features for this release are even more convenient design/layout customization and configuration with new and improved tools, recurring billing, IE 8 support for backend, new module/update manager and more. And the third thing... is the most interesting one, so let's keep this as a secret for a few more weeks ;)

Updating

Installation and update packages are downloadable from the customer area. Update instructions are included in the /update/readme.txt file in all update packages.

LiveCart 1.4.0 version change log

Major backend improvements

  • Quick search - a single search field for instantly locating products, categories, orders, customers, etc. from every backend page
  • Footer toolbar - a menu that is fixed to the bottom of the page and therefore is always visible. It includes links to backend dashboard, store frontend, lists with the most recently viewed/edited products, categories and users and a "quick launch" panel that allows dragging and dropping icons from the main menu to provide more convenient access to the most used backend sections. The toolbar may also be used by modules to offer more interactive functionality.
  • Quick edit - the most basic data of products, orders and customers can be viewed/edited directly from data grid
  • Advanced search - all data grids now provide additional filtering capabilities and allow to search records using data/columns that are not included in the current grid view
  • New dashboard that gives a better overview of the current store status, lists the latest orders and includes a brief introduction/overview of the backend functionality
  • New tooltip system that provides extra assistance with the most used forms and fields (categories, products, options, business rules, etc.)

Customization improvements

  • Theme management section now includes CSS editor as well, so it's easy to switch between Colors & Style section (a simple form for setting the main theme appearance attributes) and CSS file, which allows to tweak the design changes further.
  • More page areas are customizable via theme Colors & Style tab (fields, buttons, headings, menus, etc.)
  • Design themes can be exported (a .zip archive) as well as imported, so they're now very easy to share
  • Design themes can be copied into a new theme
  • Added file manager to design themes, which provides as simple way to upload custom image files to include in a theme design
  • 10 last versions are stored for template files, so it's easy to revert back to an earlier version at any time.
  • Template and CSS file editors now support editing multiple files at once (open in individual tabs)

Order management improvements

  • Order information and product list tabs have been merged into a single view
  • Orders can be searched by ordered products, used coupon codes, product option values, communication messages, etc. (using the new Advanced search)
  • Faster phone/offline orders - products can be added to order quickly by entering their SKU, also supports bulk adding of multiple SKU's
  • Added ability to change a price of an ordered product from backend
  • A coupon can be added by admin to a completed order
  • Added ability to recalculate discounts for a finished order in backend (reprocess business rules)
  • Added links to product store pages in the order's product list

Product detail page improvements

  • Product page content sections are displayed as tabs by default, however this can be turned off in configuration
  • Product up-selling
  • Customer file upload images are previewed under file upload field as soon customer has selected a file to upload

Frontend layout improvements

  • Made main content area category menu more configurable - it is possible to change the number of columns, layout, element inclusion, etc. from settings
  • Fly-out category menu is now the default type of the side category menu. It is possible to change this to the static menu from settings
  • Search can be configured to always search all categories by default (category selection drop-down is not displayed in such case)
  • Static pages can be shown in information and main header menu.
  • Top drop-down menu can be configured to only display pages (without categories) or to be completely removed
  • Side category menu can be removed from layout via configuration
  • Rounded corners are supported for all browsers (by replicating -moz-border-radius CSS properties with equivalent vendor-specific properties for other browsers) - of course, except Internet Explorer (which does not support rounded corners via CSS) for the time being.

