TOTECS Platform Release 10.04

Happy winter time! Over the autumn months the TOTECS RnD team has churned out a bonanza of functionality for you to leverage in your websites. Two TOTECS platform releases have gone out covering 11 new features and 17 improvements. Additionally three Connector releases have gone out spanning 14 new features and 4 improvements. Lets have a look at the key changes.

NEW Server Traffic Statistics
 

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If you haven't already noticed from the 3 Emails sent the other week, on the Home page of the Administration Centre we have updated the sales graph to now show statistics on the total amount of traffic your TOTECS projects are generating. This is designed to give you a more accurate measure on how much your websites are working for you.

At the end of May we begun collating statistics of every single request made to the TOTECS servers. To break it down a "server request" is a request by a web browser, or other computer software to obtain a piece of data from your website living on the computers in the "TOTECS cloud". So a server request can be generated by a person loading a web page, adding a product to basket, logging in, or doing all kinds of activity on your website. Additionally server requests can be made by search engines when they crawl each web page of your websites for SEO reasons, as well as by the Connector software each time it is scheduled to import data into your project.

Under the sales and traffic graph we added a few numbers to help you understand if your project is winning. One of key numbers is:

Average Server Requests Per Dollar Earned

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This number is a ratio of the amount of traffic generated, divided by the amount of sales. The lower the number, the less work your websites are doing to earn a buck. Ideally you want to get this number as low as possible. What are the ways to do this?

  • Make it as quick and easy for users to buy something on your websites. Don't let them get stuck searching around forever. More searching equals more traffic, sometimes good for SEO, bad for userability and server usage. Provide high quality descriptive product data and images to help users find what they want to buy sooner. Use Related Products to further help users find products of interest.
  • Provide features that entice more users to complete purchasing and buy more. Deals and Vouchers, Guest Checkout, Contract Pricing, Flagged Products can all help with this.
  • Reduce your catalogue to only what is really needed. Having a catalogue of a million categories, and a trillion products is most likely going to use up a lot of resources. Cut down your catalogue to the least number of categories needed, and associate them to the products that are high in value or consistently being purchased. In other words loose the dead product weight.

Countering all this are the search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, Bing) and website crawlers. They love generating traffic. They will go through each and every link on your public websites and scoop up all the data that you make available on a regular basis. You want them doing this to draw in new users to your website. However you don't want them to be the only ones visiting, or consistently searching through content that is irrelevant. If search engines are generating lots of traffic, then they should be bringing in lots of sales (either online or offline) or other correlated value.

Project Traffic Statistics Admin Centre Interface

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We have added a new interface to the Administration Centre that can give you a broad gauge of the traffic hitting your website. In the upcoming releases we will be making more fine grain data available within this interface as the statistics pile up. Already you will be able to see the total server requests, the total amount of content managed website traffic, and the number of search engine web page loads (based across the top 12 known search engines).

 


NEW Invoice Line Reports Content Managed Web page Area
 

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In the 10.03 release we added the ability to setup highly customised reports in the Connector, which can produce a list of invoiced or ordered lines retrieved from a connected accounting/ERP/spreadsheet/database system for a given account. This allows reports such as "Top 100 Products Ordered Online and Offline", "All Products Ordered in the Last 3 months", "Products Not Yet Delivered", plus many more to be displayed on content managed websites. These reports can be used to show all the products that were purchased by a customer covering both online and offline methods (such as phone/fax/email). The report area can also match up the invoiced lines to products currently available in the project, allowing customers and salesreps to view and add products to basket directly from the report area itself. The area can be used to provide incentives in bringing across customers who have previously ordered through manual processes.

NEW Salesrep and Contract Content Managed Webpage Areas
 

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We have continued on our quest to provide more Trade interface functionality within content managed websites. The 10.03 and 10.04 releases have added new content managed webpage areas to allow sales representative users to view the customer accounts available to them, switch accounts,as well as manage multiple baskets. Additionally new areas have been created to show the contracts assigned to a user's customer account, as well as view all the products assigned to a given contract. These additions allow contract and sales representative functionality to be displayed in highly customised, beautiful website designs and layouts.

NEW Product Groups and Related Products Connector Data Imports
 

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In the 10.04 platform release we added a number of new data imports from the new version of the Connector. Now there is the ability to import product group data managed in a connected accounting/ERP/spreadsheet/database system. Additionally there is the ability to import related product data also from a connected system or spreadsheet. This can make life easier for data maintainers to manage product groups and related products data in a single system. To use these new imports version 1.04 or higher of the new Connector will need to be installed. Talk to the TOTECS service team if this interests you.

IMPROVED SEO of Search/Category Listing Web Page Areas

We have added a number of improvements to the Category and Product Search Listing content managed web page areas. Additional Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has been added to the paginators to allow search engines to more directly find and crawl the pages of products. Additionally we have added more settings and hooks to the areas to limit the amount of page links that show, as well as providing new ways for users to add products to favourites.


