Free v3.8.6 with breaking API changes and usability optimizations is available

With this release the overall backend usability got improved. The authentication method for the Maps Marker API has also changed completely and the old authentication method with public key only is not supported anymore! Please see below for more details.

For even more features and optimizations (see the comparision page), please use the integrated pro upgrader to start a free 30-day-trial of Maps Marker Pro.

Pro v1.5.7 has also been released today with the following highlights:

  • support for dynamic switching between simplified and advanced editor (no more reloads needed)
  • new MapsMarker API search action with support for bounding box searches and more
  • support for filtering of marker icons on backend (based on filename)
  • support for changing marker IDs and layer IDs from the tools page
  • support for bulk updates of marker maps on the tools page for selected layers only

Let me know what you think about this new release by submitting a review!

If you want to keep up to date with the latest Maps Marker development, please follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates), on FacebookGoogle+ or subscribe to news via RSS or via RSS/email.

I would also like to invite you to join our affiliate program which offers commissions up to 50%.


Now lets get to the highlights of free v3.8.6:

more secure authentication method for MapsMarker API

Until v3.8.5 you only had to use a public key to execute API actions. Although there are several additional security layers available (like accepting requests from specific IPs only or specifying a referrer needed), this authentication method had its shortcomings: anyone who got to knew this public key (by tapping network traffic or having access to request log files for example) could perform any API action (especially if there were no additional security layers active).

Since v3.8.6 all API requests must now be authenticated using an expiring signature which requires a public and private key as well as an expire value. This is similar to the approach used by Amazon to secure access to their S3 Storage API. Once authenticated, all activated API actions can be executed.

I added examples for PHP, JavaScript and C# in the MapsMarker API docs on how to programmatically create a valid signature.

In addition, an “API URL Generator” and an “API URL Tester” have been added to the tools page, allowing you to manually create a signature:

api-url-generator

api-url-tester

Anyway this is not really recommended, as the safer approach is to programmatically create a signature which for example expires automatically in 1 minute!

Please note, that the old authentication method with public key only is not supported anymore! Please upgrade your application before updating to v3.8.6!

In addition to the security measures enforced by the API, it’s strongly advisable to implement SSL for the WordPress site (beyond the scope of this API).

For more details please see the updated MapsMarker API docs – if you have created a cool application using the Maps Marker API, please let me know and I will add it to the showcases!

optimized marker and layer pages on backend

Marker and layer edit pages on backend have also been optimized with v3.8.6. I tried to remove whitespace where possible for a better user experience, added missing labels to form elements for better selection, added an “Advanced settings” row (where WMS layers were moved to for example) and optimized the display and selection of marker icons, which is now better visually supported:

marker-icons-optimized

single quotes in marker map names were escaped

Until v3.8.5, the character ‘ was escaped as \’ when it was used in marker or layer names. This is now fixed (thx Eric for the report!). Please keep in mind, that this fix does not affect already created map with ‘ in the name – so after the update to v3.8.6, please open the affected maps, correct the name and save them again.

Other optimizations and changes

  • checkbox for multi layer maps is now also visible by default on layer edit pages
  • WMS legend link is not added to WMS attribution if legend link is empty
  • store on mapsmarker.com now also accepts Diners Club credit cards

Bugfixes

  • database issues when saving maps on selected hosts (thx David!)

Translations updates

Thanks to many motivated contributors, this release comes with the following updated translations:

If you want to contribute to translations (new Hindi translators would be appreciated!), please visit https://translate.mapsmarker.com/projects/lmm for more information. Please note that translators are also compensated for their contribution – for example if a translation is finished less than 50%, the translator gets a free 25 licenses pack worth  €199 as a compensation for completing the translation to 100%.

Outlook – my plans for the next release

Please see the roadmap for a rough schedule for planned features of the pro version and please subscribe to this blog (via RSS or Email) or follow @MapsMarker on twitter (= most current updates) if you want to stay up to date with the latest development news.

Full changelog

support for dynamic switching between simplified and advanced editor (no more reloads needed)
new MapsMarker API search action with support for bounding box searches and more
support for filtering of marker icons on backend (based on filename)
support for changing marker IDs and layer IDs from the tools page
support for bulk updates of marker maps on the tools page for selected layers only
more secure authentication method for MapsMarker API (old method with public key only is not supported anymore!)
store on mapsmarker.com now also accepts Diners Club credit cards
optimized marker and layer pages on backend (optimized marker icons display, less whitespace for better workflow, added “Advanced settings” row)
checkbox for multi layer maps is now also visible by default on layer edit pages
WMS legend link is not added to WMS attribution if legend link is empty
optimized input on backend by adding labels to all form elements
single quotes in marker map names were escaped (thx Eric!)
database issues when saving maps on selected hosts (thx David!)
Translation updates
In case you want to help with translations, please visit the web-based translation plattform
updated Chinese translation thanks to John Shen, http://www.synyan.net and ck
updated Czech translation thanks to Viktor Kleiner and Vlad Kuzba, http://kuzbici.eu
updated Dutch translation thanks to Patrick Ruers, http://www.stationskwartiersittard.nl
updated French translation thanks to Vincèn Pujol, http://www.skivr.com and Rodolphe Quiedeville, http://rodolphe.quiedeville.org, Fx Benard, http://wp-translator.com, cazal cédric, http://www.cedric-cazal.com and Fabian Hurelle, http://hurelle.fr
updated German translation
updated Romanian translation thanks to Arian, http://administrare-cantine.ro and Daniel Codrea, http://www.inadcod.com
updated Slovak translation thanks to Zdenko Podobny

show previous changelogs

How to download / update 

The easiest way to update is to use the WordPress update process: login with an user who has admin privileges, navigate to Dashboard / Updates, select plugins to update and press the button “Update Plugins”. Alternatively you can also download the current version here, unzip the package and overwrite the plugin´s files on your webserver.

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