With Magnolia Amplify still in full swing (here are Boris’ keynote and Philipp’s in-depth look at Magnolia 5), we’re releasing the latest milestone of our Magnolia 5.0 development effort today: our repository server now carries the Alpha 3-1 release.
Here’s an overview of what has changed and what’s new in this release.
APIs, APIs, APIs
We’ve invested heavily to stabilize and solidify our internal APIs to ensure we offer a robust foundation for you to build your apps upon. We’ve reorganized and restructured the modules to more cleanly separate them. The diagram below shows what we’re aiming at and what we’ve mostly reached with this milestone.
Here’s a short video with some more details on these many changes the API team has been working on.
More digital asset management
Our new Digital Asset Management (DAM) has seen significant improvements in several key areas. We now have the beginnings of support for different metadata standards, with simple Dublin Core set to be delivered with 5.0. The integration with STK and the migration from the old DMS module to the new DAM have made big strides. We’ve also added a registry for asset providers, which will make the seamless integration of assets managed by external systems possible (think Flickr, Dropbox or a full-fledged DAM system).
The most visual and an impressive addition to the DAM module is the new image editor, shown above, which offers basic image editing operations. You can now crop, rotate and flip images and convert them to grayscale. And all this already works on the iPad as well. See it live in action in the video below.
Provide you own skin
On the UI part, we’ve had one big focus on improved theming of apps. Extending, re-using and redefining existing CSS definitions just got a lot easier with the addition of an @AppTheme annotation for apps and full SASS support. The increased consistency of the look and feel of many UI elements has allowed us to refine our visual design – more changes will be coming in the next releases. And lastly, dialogs may now appear modally against a sub app, an app or the entire web app and are properly stacked one upon another, when opened sequentially.
Under the hood changes in work flows
Most of the changes of the work flow team remain invisible in this release. The new Workflow API is almost finished now. We’ve also upgraded our new workflow engine jBPM to version 5.4, which proved to be more difficult than anticipated, but which also brings us a lot of good stuff we’d like to take advantage of.
On the front end side, work on the message details pane has seen quite some improvements. This feature will allow you to react on a message right from within Pulse. A promising concept we’re currently researching uses standard form definitions for configuring the display of message details. This could make it easy for a developer to set up powerful message panes with just little effort.
Build your own app – now!
We’ll run an “app week” now to see how well our refined APIs perform in the wild. Join us and build your own app:
- Download the Alpha 3-1 release [download link] [change log and known problems]
- Read the chapter on how to develop an app on the Magnolia 5 documentation site
- If you intend to take the DAM for a spin, make sure you read the already quite comprehensive DAM API documentation.
Be warned, though, that there will be bumps on the road, as this is all very much work-in-progress. Our documentation is not yet complete and not always accurate, but we will adjust it in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for updates.
Forge an app – and let us know how it went!