Kartra Alpha Phase 2 | Database Sharding

Here’s the latest update on Kartra:

We’re about to reach a milestone – Kartra Alpha, PHASE 2.

This milestone means that the core engines of most of our major features have been feature locked, and QC’d to a point where we can begin to work on additional features, code optimization, and database optimization.

In Phase 2, we plan on inviting additional Alpha testers to continue to scour through the system, and allow us to start monitoring application load in the form of used CPU resources, application bandwidth, and error trapping.

All sounds pretty fancy, eh?  Heh.  

 

Looking Ahead to BETA PHASE 1

Once we’ve completed Phase 2 of the Alpha, before we move the app into BETA PHASE 1, we’ll be doing one final, very significant Database and Query Modification. We’re very sensitive to how quickly Kartra responds to requests, and also how we will be implementing future updates across the universe of our users.  To create the best possible responsiveness and security, and to allow us to load test new updates without placing our user base in danger of dealing with new, unexpected bugs, the final step of development that will occur before BETA PHASE 1 will be something called Database Sharding.

Database Sharding essentially gives each Kartra user its own database.  This allows us to spread our database needs across a cluster of servers, and that database distribution allows us to load balance user needs pretty much AT WILL.  It also allows us to roll out new application updates SELECTIVELY.  For example, many Kartra users will likely elect to be part of our ongoing Beta Testing Program.  Because of this sharded database environment, we can roll out these updates for testing only to those users who have elected to be in that program, evaluate the updates, and then roll out the update to the rest of the user base.

As you can probably imagine, this final database configuration is going to be not only a significant developer activity, it also will allow us to scale for the foreseeable future.  Once it’s complete, we intend to begin the process of inviting the nearly 4,500 people who have a 90-day free trial of Kartra.   Then, as they say, “Stuff gets real”.  🙂

As per my previous updates, here’s the current state of Kartra Features:

 

Kartra Development Status.

As we speak, most key elements of Karta are 100% active.  

Here’s a list of what’s working and what’s being tweaked:

  • Kartra Page Publishing – Stage A Complete.  Now Optimizing Page Load Times and adding additional Transaction Oriented Features (Ex. Fully Customizable Check Out Pages)
  • Kartra Email Capture – Live
  • Kartra Squeeze Page Builder – Pushing Alpha Test to Dev Server in 2 weeks.
  • Kartra Email Sequencing, Campaign Building, and Lead Automations – Live
  • Kartra Visual, Drag-and-Drop Sequence Builder – Alpha Complete.  Integrating into UI.
  • Kartra Video – Live
  • Kartra Cart – Live (Check Out Pages currently being used very successfully)
  • Transactions – Live
  • Kartra Affiliate Module – Live (Affiliate Contest Module for Sales and Opt-ins In Development)
  • Kartra Analytics – Live
  • Kartra Membership Sites – Live, Additional Drag & Drop Functionality Plus Custom Template Functionality being developed.
  • Kartra Help Desk – In Development.  Nearly Complete
  • Kartra API – In Development
  • Kartra Intelligence – In Development.  Data Organization and Schematics for Use Complete
  • Kartra Surveys – In Development

Kartra Alpha has been sending thousands of emails per day, and is processing real transactions.  

 

Next Steps:

Over the next 2 weeks, we will be issuing another call to qualified Alpha testers to join us on the inside of Kartra and help us continue to refine the app.

A word of caution:  While I truly do appreciate everyone’s desire to participate in the Kartra Alpha, I want to make certain that I am setting the exact expectations for testing candidates.

The purpose of being a tester is NOT to “Take Kartra for a Test Drive”.  It’s NOT to decide if you want to use Kartra in your business. And even though I get dozens of requests on a regular basis to “Take My Money NOW”, the fact is our Alpha Program is designed for ONE Purpose:

 

…To BREAK Kartra.

 

So, please understand why I’m reluctant to offer someone a “Test Drive” when we are in the very real, DAILY process of trying to BREAK the application.  And it’s only by breaking the application, can we address immediate and future issues to ensure a quality, innovative experience for our future customers.

That means, to be an Alpha Tester, you should be a POWER USER.  You should be willing to DIG into the application, test its functions, and REPORT on what you find – and you should be willing to do it without a safety net.  
Plus, you don’t get to talk about what you break, or what’s broken either.  All Alpha testers sign a Nondisclosure agreement and review embargo.  It simply wouldn’t be fair for Kartra to be judged based on its Alpha Status.

Additionally, Alpha Tester Accounts that show low or no activity are purged from the System.  Basically, people get very excited at the prospect of “Testing”, and when they get in, they click around for an average of 9 minutes, then do NOTHING.  So, we set the bar high, but we also know that being an Alpha Tester will have long-term privileges once Kartra goes GOLD.

Yes, we’re happy to have you apply to be an Alpha Tester, but fair warning, our requirements are steep.

Internal Migration

In the last update, I mentioned that we were going to begin the process of migrating our current eCommerce, Cart, Affiliate, Email, and Video platforms from our previous systems over to Kartra.  

At the time of this writing, that total migration is nearly complete.  In other words, we are happily eating our own dog food and using Kartra to power the totality of our business.  

That’s it for this update.  Thanks for following along with us on this exciting (And somewhat anxiety laden) adventure!

XOXO,
Andy Jenkins
CEO, Genesis Digital, LLC.

 

11 Comments

Pat & Lorna Shanks

Developer: There is no I in TEAM
Tester: We cannot spell BUGS without U
Andy Jenkins: There is no big Bugs in Kartra
Pat & Lorna Shanks: O-Sorry, did we break that… Like a Boss!

Reply
louznews

With several decades in technical support, I can dig pretty deep am definitely ready to do it.

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Dennis Vasquez

Been a programmer since I’ve been a kid (I’m 46), and done more than my share of QA. Will happily document tests and do my best to ‘break it’ 😉

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Roger, in Bangkok

Thanks for the update! Remaining patiently anxious here to participate in any ways possible 🙂

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Kevin Thomas

Sounds great guys, I’ve been waiting for this to be released ever since you first presented it.
Kevin

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Burk Esterhuyse

Hi Andy & Mike,

I can’t wait for you to launch Kartra to the public. What I have read so far of what it can do sound almost to good to be true. However, I know you guys and trust you guys and I know it will be even better as was described in all the posts.

My biggest struggle so far in the Digital Information world is to get a Merchant account and a Shopping cart that can talk to each other and to my Online Membership area that can take payments in South African Rands (ZAR).

I have search the internet low and high, however, up to now I could not find a Merchant Account or Online payment vendor and a Shopping Cart that can talk to my OptimizePress membership site and Aweber.

I know there is a lot of shopping carts and online Merchant Vendors that can do it, however, not one of them can take payments in South African Rands (ZAR). (The ones in South African can not integrate with the popular Shopping Carts, neither can they talk to Aweber or my OptimizePress Membership plugin). Unfortunately 98% of my clients is in South Africa and wants to be billed in ZAR.

I really hope you guys will integrate with a Payment/Merchant Vendor that will allow South African businesses to open an account and to let them charge people in ZAR.

Thanks for all your hard work to make our business lives easier.

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