v0.5.3 Release

Pav

Administrator
Staff member
Important Announcement
Short Story
  • XtendIn is now FREE from August 1st, 2019.
  • All Monthly Subscription Payments have now stopped.
  • All Yearly Subscription Payments have now stopped. Anybody paid in the last 3 months will get refunded.
  • XtendIn will not support Google Chrome Extensions Manifest v3 format, and will stop working sometime in the year 2020.
Long Story
What is Wrong?
In October 2018, Google announced plans of changes they would like to introduce to Extensions in the future. To simply put they want to stop malicious extensions being uploaded to their Chrome Webstore. As time has progressed further information has been given, but Google have been making business changes which have started to affect things. The changes proposed would harm XtendIn in several ways, which are explained below.

Issue - Permissions Restrictions
Google would like Extensions to have minimal permissions so that they are more simpler to deal with. For this release to go out, 3 sets of permissions were taken out to avoid being caught in lengthy review times. That has led to the removal of the All Interfaces section, meaning that a particular section has been dropped.

Issue - Architectural Changes
It would be possible to adapt the Extension to support the new changes, but one particular change would not help XtendIn. A script that runs in the background is used to cache Infusionsoft API data to help process things more quickly for particular features. Google want the background script to be called when needed, but not running all the time in the background. That means caching data in the memory becomes a no-go. That means that the data would have to be stored in a file, or requerying the API again. There is a couple of changes, which require changing parts of XtendIn to adapt to it. That is not ideal and may mean some features would need to be dropped if there is performance issues.

Issue - Review Times
In the past few weeks, Google is now manually reviewing Extensions that have been uploaded with particular permissions. This release removes those particular permissions. But this release is also an experiment to see how quickly it gets published. The problem is that some extensions are now taking several days to be reviewed. This is not good, because if you need to quickly release an update to fix an issue, it is going to take days for it to be published.

Issue - Remotely Hosted Code
The majority of XtendIn code is included in the Extension. A couple of the Integrations need to access scripts on another server to work. If Google is going to be clamping down on the use of remote code, then it means some of the Integrations would have to be dropped as well.

Issue - Extension Scope
This what could cause XtendIn to be removed from the Webstore in the future. Google wants Extensions to be narrowed scoped, meaning that they should do one particular job, instead of several jobs. Some extensions have already been removed from the Chrome Webstore due to them doing more than expected. It has been queried with Google in regards to XtendIn, in which it has passed for the moment, but nothing detailed came out of it. XtendIn can do several different things across several web applications. The question is it on the borderline or not in regards to Google requirements. Removing features would just stop its usefulness and then it could not grow anymore.

Why go Free?
This was not an easy decision to make, but it is a fair one. When the Extension stops working sometime during 2020, then taking payments right to the very end would not be fair. It cannot be guaranteed anymore if XtendIn survives in the coming months. It depends on how much stricter Google gets with the Extensions, in turn it could become a minefield. If no other solution can be found, then the Extension will be gone completely from the Chrome Webstore when Manifest v3 becomes mandatory.

Alternative Solutions
XtendIn could carry on via the two following ways below.

Different Browser (Less Likely)
XtendIn could be adapted to work for Firefox, or other Chromium based Browsers. With Google making changes, the question would would be how long before other browsers do something similar. It is all very well of them saying that they would support the old Manifest format, but when security issues become apparent then they will change their minds.

Developing Browser Extensions is going to get problematic and messy in 2020.

Desktop Application (More Likely)
It is possible to create a Windows/Mac Desktop Application that mimics XtendIn features. The Application would basically be like a Web Browser, but with not having all the browser capabilities. It would be designed to serve XtendIn functionality, so there would be differences. Over time features can be added and the experience would improve.

Developing an application would have its own set of Advantages (ie: More Control, More Capabilities) and Disadvantages (ie: Memory Consumption, Software Size, No Extensions Support). Installing and auto-updating the application would have to be served via the web server as well. It means that it would be out of Google control, and would have more freedom.

The question would there be enough demand to develop a Desktop Application?
It would take several weeks to get something developed, and then slowly migrate XtendIn features across into the application.

Whilst the Application is being developed, the Extension will carry on running until there is a point in time where it is no longer applicable. When the Application is in a good position, then there would be a process of migrating everyone across.

Feedback
Need to see how things turn out over the next few weeks before any final decisions are made. Going down the Desktop Application route would be the best option, and would keep XtendIn running into the 2020s. It also depends if there is a demand for it as well.

If you have any questions, or you would like to see XtendIn continue, please drop a message.
Please list the features you would like to see continue in the future.


Infusionsoft

Campaign Builder - Button Position

A fix has been rolled out so that the Draft/Ready and Publish buttons can be moved to the left side of the Campaign Builder. A few weeks ago Infusionsoft updated the look of the Campaign Builder but it broke several XtendIn features.

Campaign Builder - Image Saving
This feature has been removed as the Campaign Builder behaves differently now. Using the feature produced pictures with missing content. Recommended that you use Infusionsoft own Image Saving feature if one is supplied.

Campaign Builder - Title Wrapping
A fix has been rolled out so that the "Allow text in the Navigation Breadcrumbs to wrap onto another line" option can work in the updated Campaign Builder. It will be able to show two lines of text if its too long. Although with the improved changes, this option does not need to be used much now.

Contacts - Tags - Remove Options
If you are using the Tags Layout Type feature, you will now see two additional options in the Tag dropdown. You can now either remove all the tags in the list, or all the tags that have been selected. The Add option has been renamed to reflect it is applying all the tags in the dropdown.

Contact Record - Duplicate Checker - Email Address
A fix has been rolled out so that the Email Address Duplicate Checker now filters out results that are related to a Company.

Contact Record - Tags Tab - Full Tag Names
A new "Show Tag Names in Full" option has been added to Contact Record - Tags Tab section. This will allow showing of the Tag Names in full in the Tags table.
Visit the CRM - Contact Record Section.

File Box / Dropbox - Button Text Changes
Instead of showing "Download All Files", the button has been renamed to "Download Listed Files" to reflect what is shown in the table. This renmaing also applies to the Delete button as well.

Global - Static Navigation Bar
A fix has been rolled out the Static Navigation Bar feature. When in the the Contact Record or Order Form pages, particular dialogs would be hidden under the navigation bar, thus making it difficult to use them. When the feature is used, it will now adjust the Dialog Margins so that it appears below the navigation bar.

Menus - Navigation Menu - Tags Link
A new "Show Tags Link in CRM Section" option has been added to the Global - Menus section. This will allow showing of the Tags link in the Navigation Menu - CRM Section. Note, if you try to drag and drop it around it will not save, because Infusionsoft does not know about the option.
Visit the Global - Menus Section.

Integration - Editors
The Editors Integration has been removed from XtendIn. Infusionsoft database is not capable of handling unicode characters, as entering smilies can cause data issues.

Opportunity Record - Labelling and Hide Sections
A fix has been rolled out for the Labelling and Hide Sections features so that it waits for the area to load before applying the changes.

Products - Id Column Sorting
A fix has been rolled out so that the Products table can be sorted by the Id column. It was caused by changes made in Google Chrome v71.

Various - Release Notes Link
When using the "Show Account Details" option, clicking on the Version Number would go to the old release notes link. This update now points to the new release notes link. The old one still works, but redirects instead.
 
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