Crocoblock Introduces JetEngine 2.9.0: External Modules, Calculated Columns, Glossary Import, and Dynamic Function Improvements
Crocoblock, a Ukraine-based plugin development company, has released JetEngine 2.9.0. It’s a major update to their core dynamic plugin, the one allowing web developers to build fully operative dynamic sites.
Andrew Shevchenko, CTO at Crocoblock, announced the update in their Facebook community. Up till now, the issue is being heavily discussed. Why sudden backlash, you may wonder? One thing that’s made this update iconic is the newly introduced JetEngine External modules.
On the client-side, these modules represent added functionality, which can be enabled/disabled and updated as a regular plugin. On the technical side, it’s a revolution. Since external modules become independent plugins, their code no longer depends on the JetEngine core. According to Andrew Shevchenko, this means faster and safer primary plugin updates.
“From now on, all new functionality if not required to be the part of the JetEngine core will be added as separate modules. [As such, it will be possible] to make the JetEngine plugin itself more lightweight, easier to update and maintain. Also, it will be easier to update and maintain these [separate] modules,” he explained during the latest JetTalks session.
Subsequently, Crocoblock developers announced two new dynamic modules — Tables Builder and Charts Builder — and a demo to illustrate their potential.
Tables Builder is a query-based dynamic module that allows web developers to pull data from the backend and present them as a table on the frontend. It is possible to fetch data from posts, WordPress users, terms, WooCommerce products, custom content types, user-generated content like reviews and comments, SQL database, and more.
Charts Builder embraces the same functionality yet outputs data as a dynamic chart. So far, there are 12 chart types to choose from. Andrew declared that the Crocoblock team kept these modules simple initially, but new options and features would be added in the future.
Other features introduced in the JetEngine 2.9.0 update include Group Results and Calculated Columns, which should be combined. Together, they allow calculating the average, minimum, maximum values and grouping query results by the coincidental values.
Another feature is glossary import from the file. It spares the developers from adding the options manually, making it possible to upload a JSON / CSV file that stores all options, ready to be parsed. Last but not least, the dynamic functions. Before v2.9.0, dynamic function tags could pull data from standard WordPress objects only — posts and terms. Now, dynamic functions can output results from a custom SQL query.
Beyond any doubt, this JetEngine update marked a new milestone on the Crocoblock roadmap. Many started wondering what would be the next big thing. Andrew Shevchenko shared the plans regarding the plugin:
“The closest update will [touch upon] the Relationship functionality. … At the moment, we can replicate such a service as Upwork … [that implies] adding job offers, user profiles, applying for jobs, and accepting/declining a job application. … Relationship functionality is one of the things stopping us from completing such a case. … Also, we’ll add to JetEngine the possibility to quick-edit some types of the meta fields directly on the Posts List screen. … [Lastly], we plan to change the JetEngine UX making it easier for new users to interact with different parts of the plugin.”
Apparently, the Crocoblock developers head toward developing more dynamic templates pretty soon. UX enhancements and a new field editing routine, though, are a way to go for those who had to put JetEngine on hold due to its confusing interface.