Updated Features in cm3 Acora CMS Version 6.5 (from 6.4)

Monday 17 November, 2014

A simple screenshot of the updated forms manager in 6.5We'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

  1. 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)
  2. White Site - Javascript: Added corrollary of server side device detection capabilities
  3. White Site - Performance: Javascript replacement of server side device detection for device scaling meta tag (helps to implement ASP.net cache on every page and massively speed up page load times)
  4. 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
  5. 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)
  6. White Site - Search: Added some missing fields (less critical ones) to search module: sub header, secondary, tertiary, start/end dates, author/info
  7. White Site - Error Pages: Added attempt to bypass IIS custom error pages to avoid conflicts between CMS settings and IIS settings in some instances
  8. White Site - Forms Manager: Added error message when a specified form is not found (previously the function returned blank content)
  9. White Site - Core: Fixed site error if the widgets functionality is disabled
  10. 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)
  11. White Site - Navigation: Added standard links to show/hide menu ("hamburger") and search in standard small screen responsive view
  12. White Site - URLs: Improved canonical URL example rules, added SSL example rules, added example default pages
  13. White Site - UI/Forms: Fixed wrapping of text in radio/checkbox field labels
  14. White Site - UI/Rotator: Added ability to set rotator navigation to invisible
  15. 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)
  16. White Site - UI: Added default styles for advanced search form when appearing in secondary content area
  17. 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)
  18. White Site - UI: Added example CSS for page template theme variations (new feature in 6.4.4) to show where to write styles
  19. White Site - UI: Added default pretty styles for blockquotes
  20. Admin - Start Page: Overhaul method for loading publishing notification summary report (big load time improvement, especially on medium to large databases)
  21. Admin - Mailout Tools: Fixed email preview links producing 500 error
  22. Admin - File Manager: Fixed "select" button disappearing after uploading a file from file select dialog windows
  23. Admin - Content Edit Form: Fixed no title appearing on content tab in some instances
  24. Admin - Version Compare: Fixed incorrect display of parent container ID in some instances
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. Admin - Visual Editor: Fixed left/right scrollbar appearing when using columns divs
  28. 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
  29. Admin - Link Selector: Fixed selector not showing pages from the current site when selecting links from within pages outside the "Pages & Navigation" container
  30. Admin - Link Selector: Fixed permissions glitch showing containers that can't be selected in some instances
  31. Admin - UI: Fixed double scrollbars appearing in some parts of the interface in some browsers (especially Chrome)
  32. Admin - UI: Added and fixed some icon references here and there, and various language consistency improvements
  33. Admin - CMS Content Import: Improved efficiency of NotifyOwner function to speed up imports by a large amount on large import scripts
  34. Admin - Forms Manager: Improved forms questions, answers, forms stats, page headings, data reports, and general UI elements overall presentation quality and layout consistency
  35. Admin - Forms Manager: Moved "Save" button for fields to top right to improve usability of editing fields while editing a form
  36. Admin - Forms Manager: Consolidated "DisplayFormQuestions" function into central functions file so it can be used in multiple places
  37. Admin - Forms Manager: Fixed individual form answers not reporting parent form correctly
  38. Admin - Forms Manager: Standardised links and link labels across all management pages for easier to follow navigation
  39. Admin - Forms Manager: Fixed form label not appearing on form summary report page
  40. 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
  41. Admin - Forms Manager: Automatically set rating on new questions to +10 from the last rating
  42. Admin - Publishing Notifications: Fixed publishing notification emails not being sent in many instances
  43. Admin - Logging: Improved efficiency of recording last log note
  44. Admin - Scheduler: Improved recording of notification email events
  45. Admin - Login: Fixed a bug that caused database errors for editors when trying to log in to a page with admin level permission
  46. Core/APIs - Minor cache system improvements
  47. Core/APIs - Removed calls to GetEmailEventDetails, replace with GetEMailEventID (large performance improvement in functions that access logs)
  48. 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
  49. Core/APIs - AJAX command handler - Improved reference to request mode, more robust detection of command events coming from querystrings or form posts
  50. Core/APIs - Content API: Improved DisplayInheritedField - Added switch to show field from current content (or not)
  51. Core/APIs - Content API: Added DisplayContainerTextIDPath
  52. Core/APIs - Content API: Added GetMetadataFileName