Significant Performance Update

Recently, we've been growing like crazy and that's been putting some extra stress on our infrastructure and creating more transient errors than we'd like. Most of these errors, don't actually have any impact on customers as the process is just retried.

However, a few of these have created some very brief outages in the past couple of weeks that have effected our customers' websites for very short periods, like 10 seconds. We hate this.

After a lot of research and analysis we found a key bottleneck in how we were sending data between our cloud server applications. We realized that we needed to ease the heavy load on this crucial API data pathway. To do this we've added some additional caching to the requests going through this bottleneck.

The result of this solution, is a dramatic reduction in error rates and resource usage, which has in turn created and dramatic increase in performance, that is seen most in the load times for our IDX on our customer websites. The improvement in page load speed we've seen is profound.

WordPress Plugin Update: 3.0.45

We pushed out a new Showcase IDX WordPress plugin update (3.0.45) today that adds more detail to the screen that you see when Showcase IDX license isn't active on your site.

The previous message was obviously written by a developer. The message was functional but also sounded kind of scary. Not what we are going for, so it's been swapped out for something more instructive and hopefully useful!

Planned Downtime: Upgrading Google Cloud Elastic Search Cluster

Showcase IDX will be upgrading our Elastic Search Cluster tonight (The night of 5/1-5/2), starting at 3am EST.

We'll probably be down for about 90 minutes. This means the search will not work on your website during this time.

We're starting so late to make sure there's minimal impact on your websites and users.

This upgrade will give five us substantially more capacity on our main search cluster in Google Cloud. Without the tech jargon, we're beefing up the servers that handle the searches so we can support more concurrent searches and ensure they are as quick as quick can be.

We're also sharing this notification in the admin intercom chat and in the changelog.

Updated: Showcase IDX v2.0 CRM Integration With LionDesk

Launching today, the Showcase IDX CRM integration with LionDesk will help our LionDesk customers get more out of Showcase IDX.

**This will require Showcase IDX customers with an existing LionDesk Premium Integration to add the new LionDesk v2 Premium Integration and remove the previous version. It is not an automated upgrade! It should take less than 2 minutes. Installation video below.

You can manage this upgrade here.**

Showcase IDX LionDesk integration

New OAuth 2.0 Account Authentication

With its new API, LionDesk has implemented the new open standard for secure authentication and authorizing connections between applications. As opposed to other forms of authentication, OAuth 2.0 uses access tokens over secure HTTPS connections, instead of credentials like API Keys.

You’re probably familiar with the process, as it’s what Facebook and Google use when you want to sign into a website or application with your Facebook or Google login.

What this means for Showcase IDX and LionDesk users is a more robust, secure connection between our two applications. This is a good thing.

When setting up the new premium integration, all you’ll do is click the connect button and a LionDesk window will appear where you can login (if you’re not already logged in LionDesk) and then simply click the button to approve the connection to Showcase IDX.

LionDesk Updates Within A Second

This isn’t new, but since we’ve been testing the integration we’ve seen this first hand, we’re just excited about how quick it works. All the activity on your website that’s tied to a contact is updated within a second in LionDesk from the action being performed on your website. Lightning fast!

New Lead Activity Events

We have added more events and features to the integration to give you more insight within LionDesk to the contact’s activity on your Showcase IDX-powered website.

Property Viewed

Your client views a property on your site. We are now adding additional listing information to each property viewed, including the main photo, bedrooms, bathrooms, days online, year built, listing agent name, company, phone number and email; and more.

This will let you see more details on their home search and engagement on your site from within the LionDesk dashboard.

Favorite Property Removed – NEW!

Know when a contact removes a property from their list of favorites on your site.

Saved Search Added

As your client’s home searches progress, their interests and requirements do as well. Now, you can know when they create a new search query by seeing the information added to the contact within LionDesk.

Favorite Property Added

Know when a new property catches your client’s eye. We’ll alert you when a property is added to contact’s favorites

Saved Search Removed – NEW!

Know when a client removes a saved search query.

User Login – NEW!

Your clients should be using the IDX and home search tools on your site. Showcase IDX has always tracked when they visit your site from new listings or to refine a search. Now, you’ll be able to see that a contact logged in to the IDX on your website from within LionDesk.

Showing Request – NEW!

In addition to your alerts from Showcase IDX about a request for a showing on a property, you’ll now see this showing request within LionDesk too.

More Listing Information In LionDesk Activity Stream

Your LionDesk Activity Timeline has never had so much useful information on the home search and listing information for your clients!

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.

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