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xtech

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  1. Like
    xtech reacted to Charles for an entry, Invision Community 4.3 Coming Soon   
    Our recent release of Invision Community 4.2 was the most well-received version ever! The feedback we received on new features like Clubs, Reactions, and Promotes was better than we could have hoped and we really enjoyed seeing all the creative uses as people implemented them on their own communities.
    We have been hard at work on version 4.3 with a goal of improving on all the great new features. It is well under way and we are happy to able to start announcing what's new over the next few weeks.
    Invision Community 4.3 will not only contain new features but also have a core focus on refinement from 4.2's new features. You will see many improvements to Clubs, new integration options, large application improvements, new promotional features, and more changes large and small.

     
    You can expect to see news posts about new features and changes very soon with a release date in early 2018. Follow our news section or subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates.
  2. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, New: Richer Embeds   
    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    You are probably already familiar with our content embedding feature in IPS Community Suite. When a link to content in the community is pasted into the editor (e.g. a topic, or a post, or a gallery image, etc.) it is automatically expanded into a preview of the content, usually with an accompanying image, allowing users to click through to that content if they are interested.

    An embedded Gallery image in IPS Community Suite 4.1
    While it has proved a useful feature to members, each embed used essentially the same structure - a small thumbnail on the left, a title, and a few lines of text. This works fine for topics, but isn't ideal for other kinds of rich content that might be posted.
    In IPS Community Suite 4.2, we greatly improved upon our embedding handling, giving every type of content within every application its own customized embed style, allowing that content to be displayed however works best. This means larger high-res previews of Gallery images, a button to download a file right from the embed for Downloads files, showing a map for Calendar events, and so on. We worked to keep a consistent overall style between apps, but allow each to display its own relevant information.
    For users, things will work exactly as they do now - they simply paste a link to content, and it will continue to expand automatically. The changes are also backwards compatible. Any existing embeds in your community will automatically show the new styling you see below - no rebuilding necessary.
    So with that in mind, let's take a look what the new embeds look like! I won't show every single embed here because there's a huge number, but I'll try and give you a feel for how we approached the embed styles for each app.

    Gallery Image

    Comment on a Gallery Image

    Gallery Album

    Forum Topic

    Downloads File

    Review on a Downloads File

    Calendar Event

    Comment on a Calendar Event

    Commerce Product

    Record from a Pages database
    I hope that gives you a good overview of what to expect when your users try out the new embeds for themselves. As always, please share your feedback in the comments below!
     
  3. Like
    xtech reacted to Matt for an entry, New: Fluid Forum View   
    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    When you have a diverse range of topics within your community, it makes good sense to separate topics within forums and categories. This will ensure that the viewer can find relevant content by scanning the list of forums first.
    If you have a more focused community with fewer forums, presenting your community with a list of them can be daunting. This is especially true for less experienced visitors raised on social media.
    Fluid forum view allows your visitors to get right to the meat of your community; the topics.
    A fan site for a band is a good example of a community that will benefit with fluid view. There will likely be forums for album reviews, tour dates, general discussion and so on. Even though there are many forums, the common topic is the band. This makes fluid view ideal as your members can see all those related topics in one view. If your members wanted more specific topics, they could select a single forum to view.
    Let us take a look at fluid view in action. We will then break it down and explain how it works in more detail.

     
    The video shows the topic list and the forum filter box. As you can see, it is easy to change the topic list by changing the selected forums. This view replaces the traditional list of categories and forums.

     
    Of course, you can permit your members to change the view to better suit their way of working.

     
    You will notice a "grid" option. We have moved the grid forum theme setting into the main forum settings. This makes it an option for your members to choose, if the administrator permits it.

     
    You have full control over the display options. This screenshot shows that the control panel option to choose the default view. There is also an option to control which views your members can select. You may also decide to not allow your members to switch views at all. This will ensure that they all use the view you choose.

     
    You may have spotted that forum names have a colored background in some screenshots. We added the ability to define a feature color per forum. This feature color helps the forum stand out in a more visual way. This is especially useful when you select many forums in a single view.

     
    This feature color also works on the table view.

     
    We added a feature color hint to topic view to enforce the association between the forum and its color.
     

     
    This screenshot also shows the removal of the forum breadcrumb in fluid view mode. Fluid view remembers your last forum selection so you don't lose your place when you go back to the listing.
    The benefit of this feature is easy to see. It removes a potential barrier of entry for your audience. It puts the spotlight on topics themselves, and not the hierarchical forum structure. Your members will enjoy viewing many forums at once and switching between them without leaving the page.
    We hope that fluid view is an asset to your community and your members enjoy this new functionality.
    Technical notes.
    The database stores the members' view choice. This remembers the selection across devices. Guests are not permitted to change between views.
     
  4. Like
    xtech reacted to Stuart Silvester for an entry, New: Member History   
    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release
    In previous versions of IPS Community Suite we have had an account history feature in our Commerce application. This feature showed many important actions that may be relevant to the customer such as when an invoice was generated or when a customer changed their account details.
    In IPS Community Suite 4.2 we have expanded this functionality and moved it into the core functionality of the suite.

