BloomReach Experience Manager V14.0 & Bloomreach Experience Manager Developer Edition V14.0 Release Notes - Bloomreach Experience - Open Source CMS

BloomReach Experience Manager V14.0 & Bloomreach Experience Manager Developer Edition V14.0 Release Notes

Highlights for V14.0

Hello all, we have released a new version of Bloomreach Experience Manager (brXM). This major release introduces new functionality and a number of useful improvements. In this document we will give a brief overview of the highlights in this release. You can also find these release notes at: https://documentation.bloomreach.com/about/release-notes/release-notes-overview.html 

Please note that as a result of our security release policy, the public availability of the community source code and artifacts for all active releases will follow in about six weeks. Customers however, have immediate access to these new releases at the release date.

Please note that this is a major product release. This means that it is not backwards compatible with our previous releases. Existing projects need to be upgraded to this release, which is not effortless as it is with minor or micro releases. Depending on your support contract, you might have access to upgrade documentation, support and tools.

Everything mentioned in this document is an integral part of Bloomreach Experience Manager (brXM) and the developer edition, unless mentioned otherwise. If a feature only applies to brXM and not to the developer edition, this is explicitly mentioned. Features that are mentioned as part of brXM also apply to brX.

General news

Product naming refresh

In the past period we have been working on the unification of our products. This has resulted in new terminology that can be recapped as follows:

  • brSM is our Search and Merchandising SaaS platform.

  • brXM is our Experience management platform, running in (private)cloud / on premises.

  • brXM Developer Edition is an open source download of brXM.

  • brX is our Headless Experience Cloud that consists of SM and XM capabilities. The platform unifies Access Management, user interface and use cases that rely on both platforms.

  • Our Accelerators (previously referred to as ‘Starter Stores’) are highly preconfigured brX applications, adding plugins, integrations, APIs and a development framework for third party systems that ease the development of brX projects.

  • brCloud is our PaaS environment where brXM can be deployed.

Although these release notes apply to the brXM and brXM Developer Edition product, we also mention the other products when relevant. 

Key New Features

brXM UI - Visual Design update

Unified User Interface (UI): Navigation App

Starting with this release, the user interface and navigation of brXM are aligned with the brX and brSM user interfaces. The entire platform now shows and behaves like a single product with seamless navigation between the different product components. The new brX navigation is designed and built for providing better navigation capability to access all functionalities in the brX ecosystem, which includes all functionalities from brXM (Bloomreach Experience Manager), brSM (Bloomreach Search & Merchandising), and brSEO (Bloomreach SEO). 

This feature provides the following key benefits:

  1. Make it faster and easier to use functionality from brSM and brXM together
    With this feature, Bloomreach combines the previously separated business user dashboards into one coherent UI with a single login. This makes it much easier to create Connected Experiences using the full width of the brX platform.

  2. Improve operational efficiency and usability
    We have improved the point-to-point navigation capabilities of the platform UI to reduce the number of clicks needed and improve the overall user experience for our business users.

  3. Screen space optimization
    The new brX navigation focuses on providing the most efficient use of screen space, minimizing the footprint of the navigation items while providing several hover and expand/collapse options to optimize for user preference and work style.

brX SSO and IAM (Identity and Access Management)

Identity and Access Management (IAM) integration for brX customers provides a single point of control for administrators to manage access to data and product features across the brX digital experience platform, including content authoring and page management within the Experience Manager and merchandising features to optimize business results in Search and Merchandising. Administrators can enable access to defined roles for specific sites or across the whole organization using the shared IAM dashboard. brXM developers can configure custom data access using the new powerful brXM security domains feature and link this to user access rights defined by the IAM dashboard. 

For more information, please see the full documentation here.

Headless Experience SDK

In this major version, we are introducing a completely revamped SDK for integrating brX and brXM with a decoupled front-end built in a JavaScript framework (such as React, Angular or Vue.js). 

The new SDK is structured differently: all shared logic moved to a separate, plain JavaScript library and only the transport and rendering elements are now part of a thin framework layer. It is also possible to use the plain JS library separately for custom integrations. We’re initially releasing a framework-specific layer for React, implementations for Angular and Vue.js are expected to follow later*.

We’re aligned with coding best practices. The JS SDK is typescript compatible, has strict bindings, supports ECMAScript modules and is fully testable. The React SDK supports modern features such as hooks and fragments, and is built for isomorphic applications.

* a demo implementation for Vue.js is already available here

Bloomreach Accelerators

Together with brXM V14.0 we have released the Bloomreach Accelerator: B2C Commerce V14.0 providing an out-of-the-box solution for delivering a commerce-enabled digital experience platform. You can find more information about the Bloomreach Accelerator here and the release notes for V14.0 here.

Security configuration made simple(r)

Security Authorization Management is all about answering the following question: Who is allowed to do What, Where? In brXM version 14 we have remodelled the implementation of how security and authorization are configured. The goals for this version were change:

  • Simplify the security model and configuration to make it easier to comprehend and setup 

  • More fine-grained access and privileges for features, content, channels, etc.

