The Green Bar of Go: Gazing Into the Future of WCMS at IU

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Welcome to another edition of The Green Bar of Go Cascade Server column. In this column, I’m going to discuss briefly some of the new features coming in the latest version of Cascade Server, Cascade Server 6.4. If you’re involved with WCMS at IU, you’ve been using Cascade Server 5.7.5, so as you can imagine, the switch to 6.4 will be pretty substantial.

For a list of the biggest features and a link to the Hannon Hill webinar demonstrating the features, continue reading after the jump.

Aside the usual bug fixes and software improvements, there are five new features in Cascade Server 6.4 that can have a huge impact on how WCMS is used at IU. Those five features are: A new Edit area text editor, Connectors, Enhanced content comparison, Drag-and-Drop Data Definition creation, and Broadcast messages.

  • The new Edit area text editor – One of the most frustrating parts of working in Cascade Server as a site manager is the software’s lack of a useful text editor. Currently, there’s nothing more than a web text box for editing complex pieces of code. In Cascade Server 6.4, the default text edit box has been replaced with a more robust text editor that contains line numbers, code coloring for most major programming languages, and the ability to use the Tab key inside the editor.
  • Connectors – Connectors are a new asset that allows Cascade Server to interact with external web applications, namely WordPress and Twitter. When an asset is published, it can now be published as a WordPress post or a tweet as well as in its other web-based formats (html, pdf, etc.).
  • Enhanced content comparison – The “Compare with current” feature in Cascade Server while being effective is a little bit difficult to see and notice in a long document with very few edits. Cascade Servr 6.4 introduces the use of color highlighting to indicate additions (green), deletions (red, along with a strikethrough), and format changes (blue) to make the changes easier to find while skimming or scanning a document.
  • Drag-and-Drop Data Definition creation – In the current implementation of Cascade Server at IU, to create a Data Definition, you have to be aware of the XML syntax contained in the Data Definition Schema Reference on the Hannon Hill Knowledge Base. While you can still create using XML in Cascade Server 6.4, the new default is a drag-and-drop implementation that allows site managers to drag controls onto a definition and Cascade Server will write the necessary XML. Data Definition creation has never been easier!
  • Broadcast Messages – System administrators can now use a built-in messaging system to message all users logged in to notify about system maintenance, restarts, outages, etc. The broadcast messages will appear at the top center of the application and can be set to start and end at a specific date and/or time.

For the complete release notes, see this document.

These features promise to change the way site managers and content providers/managers interact with Cascade Server at IU. Cascade Server 6.4 is currently scheduled to be implemented in early January at IU so you will be able to get your hands on these new features soon!

Hannon Hill hosted a webinar recently demonstrating these features. To watch the webinar, see this post on Hannon Hill’s company blog.

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