Finally! We have compiled the feature list of the upcoming 2.0 release. We are publishing this feature list
with the hope that it will help SocialEngine clients (and potential clients) plan their projects as we
approach the 2.0 release. We’ve made the main platform our first priority and decided to update the
current plugins (and develop/release new plugins) after the main platform update is complete.
SocialEngine 2.0 is scheduled to be released on December 1 and will include all of the following
features (as well as a multitude of smaller minor changes).
Renovated platform using a consolidated, object-oriented class structure
Similar and duplicate code throughout the platform will be converted into shared classes.
The entire PHP source code will be upgraded from its current form (mostly procedural)
to an almost entirely object-oriented structure. This will reduce SocialEngine’s
PHP files to a fraction of their original size, cutting down on bulk and making customizations
even easier than before. Many of the functions used in various parts of the platform are now
consolidated into a single place, so you can make sweeping changes very easily. This will also
help you troubleshoot issues or circumvent/remove system bottlenecks if necessary. Functions
are now grouped by type to help avoid conflicts with updates and modifications made to the
Facebook-style “recent activity” list with RSS feed
SocialEngine will keep track of your users’ actions and publish them in a list on the
“My Home” and “Profile” pages. As the admin, you will specify what actions will be
published and how often. Users can optionally delete items published about them and
configure their own privacy settings.
Multiple user levels
As the admin, you can now create multiple user levels. These are groups of users that
have varying limits and access to features. For example, you may want to offer levels
like “Free”, “Silver”, and “Gold”. Note that PayPal (or any other payment
processing solution) will NOT immediately be integrated into 2.0, although you will be
able to customize the source code to allow this functionality quite easily.
Ad campaign management with user level and subnetwork targeting
As the admin, you can now create and monitor ad campaigns. Campaigns can be setup to
(e.g. Google Adsense code). Impressions, clicks, and click-through-ratio (CTR) are
automatically tracked. You can set campaigns to begin and end on certain dates,
or end if their number of impressions or clicks hit a limit you specify. To avoid
poorly-performing campaigns, you can also set a campaign to end if its CTR dips below
a low threshold you specify. Without any changes to the HTML templates, ads can be
set to automatically appear on various positions on your social network. Alternatively,
you can insert a snippet of code into any template to show the ad on a specific page.
Ad campaigns can be targeted to specific subnetworks or user levels, allowing you to
show ads to people based on their profile information (e.g. interests, gender,
age, etc.) thereby drastically increasing the effectiveness of your ads.
Improved, more attractive front-end design
We’ve refreshed the clean look of SocialEngine with subtle changes throughout
AJAX commenting and status updates
Comments and status updates are now posted instantly (without a page refresh) using a
seamless AJAX interface. Other small AJAX implementations have been applied throughout
SocialEngine to further improve the user experience.
Consolidated database query function
Before SocialEngine 2.0, database queries were executed using PHP’s mysql_query()
function. These queries can be found in hundreds of places throughout the source code.
With the creation of the “$database” object in 2.0, every query that is run by
the platform is passed through a single method. This makes it much easier to integrate
SocialEngine into other RDMBS like MSSQL or PostgreSQL. This also assists greatly with
troubleshooting slow queries.
User level or subnetworks-specific announcements
As the admin, you can now post announcements that will only be visible to specific
user levels or subnetworks.
Multi-language (user can select their own language)
This highly-requested feature allows users to view the social network in the language
they choose, provided that you (the admin) have created a language pack for their language.
Automatic update notifications from SocialEngine.net
The SocialEngine admin panel now automatically (but non-annoyingly) notifies you when an
update is available for the platform or any of the official plugins.
New extensible plugin interface
Plugins are now truly “plug-and play” and can be managed from a single section of
the admin panel. Since plugins now follow a standardized format, custom plugins can now be
designed and installed with ease.
Section to view outgoing friend invitations
Users can now see both their incoming and outgoing friendship invitations. This helps them
keep track of their relationships in a more organized fashion. If you would rather have
users not see their outgoing friend invitations, you can easily remove this option from the
Online/Offline icons on profile and search results
Icons are now used to indicate when a user is online. By default, these will appear on users’
profiles and in search results.
HTML in profile fields
As the admin, you can now choose to allow HTML in specific profile fields. You can also
optionally limit which HTML tags and properties are allowed. This is very useful if you want
to allow users to style the profile content or embed an external object like a music player
or YouTube video.
Make dependent fields linkable
Dependent profile fields may now be set to “linkable”. If this is turned on and a user enters
text separated by commas, the keywords will be linked. When a keyword is clicked, the viewer
is taken to a page that lists all users on the social network that have entered that keyword
in that profile field.
Ability to retrieve admin password
Admin passwords can now be retrieved if lost.
We know that many of you have been waiting patiently for the Events plugin. While we are fully
aware of the importance of this plugin, we are going to release it on December 7 – just one
week after the main 2.0 release. We feel that our goal of releasing a stable, well-designed,
main platform is paramount, so unfortunately the Events plugin will need to come just one week later.
Forum Integration Tutorial
We also know that many of you are waiting for a phpBB/vBulletin forums integration plugin. After
much research, we’ve decided to release this as an tutorial (instead of an official plugin).
This is because many of you have different forum setups (with various modifications, servers, etc.)
which makes creating a single solution quite difficult. Our tutorial will give you very simple step-by-step
instructions for integrating your phpBB or
vBulletin forum into SocialEngine.
Shortly after the 2.0 release, we will open a new section of this website that will include
tutorials which give you instructions about how to add other various features to
SocialEngine. Among others, these tutorials will likely include:
- phpBB and vBulletin Forum Integration
- Video integration (with automatic Flash conversion)
- PHPFox database import
- DZOIC Handshakes import
- Userplane Chat/IM
We will also be giving SocialEngine clients the ability to write their own tutorials and comments.
This should be an exciting new period for SocialEngine – we look forward to sharing it with you!