4 and Beyond: a Brief Overview of the CS-Cart Roadmap

“Change is the law of life
and those who look only to the past or present
are certain to miss the future.”
John F. Kennedy

Hello,

Since the release of CS-Cart 4 Beta, we have collected a lot of feedback regarding the latest core changes in the CS-Cart software. Although it was generally positive, we could not help noticing that some of our decisions were not accepted by some members of the CS-Cart community.

Today, I would like to take a chance to share our vision regarding the CS-Cart evolution and future perspectives.

In this post, I will try to convince you that the path CS-Cart has chosen will make for better backward compatibility, flexibility, and wider functionality in the future, as well as will allow CS-Cart to go higher than ever.

The Present

CS-Cart 4 will be a milestone release introducing some innovative features. Not only is it a breakthrough for the CS-Cart software of now—it will also be our flagship for the future.

To keep pace with time and create a reliable basis for future development, we have made some serious core code changes in CS-Cart 4. These changes will be beneficial for both our own CS-Cart development team, making for faster development with strong backward compatibility, and for everybody who customizes CS-Cart for their own needs or creates commercial add-ons and storefront themes:

  • PSR as the coding standard will provide third-party developers with a familiar development environment.
  • Usage of namespaces makes it easier to understand the CS-Cart core functionality and use it in new add-ons.

  • The new directory structure is more logical and easier to navigate through.
  • The new approach to storefront skins will allow developers to create highly customizable themes that will work across future CS-Cart versions with minimal changes.

Of course, these changes are significant, but they are necessary to keep CS-Cart modern and fresh. By accepting these modifications now, we can avoid making significant core changes in the future; CS-Cart will be able to evolve gracefully and deliver better backward compatibility in the long run.

Theme editor and Image zoom

Live Theme editor and the beautiful Image zoom are new in CS-Cart 4.

Now, let’s take a look into the future and the next big step for the CS-Cart software (after the upcoming 4.0.1 release)—version 4.1.

The Future

CS-Cart would never be where it is today without a strong and supportive community. Creating a welcoming environment for community members, both existing and new, is one of the top priorities for CS-Cart 4.1.

To keep our community growing and attract more independent developers, we are creating a marketplace—a place where third-party developers will be able to present and promote their add-ons, themes, and all things CS-Cart to a wide audience of store owners.

Establishing a project of such scale will require serious improvements in the CS-Cart source code related to the add-on management, including storefront-based add-on activation.

Additionally, we plan to do some serious work regarding the checkout routine—allow separate checkout for vendors and improve usability.

CS-Cart API, first to be introduced in version 4.0.1, will be improved and used more widely.


I hope  that our vision is now more clear and that you will better accept the latest turns in the CS-Cart path. We really care about the community’s opinion, and we hope for your understanding.

With all the necessary changes introduced in versions 4.0 and 4.1, CS-Cart will offer better version compatibility, easier upgrades, and a great open community for new third-party developers.

We believe that CS-Cart has chosen the right path, and we, the CS-Cart development team, as well as our clients, have a very bright future ahead. Get on board!

You can ask us any questions right below in the comment section.

Thanks!

43 Responses to “4 and Beyond: a Brief Overview of the CS-Cart Roadmap”

  1. That makes me glad I paid for the license! CS-Cart 3 rocks and CS-Cart 4 will be the best ever. The live theme editor above is just mouth-watering.

    On a related note, I still can’t believe too many brazilians would rather go to free offerings such as Prestashop and Opencart, instead of paying for such top notch product – and then spending money and time later on add-ons and modifications which are already included in CS-Cart.

    Keep up the good work guys!

  2. Haris says:

    Dear CS Cart team

    your reasoning seems reasonable! Let’s see the above mentioned in reality and not in theory.

    I hope that you plan to release the stable version of CS Cart 4 soon.

    As you have said in previous posts, June is the month of the new stable version, right?

    Thanks

    Haris

    • Dear Haris,

      Thanks for your understanding! I want to assure you we are truly determined to make it all real.

