Blog Business Catalyst Blog RSS

We hear you, we really do... hang in there!

Many of you have been speculating on the future of BC development in 2010. Folks have been discussing on the forums and sending in wishes. Sometimes we get wind of what you'd like to see in the system through your support requests as well.  BC wants you to know that none of this goes unnoticed and that there's been action behind the scenes so as your Product Manager, I'm going to outline our plans for the first half of 2010.

What's Happening With the Wishlist?

First off, let's cover the wishlist - by voting as a community you've shown what your priorities are and we're going to respect that. If you go to the wishlist now you'll see that out of the top 20 wishes, we have committed 10 to our short term roadmap. BC has monthly software release cycles and you should be seeing the following requests trickle out during January, February and March releases in 2010. The plan for the wishlist requests is as follows:

  1. Modules within Modules - we're going to allow one level of recursion with the first version of this
  2. Customizable Workflow Notifications - as BC partners you'll need the ability to edit the workflow emails and welcome emails you send to your clients
  3. Additional 'List Template' Layouts for Web-apps - we're first going to allow a dynamic number of layouts for Web-Apps and when this model is proven it will be applied to other modules and the Online Store as well
  4. Increase the modules per page limit - system uptime and service reliability come first so we will be doing a lot of testing before we raise the limit, expect an incremental increase here
  5. Web App URL Friendly - web apps will gain the same customizable URL system that blog posts currently have
  6. Dynamic Menus Active/Inactive - a 'enabled' checkbox will be added for dynamic menus just as there is for web pages
  7. Plain WYSIWYG Input - An comprehensive overhaul for Sitewalk will be released late in Q1 2010 and this will have provision for plain text input so your clients aren't able to inadvertently change the layout
  8. Products URL Friendly - products will gain the same customizable URL system that blog posts currently with the addition of a special character 'eraser'
  9. CRM Custom Fields updated via Webforms - this will allow your customers to update their own extended CRM details from the front-end.
  10. DNS Enhancements - these were detailed and promised in the last blog post in November

As you can see our engineers are going to be very busy working on these requests as well as the features promised in the last blog post including DNS tools, Data Center migration, a new Dreamweaver Extension and Partner Billing tools too!

The Longer Term Strategy...

As the old cliche goes, if Henry Ford had only asked his customers what they wanted he would've given them faster horses. We've also got our own development agenda running in parallel to wishlist requests. For the first half of 2010 there are 4 areas of the system BC wants to focus on and completely overhaul in priority order.

  1. ECommerce - both in the frontend and backend we are designing a much more cohesive and well integrated online shopping workflow especially with respect to the shopping cart, payment/shipping functionality and order fulfillment
  2. CRM - usability is key here, expect to see improved filter/search and edit functions for records and tighter integration with ECommerce and the CMS
  3. Blogs - we're going to finish what we started this year to bring our blogging platform up to industry standards
  4. Forums - are due for improvements like avatar profiles, private messaging, social features (e.g post voting) and improved discussion threading

Our plan is to sweep out all the corresponding wishlist requests for each component and consolidate as part of the requirements and specification for those components which is why you're seeing some high priority wishes without a set status. Expect to be seeing results in June/July as these are large engineering projects

Continuing Work on Other Components

Web Apps, Email Marketing and Reporting will need to follow in the 2nd half of 2010 and later. This doesn't mean work will stop on them completely, we will continue to make incremental improvements (as per wishlist requests) where possible but the complete overhaul will have to wait until after our top priorities have been implemented.

Hope that answers some of those burning questions you partners have bottled up. It's an extremely ambitious plan but we're confident with our expanded Adobe engineering team coming up to speed with the BC product and codebase that we'll be able to pull this off and keep BC at the forefront of the competition to give you the best Online Business platform for building solutions for your clients.