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Store Locator Plus 4.4.19 and Tagalong 4.4.01 and User Interface updates


Some of you may have already noticed some changes  in the Store Locator Plus User Interface Panel.  We hope you like the new look, it is still being “remodeled” so we appreciate your patience while it is under construction.   The usability of the plugin should not be effected but if there is anything you cannot readily see please let us know.

In addition to the UI changes, we are endeavoring to create a new documentation site that will use the Word Press posts and categories method to augment the search box function.  It has been frustrating for  support  to search the documentation or the posts for the best answers as you may be aware.    The new Documentation site should be a great help narrowing down your search for specific instructions and/or ” how to”  information.

Store Locator Plus 4.4.19 Bug fix

A bug that was inadvertently introduced somewhere along the way, effected the “Disable scroll wheel” and “do not auto zoom” feature of Enhanced Map.  The bug only effected the Legacy add-on(s) and was a minute error in one line of code that was not readily noticed in testing.  The new Experience add-on , and upcoming Power Add-on are written correctly using best practices and rely on a different section of the base plug-in code (my non – technical explanation) and therefore were not effected.   Eventually all the old legacy code will be updated to work  efficiently with correct syntax and using best practices.   Which will mean a lot less updates and better performance.    Don’t worry there will be notices sent out  well ahead of time when this happens and your Legacy add-ons will still work with the 4.4 versions of SLP.


Tagalong version 4.4.01 was released today and addresses a missing translation string  for our Netherlands compatriots.  Thank you to Ramona for reporting this and for following through with us as the developer went through the files to find the missing translation for “Add”. Yep, that one little word created a mystery and confusion all its own, and why this support person could not find or replicate the issue. (my site isn’t in Dutch).   I will be adding translations to my support role on an interim as needed basis.

A reminder to our multi lingual  customers, website designers, developers or techie types, if you are interested in providing a translation services for add-ons that have not been translated, or are not at 100%  for the new Experience add-on , Store Locator Plus will reward you (once verified) with a free add-on or a discount coupon for your trouble.  If you have already translated and add-on, please send us the completed .po and .mo files.  To find out more please contact us.    You can also contribute translations for the base plug-in  at the Store Locator Plus directory at WordPress Translate.

Store Locator Plus also has a new You Tube channel where the video playlists will be combined and updated as needed. You can also click on the you tube icon in the SLP Info panel.

If you have any questions please post them in the forum and provide a screenshot of your plugin environment when requesting support or reporting any issues. Its not that we are nosy, but knowing what versions helps us when determining the source of any possible issues, plus it saves us time.  Sometimes it is a simple “update” that is needed. SLp-new-pluginenvironment-1

Change Log for SLP

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SLP 4.4 and the new Experience Plug-in bundled add-ons

Experience Plug-in is now available for Purchase

Experience 520x520
The new Experience Plugin will be the way to go to enhance your Store Locator Plus site. It includes the Enhanced Results, Enhanced Map, Enhanced Search and new and improved Widgets pack. Discounts will be available for those customers who bought an Enhanced plugin in the past 60 days and who want to upgrade to the new bundled Experience 4.4. Simply send an email to support, provide your order number, or purchaser name and request a coupon. Currently, active Premier subscribers are automatically signed up for these faster and improved features included in the Experience bundle.

The new features are explained in the below video. The Experience plugin introduces a new feature that will allow you to specify a map region with a short code map_region= on your locator page that will take precedence over the Map domain. It is an enhancement that should come in handy for international customers. The short code uses the country code TLD.

New Widget feature included with the Experience 4.4 Plugin

Another new feature is in the Widgets portion of the Experience Plug-in which allows a secondary drop-down selector with your location’s cities grouped under the state selector.

These features are ONLY available for the New Experience 4.4 subscriber. Documentation will be updated to reflect the way the Experience plugin appears behind the scenes (the back end). Watch this short video from the author for more information.

