On Tuesday, April 21st, the Lab announced that the new Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM) capabilities are now officially in beta testing on the main Second Life grid.
I’ve been reporting on (VMM) for the last several months, and provided an overview of the functionality while it was undergoing initial beta testing on the Beta (Aditi) grid. with the launch of the open beta on the main grid, which is scheduled to run for approximately one month, VMM will undergo more widespread testing ahead of its formal introduction.
VMM is designed to enable merchants to manage the creation and management of Marketplace product listings through the viewer, bypassing the need to use the Merchant Outbox (and have copies of items stored on the Marketplace inventory servers) or using Magic Boxes (as VMM fully supports the sale on No Copy objects).
This means that once VVM has been fully introduced to SL, both the Merchant Outbox in the viewer and Magic Boxes will be retired from use.
VMM works via a new panel in the viewer, called the Marketplace Listings panel (shown right – note that you must be running the Viewer-Managed Marketplace project viewer in order to see this panel, as the code has not been released in the officially viewer, although some TPVs may have incorporated the code ahead of it being released to RC status).
Through this panel, which is associated with your inventory, new listings can initially be created using the viewer and set to be listed in your Marketplace store (or unlisted from your store).
Note that it will still be necessary to edit listings, should this be required, by going to the Marketplace website.
As there are certain hierarchies and new folder types involved with VVM, the Lab has produced both a Knowledge Base article and a wiki FAQ to help those who have so far not had the opportunity to try VMM to get started. To mark the launch of the open beta, an initial TuTORial video has also been produced to help people orient themselves with the new functionality, and more will follow.
As noted above and in the official blog post from the Lab, VMM is likely to remain in open beta for about a month. Once the beta has concluded, the next steps in the process will be:
- A release VMM to all merchants.
- A period of a month to allow those merchants who wish to manually migrate their listing to VMM to do so, which will be followed by an automated migration of Direct Delivery listings (Magic Box listings will need to be manually migrated)
- Once the migration process is deemed complete, Xstreet and Magic Boxes will be shut down.
VMM includes capabilities to help merchants migrate their existing listings without necessarily have to re-create them. This is touched upon in my overview, linked-to above (do note that the latter is now five months old, and some elements of VMM functionality may have changed slightly in the interim).