Apogee StoreFront & Asanti StoreFront
Online Help Addendum
This page contains last-minute updates to the information available in the Online Help of Apogee StoreFront and Asanti StoreFront. Administrators can access the Online Help by clicking the 'Help' link in the navigation bar at the top of StoreCenter.
The information is split up in the following sections:
- Products & product templates
- Online Editor
- Ordering & checkout
- Online payment - using Ingenico, PayPal or bank transfer
- Order fulfillment & shipping
The information provided in the Online Help is up-to-date.
Custom user attributes
Until now StoreFront used a fixed user profile to store data about shoppers. This profile included data such as the user's first and last name, e-mail address, phone and fax number. Often it is practical to store additional data, such as a mobile number, personal billing code or department ID code. This is now possible through the use of custom user attributes. Such custom fields can be defined in the new Advanced > Custom User Attributes window. You can configure if users can see or edit these additional fields. They can also be made mandatory.
Each custom attribute can be given a unique code, which can be used by the Autofill function in the Online Editor to add the attribute to a customizable document. This means users can, for example, add their Twitter handle to their user profile and when they customize their business card in the Online Editor, that Twitter handle will automatically be inserted on the card. If the unique code for the Twitter handle is 'twitter', then using '%twitter%' in a text frame in a customizable document will add that Twitter handle to the frame content.
Custom user attributes can be visible to users in the self-registration window and on their personal profile page. This is defined by the Accessibility StoreCenter menu option. The custom attributes are also added to the Excel order summary reports as well as the exported JDF order data.
Scaling policy for uploadable products
When users order an uploadable product but the PDF file they upload does not have the same aspect ratio as the requested output size, StoreFront could previously rescale the PDF and potentially trim part of the content. Version 3.5 offers more refined controls to handle scaling, which is useful for posters, banners, billboards and other large-format products. In the Product Templates > Preflight menu window there are two new options:
- In the Fixes section you can define how a PDF should be rescaled. This is always done proportionally, StoreFront never distorts the PDF content. Use the 'Underfill' option to define that the PDF should be scaled so that its entire content is visible. This might mean there is some white space either horizontally or vertically. The 'Overfill' option makes sure the full target output size is filled with content, but part of the rescaled PDF is cropped â either horizontally or vertically.
- In the Validation section a new 'Trim Box Tolerance' setting defines how much an uploaded PDF can deviate from the target output size for it to be considered the correct size.
Additional preflight checks for uploadable products
The preflight engine can now also check if line-art and images in uploaded PDF files are properly tagged with an ICC profile.
Additional file formats for uploadable products
Next to PDF, TIFF, and JPEG images, users can now also upload BMP, GIF and PNG files to order an unbound uploadable product.
Important remark regarding kit products
Be careful when changing the composition of product kits for kits that are already used in a store. Invalid kits will be removed from the shopping cart.
Shared image libraries
StoreFront allows you to associate an image library with specific customizable products or with all the customizable products in a store. Maintaining such image libraries could become a hassle since images have to be manually uploaded one at a time. It also wasn't possible to use subfolders to structure larger libraries.
These limitations can be resolved by combining StoreFront with PrintSphere, a new hosted data sharing service of Agfa Graphics. Folders stored and managed on PrintSphere can now be used as image libraries in the Online Editor. This allows you to create subfolders, do bulk uploads or upload images using drag and drop - all within a standard web browser. Since PrintSphere folders can be shared, the images libraries can also be managed by the company for which a store is set up. This gives more control to that company while freeing up time for the print service provider.
To make such image libraries available in StoreFront, you need to have a PrintSphere account. Here is the procedure to configure shared libraries:
- Go to PrintSphere and create a folder that will contain all the image folders that you want to use in StoreFront. It is best to give the folder a descriptive name, such as 'StoreFrontLibrary'. This 'StoreFrontLibrary' folder will contain the subfolders that hold the images you want to use in StoreFront customizable products. For example: the 'StoreFrontLibrary' folder contains subfolders named 'Portraits', 'Maps', 'Powerdrills' and 'Logos'.
