Store Locator Server Upgrade

Cluster Teamwork

All of the Store Locator Plus® web properties are now living on an updated server cluster.   The new configuration, a load-balanced cluster, will provide zero-downtime maintenance window and faster performance under peak load;  These upgrades will be most noticeable for our SaaS users.

What Changed?

Our prior server configuration used a failover configuration.   In that type of configuration a web server handles 100% of the load and if it fails a second duplicate server that is in standby takes over.  This provides limited downtime with reduced costs; However, it also means there are routine service outages when the underlying software (Operating System, web services, web apps) are updated.

The current configuration, put into place over the weekend with zero downtime, uses a load balanced configuration.  In this configuration two-or-more servers mirror each other and are all online and answering web requests at the same time.  Requests are split between the servers with a goal of maintaining an average load of just under 50%.  This ensures that if one server fails the service stays up-and-running while a replacement server is automatically brought online to assist in web services.

The load balanced cluster also provides an added benefit of horizontal scalability. Failover style server could only be pushed up to a bigger server with more CPUs and RAM and faster network interfaces; a process that meant building ever-bigger servers with higher costs and longer maintenance window downtime.     The load balanced cluster configuration monitors server loads across the cluster and adds a new server automatically at set performance limits.   This ensures that there is a less-than-5-minute response time to adding capacity whenever there is a spike in usage.

Results Layout Logic : ifnotset

Store Locator Plus® has a new release coming soon that adds some new features to the product offering.    The new 5.3 release builds on the current Results Layout formatting by adding a new ifnotset attribute to the [slp_location] shortcodes.    This allows user to display location data or option values by using either the “ifset” or “ifnotset” logic.

Display Phone Number If Set, Otherwise Display Fax Number

In this example, the results layout will show users the location phone number when that field has data in it.   If the phone number is not set it will render the fax field.    This goes in the Store Locator Plus® | Settings | Results | Results Layout setting.

2 comments on “Store Locator Map Center, Location Sensor, Address patches”

Store Locator Map Center, Location Sensor, Address patches

Store Locator Plus® 5.7 has been released to assist with several features available in the Professional and Enterprise packages of our SaaS product as well as features for the Power and Experience add-on packages for the WordPress plugin.

Location Sensor Refinements

The locations sensor is available for users of the Professional or Enterprise SaaS service.    For those using the legacy WordPress plugins the Power add on is required.     Keep in mind your site must be an https-based URL which will require you have an SSL certificate.

This patch enhances the consistency of location detection features where some combinations of settings were forcing the location sensor to enable when the feature was turned off.

This setting is found under Store Locator Plus® | General | User Interface.

Center Map

Setting the center of the map can happen several ways.  The default for all maps is to use the value stored under Store Locator Plus® | Settings | Map for Center Map At.