    Member History Member Overview
    Member actions that will be logged include (but are not limited to)
    Email address change Display name change Password change Account merge Primary group change (The reason will be shown when triggered by an automatic group promotion) Secondary group change Flagged/Unflagged as spammer Multi-Factor Authentication (Enable / Disable / Opt-out) Social media (Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, Google, Twitter, IPS Connect) for enabling, disabling and which (if any) were used to register an account. The Commerce customer account page will now show actions that may be related with a transaction or account.

    Member History on the Commerce customer view
    Discoverability
    Each action is also discoverable via the IP Address tools built into IPS Community Suite 4

    Member History in IP Search
    We’ve also made the data table filterable

    Member History Search
    Notes for developers:
    The new Member History system has been designed with interoperability in mind. In IPS Community Suite 4.2 you will be able to integrate your own applications into this system. Member History replaces the display name changes system.
  5. Like
    xtech reacted to Mark for an entry, New: Editor Uploading   
    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release
    IPS Community Suite has supported drag and drop uploading to the attachments area at the bottom of the editor since 4.0. In 4.2 we're pleased to add the ability to drag and drop right into the editor, so you can drop your attachment exactly where you want it to show without having to add it afterwards.

    Drag and drop into editor
    If your browser and OS supports it you can also copy and paste, either from the desktop or from other content on the web:

    Copy and Paste
    Naturally this works for ordinary files as well as images:

    Drag and drop a file
     
  6. Like
    xtech reacted to Mark for an entry, New: Authy Integration   
    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release
    In 4.1.18 we added Two Factor Authentication. Already in 4.2 we have announced a new setting to trigger 2FA when logging in from a new device, and in 4.2 we are also adding Authy as an authentication handler.
    Authy can send a user a text message, make a phone call, or send a push notification to a smartphone app to authenticate the user. You can enable whichever of these options you like.
     
    Set Up
    To set up Two Factor Authentication with Authy, the user will enter their phone number. To verify their phone number they will then enter a code shown in the Auhy app or have a code sent by text message or phone call. The system will automatically show an appropriate interface based on what options you have enabled - for example, if you don't want to enable the app as an option, it will not reference Authy.

    Setting up Authy with the app available as an option

    Setting up Authy with just phone or text message options enabled
     
    Verification with Authy
    When the user needs to verify their account, the system will automatically show an appropriate interface. If you allow verification with the Authy app and either it is the only option you allow, or the system knows that the user has installed the Authy app, the system will prompt them to use the app. This can either be done using Authy's OneTouch option (where the user will receive a push notification to the app, and when they click approve, the screen will automatically refresh) or their SoftToken option (where the user will be instructed to open the Authy app and enter the code they see). If you allow authentication by text message and/or phone call as well, the user will also see options for using those instead.
    These screenshots show the process for OneTouch authentication:

    The user is shown a waiting screen
     
    Simultaneously they will receive a push notification and when opening it be able to approve
    Once the user has approved, the waiting screen will automatically refresh with the user authenticated.
    For SoftToken authentication, the user is prompted to enter the code shown in the Authy app:

    Authy SoftToken option
     
    Phone Verification
    If you have disabled the Authy app as an option, or the user does not have it installed, they will be prompted to choose from the available options how they want to authenticate.
    These screenshots show the process for authenticating by text message:

    The user is asked how they want to authenticate

    The user receives a text message or phone call with a code

    The user enters this code to authenticate
     
    Management
    If the user changes their phone number they can reconfigure the system in their account settings. The system automatically shows "Phone Verification" rather then "Authy" if the app is not available as an option.

    Account Settings showing Authy as Phone Verification
     
  7. Like
    xtech reacted to Mark for an entry, New: Commerce Improvements   
    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release
     
    Improved Stripe Integration
    Stripe is a popular payment gateway that supports card payments. In IPS Community Suite 4.2 we have made some improvements to our integration:
    When viewing a transaction in the AdminCP, it will show the last 4 digits of the card used, and the result of Stripe's risk evaluation. More information is sent to Stripe for easier cross-reference between Stripe's control panel and your AdminCP. This includes the customer's name, billing and shipping addresses, email address, associated transaction/invoice/customer IDs, and the invoice title.  

    Stripe Transaction in the AdminCP showing risk evaluation and card details

    Transaction in Stripe's control panel showing customer and invoice details
     
    Anti-Fraud Improvements
    Anti-Fraud Rules now have some additional filters:
    Products being purchases includes... Account was registered more/less than [x days] ago Customer is/isn't in group Customer has previously spent more/less than Time since last purchase is more/less than [x days] ago Custom profile fields (both at member and customer level) IP address is x (exactly, contains or matches regular expression) Customer has previously made transactions that failed (opposed to "were blocked by fraud rules") Email address matches regular expression
    Some of the new Anti-Fraud Rule options
     
    MaxMind per gateway
    A new setting has been added that allows you to run MaxMind only against transactions using particular payment gateways.

    New MaxMind gateways setting
     
    Transaction Search
    You can now enter the transaction ID provided by the payment gateway in the AdminCP search box to find a transaction.

    Looking up a transaction by gateway ID
     
    Renewal Savings
    If you have a product with multiple renewal terms, a new setting allows you to show alongside each option how much is saved. This can be shown either as a monetary value, or as a percentage.