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2016 Store Locator Plus Add Ons

 2012_NYE_Fireworks_(8331173703) (2)

A lot of things are underway for 2016 that will provide a vastly improved experience for our users and your customers.   Changes will be made to the add-on pack offerings that will simplify the product selection process and eliminate some confusion as to what to buy and what packs complement each other to obtain the best results.  Additionally, negotiations are underway with one of the most-talented WordPress and SaaS development teams in the world to bring a new and improved “Software As A Service” version of Store Locator Plus online.   We will also be expanding our support and technical team in-house at Charleston Software Associates.

Add On Packs

There will be a number of changes designed to simplify the add-on selection process, create a better and stable plug-in environment, reduce redundancy, and simplify our product cycle allowing us to focus on product improvements versus overhead and maintenance.

Legacy Add Ons

Starting in early 2016 , the legacy add-on packs will enter the first transition phase.  The plugins that are selected will only receive bug fixes and security patches going forward.   All of the Charleston Software Associates (Store Locator Plus author) products will be classified as legacy products over the next few months, For example:

  • Contact Extender
  • Directory Builder
  • Enhanced Map
  • Enhanced Results
  • Enhanced Search
  • Pages
  • Pro Pack
  • Tagalong
  • Widget Pack

Customers that have purchased these products will still have access to the downloads and will receive updates whenever a new security patch or bug fix is released.

New Add Ons

When the legacy products enter this transition phase, they will no longer be available as a separate stand alone purchase by new customers.    In their place we will have three core add-on packs in addition to a group of “ala-carte” third party add-on packs available for purchase.    We will be simplifying the add-on pack selection by offering just 3 options, Power Users, Enhanced Experience, and Premier.

Users of the legacy products can opt to retain their prior add-on packs and operate as normal.  However, users that wish to take advantage of the new add-ons, simplifying the installation process will need to purchase them as a new product package.   Once the packages are installed the legacy products can be removed. More details will be available and reminders sent as that date approaches.

Power Users

The forthcoming “Power” package add-on will include all of the features and functionality of the current Pro Pack, Tagalong, Pages, and Contact Extender add-on packs.  The focus of this add-on is the administrative side of location management as well as various features that tend to be utilized by the power user.  As part of this new offering the Pro Pack user-interface-related “Experience / View” setting, which determines the overall layout structure of the Store Locator Plus interface (map on left, right, below search form, etc.) will be moved into the forthcoming Experience add-on.

The Power add-on will be selling for $250 per-site one-time fee.


The Experience add-on, being released in early 2016, will include all the features of the user-interface-centric features of the various Store Locator Plus legacy add ons.   This new add-on will include the features of Enhanced Map, Enhanced Results, Enhanced Search, and the Widget Pack.   It will also inherit the Experience / View setting from the Pro Pack.    This add-on will also make it far easier to deploy the built-in plugin styles as you will only require one plugin-in to achieve most of the visual updates.

The Experience add-on will be selling for $250 per-site one-time fee.


Technically now a “new” plugin but one that will carry over from the legacy model to the new model, the Premier add-on will continue to be the flagship plugin where new “never been done before” features are added.    While the Power and Experience add-ons will occasionally see a new feature added, anything that is completely new and introduces more complex features to the product will appear in the Premier add-on.   The Premier add-on is only available to users with a Premier subscription.

Speaking of the Premier Subscription, users with an active subscription will get the new Power and Experience add-ons as soon as they are available and will have access to the prerelease versions of both products.   There are not changes anticipated for the Premier Subscription in 2016.   An exclusive first-response Premier Forum, access to our real-time Slack channels, and access to all plugins and themes crafted by Charleston Software Associates remains in the plan.

The Premier Subscription will retain the current $250 sign-up + $30/month pricing.

Third Party Add Ons

Due to our compensation agreements with third party authors, the third party plugins will remain online in their standard ala-carte form.   These plugins will have a new forum where all 3rd party plugin questions will be answered and supported by both the original author and, as needed, Charleston Software Associates.  The following plugins will remain as ala-carte options:

  • Extended Data Manager
  • Event Location Manager
  • Social Media Extender
  • Gravity Forms Integration
  • Gravity Forms Locations
  • MultiMap

Most third-party add-ons are priced at a $50 one-time fee.

End Of Life Offerings

The following offerings will be going away in 2016.

