Wild Apricot Software News - March 2009

Dmitriy Buterin 25 March 2009 6 comments

About Wild Apricot Software

The Wild Apricot blog provides technology advice for small non-profits. Many blog subscribers are also Wild Apricot software clients — so we publish monthly updates about our software.

Wild Apricot software is used by thousands of small non-profits: professional and business associations, clubs, charities, activist groups and community organizations. It replaces up to seven systems with an all-in-one solution at a very affordable price (no setup cost; full version costs from $25/month, which includes free support and updates). By replacing multiple separate systems and keeping your data centralized and secure, Wild Apricot simplifies your life, saves dollars, and saves hours of volunteer and staff work:

  • Website hosting with built-in tools for managing and editing web pages
  • Private web pages for board, committees, members
  • Contact and member database and automation of new membership applications and renewals
  • Member self-service portal
  • Event calendar and online registration
  • Online donations and online payments processing
  • Community tools: blog, discussion forums, email newsletters
If you want to check it out, feel free to open a free 30-day trial.

Wild Apricot Development updates

Latest update — release 2.39 — has been published on February 26th (see Release notes)

Next update — release 3.00 — is completing the development phase and entering testing. We have made substantial changes to the underlying database architecture so we have scheduled an extended testing phase (around 4 weeks). Expect to see release 3.00 published by early May.

I am reviewing the new version every day and discussing it with our development team, and I am very excited about the upcoming changes. Here is a quick summary:

  • Contacts database is introduced, replacing the separate databases for members, donors and event attendees. Each contact record stores basic contact information — as well as full details and history for each area: Membership, Event registrations, Donations.
  • Redesign of contact lists and contact details screens to highlight records which require review/action (such as: New members pending approval or payment; Donations and Event registrations with pending payments)
  • Redesign of basic website customization functions (selection of theme and its color variation, header background setup, header logo and title) to make them easier to use, and adding a 'wizard' interface for new users for initial Wild Apricot website setup

  • Change in how members in Pending renewal state are treated (removing existing restrictions)
  • New design theme — 'Keynote' — in 7 color variations with matching header backgrounds
  • Page layouts — changing how more complex layouts are implemented for content pages, to make them easier to customize and edit. Ability to change page layout for existing content pages is added.
  • Implementing CAPTCHA option to address spamming problems on public forums, blogs, etc.
Due to the substantial changes we have been making since January, most other requests had to be put on hold for a while. Now we are approaching the development phase for the subsequent release 3.01 with a long backlog of frequently requested enhancements. The challenge is to prioritize these enhancements and figure how many of them we will be able to fit into 3.01 vs. subsequent releases.  (And 3.01 will have to accommodate many other enhancements — continued work on new site design customization capabilities, polishing off newly released Contacts database, etc.)


Other updates

  • Search function on our online documentation website (help.wildapricot.com) has been made easier to access:

  • Homepage content is being redesigned to make it easier to navigate among its 200 pages.
  • We are also in the process of redesigning navigation between our websites (main website, online documentation, support portal, discussion forums) to make it easier to understand where you are and what other options are available.
  • Some clients have been experiencing frustrating random glitches, which we have tracked down to some database middleware component. As a temporary solution, we have implemented automatic daily restarts of our servers at 4:15 a.m. (downtime of 2-3 minutes) while we are working on a permanent solution. See http://community.wildapricot.com/thread/11684.aspx
  • Two more support people were hired in March — welcome aboard, Jon ('Supportive Apricot') and Matt ('Poetic Apricot')! As they are ramping up, our clients will see faster turnaround on support requests.
  • One of our team members (Giuliano) has been reviewing all the threads in the Roadmap and Wishlist discussion forums, and updating them to reflect our current thinking and plans for each one.

Keep your feedback coming!

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Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Posted by Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Published Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 5:00 PM

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Comments

  • kimskim said:

    Thursday, 02 April 2009 at 5:21 AM

    Will there be any 3-column layouts (i.e., left nav bar, center content area, right column for ads that shows up on every page) to allow for adverts?  I get a lot of requests for this.

  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 02 April 2009 at 5:30 AM

    For now layouts will only apply to main editable content area.

    So your point will not be addressed by this. I do not think this is on our wishlist yet, can you add with as much details/example as possible?

    BTW, this might be possible now, at least to some degree, via CSS.

  • kimskim said:

    Thursday, 02 April 2009 at 11:15 AM

    It's on the wish list at http://community.wildapricot.com/thread/11204.aspx.  Let me know if you need more detail.

  • kimskim said:

    Thursday, 02 April 2009 at 11:17 AM

    BTW, do you have an example of a modified CSS?

  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 02 April 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Try contacting support - point them to this page and explain what you want to be done and they will see if we have any relevant CSS code examples.

  • Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Wednesday, 06 May 2009 at 1:20 PM

    About Wild Apricot Software Wild Apricot is member management software for associations and non-profits.

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