    Product showing savings for different renewal options
  8. Like
    xtech reacted to Andy Millne for an entry, New: Additional REST API Endpoints   
    This is an entry about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release and features content specifically aimed towards developers. If you are not interested in developing for 4.2 you may wish to skip this entry. Don't worry we still have lots of exciting core feature announcements still to come. 
    We are expanding on the already available REST API endpoints to include more support for nodes. This significantly increases the flexibility of the API and now allows forums, downloads categories, calendars etc. to be created programmatically via external sources.
     As is usual with the existing content item endpoints, access for nodes is configured via the admin control panel for each API key that is generated.

    Configuring API Permissions via the Admin Control Panel
    For those new to the REST API, documentation can be found in the developer resources section and within the admin control panel.

    Endpoint Documentation
    New endpoints in 4.2 include;
    GET /core/groups - Get a list of groups GET /core/groups/{id} - Get information about a specific group DELETE /core/groups/{id} - Delete a group GET /forums/forums - Get a list of forums GET /forums/forums/{id} - Get information about a specific forum POST /forums/forums - Create a forum POST /forums/forums/{id} - Edit a forum DELETE /forums/forums/{id} - Delete a forum DELETE /blog/blogs/{id} - Delete a blog GET /calendar/calendar - Get a list of calendars GET /calendar/calendar/{id} - Get information about a specific calendar POST /calendar/calendar - Create a calendar POST /calendar/calendar/{id} - Edit a calendar DELETE /calendar/calendar/{id} - Delete a calendar GET /downloads/category - Get a list of downloads categories GET /downloads/category/{id} - Get information about a specific category POST /downloads/category - Create a category POST /downloads/category/{id} - Edit a category DELETE /downloads/category/{id} - Delete a category We are continuously looking for ways to improve developer functionality so if you have any ideas for additional endpoints or suggestions for improved documentation please feel free to share them in the comments below.
    We are really looking forward to seeing the new and imaginative ideas 3rd party developers can create using these additional capabilities.
     
  9. Like
    xtech reacted to Matt for an entry, New: Promoting Content   
    There are many strategies for growing your community, such as newsletters, mailing lists and advertising on other sites.
    IPS Community Suite 4.2 puts a new tool at your disposal: promotions.
    There’s no denying the popularity of social media. Worldwide, Facebook has 1.86 billion users active monthly. Every day, millions of people are using Facebook to speak with friends, to talk about their interests and to find new people to connect with.
    Of that 1.86 billion people, a good portion of those are actively discussing topics your forum covers. There is a huge opportunity to tap into social media to join in the discussion and to promote your community and provide a venue to carry on the discussion.
    For a while, we’ve had social media log in extensions, which means that your users can sign into your community simply by clicking a relevant button. We’ve also had the ability to share things to a personal Facebook account. These tools are great for your users, but how do they help you, forum owner?
    IPS Community Suite 4.2 introduces a way to promote your content directly to your brand’s Facebook page and your brand’s Twitter account.
    You can curate fun and engaging topics and share them. The workflow is simple. Simply browse your community and queue up interesting topics, comments, gallery items, blog posts or database articles for posting throughout the day to your brand’s social media accounts. You choose the schedule, the hashtags and the wording to send.
    Let’s look at the feature set in more detail.
    Your first stop is to set up the feature from the admin panel. The system will guide you through the necessary steps of connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once Facebook has been set up, you can select any page that you are an administrator of on Facebook.
     

    The admin panel also offers scheduling options and permissions.
     

    You can pre-set the times for when content will be posted. Facebook and Twitter both have analytic tools to determine when your visitors are most frequently online. A good tip here is to set the time to a slightly odd number, so 11:45am is better than 12:00pm as you are likely to catch the attention of someone waiting for lunch, or a lunchtime meeting.
     

    You have full control over who can promote items to your social media accounts. You can specify by group or pick individual members who may not be in those groups.
    Now that you’ve set up the backend, we can get promoting.
    Each item, that is a topic, gallery album, blog entry or article has its own Promote button.

     
    Each post and comment can also be shared individually, which is an easy way to share great content your visitors add to existing conversations.

     
    Clicking this brings up the sharer.

     
    This is where you can customize the text that is sent out to each social media channel. You’ll also notice space to promote this item within your own community in addition (or instead of) Facebook or Twitter, we will explore that shortly.
    The sharer is smart enough to pull attachments already added in the post, and you can upload your own images to be sent. Generally, shared items that have an image get better organic reach than just text alone so you’ll almost always want to choose or add an image. Twitter can use up to 4 images, and Facebook allows 1000 pictures per album, but you’ll never want to upload that many!

     
    Once you’ve filled out your content and picked your images, you can schedule the promotion. Generally, you’ll want to use the auto schedule option as this allows you to just stack up multiple items and let the auto scheduler post the items according to your pre-set schedule. You can also set a specific date and time if you are looking to run a promotion or other time sensitive event.


    The promoted content viewed in Facebook and Twitter
    It’s easy to see the status of your queued and sent items from the moderator view.

     
    This area allows you to see previous promotions and modify pending promotions.
    Earlier, we mentioned that the system has the ability to promote content internally. Promoting items to your own community lets you, the community manager, curate interesting items and comments and present this to your community. This is a great way to allow your visitors to explore content you think they’d enjoy.

