Categories
Affiliate Stats Tracker Release Notes

New Release v1.17.1

Today’s release is v1.17.1 of Affiliate Stats Tracker.

This release ended up taking longer, and being much bigger than originally intended.

New Features:

There are two big new features of Affiliate Stats Tracker v1.17.1.

These are:

  • New Sale Notifications – This was highlighted as the next pending feature when I released v1.16.0 a month ago;
  • Minimise to tray

New Sale Notifications

The tl;dr; version of this is that every 15 minutes, if you have made (or lost) money, you will receive a little pop up telling you how much you made (or lost).

As Affiliate Stats Tracker tracks stats from programs that pay out in multiple currencies, the new sale notifications are broken down by currency.

Also, the notifications are grouped. So if you have made three sales from Amazon in the last 15 minutes, but also had a refund in there, the notification will only show one entry which contains the total income after adding up all the affiliate sales commissions, and deducting the refund.

Pending New Sale Notifications Page

A smaller addition, and one that helped during development, is the inclusion of an options page to preview any forthcoming new sale notifications before they have been displayed.

This will, in time, become a more fleshed out options page for managing your new sale notifications. For the moment, I have left it in as it’s not harming anyone by being there. How useful it will be to you right now… I can’t say!

Minimise To Tray

Depending on your operating system of choice (Affiliate Stats Tracker works on Windows, Mac, and Linux) the annoyance of keeping the application open at all times may have been larger or smaller.

Now, when minimising Affiliate Stats Tracker, the app drops into your tray, rather than it living on the “start menu” (or your OS equivalent).

Here’s an example of how this looks on Ubuntu Linux (yes, I know I am a nerd) – AST is the first icon

This makes more sense as Affiliate Stats Tracker is a long running application, but you may not need it actively focused all day long.

It’s not there when you need it, and out of the way when you don’t. Stat collection still happens just the same.

Tooltips

The seemingly never ending task of adding tooltips to existing parts of the application continued in this release. Tooltips have now been added to various icons that only display sometimes, such as the pause icon, and the meaning of things inside the stats navigator bar.

Layout of Affiliate Stats Overview Page

The stats navigator bar (the thing with Today, Yesterday, Last Month, etc) has been moved to the very bottom of the screen.

The “add affiliate program” button now lives on the left underneath your stats.

Bug Fixes:

It wasn’t just new features in v1.17.1.

There have been several bug fixes.

Pending Stats Check No Longer Wipes Out Today

Probably the bug that annoyed me most of all during this release. When a new stats check was requested, the current days stats were being reset to zero.

This wasn’t such a problem – after all, the immediate next step was to fetch the new days stats. However, if the stats check failed for any reason, the existing stats would be lost (until the next successful update).

Existing stats are now left alone, and only set to zero if this is the first stats check for that program for a given day. And life is once again good.

Cancel In Progress Checks On Delete

This involved a fairly significant change and is in large part responsible for this release taking longer than planned.

In the off-chance that a stats check was in progress whilst you were also deleting the same program, the stats would continue to check after the program was deleted. This caused several unusual problems.

The deletion of a program now cancels any stats checking which mitigates this problem entirely.

Negative Currency Amounts

If you were in the unfortunate position of losing more money than you had made with a given affiliate program, the balance displayed might have been something like $-14.99, rather than the correct -$14.99.

This has now been fixed across the entire application.

Still, it sucks to lose money, however it’s displayed.

In Progress Stats Checking Affiliate Program Display Name

Good grief. The title of this one is longer than the actual problem.

Previously if an affiliate program was checking for stats, the spinner display might push the affiliate program name on to a new line. This no longer happens. The program name should now always display in the same place, and correctly.

Restoring Text Update

When restoring a backup the button text for the “restore” button now more helpfully changes to display “Restoring” whilst your backup file is … ahem, restoring. It’s a small change, but it makes things feel nicer.

Add Affiliate Program Remembering Previously Edited Program

When editing an existing affiliate program, then visiting the Add Affiliate Program page, the drop down would already be set to the same program you were previously editing.

