9.6.0 Release Notes

Highlights

Release Information

Znode 9.6 release includes some new features, significant enhancements, and major performance changes for the web-store.

New Features

  1. Return Request creation/management

  2. Quotes Request creation/management

  3. Vouchers (extended version of Gift Cards)

  4. Google Enhanced Commerce Integration

  5. PowerBI Reports for admin and web store

  6. Blogs and News in content search results

Enhancements

Category-Catalog synchronization Provision To Save Published Data In SQL DB For Catalogs, Store Settings And CMS Content (Removal of MongoDB)

Breaking Changes

SQL 2016 Mandatory From Znode 9.6 Znode now supports SQL 2016 version from Znode 9.6 and onwards, therefore it is mandatory for projects to use SQL 2016.

Email Templates The default email template names have been renamed in code as well as in the DB, therefore, if the old template names are used then it will cause errors.

Removal of MongoDB for Catalogs, Store Settings, and CMS Content All the published data for Catalogs, Store Settings, and CMS Content will now be saved in SQL, therefore customizations done for MongoDB for any project will not work. Also, it is important to make sure of the following before this change is used:

  • Publish the data.

  • Set values for PublishProductFetchChunkSize key, ElasticCatalogIndexWaitTimeMinute key, PublishCatalogConnectionTime key and PurgePublishCatalogConnectionTime key in API web.config based on the server configuration and space requirements.

Note: MongoDB is still used for saving Error Logs

Category-Catalog Synchronization

Any changes made to the category will synchronize with all the catalogs where the category is present. Therefore it is important to take the upgrade script and publish the catalog(s) before it is used. Also, the IsCategoryMerchandise key in API web.config has been removed, therefore any customizations done for this key will not work.

User Profile Based Catalog

Admin users can now associate only one catalog to a User Profile. The products and categories from the same catalog will be displayed on the web-store. Therefore it is important to check the associations and publish all the user profile-based catalogs before they are used.

Important: It will be helpful for project teams to understand Catalog Index Settings (for Price and SEO) in relation to the user profile based catalog if they are planning to use the same.

Search Index Setting Helper

Instead of Stream Token Filter, Edge Ngram Filter is used. Therefore it is important to create a new index with a new name or delete the existing index and create a new one, to use the new changes.

Returned Product Status In Order

No changes should be made in the order until the return request(s) created for the order is complete.

New Features

[ZPD-9656/ZPD-9658/ZPD-9659] - Returns

Shopper Experience / Administration

Registered customers (shoppers) will now have the ability to create a return request(s) for their orders from the web store. They can also save a request as a draft. Administrators can in turn manage and process their return requests from the admin application. A completely independent section has been added for the Returns module in the My Account section on the web-store and in the admin application. This will provide ease in creating and managing return requests from the web-store and the admin application respectively.

Note: - Provision to create return request(s) from the admin application will be released in Znode 9.7

- The calculations of Return summary and Order summary are not changed.

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[ZPD-9736/ZPD-9737/ZPD-9738/ZPD-9739] - Quotes

Shopper Experience / Administration

Registered customers (shoppers) will now have the ability to request quotations for the orders they wish to place. Administrators can in turn manage and process their quotation requests from the admin application. They can also create quotation requests on behalf of the customers (shoppers) from the admin application. A completely independent section has been added for the Quotes module in the My Account section on the web-store and in the admin application. This will allow customers (especially B2B shoppers) to request quotations for bulk orders and admin users to manage quotation requests from the web-store and the admin application respectively.

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[ZPD-10382] - Vouchers Feature

Shopper Experience / Administration

Administrators can create and edit vouchers that can be used to place orders from the admin application and the web store. They can also apply multiple vouchers to the existing orders. Customers (shoppers) can also use multiple vouchers for placing their orders from the web store. A completely independent section has been added to view Vouchers and the usage history in the My Account section on the web-store and the existing Gift Card module is extended in the admin application to accommodate this new feature.

Note -Gift Cards will now be called as Vouchers in Znode

-Provision to apply multiple vouchers while creating orders from the admin application will be released in Znode 9.7

-No refunds are considered for Vouchers.

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[ZPD-10674] - Vouchers Import

Administration

Administrators can import Vouchers through the Import module from the admin application.