     
    Promoting content to your community via Our Picks also allow you to promote content if you cannot or choose not to use social networks. It has the advantage that social networks do not have over a community platform like IPS Community Suite: consistency. The content on your community is always there whereas a social network is all about right here right now. Miss it and you miss out. On your community you can engage and re-engage a subject all you want. 
    Of course, we’ve built a widget that you can drag and drop to most pages to make this curated list more visible.
    IPS Community Suite 4.2 gives you, the site owner and community manager the tools you need to reach out and engage new users already discussing the topics on social media your community covers. With single click sign in and the built in retention functionality the suite offers, you’ll have a powerful way of growing your user base. It furthers that goal by created a list of that promoted content for continual reference and promotion for visitors already on your site.
    We’ve got lots more to discuss on this subject, and in the coming months we’ll be putting together some guides on social media best practices and how to leverage Facebook’s excellent post promotion / pay per click tools to further boost your site’s visibility to social media users.
    We’re here to help you make a success of your community and to give social media users a venue for when they outgrow Facebook.
  10. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, New: Clubs   
    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    We are happy to introduce the next major feature that will be available in IPS Community Suite 4.2 - Clubs.
    Clubs are a brand new way of supporting sub-communities within your site. Many people have requested social group functionality in the past and Clubs are our implementation of this concept. Let's take a look at a few screenshots, and then go over what they are capable of doing.

    The Club directory

    A Club homepage

    Club member listing

    Example of content within a club (topics, in this case)
    There's a lot to digest there! Let's go over the basic functionality.
     
    Club Types
    Four types of club are available:
    Public clubs
    Clubs that anyone can see and participate in without joining. Open club
    Clubs that anyone can see and join. Closed club
    Clubs that anyone can see in the directory, but joining must be approved by a Club Leader or Club Moderator. Non-club-members who view the club will only see the member list - not the recent activity or content areas. Private club
    Clubs that do not show in public, and users must be invited by a Club Leader or Club Moderator As the site admin, you can of course configure which club types can be created and by whom. You could, for example, allow members to create public and open clubs, but allow a "VIP" group to also create Closed and Private clubs.

    Admin configuration option for Club creations
     
    Club Users
    Each club has three levels of user:
    Leader
    A leader has all of the permissions of a moderator, and can add other moderators. They can also add content areas (see below). The club owner is automatically a leader. Moderators
    Moderators, as the name implies, have the ability to moderate content posted within the club. As the site administrator, you can define which moderator tools can be used. You could, for example, prevent any content being deleted from clubs, but allow it to be hidden. Moderators can also remove members from a club. Users
    Anyone else that joins the club.
    Defining the moderator permissions available to club moderators
    Your site administrator and moderators, with the appropriate permissions, are able to moderator content in any Club regardless of whether they are a member of it. 
    Clubs can be created by any user who has permission. As you would expect, this is controlled by our regular permission settings.
    For closed clubs, there's an approval process. Users can request to join and the request must be approved by a leader. Leaders get a notification when a user requests to join; the user gets a notification when their request is approved or denied.

    Approving and declining join requests
     
    Club Content
    Club Leaders can add a variety of content areas to their club - forums, calendars, blogs and so on. It's important to note that these content areas are fully functional just as if they existed as a top-level admin created area. They will appear in search results, activity streams, users can follow them, embed links to them, and so on. If a user has permission to see a forum (for example) within a club it will behave exactly like other forums they see - and the same for all other kinds of content.
    Each content area a leader adds can have a custom title, and will appear in the club navigation. This means, for example, that you can have multiple forums within a club, and give each a different name.

    Adding content areas to a club
     
    Club Custom Fields
    Clubs also support custom fields. Custom fields are defined by the site administrator and can be filled in by Club Owners. The values they enter are shown (along with the club description) on the club homepage.

    Custom fields in a club
    On the Club Directory page, users can filter by the custom club fields.

    Filtering clubs
     
    Club Locations
    Clubs have built-in support for Google Maps, allowing users to specify a physical location for their club. Let's say you run a community for car enthusiasts; each club might be tied to a particular region's meetup. The Club Owner specifies the location when setting up the club, and clubs are then shown on map on the directory page:

    Club locations
    And within a club, the location is shown too:

     
    Club Display
    We offer two ways to display club headers within the club - the standard way, shown in the screenshots you've seen up to this point, but we also have a sidebar option. This is something the admin sets globally for the site, rather than per-club. This is useful where your site design doesn't facilitate another horizontal banner taking up valuable screen real-estate; moving the club banner to the sidebar alleviates this pressure on vertical space.

    Sidebar club style
    Using Clubs in Other Ways
    There's a lot of scope for using clubs beyond allowing users to create their own groups. You do not even have to call them "clubs" if that does not suit your use case. For example, on a company intranet you could rename Clubs to "Departments", and create a private group for each of your main roles. This would allow each department to have its own community, with its own forums, gallery, file sharing and so on, private and separate from other departments.
    Similarly, they'd also work well in situations where you as the site admin want to create entire micro-communities. Take for example a video game publisher. Using Clubs, they could create a micro-community for each of their games, complete with forums, galleries and so forth, and then set the Clubs directory as their overall community homepage. Immediately, they have a setup that hasn't until now been possible out-of-the-box with IPS Community Suite.
     
