By Thom McGrath on
Finally, after a few months of work, the new REAL Software website is live. We've been working hard on this for a little while now, especially Dana and I, so here's a look at what we've done that may or may not be instantly noticeable.
Our old website had a login system for our old feedback system. The old feedback system is dead, and the login didn't provide a significant amount of functionality. So now, we've built a login system into our website which is the cornerstone to just about everything a customer would do on our site. Notice I said customer, and not potential customer. We didn't get overzealous and protect everything, only the stuff that requires a logged-in user to be functional.
With this new login structure, you'll be able to view your entire order history, see your current order status, manage an address book of potential addresses (for billing / shipping differences, for example), lookup and renew your license keys, and print invoices of your current and past orders.
We'll be adding more functionality too.
From our end, our old store was a real pain. If we needed to add a product, or change a price, it meant going into the source and changing it, adding pages, changing stuff during checkout - nothing good. Our new store is completely database driven. This is good, because we can now sell third-party products from our website too, and it would be near impossible to do that on the old store.
The new store is also aware of promotions we're running. When adding a copy of REALbasic Professional edition to your cart, you'll be offered a copy for another platform at 50% off. You can say no of course, but let's say you then go back and add another copy of RB Pro for a different platform. The cart will automatically apply the discount! If you remove the discount (for some reason) you'll get an unobtrusive reminder that your cart is eligible for said discount.
This system is very "smart" and I think you'll find it does a good job of trying to be helpful, rather than just try to sell you more stuff.
Previous Version Downloads
We actually had a version of this available on the old website, but we only gave the link out to people who asked. Our downloads page now has a "Previous Versions" link on the right that automatically shows you all previous versions you're eligible to download. You must be logged in for this to work. It also only goes back to 2007r1, so if you need something older, you should contact customer service.
I may be missing something, but I'm pretty sure I'm not, but why do so many sites have a "Printer Friendly" link on their pages? Try this, print any page of our site - or do a preview, it doesn't matter - and look. Our website automagically reformats it's content for the printer! Now try it when looking at an order from your order histoy, and you get a real invoice - and it's even localized. Pretty spiffy, huh?
While we have removed the old feedback system, it was necessary because the code was too archaic to port for a system that is "dead". It's been roughly six months since the switch to FogBugz and we feel that most bugs that were going to be transferred are in our new system.
What you won't notice is that we just replaced a massive amount of code in all our systems. The website is 100% new from scratch. We didn't save any code. We pulled over some content, of course, but all the code is new. The database that drives our website is also about 80% new. This meant updating our internal apps as well.
The energy in the air is fantastic, and the release of 2008r5 only adds to it.