New Control Panels Sneak Preview

Be careful! This is no ordinary blog post. You’re going to need some headphones with the volume turned way up and you’re going to want to be sitting down before you look at what we have to show you.

This is a post about our control panels. People say they’re ugly. This hurt our feelings at first, until we realized that over the past ten years, we’ve added more and more functionality to the control panels, without giving much thought around around how our resellers use them.

Sure, they’re powerful and since we cater to wholesale customers, they have a lot of functionality around the management of bulk domains. But feedback from newer resellers was the learning curve to the system was especially high.

We also learned through our reseller satisfaction surveys, that the design of our current control panels have been the majority of the complaints.

So that’s what we’ve been working on.

These quick video intros and previews are snapshots from our current development environment. That means some things might look different once the control panels are officially released. But we’re coming down the home stretch now and we just couldn’t wait to show them to you.

We believe these control panels, once released will go a long way in helping our resellers streamline how they register, renew, transfer, and manage their customers’ domain names and I couldn’t be happier to share them with you today.

Introducing… your new Domain control panel:

71 thoughts on “New Control Panels Sneak Preview

  1. Andrew, to be clear, we loved your comment. Loved it. You tweeted what we are all quite comfortable admitting here. And you gave us the perfect segue to announce what we’re planning on doing about it. Plus, it was funny. Thank you.

  2. Hey Reed,

    Not sure if we’ll have a beta period, but if we decide to stage the rollout, we’ll be sure to announce it. Thanks for checking in!

    -Ben

  3. Nah, we loved the comment. That’s why I put it in the post. Hope you don’t mind!

    In fact, we even has some brainstorming conversations that actually involved songs, props, etc from the 80s and 90s that we could include in the videos based on your tweet Andrew.

    In the end though, we decided to keep it simple. Plus, I don’t think I’m up for reviving MC Hammer.

    Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Andrew. Much appreciated feedback!
    -Ben

  4. Yay! I just signed up for OpenSRS and it’s been interesting. Just a simple
    A simple A record for the root domain isn’t clear as you have: blank {{.domain.com}}

    This brings some of the premier usability that I signed up for. Keep up the good work, couldn’t come soon enough.

  5. To clarify, the new DNS looks to solve that. Also I can form a sentence, just apparently didn’t in my last post.

  6. WOW, well I certainly look forward to this, now don’t get me wrong. I am one of the old dogs who have been using since the 90s with this that the other and the other previous businesses I have been a part of.

    I truly LOVE the old system and all it’s raw geekyness. Yet I am all for an improved USER Experience.

    Best of luck with the launch it looks excellent so far.. If I get lost in the New UI, I’ll know just what to say and to whom.. ;)

    so far it looks thoroughly impressive.. how soon will be it for it to go LIVE~!?

    Cheers

    ENBD..//

  7. Splendid news! I look forward to using the new UI. Just one question though… will it be possible to register multiple domains simultaneously with the same details? The inability to do so is probably the biggest productivity killer (for me, at least) on the current RWI.

  8. Looks great. One thing i hope you have is the ability to actually manage a clients domain information like you can with enom. this has been one big frustration for me. otherwise looks great!

  9. Hey Ken,

    Thanks a bunch for taking the time to give us this feedback. Also want you to know that you never have to wait for us to write a blog post about something new before you pipe up! Feel free to email me anytime at blucier-at-opensrs-dot-com.

    Thanks again for taking the time to give us your feedback. :)
    -B

  10. Hi Richard,

    On the initial release, this functionality won’t be available. But, it’s definitely something we’re working toward. We wanted to release something asap, and then iterate from there. That way, our resellers will realize the benefits of the new control panels without waiting for all the features to be completed.

    Thanks for your feedback! Really appreciate it.
    -B

  11. John,

    I think I know what you’re asking, and I think the answer is yes. But before I say that, could you share this functionality with me more? Either in comments here, or in private to my email: blucier-at-opensrs-com.

    Thanks for your feedback and participation!
    -Ben

  12. Erich,

    We’ve known you for a long time and as always, really appreciate your kind words. The demo videos were created from the control panels in our QA environment, so we’ve got a lot of the framework complete. As for the release date, we don’t have a firm date. I can tell you this: 1) we’re working as fast as possible and 2) the release date is measured in weeks, not months.