    We expect our clients will come up with some really innovative uses for the new Club functionality, and we can't wait to see what you do. We'd love to hear your feedback - let us know what you think in the comments.
  11. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, New: Reactions   
    This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.
    IPS Community Suite has long had a reputation system; first we had a simple up/down system, later updated to introduce a Likes system as an alternative. Whichever system you chose to use, it tied in with our reputation system.
    We're pleased to introduce the latest updates to the reputation system, and it's something that has been requested for quite some time: Reactions.
    Quite simply, reactions allow users to offer more fine-grained sentiments towards content than a simple up/down or 'like'. They are now in common usage on social networks, and so users expect to be able to be more nuanced in their response to something they see.
    Let's see how they work in a post, and then cover the options you'll have available.

    What you see above is the default setup for a site that has used the Like system in version 4.1. We include 5 reactions by default:
    Like Thanks Confused Sad Haha If you currently use the older style up/down reputation system, don't fret - you'll still get the new reactions on upgrade, but they'll be disabled by default and instead the new reaction UI will show up/down reactions. This gives you the flexibility to decide which of the new reactions, if any, you want to allow.
    So, those are the basics - but what configuration options can you expect to see? First, you can of course add your own reactions! We expect that beyond the default reactions you'd expect to find, some sites will want reaction types specific to their use-case. On an intranet, you might want to have 'agree' and 'disagree' reactions for staff to use when responding to discussions. On a gaming community, you might replace the icons to be some graphic from a video game that means something to your particular userbase. There's a wealth of possibilities.
    Each reaction you set up can be configured to adjust the original author's reputation count - a reaction can be positive (i.e. award a reputation point), negative (i.e. subtract a reputation point), or neutral (i.e. leave the reputation count unchanged). Our default set won't include any negative reactions, but you are free to configure these and new reactions to suit your own use-case. A user's total reputation count is still shown alongside their content and in their profile, of course.
    If you don't want to use the new reactions for whatever reason, you can disable all of them except Like, and it'll behave just the like 4.1-and-earlier system:

     
    Sites that currently use the up/down system don't show a list of names of users, and instead show an overall reputation score for the content. With the new reaction system, you can enable this even if you don't use up/down reactions. This is great if you plan to use reactions as, for example, an agree/disagree system, or where the content score is more important to your site than the individual reaction types.

    How the reaction UI looks with the 'count only' setting enabled
    As you'd expect, you can click individual reaction counts (or the overall reputation score, if you enable that setting) to view who reacted to the content. This remains a permission setting that you can apply per-group.

    On touch devices, on-hover functionality is not suitable, and so for these devices the reactions UI looks like this:

    Reactions play well with all areas of the suite, including Recommended Replies:

    ...and activity streams...

    ...and a couple of places we aren't quite ready to reveal yet  
     
    We hope you're looking forward to this new feature as much as we are. It's already been a hit on our internal testing site, and we're looking forward to seeing how clients customize it for use on their own community.
    Developer note: Reactions are one of two new features (the other currently unannounced) so far that make use of PHP Traits.
  12. Like
    xtech reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Security and Privacy   
    IPS is always auditing our software to improve security at the code-level but these improvements are not really visible to you even though they protect your site all the time. We are implementing some new features that you can use to enhance the security and privacy of your site. Many of these features depend on your personal preferences, local laws, or the policies of your own organization. Here is a list of what's new:
    Birthday Control

    You may wish to make birthday viewing only show to admins or you can completely disable prompting for a birthday if you consider that information sensitive.
    Member Delete Name Retention
    When deleting a member in the AdminCP, if you choose to keep their posts the system currently names the posts with a display name of "Guest user" where user is the previous display name of the member you deleted. You can how choose to retain their name in posts or not so you can either have it as it is now or simple "Guest" on member delete.
    Password Strength

    Password Strength
    You now have two new options for password: show a strength meter and require strong passwords. You can choose to either just show the meter as a suggestion or you can also choose to enforce a password strength. You can choose between three levels of password enforcement parameters depending on how strict you choose to be.
    Guest Terms Banner

    Guest Terms Banner
    There is a new option to show a guest terms of service banner when a new visitor first visits your site. You can set the text shown in the display and you can also put in two special tags to automatically link to your Terms of Service or Privacy Policy page.
    Age Restrictions

    Age Prompt
    We have always had COPPA support in the Suite but we have extended this to be a more generic age restriction feature. You can now set your site to reject registrations from anyone under a certain age you specify. For privacy, the birthday entered on registration is only used to calculate permission and is never stored.
     
    This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.
  13. Like
    xtech reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Word and Link Filters   
    We are changing the existing Profanity Filters feature to become the new Word Filters feature. This change will allow you to define words that will initiate a moderator review before content is posted. With creative use of this new feature you can actually have the Suite self-moderate certain posts.
    Right now the Profanity Filters are pretty basic. If you enter "stopword" you can have it change to *****. That's fine for basic profanity but sometimes you want to do other actions with a word. Perhaps someone might mention a competitor, you see common spam words, or you run a site targeted to children and want fine control over what is posted. There are a lot of reasons a simple replace word with *** might not be what you want.
    Word Filters introduce an option to let you say "stopword" places a post in moderation queue.

    Word Filters
    So now you can define a list of words that are not necessarily profanity but are words you want to review if they are posted.
    We have also extended this logic to the URL Filters which are now just called Links in the AdminCP configuration. You can now disallow all links and have a post go to approval if someone does post a link. This is also useful for sites where you need really tight control on content either for security or privacy reasons.

