Some of the important changes in Second BETA are:
- Product List and Editing UI has been improved
- Filters introduced for the Product List in Backend
- Inventory management is implemented fully
- Payment plugin structure has been finalized
- Order flow is fully worked out.
- Issues in configurable product options have been fixed.
- File Upload is added as a product option.
- New tools plugin structure which will enable third party developers to build a custom tools for shops.
- Reporting plugins improved
VERY IMPORTANT: BETA versions should NOT be used in LIVE or PRODUCTION websites. This release is primarily meant for testers and early adopters. There were a few issues like Inventory, product list layouts and filters are yet to be addressed.
A few other things to note before trying J2Store V3:
- You cannot install J2Store V3 over a 2.x version.
- The BETA is built for Joomla 3.3 + versions. Please DO NOT install it on Joomla 2.5
- You should set your website Offline (in Global Configuration) before installing
Where to download ?
Well, you should be an active subscriber of a PRO plan to download the Version 3. So please login and then proceed to: http://j2store.org/developer-releases
Where to discuss V3
Your feedback on the beta is very important to us! It will help us improve J2Store and release a stable version.
Feel free to post your feedback at the V3 forum topic here: http://j2store.org/forum/j2store-version-3-feedback.html
Also please be aware that it is a BETA version. A work in progress. So if something does not work as you expected, please let us know.
NEVER EVER use this in a PRODUCTION website.
So what is new in J2Store V3?
To start with, it is completely re-written using the Framework on Framework (Big thanks to Nicholas of Akeeba Backup for this wonderful rapid application development tool).
The BETA includes the following New features:
Product types: Simple, variable, configurable, downloadable.
Configurable / Chained / Dependant Product Options : Choosing the configurable product type, lets you create a set of dependant product options. Example: Visiting Card. You can first ask the customer to choose the Type of Paper and based on the selection, you can display its Colour options. The chaining can be done for all product option types.
Variant Generator: Choosing the variable product type, you can generate product variants automatically based on associated options. Each variant can be managed separately and can have a price, inventory, shipping parameters.
Front-end editing: You can now add / edit products from the front end.
Advanced Pricing: Pricing is more flexible now. Advanced pricing allows you to set prices for a date range, quantity range, per user group.
Example, you can offer special price for two months. Or you can offer a discount price for customers ordering 10 nos and above.
You can enter prices including tax or excluding tax. Earlier, you will have to enter prices without tax. This restriction is now removed.
In the configuration, you can set how you will be entering the prices.
Multi-vendors : A simple multi-vendor concept has been introduced. You can allow your vendors to add products from the front-end and allow them to view the orders of their products.
Vouchers : Gift vouchers are now part of J2Store Version 3. You can create vouchers from the backend and send to your customers.
Promotions : A new plugin API has been introduced for carrying out promotions. We have come up with this plugin interface because each store carry out different, sometimes unique, promotional offers. Some might offer Buy 1 Get 1 Free. But other will offer 50 % off on subsequent purchases. The Plugin API will help developers create customised plugins that fulfils store owner's requirements.
Filters for backend order management : An array of filters has been provided in the backend order management
Edit orders from backend: Store owners can now edit the orders now. We are working on to allow creation of order from the backend itself
Invoice templates: Now you can create customised invoice templates. No need to write template overrides. You can include your store logo, any information you want to convey to the customers.
Plugin interface for integrating with multiple CCKs and extensions : The interface allows integrating J2Store with CCKs like K2, SobiPro, Zoo, Sebold through a plugin. Unlike the 2.x versions, creating an integration in V3 is pretty straightforward. We will be coming up with a developer documentation.
Abandoned Carts : The cart items are now saved in the database. So it is possible to get reports on abandoned carts and a whole lot of information. (A report plugin for abandoned carts is under development )
If the user is logged in, the customers can continue shopping from where they have left. Example: if a registered customers adds a few products to his cart and abandons, when he visits next time, he can see the items he has previously added to his cart.
Product Filters : You can now have customer filtering attributes for products. This will allow your customers to search their products more effectly. However this feature will be made available only in J2Store's Product layouts. If you are using the Article layout or any others, then this feature will not apply because of the limitations posed by the catalog sources.
Product Relations : Define and display cross-sells and up-sells of your product. Again, this feature will be made available only in J2Store's Product layouts. If you are using the Article layout or any others, then this feature will not apply because of the limitations posed by the catalog sources.
The cart and order management has been improved a lot. The order object is created when the customer visits the cart and a same data structure is maintained throughout the checkout process. This allows the developers to modify the cart items or order items via plugins. Developers can even build a plugin to offer a completely customised checkout experience to the customer.
Custom product types can be added via plugins. For example, a developer can build a plugin to offer Booking as a type of product. The product form can have customised input fields as well. More on this will be in the Developer documentation
Inventory management has also been re-written. You can now set a product out of stock from the backend. Stock can be kept on hold for new orders for a particular period, before they are released.
Overall, J2Store Version 3 will offer more flexibility and power at the same time allowing you to use the power of Native Joomla articles and other content construction kits.