We're just about to launch a new CMS support service that allows automatic, managed upgrades of the CMS on a regular (approximately monthly) basis for clients on compatible hosting systems. To go along with that, we'll more regularly communicate the updates that are happening to the CMS for subscribed customers. Everyone's interested in what sort of updates happen between versions.
A little while ago we ran a batch of projects to upgrade version 6.4 CMS installations to 6.5. Here's a list of the changed between those versions.
If you're running on 6.1 or 6.3 (these versions were in circulation), sorry but we don't have publicly available feature change lists for those. Hopefully the list below will give you an idea about the degree of change in each version. Actually, the list of changes from those versios up to 6.4 is really much bigger!
If you're still running a version 5 platform you can read more about the major new features in version 6.
Let's highlight some of the most important updates from the list below:
#1 - This is the biggest change, and why we're treating 6.5.2 as our standard minimum platform moving forward. Although there are no direct functional advantages associated with this update, it is an important step to improve future upgrades and module developments. Converting your content types to the new layout is actually where most of the upgrade time/effort lies in this case. However the content update not complicated either. We have developed automated scripts that we've tested in production environments already.
#3 - This is a big performance improvement, it'll speed up CMS driven sites substantially.
#22 - People have been asking for this for ages, but it was a tricky one!
#25 - The updated visual editor is an important step, and includes many of its own improvements.
#34-#41 - The forms manager overhaul makes that part of the system a lot nicer to use. There's more coming for the forms manager in the next release. :)
Full List of Changes from cm3 Acora CMS 6.4 to 6.5
- Re-organised all core content types for future compatibility, moved fields around and created a more consistent structure (huge improvement of meta data storage to assure consistency across modules and easier future development)
- White Site - Advanced Search: Complete overhaul of advanced XML metadata search module (fast, full text XML-based searching in content and within attached files), conversion of many functions to ASP.net, udpate third party modules to latest versions, updates to friendly URL generation and handling, and updates to the core database search module to allow easy switching between either version
- White Site - Search: Added more robust detection of selected search type when passing searches from different interfaces (sometimes the site forgot the search type for the re-search form)
- White Site - Search: Added some missing fields (less critical ones) to search module: sub header, secondary, tertiary, start/end dates, author/info
- White Site - Error Pages: Added attempt to bypass IIS custom error pages to avoid conflicts between CMS settings and IIS settings in some instances
- White Site - Forms Manager: Added error message when a specified form is not found (previously the function returned blank content)
- White Site - Core: Fixed site error if the widgets functionality is disabled
- White Site - Master Page: Moved PageEnd literal outside ASP.net form (experimental: might help with some strict third party scripts that require JS code as the last DOM element in the page, but it's not standard ASP.Net and could break in some instances)
- White Site - Navigation: Added standard links to show/hide menu ("hamburger") and search in standard small screen responsive view
- White Site - URLs: Improved canonical URL example rules, added SSL example rules, added example default pages
- White Site - UI/Forms: Fixed wrapping of text in radio/checkbox field labels
- White Site - UI/Rotator: Added ability to set rotator navigation to invisible
- White Site - UI: Made page fragment summaries layout align with web page summaries layout by default (e.g. important for latest updates and news views/widgets)
- White Site - UI: Added default styles for advanced search form when appearing in secondary content area
- White Site - UI: Added some additional references to responsive screen sizes and additional docs/comments in various default CSS files to show best practises for where to write CSS (menu, sub menu, individual page templates)
- White Site - UI: Added example CSS for page template theme variations (new feature in 6.4.4) to show where to write styles
- White Site - UI: Added default pretty styles for blockquotes
- Admin - Start Page: Overhaul method for loading publishing notification summary report (big load time improvement, especially on medium to large databases)
- Admin - Mailout Tools: Fixed email preview links producing 500 error
- Admin - File Manager: Fixed "select" button disappearing after uploading a file from file select dialog windows
- Admin - Content Edit Form: Fixed no title appearing on content tab in some instances
- Admin - Version Compare: Fixed incorrect display of parent container ID in some instances
- Admin - Visual Editor: Upgraded to latest TinyMCE version (5.7 to 5.11) - IE11 compatibility upgrade, lots of small additions & improvements, lots of bug fixes, see TinyMCE changelog
- Admin - Visual Editor: Added/overhauled HTML Elements drop-in capability, and addition of new standard HTML Elements for easily dropping common content blobs into pages (e.g. tables, columns content), and ability to add your own HTML blobs
- Admin - Visual Editor: Fixed left/right scrollbar appearing when using columns divs
- Admin - Link Selector: Fixed incorrect container URL level (additional two top levels that don't refer to the local site) showing in link selector window
- Admin - Link Selector: Fixed selector not showing pages from the current site when selecting links from within pages outside the "Pages & Navigation" container
- Admin - Link Selector: Fixed permissions glitch showing containers that can't be selected in some instances
- Admin - UI: Fixed double scrollbars appearing in some parts of the interface in some browsers (especially Chrome)
- Admin - UI: Added and fixed some icon references here and there, and various language consistency improvements
- Admin - CMS Content Import: Improved efficiency of NotifyOwner function to speed up imports by a large amount on large import scripts
- Admin - Forms Manager: Improved forms questions, answers, forms stats, page headings, data reports, and general UI elements overall presentation quality and layout consistency
- Admin - Forms Manager: Moved "Save" button for fields to top right to improve usability of editing fields while editing a form
- Admin - Forms Manager: Consolidated "DisplayFormQuestions" function into central functions file so it can be used in multiple places
- Admin - Forms Manager: Fixed individual form answers not reporting parent form correctly
- Admin - Forms Manager: Standardised links and link labels across all management pages for easier to follow navigation
- Admin - Forms Manager: Fixed form label not appearing on form summary report page
- Admin - Forms Manager: Remove confusing deprecated reference to form status on form summary report page, and improved presentation of start/end dates and publishing status to match other content in the CMS
- Admin - Forms Manager: Automatically set rating on new questions to +10 from the last rating
- Admin - Publishing Notifications: Fixed publishing notification emails not being sent in many instances
- Admin - Logging: Improved efficiency of recording last log note
- Admin - Scheduler: Improved recording of notification email events
- Admin - Login: Fixed a bug that caused database errors for editors when trying to log in to a page with admin level permission
- Core/APIs - Minor cache system improvements
- Core/APIs - Removed calls to GetEmailEventDetails, replace with GetEMailEventID (large performance improvement in functions that access logs)
- Core/APIs - AJAX command handler - Added ability to store a custom database table containing employee details, e.g. used for caching employee data for search auto-complete functions
- Core/APIs - AJAX command handler - Improved reference to request mode, more robust detection of command events coming from querystrings or form posts
- Core/APIs - Content API: Improved DisplayInheritedField - Added switch to show field from current content (or not)
- Core/APIs - Content API: Added DisplayContainerTextIDPath
- Core/APIs - Content API: Added GetMetadataFileName