All Icon Packs will be replaced with a more efficient loading process to be introduced in 2016 and added to the Premier plugin.

The Experience Package is going away.  This will be replaced with the Experience plugin.

The Kitchen Sink Package is going, going, gone as a separate purchase.  Users wishing to get all of the nifty features and more should subscribe to the Premier Subscription as a one-year subscription. It is less than the price of the Kitchen Sink package and provides more benefits.


The SaaS Project

Work will begin in earnest on a subscription-based Store Locator Plus service.    This should not be confused with the Premier Subscription.  Purchases and subscribers  of the Premier Subscription will not be automatically enrolled in the SaaS system .   The SaaS (Software As A Service) product will allow companies to sign up via a new website and use a simplified interface for managing their locations and tweaking their user interface.    When everything is ready the user will be given a short JavaScript snippet or iFrame code to place on ANY site, not just WordPress sites.

This new service will look-and-feel much like the Store Locator Plus WordPress plugin with some big visual improvements.   However, users of this system will no longer need to worry about updates to ensure they have the latest version, backing up their locations, moving their installs from a staging to live site, or other management tasks related to maintaining their locator plugin.

Pricing is yet to be determined.   Initial models include a free tier for a handful of locations and $30/month for most sites.

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SLP 4.3.24 fixes “hide info bubble”, Enhanced Map 4.3.01, and Word Press USA conference

WP camp US 2015 Philly

Store Locator Plus

SLP version 4.3.24 has been released with minor bug fix. It was reported that the “Hide Info Bubble” under Enhanced Map was not working properly. SLP 4.3.24 has patched that bug.

Enhanced Map 4.3.01

EM 4.3.01 provides better plugin management upon loading.

  • Fix: typo in help text on map settings.
  • Change: More efficient code-loading sequence with Store Locator Plus

Follow Lance on Twitter @LanceCleveland
Use Twitter to find out where he’ll be while attending WP USA Word Camp Philadelphia through December 7th and/or to request a time to discuss any Store Locator Plus topics.

"....someone went without me and all I got was a t-shirt..."
“….someone went without me and all I got was a t-shirt…”


He may be at one of the below venues!

Philly cheese steak trials by Lance
Philly cheese steak trials by Lance

Wheres Lance
Wheres Lance
and...wheres mine?
and…wheres mine?

Change Log for SLP

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Store Locator Plus 4.3.07 release patches the results listing, closest to farthest, and adds new feature for Enhanced layouts

I eat bugs
I eat bugs

Store Locator Plus has published the version 4.3.07 and is available to download

The major change was a patch to fix the reversed order of the location listings. The default setting is back to the norm of “nearest location first” if location sensor is on.

The other major change fixes the settings in the premier 4.3.01 plug-ins only.
There was a glitch discovered during recent testing. Settings that were checked were resetting when a new location was added or a new page was added. For premier members there are settings to enable cluster markers, boundary definitions, google guesses, country guess and other features only available with a Premier subscription. This has been fixed so your settings should now remain as you saved them.

New features

A new option that is available for those of you who have Enhanced Results or Enhanced Map. The Layout panel under the Experience tab is where you may change the default layout structure if you so desire for those SLP members who have the referenced add-on packs installed. There is a new option that allows for https to be added in the layouts instead of the url weblink. Please view the short video for more information.

Word Press 4.3 INFO

The latest version release of WP 4.3 created an issue that effects the way the CRON jobs were recorded in the WP option tables. This will slow down your server. There is information available, contact us via email for a link to that information and/or search the info and news that is published under SLP blog. WP knows about the glitch and expects to have it fixed in a future release. We do not have an ETA for that release date.

Important Video for Technical users, site administrators and forum members

The video contains important information concerning WP bugs, updates, plug-in environment information,CRON, bug fix to the order of the location results (were reversed from closest to farthest) has been updated to fix the glitch as well as premier add-on packs settings.

Change Log

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Locator Styles Update SLP 4.3.03

Update 4.3.03 was released for Store Locator Plus today.   The update includes a patch to the plugin styles (formerly known as themes) and simplifies the process of applying those styles.     Shortcodes that were appearing in the results for some plugin styles has been fixed.   The directions link has also been fixed.

