Icecat Release Notes 190-191: Advancements in Image Cropping, SSR Transition, and Data Accuracy

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Release Notes

In Icecat Release Notes 190-191, we are excited to share updates on several significant developments aimed at enhancing user experience and functionality within our platform. Firstly, we highlight the advancements in image cropping service development to the transition of product pages to Server-Side Rendering (SSR). The team has been hard at work implementing a range of improvements designed to streamline processes. Furthermore, we would like to highlight the improvements on data accuracy, and empower our users with enhanced capabilities. For additional details, please refer to the previous Icecat Release Notes.

Image Cropping Service Development in Progress

In our ongoing sprints, we are excited to share the progress made on the development of our Image Cropping service. This service promises to enhance user experience and streamline image management within our platform. Here’s a recap of the significant milestones achieved during this development phase:

  • Swagger Schema for Gallery Crop API: We have successfully completed the development of the Swagger schema for our Gallery Crop API. This schema will serve as a blueprint for developers, ensuring consistency and clarity in API usage.
  • Logging Errors for Python Project: Error logging is a critical aspect of any project. We have implemented robust error-logging mechanisms for our Python project to facilitate debugging and troubleshooting. All error logs generated by our Python project have been collected and visualized using Kibana. This provides us with valuable insights into system performance and potential issues.
  • Database Structure Optimization: We have fine-tuned our database structure to improve efficiency and scalability, laying a solid foundation for future enhancements.
  • Development Plan for Image Presentation in Export Files: A comprehensive plan has been devised for presenting both cropped and original images in export files. Development activities have been initiated in alignment with this plan.
  • Enhanced Language Filter: We have enhanced the language filter in our gallery to ensure it displays accurate information about language names. This improvement will simplify language selection for users.
  • Real Borders Display in Gallery: The gallery interface has been enhanced significantly. Images now feature real borders highlighted by a shadow effect, giving users a clearer visual representation. A light blue background also serves as a placeholder, enhancing image visibility and aesthetics.

With these developments, we are making significant strides toward delivering our users a seamless and intuitive Image-cropping service.

Icecat.biz Product Page: Transition to SSR

We are happy to announce the commencement of the transition of our Icecat.biz product page to SSR. So, this strategic move aims to enhance performance, improve user experience, and ensure seamless accessibility across various devices. Here’s an overview of the significant accomplishments during these sprints:

  • Detailed Development and Testing Plan. We meticulously prepared a comprehensive plan outlining the development and testing processes to ensure a smooth transition to SSR.
  • Implementation of Swagger Engine. The integration of the Swagger engine into icecat.biz facilitates API documentation, improving developer experience and API understanding.
  • Creation of Swagger Schema for Product Page. A Swagger schema specific to the product page was developed, providing clear and standardized documentation for developers.
  • Routing Rules and MobX Store Setup. Routing rules for all scenarios were established, and a MobX store was created to manage the state efficiently.
  • API Implementation for Product Page. The API for the product page was fully implemented, ensuring seamless communication between the front-end and back-end systems.
  • Elastic Search Configuration for Tab Display. The structure of Elastic Search was configured to optimize the display of tabs on the product page, enhancing usability and navigation.
  • Product Collection Enhancement: significant improvements were made to the product collection process, streamlining data retrieval and displaying.
  • Bug Fixes and Quality Assurance. Several bugs related to the display of product series, virtual categories, and local release dates were identified and rectified, ensuring accurate and comprehensive product information.
  • Creation of QA Scripts: QA scripts were developed to automate testing processes, ensuring consistent quality and reliability across releases.
  • General Data Display on Product Page: a variety of essential data elements were implemented on the product page, including the head section, header layout, breadcrumbs, general information, titles, PDFs, descriptions, gallery, features logo, and embed block.

The objective of this development effort is to enhance the loading speed of the product page. Initial progress has demonstrated a twofold decrease in page load speed. However, our goal is to accelerate this process further. Subsequent developments aim towards achieving this objective. As we continue this journey toward SSR implementation, we remain committed to delivering a robust and user-friendly product page experience.

Improving Product Data Accuracy with Language Detect

In our ongoing sprints, we have initiated a new development process aimed at enhancing the accuracy of product data within our platform. This initiative focuses specifically on refining the description block of products, where we’ve encountered challenges with preset language accuracy.

In short, Icecat has 79 languages ​​in which product descriptions are available. For one editor to independently identify all 79 languages without proper expertise in each of them is challenging. So, recognizing this obstacle, we started a quest to find an external library capable of accurately detecting the language of the text. After thorough testing of multiple libraries, we discovered one that yielded an impressive 96% accuracy rate in language detection, with the remaining 4% primarily associated with Japanese text.

While we continue to seek a solution for precise Japanese language detection, significant progress is ongoing. In the latest sprint, we developed an API tailored for real-time verification of manually entered descriptions and bullet points by editors. The forthcoming sprint will witness the release of UI development, seamlessly integrating the API with the front-end for enhanced usability.

Furthermore, we have anticipated scenarios where descriptions and bullet points are added via auto-imports. To address this, we’ve developed weekly delta reports to notify our editors’ QA team of any discrepancies between the language set in the description block and the language detected by the selected library.

Upgrading the Reporting Engine

We are excited to share the progress we have made during our recent sprints as we near the final stages of development for our new Reporting Engine. This initiative marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance the reporting capabilities within our Product Information Management (PIM) system.

