After several months of development I'm delighted to announce today our first InstantKB 2014 BETA is now online and available for testing via our online demo at http://demos.instantasp.co.uk/InstantKB2014/
Whilst we don't have a BETA download available just yet we wanted to start gathering early customer feedback so opted to publish a fully functional demo on our own web site. We are working to make a BETA download available to our existing customers later this week. We need a little more time to complete the documentation to help our existing customers upgrade from 2011 to the 2014 BETA. We will of course post an update here within our blog once the BETA is available for download & local installation. Please check our blog in the coming days for further news on the BETA download.
For now please don't hesitate to try our early online demo. You can login as an administrator & staff member using the default login credentials listed below.
We've made so many improvements in this release it would be overwhelming to list them all here. Instead I'll provide a brief high level overview of each major improvement below...
- Reporting for all content. tickets & searches
- Complete move to C# for the entire code base
- New responsive default skin for mobile support
- New real-time global search (across both articles & customer tickets)
- New flat UI design for the default skin
- New cleaner, mobile friendly admin & staff CP design
- New WYSIWYG (paste images from clipboard, touch support)
- New Homepage sections (feature categories of articles on your homepage - Getting Started, How Tos, Videos etc)
- Improved tools to manage user submitted comments
- New provider & plug-in extensibility model (for our forthcoming marketplace)
There are hundreds of smaller improvements in our 2014 update. A few of these include...
- Move to more semantic HTML 5 based mark-up
- Improvements to documentation skin & split tabs (easier to add & edit content)
- New server side database viewstate management (smaller pages)
- New page & resource (js, css) minification & bundling (smaller pages)
- Improved live suggestion accuracy from the kb (when composing tickets)
- New asynx support for many time intensive operations
- Improved ticket searching (question and all replies will be searched by default)
- New IoC design pattern applied throughout code (fewer dependencies easier testing)
- Improved PDF export capabilities for articles
- New Password Encryption Options (SHA1-512 - with reset only password reset flow)
We are still working to complete the responsive mobile design. This is far from complete currently and you won't receive a great experience in the BETA on a tablet or phone. The responsive design will be complete in the coming weeks and we are working to have full mobile support before the first InstantKB 2014 final release.
UPDATE (25th July): We have improved the responsive design but do still have a few further issues to resolve.
It's taken us a long time to prepare this release mainly due to the complete code migration to C#. This alone has taken several months to complete however as we discussed previously in our "Going C# & .NET 4.5" post we feel this investment was well worth the time and offers us a solid platform to build upon going forward. Now the C# migration is complete you can expect more regular updates for InstantKB. We have lots of improvements planned that didn't make it into our 2014 release. Going forward we will now be focusing on adding the following features into future InstantKB releases...
- Article Localization & Translation Management Tools
- Single Inbox (email & social monitoring for inbound tickets)
- Reporting (insight into how your customers are using your knowledgebase)
- Visual workflow designer (for content approval - routing ticket workflows)
- Article Revision Histories (with side-by-side comparisons / diffgram & roll back capabilities)
- Improved user rating & user comments (spam detection, vote content up or down)
- We are developing a full REST API for InstantKB (easier integrations)
- Marketplace for both InstantForum & InstantKB (3rd party themes, language packs, plug-ins etc)
We hope you enjoy the improvements so far in our 2014 release. Of course if you have any suggestions or general comments please don't hesitate to post below or contact us. I look forward to posting further news soon. Please stay tuned.