Change Log

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Store Locator Plus 4.3 Release Schedule

4.3 RC Status Aug 6 AM

Store Locator Plus 4.3 is expected to be released into production during the week of August 17th along with 4.3 versions of all add-on packs.

4.3 RC Status Aug 6 AM
4.3 RC Status Aug 6 AM

Store Locator Plus is now in Release Candidate status.  You can download the prerelease near-production-ready version from the website.   The prerelease version is available at no cost from the store.  If you’ve already added the prerelease version to your account you can login and download; no need to re-purchase.

Most add-on packs are now in RC status as well.   If you have purchased the production version of an add-on pack you can download the prerelease version by logging in to you account.

The more people that can test version 4.3 of the Store Locator Plus plugin and add-on packs the faster it can be released to production.    Prerelease, including RC versions, of the plugin should not be used on a production system without first testing your environment on a staging (testing) copy of your site.  Companies like WP Engine make creating staging copies of your live site very easy.  If you do not employ staging sites as part of your website management strategy you really should consider switching to a hosting company that supports easy site cloning for testing purposes.


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Google Map Styles Come To Store Locator Plus

Enhanced Map 4.2.05 was published today with support for Google Map Styles.   The map style rules are JSON-style settings that define the inner map look-and-feel.   Change your map style form the standard Google street map view to something better tailored to your site.   Give the map a dark “midnight mood” or high all the features other than the highways and water or highlight the highways in bold dark red lines.  It is possible with the discreet control provided by the Google Map styles now available in Enhanced Map 4.2.05.

EM Map Style Midnight Commander
EM Map Style Subtle Grayscale
In addition to the map styling update a patch has been included to retain custom per-location map markers during map address searches.   A bug in a previous release removed the custom map marker when an address search was performed even though it the marker was loaded when the map was first rendered.

Change Log

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Premium Updates for Store Locator Plus

Several premium add-on packs for Store Locator Plus have been updated this afternoon.   Most updates are minor patches with revised hyperlinks, typo fixes, or language file updates.    The patches bump the version of the add-on packs to ensure that all sites are updated to the latest release due to a series of version control system updates that were not being reported to all users.   The heightened security on one of the CSA servers prevented the version reference file from updating, in turn stopping update notices from getting out to all users.

Directory Builder 4.2.10

A Dutch language file update is included in this release.

Users that missed the 4.2.09 update notice will also get the 4.2.09 feature that allows nonces to be disabled for better SEO performance of the directory listings.

Enhanced Map 4.2.07

Minor updates to the hyperlinks and typo fixes.

Users that missed the 4.2.06 and 4.2.05 update notices will get the new Google JSON Style rules feature for maps as well as the custom map markers patch for per-location map markers.

Enhanced Results 4.2.07

Minor updates for hyperlinks and typo fixes.

Users that missed the 4.2.06 update will laos receive the new popup email formatting and CSS rules set in SLP 4.2.48.

Enhanced Search 4.2.09

Not updated today, this release was pushed to production again to ensure all users get the update.   It includes patches for the state and country dropdown selectors.  Also set autocomplete to not fire until at least 3 characters are entered when “address zip autocomplete” is enabled.   Includes the Dutch translation update.

Widget Pack 4.2.04

No update today.  4.2.04 updates the widget pack to work with Enhanced Results 4.2.06+.

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Locator Saves Custom Themes , Prepares For Custom Map Styles

Store Locator Plus 4.2.54 was released today will several notable updates.   The updates include preparations for better location export performance in an upcoming Pro Pack release, custom Google map styling for an upcoming Enhanced Map release, and several patches for that impact all users of the base plugin itself including preparations for new Premier Member Only features and services.    One of the most-requested features, however, is the saving of custom CSS stylesheets (plugin themes) when updating the base plugin.

Saving Custom Stylesheets

Starting in version 4.2.54, whenever you select a custom plugin theme from the User Experience / View tab in the Store Locator Plus admin panel, a copy of your theme file is saved in a “safe directory” on the server.    From that point forward, when the next update of Store Locator Plus rolls out you can upgrade without having to re-upload your custom theme file.    Store Locator Plus will automatically locate and restore the custom theme file that you were using prior to the upgrade.

