0 comments on “Store Locator Plus® Servers Upgraded”

Store Locator Plus® Servers Upgraded

Cluster Teamwork

All of the Store Locator Plus® web properties are now living on an updated server cluster.   The new configuration, a load-balanced cluster, will provide zero-downtime maintenance window and faster performance under peak load;  These upgrades will be most noticeable for our SaaS users.

What Changed?

Our prior server configuration used a failover configuration.   In that type of configuration a web server handles 100% of the load and if it fails a second duplicate server that is in standby takes over.  This provides limited downtime with reduced costs; However, it also means there are routine service outages when the underlying software (Operating System, web services, web apps) are updated.

The current configuration, put into place over the weekend with zero downtime, uses a load balanced configuration.  In this configuration two-or-more servers mirror each other and are all online and answering web requests at the same time.  Requests are split between the servers with a goal of maintaining an average load of just under 50%.  This ensures that if one server fails the service stays up-and-running while a replacement server is automatically brought online to assist in web services.

The load balanced cluster also provides an added benefit of horizontal scalability. Failover style server could only be pushed up to a bigger server with more CPUs and RAM and faster network interfaces; a process that meant building ever-bigger servers with higher costs and longer maintenance window downtime.     The load balanced cluster configuration monitors server loads across the cluster and adds a new server automatically at set performance limits.   This ensures that there is a less-than-5-minute response time to adding capacity whenever there is a spike in usage.

Ready For The 2019 Holiday Season

These changes ensure our Store Locator Plus® SaaS users have an improved experience available for their site visitors this year.    As the retail store sites quadruple their traffic, and thus map requests, the Store Locator Plus® servers will expand accordingly improving performance and ensuring our customer’s maps load as quickly as possible.

Customers using the WordPress buy-and-own plugins that experience a notable increase in traffic during the holiday season may want to consider migrating to the SaaS service.    It is less costly than building a web server that can handle peak traffic that you only need to deal with for 60 days of the year.      Not too mention it keeps the software updated and secure with zero effort on your part.

0 comments on “New Ifnotset Results Layout Logic”

New Ifnotset Results Layout Logic

Store Locator Plus® has a new release coming soon that adds some new features to the product offering.    The new 5.3 release builds on the current Results Layout formatting by adding a new ifnotset attribute to the [slp_location] shortcodes.    This allows user to display location data or option values by using either the “ifset” or “ifnotset” logic.

Display Phone Number If Set, Otherwise Display Fax Number

In this example, the results layout will show users the location phone number when that field has data in it.   If the phone number is not set it will render the fax field.    This goes in the Store Locator Plus® | Settings | Results | Results Layout setting.

...
<div class="slp_phone">[slp_location phone ifset="data.sl_phone"][slp_location fax ifnotset="data.sl_phone"]</div>
...

 

Other Uses

The [slp_option] shortcode has been modified in 5.3 to also allow for use of the ifset and ifnotset attributes.   For example, display the Results Box Title setting value if the phone is not set:

...
[slp_option results_box_title ifnotset="data.sl_phone"]
---

Coming Soon

This new feature is coming soon to our SaaS and our self-managed WordPress plugins.

If you are on our SaaS product you will be able to start using the new feature soon, no updates required on your end — we’ll take care of the software upgrade along with the related maintenance tasks like pre-update backups and pre-production stability testing.

Like the idea of a fully managed locator service?   Check out our SaaS subscriptions today:

2 comments on “Store Locator Plus 5.2.8 Released – Map Center, Location Sensor, Address patches”

Store Locator Plus 5.2.8 Released – Map Center, Location Sensor, Address patches

Store Locator Plus® 5.7 has been released to assist with several features available in the Professional and Enterprise packages of our SaaS product as well as features for the Power and Experience add-on packages for the WordPress plugin.

Location Sensor Refinements

The locations sensor is available for users of the Professional or Enterprise SaaS service.    For those using the legacy WordPress plugins the Power add on is required.     Keep in mind your site must be an https-based URL which will require you have an SSL certificate.

This patch enhances the consistency of location detection features where some combinations of settings were forcing the location sensor to enable when the feature was turned off.

This setting is found under Store Locator Plus® | General | User Interface.

Center Map

Setting the center of the map can happen several ways.  The default for all maps is to use the value stored under Store Locator Plus® | Settings | Map for Center Map At.

However this can be overridden when using the WordPress plugin by passing along the map_center attribute on the [slplus] shortcode.    This will force the map to override the default allowing different results to be shown on different pages such as places closest to Boston MA on the /Boston page of your site with [slplus map_center=’Boston MA’]

Users of the SaaS product to not deploy with shortcodes.  This patch does not affect them.

Passing Address In URL

Users of the WordPress plugin can deploy maps on pages that accept an inbound ?address=Boston+MA parameter which will act as if the user typed that address into the search box on the locator.     This feature has been refined with SLP 5.2.8 with the Experience 5.2.5 add-on.

We are looking into implementation of this feature for the SaaS product to mimic the behavior without the extra overhead of hosting separate JavaScript snippets on pages.

For WordPress Users

You should backup your database and all settings before upgrading to the latest release.     Update Store Locator Plus first then update the Power and Experience add on to the latest release.

For our SaaS Users

The latest patches have already been tested and installed.