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  1. #1
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    when webmerge 2.5 or 3.0 will be released?
    I'm eagerly waiting for a new version of WM I think the time is come to solve the problems and limitations that were pointed out in this forum in all this time. Are you planning for an upgrade? Will it be available for free to current customers? Thank you

  2. #2
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    Version 2.5 and v3.0 are both in development now. Version 2.5 will be a free upgrade, and v3.0 will be our first paid upgrade but one which I'm confident you'll find well worth the modest upgrade fee.

    The main focus of v2.5 is to more flexible page breaks for index pages. Specifically, the current version requires you to choose either to break pages when the value in a field changes OR when a maximum number of records is reached, and v2.5 will allow you to use BOTH together if you choose. There will also be a few other goodies in that free update as well.

    Version 3.0 is a completely revised program, still offering the same ease of use for basic operations but making more complex tasks like hierachical categories and subcategories much more straightforward flexible. Version 3 will also include tools for modifying the datafeed -- if we do this as completely as I'm aiming for it'll obviate the need for Excel or any other external tool for feed modification.

    While we don't have specific timelines for release at the moment, I can tell you I'm highly motivated to move to v3 as quickly as possible, as the new code base will not only serve our customers well but is structured in a way that makes it much easier for me to enhance. WebMerge has grown a lot over the years, and the new architecture gives us a lot more room to grow more rapidly than before. So while it's been a long haul rewriting it, I think you'll be quite pleased with the result.

    In the meantime, what specific enhancements would you like to see first? We have a wide range of requests in the works, but your guidance can help us prioritize those more effectively.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  3. #3
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Version 2.5 and v3.0 are both in development now.
    Richard,

    I'm no longer desperate waiting for the next WM upgrade, because I have had the time to learn how to do PHP/MySQL by now, but I think that you're taking too long to release at least the Version 2.5 for the rest of the regular WebMerge users that don't know how to work with PHP/MySQL in the mean time.

    I still use and do some heavy work with my old 2.4 Version of WebMerge, and I still planning to keep the latest Version of WM on my HD, but as you can see on the other forums like the and the CJ forum, the datafeed pages are getting a very bad rap.

    I don't know if you have seen the latest news about CJ going with New Javascript Links 30 days from now, but unless you keep up with what is going on lately, I think that WM may suffer a decline in sales.

    Richard, I am not making this post to rush you in releasing any new WM Version, but just to let you know that things are looking hard for those of us that like to use WebMerge to make some product pages from merchants datafeeds, specially from those that are using the datafeeds from CJ, and while I use only the SAS datafeeds, and I really don't care about what CJ decide to do, I know that other affiliates depend on WebMerge to make their CJ product pages for them.

    Sal.
    ...

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    I still use and do some heavy work with my old 2.4 Version of WebMerge, and I still planning to keep the latest Version of WM on my HD, but as you can see on the other forums like the and the CJ forum, the datafeed pages are getting a very bad rap.
    The biggest complaint about data feeds has nothing to do with the tool used to turn them into web pages. Whether one uses WebMerge, PHP, or some other solution, the central issue is replicated content and its effects on ranking.

    This issue is generic to all product info from vendors, regardless of format or the tool that processes it. Some people work hard to create sites that add value to the web, and others just dump feeds. A lot of feed-dump sites use PHP. It's not the tool, it's the individual user.

    To address these concerns what would be most helpful for our customers is a broad expansion of the scope of what WebMerge does, to move beyond the page generation it handles well today to also providing assistance with modifying the feed. That's beyond the scope of what the v2.x interface and supporting code base can address, but the flexibility of the v3.x architecture will make it quite efficient there.

    So while the decision to begin R&D on v3.0 concurrent with the development of v2.5 does indeed affect the timeline for v2.5's rollout, in the long run it serves our customers better by providing a more comprehensive set of solutions that much faster.

    And in the meantime, those who use WebMerge 2.4 tell me they find good value in it today, even if that means doing some data refining in Excel or other program.

    With these new capabilities we can expect that the price of WebMerge 3.0 will be higher than it is today, but even with a price increase we'll do our best to remain a better long-term value with that one-time fee than services that charge monthly costs and/or per-domain or per-feed fees.

    And the upgrade fee from the current version will be attractively low, so folks can get value from the current version, enjoy the free 2.5 upgrade, and later get into v3.0 with minimal cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    I don't know if you have seen the latest news about CJ going with New Javascript Links 30 days from now, but unless you keep up with what is going on lately, I think that WM may suffer a decline in sales.
    I've read the CJ thread, and based on the nearly unanimous reaction from affiliates it seems the companies who'll benefit most from this change will be CJ's competitors.