  • APIs, Runtime (UI) and automatable management (brX)

  • Reduce the upgrade and maintenance effort

In this version we’ve introduced the concepts of user roles and Feature & Functional Access, to make it much easier to configure access to features that are not directly related to data or nodes in the repository. More details can be found in our documentation.

Ongoing Improvements

For developers

  • With the introduction of the new Unified UI, the ‘Auto Export’ button has been removed from the CMS user interface. The auto-export functionality can still be toggled in the console.

  • At the request of many customers, we are introducing additional CM page events (create, update, move, delete) that can be hooked into using the event bus. This enables developers to automate certain actions such as creating a document when a page is created, updating config when a page is moved, etc. 

Major release

V14.0 is a major release so it is not backwards compatible with the previous releases. Updating to this version from the previous minor version will take effort effort. Please see the upgrade and update documentation [1] for details. 

Supported Technologies

The full system requirements can be found in the online system requirements [2]. This page also includes a detailed table of maintained third party compatibility.

  • Support for Microsoft Edge is temporary discontinued. Support for this will be continued after the release of the Chromium based version that should become available early January 2020.

End-of-life, support and maintained code

Nomenclature refresher

As the terms ‘end-of-life’, ‘supported’, ‘maintained’ are used in various ways in our industry, we clarify the nomenclature we use for this below.

Supported product version

When a product is supported, this means that the customer will receive help from the helpdesk when issues arise as described in the service level agreement (SLA) that the customer has with Bloomreach. There are several service levels available. 

Please note that if a bug is acknowledged in a supported, but not-maintained version, and a fix is needed, this fix will only be applied in the maintained product versions. This means the customer will need to move to a maintained version to receive the fix. 

Maintained product version

When a product is maintained, the product code is updated and security- and bug fixes are made to the code. For maintained products, the system requirements for third party libraries and components is kept updated as well. Please note that we do not provide support for system requirement providers (e.g. databases, java, etc..), but we only support the usage for mentioned certified system requirement providers. 

If a product is non-maintained, this means that the code is not maintained anymore and therefore might contain bugs and/or security vulnerabilities due to newly discovered issues in our code, or the libraries used.

End-of-life product version

Products that are not maintained and not supported are end-of-life. These might be available from our archives but could be removed without notice.

What does this mean for the current release?

This release is a major version. This means that it is not backwards compatible with previous releases of our software. As a result of this, upgrading your projects to this major version will need substantial effort.  

This release changes the maintenance mode of several active product versions:

  • The entire series V11.x of the product is not supported anymore. The LTS version form the V11.x will not be maintained anymore as from the 14.0 release date. This means V11.x has reached end-of-life.

  • For customers having a standard support variant, the entire range of V12.x will not be supported anymore. If you are running such a product, please upgrade to a supported version or upgrade your support package to premium support.

  • Minor release version V13.3 will be out-of-maintenance. This means the code will be frozen and no security updates or bug fixes will be created for this product.

In the table below you can find the support status of your product and when support will end; this is dependent on  the version currently being used and license level. Please note that versions that are not listed are not active and not supported, and therefore end-of-life.

If you are on version:

 

You will receive support until the release of version:

 

Version

 

Standard license

Premium license

Maintained

11.0

latest

 

No Support

No support

Not maintained

11.1

latest

 

No Support

No support

Not maintained

11.2 (LTS)

latest

 

No Support

No support

Not maintained

12.1

latest

 

No Support

15.0 GA

Not maintained

12.2

latest

 

No Support

15.0 GA

Not maintained

12.3

latest

 

No Support

15.0 GA

Not maintained

12.4

latest

 

No Support

15.0 GA

Not maintained

12.5

latest

 

No Support

15.0 GA

Not maintained

12.6 (LTS)

latest

 

No Support

15.0 GA

Yes, till 15.0 GA

13.0

latest

 

15.0 GA

16.0 GA

Not maintained

13.1

latest

 

15.0 GA

16.0 GA

Not maintained

13.2

latest

 

15.0 GA

16.0 GA

Not maintained

13.3

latest

 

15.0 GA

16.0 GA

Yes, till 14.0 GA

13.4 (LTS)

latest

 

15.0 GA

16.0 GA

Yes, till 16.0 GA

14.0

latest

 

16.0 GA

17.0 GA

Yes, till 14.2 GA

(Orange cells indicate changes compared to the previous release)

Security notes

There are no security notes specific for this release.

Detailed Release Notes

A full list of issues closed as part of this release is available here.

Availability

This version of brXM is available as from December 6, 2019 onwards. Please note that due to our release policy the release of the open source CMS / developer release will follow in approximately six weeks after this date.

Links

[1] https://documentation.bloomreach.com/about/upgrade/introduction.html  

[2] https://documentation.bloomreach.com/library/about/system-requirements.html 

 

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