SLP 4.2.54 UX View Themes
SLP 4.2.54 UX View Themes

This update does require you to first save your current plugin theme file locally and re-upload it AFTER installing SLP 4.2.54.   Once you have done that process go to User Experience / View, select your newly-uploaded custom theme file, and you will be good-to-go for any future updates.

One less step in your SLP upgrade process if you have built custom theme files.   Some people are really going to like that update!

Data Performance and Location Export

Pro Pack allows for locations to be exported from your Store Locator Plus installation into a CSV file.   However some servers have very limited memory resource and “just stop” for no apparent reason when doing a location export.    It turns out that nearly every single error and warning reporting system in PHP and your web server are disabled during WordPress database I/O operations.   Another important note about the WordPress data engine is that it tries to cache ENTIRE DATA REQUESTS into memory whenever you perform a data operation through the data engine.

PRO 4.2.13 Prereease Export Locations
PRO 4.2.13 Prereease Export Locations

Since Store Locator Plus uses the built-in WordPress database engine for performance and consistency reasons, it means that whenever you elect to export your locations the entire location database is put in working memory on the server.  On a busy server or on a smaller server with limited RAM the export operation would often stop with no indication or warning as to what went wrong.  Even if you enabled full debugging there was no clue that the WordPress DB engine ate up all the memory on the server and died.

To avoid this problem the Store Locator Plus base plugin has added several new data I/O statements that allow plugins like the Pro Pack add-on to specify things like “only get one record at a time and load it into RAM”.    While the general claim is that this slows down performance versus the cache method employed by default in WordPress, limited test results show that the export process is no slower when doing a the “record at a time export”.   In fact on several servers the process was actually FASTER.  More important, however, is that on the busiest server as well as the lowest-memory configuration server an entire set of 200,000 records was exported without failing.

Pro Pack updates are coming soon that will take advantage of this feature.   Pending further performance testing, this feature is likely to make it into several features in the base plugin as well as additional add-on packs.

More Map Customization

The new update includes minor revisions to the Google Maps JavaScript interface.  The new revision will allow site administrators to employ custom JSON style rules to the Google Maps itself.   You will no longer be relegated to having your map look exactly like every other Google Map on the planet.   This new revision allows you to grab pre-configured JSON style rules from places like Snazzy Maps or to craft your own and create a truly custom look for your map interface.      The new map style feature will be part of a forthcoming Enhanced Maps update that is now being tested.

EM 4.2.04 Prerelease Map Styling
EM 4.2.04 Prerelease Map Styling
EM 4.2.04 Map Styling UI
EM 4.2.04 Map Styling UI

Premier Member Features

You may notice a couple of new settings in the General Settings / Admin tab in Store Locator Plus.    A new section for “Premier Members” where subscribers can enter their User ID and Subscription ID.    These new settings will enabled advanced features available only to Premier Members with an active subscription.    Exclusive Premier Member’s Only features will be coming to Store Locator Plus over the next few months.

Existing Premier Members should keep an eye out for Store Locator Plus news related to the new features.  Not a Premier Member yet?  Subscribe now and lock in the current monthly or annual subscription rate.   As the exclusive features list grows, so too will the membership fee.

Store Locator Plus Change Log

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Swedish Translations for Add Ons

Several add-on packs have been updated today with the Swedish language translation thanks to Piani Sweden AB. The updates are available now to any users that has purchased the add-ons.

Enhanced Map 4.2.03

Enhanced Search 4.2.04

Pro Pack 4.2.02

The Swedish language pack will also be part of the next Enhanced Results and Store Locator Plus releases when they are released later this month.

The Change Logs

Enhanced Map

Enhanced Search

Pro Pack

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Enhanced Map for Store Locator – minor update

Enhanced Map Info Settings Banner

The Enhanced Map add-on pack for Store Locator Plus was updated today with a minor patch.    The patch fixes an issue with the auto-update checking for the  add-on pack and properly reports the current installed version back to the Store Locator Plus 4.2 add-on framework.     This ensures the installed version noted on the Info/Plugin Environment page is accurate and will work properly with the new version reporting feature on that tab in the base plugin.

