Flexibility, Portability, and Resiliency in Today’s IT world

Yesterday, I watched with great interest the Apple announcements coming out of Cupertino regarding the latest products such as the iPhone 6.  And, as an almost ‘afterthought’, they brought out the iWatch, a wearable device that goes with you anywhere.

This reinforces the notion that the “Internet of Everything” offers anything, anywhere, anytime, to anyone, and presents some challenges to the IT community – how can we provide content and services to anyone, anywhere, anytime, while at the same time ensure that this data is updated, patched, backed up, secured, and protected from disasters, data loss and corruption?  It’s sort-of like trying to pave and re-pave an interstate highway while people are driving on it all-day and all-night.

Here at Tendenci, one of the hindrances to providing site availability 24×7 was literally the hardware these sites were running on.  The servers, hard-drives, power supplies, cables, switches, routers, power-distribution networks, even having them all in the same building meant that, if the building lost power, the sites would be down.

So, we began looking for the most effective ways to solve this problem.  Rather than re-invent an entire infrastructure to protect us from failure, why not utilize services from someone who has already solved the problem?  Hello Amazon Web Services.

Recently, Gartner published a report on Cloud-based services and rated Amazon’s portfolio as “Highly Innovative, agile, and responsive to customer needs”.

(the full report is here)

By farming out the hardware to Amazon’s distributed architecture, it has allowed us to focus on more important pieces of the equation – new features and innovation, new technologies and subsystems that streamline performance and capacity, and customer enhancement requests we have received from the community.

As the next version of our product design looms on the horizon, it brings with it all of the heart and soul that open-source community provides.  Watch for some very cool innovative ideas in this space soon!

Scott Pederson

 

[RESOLVED] 5:30 PM – All Sites Online – Tendenci 4 Server Outage

Tendenci Logo

5:30 PM

All sites are back online. If you continue to see errors or have any questions at all, please let us know!

Questions? Contact us at support@schipul.com or (281) 497-6567 ext 411

2:30 PM

Some sites are beginning to come back online as we continue to work through the server issue. You should begin to see these Tendenci 4 sites back online.

9:30 AM

This morning, one of our Tendenci 4 Servers is experiencing an outage and some Tendenci 4 sites are down.

Our team is actively working on the issue to get the sites back up as soon as possible.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will update here with more information as soon as we can.

 

Questions? Contact us at support@schipul.com or (281) 497-6567 ext 411

 

[RESOLVED 7:15 PM] Tendenci 4 Network Connection Issues – Effecting Merchant Account Connections

UPDATE 1/22/2013 7:15 PM – All sites should be now functioning with a normal load time. Timeouts have ceased and the firewall will now allow FTP connections and allow payment gateways to post to Tendenci. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We will continue to monitor server connections. Thank you.

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UPDATE 1/22/2013 5:30 PM – We are still working on this issue with our service provider this evening. Some clients are reporting issues with the email server as well on Tendenci 4 sites. This means that email sent from the website (such as password resets) may be delayed. We will update with more information as we have it.

Thank you again for your patience, we apologize for the inconvenience.

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Our Tendenci 4 servers are currently experiencing a heavy increase of traffic, which has limited our connections to T4 sites. Your data is NOT at risk. This does not effect visitor’s ability to access your website or admin’s ability to log in. It does effect FTP connections (FTP connections may time out) and merchant account connections.

We are working on the issue and will update here as we have more information.

Tendenci 4 Merchant Account Connections May be Interrupted

Any payment gateway that is posting back to Tendenci 4 may be interrupted. Payments are being processed normally at the Merchant Account (i.e Authorize.net), but for some clients the approval confirmation is timing out before it is reported back to Tendenci.

If this happens, you will get an Error Message that payment was approved but there was an error in reporting the transaction back to the website.

Below is a sample timeout Error Message from Authorize.net:

Sample Authorize.net Timeout Error

If you get this error or reports from your customers of this error, please contact our support team and we walk you through how to verify the payment was processed correctly and update your invoices in Tendenci.

Questions? Contact Support

Questions? Contact our support team support@schipul.com or (281) 497-6567 ext 411

We are working on the issue and will update you as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.

