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 VPASP 7.0 - Developer Review
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PetarB
Starting Member

26 Posts

Posted - January 19 2010 :  21:30:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm pleased to announce that we've done our first VPASP 7.0 site. We are also in the process of reviewing more upgrades, and have done the groundwork to implement these as well. This now gives me the ability to provide some feedback and review of VPASP 7.0.

To summarize, I think 7.0 is a worthy upgrade - with some caveats. Overall it's a lot more user-friendly to the end user, and for someone wanting to get an eCommerce site up and running quickly, it's a great package. That user-friendliness does have some trade-offs however, which I'll be discussing later. The implementation of CSS is finally here, but there are still some issues to overcome. There's some evidence of legacy issues, and some attempts to put in Web2.0 functionality which we all expect that are well implemented. And so far... bug free.

Firstly, set-up is a breeze. The new script and pages makes this process a lot more user friendly. No more editing text documents, etc. There's one issue that will be a snafu for some people - folder permissions. Be sure to get these right or you'll have a lot of trouble later on.

The new backend interface will be familiar, but at the same time new to anyone who has used VPASP 6.x. Much better organised, however. The layout of certain pages in the backend is still an issue - for example a single product entry page is still a lot to scroll through. I would have liked to have seen some ability to customise this, for example, turn off certain portions that you don't use or need. Collapsible divs, with most things turned off by default would have been a
good way to do this. I've seen it in other CMS packages and it can work well.

The layout manager is great for 'out of the box'users. You can modify your data boxes within your layout easily, and without any coding. Need to replace the logo for your website? Just go to the layout manager and upload the image in the appropriate box area. It's a welcome addition for new users.

The new template system is interesting. At its basic level it's fantastic to be able swap templates by simply changing the template field variable - you're just letting VPASP know which folder to look at. So if there's a problem in the template your working on, just change the template field variable and you're
up and running with the old template.

The real problem for VPASP 7.0 is for designers and developers - and this will become apparent with templates. This will be of particular issue to old users who are upgrading and existed branded site. There's limited documentation. To brand VPASP properly - not just replacing a logo, for example, you're going to want to create your own template. I would have thought the best way to do that would be to modify one of the supplied templates (there's 2 or 3 from memory). However, by modifying one of those templates - for example swapping the side column from left to right, which is a pretty easy CSS change... you can 'break' the layout manager.

Boxes in the layout manager simply disappear. There's quite likely something we've done wrong, which would mean that layout manager operates properly once you update or create the template properly.

The real issue here is that there is no way to know this. The reason is that there's little to no documentation about how to author or update templates properly.

In fact for Designers and Developers... the documentation is sparse to non-existent. This is a real issue and will probably annoy a lot of existing users. We heavily brand our VPASP websites, and for us this is a bit of a deal breaker. Documentation is great for users who will use VPASP 7.0 out of the box, but any sort of customisation is going to be very difficult due to the lack of design and development documentation.

I must admit I am surprised at this, because part of the appeal of VPASP for us originally was that it was design and development friendly. Especially launching a new product - you would expect a plethora of support material to answer questions or provide a guide. So this appears to be an error for VPASP 7.0's launch. My advice would be for Rocksalt to get out a Design and Developer's guide ASAP, and include it with the software. It's not something you should have to hunt around for.

There are a few other quirks. We've just found out the new menu system - which is otherwise great by the way - is limited to a top level + 1 tier of drop-downs. So you can't have Clothing > Mens > Pants, for example, you're just limited to Clothing > Mens. This is a big problem which needs to be addressed.

The menu system also runs on a combination of tables and divs. Some CSS purists among you will be horrified by this. I'm not sure why a pure CSS dropdown system like Suckerfish couldn't have been implemented. It would be a lot, lot easier on developers.

Having said this, for admins, the menu system is really easy to customise. Putting in a new entry is easy, and you can customise or use a standard entry. You can easily see what you need, and it's all there in front of you. A great step up from 6.x It would have been nice to have seen an ajax driven one like Drupal's however - where creating any sort of heirarchy is just a drag-and-drop affair.

