Quietest…Release…Ever

6

October 22, 2009 by Alistair Deneys

Sitecore 6.2 was released last night in probably the quietest release Sitecore has done in a long time. Why am I saying it was a quiet release? Well I had no idea it was coming and only found out after reading John West’s blog and finding a reference to the new version hidden in one of his posts. Normally I should get an email from Sitecore about new releases, but nothing.

So I’m doing my part for the publicising of Sitecore 6.2. I don’t normally post to tell you all about a release you probably already know about, but seeing as though I had no idea about 6.2 being released I’m assuming a lot of you haven’t heard yet either.

Anyway reading through the release notes for 6.2 I am filled with excitement. Some of the features I got a sneak peek at during an MVP only preview of Everest earlier this year. Let me point out a few here.

Word field type: Sitecore 6.2 includes a brand new field type; the word field. This field uses an Active X control to allow the user to use Word 2007 to edit text fields. This means users who are familiar with word can continue to use it. One caveat of this is of course that you’ll be lumped with Word’s awful HTML generation. So if you really don’t care about compliancy, then go for it 🙂 .

WebDAV for drag and drop support of uploading media files: Sitecore 6.2 adds support for webDAV which allows users to drag media files straight from their desktop into the IE window and have those files uploaded into the media library. No more clicking around dialogs, just drag your files onto the Sitecore window.

Zipped icon files: When copying or zipping a Sitecore install folder, what takes the most time? The icon files of course. Sitecore has included since version 5 a very comprehensive library of icon files, all in different resolutions to really provide a good looking UI. Each icon file is only small, but there are so many of them. And the number of files is what slows down those zip and copy operations. From memory a standard install of Sitecore 6.1 contained about 24,000 files. The standard install of Sitecore 6.2 contains only 7,500 files. This should really help when moving Sitecore installs around.

Index folder default location: This is a little trick I leant from Mark Cassidy. Previously in a default Sitecore install the index folder would exist below the web root. Problem was that at times when packages were being installed or publishes being run with the index updates running crazy IIS would restart the application due to too much file activity (or something like that). So to solve this issue you can add a setting named “indexFolder” which provides the location of the index folder. With the indexes outside the webroot the index updates no longer affect the stability of the IIS application. Well, Sitecore 6.2 by default has added this setting into web.config and moved the index folder below the data folder.

And of course there are a heap of other updates, enhancements and bug fixes. Just be careful about the breaking chances in the API (mostly to do with the analytics API, check the release notes).

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6 thoughts on “Quietest…Release…Ever

  1. Lars Nielsen says:

    Hi Alistair,

    Yes, – we’re going underground… Normally we shout out new versions, but this avoided our hyperactive marketing team completely 😉

    No, – to be honest: I think it’s a matter of timing. We decided to put download files on the developer network, with all the documentation, best practice guidelines, upgrade strategy as well as on the partner network with marketing material before publishing to a broader audience.

    It’s not that we’re not proud of this release. Au contraire, – this is a product release that assembles all kind of cool stuff into a major package. I personally love the cool way WebDAV has now been integrated and are absolutely marveled on how well WebForms for marketers 2 utilizes Sitecores Online Marketing Suite.

    So, you should probably expect marketing activities around Sitecore 6.2 very soon. We’re definitely not going to keep this quiet.

  2. Paul says:

    Do you know anything about the “built-in RSS syndication”? The change log just says its described in documentation… but i can’t find it.

  3. Steve Green says:

    Truely the stealth bomber of releases!

    Love: Zipped icon files, file copies everywhere rejoyce 🙂

    Fear: Word field type, WYSIWYG is the fools gold of web development 😦

  4. Lars Nielsen says:

    built-in RSS syndication:

    Go to the Sitecore Developer Network (http://sdn.sitecore.net) and make a search for ‘Content Author’s Reference and Cookbook’.

    The cookbook has an entire chapter on the syndication feeds, – client based (subscribe to workflow changes or item changes) and public (site content syndicating to RSS feeds).

    I, in particular, find the Client feeds very impressive; subscribe to a workflow (or a workflow state), and get massive information whenever a document enters (or leaves) the state, – for example a side-by-side comparison, comments, version history etc.

    It is even possible to review and act on the documents (e.g. approve or discard changes).

    I’ve done it from my Outlook, – so it appears as very dynamic mails. It’s very very cool!

  5. Alistair Deneys says:

    Great to hear that Lars 🙂 .
    And Steve, yes, I am both scared and happy about the word field. Scared about the awful output, but if a client agrees they can live with that then I won’t get any more bugs logged against my builds because the WYSIWYG editor might not output 100% XHTML compliant markup.
    It’s funny what you say about “WYSIWYG is the fools gold of web development”. For many content authors the WYSIWYG editor IS the CMS (your typical not tech types). We know there are so many other things to worry about, but some people get really hung up on that editor…

  6. Lars Nielsen says:

    I think the word field is more meant for controlled environments where compliance is not always such a big deal. For example, Intranets, Extranets or other similar site types.

    It is worth noticing, though, that it is possible to hook into a pipeline and enhance the output of the field, e.g. by converting into native XHTML, or by converting e.g. class into whatever you would want on your web site.

    Also, the Word field type only works with Word 2007 which is more compliant than previous versions.

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