      Yes, the scheduled release date is in June; we are doing our best to get the stable version ready on schedule.

  3. Posibility to modify dropdown menu to navigate under domain becouse i have many category and i want to create a subdomain to this category. Show all category in all shop subdomain and when clicked to category or subcategory store go in that subdomain.

    • Hello,

      You can create custom drop-down menus with any content you need; you can use any URLs there including the URLs to subdomains.

      Custom menus can be placed anywhere you like using Block manager (or Layouts, if you are using CS-Cart 4.)

  4. Wesam says:

    Recently i got cs cart multi vendor 3.0.6 ,and i want make some customization and modification in the code , because i am a php developer, so after i finish this issue ,is update to version4 is suitable for me or it will chang my customization, or i must wait until update then custom, thx

  5. Basdog22 says:

    I think most of us working and modind cs-cart understand the reason for the v4 changes but it scares us a little bit because of the core changes and the learning curve of the new versions.
    I think that a good developer manual pointing the changes and what it needs for our old code to run on v4 would be a good start

    • Hello,

      CS-Cart 4 should really be easier to work with than the previous versions; one of our top priorities is to make CS-Cart code easier for new developers.

      We will expand and update the documentation. Some of the core changes are already documented, and the API docs are pretty complete.

      We are keen to hear from you what changes in the docs must be done first.

      Thanks for your support and help!

  6. tbirnseth says:

    Far too many “no value” changes. Please explain why renaming something like ‘customer’ to ‘frontend’ add anything of value to anyone.

    You can use PSR if you want, but requiring others to do so to fit into your world is a waste of our resources.

    From an addon developers perspective this a a giant step backwards in complexity and long term supportability. You could have thought through how to support existing addons and done so with a compatibility script that supported things like the user of directory constants (DIR_ADDONS) and/or functions such as fn_send_mail(). Forcing naming conventions to find the subject template is well outside the scope where cs-cart should reach.

    • Dear Tony,

      Applying PSR as the coding standard of CS-Cart, as well as saner directory naming, is primarily aimed to make it easier for new developers to dive in.

      Of course, you are free to write your code guiding any coding standard you like (or without any,) the PHP interpreter does not really care. Although, using the de facto coding standard in the industry is beneficial for the new comers and for the developer community in general.

      We would be happy if you shared your suggestions and ideas with us. If we find them useful, implementable, and profitable for CS-Cart, we will surely consider adding them to the CS-Cart core.

      We may release some helper tools to make it easier to port legacy code later; currently, as CS-Cart 4 is almost ready to release, we must concentrate on the software itself. Thanks for the suggestion anyway!

      • Chris says:

        I think CS-Cart 4 looks great. I am particularly happy about the performance increases.

        However, excited as I am, there is no way I can move without some of the addons I use being ported. For instance, I use tbirnseth’s Mailchimp addon, some SEO addons which store 301 redirects, and a few others that add functionality to the products.

        For new stores, I think CS-Cart 4 will be fine. For established stores, I think there will be a low uptake rate until the addons get sorted out.

        • Dear Chris,

          Thanks for the kind words!

          We understand your concern about the add-ons you have. This is why we have published a guide for the developers to help them port custom add-on from CS-Cart 3 to 4.

          Generally, adapting an add-on should not be too hard — the add-on scheme is the same and in most cases, just relocating the files may do the trick.

          Of course, it is up to the store owner to decide whether the upgrade is necessary. In some cases, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it“ can be the right motto :-)

  7. Posibility to print total product orders because that list send to warehouse

    • In CS-Cart 4, it will be possible to bulk print invoices of many orders at once as PDF; all the products will be listed.

      • Understend but not list TOTAL PRODUCT ORDERS ADDON.
        in bulk print invoice print all invoice and products separately :(

        • That feature is in uservoice for long time but when construct this addon don’t create this list. Admin erase this feature from uservoice list :( . That feature in current form is not good becouse I have many orders and must be compiled and sent to the warehouse to remove the shelf products.

