Introducing Vendr, eCommerce made for Umbraco v8

Here at Outfield Digital we’re passionate about Umbraco. Our developer, Matt Brailsford, has been working with Umbraco for over 10 years, introducing our clients to the many benefits the CMS has to offer, as well as creating a number of high profile open source packages such as Nested Content, DTGE and Fluidity, to name a few.

As you may know, last December we extended our Umbraco passion by taking over Tea Commerce from the team over at Tea Solutions, if not, you can read more about it here. Our goals were to continue maintaining Tea Commerce, while building upon it to make improvements and create an Umbraco v8 compatible product.

We have been working hard to achieve those goals and we’re almost at the point where we can share an Alpha preview of what we’ve been working on. But firstly, we’d like to share with you a little bit about our progress so far, what to expect when and to let you all know about our new product name and branding.

Our new Umbraco v8 ready product will be called Vendr. Taking the Latin word ‘vendere’ meaning ‘to sell’, which we have adapted for our new name, Vendr. Our reasoning behind the rebrand was to differentiate the new product from Tea Commerce, not only since it has many changes from the current product, but also as a fresh start under our, Outfield Digital’s, wing.

We’re also keen to convey our commitment to Vendr in terms of longevity, passion and most importantly, quality. With this in mind we thought it only proper to ensure the branding reflected that vision for our new product and its future. As such, we thought we would share with you some of the branding imagery we’ve been working on, which will hopefully give you a feel for our vision.

Vendr Branding

Vendr Branding

Vendr Branding

So what’s changing?

Vendr shares all the great features you know and love in Tea Commerce. It’s still a flexible eCommerce solution, but with many added improvements including:

  • A more familiar back office UX, which seamlessly blends with the Umbraco back office to give your content editors and clients a consistent editing experience.
  • A cleaner coding strategy making use of all the new improvements in Umbraco v8.
  • Stronger workflows in order to maintain data integrity.
  • More extension points for greater customisation.

Throughout development, a key focus of Vendr is and always will be that of simplicity. Simplicity for the editor; by mirroring the Umbraco UX. Simplicity in pricing; you buy the product and you get all the features, no price break for a specific feature. Simplicity in code; there is only one way to do things and that’s the recommended way.

Order List Screen

Order Details Screen

What have we been doing?

The journey so far has been an interesting one. In all honesty, our timeline was somewhat hampered by the earlier than anticipated release of Umbraco V8. As a two person, one developer team, much of our time for 2019 was already spoken for with client projects and so we weren’t able to jump straight onto the development of Vendr after the V8 release. We have however, stuck to our original time plan, which has allowed us to factor in the initial changes to V8 to help us create what we think will be a more robust product. So while it may feel like the wait for a V8 compatible eCommerce solution from us has been an age, it does mean we’re able to try and get things right from the get go.

That said, we know aiming for perfection is a slippery slope, so now that we have what we feel is a strong foundation, our primary focus is firmly on getting what we have created ready for release and into the hands of developers.

What is next for Vendr?

Over the next couple of months we will be showing you what we have been up to and where the product is going, with an Alpha release at the end of the year. We’ll hopefully gain some helpful feedback from those of you who wish to have an early play with the product. We then intend to make further refinements and updates, with a final release out by the end of Q1.

We have quite a lot more to finish up, but it is all looking very promising and we’re excited to share with you our work so far. The first opportunity to see what we’ve been up to will be at the 10th annual Umbraco UK Festival on Friday 8th November in London. If you’re heading to the festival and would like to know more about Vendr, do come and find Matt or myself (Lucy), we’ll be around all day.

Vendr Branding

What does this mean for Tea Commerce?

As fans of Tea Commerce we knew that when we took over the project we would need to ensure that it is maintained and still available for use. And this thought process has not changed. So while Tea Commerce isn’t and won’t be v8 compatible, as Vendr is taking over as our new Umbraco v8 compatible eCommerce solution, it will be maintained and available to purchase for all those clients who still use Umbraco v7 and older versions, for as long as it makes sense to do so.

Since Vendr is a new product with many breaking changes, there won’t be a migration path from Tea Commerce to Vendr (although we are considering options to migrate data in future releases, should demand warrant it), however we do plan to have a licence scheme in place to allow the transfer of a license from Tea Commerce to Vendr within a set time-frame from the initial release date. Details of this scheme will be announced with our new pricing information.

Pricing for the product will be announced in Q1 2020, the costs will be very similar to what you see now, but with some other payment options available.

How can we keep up to date with Vendr news?

You can follow us on Twitter @heyvendr to see all our latest announcements. You can also sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about our plans and upcoming release.

We see Vendr as the go to eCommerce solution for Umbraco, and the developers preferred choice. We really hope you will think the same once you get chance to try it.

 Vendr Branding