Postmark product update: June 2016

We work on a lot of things at Postmark, but we don’t always do a good job telling you about our progress. Since we really see our customers as partners, this is something we want to get better at. 

So, starting with this post, I’m going to let you know a lot more frequently how we’re making Postmark better. Not all of the things we do are big features—some are related to performance and scaling, some are bug fixes, others help us provide better support for you. But we think you should know about all of it, because we’re in this together.

We also want you to know what we’re currently working on and planning to release soon, so you can give us feedback on that as well.

So here we go. Even though this isn’t an exhaustive list, here are some of the things we released over the past few weeks.

Released - April/May 2016 #

API Explorer #

Andrew wrote about this already, but it’s worth mentioning the release of our API Explorer again:

The Postmark API Explorer is a new UI where you can try every endpoint in the Postmark API right from your browser. There’s no longer a need to run cURL commands in terminal to test things out.

We have lots of improvements planned for this one, so check it out at https://postmarkapp.com/api-explorer, and we’ll let you know as we make updates.

Performance and scaling improvements #

Even though we already have the fastest and most reliable deliverability for transactional email in the industry, we never want to stop improving those metrics, since it is the absolute core of what we do. You trust us to deliver your transactional email quickly and without issue, and we take that trust seriously.

With that in mind we set ourselves pretty steep goals for service uptime, and the number of emails per minute we can accept without affecting delivery times. Without going into too much detail, here are some of the things we’ve been working on:

  • Added more instrumentation across the board to help us monitor performance issues more closely, and give us the information we need to make improvements in the right areas.
  • Several changes to improve the performance of our RabbitMQ cluster. 
  • Separated billing code into a separate service to improve the response times of our batch API calls.

We’ll keep working on it in the coming months, including adding more mail servers, upgraded resources, and more improvements to our RabbitMQ cluster.

Status page v1.1 #

We recently released a brand new status page, and this month we made some improvements to how we show and report on incidents on the page:

  • Introduced additional "delay" and "degraded" incident types with their own colors and icons. 
  • Added a legend for the new incident types.
  • The favicon now shows current system status.
  • Moved "System Availability" next to the current status on the home page to improve readability of the page.
  • Fixed some API documentation page inconsistencies.
  • Cleaned up lots of small issues that we didn’t quite get to for the initial launch. Improved overall page loading/generation performance by lazy loading TTI data. Reduced the JS bundle size.

It should now be even easier for you to see the details of any delivery issues that might exist in the system. We’re continuing to make incremental improvements to the page, so you’ll see more updates in the coming months.

Bug fixes #

We did a lot of bug fixes as well, and will continue to spend time addressing these small annoyances that tend to add up if we just let them go. Here are a few of the biggest issues we addressed:

  • Spamcheck API errors
  • Transient events showed as delivered in API
  • DKIM sometimes showed Verified on the Set up Page but Not verified on the main Sender Signature page
  • Fixed color picker on the settings page for a server
  • Some templates caused exceptions

Coming up! #

We’ve been focusing a lot on performance and internal tools over the past couple of months, and that’s all to set us up for some really great features coming up in the second half of the year. These are all things that came out of our direct discussions with customers, so we know these are important to you. A few highlights to look forward to:

  • Domain verification. Right now you have to confirm individual email addresses before you can start sending from them, which can get really tedious if you send from a lot of email addresses. We’re working on a really elegant solution to verify entire domains so you can send from any email address on a domain—and best of all, it won’t add a bunch of extra work for you to verify a domain.
  • Permissions. We know this is a big one. We’re going to give you the ability to add users with different roles and permissions to your account. This will allow you to have much more control over which users get to access which areas of the account.
  • Link tracking. We know you really want this one as well, so rest assured, the ability to track link clicks in your emails is coming.
  • 2-Factor Authentication. This is another one we hear a lot, and we plan to add it in the second half of the year as well. 

There’s lots more, but I wanted to give you just an overview of what we’ve done and what we have planned in the coming weeks.

As product manager on Postmark I’m also always keen to hear about your experiences with Postmark and how we can make that better. If you’d like to suggest a feature, draw attention to an issue you’re having, or just want to talk about how Postmark fits into your email world, I’d love to talk. Just go to this Calendly page and pick a time that works for you.

Or just hit me up on Twitter (my DMs are open).

Happy sending!
Rian
Product Manager, Postmark