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2/26/09 CMS upgrade update
Read the latest CMS v5 upgrade update.
Previous upgrade info
CMS implementation project update as of 8/5/08.
Early adopters roundtable podcast
Download an audio recording of the event (.mp3, 10.2MB, 59 min)
Design Guidelines
Download a design guidelines manual that will help you format your CMS templates, write for the web, select images, etc.
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CommonSpot Version 5 Information

The upgrade of the campus content management system software, CommonSpot, from version 4.6 to version 5 is tentatively scheduled to occur in January. The purpose of this page is to give you an idea of what will be different from version 4.6 to version 5. Much of the information below was taken from the version 5 release notes - for more information about these enhancements and other features/improvements, the entire release notes document is available for download.

* Improved performance
* Interface enhancements
* XML/RSS support
* Improved rich text editor
* Image manipulation

Improved Performance

Version 5.0 provides significant performance improvements in Author, Edit, and Approve modes. These improvements are due to a new, more efficient, caching architecture. In addition, CommonSpot 5.0 now supports ColdFusion 8.0 which uses the 1.6 JVM, giving ColdFusion significant performance improvements. UWM's production version of ColdFusion will be upgraded from version 7 to version 8 shortly after CommonSpot is upgraded.

Interface Enhancements

PaperThin performed an extensive usability study among their customers for this release of CommonSpot. As a result, the interface improvements reflect best practices in usability. The new interface exposes functionality that has been hidden beneath CommonSpot’s main indicators and element interfaces. New functionality will also make it easier for users to find, manage, and edit content.

* New menu bar: An important part of CommonSpot’s new interface is a menu bar located at the top of every CommonSpot page, containing the three top-level buttons on the right, Show Settings icons just to the left of those buttons, and a Mode indicator on the far left.

* Keyboard shortcuts: CommonSpot now provides keyboard shortcuts for a number of commonly-used commands in the Menu Bar. Note that the focus must be on the CommonSpot page for these to work. (shortcuts not available on the Mac)

Alt-Shift-0 - Login/Logout
Alt-Shift-1 - Read Mode
Alt-Shift-2 - Author Mode
Alt-Shift-3 - Edit Mode
Alt-Shift-4 - Approve Mode
Alt-Shift-5 - Preview On/Off
Alt-Shift-6 - Show Container Tools
Alt-Shift-7 - Show Element Tools
Alt-Shift-8 - Show New Element Links
Alt-Shift-9 - Standard Metadata

* Consolidated element icons: In version 5.0 we have consolidated the multiple CommonSpot element icons into a single icon. Previously, an element could display several icons for different functions. With multiple elements on a page, all these individual icons could be confusing and could also displace content on the page. The new consolidated icon interface in version 5.0 makes it simpler to access common element tools. The gear icon, shown at right, is the default consolidated icon, indicating that the element’s status is “Current.” When you click the gear icon, all options are readily available in the resulting pop-up menu.

* Streamlined element menus: PaperThin has also streamlined the menu options for interacting with an element. Instead of an exhaustive list of options, you are presented initially with only the most commonly-used options. You can easily access the full display of menu options by clicking ‘more’.

* Navigation in author, edit, and approve modes: In previous versions of CommonSpot, all links on a page were disabled when you were in Author, Edit, or Approve mode. If you tried to click a link inside an element, you would invoke the element but you wouldn’t be brought to the link target. Now in version 5.0 the links on the page are “live” and behave exactly as they do in Read mode, so you can now use links to navigate while in Author, Edit, and Approve modes. To invoke the editing interface for an element in 5.0 you must click the element icon and select the desired action from the menu. This is one of the biggest changes from previous versions.

XML/RSS Support

CommonSpot 5.0 continues to extend its flexibility through the addition of a new XML framework. Significant enhancements in XML Publication/Syndication, XML rendering and XSL style sheets make it simple to manage the format, display, re-use, and syndication of content in CommonSpot. The result is enhanced productivity, interoperability, and content re-usability.

With CommonSpot 5.0 you can now:

* Easily syndicate content as news feeds or podcasts via RSS and/or Atom
* Create custom XML Publications to exchange data with other systems
* Create an index of Feeds (with quick links to popular Feed readers)
* Include Live Bookmarks on any CommonSpot page
* Use XSLT to render elements
* View the content of any page or element as XML (by appending ‘xml=1’ t a URL)

Improved Rich Text Editor

CommonSpot 5.0 introduces a new and improved WYSIWYG rich text editor (RTE) with enhanced editing features, multiple browser and platform compatibility, and improved standards-based support. The easy-to-use, browser-based content editor provides the same great functionality as previous versions of CommonSpot along with an extensive array of new functionality and advanced features, including support for standards-based format tags, text find-and-replace, HTML cleaning functions, property inspector panels, contextual menus, style definitions, and updated Word-like toolbars and icons.

* Property inspector panel: The new version of the Rich Text Editor groups all of your current modification options together in a Property Inspector panel that changes based on what you are managing at the time. Every relevant modification option is available in the panel, which is always visible. The Property Inspector panels save you from clicking menus, selecting menu options, opening dialogs, etc. An example of a Property Inspector panel, the Horizontal Rules Properties panel, is shown below.

* HTML view: To switch between Design mode and HTML mode, Version 5.0 provides a toolbar icon (as shown below) in place of the tabs that appeared below the editing window in earlier releases. In HTML view you can now search and replace text within the HTML directly. This feature can be handy when trying to tweak content in large text blocks.

Image Manipulation

CommonSpot now provides full image editing capabilities allowing contributors to easily perform over a dozen common editing tasks on images. The image editor (pictured below) provides a simple interface with built-in screen help. Access to the image editor is provided directly from the Image Gallery. You simply choose the image that you wish to edit and select the ‘Edit Image’ menu option.

Last modified on February 18, 2009