- Next you need to configure StoreFront so it can access these folders. Go to the Advanced > External Accounts window in StoreCenter and click the Plus icon at the bottom to configure the connection between PrintSphere and StoreFront. Give the account a name and enter the admin login e-mail address of PrintSphere in the Username field.
- In the Locations section you need to add all of the PrintSphere folders that you want to make available within StoreFront. When you edit an existing folder or add a new one to this section, the 'Add Location' window pops up. It allows you to select a PrintSphere folder. The Alias field is used to define which name the selected folder will have in the Online Editor.
- In the 'Add Location' window the 'Links' tab allows you to define for which companies and stores this folder should be made available.
- Once PrintSphere folders have been made available to StoreFront, they can be selected in the 'External locations' entry of the 'Uploaded files' section of the Product wizard, as shown below.
Keep in mind that images from a shared library cannot yet be used in Image variables. They also aren't accessible when a user clicks the 'Insert image' button that pops up underneath an image frame in the Online Editor. Such images are only accessible through the 'Images' tab in the left hand section of the Online Editor.
Copy fitting styles
Copy fitting styles make sure the same copy fitting style percentages are applied to all of the text frames. If a user customizes a business card and enters a long address, a copy fitting style can make sure the font size of the e-mail address, company URL, and other data use the same type size. This ensures the use of consistent font sizes throughout the document.
To create a copy fitting style, click the Plus button in the 'Copy Fitting Styles' entry in the Forms tab of the Online Editor and give the copy fitting style an appropriate name. The settings of the newly defined copy fitting style are defined in the 'Copy Fitting Style Settings' frame underneath, as shown in this screen capture
To apply the newly defined copy fitting style to two frames or more, select each frame and then select the copy fitting style from the 'Style' dropdown menu in the copyfitting settings of the 'Step 2: Assign Variables' section of the Forms tab.
When the 'Autogrow' feature is used to change the dimensions of a frame or if an action is used to move its position, it can be useful that other frames also move at the same time. This can be done using the new anchor function. Simply tag the frame that will move or grow, select the frame that should adapt its position and define in the Objects > Anchors tab how this should happen.
How to use a narrow typeface for copy fitting
The Online Editor can automatically scale type if a text does not fit within a frame. This copy fitting mechanism is not always suitable, sometimes it is better to change from a regular typeface to a narrow one so that the height of characters does not change. Switching between typefaces can be automated using a variable action. For the example below two fonts are available within the document, called Micron-Regular and Micron-Narrow. The text uses a character style called 'Title' and the action changes the typeface of this character style if the user enters more than 25 characters in a variable called 'City'. The 'On Change' action is applied to this variable.
- set characterStyle Title font = font Micron-Regular id
- if stringFunctions length string variable City value > string 25
- set characterStyle Title font = font Micron-Narrow id
- end if
How to insert special characters in variables
In a customizable document users fill in two fields var1 and var2. You want to combine both variables in a third variable var3 with a non-breaking space between var1 and var2. Var3 is defined as a calculated field type of variable. Use the following 'Value' action to combine the variables:
- declare string total = long string
- set local total = local total & variable var2 value
- return local total
How to switch between oldstyle and lining numerals
Some typefaces include two different styles for numbers: oldstyle and lining. Choosing the style is done by using either upper case or lower case numbers. If the regular lower case numbers are used, oldstyle figures are displayed. If upper case numbers are used, then the figures are lined. Below you see the different between both figure styles.
Such typefaces can be a challenge in customizable documents if the company branding guidelines dictate the use of a specific style, especially if they require the use of lined figures. How can you make sure the address on a business card uses both upper- and lower case characters for the street name but only upper case characters for all figures?
For forms based documents this can be resolved by using a variable action. The procedure below described how to do this:
- Create two variable for handling the address. The first variable is a long type variable. In the script below it is called fcmaddress_INPUT. This variable is used to allow the shopper to enter an address in the form. The second variable is called fcmaddress and it is of the type Calculated Field. This variable is set to be invisible in the form because it is used to insert the correctly styled address in the business card.
- Define a Value Action for the fcmaddress variable.
- Add the code for the action. It is a quite long variable action shown in this image. You can save the image to view it in high-res or COPY and PASTE it in an image editor.