Business rule improvements

  • Business rule conditions and actions can be added via modules
  • New products can be automatically added to order via business rules
  • New business rule actions: force order currency, disable a payment method, set tax class for shipping costs
  • New business rule conditions: order currency is, shipping method is

Shipping and tax handling improvements

  • Former Delivery Zones now have been split into Delivery (Shipping) and Tax zones. It is now possible to use separate zones for shipping rates and tax calculation (and it's still possible to use the same zones as well).
  • Simplified entry of shipping rates. All rates are now entered via simple matrix-type table.
  • Added description and delivery date min/max days fields to shipping methods. This allows to provide more information about the shipping methods and expected delivery dates are displayed to customers at checkout.
  • Shipping methods now support custom fields, which makes it possible to add any kind of custom information to shipping methods
  • Tax rates for all tax zones can now be edited directly from the tax configuration section

Languages

  • Added Arabic language pack
  • Added RTL layout support for Farsi language

Payment handling

  • Added HSBC CPI payment module
  • Offline credit card processing improvements - more default card types, card number validation and ability to define custom card types

Other backend improvements

  • Product data and pricing tabs have been merged into one form
  • Added search field for configuration settings and values
  • Data grid date columns can now be filtered by custom date ranges
  • Pages support custom fields as well

Configuration options for backend administration

  • Choice to make newly created products enabled or disabled by default
  • Options to disable footer toolbar and "quick edit" pop-ups in data grids

Frontend bug fixes

  • One page checkout fixes in IE
  • One page checkout fix: redirection to external payment processor did not work if checkout used https conection
  • Product prices in cart now get updated correctly after changing currency
  • Fixed a problem with orders occasionally not being marked as paid if the payment gateway currency is different than the store currency (e.g. payment gateway does not support payments in store currency and amount conversion is necessary)
  • Custom order field value display fixes in invoices - only specified attribute values are displayed (allowing to keep some attributes private for administration use only)
  • Filter checkbox appearance in IE
  • Fixed visual order product table display glitch in checkout
  • PHP 5.3 error notices
  • Address array representation generation fixes - no error is displayed when name data is not filled (possible, if the name fields are turned off)

Backend bug fixes

  • Product grids were not reloaded after adding or editing a product
  • Transactions could not be processed on orders that had deleted products
  • Loading/saving product variations did not work
  • Fixed backend layout, so that the vertical scroll bar is not displayed when the page content does not require it
  • Payment method could not be changed for a manually added transaction
  • Save confirmation message was displayed twice after saving a product
  • Saving CSS from Colors & Style tab now saves colors in hex format, rather than rgb
  • Business rule conditions that were based on payment methods were not evaluated when processing business rules for completed orders

Internal/technical changes

  • Generated handle strings now use underscore (_) instead of a dot as a separator character to make them easier to use in templates (dots in variable names have special meaning in the Smarty template engine)
  • The Smarty {paginate} function now accepts an "interval" parameter, which allows to display links to more pages at once (default value is 2)
  • Added ability to target sent e-mail messages via plugins
  • Controller init plugins can now return a response before executing controller action
  • {pageName} template function can now also return page text. For example: {pagename id=4 text=true}
  • MemCached value cache method now actually works
  • Layout manipulation fixes - append custom controller actions to template files or block placeholders
  • Added possibility to specify /cache directory location by defining the CACHE_DIR constant. This is useful in instance when there's one core set of LiveCart files for multiple installations that define their own writable directory structures in different locations and mount application directories from a central location.
  • More options for determining the actual public/cache directory location in public/gzip.php (in case the directories are mounted in separate locations)
  • Module public directory symlinks are recreated (if missing) when enabling or disabling a module. This helps to avoid reinstalling modules after server or root directory path name changes.
  • Individual XML sitemap files now include up to 5000 URLs, since the previous maximum setting of 50000 caused some setups with low PHP memory limit to run out of memory

Performance improvements

  • Plugin paths are now being cached. The actual performance improvement depends on the number of the installed modules.
  • Cache resolved ClassLoader paths, ActiveRecord schema instances, etc.
  • Serialize the Router instance and cache for further requests.
<h3>Major backend improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Quick search - a single search field for instantly locating products, categories, orders, customers, etc. from every backend page</li>
<li>Toolbar - a menu that is fixed to the bottom of the page and therefore is always visible. It includes links to backend dashboard, store frontend, lists with the most recently viewed/edited products, categories and users and a "quick launch" panel that allows dragging and dropping icons from the main menu to provide more convenient access to the most used backend sections. The toolbar may also be used by modules to offer more interactive functionality.</li>
<li>Quick edit - the most basic data of products, orders and customers can be viewed/edited directly from data grid</li>
<li>Advanced search - all data grids now provide additional filtering capabilities and allow to search records using data/columns that are not included in the current grid view</li>
<li>New dashboard that gives a better overview of the current store status, lists the latest orders and includes a brief introduction/overview of the backend functionality</li>
<li>New tooltip system that provides extra assistance with the most used forms and fields (categories, products, options, business rules, etc.)</li>
</ul>

