Fatwire recently announced the release of Content Server 7 (Via Shishank Mathur), the latest release of its WCMS product. I’d a quick peek at the demo (a huge 100 MB download!) and here are some of my observations:
- They have called it “Content Management for Everyone”. What this basically means is that there are now three interfaces using which content can be created and managed. Apart from the two interfaces which were already there – Insite interface (which is basically an in-context environment for making changes) and Advanced interface (basically the original content entry interface or Xcelerate or Content Center, if you followed the history) there’s a completely new interface called “Dash” interface.
- The Dash interface is for frequent business users and is quite slick. It shows the most frequently used shortcuts in a dashboard. Users can use arbitrary tags to different content items (or assets) to create their own folksonomy style groupings of different content types. However, the way to tag your content item is that you click on a dropdown and select the tag. This works well if you want to have a single tag. How about adding say 5 or 10 tags? Why couldn’t they have a simple multiple select alternative?
- The other good thing is that there’s a new search (integration with Lucene) using which you can perform full text search across asset types. So for example, if you search for a string, it will return images, articles, press releases or any other asset types. The earlier version of Content Contributor interface’s search was database driven (by default – you could obviously integrate external search engine) and you had to select an asset first. So if you were searching for a text string, you had to know if it was an article or a press release or a news item.
- The rich text editor now is the popular open source editor FCKEditor. So there’s no need to license eWebEditPro.
- The support for multi-lingual content is built in as part of asset model. So if you have defined multiple locales A and B and you create an article in locale A, you can access the equivalent article in locale B using a single click. So you can actually compare an article’s fields in both locales on the same screen and see if translations make sense or not. So if you have a field called “Title” and then you click on “compare”, you can see the values of this field in all the locales one below another. Apart from this “side by side” comparison, I think one could always achieve the same thing earlier too by way of asset associations.
- The new interface uses JSF (I guessed it from the jspx extensions). Insite and Advanced interfaces, however still use the old technologies.
- The Insite interface is also much improved. A business user can configure quite a few things that uptil now needed a developer.
The Dash interface has been given an “Outlook” type look with a three pane view and looks nice.
There’s use of tags, some new interface and mention of user generated content. However, I wonder where are the other so called Web 2.0 features like blogs, wikis and so on?