How to create multilingual forms
When a forms-based customizable document will be personalized by people speaking different languages, it makes sense to translate the display names or labels of all the field. That way English shoppers are asked to fill in their 'First name' while French users need to enter their 'PrÃ©nom'. Below is an Online Editor action to translate the display names of variables. It is based on the language selected for the store. Make sure the commonly used language is used for the default display names. The script only needs to take care of the additional languages.
- Create a variable named 'translation_keep_visible'. Its type is not important, leave it set to 'Short Text'.
- Make sure the variable is visible.
- Add an action of the 'Validate' type that contains the code below. In this example it is assumed there are two variables 'firstname' and 'lastname' that need their display name or label translated to French and German
1. if variable translation_keep_visible visible is true
2. set variable translation_keep_visible visible = false
3. declare string language = document languageName
4. if local language is string FR
5. set variable firstname displayName = string PrÃ©nom
6. set variable lastname displayName = string Nom
7. end if
8. if local language is string DE
9. set variable firstname displayName = string Vorname
10. set variable lastname displayName = string Familienname
11. end if
12. end if
How to duplicate a variable action
Variable actions are small scripts that can be assigned to the variables of a customizable document. They add automation to documents. You can use variable actions to automatically change the page layout, calculate VAT, change text formatting or validate the syntax of phone numbers. The Online Help provides more information about all of these use cases.
Sometimes the same action needs to be used for multiple variables in the same document. Here is how you can easily copy an action from one variable to another using the clipboard. Unfortunately this only works within a single document, not across two documents.
- Select the source variable and open the window to edit the action you want to copy.
- Select the first line of the action you want to copy.
- Press and hold the CTRL-key while clicking the COPY-button in the toolbar.
- The Copy Lines window is displayed. Indicate the number of lines you want to copy. Select Document's Action clipboard in the Move drop-down menu. You can assign a custom name to the copied content. Click OK to copy the lines to the clipboard.
- Click Cancel to close the editing window of this action.
- Select the destination variable and open the action window in which you want to paste the action.
- The toolbar now lists the action that was copied to the clipboard. Click the Paste Scrap button to paste the action to this variable.
Zooming in and out
To enlarge the document that is being edited or to zoom out, use the slider or hold the CTRL key and press the plus or minus key.
Selecting an underlying frame
Sometimes frames are stacked on top of each other. To select an underlying frame, hold down the CTRL-key and repeatedly click to cycle through all the stacked layers.
Multiple delivery addresses
A new shipping method is available, which allows shoppers to specify that they want their order to be shipped to multiple addresses.
When users select this method during checkout, they are asked to attach a file containing shipping instructions to the order. The file can be any type (txt, Word, Excel, PDF, etc.) and it is expected to specify how the order should be shipped. This means that for an order of 5000 leaflets, 2000 go to one destination and the remainder to three other locations. Alternatively two items might go to one address and six others to a different one. The file can also be used to state that all items should go to one specific address, but with specific instructions for the delivery time or packaging of the goods.
StoreFront does not validate or process the attached file in any way. This means that some ways of calculating shipping costs, such as those based on the destination, are not available. It also means data about the delivery address cannot be included in the Excel order summary or in the communication with MIS systems.In the StoreCenter list of pending orders, orders that include shipping instructions are marked with a diskette icon. An administrator can download the shipping instructions file and handle the delivery appropriately.
No taxes for cross-border sales
In the previous version of StoreFront it was already possible to specify that companies do not have to pay taxes for cross-border purchases. This means that a Swiss company ordering products in a German store would not need to pay taxes as long as a VAT number is specified for billing. This mechanism is now extended to allow the same for consumers. Cross-border tax handling can be configured in the Stores > General window. It requires that the active price list excludes taxes. It is up to the print service provider to determine if offering this option is legal in their market.
License required for using promo codes
The Online Help does not explicitly mention that a MallPack Silver license or higher is needed to make use of promo codes. Without the appropriate license the Stores > Promotions menu option to create and manage promo codes is not visible.