    Thanks for being an active part of the community mister… always happy to hear from you.

    -Ben

    PS: Looking forward to hearing your experience with your newly acquired 5D! ;)

  13. Hi Ben,

    I think that John wish a real NIC handle system, which allow to:

    – Create a contact without registering a domain name,
    – When registering a domain name, simply enter the handle (ex: “AB123-OPENSRS”) as owner, administrative, and technical contact.
    – Propogate updates to all registries by simply update contact details.

    For example, the (buggy) Gandi API allow this: http://wiki.gandi.net/fr/api-xml/docs/domain/contact

    For my part, here’s what I did not transfer my domain names here:
    – The lack of IPv6 glue records,
    – The obligation of create a password for each domain contact (see above),
    – The impossibility to pay in Euro.

    Thanks :)

  14. Looks much the same as the last one to me. We will be sticking with the old RWI as long as able too, since the new control panel still looks like a milk delivery truck from the 1940’s. Our new contacts still say they prefer the control panel of places like GoDaddy (Rough for me to even type that name!), but I understand their desire to stick with a new generation of speedy control apps. Nonetheless, good luck with your desire to update!

    Doc

  15. Please tell me that our oft-requested feature will be included — the ability to restrict access to the control panel by IP address range (I know you can do this on the API side, but it has never been possible on the control panel side).

  16. Not so bad guys, but all these filters look absolutely useless without bulk domain update option.

  17. Hooray! I love the new interface – when I saw the new trust services panel I was hoping you’d update the dashboard too & you did! Thanks so much.

  18. I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy having to look at the domain names or any other important text in Orange coloured font. I know you want to match it to your colours, but please reconsider that for readability. My other comment is that regardless of the look of it, it needs to be as fast as possible.

  19. Thanks for the feedback Heather. It’s a pretty dark orange… we’ve been using it for weeks and weeks without issue, so I hope it won’t offend you. :)

    Oh, and it’s screaming fast. Thousands of domains can be filtered, sorted and looked up in milliseconds. That was one of the biggest things we looked at throughout the redesign. And it was more than just interface stuff… some major architectural changes had to happen to speed things up. We think you’ll be pleased.

  20. We did it just for you, Ingrid. :D

    It was easier to roll out the Trust Services control panels first and we were pleased with the feedback and how resellers were using them. Which is nice, you know, since we’ve been working on these suckers for months and months. ;)

    Really appreciate the feedback!

  21. Matt, all this stuff is coming. Although some of the bulk tools you’re looking for might not be released day 1, our goal is to iterate often. Thanks for chiming in!

  22. Tulsa, Not on day one, I’m afraid, but I love that idea and I have seen it on our internal wish list.

    No promises when we’ll have something though. We try to prioritize based on reseller requests and it’s not one of those frequently requested features. Thanks for stopping by!

  23. Hello OpenSRS,

    we’ve complained today about how difficult the reseller interface is… and here the blog post comes!!! We would like to clarify, when are you planing to release first version of the UI? is there any estimated time left..?:)

    Thank you!

  24. We work pretty fast. ;) As for timing, it’s difficult to pinpoint right now. But I can tell you that we’re estimating the rollout in weeks, and not months (as we were before).

    Sorry I can’t provide a closer date for you, Jaroslav… we can’t wait either! :)

  25. It looks great, guys. One thing I’ve missed in the new Trust service control panel is the ability to pull in information from orders that were made before the new interface revamp there. For example, say I have to order a new certificate for a hostname I’ve bought a cert for in the past. I can neither find a way to import my contact information from that original order, nor a way to import contact information from orders for other hostnames. Naturally, as the trust services admin for my company, my own contact information is going to be the same on nearly every order for my company. It’s tedious to look up all that info and make sure I’m entering it consistently. I’d love to have a way to say “use this saved role name and all contact information”.

    Along a similar line, I’d also like to have a way to use role names or department names rather than “First Name” and “Last Name” in the contact section of the new trust service interface. The contact form doesn’t lend itself gracefully to that, though.

