Software News July 2014: 5.1 Is Here and Mobile App Coming Soon

Lori Halley 31 July 2014 6 comments

As we publish this post, we’re also releasing Version 5.1 – see what’s in store below!

Version 5 Upgrade Complete

Before we get into the exciting new enhancements we’re about to release in Version 5.1, here’s an update on the Version 5 release. We completed the gradual upgrade process in early July – so now all of our clients are on Wild Apricot Version 5!

This was the biggest upgrade in our company’s history – with an entire rebuild of our CMS (Content Management System). While the gradual upgrade process helped to mitigate the pains, we still ended up with a spike in issues. There were three main problem areas:

  • Slower system speed: As all of our Wild Apricot users were finally upgraded to Version 5, the speed of the system starting working slower than it had in our original load testing. We are working to correct this through a number of improvements that we’ve already implemented, as well as a number of additional enhancements that will be launched over the coming weeks and in the Version 5.1 upgrade. We expect to bring Version 5 performance to the same level or better than the previous Version 4.6 by September at the latest.

  • Editing issues for complex sites: We had an automated migration utility that was converting every webpage of every website from the old CMS to the new one. However, on some specific pages this utility could not properly deal with very complex or incorrect HTML code which led to some editing issues for particular pages. This affected a small number of users, but required us to fix on a page-by-page basis as they were identified.

  • Loading of cached files: During the gradual process, we were publishing weekly fixes to respond to issues identified by users. However, this led to issues where some sites were not always loading the most recent files due to these being cached. Addressing this issue involved a lot of review and debugging (e.g. due to the fact that some sites loaded fine for us but not for a user reporting the problem). These issues have generally all been addressed – and we have planned code changes to avoid this in future upgrades.

Additional challenges for our support team – life happens!

You know from any of your interactions with our support team that we have a skilled and dedicated team of support Apricots. They have been working diligently (and often overtime) to help ensure that any issues you had related to the Version 5 upgrade (or anything else) were resolved as quickly as possible.

But while the support team was addressing these additional issues and questions, they also had some personnel issues to face. On the good news side – one team member welcomed a new baby, while another support Apricot had to take leave due to surgery. Though you can see that the team’s response time has suffered, they are working diligently to catch up.

Version 5.1 Just Released – What’s in store?

Now for the exciting news. Version 5.1 – is being published as this blog post goes live! It won’t involve the dramatic changes you saw in Version 5, but the 5.1 release will offer some enhancements that many of you have been waiting for. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:

Events:

  • Checking in event attendees: You will be able to check in event attendees from the event's registrant list.  This allows you to accept registrations at the door, and distinguish between registrants and attendees.

Please note: We are also working on the first iPhone-optimized version of Wild Apricot admin backend and event check-in is an important part of the app we have built. (See below for details on our upcoming mobile app.)

  • Limiting registrations by registration type.

  • Setting up registration periods: You will be able to specify both a starting date and end date for registration types, allowing you to define a registration window for limited time discounts

  • Generating an attendance report: You will be able to generate and print an attendance report that you can use to manually record attendance at an event.

  • Include in registrants list by default: The option to include in the list of event registrants can be selected by default.

Tracking page template use

  • You will be able to see which pages are using a particular page template, both from the template list, and from each template's settings.

Gadgets

  • New featured member gadget:  The new featured member gadget will allow you to display information about a specified number of members, drawn randomly from a saved search or from selected membership levels.

  • Random option for member directory gadget: You will be able to choose to display members in random order member directory gadget.

Enhancements to social profile gadget

  • The social profile gadget will display links to Instagram and Pinterest accounts.

  • A new Default icons gadget style will display the standard icon for each social network

Saved searches now available to all billing plans

  • The ability to save advanced contact and member searches was previously restricted to Community plans and above. With Version 5.1 release, all Wild Apricot users can save contact and member searches.


API Version 2

The Version 5.1 upgrade will also include publishing Version 2 of Wild Apricot's API (Application Programming Interface – a set of functions that allow programs to interact with each other.) With our enhanced API, users will be able to not only read the data from Wild Apricot, but also update it. This opens up new opportunities for users to integrate Wild Apricot with other systems. For example, you can:

  • Update Wild Apricot email preferences using an unsubscribe list maintained through an external email system.

  • Create and update payments in Wild Apricot using information stored in an external accounting system

Version 2 of our API will provide the ability to update contact information, event registration, and payments, along with a number of new API calls you can use to retrieve additional information.

New API calls

Some of the additional information made accessible in the new API includes: Membership bundles, events, event registrations, invoices, member groups, payment allocations, saved searches and more.

Mobile App Coming Soon!

In addition to preparing for our Version 5.1 release, our product design team has been developing our first iPhone mobile app (and Android app to follow about 3 months later). We hope to be able to offer it up in September.  

Here’s a brief preview of the features that will be available on our upcoming mobile app:

  • add or check in event attendees
  • add or modify event registrations
  • add or modify members and other contacts
  • search for contacts
  • archive a contact
  • record payments

More exciting enhancements on our Roadmap

We hope you are as excited as we are about the Version 5.1 enhancements, API Version 2 and plans for our mobile app – all designed to make your job easier and help you manage and grow your membership organization.

You can also check out our Wishlist Roadmap 2014 for details on upcoming enhancements and proposed feature release dates.

Get a Special Report on Simplifying Membership Management

Enter your email and receive this special report in your inbox.
Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 31 July 2014 at 10:26 AM

Get a Special Report on Simplifying Membership Management

Enter your email and receive this special report in your inbox.

Comments

  • Evgeny said:

    Thursday, 31 July 2014 at 12:50 PM
    Thank you, Lori - congrats on the new version :)
  • Alex said:

    Thursday, 31 July 2014 at 9:29 PM
    Great work WildApricot!
  • Lamees said:

    Monday, 04 August 2014 at 7:39 AM
    This is very exciting. I loved Version 5.0 and like what you have in store for 5.1. You're truly an innovation company, Wild Apricot.. keep up the great work!
  • Lori said:

    Thursday, 07 August 2014 at 8:53 AM
    Evgeny, Alex and Lamees: Thanks for your kind words of encouragement and support.
  • Mia said:

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 10:09 AM
    Can't wait to use the Android version of this app to manage admission to our members-only beach with an inexpensive smart phone dedicated for this purpose. Will need to limit internet access for just this purpose so gatekeepers don't use up the phone's data plan before month's end. Any ideas how to limit internet access on a smartphone?
  • Chief Apricot said:

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 at 10:13 AM
    Mia - sorry, I am not sure how to do that on an Android phone
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.