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[ZPD-8582] - Support For Enhanced Ecommerce

Administration

Znode now supports Enhanced Ecommerce for Google Analytics. Administrators can enable/disable Enhanced Ecommerce for different stores and they can view the following types of reports under their Google Analytics account:

  • Purchases Reports

  • Cart Reports

  • Products Reports

  • Product List Performance Report

  • Checkout Behaviour Report

  • Shopping Behaviour Report

This feature will provide better and more powerful insights into the shopping behavior of the visitors on the web-store.

Note: Enhanced Ecommerce supports the Standard Ecommerce tracking as well.

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[ZPD-9222/ZPD-10762] - Support For Power BI Reports

Shopper Experience / Administration

Znode now supports Power BI Reports. Administrators can connect the Power BI application with Znode from the admin application so that they can view the Power BI reports in the admin application. They can also enable Power BI reports for customers (shoppers) so that they can view the reports with filtered details for their user account and for the respective store from the web-store.

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[ZPD-9950] - Blog And News Pages In Search Results

Shopper Experience / Administration

The Blog and News pages will now be indexed when published. Therefore customers (shoppers) will now have the ability to search Blog and News pages from the web-store and the results will be fetched through Elasticsearch. The Blog and News pages will get indexed and displayed as results on the web-store only when the Enable CMS Based Search setting is enabled for the store from the admin application. Also, the index related information will be displayed on a new tab Manage CMS Content Indexes in the admin application.

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[ZPD-10012] - Provision To Publish Single Blog And News Pages

Administration

Administrators will now have the ability to publish a single Blog or News page through a Publish action added on the Blog and News list and Edit pages.

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[ZPD-7890] - Provision To Clear Entire Published Data

Administration

A provision to delete the entire published data from ElasticSearch and SQL has been introduced under Diagnostics & Maintenance section in the admin application.

Important: This mechanism is only intended to be triggered in unusual circumstances that can arise during the development of a Znode implementation. This is not something that should be triggered in a production environment in normal circumstances.

 

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[ZPD-11745] - Artifi Integration

Shopper Experience / Administration

The Znode will now be provided along with the Artifi integration. This will allow administrators to create customizable products and customers (shoppers) to personalize and customize the products they wish to purchase.

Note: It is mandatory to save Artifi settings for required Stores and configured in the Znode admin application.

Important: -Clients can either use Znode or a combination of Znode and Artifi for their ecommerce business. -Znode with Artifi Integration will be available as a separate package which will include a combination of Znode and Artifi.

Enhancements

[ZPD-10021/ZPD-10347] - Provision To Save Published Data In SQL DB For Catalogs, Store Settings, and CMS Content

Administration

All the published data from Catalogs, Store Settings, and CMS Content will now be saved in SQL DB. This will remove the necessity of additional DB setup and maintenance for published data.

Note: MongoDB has been completely eliminated for Catalogs, Store Settings, And CMS Content but is still used for saving Error Logs

[ZPD-9797] - Category - Catalog Synchronization

Administration

The asynchronous behavior of Category-Catalog has been removed completely. Therefore any changes made at the category level will now get reflected in the respective catalogs. Also, provision to manage the Display Order of products is added for Category and has been removed from Catalogs. These changes will:

  • Enhance user experience

  • Remove a lot of unnecessary extra code written to cover the many use cases to achieve the asynchronous behavior

  • Improve/enhance publish process

[ZPD-10039] - User Profile Based Catalog Changes

Administration

To enhance the usability and to improve the complex behavior of User Profiles, the dependency of using the catalog associated with the Store for a User Profile (which is also associated with the same Store) has been removed. Therefore now admin users will have the ability to associate any catalog with a User Profile so that the customers (shoppers) belonging to the respective User Profile can see the categories and products from the catalog associated with the respective User Profile. Because of this consideration, there was no need for multiple catalog association and catalog management at the User Profile level and therefore these features are removed.

Important: It will be helpful for project teams to understand Catalog Index Settings (for Price and SEO) in relation to the user profile based catalog if they are planning to use the same.

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[ZPD-10386] - New Diagnostics & Maintenance Screen

Administration

The UI of the Diagnostics screen has been modified so that all the Diagnostics and Maintenance settings can be managed from a single section.

