Code Push Today: WordPress and/or Server Cache May Need Clearing

We're doing a code push this morning that may require you to refresh your WordPress or server cache. If your website looks fine, then don't worry about it, your caches reset like they should. If the IDX looks off, you'll need to refresh your cache.

This code push is part of a larger project that we're working on and we need it in production to continue testing and development.

WordPress Plugin Update: 3.0.43 & 3.0.44

We have pushed a new version of the Showcase IDX plugin.This release updates our Readme.txt file that is used to display our information in the WordPress Plugin Repository. We made the words a bit nicer and added some new screenshots and a header image. Nothing too exciting. We also did test up to the current WordPress version (5.1) so that's reflected in our plugin page as well now.

We also removed a couple of images we weren't using in our plugin anymore (our old logo).

That's about it. Have a great day!

New RETS Processor - Image Reindexing

You might see some listings in the MLS's below with more images missing than usual. We started the process last night but the jobs are still going. We have all the throttles as open as the MLSs will let us have to get this wrapped up as quickly as possible. We felt it important to let y'all know what's going so you're not just thinking "WTF is going on!".

FMLS

Miami MLS

GAMLS

BRIGHT MLS

NTREIS

MRED

SAN DIEGO MLS

TRIANGLE MLS

Why is this happening?

We have a completely reimagined/rebuilt RETS processing engine that is way more efficient, fast and importantly, incredibly accurate. This means we'll be indexing new listings, changes and removing listings faster and more accurately than ever.

Unfortunately, that means we have to do some re-indexing. This should be a one time thing, and the photos (which take about a sec per listing which is roughly 24 photos per listing download and process in about 900ms)will be reindexed as fast as we possibly can.

We're sorry for the inconvenience and understanding. The end result will even better listing data on your websites.

My MLS isn't on this list? We're starting with the biggest MLSs first. The smaller MLSs are much quicker and have a lot fewer listings to process, so it shouldn't be a noticeable impact.

SSH DDOS Attacks Foiled

This is something that we're sharing because I think it's good for our customers to know what's up and what we're doing behind the scenes. Unfortunately, it's not all sunshine and rainbows and new functionality... sometimes we have to deal with BS like hackers trying to access our systems and take us down. Last week we had one of these episodes. Thankfully, this is not a security breach announcement.

Late last week we noticed that one of our database nodes was getting a lot of traffic to the extent that it took it down. Through our backend developers' investigation we found that a couple of IP addresses in China and Milwaukee (🤷‍♂️) were doing their best to brute force access our ReThink database which holds our listing data repository. They had focused on one server out of our cloud array and went to town with a few million login attempts an hour to try and access it through SSH. They didn't succeed. They also didn't take us down.

Our dev team was able to work over the weekend and mitigate the issue by cutting off the ssh traffic through our firewall and hardening it up some so other attacks would also not succeed. What they did succeed in doing is crippling one of our ReThink cloud servers to the point that it was pretty screwed up and not connecting with the other server in the cluster. Talk about a cluster, right? (bad jokes) Anyways.. The beauty of a cloud setup like we have is that all the servers in these clusters replicate over all the servers in the cluster, so we didn't actually lose any data. But getting the #3 server back up and connected to the other servers was a real pain in the butt.

The #3 server took a couple of days for our backend team working through the weekend to get back online, connected and replicating properly again.

Why am I even putting this in the changelog? Because this is a good example of a couple of things: 1) Our infrastructure is really secure, and more importantly, 2) this is the kind of thing that comes up that our support team talks about as something taking priority, where it delays tackling other bugfixes and development projects. Sometimes we just have to drop everything and put out a fire like this (that comes out of nowhere). This kind of thing is thankfully is pretty rare.

We appreciate all of our customers understanding and patience when things like this happen. Thankfully this didn't have any direct customer impact, so it went on behind the scenes. But still... know that we couldn't be working harder (and hopefully, smarter) than we are to make Showcase IDX the leading IDX plugin that we all want it to be.

  • Scott (CEO)

New Showcase IDX WordPress Dashboard Widget and Action Bar Menu

From today, and our 3.0.42 version of our WordPress plugin, you'll notice a couple of new things in your WordPress dashboard. We're making it easier for you to see the latest product and news updates from our changelog (this thing) and our blog. Exciting!

Showcase IDX Dropdown.jpg

When you are logged into WordPress, you'll be able to access a range of resources from the new Showcase IDX dropdown:

  • Plugin Setup
  • IDX Admin Dashboard
  • Support Center
  • Facebook User Group
  • Video Tutorials
  • Blog
  • Changelog

You'll also find this handy news widget on your WordPress dashboard with all the latest product and company news to keep you up-to-date with everything new and happening at Showcase IDX.

