nopCommerce 3.70 Officially Released: New Features And Enhancements

nopCommerce is the result of an immense teamwork and it is supported by a very active community. With every new incremental version, the focus of nopCommerce team is to provide merchants significant improvements that make it easier to build and maintain a high-quality e-Commerce site. Recently, nopCommerce released the new 3.70 version that packs a lot of new enhancements and features. It is great to see the growing nopCommerce community and how fast this open-source eCommerce solution is becoming mature.  nopCommerce 3.70 is now available for download.

Today, we will go over some of the latest features and improvements that nopCommerce 3.70 version has to offer.

Long awaited feature: Support for multiple instances in Windows Azure and web farms

Version 3.70 is a great step forward in regard to scalability and now has the features that users have demanded for so long (i.e. support for multiple instances in Windows Azure and web farms). Now with this version, you will no longer have to worry whether your site can handle a large number of visitors. So what exactly has been done to support multiple instances in Azure and web farms?

1) BLOB storage account support in Windows Azure. Please learn more about storage accounts in Azure here.
How to configure
Once your BLOB storage is set up in Azure, open your web.config file, find "AzureBlobStorage" element and specify your BLOB storage connection string, container, and endpoint.
2) nopCommerce 3.70 version also includes distributed caching and session management support. Redis has been chosen as a caching server (already available in Azure, Amazon, other cloud hosting companies). 
How to configure
Firstly, you have to install and setup Redis. Please find more about how to use Redis in Azure here
Once it’s done, you have to configure it in nopCommerce. In order to enable caching in Redis open web.config file. Find "RedisCaching" config element. Set its "Enabled" attribute to "true" and then specify "ConnectionString" pointing your Redis server (configured in the first step)
You also have to enable Redis as your distributed session management. Please open web.config file. Find and uncomment “sessionState” element. Specify its’ attributes (host, accessKey, etc) pointing to your Redis server. Please find more about distributed session support in Azure here
3) Ensure that your scheduled tasks are running on one farm node at a time. 
How to configure
In order to enable this functionality open web.config file, find "WebFarms" element, and set its "MultipleInstancesEnabled" attribute to "True". If you use Windows Azure Websites (not cloud services), then also set "RunOnAzureWebsites" attribute to "True". 

ACL (Access control list) for topics

nopCommerce already offers this great feature called "Access control list" that allows website owner (or administrator) to show or hide different sections of the store site based on the user role. For maintaining privacy and confidentiality, it does makes sense that an administrator of any website would like to show or hide some pages or item to give limit access to other users who are maintaining the site content or have access to the admin section.

In this latest 3.70 version, nopCommerce extended the ACL functionality that allows a store owner to apply the access control list restrictions / permissions Maintaining privacy and confidentiality.

Conditional product attributes

This new feature is now available in nopCommerce 3.70 version and it allows store owners to add conditions to product attributes so that some attributes only appear if a previous attribute is selected. Many store owners will find this new feature useful as this option has been requested several times in past by nopCommerce users. There are many different scenarios where this can be useful such as:

  1. If you are selling a product that can be customized like a personalized clothing, this feature will certainly come handy. In such cases, the textbox option will only be provided (or made visible) when a “personalized” checkbox or radio button has been selected by a customer.

  2. Another useful condition would be to provide size options for a particular color/brand of clothing. There are times when different brands offers different colors and sizes. 
More ways to search orders in the administration area

nopCommerce 3.70 version allows a store owner to search orders by customer last name (billing address). Maintaining an e-Commerce website is not an easy task and poor matches and overwhelming search result remains a problem of many site admins. A good advanced search with user-friendly search options is what nopCommerce provides to the merchants that allows them to easily filter out the search results.

Discontinued products page

Google is very scrupulous even about unpublished product pages. Knowing this, nopCommerce 3.70 version makes discontinued product pages search-engine friendly. If the search engine displays links to discontinued products from your nopCommerce store in search results, the link would not lead to 404 page or home page but will show the product page with a “no longer available” message. Doing so will result in greater positions for your web store in search results. 

Allows store owners to mark any product as “New”

This latest version of nopCommerce allows a store owner to mark any product as "New". In all previous versions, the new product section on the public store only used to display the products that were added recently to the store. The store owner didn’t have full control on what products to display in this area. With the addition of this new feature, a store owner can easily manage products on the "New products" page.

Allow users to apply for vendor account in public store

nopCommerce 3.70 version allows the users to apply for vendor account in public store without having the store owner to create an account for vendor(s) manually. This certainly decreases the workload on the store admin and make the whole process quicker and easy to use. The store owner still needs to manually approve the vendor account once the request has been received.

Some other improvements
  •  Allow a store owner to add notes to "Vendor" record. For example, this functionality can be used to record vendor payouts so that you always have you bookkeeping organized.
  • Significant performance and security enhancements.
  • Allow a store owner to apply discounts to a category including subcategories.
  • A new catalog setting to view unpublished products (enabled by default). This way SEO won't be affected by search crawlers when a product is temporary unpublished.
  • Authorize.NET plugin. Updated URLs according to the latest changes (Akamai). It should be done by all store owners till June 2016.
  • And much more.
You can read the full release notes in details here:

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