Major Updates Summary

  1. Navigation
    • Our custom responsive navigation now allow for menu nodes to be "hidden when logged in" - when the user logs in, menu node will be hidden. This is a commonly requested option, that is not available in the built-in Alpha navigation.
    • Added option for "named menus" which allows developer to add multiple navigation menus to the application, even on the same web page. Now, the developer can have a different navigation menu on the Home page, and the Products page (as an example).
  1. Banner (Slide show)
    • The Banner has been completely revised from the ground up. To make it easier to manage and develop, the Banner has been formally removed from the Framework and now supported as a separate product. It is easy to add the Banner to the Framework or to any existing or new Alpha project.
  1. Email
    • Removed the "email queue" and replaced with options to use SMTP, SparkPost or Mandrill (3rd party email processors) to send email. This allows email to be sent immediately from the application. The email queue also required a separate CRON function to fire every few minutes; this has been removed as well.
    • Added an "email log" that keeps a record of every email that is sent from the application.
    • Totally abandoned using Alpha's built-in "Email Profile". This is an antiquated system that requires maintaining a setting directly on the Alpha web server.
    • Changed all outgoing emails to use more attractive HTML. Previously, many of the outgoing emails used plain text.
  1. Security
    • Abandoned reliance on Alpha's outdated model for "password recovery" (which sends the password directly to the user). Now, the Framework goes around Alpha's model and uses a modern custom security model to 'reset' the password using gold standard "double opt-in" and a password reset link that is only valid for 60 minutes.
    • Provided option to use a "value" for the UserID; previously the Framework only allowed an "email address" as the UserID to login.
  1. Clean up
    • Every component and web page has had minor updates to make them more efficient.
    • Several redundant and unused features were removed.
    • Updated any reference to JQuery or other 3rd party library to the currently available version.
    • Removed the need for a CRON scheduling process.
  1. Help Document
    • Completely updated online Help Document to match this Framework update. Included new instructions for both managing the website and also custom modifications to CSS and formatting.