Version 3.3 has entered the final testing stages (what's called "regression testing," when every single function in the system is reviewed and tested a few times — even if it was not supposed to be affected by new features and changes). Barring major unforeseen troubles, it will be launched around December 10th.
We have already sent out a preliminary notice to all our clients about the upcoming update — with a summary of key changes and enhancements, and a link to a help page regarding the changes we are making to the member directory. See Member directory — please do review this page to take advantage of new capabilities, and think through possible adjustments to your directory settings in advance.
Here's a short summary of updates included in version 3.3:
For more detailed description see our news update from October 2009. And of course a detailed overview will be made available on our release history page.
- Ability to register multiple people for an event in a single transaction;
- Redesign of member directory, including: new 'browsing mode', ability to define fields used in advanced search, using saved searches to select included records, option to only list bundle administrators, usage of keyword search together with browsing or advanced search;
- Full-blown editing and formatting of tables within Wild Apricot;
- Using WYSIWYG editor within iframes — for example, if you use Wild Apricot widgets to embed a blog or discussion forum into another website;
- Recurring payments via Authorize.Net;
- New gadget — 'Donation Goal Tracking';
- Ability to display a list of event attendees on the event page;
- Routing of different types of system emails to different people;
- Automatic checking of custom domains settings; and
- Revision of access by roles.
While version 3.3 was being developed and then tested, our team of analysts and interface designers have been hard at work doing in-depth analysis of top priority candidates for version 3.4. Our development team was involved too — reviewing the designs, providing questions and feedback, and coming up with development estimates.
Version 3.4 will go into development in the second half of December, will be interrupted by Christmas and New year's holidays, and is tentatively planned for release around the end of February 2010.
The overall theme for version 3.4 can be described as "Cleaning up the basement"!
In a nutshell, we plan to tackle a few big items in the foundation of the system — which will enable many other enhancements in subsequent releases. The scope is still being finalized, but here's a high-level overview of where we are going:
- Redesign of the financial management architecture (transactions, invoices, balances);
- Compatibility with Safari and Google Chrome browsers;
- Changing the architecture for storage of documents and pictures in Wild Apricot, including WebDAV access;
- Redesign of import function (we only expect to finish and release it in version 3.5);
- Pro-rating of new membership applications for partial term;
- Automation of annual invoices (This does currently take quite a bit of manual work!); and
Product roadmap for 2010
As you might know, we are tracking over 800 suggestions and potential enhancements to Wild Apricot. We typically release new versions every 8-10 weeks and for each version, we review this huge list and pick the top items. Priority is mostly defined by how many clients have requested it - and how many clients can benefit from it.
What we are working on right now is trying to define about 50 "rocks": relatively sizable and high-demand changes and enhancements that will define the foundation for 2010 roadmap. You might have noticed this on our discussion forums — items being moved around between the general discussion, the wishlist, and the roadmap.
As we finalize the 2010 roadmap, we will keep updating the roadmap forum. Our plan is to maintain the list of all the key items planned for the next 12 months in that forum.
We are absolutely committed to making the Wild Apricot into the best software for small associations and non-profits, bar none, and we are looking forward to your on-going feedback and new suggestions.
In other news
Join us on Facebook to help Name the Apricot. The first round of our "Name the Apricot" yielded 51 amazing name suggestions. Wow! The Wild Apricot staff picked their 5 favorites, and now it's up to YOU to vote for the final name for our Apricot mascot. Here's the top 5 list:
See a name you love, or perhaps a name you hate? Join us at http://www.facebook.com/wildapricot and give it a thumbs up or down. You can vote once a day for each name, now to December 7th. The winner will receive a custom Wild Apricot Flip Video Camera.
- APPY the Apricot
Wild Apricot Customer Case Studies. We're always amazed by our customers, who work tirelessly to grow their organizations and make a difference in their communities. And we're extremely proud to share their stories. Recently we've posted some terrific case studies and we'd invite you to check them out:
What about your organization? If you're interested in sharing your story with the Wild Apricot community, please send an email to Jay Moonah at email@example.com.