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Magnolia CMS Blossoms Into Spring (Framework)


Open source web content management system (CMS) company Magnolia has released its CMS 4.5 iteration with updates to the Magnolia Blossom Spring framework. Forming what it describes as the product's "largest upgrade to date", new functionality includes options to create instant mobile websites and multichannel content targeting, along with increased standards support, interoperability, and new features to enhance user-friendliness.

Magnolia Blossom is a Spring integration module for Magnolia. It exposes Spring Web MVC-controllers as paragraphs and templates and allows developers to build dialogs using code instead of configuration. The proposition here is an opportunity to leverage the full power of the Spring framework, while still working within Magnolia as a first-class citizen.

Magnolia says that if programmers are familiar with Spring, then they will find the programming model offered by Blossom intuitive and easy to use. This is an opportunity to write reusable templates and components with a high level of dynamic behavior that editors can compose to create interactive web pages.

According to Magnolia, "Using the proven application stack of the Spring Framework makes it easier to develop integrations with; for instance, business systems to fetch information you want to present in your pages. If you know Spring, you'll appreciate that Blossom gets you up to speed faster and lets you work in an environment that you're already familiar with."

Magnolia Blossom Module developer lead Tobias Mattson writes on his blog that he looked into how much work it would take to display a Twitter search using Spring Social with Blossom — Magnolia calls reusable components that you can snap into a page paragraph, and Mattson wanted a paragraph that an author could add to any page to show relevant tweets about its topic.

Mattson blogs as follows, "Since Blossom is an extension of Spring Web MVC that lets Spring controllers be embedded into the content of a page, the twitter search paragraph is implemented as a controller. The interface provided to the author to enable filling in the search query and the maximum number of tweets is provided by Magnolia using dialogs. By adding methods in our controller and annotating them, Magnolia will call them when the dialog is to be displayed and for validation when it's submitted. The view for displaying the tweets is a JSP."

Looking at the new release, Magnolia CMS 4.5 provides an open, flexible, and standards-based platform from which users can present limitless channels. These channels deliver content that is optimized to specific target groups, locations, devices, or any imaginable segmentation of website visitors.

The system categorizes web visitors (for example, by device or location) and directs them to the relevant content channel. Magnolia provides device detection functionality out-of-the-box. Developers can create their own detection functionality for channels based on location, language, or any custom attributes.

"The most visible change for our users is the new mobile functionality that comes with Magnolia CMS 4.5. But this is just the first of many applications for our new multichannel content architecture," said Magnolia CTO, Boris Kraft. "Multichannel publishing provides enterprises with a highly adaptable online presence. As the way people use and access the web changes, new channels can be created to cater quickly and efficiently to these new markets."

Magnolia CMS 4.5 produces "instant enterprise-grade mobile websites" from existing content within the system. All conventional websites built with Magnolia's latest Standard Templating Kit (STK)# can be used to create mobile websites, which are automatically optimized to smartphone and tablet formats. As with all websites built using Magnolia CMS, the look and feel of mobile sites can then be fine-tuned to the most exacting branding and end-user requirements.

Complementing the mobile website functionality, Magnolia CMS 4.5 also introduces an innovative "mobile preview" function. Authors can instantly preview the look and feel of content on either a smartphone or tablet. Mobile preview creates an on-screen mock-up of the relevant mobile device on the user's desktop, allowing them to immediately optimize their own content for mobile site visitors.

Magnolia CMS 4.5 continues to put openness at the core of the product, with support for new enterprise standards, including Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS), the latest version of the Java Content Repository (JCR 2.0), HTML5, and Java 6.


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