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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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            Nexus packages do not have a notion of "recent" (e.g. they do not record any timestamp for added/edited), so I'm afraid there's no way to compare which ones are newer or older.

            However, if you reordered them in the ACP (drag n drop) in the order you consider oldest -> newest, you can pull the products based on positioning.

            The blog entry above describes the available sort options for each type of Nexus feed for more information.

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            Very interesting, and appreciated.

            I'm wondering if maybe this is the answer to how buried the current IP.N Client Area stuff is? Add some IP.N blocks that show your subscriptions/support issues/invoices etc if you're in your own profile page?

            Just brainstorming... Need to think about this.

            Obviously it'll be good for sites that sell things other than subscriptions, and we might be able to use it to show advertising packages etc.

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            Wow, this sounds interesting. I have a question related to this. Will we be able to embed "add to cart" buttons inside our IP-Content pages now? This way we can put a link inside our article that will take them straight to their cart, instead of to the product page.

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            Here's an idea: a wish list for each user, including IP.Downloads items.

            Steam has this:
            http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/ss111/chercabula/Pics%20for%20Blogposts/December%202011/?action=view&current=steam-daily-wishlist-giveaway-001.png

            A lot of people end up buying each other games, especially around Christmas.

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            [quote name='Riki' timestamp='1326759478']
            Wow, this sounds interesting. I have a question related to this. Will we be able to embed "add to cart" buttons inside our IP-Content pages now? This way we can put a link inside our article that will take them straight to their cart, instead of to the product page.


            I would think you could do this now by simply putting the appropriate HTML into your page. This is not something the feed block would facilitate in any event.

            [quote name='Interferon' timestamp='1326774732']
            Here's an idea: a wish list for each user, including IP.Downloads items.Steam has this:http://s567.photobuc...iveaway-001.pngA lot of people end up buying each other games, especially around Christmas.


            IP.Content is not adding new features to Nexus. It is simply allowing you to pull data from Nexus. As Nexus does not have a wishlist feature, there is no way to pull such data from Nexus.

            [quote name='estan' timestamp='1326786880']
            What I need to have is an option for Filter by Date Item Added Descending.Would this be possible?


            You would need to post in the feedback forum for IP.Nexus asking that this data be tracked. It is not possible, since Nexus does not store the date the item was added as mentioned in my last reply.

            [quote name='Edward Shephard' timestamp='1326788547']
            A shopping cart / mini-store plugin would also be great please


            Nice idea - will keep this in mind for a future release.

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            [quote name='bfarber' timestamp='1326809522']
            I would think you could do this now by simply putting the appropriate HTML into your page. This is not something the feed block would facilitate in any event.

            Thanks, currently you cant put a direct link to add 1 or multiple items to the cart without having the link generated with php to include the "key".

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