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OXID eShop Enterprise and Professional Edition ready to use with PHP 5.5 + 5.6

As you might know, parts of the core code of our commercial products OXID eShop Enterprise and Professional Edition are encrypted using the application Zend Guard. Technically, this encryption is embedded in our continuous integration process that at least runs every time we prepare a new OXID eShop release. With the existing Zend Guard v6 we could support the encryption for PHP versions 5.3 and 5.4 so far; an encryption for higher PHP versions wasn’t possible with this version of Zend Guard.

However, PHP 5.3 has reached his end of lifetime in summer last year, and PHP 5.4’s EOL will follow shortly (although I am afraid both series will be used by most of the hosting providers much longer…) That’s why we got a lot of requests by integration partners and clients to support the present PHP versions, and finally, on 1st of April in this year (no folly!), Zend came up with Zend Guard version 7, ready to encrypt files for use with PHP 5.5 and 5.6.

We immediately embedded Zend Guard version 7 for PHP 5.5 and 5.6 into our continuous integration process during one of the last sprints, and theoretically were able to deliver from OXID eShop versions 5.2.4 (Enterprise) and 4.9.4 (Professional) on.

Alone, we didn’t have a chance to test extensively. So if you need to have an OXID eShop version Enterprise or Professional Edition prepared for use with PHP 5.5 or 5.6 at the moment, please turn to our support team that will be happy to send the requested files. Any response is very welcome, just call it a beta phase if you want 😉

Just a hint, if you as a coder of OXID extensions make use of Zend Guard and face the same issue: Zend Guard version 7 accepts the serial number of the former version 6. Unfortunately, it is not downwards compatible; so if you want to encrypt your modules for use with PHP 5.5 and 5.6, please use Zend Guard 7. For extensions for use with PHP 5.3 and 5.4, Zend Guard version 6 is fine.

Author

florian_auer_square_200x200swFlorian Auer is Product Owner at OXID eSales AG. Since 2003 he is working in the area of web development and professional services, and can look back on a wide range of experience in this field – from software engineering to project management. Follow him on Twitter (oxid_florian) to get notified about product updates and interesting facts about the e-commerce world.

Ina El-Kadhi, OXID Head of Development

OXID Admin NG – Alpha Release

An alpha version/developer preview of the new OXID Admin NG (Admin Next Generation) based on the Symfony 2 framework has been released today. From now on we will test the alpha in cooperation with selected partners and continue the developing process considering their precious feedback – thanks to all, who participate.

The following text passages (by Admin NG Product Owner Pierluigi Meloni, taken from the documentation) give you some insights into this project.

Main focus
The main focus of this admin project is set on what everything is really about, the pure e-Commerce domain. The intention is to model a clean and pure representation of this domain, where business logic and application logic are completely separated, so that the domain representation has no application related dependencies. It should also be easily possible to have access to this business logic without depending on a certain framework. To master this challenge we chose a domain-driven approach.

For the first release version of the Admin NG by domain we mean everything that deals with products and product management. We invested lots of time in evaluating and designing models that represent the domain around products activity. Furthermore this project is not built upon the OXID eShop code base. A new application has been created by using the Symfony 2 framework. The application uses a layered architecture as shown in the following graphic.

GrafikThe Admin NG is an application that is to be run in parallel to the OXID eShop.

A big challenge hereby is that this new application uses the same database as the current eShop to facilitate the adminstration of the eShop via the new Admin NG. So the Admin NG has to read the current database and produce more or less the same output the admin currently integrated into the OXID eShop does.

REST Interface
One objective is to make the business logic layer easily accessible. To realize this REST interfaces will be implemented. Having well defined REST interfaces creates many opportunities for interacting systems like creating custom GUIs for shop front and back ends, mobile apps, ERP or PIM systems, stand-alone checkouts and so on.

So far the alpha version realizes one REST interface for categories as a proof of concept.

Further domains
After finishing the product management we will turn our focus on the representation of another part of the e-Commerce domain. Further parts are order management, checkout processes and so on.

Current admin functionality
This project does not intend to replace the current admin of the OXID eShop completely. The main focus is set on pure e-Commerce business logic rather than on managing a CMS or a web shop application. Yet this is not impossible, as the new application will be modularized or bundled. It will be possible to write bundles for the new admin back end to access the eShop database, so every feature of the current admin could easily be reimplemented and improved. An example for such a bundle (although it is not properly bundled yet, but will be in near future) is the categories management. It is already realized in the new application and can be used.

