Beta release v0.9 now available

It’s been a hectic two weeks here at PrestaShop. Every time we thought the new v0.9 was ready to hit the stage, we’d get another show-stopping bug.

On the other hand, the extra time meant that we could add a lot more new functionality than originally planned—thus the version jump from 0.8.5.1 to 0.9.

PrestaShop users have already successfully installed and upgraded 0.9, so feel free to give it a spin. (EDIT on 7 Dec 2007: Some users are reporting installation problems. We will soon be releasing v0.91 which will resolve most (all?) issues. (EDIT on 14 Dec 2007: PrestaShop v0.9.1 has been released as a beta version; no known bugs remain but testing is not yet complete.)

As always, we’d appreciate your feedback on the PrestaShop Community Forum.

Hundreds of bugs were fixed. Here’s an incomplete list of immediate & upcoming improvements:

New Installer & Updater wizard. (0.9) Lucas and Philippe re-built this wizard from scratch (and in Ajax) in order to help our users get PrestaShop up and running as quickly and as easily as possible. Users of v0.8.5 or v0.8.5.1 can now update to the latest version of PrestaShop in just two clicks! Laëtitia whipped up the snazzy new interface.

Sale of virtual goods. (0.9) Joël developed functionality by which online store owners can now create product pages for downloadable items (for example, digital music, e-books, or services).

Module template. (0.9) Matthieu has “templated” Modules—?that is, where before you had to customize the look of Modules directly in the code, now you can make your Modules match your theme by tweaking them directly in the Back Office.

Improved Attribute management. (0.9) Thibaud streamlined the application of Attributes to products in the Back Office—a popular request.

Back Office path bar. (0.9) At a glance you know where you are in the Back Office at all times.

Favicon support. (0.9) Choose your own Favicon to be displayed next to your online shop’s URL in a Web browser.

Editorial Module. (0.9) Add and modify the text, links, and images of your shop homepage more easily.

Translatable Modules. (0.9) Until now, translating PrestaShop Modules had to be done within the code itself. Now, you can provide your own translations via a tool in the Back Office.

Multiple Module installation.  (0.9) By marking a series of checkboxes, you can now bulk-install Modules instead of having to install them one at a time.

Customer e-mail edit. (0.9) Forum regular James kindly supplied us with native-English texts for the automatic e-mails sent by the Back Office (e.g., when the customer creates an account, cancels an order, sends you a comment, e-mails a product page to a friend, etc.).

Back-Office currency. (0.9) Until now, the euro (€) was the default currency used throughout the Back Office. You can now choose a different default currency.

Currency choice for cheques. (0.9) You can now select the currency in which you accept payments by cheque.

Detailed shipping taxes. (0.9) Until now, taxes on shipping were displayed as one pre-tax value (e.g., 10 €). Now, both pre- and post-tax values are displayed (e.g., 10 € shipping + 1.90 € shipping tax).

Product display order.  (0.9) Previously, products were displayed in the Front Office catalog according to the date added to the database. You can now sort products alphabetically, according to price, and in other ways.

New documentation. (0.9 & 1.0) Peter has been expanding the Documentation Wiki with new and updated sections every week. Once a first version is complete for v1.0, we’ll open the Wiki to the general public so that you’ll be able to contribute your own edits and translations.

PrestaShop Forum & FAQ. (1.0) We’ve created separate sections in our Forum for our French- and English-speaking users. Important and recurring questions are being gathered from all corners of the Forum in order to create a FAQ, the first version of which will be in English and eventually translated into other languages—perhaps with your help?

Bulk Lister. (1.0) This is an oft-requested feature that will allow high-volume importing of products from spreadsheets and exported databases, notably from other e-Commerce shopping cart applications.

Alias Search. (1.0) In the Back Office, site owners will be able to manage an Alias Seach list of anticipated search terms typed in by visitors. This could also be useful for linguistic differences between regions. For example, a search for appartment or apartement or apart* could still result in a hit for apartment, as could flat or lodging if the Alias Search list were set up that way.

Live Demos. (1.0) In the Demos section of our Website, visitors will be able to preview and test the many features of the PrestaShop e-Commerce solution without having to download and install PrestaShop.

A PrestaShop Services marketplace. (early 2008) Website owners will be able to auction contracts for customized work, and pre-screen programmers from around the world will be free to bid on them.