After editing a program, the selected program is now correctly cleared, fixing this issue.

Deleting Old Data

Previously when removing an affiliate program, any custom options you had configured would be left around – forever – inside the application. This issue has now been resolved. This would have been a tiny amount of data, however keeping it was entirely needless.

Breadcrumb Display

When editing an existing affiliate program, or viewing the affiliate program breakdown, it was possible that the program name would be empty in the Breadcrumbs. Whoops! This has now been fixed.

Sort By Affiliate Program Name

The affiliate program income table is now sorted alphabetically by program name, rather than by order in which the programs were added.

Affiliate Program Updates:

Google Adsense should no longer display empty values if a given day has no recorded clicks. The minimum value should now always be zero.

Documentation Updates:

Thank You

Thanks to all of you who currently use Affiliate Stats Tracker, testers, and problem reporters. Your feedback is always welcome and highly appreciated.

What’s Next?

Hopefully the next release will come sooner than ~2 months. Ideally every 2 to 4 weeks at a maximum.

I’m not anticipating adding any major new features in the short term.

I will be addressing some known issues with fetching stats from existing programs.

As always I will be adding, or attempting to add new programs as they are suggested (and I get my credentials sorted).

Primarily I will be working on what happens when statistics checking fails for a given program. Sometimes programs are unavailable, sometimes their sites change designs which breaks things, and other times your password may expire. All of these things should be better surfaced and explained (somehow) to you. How this will work, I am yet unclear, but that will be what I work on next.

Categories
Affiliate Stats Tracker Release Notes

New Release v1.16.0

Today’s release is v1.16.0 of Affiliate Stats Tracker. And it’s a big one.

This release contains many new features, bug fixes, and one newly added affiliate programs.

New Features:

The biggest addition to Affiliate Stats Tracker v1.16.0 is the inclusion of Backup and Restore functionality. This was highlighted as one of two forthcoming features when I released v1.15.0 almost a month ago. How time flies.

Backup & Restore

Whether you want to keep a copy of all your existing affiliate programs and tracked statistics, or you are upgrading your computer and want to migrate your Affiliate Stats Tracker installation, Backup & Restore will make things nice and easy.

Originally I wasn’t sure whether to keep the backups in plain text, which would mean stripping out the username / passwords when creating the backup files. This would make the files themselves fairly useful, and if compromised in any way, would mean that your affiliate program username / passwords would be completely safe – as they weren’t stored in the backup.

The drawback to this approach was in when restoring any of your backups, you would need to go back through each program and add the username / password for each.

However, after discussion with several users, the choice was made to create an encrypted backup which does contain your username / passwords.

All backup files are now encrypted on creation. You do not need to think about this – it just happens. When creating the backup file, you are asked for a password. This password can either be the password you have used to log in to Affiliate Stats Tracker, or a custom one you use only for this backup. That choice is yours.

You will need the password when restoring your backup. And that password needs to be the exact same one you used when creating your backup. Without this password there is no way to restore your backup.

More detailed instructions on how to use Backup & Restore have been added to the help documentation.

Erase Your Credentials / Stats / Everything

Should you wish too, or need to delete all your saved affiliate program statistics, or all your tracked affiliate program credentials, or everything in one go, then the new Erase Your Data menu is now available for use.

This was an “internal” feature created to help test the backup and restore facility above. However, I figured it might be useful to you for any number of reasons, so have made it generally available from the new Admin Menu.

More detailed instructions on how to use the Erase Your Data options have been added to the help documentation.

Admin Menu

In order to access the “Backup & Restore” page, and the “Erase Your Data” page, a newly created Admin page has been added.

To access the Admin page, click “View” on the top menu bar, and then click “Admin”.

Cancel Stat Checking

This is part feature / part bug fix.

You can now click the “spinner” (the circle next to the 502 remaining… text) to cancel this stat checking process.

This is part feature because this facility was not previously available.