Some Clients Experienced Mail Server Outage Yesterday – Issue is Resolved

Between the hours of noon and five yesterday afternoon, one of our mail servers went down and was not relaying email from some Tendenci 4.1 and Tendenci 5.0 websites. We have updated the effected sites to point to a new server and all notices should now be sending properly.

The mail server effects email notices sent through the website. For Tendenci 4 Clients, the mail server also effects newsletter sends. If you queued a T4 newsletter to be sent yesterday, it remained in the queue and was sent yesterday evening.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Below are instructions on how to review the email notices generated from your website:

How Do I Know if My Site was Effected?

You can review the notices created from your Tendenci website following these steps.

If you are a Tendenci 5.0 Client:

Be sure you are logged in as a superuser and hover over Quick Links to choose “Admin Backend”

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 11.46.21 AM

Scroll down to the Notifications box and click “Notice emails”

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 11.46.47 AM

Or you can navigate to this page directly using the URL:  yourURL.com/admin/notifications/noticeemail/

This will display a list of all of the email notices your site should have sent. Look for any notices dated yesterday (January 2, 2012) and click the name of the notice to read the contents.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 11.48.16 AM

If you are a Tendenci 4.1 Client:

In Tendenci 4 there are a few reports that log activity that should have resulted in an email notification. Review the following links to make sure you didn’t miss anything yesterday:

Contacts Report Displays Contact Form Submissions by Day

The most common email notification you will receive is when someone submits your Contact form. To review your site’s Contacts Report – from the Dashboard, click “Reports” under the Tendenci tabs. It will be listed as the first report.

Or navigate directly to yoursiteURL.com/en/users/reports/contacts.asp 

Look for contact forms that came in January 2. Each block represents a contact form, click on the block to view the user’s information and contact form notes.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 12.01.53 PM

Other Tendenci 4 Email Notification Reports:

  • Pending Actions – Displays all pending submissions that require approval – yoursiteURL.com/en/actions/search.asp
  • Event Registrations – Displays list of Event Registrations – yoursiteURL.com/en/calendarevents/registrations/search.asp
  • Membership Notices – Displays any Membership email notifications – yoursiteURL.com/en/memberships/notices/logs/search.asp

Thank you for being a client!

We apologize for the inconvenience, and are happy to help answer any questions you have.

Contact us at support@schipul.com or (281) 497-6567 ext 411

Advanced Tour of Your Admin Backend – Tenth Day of Christmas Gifts from Tendenci to You!

Coming in 2013: We’re updating several features in the administration dashboard to give you easier control over your site’s advanced management tools. 

When we rewrote Tendenci in Python and Django in order to release an open source version, we also updated the Administration Management Dashboard that we commonly will refer to as your “Admin Backend”.  The Admin Backend is intended for Tendenci Super-Users to manage the more advanced site and user functions, as well as give our open source users quick access to developer and theme documentation and tools.

ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS… TENDENCI’S GIFT TO YOU: Awesome Updates to Your Admin Backend!

access admin backend

Until now, most users have probably never seen this part of your site, and because we’re going to be adding tons of pretty awesome new features to your Admin Backend this year – I thought I’d offer y’all a tour.

If you have any questions or comments after the tour, please post in our comments section below or email me.

Your Administration Dashboard aka “The Admin Backend”

You can easily navigate to your site’s Admin backend two ways:

  • By adding /admin to the end of your site URL in the browser address bar
  • Navigating using your Blue Top Bar Admin Nav Menu through the dropdown menu under “Quick Links”

** You’ll need to have Super-User level access to the Tendenci website in order to access the Admin Backend regions.  

Sneek Preview of Upcoming Awesome Admin Backend Updates

Here’s a screenshot the site Administration Dashboard Homepage that you’ll see when you first log into the admin backed. You’ll see the full list of modules under Site Administration installed on your site.  If you install any plugins, such as the staff or videos plugins, you’ll find those listed here as well.

admin backend tendenci contributions
Your Admin Backend Dashboard Gives You Access to Advanced Site Features.

The Admin Backend dashboard also shows you your “Recent Actions” where  you can see recent items you’ve added (marked with a green plus icon), and edited, (marked with a pencil icon). The actions are linked to the content enabling you to quickly access the most recent content you’ve been working on.admin backend tendenci contributions

New Batch Management Tools

If you click through to one of the modules, for example the Files module, you’ll find the batch organization tools to make it faster for you to update, add, delete, and manage your site’s content and users. The batch organization tools give you the ability to effect multiple files at once.