    Link Options
    With the new Links feature you can also set allow/disallow list of allows links and if someone posts a link outside those lists (depending on your mode) the post will go into review.
    We hope these features allow you to introduce a bit of automatic moderation to your community and you can come up with creative ways to capture posts that need review either for security, privacy, or just keeping things in order.
     
     This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.
  14. Like
    xtech reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Custom RSS Feeds   
    There are now two ways to get outbound RSS feeds in IPS Community Suite: Activity Streams and a new Custom RSS Feeds feature we are introducing.
    Every Activity Stream you create also creates a related RSS feed. However, Activity Streams take into account recent activity and unread status per-user which you may not want if you want a simple, raw feed of content by date. The new RSS Feeds feature uses similar filter settings to Activity Streams but does a traditional by-date approach to the feed. It also only reports on the initial creation of a content item and does not update based on replies.

    Configure RSS Feeds
    You can finely select various content settings including selecting just certain categories within an application. So you might create an RSS feed that includes only content from an announcements forum and your blog section which would then be a total feed of all the news on your site.
    RSS feeds are useful in the traditional sense for people to subscribe to a feed on your site but they are also useful for integration. Many clients use RSS feeds to pull content into external sources to embed content on a different site, mobile app, or other systems. For those of you looking for even tighter integration with external systems, be sure to check out our REST API.
     
    This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.
  15. Like
    xtech reacted to Charles for an entry, New: Tag Quick Edit   
    Tags are a powerful feature in IPS Community Suite 4 and we have seen clients using them in many ways to enhance content discovery on their site. Adding tags to an item is quite easy but modifying them after the fact requires you to edit the root content item. Not only is this tedious but it also then shows an edited-by line for that item even if all you did was change a tag.
    To make this process more user friendly we now have the ability to quickly edit tags when viewing any content item. When you view an item that has tags enabled and you have permission to edit then you will see a link to edit tags.

    Tag Quick Edit
    That brings up an input box where you can manage your item tags without leaving the page to a full edit screen.

    Tag Quick Edit Input
    We have been testing the feature for a few weeks internally and it has already saved us time as we tag our discussions. But beyond that, and I think more important, is the fact that we find we are using tags more often. More use means more organization and filter possibilities of your content which is a great thing for busy, data-drive communities.
    So we hope that not only will controlling your tags be faster an easier but you too find you use the tagging feature more often with this small but useful change.
     
    This change will be in version 4.1.17 which is scheduled to be released in early December 2016.
  16. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, Introducing our new Developers area   
    I'm pleased to announce we're finally ready to open our new Developers area. The aim of this project has been to improve our existing developer documentation by building a central place to contain it, as well as update and expand the content available.
    As of today, we have the regular documentation and REST API documentation ready to use. Over the coming weeks and months, we'll be expanding what's available further, going into more detail about the tools available within the framework. We've also started work on comprehensive Getting Started guides, that will walk you through simple developer projects from start to finish - these will be available soon, once they're complete.
    If there's a particular aspect of IPS4 development that you don't feel is adequately catered for right now, please let us know! This will help us direct our efforts to the most useful places.
    Enjoy!
  17. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, Theme Tip: Color coding tags   
    We were recently asked if it's possible to color code tags - the customer in question used tags as statuses on topics, and so wanted 'resolved' to be green, and so on. Despite being a great idea, this isn't something that is currently possible 'out of the box' - although we'll add it to our internal feature idea list to follow up on later!
    But just because it isn't built in, that doesn't mean it isn't possible! In fact, with a little CSS, this is quite easy to achieve now.
     
    Writing a CSS selector
    We can do this by writing a CSS selector that matches the tag URL for the tag we want to style - a handy way to use CSS that can be applied to lots of other ideas within the suite!
    Lets say we have a tag called 'resolved', and we want to make it green. Add the following CSS to your custom.css file:
    .ipsTags a[href*="/tags/resolved/"] { background: SeaGreen; } html[dir="ltr"] .ipsTags a[href*="/tags/resolved/"]:before { border-color: transparent SeaGreen transparent transparent; } The first style is the main part of the tag element; the second matches the :before pseudo-selector which we use to make the 'point' of the tag.
    Another tag we'll style is called 'needs help'. In this case, there's spaces in the name, which are represented by the + symbol in the URL (since it's URL-encoded). We'll make it purple this time:
    .ipsTags a[href*="/tags/needs+help/"] { background: Purple; } html[dir="ltr"] .ipsTags a[href*="/tags/needs+help/"]:before { border-color: transparent Purple transparent transparent; }  
     
    Supporting prefixes
    This little CSS snippet won't change prefixes, however - they'll still be shown in the default color (specified by your theme settings). If you want to change prefixes too, you need to adjust the CSS as follows - replace the previous CSS with this version:
    .ipsTags a[href*="/tags/needs+help/"], a.ipsTag_prefix[href*="?tags=needs+help"] { background: Purple; } html[dir="ltr"] .ipsTags a[href*="/tags/needs+help/"]:before, html[dir="ltr"] a.ipsTag_prefix[href*="?tags=needs+help"]:before { border-color: transparent Purple transparent transparent; } (Note: Notice the slightly different string we're matching in the href attribute; once you upgrade to 4.1.14, this won't be necessary - both selectors can use the same href format, e.g. /tags/needs+help/. Prior to 4.1.14, tags and prefixes used slightly different URL formats.)
    That's it - now everything looks correct!
     