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[ZPD-8944] - New UI For Blogs And News Pages

Shopper Experience The UI of the Blogs and News list pages and individual Blog and News pages has been enhanced for Maxwell’s Hardware theme.

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[ZPD-8991] - Provision To Enable Action Level Concurrent Request Handling

Shopper Experience

Znode now provides a provision to enable action level concurrent request handling. This will allow our clients to use this provision for any action(s) they want.

[ZPD-10431] - Performance: Link Widgets

Shopper Experience

To improve the performance of the product list fetched and displayed in the link widget(s) on the PDP, a cache mechanism is implemented for WebStoreWidget/GetLinkProductList API so that the products available in the widgets can be cached. The products will then be fetched from the cache instead of the database, thereby improving the performance and reducing the loading time of the product list.

Note: The products cached for link widgets will get refreshed whenever any product is published directly or indirectly.

[ZPD-10432] - Performance: Keywords Redirect

Shopper Experience

To improve the performance of the web store search, a cache mechanism is implemented for Search/GetCatalogKeywordsRedirectList API so that the data from the Keywords Redirect can be cached. The data for the redirection URL will then be fetched from the cache instead of the database, thereby improving the performance and reducing the time required for the search to bring the results.

Note: The cached data from Keywords Redirect will get refreshed whenever any keyword redirect is added, updated, or deleted.

[ZPD-10433] - Performance: Dynamic Styles

Shopper Experience

To improve the loading time of the styles displayed on the web store, Donut caching is implemented for Dynamic Styles so that the styles can be fetched from the cache instead of the database, thereby improving the performance and reducing the time required for the load of the styles on the web-store. Also, a provision is made to allow Dynamic Styles to handle multiple requests simultaneously.

Important: It is recommended for custom projects to add all the new controllers/actions in RouteConfig for better performance.

[ZPD-10434] - Performance: Cart Count

Shopper Experience

The count of products available in the cart is calculated and displayed on several pages. Earlier the count always used to get fetched from the database. With this release, the count will be saved and fetched from the session for scenarios where there is no need for a DB call. This enhancement will not only improve the performance but also the experience of customers (shoppers) visiting the web store.

[ZPD-10435] - Performance: Registering All Routes

Shopper Experience

Certain routes were identified which used to call the default route available in the route.config file. Due to which unwanted calls used to get initiated to SEO API, thereby making responses to the web store requests slower. Therefore to improve the performance of the responses, the entries of such routes were added in the route.config file. This enhancement has improved the performance of the web store.

[ZPD-10582] - Performance: Donut Caching For Logged-In Users

Shopper Experience

Earlier, to improve the performance of the web store, a Donut cache mechanism was implemented for all the highly usable web pages (like the home page, product pages, category pages, etc) so that they can be served directly from the cache instead of the database. This provision was available for guest customers (shoppers) but now will be available for logged in customers (shoppers) as well.

[ZPD-10584] - Performance: Web Store Widgets

Shopper Experience

Ajax calls are used for the Home page and product detail page widgets. When these pages are loaded for the first time, all the widgets request data simultaneously, causing slowness. Therefore to reduce the loading time and improve the performance of the widgets, non-Ajaxified calls will be initiated in scenarios where Donut caching is enabled.

Note: Ajaxified calls will be initiated when Donut caching is disabled.

[ZPD-10842] - Performance: Published Category Details

Shopper Experience

To improve the performance of the category details, a cache mechanism is implemented for PublishCategory/GetPublishCategory API so that the category details are cached. The details will be then fetched from the cache instead of the database, thereby improving the performance and reducing the loading time of the published category details.

Note: The data cached will get refreshed whenever any category is published directly or indirectly.

[ZPD-10851] - Performance: Published Category List Details

Shopper Experience

To improve the performance of the category list details, a cache mechanism is implemented for PublishCategory/List API so that the category list details are cached. The details will then be fetched from the cache instead of the database, thereby improving the performance and reducing the loading time of the published category list details.

Note: The data cached will get refreshed whenever any category is published directly or indirectly.

[ZPD-10643] - Performance: Search/FullTextSearch API Optimization

Shopper Experience

Earlier, Search/FullTextSearch API used to respond slow when configurable products were searched. This was due to an unwanted database call, which has now been removed. This will not only enhance the performance of the search and PLP but will also reduce the loading time of the search results displayed on the search results page.