AuthorIna El-Kahdi, OXID Head of Development
Ina El-Kadhi has learnt all the facets of software development first hand, with her 15 years diverse experience in the business field as developer, chief software architect, (agile) team leader, requirements engineer, product manager up to contributing member of senior management. A qualified Scrum Product Owner and Master, Head of Development at OXID repsonsible for all core platform products.

Releasing OXID eShop patches for all supported series, new ERP interface, creditPass module and PayPal module versions

We are happy to inform you that new patch releases for OXID eShop all supported versions and editions are available. Also, there are new versions of our generic SOAP-ERP connector as well as new Creditpass and PayPal modules.

OXID eShop version 4.7.14 (Community and Professional Edition) and OXID eShop 5.0.14 (Enterprise Edition)
This release will mark the end of life of this series: 4.7 and 5.0 will not be supported any longer, 4.7.14 and 5.0.14 will be the last patch for this series. This patch basically contains some security improvements, you will find all information about it in the release notes at OXIDforge.

OXID eShop version 4.8.8 (CE and PE) and OXID eShop 5.1.8 (EE)
This is just a regular patch release for the legacy branch. This patch contains some security improvements, please read all about the changes in the release notes at OXIDforge.

OXID eShop version 4.9.1 (CE and PE) and OXID eShop 5.2.1 (EE)
The first regular patch release for the 4.9/5.2 series that started just a month ago with 4.9.0/5.2.0. Some bug fixes, no changes in the templates. Please read the release notes.

ERP Connector 2.14.0
The ERP Connector, available for OXID eShop PE and EE, is now compatible to the OXID eShop series 4.9/5.2 database schema. It is available at OXID eXchange.

OXID eFire extension creditPass 3.0.1
There were some bug fixes made on the OXID eFire extension creditPass, also this module is now compatible to the new OXID eShop versions. The new version of this module is available at OXID eXchange as well.

OXID eFire extension PayPal 3.2.1
Have you heard about the poodlebleed bug in SSLv3? Well, this new module version addresses exactly this vulnerability and changes the encryption technology from SSL to the more secure TLS. Also, this new module version is compatible with the latest OXID eShop releases and can be downloaded from OXID eXchange. Additionally, we added the poodle fix to version 3.1.2 and 3.0.3.

 


 

Marco SteinhäuserIn e-commerce since 2000, working for OXID eSales since 2006 starting at support dept, taking care about OXID’s community management since October 2008. Father of three boys, passionate about i18n, l10n, guitar playing and archery. Get in touch.

Ina El-Kadhi, OXID Head of Development

Salutations from the Development team

On the pulse: the 4.9/5.2 of OXID eShop final release is fresh out on the market. We want to bring up two crucial points from our developers perspective relating to our new product. Firstly, we have continued to work on improving the performance and could achieve enhancements comparative to Version 5.1. Likewise we have been successful in adapting the multi-client capabilities, so there is right now the possibility of creating over a 1,000 subshops per mastershop.
The performance of the multishop concept is clearly better than what went before. As evidence measurements and key figures from a performance and quality report will yet again be published at post release.

Step by Step remain State of the Art
What remains true about the program from OXID: a lean core with exemplary performance, quality, scalability, upgradability, and adaptability. Of course our customers, partners, and developers remain central to our thinking with the timely phasing out of changes like the legacy modules, and offering support for the transference process. Along with the Release 4.9/5.2 comes the OXID Software Development Kit Part 2 with Coding Guidelines (PSR), so that proprietary development with the same standards as OXID software can be written and base quality security implemented. We would like to take this opportunity to thank for the contributions. Some of them such as the improved Carrier-Tracking could be merged into OXID eShop.

Prior/post release – same game
For us in the development team it goes on with becoming a good deal closer to the next step, so we can implement the new admin at the basis of Symfony to the years end.

Find out more about the current OXID eShop Version in the release notes on OXIDforge.

Ina El-Kahdi, OXID Head of DevelopmentAuthor
Ina El-Kadhi has learnt all the facets of software development first hand, with her 15 years diverse experience in the business field as developer, chief software architect, (agile) team leader, requirements engineer, product manager up to contributing member of senior management. A qualified Scrum Product Owner and Master, Head of Development at OXID repsonsible for all core platform products.