    From what I've read, shifting from straight URLs to JavaScript shouldn't affect WebMerge customers at all; they're still providing feeds, just changing the format of the link.

    If the field names remain the same our customers won't even need to change their templates -- just download the new feed, regenerate, and they're up and running. And even if they change the field name that's just a 10-second update to a WebMerge template.

    It may also be that CJ will reverse their position on this over time, either offering the older format as an option or discovering that everyone's signed up for the "email link" option. The performance hit from loading so many remote elements will slow page loads to a crawl, but more importantly the degree to which they move elements into JavaScript is the degree to which they'll exacerebate the duplicate content issue. If they reduce the affiliate's ability to refine the content, they'll reduce affiliate income --- and ultimately reduce their affiliate base.

    Unless there's some aspect of this I'm misunderstanding, it doesn't seem something that will affect WebMerge at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    Richard, I am not making this post to rush you in releasing any new WM Version, but just to let you know that things are looking hard for those of us that like to use WebMerge to make some product pages from merchants datafeeds, specially from those that are using the datafeeds from CJ, and while I use only the SAS datafeeds, and I really don't care about what CJ decide to do, I know that other affiliates depend on WebMerge to make their CJ product pages for them.
    I have some good news regarding SAS coming up soon (more on that around June 1), but in the meantime I don't see the CJ shift as requiring any change to WebMerge, though I'm open to suggestions if I've missed something.

    I'm also looking into ways to support Cafe Press. They don't generate datafeeds per se, but XML files for specific ranges of products based on search queries. It would be just as easy for them to also provide tab-delimited results for those queries, and for the life of me I can't figure out why their engineers haven't gotten around to supporting the world's simplest and most common data transfer format. Just the same, as long as they're fixated on XML we'll see what we can do for them.

    So there's a lot of movement here at Fourth World, even if much of it's not very visible right now. In the coming months you'll see new things coming out of here that'll make it very clear we're listening very intently to our customers, and putting in long hours to support their ever-changing needs for now and for the future.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  5. #5
    Member tsmgroup2's Avatar
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    Exclamation Thanks for the V3.0 info
    If 3.0 does as well as you hope and gives us such great performance and flexibility for use with the feeds, God bless you Richard.

    I just wanted to say "thank you, very much".... no pun, sarcasm, or anything like that intended. I can't wait for the release.

    That's it. Thank you.
    Mark (Satchel)
    Webmaster / Sales Manager
    [url]www.tsmgroup2.biz[/url]

  6. #6
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    Richard,

    I've read all of the above with interest. I'm nothing to do with affiliate site-building, but WM has been invaluable over the past couple of years as an efficient 'mail merge' tool, pouring data from MS Access into fairly complex html templates. We do arts marketing on a shoestring, and WM enables me to update "what's on" and event information pages daily with one click, without having to invest in a server databased system.

    My point is this. If the v3.0 new features are going to swing away from general mail-merge tools into feed-specific territory, perhaps it's worth keeping v2.5 on sale as a different tool for those of us following a non-affiliated path..?

    Simon

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by seastwood
    If the v3.0 new features are going to swing away from general mail-merge tools into feed-specific territory, perhaps it's worth keeping v2.5 on sale as a different tool for those of us following a non-affiliated path..?
    Not to fear: While a majority of WebMerge's current users are affiliates, their needs are not much different from our other users. I see WebMerge as being a valuable part of any professional webmaster's toolkit -- and increasingly so as it continues to evolve. I think you'll be as pleased as our affiliate customers with where the product is heading.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  8. #8
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    Richard,

    Thank you - that's good to hear.

    Simon

  9. #9
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    I hope the upgrade program makes sense for the users that have bought recently.

    But I love the usability and look forward to what it might do next.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by andbeyond
    I hope the upgrade program makes sense for the users that have bought recently.
    Remember, I'm not just a software vendor, but I'm also a customer. I buy a LOT of software each year, and I hate that sinking feeling you get when you buy a product and a week later the next version comes out with all sorts of nifty new features -- and the vendor has no price break for recent purchases.

    This is an area I'm very sensitive to, and I'm confident we'll come up with a price structure that'll keep our customers happy.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  11. #11
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    Hello,
    any news about the release date of v3?

    thanks

  12. #12
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    . .





  13. #13
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    Me too

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager
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    At this point I can only say that it's in development. I'll post more details when it's closer to shipping.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager
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    I'd like to add that there are some design considerations with v3.0 that I'm being picky about in my goal to make this version both much more powerful and simpler to use, esp. with regard to multi-tier hierarchical sites. If you're anxious for v3.0 and make three or more levels in your site hierarchy, please feel free to call me at 800-288-5825 so we can explore some options for serving your needs optimally in that version. Thanks!
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

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