We're thrilled to announce that Invision Community 4.4 is available to download now.
After months of development, over 1650 separate code commits and quite a few mugs of questionable coffee you can now get your hands on the beta release from the client centre.
Not our office
Invision Community 4.4 brings numerous new features, over 450 bug fixes and a lot of refinement.
We've been talking about the highlights since September on our blog.
Here's a recap of all that we've added.
We'd love to know which is your favourite feature so far!
Braintree is a payment gateway provided by PayPal which provides some great additional features for PayPal transactions including a significantly improved recurring payments model. We are delighted to be bringing full support for Braintree for Commerce in Invision Community 4.4.
What is Braintree?
Braintree is a payment gateway provided by PayPal which supports taking payments by credit cards (including Apple Pay and Google Pay) and Venmo as well as PayPal, providing a good option for communities wanting to use a single payment gateway, and also brings improved functionality for recurring PayPal transactions.
For PayPal transactions, there are no additional fees and the checkout experience uses the normal PayPal experience your customers are used to.
Recurring PayPal Improvements
Recurring payments / Billing Agreements in PayPal have up until now been initiated by PayPal. Invision Community tells PayPal what the renewal terms of a purchase are, but then it's up to PayPal to take that payment and notify your community when it succeeds (or fails).
This comes with a number of limitations and problems. It makes it difficult for you as an admin to modify an existing purchase or for the customer to upgrade/downgrade. It also means the customer has to create separate Billing Agreements for each purchase. Most significantly though, it means if there is a delay in receiving the payment (such as an expired card) it is sometimes unclear what should happen on your community's end, and how it can be resolved if/when the payment is received.
Other payment gateways work the other way around. When a customer pays by card, for example, they have the option of storing their card details. Later, if they make another purchase or a renewal invoice is generated, Invision Community can tell the gateway to recharge the same card - and if it fails, allow the customer to provide an alternative payment method. This allow both you and your customers to have much greater control, and is much more reliable.
Braintree resolves this by allowing customers when paying with PayPal to save their PayPal account in the same way they would save a credit card on file. When paying with PayPal, users will see a simple checkbox which, if checked, will allow future payments to be taken with PayPal automatically.
Storing PayPal Accounts for Recurring Payments
In addition to an improved checkout experience, our integration with Braintree supports:
Taking payments by Credit Card, including 3DSecure checking and the ability for customer to store card details on file. Braintree uses a fully PCI-compliant method of taking card details in a way that ensures the card information never reaches your server.
Apple Pay and Google Pay
Venmo, which also allows storing accounts in the same way as PayPal accounts.
Offering PayPal Credit
Support for Braintree's Advanced Fraud Tools
A Disputed PayPal Transaction
Existing Setups and Upgrading
The existing PayPal gateway will continue to be available for basic PayPal integration, and your existing set up will continue to work exactly as it does now after upgrading.
If you are using PayPal, especially if you are using Billing Agreements, we strongly recommend switching to Braintree after upgrading. While it isn't possible to convert existing Billing Agreements, you can allow existing ones to continue to work and use Braintree for new purchases.
Please note that while existing setups will work fine, from 4.4 it will no longer be possible to set up a new PayPal method with either Billing Agreements, or to take payments by card, as PayPal has deprecated the API this was using in favour of Braintree and it can no longer be enabled on new accounts.
As mentioned though, this does not affect any existing setups, which, if you do not switch to Braintree, will continue to work as they do now.
This blog is about our upcoming release Invision Community 4.4.
Do you recall that scene in Harry Potter where young Harry is sitting in his Uncle’s living room when hundreds of letters from Hogwarts burst through the fireplace, filling the room?
Sometimes, when you log into the administrator’s control panel, it can feel a bit like that.
As the administration control panel has evolved, there has been more of a need to display notifications, alerts and warnings to the administrators.
There are several things which may require an administrator's attention which may show a notice on the AdminCP dashboard, a banner on the community, or send an email. For example:
When a new version of Invision Community is released.
A new member registers and requires administrator validation.
A configuration issue is detected, for example if dangerous PHP functions are enabled on the server.
There are items Commerce which require manual action, such as transactions pending manual approval or items to be shipped.
Up until now, each such area would manage how these notifications show and are sent independently. In 4.4 we have introduced a new section of the AdminCP which shows all things which require administrator attention in one place, easily accessible from any AdminCP page.
AdminCP Notification Menu
Clicking on any of these notifications will take you to the relevant area of the AdminCP, or there is also a full-screen Notification Center which allows you to quickly take common actions such as approving members.
AdminCP Notification Center
While the best approach is to take the appropriate action (which will automatically dismiss the notification) so you always have an empty Notification Center, most notification types can be hidden, either temporarily on a per-notification basis by clicking the cross in the top-right, or administrators can hide all notifications of a certain type from their individual settings. Administrators can also choose which type of notifications to receive an email notification about.
Each notification has a severity indicated by the coloured bar on the side and certain notifications can also show banners either across the AdminCP, or also on the front-end (to administrators).
Notifications group automatically (so for example, if there are 5 members pending approval, you will see 1 notification rather than 5 separate ones) and where appropriate each administrator can choose if they want to receive a single email, or a separate email with each occurrence.
Now you won't miss an invitation to Hogwarts, or anything important again.
This is a blog about our upcoming Invision Community 4.4 release, due later this year.