The WYSIWYG system really needs an overhaul though. And still not being able to upload images through the WYSIWYG interface is something clients *just don't understand*. I cannot count how many times I've had to explain this. Yes, you can upload images as seperate fields, but if you want to create a nicely illustrated 'page' for example... it can be annoying. I also know you can purchase seperate software to do this, but frankly, you shouldn't have to. It would be great to be able to easily install our own WYSIWYG Editor. CKEditor is one that springs to mind

Bulk updating - showing a lot of products or categories on screen - needs a bit of an update, it's too similar to previous. You should be able to customise this yourself. You can't change product categories in the bulk product update screen, for example. Clients love this feature, but hate the limitations. So do we!

What we haven't had a good chance to see yet, is the day to day use of VPASP as a business platform, there's simply not been enough time. But from what we have seen, it looks good. The admin area revamp is dramatically easier to use, and makes a lot more sense. It's just easier to get to the good bits!

Although I have listed a lot of things here that need work, all in all we think VPASP is a worthy upgrade.

It's a win for end-users and people who just want to get a website running up quickly and without fuss. In focusing on that experience, VPASP 7.0 is definitely a step above its predecessor. But the lack of documentation and odd mis-steps on some other issues listed above makes it slightly more problematic for designers and developers. As they - in many cases - will be the ones reselling or recommending VPASP, it's an odd oversight.

VPASP's customer support to date, in our experience, has been second to none. We're sure that some of these issues are being worked on right now. We look forwards to an update soon. If there's one thing VPASP has shown, it's that it listens to customers, and is not afraid to work towards giving them what they need to run an online business.

We will still be using and recommending VPASP 7.0 as one of our main cCommerce platforms, and look forwards to new VPASP developments in 2010.

Regards, Petar B
www.reneltbelicdesign.com.au

Edited by - PetarB on January 19 2010 21:34:33

support
Administrator

4266 Posts

Posted - January 19 2010 :  22:37:09  Show Profile  Visit support's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Petar,

Great review and many thank for your kind words!

Version 7.0 for us was a looooong labor of love but we finally got there.

1. Funny enough the updated Design Guide is in progress as we type. I would love to get some feedback on it actually if you are interested?

Also on our list is to create lots of little "how-to" videos.

2. You can upload images and also manage all images on the server with the Deluxe Pac through the Editor.

If you want this functionality in the lower packages you simply need to purchase the Editor from the 3rd party provider.

3. I agree about being able to update the categories from the bulk updater however when we have tried this in the past it has caused more problems than we felt it was worth.

Now we have 7.0 released we might revisit this one.

Thanks again and if anyone else has any feedback please let us know. We will be releasing the first Service Pac soon which will have all bug fixes included plus some feature enhancements based on your feedback.

Thanks
Cam

VPASP Support
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PetarB
Starting Member

26 Posts

Posted - January 20 2010 :  23:24:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting about the image management on the "Deluxe Pack'' - if that was clearer at purchase time, its possible we may have made the decision to do that. We did previously purchase the extended editor from Innova for 6.5 releases, but there was a bug with the latest edition of Internet Explorer and implementation - this did not affect Firefox, Chrome etc. It may be fixed now.
I'd be really interested to take a look at that design & development guide. You should have my email!
I think "how-to" videos are a fantastic idea. These have been a life saver in the past for us.
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support
Administrator

4266 Posts

Posted - January 26 2010 :  05:07:15  Show Profile  Visit support's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Petar

So we can keep the chat in one location can I get you to please post a ticket in the helpdesk. I will assign the ticket to the team in charge of creating the doc and get them to send you a copy.

We can then have a chat about what you think.

Another module available in the Deluxe is the SEO Tool Kit.

Among other things it also allows you to control the URL of the products, categories, blogs and news pages.

You can see how this works at:
http://www.vpasp.com/demo700/products/3-dining/

Thanks
Cam

VPASP Support
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MyrtleGreer
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - April 22 2010 :  10:47:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PetrarB

Interesting about the image management on the "Deluxe Pack'' - if that was clearer at purchase time, its possible we may have made the decision to do that. We did previously purchase the extended editor from Innova for 6.5 releases, but there was a bug with the http://www.danielleaubert.com/phen375/ official Phen375 website and the latest edition of Internet Explorer and implementation - this did not affect Firefox, Chrome etc. It may be fixed now.
I''d be really interested to take a look at that design & development guide. You should have my email!
I think "how-to" videos are a fantastic idea. These have been a life saver in the past for us.