  26. FYI Doc, this is the control panel for RESELLERS we’re talking about here, not the one your customers should be going to. Right now that’s called the “Managed Web Interface” (MWI) but it will also be getting a complete make-over – once we’re doing with the OpenSRS Reseller Control Panels.

  27. Hi Marek,

    There is a lot of stuff going on here. We build using the OpenSRS API, plus SOLR for searching, Catalyst as the dev framework and your standard suite of AJAX scripts and approaches.

    Cheers,

    Ken.

  28. We’re working through that right now.

    The issue we’re having is that the two systems are completely separate so if we bring data over to help you pre-fill forms and to renew certs in the new Trust Service the old SSL Service will get all out of sync (and vice-versa). Basically one has to be authoritative which implies a hard-cutover, but we have customers connecting to the SSL Service via API and we need to give them time to get new code in place.

    Hopefully we’ll have a solution for you soon.

    Oh, and in future releases of the Control Panel you’ll see a “Customer Center” that will allow you to create customers and then assign services to them, much as you suggested.

  29. Whoa! This is AMAZING!!! As a reseller for many many years, I have been waiting for this day. A modern, streamlined interface will make our life so much easier over here. Thank you very much for upgrading the UI!

  30. Similar to Jonathan above, my biggest complaint about the current interface is the lack of IPv6 glue, and additionally DNSSEC support. The former *should* be a simple UI change; the latter is understandably more complex behind the scenes.

    What are the statuses of these two fairly relevant features in this new control panel?

  31. This is great news. As a one-man-band web services business and fairly new OpenSRS reseller, I struggled to find the time to really figure out the various interfaces for each of the services your provide. It has been a major inhibitor of my greater adoption of your services. Hopefully this proves to be the first step in a series of updates that makes your admin interfaces as appealing as your web pages that make the sales pitch to resellers. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  32. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make it easier for us to forward a domain!! The process is so incredibly complicated – it took me and a technician almost 1/2 hour to figure it out. It was so complicated I could not do it alone. Years ago, I used DotManiac. There, forwarding a domain name was done in a single field on the same web page I used to modify the dns or make a domain name private. Thanks!

  33. You’re absolutely correct that this is the first step. Once we have the new control panels in place it will be MUCH easier for us to roll out new features. Much of the work for the last few years (!) has been on back-end stuff that makes this new UI possible. Not sexy work, but very important.

    We now have a framework where we can add and enhance things much more quickly.

    Biggest downside is that everyone will want everything right away! :)

  34. Howdy Folks,

    Trash just like the other poorly coded stuff you foist off on people. I’ve been watching you flounder around since you bought out “It’s Your Domain” and destroyed it.

    There are script errors, the css is not compatible with all browsers, and you don’t even know how to set the background color.

    When are you going to hire a supervisor who knows enough to properly check the web page coding and functionality?

    Chris

  35. I know you were really hoping we’d hire you to do the work for us Chris and I’m sure you’ve got ideas about how you would have done things that we didn’t go with, but I’m pretty happy with the progress the team here and our design partners have made.

    And yes, of course, there is always more to do. Once the Preview is live please feel free to submit bug reports and we’ll get on it.

    FYI, we’ll support all modern browsers before the control panel is out of Preview. That means no IE6 support, but our browser stats show you’ve all moved on long ago, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

  36. We’re handling IPv6 and DNSSEC as separate projects – from each other and from the Control Panels.

    IPv6 will show up in Control Panel before it is out of Preview, but probably not at launch. We won’t be adding support into the current control panel.

    DNSSEC is not as high a priority at this point but we do want to support it. Therefore, no ETA at this time.

  37. Yes, sorry; I did mean a UI change to the *new* interface. I understand that adding functionality to the current one isn’t where you want to go.

    Thank you for your clear answers. I’m far more concerned about IPv6 than DNSSEC, myself.

  38. I would really like to see the ability to register domains without setting a username. Most of the domains we register are registered by us and so don’t need a username and password since managed only through our reseller control panel.

    Could this be an optionional field?

  39. This update was sorely needed. The previous interface was very confusing. Looking forward to getting my hands on it, and I appreciate the candor displayed here in responding to positive *and* the negative comments.

