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We are very pleased to announce the release of new versions 4.0 of our AmazonWS content plugin, and version 2.0 our Amazon Shopping Cart component.

Main Changes

amazon logo2 smallAs these are major version releases there are quite a lot of changes. The main point of the changes has been to re-organise the code into a more logical structure, in order to make future development of the extension much easier to manage, and improve efficiency. In particular the AmazonWS content plugin has been split into two plugins: the code that handles the interaction with the Amazon server has been split off into a separate Amazonws API system plugin.

We have also added a new Amazonws Tags plugin, which automatically traverses the product browse node path and adds the browse node names as Joomla tags to the articles. It creates a very neat way to link related products using the Joomla tagging system.

We have added major additional features to the AmazonWS content plugin (see more below).

We have reformed the way that multi-country options are handled, to make it much easier to show results from more than one country. Now you simply need to register the additional country associates ids in the Amazonws API system plugin.

We have added improved support for Amazon attributes, so now all product attributes can be displayed, or the display of attributes can be customised either in the shortcode, or in the AmazonWS content plugin options. For example if your site is displaying books you can select only book-related attributes to be displayed, such as author and binding, rather than the often redundant attribute information that Amazon returns. Previously the only way to do this was by modifying the template, now you can just select these in the plugin options.

We have added an optional submit button for the search module, to make this easier to use on mobile devices.

We have added explicit support for Amazon tracking ids. If you want to track sales from particular sets of links (for example attribute them to specific authors on your site) you can do this through creating tracking ids in your Amazon associates account. We now support the use of a trackingId parameter in the plugin shortcode. In actual fact you could do this before by supplying the tracking id through the associateId shortcode parameter, but now this is made explicit and so easier to understand.

Upgrade Path

The upgrade path should be straightforward, we have designed the update so that it should not break things in your existing site. Even so, we do recommend that you make a backup of your site before installing it. The exception is if you are using multi-country options, where there is a break in backwards compatibility. However it should only take you a few minutes to set up the new options. There is an explanation of the new multi-country features here: https://www.spiralscripts.co.uk/using-geolocation-features-with-amazon-shopping-cart.html .

Amazon Shopping Cart

Because most of the changes to the shopping cart happen "under the hood", you should not actually notice many changes in the way that the extension functions, except for the changes noted above. We have tried to make it more "user friendly", by adding a lot of quick links to the Amazon Shopping Cart component administration, to make it easier to find both support and the features that you want. So to summarise the main changes are:-

  • the new AmazonWS Tags plugin
  • reform of the multi-country handling
  • the API options have been moved to the new system plugin
  • new support for tracking ids

The old amazon country system plugin which was part of the old package is no longer used, so it should be deleted if it remains on your system.

Amazon Content Plugin

The content plugin has now become a suite of several plugins, and incorporates some of the features that were formerly included only in the shopping cart. It now includes:-

  • an editor button (the AWS Product plugin) which allows you to search the Amazon database directly from a Joomla article, and automatically inserts the content plugin shortcode
  • the new AmazonWS Tags plugin
  • multi-country options, you can now show results from more than one country and allow users to select their country using the Amazon Country module
  • new support for tracking ids

So it has become a much more complete and useful extension.

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