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Release notes  | Agfa Graphics, Mortsel, BELGIUM  | 22 November 2017

StoreFront 4.5 release notes

Version 4.5 of the StoreFront web-to-print solution will be released on 3 December 2017. The main new features are:

More information about StoreFront is available in the Online Help and the Online Help Addendum. Existing users should check the post-update guidelines.


Stores

Full HTTPS support

Stores now make full use of the secure, encrypted HTTPS protocol for data communication. Previously, encryption was only used for the login, checkout and personal pages. The use of HTTPS is always enforced, without any need to alter settings. For stores that use a custom domain name, there is no need to purchase a separate SSL-certificate. StoreFront automatically takes care of this using ‘Let’s Encrypt’ certificates. When accessing any page in a store, the browser will show the ‘secure’ green lock icon.

StoreFront 4.5 https secure pages

For private B2B stores, enforcing HTTPS makes it easier to offer your web-to-print service to security-conscious customers such as banks, large corporations or government organizations. For public stores it offers a slight SEO advantage since the use of encryption is one of Google’s ranking parameters.

Estimated shipping date

For each shipping service you can now optionally define how many days it takes to get an order ready for shipment. If you set this to '2 days' then StoreFront will indicate to the shopper who orders on Monday morning that the order will ship on Wednesday. During checkout it shows the actual date instead of a more confusing ‘within 2 days’ message.

StoreFront 4.5 available shipping dates

Configuring the duration is done in the Advanced > Shipping > Shipping Services window. In the general settings for each shipping service there is a new ‘Time to ship’ checkbox. When activated, you can specify how many days it will take to ship an order.

StoreFront 4.5 shipping date activate

The ‘Shipping Info’ tab can be used to add a short descriptive text that will be shown to the shopper during checkout. This is also the case when no time to ship is defined. If you do define a target shipping date, three variables can be inserted in the message:

  • {estimatedshippingdate} inserts the date when the order is expected to be shipped, e.g. ‘10/10/2017’. The date formatting depends on the regional settings of the store.
  • {orderdeadline} inserts the cut-off time, as described below, e.g. ‘11:30 AM’
  • {shippingdays} inserts the number of days before orders will be shipped, e.g. ‘4'
StoreFront 4.5 shipping date message

To calculate the expected shipping date, StoreFront needs to know your production schedule. This is defined in the new Advanced > Production Settings > Production Calendar window.

  • You can specify on which weekdays no production takes place.
  • You can also define holiday periods and other dates when no orders are processed.
  • A threshold ordering hour, the ‘Order Deadline’ can be defined. If you set this cut-off time to 12:00 it means the current day is still considered a production day for any orders that are submitted before twelve o’clock.
StoreFront 4.5 production calendar

Estimated shipping dates are shown:

  • During checkout in the Shipping tab
  • On the order confirmation page and the order confirmation e-mail
  • On the order details page
StoreFront 4.5 shipping date order summary
  • In the ‘Pending Orders’ window in StoreCenter the target shipping date will be shown greyed out and in italics in the ‘Shipped’ column. You can sort on this column to see which orders should get priority. Once an order is shipped, the actual shipping date is shown in the regular font. For shipments that are overdue the date is marked in red.
StoreFront 4.5 shipping date planning

Keep in mind that the shipping time is not dependent on ordered quantities or time-consuming finishing options that the shopper may have selected. It also does not take into account that your team also produces jobs that did not originate in StoreFront. You may want to add a disclaimer that the target shipping date is a ‘best effort estimate’ and that customers will be informed if there are delays.


Online Editor

HTML5-based Online Editor

The Flash-based Online Editor is still available but now you can also set up customizable and VDP products using a new HTML5-based editor. This enables you to set up stores that no longer require Adobe Flash. Security conscious customers may insist on this. More and more browsers are also dropping support for Flash which has never even been available on tablets like the iPad.

During final testing of the v4.5 release a few essential shortcomings were found in a module supplied by an OEM-partner. While awaiting a fix for these, access to the HTML5-based editor will be disabled. Only an updated version of the existing Flash-based editor will be available. As soon as an update from our partner passes quality testing, a v4.5.1 update will be released to make the HTML5-version available. The description below documents the changes the new HTML-based Online Editor will introduce shortly. 

Customizable documents can use either the Flash or HTML5-based editor. Which technology is used is determined in the ‘Upload Files’ window of the product wizard. In the list of products a small ‘f’ in the product icon indicates which products still rely on Flash.