However, it is also part bug fix as the underlying command to cancel active affiliate program statistic checking was required to fix a bug whereby statistics checking was not cancelled if deleting a program whilst the program’s stats were being checked.

Wew. Quite a mouthful.

Show / Hide Password Field

When presented with a password field, you will now be given the option to toggle the visiblity of the entered password.

At any time you may click the “eye” icon to toggle between showing the password in clear text, and masking the password with dots.

Note that this does not impact the security of your saved password in any way, shape or form.

Your affiliate program passwords are stored securely in your operating systems key store, and never directly inside Affiliate Stats Tracker.

This change is in place wherever password fields are used.

This was primarily added to ensure you are entering the password you expect when creating or restoring a backup file.

Standardised Look & Feel

As new pages, features, and options have been added to Affiliate Stats Tracker, some design differences had slipped in.

For example, adding and editing affiliate program credentials did not have a white background to their forms, whereas updating options for an affiliate program did have a white background.

All menus, pages, and options now follow the same pattern.

This is a “breadcrumbs” menu at the top of a page, then all forms enclosed in a white background.

🤓 Technical 🤓 – Switched from Puppeteer to Playwright

Nerd alert: the following is a technical change that will only be interesting to hardcore computer geeks, like me.

Under the hood, Affiliate Stats Tracker now makes use of Microsoft’s Playwright browser automation framework. Previously I was using Google’s Puppeteer.

The reasoning for this change is that Playwright offers more than just Chromium – also supported are Webkit (Safari), and Firefox. At the moment, Affiliate Stats Tracker is only making use of Chromium as before.

However, Playwright also offers some additional features which make the process of scraping stats from affiliate programs significantly more streamlined. Therefore from a developer perspective, this change has had noticeable benefits to my quality of life. Happy to share more about this change if you are at all interested. Just leave a comment 🙂 Always happy to chat tech.

Bug Fixes:

It wasn’t all new features in v1.16.0.

We also have several bug fixes.

Affiliate Programs sorted by Program Name

A small change here. When adding a new affiliate program, the drop down list is now sorted alphabetically (aka, correctly) by program name.

As more and more affiliate programs are added – and I always encourage and welcome suggestions as to which to add next – the use of a drop down seems to be getting more and more cumbersome.

There may be a change to this in the medium term future. But for now, at least the list of available affiliate programs is logically sorted.

Adding Program Start Date Validity

It is now no longer possible to add a new affiliate program without setting the earliest date for when to check stats.

Outstanding Items Spinner / Text

A couple of strange bugs have been addressed with the spinner and associated text next to a program name when stats checking is in progress.

Mostly these are around display, or lack of display, when interesting things were happening.

I am aware of a couple more smaller issues here that are to be addressed as my next priority.

Delete Program Confirmation

Deleting an affiliate program previously happened immediately after clicking the “Delete” button.

There is now a prompt to confirm you really wish to do this.

This raises UX questions about the location of the Delete button. One for me to think about further.

New Affiliate Programs:

  • Adult Force (Adult)

It seems adult affiliate programs are the only ones being requested at the moment.

I’m always open to new program requests, so keep sending them in.

What’s Next?

After finishing Backup & Restore there is still one outstanding “big” feature that I am working on – Notifications on new sales.

There are several smaller bug fixes that need addressing. The bugs may be addressed before the next bigger release.

As always, you can download the latest release here.

Categories
Affiliate Stats Tracker Release Notes

New Release v1.13.0

Today’s release is v1.13.0 of Affiliate Stats Tracker.

This version contains the following new features and bug fixes:

Features:

  • When there are multiple days for which to check affiliate stats, the stat checking spinner will now also tell you how many days remain to be checked.

    This makes most sense in two scenarios.