This is our initial version of this, and we're looking to add more functionality to WordPress over time to tie Showcase IDX and WordPress even closer together.

Showcase IDX Dashboard Widget.jpg

Admin: Lead Index Page Updates

LeadIndexPage.jpg

We've just launched some initial Phase I updates to the main lead index page in the Agent Admin. The main purpose of this first round of updates is to improve the overall look and user experience in the lead index page. We added a profile photo next to the users that we can look up their information, from their email. We've also removed a redundant drop down that was far more confusing than useful.

We will be continuing to improve this page in Phase II by updating the Assigned To: dropdown to let you pick which individual user a lead is assigned to. We'll also be adding dropdown filters for lead status, persona and tags. The goal of this is to make this lead index page easier to use and filter leads.

Fixed online time to reflect when it appears in our listing search not when it was created in the MLS

There was an import bug that was causing listings to show up at the time they were created in the MLS and not the time we processed the listing. This has been fixed. This will make the time online badge and recent activity show the correct information. This is a forward change.

Scheduled Cloud Server Platform Maintenance Report (12/13)

At 1am on the morning of 12/13, we performed maintenance updates for the compute cluster running our client facing applications on Google Cloud Platform. This was both a security patch and an effort to somewhat future-proof the cluster. One the major changes to this cluster was to allow it to automatically scale the size of the cluster in order to accommodate for increases in traffic. This allows us to keep a constant level of performance under both light and heavy request loads.

The downtime window that we communicated in advance for this was between 1AM and 5AM. The infrastructure update was accomplished by 1:40AM. Two key issues were identified as a result of this, mostly revolving around database connectivity. Our databases have a high degree of security and require incoming connections to be explicitly allowed (above and beyond just a username and password) or carried out over an internal private cloud network. Another issue was discovered within the underlying technology stack around how we deploy new code into production, or in other words, make it go live.

The issue surrounding database connectivity were resolved around 3:30AM. Issues with the deployment jobs were resolved around 9:30AM. During the window between our previously stated 5AM deadline and the 9:30AM all-clear, backend services were technically available and were in no jeopardy, but to decrease expected errors we disabled external connectivity, which resulted in extra customer downtime.

Goods new is that now all of our frontline application cloud services are fully setup to autoscale under heavy loads which should mean a better experience for all websites using Showcase.

Showcase IDX Now An Official Zapier Integration Partner

Showcase IDX on Zapier.com

We've had a beta integration with Zapier for years, but we're happy to announce that we are now full integration partners that will allow you to do more with Zapier and Showcase IDX.

Zapier allows you to instantly connect Showcase IDX with over 1,000 apps to automate lead and message distribution and be more productive with your lead data.

You can find get all the details on our Zapier.com Integration page

Zapier integrations are also now accessible from the Integrations Page in the agent admin.

New: Search Widgets - Search Button & Results Count

We're happy to announce a couple of new widgets that you can use on your websites to extend the integration of WordPress with Showcase IDX onto any page.

We're looking forward to seeing how creatively our customers will use these on their websites. Each of these new widgets can be created in the Agent Admin: Admin>Select a website>Settings>Shortcodes.

A Showcase IDX WordPress plugin update to Version 3.0.41 is required in order for these new widgets to work.

Search Button

Showcase IDX's new search button widget gives you the ability to create a button that can be linked to any saved search. Additionally, you can change the text on the button to whatever you like. Clicking the button sends the website user to the results for the assigned saved search.

We see agents using this for adding links to search results from neighborhood pages and even their homepage.

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Search Results Count

The Search Results Count is a simple widget that will display the number of results for any saved search. If you want to add some summary numbers to your site that reflect the number of single family homes in a location, or condos, or for rent listings, you can do this. The widget generates default text that you can use CSS or your theme to change its size and style.

You can have it as just a number or you can easily create a link to the saved search results. You can also choose if you want the results to display in the current tab/window or a new tab/window. It's a pretty simple widget but can be really powerful when used on a community page or on your homepage.

Get creative with it and show your visitors how many listings you have on your website, or show many niche listings are available.

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No published changelogs yet.

Surely Showcase IDX will start publishing changelogs very soon.

Check out our other public changelogs: Buffer, Mention, Respond by Buffer, JSFiddle, Olark, Droplr, Piwik Pro, Prott, Ustream, ViralSweep, StartupThreads, Userlike, Unixstickers, Survicate, Envoy, Gmelius, CodeTree