Over the past sprints, our dedicated team has been hard at work developing a robust REST API to facilitate seamless interaction with scheduled reports. This REST API allows users of our PIM system to effortlessly create scheduled reports directly within the new reporting engine interface.

We’re pleased to announce that users can now take advantage of this feature, empowering them to schedule and automate their reporting tasks with ease. Whether it’s generating weekly sales reports, monthly inventory summaries, or ad-hoc analytics, our new Reporting Engine provides the flexibility and functionality needed to meet diverse reporting needs.

In the upcoming sprint, we’re excited to unveil the next phase of our Reporting Engine upgrade: the user interface for managing all available scheduled reports. This intuitive UI will streamline the process of monitoring and managing scheduled reports, allowing users to effortlessly track their reporting activities and make adjustments as needed.

With these enhancements, we’re committed to providing our users with a comprehensive and user-friendly reporting experience.

Enhancements to the PIM Search Page

In our continuous efforts to enhance the user experience within our PIM system, we are excited to announce several improvements to the PIM search page. These enhancements, implemented over the last sprints, aim to streamline navigation, improve search functionality, and provide users with greater flexibility and control.

  • Language Filter Refinement

To address user confusion and improve usability, we’ve refined the “Language” filter on the search page. Previously, users encountered issues when implementing the “Language” filter without selecting the corresponding “Asset” filter. To mitigate this, we’ve temporarily disabled the “Language” filter. It will now activate automatically once the “Asset” filter is selected, ensuring a more intuitive filtering experience.

  • Page Jumper Placement

Based on user feedback, we’ve introduced a page jumper at the top of the search results table in addition to the existing bottom page jumper. This adjustment allows users to navigate through search results more efficiently, regardless of their position on the page. Additionally, we’ve consolidated search results settings under the “Settings” icon, providing users with easy access to filters for column display and product quantity per page.

    • Brand Information Integration

    Responding to user requests, we’ve incorporated brand information as an additional column in the search results table. This enhancement provides users with valuable brand insights directly within the search results, facilitating quicker product identification.

    • Improved Search Logic

    Our team has refined the search logic to enhance accuracy and efficiency. Users can now search for products by product code, even if there are discrepancies or misspellings in the entered code. This improvement ensures that users can quickly locate desired products, regardless of minor errors in input.

    • Multilingual Support

    In our latest sprint, we’ve expanded multilingual support for the PIM search page. By implementing tokens, we’ve enabled seamless translation of the search page into different languages. This enhancement caters to the diverse linguistic preferences of our users, enhancing accessibility and usability.

    With these enhancements, we’re committed to delivering an intuitive, efficient, and user-friendly search experience within our PIM system. As we continue to gather feedback and iterate on our platform, we look forward to further enhancing our search capabilities to meet the evolving needs of our users.

    Other Improvements in Icecat Release Notes 190-191:

    In our recent sprints, we’ve made significant strides in re-engineering key aspects of Icecat’s product management and operational infrastructure. These developments underscore our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement as we strive to provide our users with the best possible experience. Here’s the overview of the latest enhancements:

    • Product Merging Re-engineering:

    We’ve re-engineered our approach to product merging, leveraging the recently introduced Copy Product functionality with an additional policy for merging purposes. This streamlined process ensures greater efficiency and accuracy in managing product data across our platform.

    • Automatic Channel Partners Assignment:

    We’ve initiated the development of automatic channel partner assignment based on brand owner responses, we’ve laid the groundwork for a more seamless and efficient partner management system. During these sprints we have developed a swagger schema and logic for default brand partner authorization requests.

    • Media API Titles Validation:

    Improving the validation of titles received through the Media API, we’ve expanded the range of accepted symbols, allowing API users to push a broader spectrum of data. This enhancement enhances flexibility and usability for our API users.

    • Expansion of Language Support:

    Adding Arabic (Egypt) and English (Egypt) to the Icecat repository, we’ve broadened language options for export files and real-time information monitoring on icecat.biz. This expansion caters to the diverse linguistic needs of our global user base.

    • Integration of PCF Type of Request:

    Integrating PCF type of request into Icecat Category statistics, we’ve empowered users with comprehensive product download statistics, enabling better insights and decision-making.

    • Redis Cluster Cache Migration:

    Completing the migration of our Redis cluster cache, we’ve fortified our infrastructure for improved performance and reliability.

    • Editor Journal and Product History Development:

    Continuing the development of Editor Journal and Product History features, we’ve enhanced data recording capabilities, now capturing information on product names, description blocks, and technical specifications.

    • PHP Cassandra Modules Upgrade:

    We upgraded PHP Cassandra modules, mitigating compatibility issues and bolstering performance and security, ensuring a robust and reliable system.

    • Enhanced Security Measures:

    We’ve implemented Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on SSL VPN to enhance security, safeguarding sensitive data.

    • Software Updates:

    We’ve updated to Clickhouse version 24, which resolves technical issues which we had with the previous version.

    • Icecat.biz Health Monitor:

    We completed the development of a health monitor, which provides real-time insights into critical aspects of icecat.biz, ensuring optimal performance and reliability. These developments represent our ongoing commitment to innovation, efficiency, and user satisfaction. As we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible, we look forward to delivering even more value to our users in the future.

    Review our blog for continuous updates as we work towards innovating and elevating your Icecat experience. Your feedback and support are key drivers behind these enhancements.

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