    – You have just added a brand new affiliate program to your list;
    – You haven’t used Affiliate Stats Tracker in a few days (maybe you’ve been on holiday / vacation) and there are several days worth of unchecked stats to find.
  • Added some logging to “phone home” whenever a particular affiliate program fails to check stats correctly.
    • This only reports the failed program – your credentials are never sent.
    • This only happens if the program fails to check multiple times.
    • This is in place to – hopefully – allow me to fix problems / get a new release out proactively, rather than re-actively.
    • This logging is still in early stages so likely won’t be super robust, just yet.
  • Added a huge bunch of additional currency options, mainly to keep Amazon happy. So many payout options…

During development it seemed like there were more new features than this, but as I’ve come to write these release notes, I realise most of everything else was technically a bug fix. 🤭

Bug Fixes:

  • A number of issues were addressed on the affiliate program “Breakdown” page.
    • All dates now display by default.
      Previously dates were only added to the Breakdown page as they were checked. Now every date is added, and uses dashes to signify the stats are not yet checked.
    • Fixed up a bunch of NaN issues
      In some circumstances, having sales but no tracked hits could result in the display of a NaN (Not a Number) value for certain columns. This could be possible if the affiliate program tracked rebills as sales, which, it turns out, some do.
  • On the main overview page, the stats display was not “ticking over” at midnight. Therefore if you set the display to “Today”, then after midnight, unless you clicked something that forced a refresh, the display would actually be showing Yesterday’s stats.
    • This is now fixed and will update at midnight as expected
    • I have made a note to add an extra notification, or marker somewhere, to indicate what date you are viewing, if you are not viewing Today’s stats. This will be added in a future release.
  • Fixed a major mistake whereby the new Currency change would have broken existing affiliate programs already added.
  • On the main overview page, the currency symbol will only display if you have affiliate programs that track in different currencies.
    • Previously the currency symbol would always display.

Versioning Changes

In v1.11.0 release notes I mentioned I was thinking of changing the version number system. That change is still on the cards. However, I am now going to use a combination system, whereby larger releases (such as this one) retain the major.minor.patch versioning system, and releases that fix only affiliate program issues will be dated.

Examples might be:

  • 1.13.0 being today’s release. This is a big change, not just including program changes.
  • 1.13.2.150820 (not a real release), would mean I have done two patch / bug fixes, but also on the 15th August 2020, there was some smaller program changes.

I’ve not started using this system just yet, but it feels like it would make sense to me.

What’s Next?

The biggest issue to address at present is the “code signing” certificate for both Windows and Mac (OSX).

This is causing a nasty warning message to display when downloading / attempting to install Affiliate Stats Tracker.

In order to solve this, I need a special certificate from both Microsoft and Apple. This process is taking time as I am being made to jump through a bunch of hoops to prove I am whoever I say I am. And if I wasn’t, why would I say I am?

Fun times.

As always, you can download the latest release here.

Categories
Affiliate Stats Tracker Release Notes

New Release – v1.12.1

Today’s release is v1.12.1 of Affiliate Stats Tracker.

This version contains the following new features and bug fixes:

Features:

The biggest change in this release is to split out the display of affiliate programs by country.

Previously if you had an affiliate program that tracked sales in USD and another that tracked sales in GBP, the display would be … well, sub optimal, shall we say.

Now, affiliate programs are split by their payment currency.

Fixes:

  • Fixed a bug where having two affiliate programs of the same type (e.g. tracking two different Paid On Results affiliate accounts) would display the “spinner” icon on both when either updated. Now the spinner correctly shows on the program that is currently updating.
  • All numbers are now formatted, e.g. as above, 24,942 visitors, whereas previously this would have displayed as 24942.
  • Fixed an issue whereby income could show as either NaN or in some cases. It would sure be nice to have given you infinite money, but sadly Affiliate Stats Tracker isn’t that good.

There are a few more “quality of life” improvements coming next. And I still have a feature and bug list almost as long as my arm, so plenty left to do. But if you have any specific requests, feel free to leave them here as a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

As always, you can download the latest release here.

Categories
Affiliate Stats Tracker Release Notes

New Release – v1.11.0

Today’s release is v1.11.0 of Affiliate Stats Tracker.

I am thinking of moving away from semantic versioning (as in v{major}.{minor}.{fix}) to dated versions. This would have no impact on you, but is something that may happen in the near future.