[ZPD-10711] - API Cache Durations

Shopper Experience

The cache duration of all keys is set to 60 minutes.

[ZPD-10779] - CurrentPortalCacheDuration Key Cache Duration

Shopper Experience

The duration of the CurrentPortalCacheDuration cache key is set to 20 minutes.

 

[ZPD-10778] - Performance: SearchAgent.GetSeoUrlDetail Method Optimization

Shopper Experience

The SearchAgent.GetSeoUrlDetail method is optimized so that unnecessary calls to the API can be avoided when registered users log in to the web store. This enhancement has improved the performance of the web store in cases of slug URLs.

[ZPD-8940/ZPD-8941] - Order Template Enhancements

Shopper Experience

The following changes are made for the Order Template pages on the web-store for Maxwell’s Hardware theme:

  • View action is removed from the Order Templates list page as the Edit action is already available

  • Delete action which was only available on the Edit Order Template page is added on the Order Templates list page as well so that customers (shoppers) can delete the templates directly from the Order Templates list page as well.

  • An Add To Cart button which was only available on the Order Templates list page is added on the Edit Order Template page as well so that customers (shoppers) can add all the products from the template to the cart directly from the Edit page as well.

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[ZPD-9158] - Product Inventory On Product Details Page

Shopper Experience

The product details page on the web-store will now display the following information for the product inventory:

  • Inventory from default warehouse

  • Total inventory from all warehouses

  • Inventory from every warehouse

Note: - The behavior of the Inventory from the default warehouse and Total inventory from all warehouses is exactly the same as considered on the product list page. The information displayed for these two will depend on the Store level setting- Stock Levels By Warehouse - This change will not be available for Grouped products.

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[ZPD-9155] - Revisions In Page Template Names

Administration

The names of the following Page Templates are updated:

  • Landing Form Template has been renamed to Landing Page With Banner Slider Multiple Content And Image Sections and Product List Slider

  • Landing Form Info Template has been renamed to Landing Page With Content And Form Sections

 

[ZPD-9159] - New UI For Product Added To Cart Notification

Shopper Experience

A new UI for the Product Added To Cart notification has been added for Maxwell’s Hardware theme. [file:addedtocart.png|700px|border|solid black circle]]

[ZPD-9273] - Publish To Preview On Save

Administration

The CMS pages will directly get published to Preview Mode when any CMS page widgets are configured and saved using a Save button.

Important: This feature would work only when Publish State - Preview is enabled from Global Settings and from web.config file for Text, Image, and Video widgets.

[ZPD-9386/ZPD-10253] - New Fields For Orders

Shopper Experience / Administration

The following new fields are added on the Create Order and Manage Order pages on the web-store and in the admin application respectively so administrators can track additional information for the orders which can later be used for order processing:

  • Job/Project Name

  • Shipping Constraints with Ship Complete and Ship Partial options

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[ZPD-9788] - Revisions In Email Templates

Administration

The names of the following Email Templates are updated:

  • New Customer Account has been renamed to New Customer Account from Admin

  • Account Activation has been renamed to Customer Account Activation

  • Reply Customer has been renamed to Service Request Message

  • Customer Feedback has been renamed to Customer Feedback Notification

  • Product Compare has been renamed to Product Comparison Details

  • Gift Card Issue has been renamed to Gift Card Created

  • New Customer Account Webstore has been renamed to New Customer Account from Webstore

  • Store Order Receipt has been renamed to Order Placed Notification

  • Acknowledgment has been renamed to Form Submission Acknowledgement

  • The notification has been renamed to Form Submission Notification

  • Billing Account Number has been renamed to Billing Account Number Added

  • Convert Shopper To Admin has been renamed to Convert User To Administrator

  • Low Inventory Order Notification Template has been renamed to Low Inventory Order Notification

  • Account Verification has been renamed to Account Verification Request

Also, the following Email Templates were removed as they were not used for any feature:

  • Quote In Review

  • Order Line Item Receipt

  • Pending Approval

  • New Testing Email

  • Test Email

[ZPD-10252] - Track Order Feature In Maxwell’s Hardware Theme

Shopper Experience

The Track Order feature which was only available in the Fine Foods theme is now available in Maxwell’s Hardware theme as well.