  40. An incredible feature would be implementing multi-language. Should the panel be localized, that would be easy. Resellers could send language files.
    Right now, as as Spanish reseller we have no choice but to make a custom control panel with the API but we would prefer to use your control panel.

  41. Very very good job, you have working hard. Well done !
    Just an question about .it domains: we will transfer and register several .it domains but, at now, it’s very complicated to do by OpenSRS… any news about syncronous registrations ?

  42. We built the control panels so that we can support multiple languages. We’d like to do that but if we do it we want to do it right. Crowdsourcing the translations is something we’re considering but I really want to provide a great experience regardless of the language you use on our sites – and that would mean things like translations of help files, documentation, screencasts, maintenance windows, etc.

    So yes, that will come with time – we built with it in mind – but I’m not sure when that might be.

  43. I’m pretty sure our .it integration is now real-time. We did that work a few months ago.

    If you’re having problems you may want to check with Support to see if they can help you out.

  44. Thanks for the kind words.

    As in the forums we don’t delete messages unless they are clearly spam, totally off-topic, or truly hateful (especially if directed at an individual).

    We really appreciate the positive feedback and we try to treat the negative feedback as if it was constructive criticism given before the commenter had enough coffee (or after they had too much). :)

  45. Hi to you all at OpenSrs

    I am a affiliate for many years now about (10) and I never had the chance to congratulate you for the outstanding job you guys do, never the less the new control panel it looks fabulous and you have given a lot of thought before you roll it out, I have for the first time to ask a request that you add on the domain registration and renewal sections the total of the amount of money someone has on credit so we can decide on the spot how to spent our credit.
    Best Regards

    Spot5
    Tony Ritzakis

  46. In fact I’l be more blunt

    Using light coloured text (yellow brown) on a white background is probably illegal for US users,
    (Americans with disabilities act), and generally fails accessibility. It certainly in a complete PEST.

  47. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for bring that up. We haven’t worked too much on visibility issues so your feedback is appreciated. We’ll likely end up changing lots during Preview as we get more feedback from Resellers, assuming they can hold off on asking for MORE features rather than giving feedback on what is there!

  48. Thanks for the long years of support Tony!

    Eventually you’ll have the total in your Reseller account showing on your Dashboard when you log-in. The entire “Account Center” will be getting a complete overhaul (it barely exists now).

  49. Please ensure that Opera is included among your supported web browsers. We use it exclusively across multiple OS platforms. We have dumped two major banks as vendors recently because their websites stopped working with Opera after working with it for years.

  50. Awesome work guys! I can’t wait for this to roll out! :)

    I did have a question, not sure if this has been asked or not, but will it be possible to register name servers without having to log into the domain? It would be nice to have the option to do so through the main reseller instead of logging in as our clients.

    Thank you for all of your hard work!
    Alyssa E.

  51. We officially support IE8, IE9, FX3.x, FX4, Chrome, Safari. Other browsers will “mostly” work but we can’t guarantee success. We’re not officially supporting Opera for two reasons, a) it doesn’t play well with the Javascript framework we’ve chosen (Prototype) and b) historically it represents less than 1% of our traffic.

    I know it’s a drag when you’re favourite browser isn’t supported. Sorry I can’t give you happier news.

  52. As someone who has been quite vocal (although not, I hope, rude) to OpenSRS support staff about the existing control panel’s clunkiness, this is a really welcome piece of news. Can’t wait to give it a whirl.
    Good work!

  53. This looks great, but I am wondering whether it will fully support Storefront domains, or will your Storefront resellers remain second-class citizens. Currently, I have no way to make DNS changes and the like for domains sold through the storefront. When a client calls with a problem, I have to talk them through making the changes themselves, instead of being able to just fix it for them. Self-service is great some of the time, but at others it presents a real customer service nightmare.

    It is bad enough that I can’t take advantage of promotional pricing, but not being able to actually manage domains like I could with the reseller control panel almost makes the Storefront unusable. On the other hand, it is the only reasonable option I could figure out for a small reseller to be able to handle credit card registrations.

    Please, make sure that the new control panel will let us resellers access all of our domains, including those sold through the Storefront.

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