Blesta 3.0: CLI Installer (video)

November 09, 2012 | Posted by Paul

Whoa, it has been a busy week! If you didn’t hear, we released v3 alpha on Wednesday, which is a huge milestone. We’re excited and gearing up for the next phase, which I think will be a lot of fun.

Part of prepping for the alpha was building an installer and handling licensing. We opted to do a CLI installer for now, but you’ll have the option of installing via CLI or your browser at release. Once installed, the rest is handled in the browser — entering your license key and creating your first staff member.

The video is below, as usual you can make the video full screen, and be sure to turn on your sound!

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Google Authenticator & Blesta

November 01, 2012 | Posted by Cody

When we originally introduced two factor authentication there weren’t a whole lot of options available to produce one-time-passwords. Since that time a number of applications have popped up for Andriod, Blackberry, and iOS devices. Chief among those is the Google Authenticator.

Using your Google Authenticator with Blesta is pretty straight forward, but requires a little manipulation to get the key in the correct format. Blesta expects TOTP keys to be in hexadecimal format (base16), but Google Authenticator uses base32. So we have to convert our Google Authenticator keys into hexadecimal before storing in Blesta.

There are a number of online utilities to perform this operation. Here’s one:

As an example, “PEHMPSDNLXIOG65U” (in base32) becomes “790ec7c86d5dd0e37bb4″ in hexadecimal. Simply select Time-based One Time Password as the two factor authentication method in Blesta then enter the converted (hexdecimal) value and you’re good to go.

You can download the Google Authenticator from the iOS app store, or Android Marketplace.

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Blesta 3.0: Packages (video)

October 19, 2012 | Posted by Paul

Packages in v3 are very similar to packages in previous versions, with a lot of additional functionality. The goal in redesigning packages for v3 was to facilitate addons, allow for quantities, provide for better organization of packages, and support specific pricing in multiple currencies (Rather than relying on currency conversion, which Blesta can do too).

A few notable items..

  1. Limited quantities supported! If you only have 100 of them, when they are sold they’re gone.. no more orders can be placed.
  2. Package Groups are new, Standard and Addon. Addon groups can be assigned to Standard groups, making their packages available as addons to the packages within them.
  3. Addon packages are just like normal packages and can be provisioning. An addon for an “extra 10GB disk”, could make an API call to add the disk space, without any staff involvement, assuming the module supports it, of course.
  4. Prices can be specified in multiple currencies. Set a 1 month term to 10 USD, and a 1 month term to 8 EUR and the client will be invoiced the price in their preferred currency, whatever that is.
  5. Package emails are no longer combined with the welcome email template that contains account registration details. A package welcome email is sent out separately when the service is created, allowing for more flexibility and control over service creation emails.
  6. Cancellation fees have been added, which are assessed if a service is canceled early.

The video is below, as usual you can make the video full screen, and be sure to turn on your sound!

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Blesta 3.0: Client Themes (video)

October 12, 2012 | Posted by Paul

We hear it all the time, people love the simplicity of Blesta. Part of the challenge in v3 was to add a lot of new functionality but at the same time maintain and even improve on the simplicity and ease of use of Blesta. The last thing we want is a cluttered interface displaying links to things most people will never use, which is why all the more advanced functionality is hidden under a tiny link called “Settings”. It’s also why non-core items have been delegated as plugins. If it’s a plugin, it can be uninstalled — get rid of those unnecessary links, get back to productivity!

Today’s video is on Client Themes, which can be created and selected under that tiny link, Settings. Selecting one of the themes Blesta ships with, or creating a new theme lets you quickly and easily theme Blesta to match your website without editing a single line of code. Of course, you can still dig down into the markup if you want to for a more complete integration, but it’s no longer a necessity for a unique, non cookie-cutter, client area.

Gradients! Need I say more?

The video is below, as usual you can make the video full screen, and be sure to turn on your sound!

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Blesta 3.0: The Marketplace

October 05, 2012 | Posted by Paul

Blesta v3 was designed with a major emphasis on developers. We know that when others can easily write their own extensions on our platform and make powerful new features available to the market, it makes our product that much better.

We expect a lot of these 3rd party extensions will serve niche markets, and others will compete directly with or extend functionality we’ve built.

With all we’ve done to support developers, the issue becomes about getting their hard work in front of Blesta users. By no means have we created a closed system that forces a particular distribution channel. Our focus is the user experience, and what we’ve built is right up that alley. It’s much easier when users can find extensions quickly and easily, see ratings and feedback from others, and install with a click of the mouse.. all within the application.

So, we built The Marketplace.

The Marketplace is built right into Blesta and should be available at launch. Developers can list their extensions on The Marketplace if they like. It’s not a requirement and extensions can be installed manually but we think the exposure and ease of installation makes it the right place to be.

We’ll have a lot more on The Marketplace in the future, so stay tuned.

If all goes according to plan this next week, I may have another video for you on the client area!

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