Here’s a preview of some of the new batch management features we’re adding:

Click to filter and view Contributors and Owners of Files, Pages, Articles and Other Site Content

Filter content and files by the creator of the item on your site with a single click. The updated Filters let you see which users have added content as well as filter by active or inactive files.

files admin backend updates to sort by file owner
Filter and View Content based on the User who Added the Content

You might use this if you’re trying to find the original content for something that a former Staff member or Volunteer had created. You can even combine the filter by owner with the active filter option to see all content that’s currently active or inactive.

Inline Batch Editing for Titles, Tags, and other Fields

With the new inline editing option, you can quickly edit certain fields like we’re showing here for the stories module. Without having to click and wait for the full edit page to load – you can update tags, titles, categories and other fields just by clicking in the field, typing your changes and pressing enter or clicking out of the box.

stories in admin backend have more edit options
Inline Editing Options for Stories in the Admin Backend
drag and drop re ordering in admin backend
Just hover over the Reorder icon and then click and hold your left mouse button to change the ordering.

Use the drag and drop re-ordering feature to rearrange the order of content inside your admin backend. This is really great for content such as stories, photos, and video galleries where you may want the content to display to users in a different order than you originally uploaded the content in.

For example, when we initially uploaded a series of Membership videos to the website, the videos were displaying out of the series’ order on the video gallery page.  By going to the Admin Backend “Videos” dashboard, we were able to drag and drop the videos into the right order, and display the Membership Module 9 Video Series in order from start to finish:

video gallery re order display series
Simply Drap and Drop to Display Your Videos in Order!

Advanced Sorting Options

The new sorting options will enable you to quickly sort a module’s files using one or more of the header Fields. You can select which header fields to include in the sort and rank them in order for sorting.

For example, let’s say that you’re reviewing content on your website to make sure everything’s up-to-date for the new year. Using the advanced sorting options, you can search your Articles by the last date they were updated so that the most recently updated articles showed up first or last. You can also select to filter out inactive and pending articles by clicking the “active” filter. This way, you can easily start sorting content by starting with content that you know is publicly visible.

admin backend sort and filter field headers
Click to Sort and Filter Content in the Admin Backend

As you update content, the “Last Updated” date will change, automatically creating a way for you to keep track of your content that’s been recently edited and see at a glance what content is out of date.

Advanced Site Documentation from Docutils

We also integrated Tendenci with Docutils, an open source document management tool.  New Tendenci sites automatically will include advanced documentation and resources for those of you working on Tendenci as a developer or designer and you’ll access these tools from your Admin Backend dashboard.

template and site documentation
Find Advanced Documentation and Resources in Your Tendenci Admin Backend

Our developers have packaged up helpful code snippets, in-depth information about Models and Views, and more!

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM TENDENCI!merry christmas 12 days tendenci frame

We’re celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with daily previews of the all new Tendenci Features coming to your association website in 2013! Join us each day to “open new gifts” filled with feature updates for your website! Visit our Twelve Days of Christmas Main Page to find new gifts for each day from now until January 5th!

We love to hear your questions and comments about Tendenci, the open source CMS for Association’s – leave a reply below in our comments section or send us your thoughts via email to support@tendenci.com.

 

Tendenci Software Updates and New Features | January 26th, 2012

Coming Soon to a Tendenci Website Near You…

…Anyone Can Register Anyone with Tendenci’s Event Registration Upgrade!

We’ve updated the event registration system with new features that will go live in all Tendenci websites later this week.

Once the new system is implemented, Tendenci site admins will be able to enable event registration for anyone by anyone else when registering for one of your events.  This includes registering someone who qualifies for a discount.

You and your members will be able to use this new feature to register your friends and professional associates for events for them and pay the correct discounted price they are eligible for.  You won’t have to share login information and passwords or miss out on event registrations because someone wanted to register but didn’t have time or forgot.

How it will work:

As an attendee who is not logged in: you click the register button, select one of the available prices and submit your registration.  You can repeat the second step as many times as permitted [by the event] to include more people.

In order to qualify for discounted pricing, you’ll be asked to submit your email address or member number.  You can register using a discounted price if the email address or member number submitted is eligible.  You can also repeat this step as many times as permitted.