          • Sorry, I do not quite understand what you actually mean. Could you please be a bit more specific?

            Do you need a list of products purchased within certain orders?

            Or do you need to know the total cost of all such products?

            What add-on are you actually referring to?

            Thanks!

            • I intrest products and totat quatity of prosucts because that list send dirct to warehowse to pool out the products not total cost of that. In actualty products total orders addon put posibility to print that list.

              for example: select order and after that select option view purchased products and when view that list add posibility to print that list please and thank you

              • If I understand you correctly, you want to be able to print out the product list (with names and quantities) based on a particular order or orders.

                If that is correct, than you should just bulk print out the orders—the resulting list will contain all the purchased products with names and quantities.

                • yes but if one order contain 3 x paper and another order contain 2 x paper i wnat to print 5 x paper not separately 3 x paper and 2 x paper becouse if you print bulk order print separately

  8. Claude says:

    Question on add-ons from version 3 to 4. Will the add-ons be updated by CS CART team or do we need to update them ourselves for the version 4?

  9. Sal says:

    What is the status of eBay and Amazon integration?

    • Hello,

      Ebay integration details are currently being discussed with an eBay representative. The add-on is developed for CS-Cart 4.

      The Amazon integration is planned to be implemented after the eBay integration is ready.

  10. ravi says:

    i am really waiting for new release.. I heard that its on june can we have the specific date. I was working on version 3 and stopped launching the site just for the version 4.

    Too much excited. Good work guys.

  11. Maree says:

    Thanks to the cscart team. The pressure must be enormous. I appreciate what you are doing. Cheers.

  12. Tami says:

    Any news on the release of the new version 4? Anxiously awaiting.

  13. Paul says:

    I am a new to cs-cart and just joined your reseller program, as well as purchased a block of 3x licenses. Am I correct in assuming that all of those new licenses will be valid for the soon to be released version 4?

    Also are there any further new docs for design and layout modifications?

    Am excited to download the new version, hope it comes out soon!

    • Dear Paul,

      Yes, CS-Cart Professional licenses are life long and, since your year-long upgrade subscription is still active, you will be able to download CS-Cart 4 as well.

      We will publish a guide to CS-Cart 4 theme creating after the release.

  14. Sok says:

    Hello, where can I find complete functionality limitation list for CS CART 4 free edition? Thanks.

  15. Claude says:

    I have Professional V 3 when I install V4 for testing and used my License number it gives me below error message and I cannot test some add ons or install, do I need to upgrade? and to what version?

    “Error: The license does not match your store edition. Please re-check.
    Warning: This is not a final release version. It is not intended to be installed on live stores.”

    • Dear Claude,

      You are trying to enter a Professional license number in an Ultimate store, so the license edition does not match, as it is stated in the error message.

      We will provide a way to use a Professional license with an Ultimate store with 1 storefront.

      Anyway, a license is not required to download and test the beta since it is not the final version.

  16. kamil says:

    why i cannot close the store front in the new version

  17. hakami says:

    Hello,
    I want to know the sail of cs-cart multi vendor version 3 will be discontinued?
    What I must do If i want to buy a lifetime license of cs-cart version 3 multi vendor?

  18. Mike BD says:

    I am glad to see you are working on improvements to CS-Cart and a lot of them are great sound changes.
    Just logged into the new demo version and amazed to see I can STILL create multiple products with the same “Name” and “CODE:/SKU”
    You MUST have one field that is unique to a product!
    Could you add this to the BUG List Please.
    Thanks Mike

    • Dear Mike,

      Thank you for the report.

      Creating multiple products with the same code and name must be allowed; there are use cases when this is required.

      For example, many CS-Cart users tend to create separate products for each product color—surely, they all should have the same name and code.

      Also, if you need to modify a product in private, you would create its hidden copy which would have all the same parameters but would be hidden from the general public. You would no like it if you could not do that.

      I hope I understood you correctly.

      If you have any questions, feel free to ask.