There is a major programme of developments lined up for Affino in 2012. This post outlines many of the key ones. Whereas 2011 was something of a transitional year for Affino (although we made some great headway see here and here). 2012 will see many key milestones reached which will open up Affino to provide great sites on all devices for great commercial and community based sites.
For an indepth look have a look at the Mindmap here. For a quicker overview see below.
- Adaptive Design
- HTML 5
- Usability and Learnability
- Affino 7
You can see more details on each of the key priorities below.
We will also maintain attention to:
- Overall Product Quality
In 2011 there were over 1,400 Affino development projects and there’s no reason to think there will be fewer this year. Which means that there will be a lot more that’s not on this list.
Note that as always priorities are open to change, however all elements outlined are firmly on the Affino roadmap and will be rolled out at some point in 2012.
Affino’s approach to Mobiles and Tablets is Adaptive Design, as opposed to Responsive Design. Responsive Design repurposes existing assets for different design factors and can be very slow on mobile, especially for media, it also so doesn’t optimize user interfaces as far as they could be.
Adaptive Design means tailored interfaces for mobile and tablets, optimized for different form factors and OSs. This means that we’ll be tailoring the way different elements in Affino work on different form factors, and whilst you will need to put thought into how you lay out your mobile sites in particular, much of what Affino does will be to handle the transition between devices gracefully.
We’ll also be rolling out a Mobile App API which initially will support iOS and Android.
HTML 5 is a term which actually covers a lot of developments which are aimed at providing native browser capabilities to replace many plugins, in particular to replace Flash. We started replacing Flash elements in Affino over a year ago and the goal this year is to replace all remaining Flash / Flex elements with native browser elements. We won’t just be replacing them, we’ll be improving on them wherever possible as part of the process.
Elements to be Upgraded:
- Bulk Media Uploader
- Cover Flow
- Media Editor
- MP3 Player
- Music Element
- Object Designer
- Photo Stack
- Video Player
- Video Carousel
- Video Wall
This will be the second most time intensive project for 2012 since these are major elements, many of which took many months to create in their Flash / Flex formats.
All future dynamic elements will be done with native browser technologies.
There will be a big focus on first time users in 2012, whether they are using Affino for the first time or are just starting to roll out new Affino modules.
We will be building on some of the experimental elements from 2011 such as dynamic listings and selectors, Zone filters and live label editing to make them universal features. We’ll also be doing a great deal to make all the controls simpler, more automated and easier to learn. There’s much more detail in the Mindmap so take a look there.
2012 Will see the launch of Affino 7. Which will open up a great deal of scope to further improve the scalability and performance of Affino.
It means Affino will be fully working on the latest generation ColdFusion, Java, Solr and Microsoft platforms. It also means that all our Cloud infrastructure will be upgraded to the new generation.
Big changes from the platform upgrade will come in the way we can do searches, reporting, analysis and other data intensive tasks.
2012 will see further significant enhancements in Affino’s ecommerce capabilities with dozens of projects lined up, the biggest of which is replacing almost the entire ecommerce engine with a brand new v2 version. We will also be rolling out mobile optimised stores; a bulk catalogue item editor; store credits; category experts, fund raising gift wrapping and much more.
We know of at least four new platforms Affino will be integrated with: Broadbean, Bullhorn, ETZ and Ztorm. We will also be doing a major upgrade to Affino’s integration with Facebook.
The vast majority of integration work will be to maintain compatibility and deepen the integration with 3rd party platforms as the opportunities arise, as was the case in 2011.
There will be some great updates for Affino communities this year. The Recruitment and Fundraising projects will have a big impact in shaping how communities can develop on Affino.
Direct Chat, although a community element, will have a big impact on sales and support, whilst the Profile and Facebook updates will significantly improve the community dynamics.
We expect to evolve the Community side a great deal in 2012 and these are just the start.
We do not have many publishing specific projects lined up for 2012, but all the Usability and Media projects and many of the Community projects will be of great benefit when publishing.
In practice publishing on Affino will become considerably easier for beginners, which means that it will be easier to engage larger teams with Affino. It will also become much easier when running multiple Zones (sites) on a single Affino instance.
Reworking all of Affino’s video and music players, design elements and highlights to use HTML 5 is going to be a major challenge, one which will no doubt be an ongoing project for most of 2012 and beyond. We have a host of projects lined up to make using media even more effective than it already is.
The biggest promotion project in 2012 will be the full embracing of Schema.org’s meta tagging standards, this is critical to successful SEO moving ahead.
Messaging automation will be greatly improved for better personalization and targeting; and Panels will offer a great new way to do highlights and navigation.
We’re looking to do an Affino release at least every two months as has been the recent trend, with the first one in Febrary. We already have some great new developments underway and can’t wait to get you all the great new features over the year.
If there are features that are missing or you want to prioritise then feel free to post in the comments below.