If an email address is associated with a discounted price, that email address can only be used once to register.  If the email address is not associated with a discounted price, the email address can be used repeatedly.  This will prevent someone from using the same email address for a member to register their non-member friends just to get the discounted price.

Enjoy!

Here is the full list of updates we will be unleashing this week on your Tendenci software for association website management:

Global Settings and Content Management

  • Updated several status message styles across modules, making alerts and status notices easier to see and understand.  Some of the places you’ll notice these changes on your website include:
    • Tendenci impersonation status
    • When you add, edit or delete Pages, Articles, and News
    • When you add, edit or delete Events
    • Membership Applications and Member profiles
  • Improved the foreign language translation capabilities of Tendenci Stories Module and User Profiles
  • Added new tracking features to give you better information on your site users’ activities on the website, including:
    • New tracking of how many times .PDFs and other non-image files are downloaded or viewed
    • New tracking of how site visitors are using the different modules on your website and where they are visiting the most
    • You can now view a registered user’s site activity individually from each user’s profile
    • *Reports for this newly tracked data are coming soon
  • Added a “Print Page” option to the stories module

Membership Module Updates

  • When a Member renews and changes their Membership type, Tendenci will automatically stop sending Membership Notices meant exclusively for their previous Membership Type
  • Expanded Membership Search functionality and now you can search any entry field to find search results
  • Membership status messages have been expanded to display expired members and if the expired membership has passed renewal or is still inside the renewal period in addition to displaying active membership status.  You can easily view these on each member profile page

Tendenci Template and Design Updates

  • Newly created sites now have a “click-and-edit” feature for changing your logo
  • Improved the modal boxes styles to increase user accessibility when adding or changing Template content with Tendenci Spaces
  • Improved navigation style updates in the module pages
  • Updating how new style changes are implemented to reduce the need for registered site users to refresh and clear their web browsers cache

Tendenci Events Management Module

  • New Event Type Color!  We have added a new light blue color to the Events Module
  • Added “Email Address” or “Member ID” validation functionality to the Event Registration

Tendenci Directory Module

  • Updated the Directory Price page to make it easier to use
  • Updated the directory pricing page to feature “add/edit” options when appropriate.

Tendenci Plugins

  • Updated Drag and Drop menu for managing online video galleries and videos

Not using Tendenci for your website CMS? 

Find out all the awesome things Tendenci can do for your Association with our 30-Day FREE Trial.  Then – show us what you can do with your Tendenci website!

Questions about these Updates? 

Hit us up in the comments or over on Get Satisfaction and try out our newest self sign-up version of the Tendenci Software FREE for 30 days! 

Tendenci Updates January 19th, 2012

Maintenance Announcement | Planned Website Outage to Upgrade Your Tendenci Database

Sunday January 22nd, 2011 Between 1:00AM and 2:00AM CST:

Some Tendenci Sites will experience a 10 to 15min downtime early this Sunday morning while we upgrade Tendenci 5.0 MySQL Database on client websites.  Please contact us at support@schipul.com if you have any questions.

Check out all of our awesome updates this week on your Tendenci software for association website management!

This update is so big that you might have to clear and refresh your web browser before you can see the changes on your Tendenci website.  We’ve got a great help file from the Schipul website on how to clear your web browser for you:  http://schipul.com/help-files/how-clear-or-bypass-your-browser-cache-5-seconds/.

Our biggest update this week is our addition of the physical location application – enabling your site visitors to search for the nearest physical location of your organization on your website!

Global Settings and Content Management

  • Searches using the Global Search or File Search now include results from PDF documents stored on your website
  • The Directory “Add” link is now visible by anyone with a login account on your website
  • You now have the option to preset tags when adding a story via query string
  • Updated the stories search page to be translation compatible

Custom Forms Module Updates

  • Increased Custom Form titles from 50 characters to now allow 100 characters for titles

Membership Module Updates

  • You can now paginate through subscribers on the group page
  • Graceful degrading when associating a subscriber with an existing account during import.

Physical Locations Module Added to Tendenci 5.0!