<h3>Customization improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Theme management section now includes CSS editor as well, so it's easy to switch between Colors & Style section (a simple form for setting the main theme appearance attributes) and CSS file, which allows to tweak the design changes further.</li>
<li>More page areas are customizable via theme Colors & Style tab (fields, buttons, headings, menus, etc.)</li>
<li>Design themes can be exported (a .zip archive) as well as imported, so they're now very easy to share</li>
<li>Design themes can be copied into a new theme</li>
<li>Added file manager to design themes, which provides as simple way to upload custom image files to include in a theme design</li>
<li>10 last versions are stored for template files, so it's easy to revert back to an earlier version at any time.</li>
<li>Template and CSS file editors now support editing multiple files at once (open in individual tabs)</li>
</ul>

<h3>Order management improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Order information and product list tabs have been merged into a single view</li>
<li>Orders can be searched by ordered products, used coupon codes, product option values, communication messages, etc. (using the new Advanced search)</li>
<li>Faster phone/offline orders - products can be added to order quickly by entering their SKU, also supports bulk adding of multiple SKU's</li>
<li>Added ability to change a price of an ordered product from backend</li>
<li>A coupon can be added by admin to a completed order</li>
<li>Added ability to recalculate discounts for a finished order in backend (reprocess business rules)</li>
<li>Added links to product store pages in the order's product list</li>
</ul>

<h3>Product detail page improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Product page content sections are displayed as tabs by default, however this can be turned off in configuration</li>
<li>Product up-selling</li>
<li>Customer file upload images are previewed under file upload field as soon customer has selected a file to upload</li>
</ul>

<h3>Frontend layout improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Made main content area category menu more configurable - it is possible to change the number of columns, layout, element inclusion, etc. from settings <li>Fly-out category menu is now the default type of the side category menu. It is possible to change this to the static menu from settings</li>
<li>Search can be configured to always search all categories by default (category selection drop-down is not displayed in such case)</li>
<li>Static pages can be shown in information and main header menu.</li>
<li>Top drop-down menu can be configured to only display pages (without categories) or to be completely removed</li>
<li>Side category menu can be removed from layout via configuration</li>
<li>Rounded corners are supported for all browsers (by replicating -moz-border-radius CSS properties with equivalent vendor-specific properties for other browsers) - of course, except Internet Explorer (which does not support rounded corners via CSS) for the time being.</li>
</ul>

<h3>Business rule improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Business rule conditions and actions can be added via modules</li>
<li>New products can be automatically added to order via business rules</li>
<li>New business rule actions: force order currency, disable a payment method, set tax class for shipping costs</li>
<li>New business rule conditions: order currency is, shipping method is</li>
</ul>

<h3>Shipping and tax handling improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Former Delivery Zones now have been split into Delivery (Shipping) and Tax zones. It is now possible to use separate zones for shipping rates and tax calculation (and it's still possible to use the same zones as well).</li>
<li>Simplified entry of shipping rates. All rates are now entered via simple matrix-type table.</li>
<li>Added description and delivery date min/max days fields to shipping methods. This allows to provide more information about the shipping methods and expected delivery dates are displayed to customers at checkout.</li>
<li>Shipping methods now support custom fields, which makes it possible to add any kind of custom information to shipping methods</li>
<li>Tax rates for all tax zones can now be edited directly from the tax configuration section</li>
</ul>