StoreFront 4.5 choose Flash or HTML5

The toolbar at the bottom of the Products window has a migration button, allowing you to convert all or selected customizable products to the new HTML5 editor. We recommend to gradually convert documents. Ideally you convert each document separately, test it in the store to validate that users can properly interact with the document in the new Editor, do a test purchase and check the resulting PDF in your workflow to make sure that the new Editor did not generate a file that is inconsistent with previous output results.

StoreFront 4.5 convert to HTML5

The Flash and HTML5 editors are not completely identical. We strive to make them as similar as possible but some functions are not yet implemented in the HTML5 version. In general we recommend to stick to Flash for complex documents that use the ‘Advanced’ or ‘Expert’ workspaces. The HTML5 editor has mainly been tested with forms-based documents. Below you see the same document opened in the Flash-based Online Editor (top) and the HTML5 version.

StoreFront 4.5 Flash versus HTML5

The main functions that are not yet available in the HTML5 editor are hyphenation, spell checking, custom baseline grids and vertical justification. In forms, the ‘Button Bar’ variable is not yet supported and calculated fields do not work yet for VDP products.


Ordering & Checkout

Support for MercadoPago

MercadoPago is a popular payment service provider in Latin-America. Stores that operate in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico can now make use of MercadoPago payments.

StoreFront 4.5 MercadoPago payment gateway support
  • For Argentina the following cards have been tested: Amex, Argencard, Cabal, Censosud, Diners, Mastercard, Naranja, Nativa MasterCard and Visa.
  • For Brazil the following cards have been tested: Amex, Diners, Elo, Hipercard, MasterCard and Visa.
  • For Mexico the following cards have been tested: MasterCard, Mastercard Débito, Tarjeta MercadoPago and Visa Débito.
  • In each country other cards may work but should be tested before you allow their use.
  • Both direct and deferred payments are supported.

A future update will include support for this payment service provider in other Latin-American countries.

Extended quote function

StoreFront 4.0 included a new function to create price quotes. ‘Quoting’ is available for MallPack Gold or Platinum licensees and it has been extended in this new version.

  • Customers who are allowed to create quotes will now automatically get an e-mail with a link to each quote they make. This means StoreFront stores the data for each quote, allowing the user to go back and check older quotes. They can do this by clicking the link in the e-mail they received.
  • Printer administrators can ask to also get an e-mail with a link to each quote. This allows your sales people to monitor which customers create quotes and follow up on them.
  • In the Store > Pages > Legal tab you can specify a ‘Custom Quote Information’ text that will be seen in the Quote list (Shopping Cart), the Quote checkout flow and in the Quote Details.
  • The creation date is now also added to each quote.

Showing separate VAT rates

An order can consist of multiple items that use different VAT or tax rates. StoreFront can show the split on the order details page, the order confirmation email and the invoice. Quotes also show split rates. The separate VAT rates are shown for every store, regardless of whether it uses a price list that includes or excludes taxes. You need to enable this in the ‘Payment and Pricing’ settings of the store in StoreCenter.

StoreFront 4.5 separate tax percentages

Order Fulfilment & Shipping

Separate numbering for invoices and quotes

StoreFront automatically generates an ID number for each new order. Version 4.5 offers more options to configure ID numbers.

  • In the Advanced > Production Settings > Production Center window you can define the structure of order ID numbers, invoice ID numbers and quote ID numbers.
StoreFront 4.5 separate numbering

Since orders, invoices and quotes can now be numbered separately, this enables you to operate multiple stores but if only one of them generates invoices, its numbers will be consecutive. This is a legal requirement in many countries.
Another advantage of a separate invoice number is that you now can avoid gaps in your order administration since cancelled orders will no longer be included. The invoice counter only increments when the invoice is actually created, which is when you mark an order as ‘Shipped’.
The PDF Form templates already had the variable ‘ASF_INVOICE_NR’ which used to be resolved to the order number. StoreFront will now use the invoice number instead. To include the order number, use the new variable ‘ASF_ORDER_NR’ instead.

  • On the store level you can separately set the counter used for numbering to a specific value. If a store should have its own order ID numbering starting from 1, you can do this. On New Year’s day you may want to reset the counters to 1 so that StoreFront starts numbering from scratch again.
StoreFront 4.5 order numbering

Revised order statuses for payment by bank transfer

Orders paid by bank transfer now get the status ‘Awaiting Payment’ as long as the printer hasn't updated the payment status of the order in StoreCenter. Previously they were immediately marked as ‘In Production’, which confused shoppers.