OXID eShop Version 5.1/4.8 Beta Released

Ina El-KhadiWe are nearly finished with developing OXID eShop version 5.1 (Enterprise Edition) and version 4.8 (Professional and Community Edition) and would like to invite you to beta test the changes we have made.

You might have noticed during the last few months that we are about to consolidate the software kernel, clean it up where possible, create a more solid infrastructure and make it easier to develop your own extensions.

Here is what has been changed basically:

 

Widgets
Widgets have been introduced in OXID eShop version 4.7 and can be loaded everywhere you want in your website layout. They can load content regardless of whether a specific variable is available on this page or not. Now we added 33% more of them to enable a higher performance if using varnish and a more flexible development with widgets.

Diagnostics tool
In the service area of the admin panel we added a tool for diagnostics including the formerly known “oxchkversion”. This tool collects relevant information about the shop installation and the server and might be helpful before and after updating, for installing modules or trouble-shooting.

Streamlined language files
The files with the language keys have been significantly streamlined (at least for the front end) to reduce the number of the keys. So we removed duplicate entries, reduced the usage of language key mapping to zero (the functionality is still there) and introduced solutions for the efficient usage of suffixes such as colons and arguments. We will also provide a tool for scanning your template files for old language keys and turning them into the new ones.

SEPA
The classical direct debit will expire on February 1st, 2014 and will be replaced by the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) procedure. For this reason, bank accounts received an IBAN and a BIC code for international money transfer. From OXID eShop version 4.8/5.1 on, these codes will be validated in addition to the legacy bank account codes.

Additional messages in the fourth checkout step
In the fourth checkout step, we added two additional messages: The foreign purchaser will be pointed to the fact that an additional fee could be demanded by the customs service; for those who choose cash on delivery as a payment service the message will appear that the messenger might demand an extra fee.

If you’re interested in more details please turn to this page on OXIDforge wiki that will be supplemented step-by-step during the beta phase
http://wiki.oxidforge.org/Downloads/4.8.0_5.1.0

This beta release is a feature freeze: during the beta phase we will only work on possible bugs.

As always for a beta version: be careful with using it as it is not intended to be used in productive mode. Also, there will not be any update scripts to or from this beta version.

Please download OXID eShop version 4.8 beta from OXID eXchange. By clicking on “Download additional file” you’ll receive an SQL script for updating your existing database to this beta version in order to check your system including all product items, categories, settings etc.

Thanks in advance, we’re looking forward to your feedback!

R.I.P. OXID eShop Version 4.5

Yesterday we published the last patch release 4.5.12 (working title: “R.I.P. patch”) of the discontinued OXID eShop series 4.5.

OXID eShop series 4.5 was published in April 2011 and introduced the stunning new theme “Azure”, as well as support for unlimited multi-lingual shops and module/theme specific configurations.

As was announced earlier this year, we will supply patches for previous versions of OXID eShop, and with the release of Enterprise Edition 5.0 and Professional/Community Edition 4.7, 4.6 now becomes the “previous” version. Please note that this is not only valid for bug fixes published in patch releases for 4.5 series: it also applies to support services, so we kindly request our clients, users and partner agencies to consider an update to your shopping cart installation. All update packages can be downloaded from OXID forge for the Community Edition. Users of an Enterprise or Professional edition have been informed via email.

Roadmap 4.7/5.0 released

To carry on the spirit of collaboration with our customers and our community as well as a transparent software development, we have published the Roadmap for OXID eShop 4.7/5.0. This will help developers and partners to plan for changes and upcoming new features that may require changes in their shop architecture.

With the upcoming release we decided to focus feature-wise on Enterprise Edition to better respond to new market developments and our customers’ needs. As this gives a whole new direction to the product we proudly call this new generation of OXID eShop 5.0. Professional and Community Edition, in release 4.7, benefit from essential changes in the software (OXID framework and core), too.

Please find the roadmap here: http://www.oxid-esales.com/en/products/facts/preview.html

We are always happy about feedback. Let us know what you think in the comments or our Forum.

Stay tuned for rollout plans and timing on this blog.

Quality Report for OXID eShop 4.6 has been published

We are happy to announce that Quality Report for OXID eShop 4.6 has been prepared and finalized by quality assurance team and is now published. (for download see below)

In our quality report we analyze and interprete the most important quality control measures of OXID eShop and draw comparisons between current and previous versions of the platform. OXID Quality assurance team makes big efforts to ensure that OXID eShop in every new version provides our customers with ever higher quality.

