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IP.Content 2.3 Dev Update: Nexus Blocks

As part of our continued effort to strengthen existing functionality in IP.Content 2.3, and bring about a more consistent and reliable experience for novice and advanced users alike, we have implemented support for IP.Nexus blocks in IP.Content 2.3. IP.Nexus is our powerful e-commerce application, allowing you to monetize your site through the use of many great features such as a storefront, user subscriptions, hosting and support helpdesk functionality. Beginning with IP.Content 2.3, you will now be able to pull much of the great content IP.Nexus contains in unique and useful ways through feed and plugin blocks.

Donations Plugin Block

IP.Nexus ships with a "donations" sidebar block that can appear on the board index sidebar. If the hook is enabled, the block shows up automatically once you have configured a donation goal. We have duplicated this functionality as a plugin block in IP.Content 2.3, allowing you to show the same donation block anywhere you want, on or off site.

Nexus Feed Block

And, of course, we have included a Nexus feed block. While many of our applications have more than one data content type you can pull (for instance, you can pull files, categories or comments when you create an IP.Downloads feed block), our IP.Nexus feed block supports a whopping 6 content types. As we mentioned at the start of this entry, IP.Nexus is a very powerful application, and we wanted to allow you to pull the most commonly needed data through the new IP.Content feed block. While we will evaluate feedback and improve this block over time as needed, we feel we have captured the most useful data feeds in our initial implementation here.

You will be able to pull the following data from IP.Nexus:

  • Packages
    • Filter by stock quantity
    • Filter by "show on registration" setting
    • Filter by "show in store" setting
    • Filter by "is physical item" setting
    • Filter by "is subscription" setting
    • Filter by "allows upgrading" setting
    • Filter by "allows downgrading" setting
    • Filter by price (minimum and maximum)
    • Filter by "is renewable" setting
    • Sort by name, in stock, upgrade charge, downgrade refund, price, renewal price, ACP-specified position, featured status, or random

      • Filter by product
      • Filter by member (e.g. to show the viewing user purchases they have made, or purchases their friends have made)
      • Filter by active status
      • Filter by cancelled status
      • Filter by purchase date
      • Filter by expiration date
      • Sort by name, active status, cancelled status, start date, expiration date, renewal price, package name or random

        • Filter by department
        • Filter by status
        • Filter by severity
        • Filter by member
        • Filter by replies (minimum and maximum)
        • Filter by open date
        • Filter by last reply date
        • Sort by title, start date, last reply date, last new reply date, last staff reply date, number of replies or random

          • Filter by status
          • Filter by creation date
          • Filter by paid date
          • Filter by total (minimum and maximum)
          • Sort by title, amount, date, date paid or random

            • Filter by status
            • Filter by date
            • Filter by method
            • Filter by member
            • Filter by amount total (minimum and maximum)
            • Sort by amount, date or random

              • Filter by status
              • Filter by order date
              • Filter by ship date
              • Filter by ship method
              • Sort by date, ship date or random

            [*]Purchases[*]Support Requests[*]Invoices[*]Transactions[*]Shipping
            As you can see, most of the bases are covered here. If you want to pull a block of "all transactions the viewing user has made, most recent to oldest" you can. If you want to pull a block "random product available in our storefront" you can. If you want to pull "all customer service tickets that are on hold", you can. And remember some special tips with IP.Content - date fields accept any regular date string (e.g. "today" or "last year"), and member fields support two special values: "myself" (restrict to viewing user) and "friends" (restrict to friends of the viewing user). These special options available in all IP.Content feed blocks can lead to some really creative and unique blocks.

            Time out for a techy moment

            If you are not a developer, feel free to skip this section.

            Beginning with IP.Content 2.3, support has been added for pulling blocks from the application folder. In IP.Content 2.2 and below, block files for third party applications must be uploaded to the IP.Content folder (admin/applications_addon/ips/ccs/sources/blocks/*). This works fine, however it is ideal to allow applications to keep their files self-contained to the extent possible. As such, you can now store feed blocks for your third party applications in (application_folder)/extensions/content/feed_blocks/ and plugin blocks in (application_folder)/extensions/content/plugin_blocks/. Behind the scenes, IP.Content will first check application folders, and then check its current block directories. A block in an application folder will override any included in the IP.Content directory. This will allow you to better self-contain your application files while still making use of all the features our application suite provides.

            What the future holds

            We are certain there will be other types of data in IP.Nexus you will want to be able to feed through IP.Content blocks over time, and look forward to your feedback and suggestions on ways to improve this new block type in future releases. We hope this initial release, however, covers most of your needs and that you find ways to make use of this powerful tool in IP.Content 2.3.

            We look forward to your suggestions and ideas for improving the software in our feedback forum. We heavily rely on feedback from all of our clients to shape the future of our software, and even if we don't reply to every topic, rest assured they are all read. If you have any comments on the new IP.Nexus feed or plugin blocks available with IP.Content 2.3, please share your thoughts below!

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