Easier access to invoices

In the Dashboard > Order Reports window administrators can now download all the invoices from a certain period in time in a ZIP or a single PDF file. For legal reasons it is a good idea to archive invoices on a regular basis.

StoreFront 4.5 export invoices

In the Orders window in StoreCenter there is a new button to generate (or re-generate) the invoice in case invoice creation was not enabled for a store, or in case the style of the template changed in the meantime.

Combine kits and non-print

StoreFront can automatically combine multiple items in the same packing unit. Three stacks of 250 brochures can, for example, be put in the same large box to save on shipping costs. From version 4.5 onwards StoreFront can also group kits and non-print items in a box.

  • Multiple product kits can be combined in a single box, based on them using either the same template or having the same size.
  • The same is also true for non-print items, which can also be combined if they use the same template or share the same size. This works for both box and roll-based packaging units.

Define packing measurements for a media type option

When you sell large flags in a store and give customers a choice of three types of canvas, the shipping cost may vary depending on the choice of textile. The thin canvas allows you to fold flags five times and fit 20 in a box whereas the thick canvas flags should only be folded four times so fewer fit in the same box. In StoreFront v4.5 you can now change the shipping volume per media type. This is done in the ‘Packing Measurements’ tab of the ‘Media Type Option Value’ window in Product Templates > Product Options.

StoreFront 4.5 packing size per substrate

Easy order cleanup

Once orders are marked as ‘Completed’ they move from the ‘Pending’ tab to the ‘Complete’ tab in the StoreCenter order list. Manually changing order statuses can be cumbersome so in Storefront v4.5 you can change the status of all old orders to ‘Completed’ with just a few clicks.

  • Click the new ‘Mark pending orders as completed’ button.
StoreFront 4.5 mark order as finished
  • A window pops up that allows you to pick a ‘Created before’ date.
  • Click ‘OK’ to confirm that all orders created prior to this date can be marked as ‘Completed’.
  • StoreFront will mark all orders with status ‘Available’ or ‘Shipped’ and created before this selected date as ‘Completed’. This will also happen for orders that were not yet marked as ‘Shipped’. For orders that were not yet marked as ‘Shipped’, no shipping confirmation mails will be sent.
StoreFront 4.5 mark orders completed

By activating and filling in the ‘Created after’ field in the above window you can clean up orders created within a specific date range.

To avoid processing bottlenecks StoreFront will process batches of orders. This may take some time, depending on the number of orders that need to be marked as ‘Completed’.


System integration

ID codes for media

Each media variant, such as ‘220 gram Antalis Luxo paper’, can have an ID code associated with it. This MIS ID code is included in the JDF order data and can be used to inform an MIS or ERP system which media is used for the order item. It is also displayed on the order item details page.

StoreFront 4.5 MIS ID codes paper

Enhanced JDF data

To facilitate data exchange with MIS or ERP systems, the JDF file generated for each order item now contains a structured comment XML element. This contains info that was already available in text format in the comment tag. By structuring the data using XML tags it becomes much easier to retrieve specific data. The JDFserver of Apogee or Asanti allows you to map the value of tags to Prepress variables.

MIS integration using a REST API

The MIS Export option for Apogee Prepress and Asanti Production can be used to send StoreFront order data to an MIS or Management Information System. Previously this was done by exporting XML, CSV or TXT files to a hotfolder scanned by the MIS system. The communication can now also be established using a RESTful API, which MIS vendors increasingly make available within their system. Implementing such a connection is always part of an integration project. The first REST API to be supported is that of the Multipress MIS system of Dataline Solutions.


General new features

Italian addresses have a mandatory Province field

Specifying the province in the shipping address is now mandatory for orders shipped to or in Italy.

Updated Excel order summary

In the Order Items worksheet of an Excel order summary spreadsheet, the data about the shipping address include a new column ’53:Company Name’. It lists the name of the company that an order item needs to be shipped to.

Other changes

This update contains fixes for small issues discovered in the previous release. A number of changes were made to improve browser compatibility.


Post-update action items

Some of the changes and new features in this release require an intervention from a printer administrator:

  • Review the order numbering policy if you run public stores.
  • If you have stores that generate invoices, evaluate if the ‘ASF_INVOICE_NR’ variable should not be replaced on the invoice template.
  • On 16 November a new version of the StoreFront Converter extension for Adobe InDesign was released. We recommend to install this upgrade on non-English systems if preflight messages are not visible.

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