In VirtueMart 3.0.6 we fine tuned the completely redesigned Multi Variants which were introduced in our previous release. Let me give you a short introduction.
One of the most advanced feature of an ecommerce store is the possibility to display different variants of one product in a clear structure. The typical example are the T-Shirt product variants. We have created a small example here: http://demo.virtuemart.net/default-products/vm-t-shirt-multi-variant-detail.
Not all colours are available for any size and due to aesthetic reasons the "blue" imprints are not available for the "blue" coloured T-Shirt. Any drop-down combination points to a real product. The handling is easy as most important product attributes are accessible from the parent product (variant attributes, Sku, price). So you can easily configure more than 50 product variants in a single view, with different stock levels, price and images. If you select an already existing attribute like length, weight, etc, then you can change the value directly using the drop-down matrix in the parent product. You can also modify the display (for example rounding).
We added a new configurable automatically selected shipment and payment if more than one is available. Also the long desired feature "register as admin in the frontend" got added. We also cleaned up the Custom Fields tab in the Product Edit view to give more room for Custom Field configurations. VirtueMart 3.0.6 is also a lot faster, due to new mysql keys and more caching. The administration menu is now still usable while being collapsed.
There is a new keepAlive script, which automatically extends the session for your shoppers if there is a product in the cart. It also automatically extends the session lifetime in all backend views. It is checking for input, so it is not running endlessly. As an example, if your session time is set to 30 minutes and your guest is checking out, leaving the computer (with open browser) and returning after 50 minutes, he is still logged in. If the user is now interacting with the screen (clicking, typing), then the keepAlive scripts directly fires a keepAlive and extends the session again. Lets assume the user stores his data after 70 minutes (searching for his/her credit card), the session is still alive.
We strongly recommend anyone using an older version of VM3 to update. The release is heavily tested and some changes and fixes were done especially for 3rd party developers.
There is also a small update for vm2.6 series. There are also new keys for the sql joins to speed up your store. Also the new js handler got added for easier compatibility between vm2.6 andd vm3 extensions.