Kentico CMS v7.0 RC has been out for a few weeks and I’ve already downloaded it and hacked away. Just like every other release, I was eagerly waiting to get my hands on the new version to see what goodies Kentico had packed inside. In the short time I’ve played with it, I’ve already come up with a list of features that I love. And I bet you will, too!
This blog applies to the Kentico CMS 7. Release Candidate. Features and functionality in the final version may differ than what I’ve described. Be sure to review Kentico documentation as it comes out to stay up on the latest with v7.0. OK, enough CYA. Onto the features!
1. Advanced Workflows
Kentico has always been a great platform for applications and done a lot of things very well out of the box. Workflows in the past have been rather basic but very capable for most projects. Advanced workflows in 7.0 give more customization and conditional events. These improvements will allow companies to tailor the system to their company’s needs and make sure changes flow through the best steps for their organization. Workflows can also have actions associated with events to further allow for customization of the process. And as a bonus, you can edit the workflow emails right from the Workflow module, which saves a lot of back and forth for developers.
Advanced Worrklow 1
Advanced Worrklow 2
2. Webpart Selector
In previous versions, selecting a web part in the CMS Desk meant launching a new window and hunting through the stack. In v7.0, users can choose to have a list of web parts right inside the page to quickly get to what they need. They can even choose where to display the selector or to hide it, if they want.
Webpart Selector 1
Webpart Selector 2
One of the first steps in any project is design and wire framing. Enabling this functionality within the CMS Desk allows developers to complete projects faster and better spec out the design. Once they’re done, they can quickly generate a new page and use the wireframe as reference. For developers not so gifted in the design department, this feature will help in creating sites and base designs and move projects along.
4. Banner Management
Most companies are in the business of making money and driving traffic to their site. Built-in Banner Management allows an excellent way for marketers to rotate content and target audiences. Banners can be weighted (a feature I once built by hand into Kentico.) so specific content will display more often. Additionally, detailed reporting is available to determine click rates and effectiveness.
Banner Management 1
Banner Management 2
Banner Management 3
I've previously developed a weighted repeater for use within Kentico CMS. It works basically the same as Kentico's version. I've detailed this process in my blog here.
5. Transformation Previews
This is one of my favorite additions to the platform. Previously, developers would have to have to windows open or jump back and forth every time they made a change to a transformation. With the new Preview feature changes can be seen immediately. The preview feature allows for culture-specific versions so you can see how it affects the different language versions, as well.
Transformation Preview 1
Transformation Preview 2
6. Modal Windows
This is a minor change, but one I really like. The use of modal windows throughout the CMS Desk provides a more logical flow to updating content and makes sure users don’t leave any windows open or unsaved. The CMS Site Manager also features the new windows which provide a consistent, predictable interface throughout both sites.
Modal Windows 1
Modal Windows 2
7. Collapsible Sections in Webpart Properties
Collapsible section is another minor feature but one that makes a ton of sense. Many web parts have lots of properties and being able to collapse sections saves developers from scrolling through miles of fields. This allows for quicker configuration and finding what you need faster.
Collapsible Sections 1
Collapsible Sections 2
8. More Scheduled Task Data
Another one of my favorite improvements! I have done a lot of development with Scheduled tasks and I love the ability to reset counters, set conditions for the task, and even set the context it runs in. These enhancements are very useful features that apply to almost any project. From the main list, you can reset all counters and quickly view which tasks are enabled.
Scheduled Task Data 1
Scheduled Task Data 2
9. Security Improvements
Security should be at the top of every developer’s mind and making sure the application is protected is a must. Built-in screen locks in v7.0 are another great addition to already robust and secure architecture. Additional user-level data show the number of invalid login attempts and password expiration. Combined with many of the great features Kentico released in v6, these improvements solidify Kentico CMS as a great platform for any enterprise.
More and more sites need to be in different languages and the addition of translation service integration is a great feature. Developers can manually package files for translation, or translate strings on the fly using Google or Bing. Built-in functionality such as this makes producing globally accessible sites with tailored content for the user’s culture. Additional translation features will be available in the EMS product, as well.
These are just a few of the many features included in Kentico CMS v7.0. Seeing how this only the Release Candidate version, I expect even more goodies in the final release. Be sure to book your spot for the Kentico Connection in Denver or Prague to see the new version and learn about the great changes coming.
You can find more information about the Kentico Connections here. It’s a fantastic event that I hope you can make it to. The conference will have tons of great info and people, and a chance to see Kentico 7 and be a part of the growing Kentico community.