Export order data to PrintSphere
Order data can now be exported to PrintSphere instead of being exported to an FTP server or downloaded by an Apogee or Asanti workflow. This offers the advantage that PrintSphere can transfer order data directly to the local network, which is useful for companies that do not (yet) own an Agfa Graphics workflow solution. This setting can be found in the Advanced > Production Settings > Prepress settings window. To make it work you need to enter your PrintSphere credentials in the Advanced > External Accounts settings window.
There is also an option to track Apogee Prepress feedback in this window. It is reserved for future use.
New company operator role
A new StoreCenter role is available: Company Operator. Admins who have this profile have the same rights as a printer operator but their actions are limited to the orders for the company they belong to and the stores that this company uses. This role has been added to facilitate the cooperation with third-party suppliers or sister companies.
Resubmit jobs to Apogee Prepress
If a StoreFront order item is accidentally deleted in Apogee Prepress, you can now change its order status back to 'Prepared' in StoreCenter. This means the workflow will once again download and process the order data.
Extended Excel order summary spreadsheet
The Excel order summary spreadsheet contains additional columns with the name of the billing company and their tax or VAT number.
Separate shipping cost handling
Apogee and Asanti workflow systems are capable of forwarding order item data to MIS or Management Information Systems. In this process the shipping cost is specified as part of the overall order value. Some MIS systems, however, expect the shipping costs to be specified separately as an additional order item. The MIS Export option can now do this to improve compatibility with MIS systems like Multipress from Dataline Solutions.
Updated Ingenico configuration screens
The procedure in the Online Help to set up an Ingenico merchant account lacks the following information:
- All configuration screens now show an Ingenico logo instead of the Ogone logo.
- The configuration settings in the Global Security tab no longer show the options releated to the use of dynamic templates. Those settings are now configured in a new Template tab which can be selected in the secondary menu bar, right next to the Technical information tab.
- If you add or remove parameters in the right column of the list of dynamic e-commerce parameters, keep in mind that this may add or remove multiple entries. This can happen because the 'Add' and 'Remove' buttons for some entries also move related functions. Always doublecheck the righ hand column to make sure all required parameters are present.
StoreFront now supports the use of PayPal Express in Argentina. PayPal only allows Argentinian users to pay in US dollars.
During checkout users can now also enter Japanese addresses since their quite specific structure is now supported.
StoreCenter visual update
The log-in page and top banner of StoreCenter have been redesigned to match the look of PrintSphere. This provides a more consistent experience for companies that use both services. The Agfa branding is also more subtle on the log-in page.
Access to the user license
The end user license agreement is now always accessible by clicking the hotlink in the top left corner of StoreCenter. This can be useful when customers, such as banks or governmental institutions, ask for a copy of the terms of service.
PDF scaling policy
The Online Help incorrectly states that PDF files always have their bleed box limited to the bleed defined in the product template. This is only the case if an uploaded PDF document is rescaled. If no scaling is needed, StoreFront leaves the bleed defined in the uploaded PDF document untouched.
Known issues & limitations
- Invoices can contain the order ID code but they do not make use of their own invoice ID code. Order IDs are not necessarily consecutive numbers because order IDs are used across all the stores of the account and orders can be rejected during an approval cycle. Local tax legislation may demand that invoices use a continuous numbering system.
- Formatted text will not be formatted in the generated PDF for Variable Data Products (AWP-13886)
- The price of a Product Kit in the Product Category may be different from the price on the product page due to rounding differences (AWP-13329)
- Shipping Services with Calculation Method "Percentage on order total" are calculated on the total order price without taking a possible promotion code into account. (AWP-13306)
- Some fonts do not support all currencies correctly in PDF Invoices. This is for example the case with the currency symbol of CZK when using the Helvetica font. (AWP-10984)
- The maximum type size that can be used in the Online Editor is 720 points.
- Empty image frames in InDesign become plain rectangular frames in the Online Editor (AWP-9620).
- With the plugin for CC 2014 an incorrect package is created when an InDesign page contains at least 3 times the same image. In the Online Editor some of the image frames may be blank. (AWP-11703).
- Some Photoshop clipping paths are incorrectly converted by the Online Editor (AWP-5656).
- Compound German words are not always recognized by the spell checker and will all be considered as incorrect (AWP-5760).