  • Tendenci 5.0 now has the physical locations module
  • Site visitors can search your locations by distance located at, all locations, or nearest location
  • Find the “location” application on your Tendenci admin bar to add, edit, and manage your physical locations
  • When a location is added or edited, the latitude and longitude are auto-saved

Tendenci Template and Design Updates

Tendenci Email Newsletter Marketing Dashboard

  • Your Campaign Monitor subscriber lists now automatically sync when subscribers are imported into a group 

Click Here to learn how to improve your email marketing using Tendenci’s Newsletter Marketing Dashboard integrated with Campaign Monitor’s email marketing software and find other resources for email marketing success!

Not using Tendenci for your website CMS? 

Find out all the awesome things Tendenci can do for your Association with our 30-Day FREE Trial.  Then – show us what you can do with your Tendenci website!

Questions about these Updates? 

Hit us up in the comments or over on Get Satisfaction and try out our newest self sign-up version of the Tendenci Software FREE for 30 days! 

Tendenci Updates January 12th, 2012

We made some new updates to our Tendenci software for association website management this week.

Check out all the awesome things Tendenci can do for your Association with our 30-Day FREE Trial.  Then – show us what you can do with your Tendenci website!

Global Settings and Content Management

  • Added Payment Method as a Field Label on custom forms.
  • Added Two new search filters for user profile search, allowing administrators to search users to view all users with a specific level of permissions and view all users capped at a specific level of permissions.
  • Updated some of the base template code to prevent page display errors when admins forget to upload media to custom page templates.

Membership Module Updates

  • Updated the corporate membership module to allow more design option in custom template designs for corporate memberships.
  • Updated membership entry approval email that goes to administrators with more links to the membership applicant data.
  • Added more information on corporate membership renewal notification.
  • Improved credit card payment verification process for corporate memberships.
  • All memberships now require a membership type at the database level to ensure content validity.

  • Moved the Corporate Memberships Tendenci Navigation Tab to the Membership Entry Application Page, replacing the News Tab.
  • Administrators will now see the Total Number of Memberships when they search Membership Entries.
  • Added a balance to membership entries, which links to the member’s invoice.  This will help administrators better manage their association’s finances and account receivables. 

Career Management Module Updates

  • Updated the Jobs Module to prevent duplicate URL slugs from new job postings that are very similar to previous job postings.
  • Improved indexing for the Jobs Module to increase relevancy of Job Board search results.
  • Add two new search filters for jobs search to allow you to search job postings by their Category and Subcategory.

Tendenci Self Sign-Up Trial Updates

  • Added a new email notification that will send trial/self sign-up customers an email notification 1 week prior to their trial expiration period to inform them their trial period is ending.
  • Currently – trial/self sign-up customers will not have their site disabled when their 30-day trial is over.  We will receive a notice and send them an email the day their site has expired and will update them when the Beta testing has ended at least 2 weeks before we would disable their trial website.

Tendenci Email Newsletter Marketing Dashboard

Click Here to learn how to improve your email marketing using Tendenci’s Newsletter Marketing Dashboard integrated with Campaign Monitor’s email marketing software and find other resources for email marketing success!

Questions about these Updates?

Hit us up in the comments or over on Get Satisfaction and try out our newest self sign-up version of the Tendenci Software FREE for 30 days! 

 

Tendenci Updates December 29th, 2011

We added new features to Tendenci for you to enjoy in the New Year.   Check out this week’s Tendenci updates:

Global Settings and Content Management

  • Custom Forms now have editable URL slugs
  • Custom Forms no longer require intro and response text
  • Updated how templates use Nav tags to avoid naming conflicts
  • The category template tag now skips objects that don’t have a category or subcategory
  • Reconfigured index servers to dramatically decrease the time for page saves and edits

Membership Module Updates

  • Removed the “admin only” option for membership type and payment method field on membership applications
  • Membership entries can now be deleted by administrators
  • Subscribers can now be batch imported into a User Group using a spreadsheet template

Career Module Updates

  • The Jobs Search page offers additional ways to customize your job search queries
  • Added Agency Information on the Job details page

Events Module

  • You can now filter by event types when an adding content to a new email newsletter campaign

Questions about these updates? Hit us up in the comments or over on Get Satisfaction and help us name our newest self sign-up version of the Tendenci Software by voting for your top 3 favorites: http://tendenci.com/vote-to-name-the-new-templateversion-of-tendenci/!