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Top 10 (strike that) 11 Favorite New Features in WCM

  • Created By: Bryant Poole
  • Updated: June 29, 2016

The following is a quick list of some of my favorite new features in WCM 8 and 8.5. This is not a complete list, those can be found easily in the What’s New page under each product release, these are just some of my favorites.

  1. Copy site areas and content recursively.

Previous versions of WCM would only allow you to copy a specific site area or a specific piece of content. However, you can now copy an entire site structure and then move the entire copied branch somewhere else. Nice!

To do this, open the site area you want to copy in ‘read’ mode. Select More -> Copy Branch. A new copy of the branch will get created under the same parent as the original. The copy will be prefixed with “COPY_OF_”. Now simply select that site area and click More -> Move to move it to another location.

Note that this is a plugin-in installed by Content Template Catalog (CTC). So it might be worth installing CTC just for that feature.

  1. Use REST calls to manage content

This is one of my favorite new features. You can query for content, modify content, create content, etc. This opens up a lot of possibilities for using REST calls with Ajax to create dynamic pages, for example, your own custom authoring interface. Of course this could always be done with Java APIs, but now you can do much of this with JavaScript.

More information in the wiki.

  1. Use a Navigator to create a hierarchical, nested site map.

Previous versions of the Navigator component did not allow you to easily create a hierarchical view of your site. You could do it, it was just tedious and required lots of code.

Here’s a YouTube video with John James explaining how to do this.

  1. Multi-lingual Support (MLS) is built in

This was an add-on in previous versions. Now all you need to do is enable it and start using it. It’s quite straightforward: here’s a nice article on setting it up.

  1. Site Builder: Create site structures or complete web sites with a wizard

This is a great new feature that allows you to create an entire structure or even an entire web site using a quick three or four step wizard. By ‘quick’ I mean a several layer deep web site can be built ready for content in less than two minutes! We at Asponte have used this feature at a client to help them bring up a self-contained marketing campaign website ready for content in only a couple of minutes. I’ve written a previous blog on this feature.

  1. Managed Pages

This is one of the older features on my list, but a good one non-the-less. Essentially this one amounts to the fact that using Managed Pages means that portal pages are now content and can be syndicated. This is a big time saver and less work for administrators since you don’t need to depend on them to export and import portal pages between environments.

  1. Site Area templates

Just like you can create content templates, you can now create site area templates. The site area template can specify various elements, metadata or workflow to all created site areas that uses that template. More information can be found in the wiki under Creating Authoring Templates.

  1. Syndication tools and status indicators

Several enhancements have been added to the administrator portlet and the authoring portlet. The administrator portlet now shows more information about what failed to syndicate and why. It allows you to retry a failed item and to better investigate the syndication failures without having to pull up the log files.

The authoring portlet gives the authors information about what is, is not or is about to syndicate. So authors can keep an eye on their own content without having to ask administrators for information.

  1. Custom HTML field editors

A long-overdue feature is the ability to add you own HTML editor to the HTML fields in the WCM Authoring UI. Instead of looking at straight text, you can now add an editor which helps format and color code your HTML. Easier reading and easier coding.

  1. Site Toolbar

The site toolbar is a new feature authors or administrators (depending on security of course) can use when the portal is in Edit mode. The site toolbar allows you to see the entire site structure at a glance. It can be used to add pages, modify settings of pages, add portlets, etc. Older versions of WCM required this to be done using the administration portlet.

  1. Script Portlets

Up to now, portlets in WCM were Java applications. With this new feature, you can now create portlets using only JavaScript, HTML and CSS using an interface that is similar to the interfaces like JSFiddle. IBM provides several examples to start with. See the wiki for more information.

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