7.9.0 release notes
April 22, 2014
We’re excited to announce the FCS release of Hippo CMS 7.9. In this release announcement you find more information about the improvements delivered with the CMS 7.9 release.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in contact.
The main new functionality in this release are:
- For Business and Marketing: Advanced Channel Management gives end-users control over pages, templates and navigation structure and an improved editing experience
- For Developers: Configurable SCXML Workflows bring increased ease and flexibility to advanced workflow scenarios
- For Administrators: Secure Content Replication allows physical separation of delivery environments from the authoring environment
- For all users: Significant performance gains on the content repository and delivery tier bring Hippo CMS from blazing to light speed
Next to these main new functionality, we have implemented many smaller features and improvements, these are detailed below. One particular improvement that I’d like to highlight is the much clearer separation of the configuration created by business users using the Channel Manager from the configuration created by developers using the new hst:workspace configuration tree. This should further improve the deployment process.
All new functionality is available in the Hippo Community Edition, with the exception of the Secure Content Replication feature which is part of the Hippo Enterprise Edition.
The Hippo CMS 7.9 Community Edition is available as of April 22, 2014. We are rolling out Hippo CMS 7.9 Enterprise Edition in two phases:
April 2014: First Customer Shipment (FCS) - Selected customers and partners can start a new project or upgrade an existing project to the 7.9 release under close involvement of Hippo. For these selected projects, the FCS release is supported for use in production environments. Projects in which Hippo is not closely involved are kindly asked to wait until the GA release or request Hippo assistance.
July 2014: General Availability (GA) including Migration Pack for 7.8 installations - All aspects of the Hippo Enterprise Edition are generally available for implementation by Hippo Customers and Hippo Certified Partners. Customers upgrading from CMS 7.8 are advised to wait for this GA release in order to benefit from the Migration Pack.
Advanced Channel Management
Hippo CMS 7.9 extends the Channel Manager and gives even more control to marketing and business users. CMS users can modify site menus by creating, modifying and moving navigational items for each channel from the Hippo CMS user interface without IT involvement. Administrators configure access rules for users on a per-channel basis.
Marketing teams can build dedicated pages in no time with Hippo’s drag and drop interface. Adding new page elements, rearranging them and changing the look and feel or even the URL is a matter of seconds. This combines the dynamic templating strengths of Hippo CMS with the need for tailored layout on key marketing assets, such as (sub)home pages, landing pages and campaign pages. Fine-grained locking mechanisms ensure that multiple CMS users can safely collaborate on an individual page.
Improved Editing Experience
CMS Editors benefit from a much smoother content editing experience with the introduction of CKEditor as the new rich text field editor. The editor enhances usability through a wide range of new functionalities including intuitive context menus, configurable keyboard shortcuts, more styling options, spell-check as you type, syntax highlighting, folding, search and many more.
Hippo CMS 7.9 allows the configuration of CKEditor functionality for individual fields in a content model to control which formatting options are available to editors for each content type.
Secure Content Replication
Hippo CMS 7.9 introduces support for physically separated authoring and delivery environments to facilitate infrastructures with high demand for content security. This ensures that only published live content resides in the delivery repository.
Any published content, layout or targeting rule change is replicated automatically, immediately and consistently from the authoring zone to the delivery zone. The replication mechanism follows one-directional communication, so that firewalls between the zones can be configured to reject all inbound connections to the authoring zone, making intrusion impossible.
Secure Content Replication is an integral part of the core Hippo CMS architecture. As such, it replicates changes made through the Hippo CMS user interface, as well as changes made through importers, REST interfaces or the JCR API.
More Flexibility with SCXML Workflows
For developers, Hippo CMS 7.9 introduces the open source Apache Commons SCXML 2.0 library and the W3C State Chart for XML (SCXML) standard specification to execute a workflow definition as a state machine.
The workflow engine simplifies the creation of advanced workflow scenarios, as definitions are down to configuration rather than coding. As the workflow definition is loaded dynamically from the Repository, workflows can be adjusted in a running system.
See also Ate's presentation at ApacheCon.
