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What's new in Episerver Social 1.3.0?

This week brings the release of Episerver Social 1.3. I'd like to take a moment to highlight what's new in this release, and what you can look forward to from Episerver Social in the coming weeks and months.

What's new?

This release was largely focused on inner beauty: providing performance enhancements, internal reporting, and futher infrastructural support. In addition to these things, you'll also find a couple of new features in the client.

Composites for Rating Statistics

One of the Social R&D team's initiatives for this year is to further enhance the Ratings feature set within the platform. The first of those enhancements is available in 1.3.

As a system-calculated content structure, rating statistics lacked the ability to be extended with additional data. However, there are use cases where a developer may want to calculate statistics or store additional details of their own and persist them alongside those system-calculated statistics. For example, one might want to perform an out-of-band calculation for weighted averages and deliver them with their statistics.

In support of this, rating statistics may now be extended with custom data using the platform's Composite features.

Enhanced exceptions

Episerver Social provides a suite of exceptions for communicating different types of errors that may occur in the course of interacting with the platform. We expanded upon that suite to provide further clarity and contextual details to aid you in any troubleshooting you may need to do. (Note: This expansion extends the existing hierarchy of exceptions, so as not to disrupt any exception handling that your application may already be performing.) Details on exception handling in Episerver Social can be found in the developer guide.

What's coming?

The R&D team is actively working toward several 2017 initiatives. Highlights of an upcoming 1.4 release include:

  • New filtering expressions, which include a logical OR and the ability to filter within collections
  • Mean value sorting for rating statistics
  • Performance enhancements to Composite filtering

Beyond 1.4, there are some exciting changes to come:

  • Extension data flexibility - A suite of changes is underway that focuses on giving you greater flexibility in how you customize, filter, and deliver your social content. This grants developers greater control over what content they wish to retrieve and also in determining how it should be delivered.
  • Effortless synchronicity - Relationships between an application and its Social content evolve over time. Applications need an easy way of communicating such changes. Another enhancement underway will allow developers to more easily construct and issue updates that transform broad sets of social content.
  • Educational materials - An ongoing goal for the Social team is enhancing the product's educational materials. In addition to the developer guide and the introduction of a dedicated forum, the R&D team is contributing to a Social team blog. We also look forward to introducing a portal for provisioning demonstration accounts, allowing developers to explore the platform in a sandbox.
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