The update is available immediately for all Premier Subscription members as well as customers that purchased version 4.x of Enhanced Map.

Enhanced Map Changelog

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Store Locator Plus Releases Four Prerelease Updates

store locator plus banner

Store Locator Plus and several of the Store Locator Plus add-on packs have had new prerelease software patches published today.    Premier Members can get any of the prerelease products from the downloads page on the Charleston Software Associates website.   Non-premier members can obtain the prerelease version of any product that they purchased from the CSA website by logging into their account and checking the downloads section.    Please note that prerelease software is not fully tested and should not be used on production systems.

The following updates are included in the patches released today.   Production release of each add-on are anticipated by this time next week.

Store Locator Plus

Store Locator Plus has a significant memory leak patch.    The new add-on pack manager introduced in version 4.2 consumes far more memory than necessary prior to the 4.2.09 patch release.  The new release fixes the memory leak.    The new release also has built-in support for Google Maps for Work API connections.  Google Maps for Work APIs are an enterprise-class service that is licensed directly from Google.  Pricing starts at $17,500 per year and is negotiated directly with Google.   Clients that have a license will be able to take advantage of faster maps loading, faster geocoding, and much higher location encoding limits.    A new Charleston Software Associates service is in the planning and early development stages to allow users to access the CSA enterprise license to speed up location geocoding for an additional fee.   Watch the News & Info section on the CSA for future service announcements.

Enhanced Map

The Enhanced Map add-on was not registering its installed version properly with the base plugin.   This has been resolved.    The plugin now queries the CSA server for available update patches as part of the standard WordPress update check service.


Tagalong has been updated to use the SLP 4.2 add-on framework.   A new per-category URL is included to link icons to a specific web location.   A per-category rank is available to select which category takes precedence in the map marker selection.   A location export patch has been added to fix a problem introduced in the Tagalong 4.2 prerelease that broke location exports.

Pro Pack

The Pro Pack has some in-progress updates for processing location CSV imports.   A new remote URL fetching option is available to load a CSV file in the proper SLP format from a remote server without having to do a standard file upload.    A background, WordPress cron job, file processing option is in development but not yet finished in the current prerelease.  The background processing is expected to be complete when the Pro Pack is released to production.  A new prerelease version with this feature is anticipated to be released before final production.

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Enhanced Map Version 4.2.01 Released

The Enhanced Map add-on for Store Locator Plus was updated to version 4.2.01 today.    The new release uses the Store Locator Plus 4.2 add-on framework.    The new add-on framework provides a more consistent interface for all add-on packs while increasing performance and stability.   In addition several bug fixes are included in the release.

The biggest fix in this release is resolving the info bubble placement issues that have appeared on various SLP and WordPress themes.

Enhanced Map 4.2.01 info bubble on map interface.
Enhanced Map 4.2.01 info bubble on map interface.
Enhanced Map with map toggle.    Shows Enhanced Search discrete country filter selector.
Enhanced Map with map toggle. Shows Enhanced Search discrete country filter selector.

Enhanced Map Changelog

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Enhanced Map 4.2 Prerelease

Map Info Bubble Banner

Enhanced Map for Store Locator Plus is available in prerelease format for Premier Members.   The current release fixes a bug in the display of the map info bubbles when clicked.    The add-on pack has been updated to take advantage of the Store Locator Plus 4.2 add-on framework.

Enhanced Map 4.2 Settings
The admin settings for Enhanced Map 4.2. Enhanced Map 4.2 also adds a variety of attributes to the slplus shortcode.

The SLP 4.2 add-on framework consolidates major functionality for add-on packs, making them more efficient.   Add-on packs using the SLP 4.2 add-on framework consume less memory, operator more quickly, and present a more stable and consistent user experience across the add-on family.

Enhanced Map Class Code
Enhanced Map 4.2 uses the SLP 4.2 add-on framework.

Enhanced Map 4.2 Prerelease Details