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Wild Apricot Software News January-February 2010

Dmitriy Buterin 03 February 2010 3 comments

Wild Apricot software news for February 2010

The first half of January was slow as most of our developers were taking some well-earned time off. (We did have to deal with a small bump — a number of clients experienced problems with the link tracking function, so we were hunting down the cause. It turned out that a small typo was made in the configuration of one of the servers when we publishes a quick fix at the end of December. As a result, some of the people using link tracking — those who happened to be directed to the server in question — experienced problems. Once the problem was identified, it was a very easy small fix. Our apologies again to everyone who stumbled across this!)

No major updates on version 3.4, which is still in the development phase. For those of you who missed our December news, here is a list of key enhancements you should expect to see in version 3.4 — by the end of March:

  • Site administration to work in Safari and Google Chrome browsers;
  • Totally overhauled functionality for storing files, documents and pictures. You will be able to create folders, rename documents, link to documents by name, use WebDAV to access your files.
  • Automatic pro-rating of membership dues
  • New interface for editing list fields (multiple choice, option buttons, drop-downs) — e.g. moving items around, resorting, pasting a list of items.
For more details, see December post.

Wild Apricot roadmap and client collaboration

Our Roadmap forum has now been updated, with a thread for each of the key enhancements we have selected for 2010.

We plan to release 5 updates in 2010. For each one we are trying to select the most important items from our roadmap, and then fill the remaining space (if any!) with a bunch of smaller items from the Wishlist or from our internal list of improvements and enhancements.

Our first two releases of 2010 — 3.4 and 3.5 — will be the most challenging since we are overhauling several major aspects of Wild Apricot's foundations, #1 being the financial management architecture. Simply, we are working to create a proper financials module (to be more precise, accounts receivable module) in Wild Apricot. This includes things like issuing invoices, online payment, recording manual payments, dealing with adjustments and deleting mistaken entries, tracking outstanding balances, cash receipts, reporting, and all that fun. I am very excited about what we have in store — even though a bit scared of how much we will change (have already started changing) in Wild Apricot foundations — changing the functionality we already have, and adding lots of new capabilities. And all of this has to be done with consideration for the thousands of people already using Wild Apricot, so that their existing transactions get properly converted and they won't be confused by changes in the system interface and new capabilities. Well, that's why (for now) you will have to take my word and patiently wait for all this great stuff until release 3.5 — I would guess by end of June - mid July.

In the meantime, we are taking our collaboration with our clients to the next level.

Here is how we used to address your requests in the past:

  • Collect as many comments as possible through our discussion forums, ask clarification questions along the way
  • Go away to our dark cages and spend a lot of time thinking through how to address as many of the requests as possible, while minimizing the volume of work (so that we can address other features too!) and avoiding making the system more complex to setup and use. (Not a simple balancing act, I can assure you!) The outcome of all this was a detailed description and in many cases mock-ups of changes to be made to Wild Apricot software. (Plus a myriad other details: How is going to affect existing clients? How do we convert their data automatically? How do we test this? What kind of questions this might cause for tech support and how do we mitigate that? etc. etc.)
  • Eventually these designs get scheduled into one of the releases, go through the development phase and many many types of testing — and get rolled out to all of our clients!

This year we have decided to go one step further.

Now once we have drafted a solution to address the requests received, and BEFORE we move ahead with the actual coding, we will post a summary of proposed solutions on our discussion forums. In fact, we've already started doing that!

Check out these summaries:

We are looking forward to your feedback so that we can refine and polish our solution now — because improvements are much easier to do now than after it has been released!

In the coming months we will publish summaries for many other enhancements we have designed and are looking forward to collaborating with you!


Client survey and other

Every 6 months we send out surveys to our clients to check how we're doing — our sincere thanks to everyone who has already responded. (If you have not responded yet, please do so as soon as possible!)

In a recent discussion forum thread, a number of our Apricots and customers have been sharing their favorite Wild Apricot sites and design ideas. Have YOU done something cool with your Wild Apricot site that you'd like to share? Or do you know of another organization who has? Please post a link and a comment at: http://community.wildapricot.com/thread/16334.aspx

Our Facebook fan page continues to grow — we're now over 400 members! And we've recently started adding to our Facebook favorites. If you are a Wild Apricot customer with a fan page of your own, please post a link on our wall and we'll be more than happy to add you to our faves. Join us at: http://www.facebook.com/wildapricot

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

Posted by Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Published Wednesday, 03 February 2010 at 5:39 AM


  • Wild Apricot Blog : Wild Apricot Software News January-February 2009 | Information Technology said:

    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 at 6:26 AM
  • peninsulashops said:

    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 at 7:16 AM

    This all very exciting stuff! you guys do an excellent job of addressing any issues that arise and the use of user feedback for updates is wonderful.

    I think I'm going to add Facebook Connect to the road map request wish list :-)

    Keep up the good work!

  • ed hardy said:

    Wednesday, 31 March 2010 at 1:18 AM

    I think I'm going to add Facebook Connect to the road map request wish list :-)

    Keep up the good work!

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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