The results are reflected in the quality report: you will find some important software quality measures of OXID eShop 4.6.0. like code coverage, bug tracking /fixing process, bug status statistics, statistics about implemented improvements for performance, and also results of performance tests.

We are especially proud to announce that – despite the steady growth of the source code – we are able to keep the code coverage of our unit tests above 90%!

From now on we will continue to issue a quality report for each major and minor release. Reports appear some time after the release of the software so we can collect and evaluate more data from the final version. This way we hold ourselves accountable for the quality of the released product and provide you with the most relevant information.

On this occasion and on behalf of all QA team I’d like to say a big thank you to our active and loyal community for continuously sharing with us your experience with OXID eShop. Please continue to send feedback and help us improve the quality of our products even further!

Download your personal copy of OXID eShop Quality Report 4.6.0 here.

OXID eShop Version 4.6.0 Released

By the end of last week, we proudly published the final release of OXID eShop version 4.6.0 providing a bunch of new and useful features such as downloadable products, RDFa support as well as improvements under the hood for module handling, and another performance boost.

Downloadable Products
The shop owner, with downloadable products, can offer for example software, photographs, mp3s or document templates. A client purchasing such a type of downloadable product, obtains the associated files. This functionality allows many different business models such as download platforms or App-stores. Even mixed shopping carts containing physical as well as downloadable products are possible.

OXID goes semantic web with RDFa and GoodRelations
With Rich Snippets, based on RDFa and the vocabulary from GoodRelations, data on pages will be allocated in a well-structured format for machines such as search engine robots. We are concerned with the fact that search engines should appreciate it – maybe with a better ranking? 🙂

Improved module handling
There’s now an extended menu called “Extensions”, containing themes and modules. The shop automatically lists all installed modules here. A standardized meta file will provide all relevant details and options of the modules. Please note that you have to explicitly activate older modules that you have already installed. Nevertheless, they shall work properly with the new system.

Increased Performance
The performance of OXID eShop could be increased significantly in high load scenarios by reducing SQL queries, fine tuning of the caching mechanism and other code optimizations.

Although we have released OXID eShop version 4.6.0, we will continue maintaining version 4.5 with patches for bugs marked as important, while in parallel we will release patches for 4.6 as usual. i.e. that there will be a version 4.5.11 and most likely a 4.5.12, while you for sure can also expect patches 4.6.1, 4.6.2 etc…

Please note, that we couldn’t deliver 4.6.0 with French as a third language like promised. Instead, you can download the language files needed for the storefront and the admin interface from the translation tool. Please log in here using „guest“ as user and password.

If you want to dig a bit deeper into technical details, at our release page on OXID forge.

OXID eShop: Update Cycles and Maintenance Releases

In a couple of weeks we will release OXID eShop version 4.6.0. Thanks to our proven Open Source development and beta testing process this release will be in time and built to highest quality standards.

However, starting with the release of version 4.6.0 we will introduce some slight changes in the update cycles. This will make the update process easier and clearer for everybody. We will also expand our maintenance activities for previous versions of OXID eShop.

Terminology

There will be three different kinds of releases:

  • Major releases: Upgrades OXID eShop to a new version number, e.g. 4.0 or 5.0
  • Minor releases: Updates the current major release, e.g. 4.6 or 5.1
  • Patch: Indicates the stage of development for current minor release, e.g. 4.6.1 or 4.5.8

Maintenance

As with previous version of OXID eShop you will continue to get a monthly patch that fixes known bugs for the current minor release. Extending our maintenance activities, from now on we will also supply patches for the previous version (X.X-1). But patches for previous versions will be released only when needed and not a regular basis. They will not contain any new or additional features.

As usual, you will have two possibilities to update: You can either download the full release or you can generate a cumulative package. Just pick your current version and you will get one package that will automatically do a complete update to the newest version of OXID eShop for you.

Keep your system up to date

Every release will be compatible with PHP 5.2 and PHP 5.3.

For optimal functionality of OXID eShop and its extensions we recommend regular updates and always using the latest versions. We also recommend working with a test and staging system at all times.

Update cycles

The next major release will be 5.0, coming this summer. About a quarter of a year later we will supply you with the first minor release 5.1.

For the upcoming major releases we aim to get them out around the beginning of each year. The first minor release will follow early in the year, so our customers have enough time to update their shops and go into the Christmas trade with a smoothly running OXID eShop.