    Topic View
     
     

    Forum View
     
  18. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, Theme Tip: Create a per-forum feed block   
    An enterprise customer recently asked us how to have a different feed block for each of their forums. Their goal was to have each forum show a 'popular topics' block containing topics only from that particular forum. Unfortunately this isn't possible using the standard block manager right now, since each view is treated as one configuration. That means that any blocks added to forum view will show for all forums.
    However, as usual in IPS4, some of the more advanced power under the hood does allow you to achieve the same goal - in this case, by using HTML Logic. This technique uses a similar idea to the one I outlined in the Dynamic-ish Forum Feeds blog in May.
     
    Creating conditional blocks
    The way we would implement this functionality is by creating a custom block that is simply a wrapper for other blocks. This wrapper block will contain HTML Logic that determines which feed block to show, based on some information about the current page.
    The first step would be to create standard feed blocks for each of the forums to which this should apply. In our example we're creating 'popular topics' blocks, but it could be anything you wish - the principle will remain the same. Another idea would be to create a 'Topics from other forums' block for each of your forums, whereby in the block configuration, you set it to include topics from all forums except the one in which it will be displayed - a good way of cross-promoting your topics.
    In order to include the blocks later, set the template key of each to be forum_x, where x is the ID of the forum in which you will display the block.
     
    Once we've created a block for each forum, the next step is to create our wrapper block, which should be a custom block set to use Manual HTML, with the following code:
    {{if request.app == 'forums' && request.module == 'forums'}} {{$id = \IPS\Request::i()->id;}} {block="forum_{$id}"} {{endif}} What's happening here is we're checking the app and module from the page URL are both 'forums', which indicates we're in forum view. We then use the {block} tag to insert the appropriate block based on the ID parameter from the URL.
    To use this block, simply save it, then using the Block Manager on the front-end, drag it into the desired location in your forum view.
    I hope this quick suggestion gives you some ideas for other ways to create blocks that show contextually depending on what the user is viewing. If you have ideas for interesting ways to use this technique, share them in the comments!
  19. Like
    xtech reacted to Charles for an entry, Pages Improvements   
    Our Pages CMS is one of our most popular applications as we are continuing to improve it based on feedback. New in 4.1.13 includes:
    Designer’s Mode HTML Editing
    This update allows you to edit your HTML mode pages inside the designer's mode file system. Any edits you make, once saved in your text editor are instantly available which makes it much faster to build HTML pages with Pages.

     
    Database Template Improvements
    We listened to a lot of feedback about templating within the AdminCP for Pages and one common request was for a way to delete a group of database templates and to rename those groups. When you import databases, the template group names are created unique but you may want to change this to something more memorable. You will see here that the dialog also shows you which databases this template is used.

     
    Page titles when using databases
    Currently, when you add a database to a page, the page title is replaced with the database name. This may not always be desirable, and you may want the page title to remain in all database URLs (such as record view). There is now an option for this per database.

    Relational Field Improvements
    Now when you create a relational link between databases, you can opt to show which records link to the relational record. To give you an example, say you had a database for actors, and a database for movies, and you created a link on the actors record to show which movies they star in; now when viewing the movie, it will show you a list of the actors.

     
    More Filterable Fields
    We added both "Date" and "YesNo" field types to be filterable when viewing a list of records. When you use the Date type, you can select a date range for listing articles.

    We also added the ability to use any custom field set as filterable to be used when creating a database feed widget.

     
    Unique Fields
    Another popular request was to allow a way to force unique entries for custom fields. This means that when enabled, only one record per database can have the same value. This is enabled when creating or editing a field.

     
    Other improvements
    You can now quickly delete an entire media folder via the AdminCP.

    You can now quickly see which databases are used on which pages via the AdminCP page list.

     
    And we added a way to programatically fetch a custom field value via the $record object. Currently, you need to use something like $record->field_12 which works well until you import that database to another installation. The fields are renumbered so this syntax no longer works. We made it possible to use the field key like so $record->field_{my_key_name_here}. Not only does this solve the issue when importing databases, it is also much more readable and easier to remember!

  20. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, New in 4.1.12: Post preview   
    We are currently beta testing our next release, 4.1.12, which contains hundreds of bug fixes, dozens of improvements, as well as a handful of new features. I wanted to introduce one of those new features: post preview.
    Long-time users of our software will know that a post preview function was a standard feature, but we took the decision to not include it in the initial IPS4 release. It had a couple of drawbacks:
    it only applied to certain pages, such as topic view - other WYSIWYG editors simply didn't get a preview the workflow wasn't very good for modern web apps, requiring a round-trip to the server and a full page refresh When IPS4 was released, we felt that the built-in rendering of the editor was a sufficient preview of how the end result would appear. However, while analyzing ongoing customer and user feedback for IPS4 in its first year of release, we have seen that a preview still has a use. There are some circumstances when a true WYSIWYG experience is just not possible such as using more advanced formatting (like LaTeX) or when admins create certain custom editor plugins.
    As a result, we rethought post preview. We wanted to ensure that all editors could be previewed, and that it didn't have a clunky workflow. In addition, since IPS4 uses a responsive theme, we wanted to give users the opportunity to preview how their post would look on different devices.
    Here's the result, and what will be available in 4.1.12:

