brXM Developer Edition V13.0
Highlights for V13.0
Hello all, we have released a new version of brXM (BloomReach Experience Manager), previously called BloomReach Experience. This major release introduces new functionality and improvements. In this document we will give a brief overview of the highlights of this release.
Please note that due to our security release policy the availability of the open source code for all active releases will follow in about six weeks.
Everything mentioned is an integral part of brXM. If a feature also applies to the Developer Edition, this is explicitly mentioned.
What’s new for developers
As V13.0 is a major release, most of the changes happened under the hood. As we use semantic versioning, the purpose of a major release is to make architectural improvements that are only possible by introducing backwards incompatible changes. In this way, we lay the groundwork for the introduction of new feature functionality in minor V13.x releases.
Introducing a new Platform Architecture
V13.0 comes with a new platform layer underneath the CMS application in which we centralized the common functionality and services for all site applications (see below). This a fundamental architectural restructuring which hugely simplifies and standardizes the interaction and coordination between the central CMS functionality and the management of sites. Effectively Channel and Page Management, Site Configuration Management and Relevance services now all are taken care of within the CMS platform layer and no longer from within each site application, making site development and management a much easier and leaner process.
While the platform changes in V13.0 so far are mostly ‘under the hood’, they will serve as foundation for future enhancements and features to further build out the Digital Experience Platform for BRX.
Support for Multiple Site Web Applications (also in developer edition)
Multiple or distributed development teams can work on their own channels within a site in a single CMS environment much more easily and independently. In the past, all channels were packaged in a single site web application (WAR). Every developer change made in one of the channels caused the need for this site application to be rebuilt and redeployed. Now, every site can have its own application that can be separately deployed, but still can make use of shared content and configuration.
Open UI (also in developer edition)
Currently, APIs are available to retrieve page level information and to refresh either the page or the channel. In the future we will offer more APIs that can be used for integration, like document field UI extensions (for e.g. DAM pickers and integration) and channel scope tools.
Content feed and pixel
For customers also using brSM, we have greatly improved the way content and commerce can be combined and configured in the DXP. Configuring the BloomReach pixel and feeding content into the BloomReach data ingestion pipeline is simplified and requires less custom implementation efforts.
OpenStreetMap Essentials feature (also in developer edition)
Essentials offered a Google Maps component for several years already. As an alternative, we now also offer a similar component using OpenStreetMap as service provider. The OpenStreetMap feature is very friendly for development and demo purpose.
Other news (also applies to the developer edition)
- As already deprecated in V12.6, the Label field is removed in V13.0. The document type editor previously offered the option to add a field of the type Label. This did not offer more functionality than a regular String field. It was once created to support translatable strings, but that functionality is now offered through Resource Bundles.
- Also already announced in V12.6, the @Color annotation for component parameters has been dropped as well.
- As already pre-announced, Essentials now no longer bundles JSP templates out-of-the-box. All Essentials components are delivered with Freemarker templates. We do however still support existing customers using JSP.
What’s new for end-users
As a result of the independent UX track that we have running to continuously improve our product usability, several small but very neat improvements have been made in the products:
- Alphabetical sorting of projects, channels and documents in the projects perspective. Especially for our customers that work with large sets of items this is very convenient.
- Publication state icons in the Visual Editing panel have moved and are no longer buttons. Also, buttons in the top and bottom rows show similar behaviour depending on their location; buttons at the top row all close the panel, while buttons at the bottom row keep the panel open.
New component property side panel initial release (not for relevance)
We introduce a new approach to the component property dialog box. This feature is being evaluated in releases not utilizing relevance (including the developer edition) and is not yet rolled out to our full brXM version. Advantage of this new dialog panel is that it is not modal anymore. The user can work on the page or even navigate away from the page, while the component property panel remains open. A convenience link is provided in the panel that causes the page to jump back to the component being edited. In the coming time this new side panel will be rolled out in the entire product.
V13.0 is a major release. This means that we did a lot of work under the hood that is not compatible with previous releases. We made some fantastic architectural improvements paving the way for future new feature functionality that would never have been possible without allowing ourselves to do this major release.
This also means that the update process to this new major version requires more effort from you as a customer than the rather effortless and backwards compatible minor releases. BloomReach provides upgrade tooling, scripts and step-by-step upgrade guides to support developers who want to upgrade to our latest major version via our Enterprise Documentation portal (https://www.onehippo.org/about/upgrade/introduction.html)
If you’ve never performed an upgrade or want expert advice, BloomReach Professional Services can help out via Upgrade Assessments or even perform the upgrade for you. Please reach out to your account manager if you would like to know more.
V13.0 is also a GA (‘General Availability’) version, which means that it is not in Beta and can be used in production environments like any other active minor or GA release.
Don’t worry if you are not ready yet to go through a major update cycle. Our previous release (12.6) is a long-term-supported (LTS) version that will live for approximately another two years (if you have a premium support subscription).
The full system requirements can be found at https://www.onehippo.org/library/about/system-requirements.html . This page also includes a detailed table of maintained third party compatibilities.
- In the coming period we will end maintenance of compatibility with Elasticsearch 5.5 (January 2019), Oracle JVM 8 (March 2019), Elasticsearch 5.6 (March 2019), Ubuntu Server 14.04 (April 2019), as all these products are end-of-life at vendor side. This, of course, does not mean that these will stop working from one-day-to-another, but that these configurations are outside QA, bug fixing and security updates.
- We have started to maintain compatibility with Ubuntu Server 18.04 and Elasticsearch 6.0. This for all active versions. We also support Tomcat 9.0 for all active versions.
- root.war deployment not supported anymore
- no best practice for development-scoped HST configuration / webfiles in Multi Site Mode
- custom site provider for campaigns not supported
- selection of menu items in menu editor is broken (CHANNELMGR-2253)
- no easy way to start the full sync manually (ENT-1372)
Issues listed with * are expected to be fixed in the next minor or maintenance release.
End-of-life, support and maintained code
As the terms ‘end-of-life’, ‘supported’, ‘maintained’ are used in various ways in our industry, we clarify the nomenclature we use for this below.
Supported product version
When a product is supported, this means that the customer will get help from the helpdesk when issues arise as described in the service level agreement that the customer has with BloomReach. There are several service levels available.
Please note that if a bug is acknowledged in a supported, but not-maintained version, and a fix is needed, this fix will only be applied in the maintained product versions. This means the customer will need to move to a maintained version to receive the fix.
Maintained product version
When a product is maintained, the product code is updated and security- and bug fixes are made to the code. For maintained products, the system requirements for third party libraries and components is kept updated as well. Please note that we do not provide support for system requirement providers (e.g. databases, java, etc…), but we only support the usage for mentioned certified system requirement providers.
If a product is non-maintained, this means that the code is not touched anymore and therefore might contain bugs and/or security vulnerabilities due to newly discovered issues in our code or the libraries used.
End-of-life product version
Products that are not maintained and not supported are end-of-life. These might be available from our archives but could be removed without notice.
What does this mean for the current release?
Please note that this release changes the maintenance mode of V12.5 and V10.2. These versions will not be maintained anymore as from today. Also, V10.2 will be out of support for all customers. This means 10.2 will be end-of-life.
In the table below you can find the support status of your product and when support will end; this is dependent on the version currently being used and license level. Please note that versions that are not listed are not active and not supported, and therefore end-of-life.
(Orange cells indicate changes compared to the previous release)
brXM 13.0 is available as from January 7, 2018 onwards. Please note that due to our release policy the release of the open source CMS / developer release will follow in about six weeks after this date.