Sitefinity 3.2 coming soon (yes, that means there is a little delay)

Sitefinity 3.2 coming soon (yes, that means there is a little delay)

January 15, 2008 0 Comments

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The new release of Sitefinity is approaching, so I thought I may explain what we have in store for you. I am afraid I have some unpleasant news, so I just as well may start with those. First, we are expecting a two weeks delay on the release, which means that Sitefinity 3.2 will be released sometime in mid February. Though, we'll be late, we will work very hard in those two weeks and the final result will be well worth the wait. Second, we had to postpone the integration with Windows Workflow Foundation for the next release. Again, we have decided that doing a great job is more important than meeting the deadline regardless of consequences.

Sitefinity 3.2 delayed... just a bit though

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, we can turn to all the 3.2 goodness that we will be shipping soon. And there are some really exciting news here…

Personalization framework


In version 3.2 we are starting to roll out Sitefinity personalization framework. Quite obviously, the framework will be accessible to all developers through the well thought out API and I will make sure to blog about it once it becomes available. The personalization framework supports personalization of a system as a whole as well as personalization of particular modules. So for example, users will be able to select preferred provider when working with modules that offer multiple providers. When talking about system personalization, Sitefinity 3.2 will provide ability to persist settings such as default language (in multilingual websites) and various user interface options (e.g. should FAQ panel be displayed, latest items user worked with, should hints be displayed etc.). Obviously, for this version most of our efforts have been directed towards the framework design, so don’t be disappointed… this is only a start of a wonderful new feature. In coming versions expect to see much smarter Sitefinity which will tailor itself to work the way you want it to work.

Newsletter Module


This is one of the modules that made it into standard release by popular demand. We’ve had numerous inquires about this module and have managed to grant the wish for the 3.2 release. While I suspect most of you have a rough idea what to expect from a newsletter module, I’ll give a brief outline nonetheless. On the administration side users can manage any number of newsletter groups (for example: Sitefinity authoring newsletter, Sitefinity module development newsletter…) and send newsletters messages to one or more groups. This module will be accompanied with frontend public controls for users to subscribe or unsubscribe from a particular newsletter groups. Once again, thank you for all your feedback and helping us make Sitefinity your favorite CMS.

Events Module


Events module is based on Generic Content modules, and enables you to announce events on your website. As any other Generic Content based module, you will have ability to categorize events and tag them; commenting is also supported. In addition to that, we have also provided support for geomapping. In this version Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps and Live Maps (Virtual Earth) services are supported, though we may extend that support in future. Geomapping basically offers you ability to acquire latitude and longitude of the events location (this process uses event’s address data to acquire this information) and displays a map of event’s location. You have a plenty of control over the way you want to display a map, such as dimensions, zoom, usage of various map controls (e.g. location pin) and so on. Events module supports scheduling in similar manner like news, so you can predefine times when event should be announced and when it should be removed. In future versions we also plan to provide system for event registrations and some other nifty features.

Photos & Documents Module


As you can see, we are on the roll with modules in this version. Third module that is making its debut in version 3.2 is Photos & Documents. Similar to Events module, this module is based on Generic Content module, which automatically means it will supports categorization, tagging, comments, permissions, history, localization… This module is in a way specialization of existing File manager, which will heavily focus on managing multimedia on your site. By taking advantage of this module, users will be able to manage libraries of images, videos, music and documents. Apart from being able to organize your multimedia in libraries, what makes this module much more suitable and powerful than plain ol’ File manager is of course its inherited ability to work with meta data. The module also comes with public controls that will provide users with ability to browse photos & documents.

Notification service


When we were building the newsletter module, an apparent need for some sort of emailing system presented itself. So while at it, we’ve built notification service, which through its exposed API you can use from your modules as well. If your module has a need to automatically send emails, you can subscribe to notification service. Shortly after we release version 3.2 I’ll blog about this new service and provide some examples.

RadControls “Prometheus”


Being part of Telerik has many advantages, like the fact that guys that build RadEditor or RadGrid use the same coffee machine as you do or the ability to ICQ them at any moment. So with the direct access to the gods of ASP.NET controls and their infinite wisdom, we’ve managed to migrate the most important parts of Sitefinity to new RadControls “Prometheus”. I could go on about all the performance gains of this migration, but you’ll see it for yourself. And no, you don’t need any utilities to measure this… your eye will suffice.

Export web sites as templates


If you are serving the needs of a vertical market chances are that our website templates are too broad for you. Maybe you create a lot of blogs with Sitefinity? So for every project you need to set up blog page, single blog page, tags page etc… Not any more. Set up your first blog website and export it as template with this new tool. Next time, create a project from this template and change the appearance a bit and there you are… waiting for yet another check to come in mail.

Generic Content improvements


As you may have noticed, we’ve been pumping out quite a few Generic-Content based modules. There is also a post on this blog showing how you can do that. Inevitably some patterns started to appear, so we are simplifying and improving things in this area. With version 3.2 we will be introducing ContentView control which will replace the various “Single/List” controls such as “Posts list/Single post”, “News list/Single news”. The control will have three modes of working: List, single and auto. When in list or single mode, you’ll be able to use control the same way you have used list and single controls before, while in auto mode control will automatically detect its mode (list/single) based on the url.

Another novelty in regard to Generic Content is extended url rewriting system. While I will blog in more detail about this after the official release, here is some insider info. So far you’ve been able to construct the urlRewriteFormat property by specifying meta fields like this [metaKey], however we are introducing some new specific keywords which you will be able to use in urlRewriteFormat. The format for these keywords is {keyword}. Some of the keywords are {providerName}, {category} etc. This feature also brings us to another new feature: ContentView control will be able to work without Provider Name specified. Namely, you will be able to specify providerName in url, which will come handy in many situations, because you won’t need to create a separate page for every provider. On the same lines, you will be able to create links that will return only the content, by taking advantage of the new .sflb extension (for example, you may want to open just an image in a new window) and by adding “?download=true” query string to that url, content will be streamed as a file.

Conclusion


I am quite sure I have forgotten to mention something, but that’s okay. This post is long enough as it is. I hope that after my elaboration you will have a little bit more understanding for a two weeks delay… we’ve even cut our foosball time for make benefit of glorious Sitefinity 3.2 release.
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The Progress Team

View all posts from The Progress Team on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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