NEW Security And Data Routing within the Connector

  A large chunk of work has been done over the Connector's 1.02, 1.03, and 1.04 releases. Additional security has been added to the Connector to make it more secure when pushing data into it. Additionally 9 new data exports have been added allowing new kinds of data to be imported into both the TOTECS and Squizz.com platforms. A great number of these data exports cover the purchasing side of things. This will allow Squizz.com to convert purchase orders from one buyer organisation's system, into sales orders of another seller's organisation's system, automating a number of manual processes. A win win situation for everybody!

Adaptor Data Routing

Connector adaptor data routing

There is now the ability for the Connector to do data routing between adaptors configured within it. For example if a data request was sent to the Connector to obtain "related product" data from a MYOB AccountRight Premier system, that request could instead be routed out to a spreadsheet file where the related product data was separately managed from. Furthermore the Connector has the ability to route out and obtain data from one or more locations at the same time, then have the data joined together. So for instance a request could be made to obtain half the product records from the Micronet Distribution system, that request could also be routed out to MYOB Retail Manager system to obtain the other half of products. The product data from both sources can then be unioned together and imported back into the TOTECS project as one complete list. 

This data routing allows for lots of unique and varied ways to store and manage data, which is particularly important when business systems don't have the capability of storing certain data. Using the Connector's data routing it can help data maintainers and data specialists reduce the amount of time spent doing data management.  

NEW Sending User Registration Notifications To Squizz.com
 

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In November's 10.04 release we added the ability for the TOTECS platform to be able to send notifications to the Squizz.com platform when new users successfully register on your websites. This breaks the cycle of needing to rely upon Email to receive these kinds of notifications. Squizz.com's notifications system can be quickly set up to allow multiple people within an organisation to receive notifications, all without having to manage complex Email systems and inboxes. We are still in the process of sending out invites to the Squizz.com platform, so stay tuned for when your turn comes to sign up.

IMPROVEMENTS The Other Stuff

As always there's a number of other improvements that went out with the 10.03, and 10.04 releases. Visit the Administration Centre or the forums to review the complete list of Release Notes. If you wish to be a part of the process to get a piece of functionality into the platform, please get in contact with us or visit the forum's wishlist topic. As always, until next time happy online trading :) Here's a wrap up of the new features and improvements developed over the last 12 weeks and placed into the 10.03, 10.04 releases.
 

Optional Features (fees apply)
  • Content managed web page areas for displaying a list of  customer account contracts and associated products.
  • Content managed web page areas for displaying customer accounts for sales representatives, as well as basket selection.
  • Displaying cost price of a product to sales representative users within the Trade interface's Product Information dialog.
  • Content managed web page area for showing invoice lines report data obtained from the Connector for a given customer account.

 

Available Features
  • Connector Data imports for related products, product groups, surcharges, sell units, payments types.
  • ReCAPTCHA form element updated to version 2. Additional settings to control the style and size of the ReCAPTCHA form element.
  • Logging of project server request statistics and associated Administration Centre interface for showing statistics.
  • Layout changes to the Home page of the Administration Centre.
  • Sending user registration notifications to Squizz.com
  • Additional Context menu item within the Websites Administration Centre interface to open All Areas page when right clicking on a webpage.
  • Settings to control the number of pages that display in Category Listing and Product Search Results Listing content managed web page areas, as well as SEO of page links.
  • Hooks to allow users to control the sorting of products in Category Listing and Product Search Results Listing content managed web page areas.
  • Settings to control the sorting of addresses displayed in the Order Detail and User Details areas within the Trade interface and content managed web page areas.
  • Additional security settings within the Connector and platform to managing data transfer.
Note: Some functionality may require labour for setup and configuration.

Listed below are the features that we look to work on over the next 3-24 months.
Please Note: Development is dependent on funding, demand and scheduling.

  • Integration with MYOB AccountRight 2016 Accounting system
  • Product Deals and Vouchers enhancements.
  • Integration with ReadySell Enterprise Resource Planning system
  • TOTECS documentation centre
  • News/Blogging Search content managed web page areas
  • Emarketing enhancements
  • Integration with Jiwa Enterprise Resource Planning system
  • Ebay Integration
TOTECS Access All Areas From Websites Admin Centre interface

The 10.04 TOTECS release adds a small improvement to help administrator users more quickly navigate to the All Areas interface when wanting to see, or modify areas on a content managed webpage. To use the feature follow these steps:

  1. Login to the Administration Centre.
  2. Click on the Websites menu button.
  3. Click on the Websites menu item.
  4. Expand the web pages tree.
  5. Right Click on a web page you wish to view the areas of.
  6. Click on the View All Areas menu item in the context menu.

A new browser window will open and directly load the All Areas interface within the Webpage Editor.

Note: This improvement was built into the platform based on feedback made through the forums. If you have ideas like this to make the platform better, please post them on our wishlist forum.