<h3>Languages</h3>
<ul>
<li>Added Arabic language pack</li>
<li>Added RTL layout support for Farsi language</li>
</ul>

<h3>Payment handling</h3>
<ul>
<li>Added HSBC CPI payment module</li>
<li>Offline credit card processing improvements - more default card types, card number validation and ability to define custom card types</li>
</ul>

<h3>Other backend improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Product data and pricing tabs have been merged into one form</li>
<li>Added search field for configuration settings and values</li>
<li>Data grid date columns can now be filtered by custom date ranges</li>
<li>Pages support custom fields as well</li>
</ul>

<h3>Configuration options for backend administration</h3>
<ul>
<li>Choice to make newly created products enabled or disabled by default</li>
<li>Options to disable footer toolbar and "quick edit" pop-ups in data grids</li>
</ul>

<h3>Frontend bug fixes</h3>
<ul>
<li>One page checkout fixes in IE</li>
<li>One page checkout fix: redirection to external payment processor did not work if checkout used https conection</li>
<li>Product prices in cart now get updated correctly after changing currency</li>
<li>Fixed a problem with orders occasionally not being marked as paid if the payment gateway currency is different than the store currency (e.g. payment gateway does not support payments in store currency and amount conversion is necessary)</li>
<li>Custom order field value display fixes in invoices - only specified attribute values are displayed (allowing to keep some attributes private for administration use only)</li>
<li>Filter checkbox appearance in IE</li>
<li>Fixed visual order product table display glitch in checkout</li>
<li>PHP 5.3 error notices</li>
<li>Address array representation generation fixes - no error is displayed when name data is not filled (possible, if the name fields are turned off)</li>
</ul>

<h3>Backend bug fixes</h3>
<ul>
<li>Product grids were not reloaded after adding or editing a product</li>
<li>Transactions could not be processed on orders that had deleted products</li>
<li>Loading/saving product variations did not work</li>
<li>Fixed backend layout, so that the vertical scroll bar is not displayed when the page content does not require it</li>
<li>Payment method could not be changed for a manually added transaction</li>
<li>Save confirmation message was displayed twice after saving a product</li>
<li>Saving CSS from Colors & Style tab now saves colors in hex format, rather than rgb</li>
<li>Business rule conditions that were based on payment methods were not evaluated when processing business rules for completed orders</li>
</ul>

<h3>Internal/technical changes</h3>
<ul>
<li>Generated handle strings now use underscore (_) instead of a dot as a separator character to make them easier to use in templates (dots in variable names have special meaning in the Smarty template engine)</li>
<li>The Smarty {paginate} function now accepts an "interval" parameter, which allows to display links to more pages at once (default value is 2)</li>
<li>Added ability to target sent e-mail messages via plugins</li>
<li>Controller init plugins can now return a response before executing controller action</li>
<li>{pageName} template function can now also return page text. For example: {pagename id=4 text=true}</li>
<li>MemCached value cache method now actually works</li>
<li>Layout manipulation fixes - append custom controller actions to template files or block placeholders</li>
<li>Added possibility to specify /cache directory location by defining the CACHE_DIR constant. This is useful in instance when there's one core set of LiveCart files for multiple installations that define their own writable directory structures in different locations and mount application directories from a central location.</li>
<li>More options for determining the actual public/cache directory location in public/gzip.php (in case the directories are mounted in separate locations)</li>
<li>Module public directory symlinks are recreated (if missing) when enabling or disabling a module. This helps to avoid reinstalling modules after server or root directory path name changes.</li>
<li>Individual XML sitemap files now include up to 5000 URLs, since the previous maximum setting of 50000 caused some setups with low PHP memory limit to run out of memory</li>
</ul>

<h3>Performance improvements</h3>
<ul>
<li>Plugin paths are now being cached. The actual performance improvement depends on the number of the installed modules.</li>
<li>Cache resolved ClassLoader paths, ActiveRecord schema instances, etc.</li>
<li>Serialize the Router instance and cache for further requests.</li>
</ul>