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Newsletter - September 2008
#1
Dear Valued Customer,

Newsletter: September 2008

Welcome to Virtual Web Designs newsletter. You are receiving this newsletter, because you are or have been a customer of Virtual Web Designs.

To unsubscribe from our newsletter please email us at unsubscribe@vwdesigns.co.uk with the subject heading “unsubscribe”.

Please note if you currently hold an account with us, this will not unsubscribe you from important system announcements.

Contents

1. Data Centre – Server Move
2. Very Important - Client Management System (CMS)
3. PDA / Mobile Phone – CMS
4. Website Designing for [dot] mobi Domain Name (Mobile Phones / PDA’s)
5. VrShop v1.4 Beta (r1)
6. eShop v9 Support Discontinuation
7. eShop PRO XL5 & eShop Ultra XL5

Data Centre – Server Move

The data centre move has taken much longer than we expected (Over 8 weeks). We have now completed transferring all our customers to our new servers. The old servers were switched off on the 9th September 2008.

Once again please accept our apologies and any inconvenience caused by this move.

Very Important - Client Management System

Following on from our last announcement in August 2008, we have now introduced a new online Client Management System (CMS v1.0 r1). The new Client Management System has been fully integrated into our new servers, support system and accounting systems and will also synchronies all data with our local server. All actions applied from within your account are processed in real time, from hosting account activation to domain name purchases, renewals, DNS changes, reports, downloads, software licensing and invoicing.

To access the Client Management System, we have assigned all our customers with their default email address as their username. To obtain your password, please select forgotten password option, and a new password will be sent to your default email address. You will then be able to gain access to the CMS.

CMS URL = https://www.vwdesigns.co.uk/portal

This is due to be live on the 29th September 2008. We will be emailing all our customers, who currently hold an account with us, with more information on our CMS and their default email address to access the CMS.

PDA / Mobile Phone - CMS

We are currently working on two new versions, of our customer portal to be used on a PDA or mobile phone:

The PDA version will be written in Visual Basic using Windows mobile 2006 operating system, and the other one will be using IE 7, or a capability browser. Which would comply with [dot] mobi standards. You will have complete access to your account details while on the move, using a PDA or mobile phone. Internet access will be available using the GPRS network.

Website Designing for [dot] mobi Domain Name (Mobile Phones / PDA’s)

We will also be offering website designing for the [dot] mobi domain name(s), which is used for PDA / Mobile phones. All website designs will comply with the [dot] mobi standards. By using the [dot] mobi standard you will have access to more customers, who currently use a mobile phone / PDA to access the internet.

We are also working on [dot] mobi eCommerce versions of our software, so they can be accessed from Mobile phones / PDA’s. Which will be sold as an add-on module.

VrShop PRO 1.4 Beta (r1)

The first beta version of VrShop PRO v1.4 Beta (r1) will be released in October 2008. This update contains major changes and additions to the administration system login and authentication routines to provide extra security options, major changes and additional options for cart sessions, Protx VSP Direct support and several bug fixes.

As per our previous announcement, development, beta and release candidate versions of VrShop PRO are available to all users that either have a support level with us or are within the first six month of there license ownership, to qualify and gain access to the Virtual Web Designs Testing forums and our bug tracking system.

eShop PRO & Ultra v9 Support Discontinuation

As with all products, there comes a time when particular versions reach the end of their support life. We have already stopped support for versions 1.5 to 6.5, in March 2006. We will no longer be able to offer support for versions 7 to 9. Version 9 was originally released in October 2006. After the 31st October 2008 we will no longer be able to provide any support or patches for any version below 9.

The reason why we have taken this decision as php4 & MySQL 4 is no longer supported and as many ISP’s will no longer support php4. php5 & MySQLi 5 is now the industry standard and we no longer have php4 installed on our servers, the only patches we will apply are to the register_globals, so this can be switched off, as it’s currently set to on.

The amount of time required to convert existing eShop versions to the latest standards is not viable, as each version has been customised for each specific customer.

Customers who are currently on support contracts with us, we will send a separate email to those customers. From today we will no longer offering support contracts for eShop v9 and below.

NOTE: eShop & VrShop (100% php5) are not the same software.

eShop PRO XL5 & eShop Ultra XL5 – Under Development

We are currently working on a new version of eShop PRO and eShop Ultra, these new versions will only work on php5 and not on php4. The new versions will be called eShop PRO XL5 and eShop Ultra XL5.

The performance of the framework eShop PRO & eShop Ultra will improve by removing the php4 compatibility layer and by taking advantage of the new features php5 provides such as SimpleXML, DateTime, Iterators, and new core functions. The design and security of the Object Oriented framework will also improve by utilising the new features of the php5 Object Model.

Our new support policy for the XL5 series is to publish a release with new features every 6 months and to support each published release for 2 years. Removing the php4 compatibility layer now for the XL5 series allows us to focus only on php5 without the need to spend resources on php4 compatibility past its end of life cycle.

Because eShop PRO XL5 & eShop Ultra XL5 will be a substantial development effort, its progress will be broken into unique, defined stages. No time will be allotted to these stages because this is only to group different phases of development. We are hopping to have a new version out by the end of this year / January 2009.

Phase 1: php4 & MySQL 4 Conversion
• Upgrade the infrastructure of eShop to use php5 & MySQLi 5
• Remove php4 framework
• Incorporate new speed routines
• Remove unused php routines
• Speed up MySQL statements, with new indexing
Phase 2: System Structure
• Template Structure
• Ordering System
• Booking System (Ultra)
• Checkout System
• Add new features
Phase 3: Interface Redesign
• Redesign interfaces:
• Admin Control Panel
• Front-end
• AJAX where possible
Phase 4: Testing
• Beta Testing
• Release Candidates
• Final Release
Support
Virtual Web Designs
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