Almost all files have been changed. Inner JBZoo framework has been partially rewritten as well. This allowed us to use new features during development and to interact closely with Joomla 3.
So, what have we added or changed?
Full-fledged import/export in a few clicks
ZOO component is a handy content constructor indeed, but it has some drawbacks. One of which is a standard import system. Probably, many of you were disappointed by CSV import: it is not extendable, it works in one step, it uses all available resources, it doesn’t recognize all types of data etc.
After spending almost six weeks on development, we tried to consider all your wishes. So, without further ado…
Now you can update the information in any item fields (elements, core data, metadata, all basic settings etc.).
The data from CSV file can be associated with website items using different keys, such as ItemID, alias, name and SKU (from JBPrice Advance). Now you don’t have to know some random ID from the website, instead you can conveniently synchronize your items with an outer product database by product SKUs using CSV.
As you know, such elements as radio-button, select and checkbox have a strict set of options which are precisely specified in an item settings. The new import system has a possibility to add these options dynamically. Thus, you don’t have to configure elements beforehand and none of the product parameters will be accidentally missed.
For better synchronization with an outer database there is now a possibility to delete (or deactivate) entries which are not included in the imported file. So you can be certain that there are no products on the website which are long gone.
You can also easily update the information of only specific item fields. For example, knowing product SKU, you can update its price while keeping other data intact, this will be faster as well.
The format of CSV file for the import is fully compatible with the format of the standard ZOO.
The process of importing categories is as easy as with items. Almost the same possibilities and interface, just in a different context.
All known fields of a category can be updated with CSV (texts, images, headers, aliases and even metadata).
All fields can be saved in a CSV file.
With just a couple of clicks you can instantly export all the content of your website in CSV format in a ZIP archive. It will contain separate files with categories and items.
The interface for exporting items and categories is the same and it contains a lot of settings. Thus, you can export only some part of your content.
Common features of import and export
Do you remember how the standard ZOO import worked? Each time you had to choose the correspondence of all fields in a file with the website fields. If a website was big, such thing could take a lot of time. In our import all settings are saved in a user profile. During the subsequent import you just have to press “Next” several times.
Step-by-step data processing allows you to load large amount of data in your website. I.e. each step will add/update only a chunk of items. This greatly saves the resources of a web server and allows an administrator to keep an eye on the import process in real time.
The import system can be extended for your own needs. In order to do this, you just have to declare two functions in a special PHP file - toCSV(), fromCSV().
An improvement of the price element - JBPrice Advance
In a modern online store a price field is not just a number. It’s whole complex of functionality which helps to manage discounts, stock and other additional parameters of a product.
Our first variant of the price element was too simple and was suited only for small stores.
But after some hard work we created simply looking, but very versatile price element.
What is so good about JBPrice Advance?
This element has different price types - basic and additional. And additional prices can be calculated based on a basic price. You can set them as a percentage or as a relative value.
For example, you have a simple product - a t-shirt, that costs 500 Euro. And there is a same t-shirt but with a delivery that costs +100 Euro. In this case you just have to specify +100 Euro as the additional price variant.
As a parameter of the price can be one of the product fields or even an arbitrary text field. Each price variant can have its own SKU and stock amount.
Now JBZoo can take into account an amount of products in stock which is subtracted after an order is made. Thus, you can know how many products are left and will not sale too much.
You can set a discount for a product which will be displayed accordingly on the website. You can set it as a percentage or as a value in any currency.
Middleman-stores can instead set a positive percentage in a discount field as a margin.
New JBZoo elements
Apart from JBPrice, there are two other new elements in JBZoo.
JBSocial - an element of social buttons and bookmarks. Compared to the standard one, it has a lot of new settings and there is a support of most social networks.
JBComments - it allows you to attach comments from VKontakte and Facebook social networks to an item. It has a lot of settings for all occasions and can separate comments into handy tabs.
New module - JBZoo Category
In spite of the fact that there is already a category module in the free ZOO, we decided to create our own variant.
Our module can do more than just to output a list of categories of the application. It can also display items and images of these categories. There are 3 templates for your convenience - simple, tabs and accordion.
File system checking - JBZoo can now check the changes to its own core files. This system was partially adopted from the original ZOO.
System reports - by clicking one button, JBZoo will generate a report with all basic information about your website and service. It is recommended to attach such report to your posts on the tech support forum. This will speed up the solution of your issues.
From now on, JBZoo is distributed as one archive which is installed using Joomla extension manager. All modules and plugins are installed at the same time. There is no need to activate something separately.
Comparison table has a new feature - automatic highlighting of mismatched fields.
Improvements of the Related Items (auto) element
In the new version related items don’t necessarily have to be in the same application. Matched items can be restricted by the category of the parent item, which is used for searching.
An update of the currencies system
There is a full list of currencies formats, each has an appropriate flag.
By the way, currencies are translated to different languages using Joomla localizations and there is a handy option (in the control panel) to update all currencies using Google service.
New system requirements for a web hosting
You can familiarize yourself with new requirements on this page.
How to update JBZoo?
Please, read the documentation and do everything like described there.
We strongly recommend you to test an update on a local or test website, and only after that to try it on your real website. And don’t forget to make a full backup of your website.
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