Under the Hood: Even Better Performance
Hippo is already one of the fastest Content Management Systems out there. To build out this performance leadership even further, Hippo CMS 7.9 introduces additional enhancements that make the CMS lightning fast.
In the repository tier, a number of improvements result in a streamlined document model that boosts editing and delivery performance. On the delivery tier, the HST supports fast model reloading to better accommodate implementations with a vast number of channels and frequent channel configuration changes. Next to the significant performance gain, the improvement also reduced the memory usage of the delivery tier by an average of 30%.
Other new functionality
Next to these four large new features, we have implemented many smaller features and improvements as part of the 7.9 release:
- The CMS has been moved to Wicket 6 (from Wicket 4). This requires the upgrade of custom plugins. The upgrade steps will be covered in the upgrade documentation as part of GA. All certified plugins are already compatible with 7.9.
- The Channel Properties, that business users can edit through the Channel Manager, now follow the Channel Manager’s publication workflow.
- Administrators can now configure channel visibility for each user.
- A new server side HTML cleaner module complements the client side HTML cleaning of CKEditor.
- Similar to the console, developers can see in the CMS UI whether auto-export is enabled, and can enable or disable auto-export from within the CMS UI.
- Administrators can configure the appearance of the CMS console for each environment (also in 7.8) as a visual reminder to which environment they are working in.
The Channel Manager in 7.9 uses fine grained locking and publishing by default. Coarse grained locking is no longer available.
Delivery Tier (HST)
- To simplify the deployment process, the HST configuration model has been improved to separate the configuration created by business users using the Channel Manager from the configuration created by developers using the new hst:workspace configuration tree.
- The HST model (re)loading has been completely re-implemented to meet the requirement of fast model reloading for those customers that have a lot of channels and frequent changes in them.
- We have implemented many improvements for the document model. Not only does this simplify development, it also provides a performance boost. For example:
- The version history can now be accessed easily with the JCR API,
- Only nodes that are versioned get an associated history,
- The continuous creation and deletion of document variants is now gone, the same three nodes (draft, preview, live) will be used with content copied between them,
- The UUIDs of variants now no longer change as a result of workflow operations,
- The virtual nodes below mirrors and facetselects have been removed, reducing memory and increasing performance.
- The repository has been upgraded from Jackrabbit 2.2.x to 2.6.x.
- A Content Type API for retrieving information about the available content types and their properties has been added. Check out the class org.onehippo.cms7.services.contenttype.ContentTypeService in the module org.onehippo.cms7:hippo-services:jar for more information, or have a look at the REST resource org.hippoecm.hst.demo.jaxrs.services.ContentTypesResource in the testsuite.
- Next to the new workflow engine based on SCXML, we also implemented several other improvements:
- JDO as intermediate object persistence model has been removed to allow use of plain JCR,
- Workflow eventing is now based on event bus mechanism.
- A new security service for obtaining security related information.
- Dereferenced serialized binaries for import and export: system view XML is enhanced with external file references that contain the contents of binary properties. This mechanism is used in the new zip based import/export mechanism in the console and can also be used in bootstrap content.
- The Lucene index sizes have been reduced by about factor 2 (also in 7.8).
- Much faster and scalable getSize() on query results (also in 7.8).
To try out the new functionality of Hippo CMS 7.9 using the Maven archetype see instructions in the Getting Started Trail.
The most notable difference from Hippo CMS 7.8 is that Hippo CMS 7.9 no longer supports Java 6 and Tomcat 6. See the system requirements page for more details on the supported stack for the Community and Enterprise Editions.
There are a few known issues in this FCS release that we plan to address in the GA release, including:
- IE 11 compatibility: using the CMS UI using IE 11 is not yet supported.
- The document type editor does not work in IE 8.
- The CMS logs some harmless warnings while being used. For example: “Component '[CmsJcrTree [Component id = tree]]' with markupid: 'id4b' not rendered because it was already removed from page”.
- HST containers in hst:workspace of inherited configuration are editable in channel manager. Since inherited configuration does not have preview | live, these changes are directly live. Normally however, inherited configurations do not have a hst:workspace. Issue is fixed but not part of the tag.
- For the new features English and Dutch UI translations are present, translations for other languages such as French and German become available with the GA release.