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The BC Blog, A New Beginning...

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A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...

Just kidding. It's been a bit over 2 months now since Business Catalyst became a part of Adobe and we're slowly starting to settle in and harvest the fruits of the acquisition. On that note, we felt it was a good time to take a new direction with this blog. In the past we helped you with tips on how to market yourselves and sell BC, whereas now we're going to be more product driven to help keep you up-to-date with new and planned product features and enhancements. And what better way to begin than with a look at our roadmap for the next 3 months.

Major Feature Releases over the next 3 months

Following the discontinuation of the GoodBarry brand we're now sharpening our focus on creative Web Professionals like yourselves and that means our short term feature roadmap out to March 2010 contains a number of tools to streamline Web Design on BC.

  • Dreamweaver Extension - The number 1 feature that excites me is the release of the next generation Business Catalyst Extension for Dreamweaver. A beta version will be available in January. What I can promise here is an extension that's much better integrated with Dreamweaver and a more intuitive interface that gives you improved access to edit the assets on your BC sites. As we test this internally I'll be releasing more details towards Christmas.
  • Billing Tools - Shortly following the release of the next-gen Dreamweaver Extension we're aiming to release Partner Consolidated billing. I know our Rebranded Partners have been hanging out for this one for a while now. If you're a full Partner, you're going to be able to set your own hosting prices inside your Partner Portal and this will automatically use the eCommerce system inside your Partner site to bill your clients. If your clients don't pay their bills, the system will automatically suspend their service so you're not out-of-pocket.
  • DNS Management Tools - to be added in February/March 2010 - although the DNS requests run in at slightly lower priority on the wishlist we believe it's important for you to be able to manage your own DNS records from within a BC site. This way you can use an external mail service, add multiple hostnames and aliases.
  • Data Center Migration - one 'behind-the-scenes' area that our engineers are working on is preparing our new Adobe data centers, with shiny new top-of-the-line equipment and even greater capacity for growth. We're also working on making the migration to these datacenters as seamless as possible. This is a big investment for Adobe and a big project that will be completed around February/March 2010. We will be keeping our partner community in close communication surrounding these developments.
The Slightly Longer Term View

So what happened to E-Commerce, Web-Apps, Modules, CRM and Blog improvements? I'm re-developing a more in depth plan for all of these aspects of the system, given we now have an expanded engineering team. I will be incorporating the feedback you've given us on our wishlist. However, rather than rushing things we want to make sure that:

  1. We first deliver on the 4 items I've listed above in the 3 month plan
  2. We complete a number of other back office and integration tasks
  3. We have a detailed and feasible plan that our expanded engineering team can implement in the timeframe communicated.
Once we’re on the road with the above, we will release further details of our product roadmap. I personally read and moderate all of your wishlist requests every day and I also monitor the voting to adjust the priorities. So I do feel that I have my fingers on the pulse of the partner community's sentiments in regard to the product. In that spirit, I want to make sure we construct our roadmap in the best way possible.

Stay Tuned For More!

To all of our Partners out there who use our product and promote BC to the small business community - thank you! We owe it to you to really ramp up product development in 2010 and beyond. With our new engineering resources and the backing of Adobe I have great confidence that we're really going to kick some goals next year for you and your clients. Stay tuned for more posts as we continue to tease out the details of the longer term roadmap.