Magnolia CORE 5.5 is our strongest release so far

Published on December 19, 2016 by Antti Hietala

Many of us feel that Magnolia CORE 5.5 is our strongest release so far, offering built-in personalization and tools that help developers and editors get productive faster. 5.5 is a major release that saw a total of 385 tickets solved and that is the result of active collaboration of many developers and authors who live, work and play with the product. Here’s a look at the key new features.


New name: Magnolia CORE

With the 5.5 release, Magnolia's on-premise product has a new name: Magnolia CORE. It’s the same flexible, robust system you rely on today. The new name is just to distinguish it from Magnolia NOW, our new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering.

NOW is for you if you need a hassle-free enterprise CMS platform that is ready to go. Check out NOW if you deploy new projects often, need to launch new sites quickly, and don’t have time to wait for IT to procure instances.


View all definitions in one place

The star of the 5.5 release is the new Definitions app. It shows you all definitions (apps, dialogs, templates and so on) loaded by Magnolia in one single place.

The Definitions app displays registered definitions from all sources (JCR and YAML) and all origins (classpath, JCR and file system). You can view, search, sort and group definitions. You can jump from the Definitions app directly to the actual definition in either the Configuration or Resource files app.

The app also shows definition decorations and configuration errors, giving you a complete bird’s-eye view across definitions on your Magnolia instance.

The Definitions app concludes our file-based configuration story:

  • In Magnolia 5.4, we delivered uniform resource loading, which means that all kinds of resource files are loaded the same predictable way.
  • In Magnolia 5.4.3, you could view all types of resource files from all origins using the Resource Files app.
  • Now in Magnolia 5.5, you can view all definition files including theme definitions in one single place.

We’re quite proud of the Definitions app and hope you enjoy it too!


Navigation functions

navfn is a new templating function library that lets front-end developers build site navigation within templates. The functions help you access child and parent pages and generate URLs for content items. The navfn library works with standard pages as well as virtual pages which display content from content apps.


Import content with light modules in a controlled way

A new Content Importer module lets you bootstrap content from the file system into the JCR. This is great news for light developers who until now had no convenient way to import content into Magnolia during development, deployment and distribution of light modules.

Take advantage of the Content Importer module when you develop a new component, for instance. Bootstrap some example content so that editors can see right away what the component looks like with real content and can tell if it meets their needs.

When Magnolia detects content to import, it sends a task to the Pulse. This important human control point ensures that no existing content is overridden by accident.


Magnolia CLI

Magnolia’s command line interface (CLI) lets developers set up new development environments and module stubs with a single command. You can do common, automated tasks such as download and install Magnolia, create a light module, create a page, define page availability and create a component much faster.

Give it a go if you like working with the command line. Magnolia CLI is a modern npm package that installs without a hitch and is immediately available. All the commands start with mgnl so they are easy to remember. The tool even auto-completes when you hit TAB.


Personalize better

Did you know that we delivered component personalization just recently? This feature is a hidden gem that is worth a reminder. Personalization at component level works the same way as page personalization, except that you are personalizing a smaller item. If you know how to do one, you can do the other - it’s very easy to get started.  

Magnolia CORE 5.5 offers component personalization out of the box without any additional configuration or setup. Component personalization lets you personalize parts of pages. With small changes, you can ensure that you show relevant content to visitors in a very practical, scalable way.

To learn why now is a good time to start personalization, check out my earlier blog


Switch quickly between apps

Editors moving between apps can now do this more conveniently. The App Switcher lets you whizz through apps in AdminCentral quickly with a simple keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift.


Copy and paste made simple

No need to duplicate pages and re-create content. Editors can now copy and paste areas, components, pages, assets, items in trees, and in content apps. This convenient tool saves time and allows multiple uses of content.


Help with moving

Dragging and dropping can be a clumsy action that opens a door for mistakes, especially if you have to move items deep down in a tree. In 5.5, the assistive move dialog opens directly in the location of the selected item. This avoids having to navigate back to the item. It saves time when you want to move an item near its original location or just rearrange some nodes.


So there you have it. I’m really proud of this release. For details and how to update your Magnolia instance to 5.5, watch my release walkthrough video and see the release notes. Enjoy!


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About the author Antti Hietala

Antti Hietala is a product manager at Magnolia. He is tasked with articulating Magnolia's value proposition to sales and professional services. In constant contact with users, he feeds the product roadmap with front-line input. Antti's key responsibilities include internal communication, product roadmap and feature specifications. Follow him on Twitter @antarctic74.

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