The reasoning for considering the above change is that various affiliate programs make really minor changes that have no direct impact on Affiliate Stats Tracker, but would still constitute a minor release, and that feels wrong.

This version contains the following new features and bug fixes:

Features:

  • You now manually selected a date from when to start checking your affiliate stats
    • Previously Affiliate Stats Tracker would take a “best guess” as to when to start tracking stats from.
      This was frequently wrong, so now the decision is up to you.
      When adding a new affiliate program, you can select the date from which to start checking stats from. No more guessing!
  • Updated Chrome version
    • In order to comply with Google Adsense sign in requirements, Chrome has been updated to r782078

Fixes:

  • “Save” is only enabled when the “add new affiliate program” form is valid
    • Previously the Save button would become clickable too early, and would seemingly do nothing when clicked. This has now been fixed.

Several more new features and fixes are in progress, but that’s all I have had time for today.

You can download the latest release here.

Categories
Affiliate Stats Tracker Release Notes

New Release – v1.10.0

Today’s release is v1.10.0 of Affiliate Stats Tracker.

This version contains the following new features and bug fixes:

Features:

  • Adds back off functionality.
    • Some affiliate programs (mainly Amazon it would appear) infrequently, and inexplicably stop automated log ins to their website. Whilst I haven’t yet figured out why this happens, I have put in a facility to stop retrying log in every minute.
    • Back off is currently set to 1, 5, 15, and 60 minutes. On the first failed log in, retry will take place the next minute. If that fails, the next log in attempt happens after 5 minutes. Then 15 minutes, and if that one fails also, hold off retrying for 60 minutes.

Fixes:

  • Fixed issue when adding Amazon (any other Amazon Associate program than US or UK) where validating your credentials would always fail.
  • Stat checking automatically happens now when you first open Affiliate Stats Tracker.
    • I’m not sure if this was technically a bug or not 😃

You can download the latest release here.

Categories
Release Notes

New Release – v1.9.1

Today’s release is v1.9.1 of Affiliate Stats Tracker.

This version contains the following new features and bug fixes:

Features:

  • Adds per affiliate program options:
    • Enable / disable an individual affiliate program from automatically checking stats
    • Show / hide the browser window that collects the stats (useful mainly if stats checking is not working)

Fixes:

  • Text change on the “add new affiliate program” button. Now says “Validating” instead of “Saving” to better represent what is actually happening.
  • Re-enables automatic scheduled stat checking (whoops, v1.9.0 had this disabled!)

You can download the latest release here.

Categories
Release Notes

New Release – v1.8.0

Today’s release is v1.8.0 of Affiliate Stats Tracker.

This version contains the following new features and bug fixes:

Features:

  • Added all remaining Amazon Associates programs:
    • United States
    • Deutschland
    • France
    • Japan
    • Canada
    • China
    • Italia
    • España
    • India
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Australia
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Singapore
    • Netherlands

Fixes:

  • When initially adding an Amazon Associate program, providing the wrong username or password would needlessly check the credentials multiple times. This is now corrected.
  • When adding a new affiliate program, providing incorrect details would result in the display of a helpful validation message under the field with the problem.
    The fix here is to ensure that these messages are removed whenever the field is updated. Previously the messages stuck around until the form was next submitted.

You can download the latest release here.

Categories
Affiliate Stats Tracker Release Notes

New Release – v1.6.1

Today’s release is v1.6.1 of Affiliate Stats Tracker.

This version contains the following new features and bug fixes:

Features:

  • Enabled automated scheduler for stat download.
    Previous versions had this set to manual.
  • Enabled application auto updates on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
    Whenever a new version of Affiliate Stats Tracker is available, your installed software will now automatically download the new update and make sure you are running the latest version.
  • Added the current version number to the footer of the app.

Fixes:

  • Fixed issue with Amazon sometimes failing to log in.
  • Resolved issue with Amazon and Gammae stats sometimes repeatedly fetching the most recent affiliate metrics.

You can download the latest release here.