Thanks for that honest review Petar. Just the information I was looking for. And the SEO Tool Kit in the deluxe sounds great. Thanks.

Edited by - MyrtleGreer on November 05 2016 06:01:45
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sumansameer
Starting Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - May 05 2010 :  03:13:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We are using VP-ASP to create an online catalog for a customer that will only be accessible to their employees and we would prefer that it not be listed on internet search engines.

SuMan
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Steve2507
VP-ASP Expert

590 Posts

Posted - May 05 2010 :  04:27:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sumansameer

We are using VP-ASP to create an online catalog for a customer that will only be accessible to their employees and we would prefer that it not be listed on internet search engines.

SuMan



Simply add a nofollow intructions in your robots.txt file.


Steve
Sex toys from a UK sex shop including vibrators and dildos.
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serjtankian
VP-ASP Super User

Armenia
294 Posts

Posted - August 26 2014 :  05:18:57  Show Profile  Visit serjtankian's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sumansameer

We are using VP-ASP to create an online catalog for a customer that will only be accessible to their employees and we would prefer that it not be listed on internet search engines.

SuMan



add this to robots.txt file

User-agent: *
Disallow: /






*serj*
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diegomilito
VP-ASP Expert

Argentina
723 Posts

Posted - January 16 2015 :  20:32:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
this is old topic, but i suggest u to follow this one http://www.robotstxt.org/robotstxt.html
diego
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Jesse Mages
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - July 17 2016 :  22:39:08  Show Profile  Visit Jesse Mages's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:


I''m pleased to announce that we''ve done our first VPASP 7.0 site. We are also in the process of reviewing more upgrades, and have done the groundwork to implement these as well. This now gives me the ability to provide some feedback and review of VPASP 7.0.

To summarize, I think 7.0 is a worthy upgrade - with some caveats. Overall it''s a lot more user-friendly to the end user, and for someone wanting to get an eCommerce site up and running quickly, it''s a great package. That user-friendliness does have some trade-offs however, which I''ll be discussing later. The implementation of CSS is finally here, but there are still some issues to overcome. There''s some evidence of legacy issues, and some attempts to put in Web2.0 functionality which we all expect that are well implemented. And so far... bug free.

Firstly, set-up is a breeze. The new script and pages makes this process a lot more user friendly. No more editing text documents, etc. There''s one issue that will be a snafu for some people - folder permissions. Be sure to get these right or you''ll have a lot of trouble later on.

The new backend interface will be familiar, but at the same time new to anyone who has used VPASP 6.x. Much better organised, however. The layout of certain pages in the backend is still an issue - for example a single product entry page is still a lot to scroll through. I would have liked to have seen some ability to customise this, for example, turn off certain portions that you don''t use or need. Collapsible divs, with most things turned off by default would have been a
good way to do this. I''ve seen it in other CMS packages and it can work well.

The layout manager is great for ''out of the box''users. You can modify your data boxes within your layout easily, and without any coding. Need to replace the logo for your website? Just go to the layout manager and upload the image in the appropriate box area. It''s a welcome addition for new users.

The new template system is interesting. At its basic level it''s fantastic to be able swap templates by simply changing the template field variable - you''re just letting VPASP know which folder to look at. So if there''s a problem in the template your working on, just change the template field variable and you''re
up and running with the old template.

The real problem for VPASP 7.0 is for designers and developers - and this will become apparent with templates. This will be of particular issue to old users who are upgrading and existed branded site. There''s limited documentation. To brand VPASP properly - not just replacing a logo, for example, you''re going to want to create your own template. I would have thought the best way to do that would be to modify one of the supplied http://fatburnerdepot.com/review/plexus-slim-review-does-it-work/ templates (there''s 2 or 3 from memory). However, by modifying one of those templates - for example swapping the side column from left to right, which is a pretty easy CSS change... you can ''break'' the layout manager.

Boxes in the layout manager simply disappear. There''s quite likely something we''ve done wrong, which would mean that layout manager operates properly once you update or create the template properly.

The real issue here is that there is no way to know this. The reason is that there''s little to no documentation about how to author or update templates properly.

