Once again it's been a while since we posted any updates to our Roadmap. But that doesn't mean there hasn't been lots going on with Zen Cart, both actively in the ZC community as well as behind the scenes.
The last couple of years have seen some major internal changes for us, not just to code, but also the way we do development. Most of that was prompted by PA-DSS certification, and despite the 'pain' involved, we are extremely proud that …
Zen Cart is the first and only free open source E-Commerce system that is fully PA-DSS certified.
One of these days we will post/blog a bit about what's been involved from our side to get that certification.
The e-Commerce space has seen many changes and new trends emerge in the last couple of years as well, including exciting topics such as Mobile Payments, HTML5, Responsive Design, etc. These, and many more, promise to re-shape the landscape of ecommerce into an even more powerful and dominant staple of worldwide business. We at Zen Cart are very much aware of these topics, and have every intention of embracing these emerging technologies and empowering storeowners to leverage these things in their businesses. We're glad you're with us and look forward to the road ahead.
Speaking of what's ahead …
While we have been actively working on v2 for a few years, one thing we are acutely aware of is that there are thousands of merchants around the world who are reliant on our v1.x code and who want us to keep supporting them, whether that is just bug fixing or new features and performance enhancements. As such we are committed to not only our current v1.5 product but also to future releases based on the v1.xx architecture. More on v2 below.
Given that, we would like to share what our short-term roadmap is for v1.5
This is due for release a.s.a.p.
It consists mainly of bug fixes for v1.5.0 as well as some performance enhancements.
Note: This update will *not* be submitted for official PA-DSS certification, since most of its changes have little or no impact to PA-DSS, and are largely optional anyway. Read on.
If necessary, we *may* also release a v1.5.1a fairly shortly after the v1.5.1 release. This will cover any regression errors in v1.5.1 plus some other outstanding minor bug fixes that we still have in our Change Management system.
This update will also not be submitted for PA-DSS certification, for same reasons as stated above.
Now for the 'good stuff'...
v1.6.0 - Primarily sporting A NEW TEMPLATE
a) We are currently working on a whole new updated template for v1.6.
We have long been aware that the look of our current "default" out-of-the-box "classic" template is old fashioned, rather drab, and doesn't present our core product in the best of light. Well, that's changing soon!
The new template sports the following important features:
- a new modern look and feel
- built specifically for HTML5, will be able to take advantage of CSS3 features where appropriate.
- responsive, and therefore works just as well on mobile/tablet displays as on desktops.
- easier to skin and adapt to custom requirements. There are even plans to prepare a style-guide to help designers put together their custom template updates more quickly and easily.
- lightbox for product images.
- jQuery support built-in.
- and much more.
b) Even the HTML-formatted emails are getting a face-lift too.
c) And a little love behind-the-scenes with the admin interface.
d) And the list could go on... We will be doing some feature tweaking/bug fixing for v1.6 as well.
After an initial BETA release, it will be submitted for PA-DSS certification testing, and it is our intention that v1.6 will be PA-DSS certified (although it may take some time before it is officially stamped).
We are hoping the time scale for this release will be short, so should follow along after v1.5.0a/v1.5.0b fairly quickly. We intend to put 1.6.0 out soon. That's the plan.
There's still a lotta work to do on it yet, so please don't ask us for a release date!
As we said earlier, it is our intention to keep supporting this platform for awhile yet, until v2 is truly ready and released into active production abroad. That means there will be other releases after v1.6.0. Some will be simply bug fixing, but we also envisage some feature enhancements and performance tuning.
So what about v2?
Though we've been accused otherwise, honestly it is *not* vapourware. It is very real … and work on v2 has been progressing, even given the focus that we have had to give to PA-DSS. However, given our commitment to continue ongoing development for the v1.x series, that leaves us with limited resources to make major progress with v2. We will therefore be looking at ways we can increase the resources we have available to work on v2, and you can expect to see some announcements in the coming months regarding that.
We are excited about the work currently in progress, the upcoming new releases and the new default template. Stay tuned for more updates and official release announcements.