What’s New in QuantumCMS 5?

Over the past few years, my role at Algonquin Studios has expanded to include the front-end development of QuantumCMS, our in-house content management system. In that time, QuantumCMS has changed a lot. We’ve crushed bugs, added new features, and enhanced the user interface

The release of QuantumCMS 5 is slated for May 1, 2013 and I’m really excited about this version. Not only have we redesigned the interface, but we’ve also added new features, vastly improved some existing features, and upgraded the code under the hood.

Here’s a look at some of things that you can expect in QuantumCMS 5:

New Interface

We’ve given the interface a clean and fresh look that’s easy on the eyes, but the layout is largely the same as previous versions, so you won’t have to hunt around for anything.

Dashboard

dashboard

Edit Page

page

Site Tree

We’ve built a new site tree control from the ground up. In addition to new icons and styles, the tree now includes drag-and-drop page moving and sorting in all supported browsers. We also added a feature to indicate when a page has drafts. In such cases, a small pencil is displayed over the page type icon.

tree

File Manager

This release will introduce a brand new file manager. The file manager is no longer available as a tab in the left pane, but now opens in a new window so you have more room to work. The new file manager supports drag-and-drop for moving files and includes basic image editing features like resize, crop, and rotate. In modern browsers, you can even drag files from your computer into the window to quickly upload them to the server. And yes, I said files! With the new file manager, you can upload multiple files simultaneously.

files

Sections

We’ve added a set of new screens that can be used to help define business rules and manage content that is specific to an area of the site. A section is simply a page and all underlying pages. In QuantumCMS, you can define any page as the root of a section and apply custom content like Linked Pages and Properties that will appear on all pages within that section of the site.

Although there are many potential uses, we believe that this will be particularly helpful for sites with multilingual content, mini-sites, or both. Making use of this feature requires some template updates, because the functionality must be coded to match the site’s business rules.

sections

Linked Page Images

We noticed that a lot of web sites associate images with their links so we’ve attempted to make that easier by adding a Link Image file picker to the Linked Pages screen. Much like Sections, the Linked Pages feature is implemented uniquely for each web site so template updates are necessary to make use of this feature.

linkedpages

Open Pages in New Window

You may have noticed that there is now a check box on each page that is labeled, “Open in a new window.” By checking that box, all links to that page in the navigation, search results, and site map will open in a new window automatically.

Site Speed

I’ve saved perhaps the best for last. In QuantumCMS 5, we’ve made a bunch of code updates to streamline the page rendering process. That ultimately means that sites on this version will load faster. Additionally, we believe our new Sections feature will further this for those clients that make use of it. We’ve made major strides to accomplish this and we believe that it will pay dividends for our clients as well.

I hope that you enjoyed getting a sneak peak at our upcoming release. Please feel free to share your feedback!

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Seven “Did You Know?” Things About QuantumCMS

As a Software Support Representative here at Algonquin Studios, I field phone calls on all manner of issues, ranging from user error to scheduling training sessions and I’ve started keeping lists of the most frequently asked questions about QuantumCMS, our flag-ship content management system. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share seven things that I think could be incredibly useful for QuantumCMS users. Here’s hoping they make your day just a little bit better:

1. Right-click Menus in the WYSIWYG Editor

Have you checked out the right-click menus in the WYSIWYG editor? These right-click menus are especially helpful in editing hyperlinks, tables and images as they let you:

  • Quickly edit the Link Type, Target, and URL of an already-created hyperlink.
  • Quickly modify image properties so you don’t have to search for the image icon.
  • Access editing options for existing tables, including the ability to add new columns to the right or left of a current cell; add new rows above or below the current cell; delete whole columns or rows; and edit table and cell properties.

2. Those Little Blue Numbers

What’s with those little blue numbers next to each item under the “Properties” tab? They’re there to let you know how many of each type of property are associated with or applied to the page. For example, if there’s a small blue “8” next to the option for Linked Pages, it means there are 8 linked pages associated with the page. These numbers are intended as a quick, visual indicator that there’s “more going on” on the page than what you might find on your content tab and to remind you to review the properties of each page when making edits.

3. Free Training Sessions

We host free, monthly QuantumCMS training sessions.  Each online session, held at 2 pm on the 2nd Tuesday of every month is open to every QuantumCMS user at your organization! For more information pertaining to the training sessions, check out the QuantumCMS user forum.

4. User Manuals

We offer general user manuals that explain all the universal features of QuantumCMS, along with Custom Documentation detailing the specific features and functionality developed especially for your custom site. Both manuals are available by logging into your QuantumCMS authoring tool and clicking the “Help” option in the upper right hand corner of the dashboard.

5. Tutorials

We’ve created tutorials for almost every feature available in QuantumCMS but if you can’t find helpful documentation on something you’re struggling with, you can always email our support team at support@quantumcms.com. We’ll walk you through the issue at hand, but we’ll also get to work on documenting the solution to the problem. With feedback from our clients, we’re constantly working to create better support documentation and your input might be just what we need to make another helpful addition to our tutorial library!

6. Reports

For the latest QuantumCMS release (4.2.1) we listened to you, our clients, and created new reports to help you better manage your web sites. All reports are available by clicking the “Reports” option in the upper right-hand side of the dashboard. New reports include: Linked Pages, Page Properties, Pages per Property, Application Usage, Page Security, and Public Access by Role.

7. Page History and Drafts

Each page on your site has a “History” and “Drafts” section. You can access this information via the “Properties” tab within the editor. Each time a page is saved, a copy, complete with all the associated information, images, links, etc., is stored in QuantumCMS. Using the “History” screen, you can view, restore, or create a draft from a previous version of the page. A helpful feature while making page edits allows you manually save a page as a draft, creating a separate version of the page on which you can complete all of your editing work without affecting your current page content. Then, once you’ve completed your edits (and only when you’re ready), you can replace the current version with the draft, making your new content live!

Which QuantumCMS features do you you use frequently and think are the most helpful?  Let us know below in the comments!