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[ZPD-10255] - Typical Lead Time Information For Products

Shopper Experience / Administration

Admin users will now have the ability to save product lead time information while creating or editing a product from the admin application. Customers (shoppers) will see this information on the product details page on the web-store.

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[ZPD-8933/ZPD-8934/ZPD-8936] - New Page Templates

Administration

The following new Page Templates are introduced in the admin application:

  • Simple Search With Content And Banner Slider

  • Simple Search with Video

  • Simple Search With Image And Multiple Text Widgets

These new templates consist of different combinations of widgets that can be used by admin users to create different types of CMS pages.

Note: A CMS page will be available for every new template in default data.

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Issues Resolved

[ZPD-9963/ZPD-10016] - The following issues were identified related to Orders:

  • It was difficult to identify if the order is placed from the admin application or from the web-store.

  • The applied voucher message was not user-friendly enough.

  • Billing and Shipping addresses were not being passed to ERP.

  • For the Custom Flat Rate shipping method, double handling charges were getting.

[ZPD-8010/ZLMC-984] - Admin - Tracking Pixel character limit was less than what was required, therefore the limit was increased to 1000 characters.

[ZPD-8942] - Web Store - The sequence in which the fields were displayed on the Edit Profile page in the My Account section was not proper and was therefore changed.

[ZPD-9100] - Web Store - Image and Video widgets were not compatible with Maxwell’s Hardware theme.

[ZPD-9878/ZLMC-1304] - Admin - Duplicate entries of admin users were getting displayed in certain scenarios. To resolve this issue, when one account is converted to an admin account,

  • The application will check if the admin account already exists. If an account already exists then the conversion will not be allowed.

  • The application will check if the account username belongs to other accounts of different stores. If accounts exist then the conversion will not be allowed.

[ZPD-10205] - Web Store - Inventory of products was not getting displayed when Index settings were enabled for Catalog.

[ZPD-10208/ZLMC-1350] - Web Store - Product related issues:

  • Same Frequently Bought Together products were getting displayed multiple times in the Frequently Bought Together product widget on the PDP.

  • Child product attribute related changes were not getting reflected on PDP with enhanced publish.

[ZPD-10367] - Admin - Payment Options were not getting disabled when admin users tried to place $0 Orders.

[ZPD-10710/ZLMC-1417] - Admin - Due to the usage of an incorrect macro, no value was getting displayed in the Order Receipt for the shipping method in the email notification.

[ZPD-10763/ZLMC-1435] - Admin - Currency set as a default currency from Global Settings was not getting selected by default on the Add Shipping Method screen.

[ZPD-240] - Admin - Downloadable Product Keys were editable even when they were used.

[ZPD-7663] - Web Store - Count 0 used to get displayed on the Cart icon even when there were products in the cart. This issue was only specific to IE-11 and was due to the count getting cached.

[ZPD-8960/ZLMC-1109] - Admin - During product export, the Order list page used to show an error.

[ZPD-10266/ZLMC-1358] - An empty "ShippingReceipt" email was getting sent if the respective email template was disabled.

[ZPD-10282] - In some scenarios, Znode_GetPublishProducts stored procedure used to timeout.

[ZPD-10447/ZLMC-1388/ZPD-10413] - Web Store - “Hide From Search” functionality for products was not working.

[ZPD-10494] - Admin - A mandatory payment method selection was requested by the application to place an order, even when a Voucher was used to pay the complete order amount.

[ZPD-10520/ZLMC-1392] - Admin / API / Web Store - Incorrect entries were getting saved in the database table ZnodeOmsOrderLineItems when an order was placed with bundled products.

[ZPD-10600/ZLMC-1399] - The DELETE statement was conflicting with the REFERENCE constraint for the ZnodeDeleteUser stored procedure.

[ZPD-10581/ZLMC-1397] - Admin - Duplicate data was getting displayed in the General Order Report.

[ZPD-10899/ZLMC-1416] - Web Store - Add and Edit buttons were getting displayed in the Address section on the Checkout page for account users with Role Type as 'User'.

[ZPD-11415] - Web Store - % sign was getting displayed for fixed price promotions instead of $ sign.

[ZPD-11598] - Web Store - Instead of labels, attribute value codes were getting displayed for facet options.

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