In fact for Designers and Developers... the documentation is sparse to non-existent. This is a real issue and will probably annoy a lot of existing users. We heavily brand our VPASP websites, and for us this is a bit of a deal breaker. Documentation is great for users who will use VPASP 7.0 out of the box, but any sort of customisation is going to be very difficult due to the lack of design and development documentation.

I must admit I am surprised at this, because part of the appeal of VPASP for us originally was that it was design and development friendly. Especially launching a new product - you would expect a plethora of support material to answer questions or provide a guide. So this appears to be an error for VPASP 7.0''s launch. My advice would be for Rocksalt to get out a Design and Developer''s guide ASAP, and include it with the software. It''s not something you should have to hunt around for.

There are a few other quirks. We''ve just found out the new menu system - which is otherwise great by the way - is limited to a top level + 1 tier of drop-downs. So you can''t have Clothing > Mens > Pants, for example, you''re just limited to Clothing > Mens. This is a big problem which needs to be addressed.

The menu system also runs on a combination of tables and divs. Some CSS purists among you will be horrified by this. I''m not sure why a pure CSS dropdown system like Suckerfish couldn''t have been implemented. It would be a lot, lot easier on developers.

Having said this, for admins, the menu system is really easy to customise. Putting in a new entry is easy, and you can customise or use a standard entry. You can easily see what you need, and it''s all there in front of you. A great step up from 6.x It would have been nice to have seen an ajax driven one like Drupal''s however - where creating any sort of heirarchy is just a drag-and-affair.

The WYSIWYG system really needs an overhaul though. And still not being able to upload images through the WYSIWYG interface is something clients *just don''t understand*. I cannot count how many times I''ve had to explain this. Yes, you can upload images as seperate fields, but if you want to create a nicely illustrated ''page'' for example... it can be annoying. I also know you can purchase seperate software to do this, but frankly, you shouldn''t have to. It would be great to be able to easily install our own WYSIWYG Editor. CKEditor is one that springs to mind

Bulk updating - showing a lot of products or categories on screen - needs a bit of an update, it''s too similar to previous. You should be able to customise this yourself. You can''t change product categories in the bulk product update screen, for example. Clients love this feature, but hate the limitations. So do we!

What we haven''t had a good chance to see yet, is the day to day use of VPASP as a business platform, there''s simply not been enough time. But from what we have seen, it looks good. The admin area revamp is dramatically easier to use, and makes a lot more sense. It''s just easier to get to the good bits!

Although I have listed a lot of things here that need work, all in all we think VPASP is a worthy upgrade.

It''s a win for end-users and people who just want to get a website running up quickly and without fuss. In focusing on that experience, VPASP 7.0 is definitely a step above its predecessor. But the lack of documentation and odd mis-steps on some other issues listed above makes it slightly more problematic for designers and developers. As they - in many cases - will be the ones reselling or recommending VPASP, it''s an odd oversight.

VPASP''s customer support to date, in our experience, has been second to none. We''re sure that some of these issues are being worked on right now. We look forwards to an update soon. If there''s one thing VPASP has shown, it''s that it listens to customers, and is not afraid to work towards giving them what they need to run an online business.

We will still be using and recommending VPASP 7.0 as one of our main cCommerce platforms, and look forwards to new VPASP developments in 2010.

Regards, Petar B
www.reneltbelicdesign.com.au




Is Petar still with the company? Found this through Google :)

Edited by - Jesse Mages on July 17 2016 22:43:50
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serjtankian
VP-ASP Super User

Armenia
294 Posts

Posted - August 11 2016 :  14:18:00  Show Profile  Visit serjtankian's Homepage  Reply with Quote
i''m upgrading to version 8, in my opinion the power of version 8 are it''s responsive design and easiness to modify the template, you only need to play with 2 css files only (mostly),




*peace - serj*
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squirrel
VP-ASP New User

USA
73 Posts

Posted - August 29 2016 :  20:10:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
@serjtankian

Agree. Version 8 is awesome. Have you tried the latest 8.1.0.3 version? I am using the Deluxe 8.1.0.3 now and it even has the side menu filter.

All in all, i am liking the latest version very much :)

Thank you.

Best Regards,
Daniel

Be Happy Always
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