    Post preview in IPS Community Suite 4.1.12
    The preview is shown by clicking a new button on the toolbar (meaning it can be moved, removed, etc. just like the other default buttons). When the preview loads, the toolbar allows the user to resize it to different device sizes. If they are on desktop, they can also view it at tablet at phone sizes; on a tablet, it can also be viewed at phone size.
    So now we not only show a true preview of what content will look like when posted, but we also allow you to preview how it will look on other devices. Of course that preview is just a best-guess since different devices have different window sizes but it does give you an idea.
    We hope this reimagining of an old feature for a more modern web will please end-users and make posting content a more accurate process. Stay tuned for more updates on what's included in 4.1.12!
    Version 4.1.12 is currently in beta testing and should be released in the next two weeks.
  21. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, Theme Tip: Using Pages blocks anywhere   
    Blocks are an extremely popular feature in IPS4, used by a huge number of customers to great effect. They range from feeds of topics, to statistics, to custom blocks that can contain anything you wish. They're a great way to add dynamic content to your community theme.
    What many people don't know is that blocks you create with Pages can be used anywhere in your theme, not just in the designated block containers (in the header, footer & sidebar).
     
    The {block} tag
    It's really easy to do so. Here's the tag you'd use:
    {block="block_key"} That's it! The block_key is the one you specify when you're creating the block in Pages (if you don't specify one manually, Pages will auto-generate one for you).
     
    Where can you use them?
    Block tags can be used anywhere that template logic is supported. That includes:
    Theme templates Pages page content Other kinds of templates (e.g. database templates) Even within other blocks!  
    What can you do with them?
    The obvious benefit of blocks is that they are reusable, so in any situation where you need the same content duplicated, it makes sense to put the content in a custom block instead, and simply insert it wherever needed. Then if you need to update the content later, you have one place to do so. Custom menus are a great example of reusing blocks; since blocks have full use of template logic, you can build your menu HTML in a block, use HTML Logic to highlight the correct item, and insert the menu block on each of your pages. We use this approach on our feature tour section menu. Here's a snippet of the menu block HTML for that page:
    <nav id='elTourNav'> <div class='container'> <ul class='ipsList_inline'> <li><a href='/features/apps' {{if \IPS\Request::i()->path == 'features/apps'}}class='sSelected'{{endif}}>Our Apps</a></li> <li><a href='/features/engagement' {{if \IPS\Request::i()->path == 'features/engagement'}}class='sSelected'{{endif}}>Engagement</a></li> <!-- ... --> </ul> </div> </nav>  
    Blocks are useful beyond that, though. A couple of weeks ago, we showed you how to use HTML Logic to only show content to certain groups. Using blocks is actually an easier way to do this - simply add the content to a custom block, then check the groups who should see it. We use this technique to show a 'welcome to our community' message to guests on our own community. We created our welcome message as a custom Pages block, set it so that only guests have permission to view it, and then added it to our template header. Simple, effective and easy to manage.
    That's just two ways you can use blocks - there's many other creative users too! If you've used blocks in an interesting way, share your example in the comments!
  22. Like
    xtech reacted to Rikki for an entry, Theme Tip: Use HTML logic to display content to specific groups   
    HTML Logic is our name for the additional tags available in IPS4's templates that allow runtime logic to be executed. It comprises if/then/else statements as well as loops and more.
    Since HTML Logic has access to all of the underlying PHP framework in IPS4, it's very powerful and a lot can be achieved with it. One common use is to limit certain content within a template to particular member groups. Let's see how that might be done.
     
    Showing or hiding content only to guests
    We'll first look at a simpler idea: showing or hiding content specifically to guests (i.e. anyone who isn't logged in). Within IPS4, the \IPS\Member::loggedIn() object contains information about the current user. Guests always have a member_id of NULL (i.e. no value), so we can simply check that value in our logic tag:
    {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_id === NULL}} This content *only* shows to guests, since they have a NULL member_id. {{endif}} {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_id}} This content *only* shows to logged-in users since their member_id is a number, which will equal true. {{endif}}  
    Showing content only to specific groups
    Let's go a bit further and this time show content to specific (primary) member groups. First, you need to get the IDs for the group(s) you want to deal with. You can find this by editing the group in the AdminCP, and making a note of the id parameter in the URL. On my installation, the Administrator group is ID 4 so we'll use that in our example.
    Once again, we're using the \IPS\Member::loggedIn() object, but this time we're using the member_group_id property.
    {{if \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id === 4}} This content only shows to members in the "Administrators" group (ID 4 in our example) {{endif}}  
    Working with multiple groups at once
    Following the code above, you could simply repeat the check against \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id several times, for each ID you want to allow. However, since our templates allow arbitrary PHP expressions to be used, there's a neater way: use an array of member group IDs you want to allow, and check against that using PHP's in_array function. Here's an example where we only show content to group IDs 2, 4 and 6:
    {{if in_array( \IPS\Member::loggedIn()->member_group_id, array( 2, 4, 6 ) )}} This content only shows to members in groups with the ID 2, 4 or 6. {{endif}}  
    Have a request for a theme tip? Let us know in the comments and we'll try and help out in a future tip! 
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