Telerik adds new functionality to its web content management platform, Sitefinity, that includes not only the ability to manage digital assets, but also provides a quick and easy user interface for updating content.
Lightweight DAM for Sitefinity
You could connect to a full-blown digital asset management platform to handle your digital assets, but what if you don't need that high degree of functionality? Or can't afford it? Sitefinity now includes a lightweight DAM solution that enables users to manage their digital assets easily.
The DAM functionality comes by way of a desktop application that supports the ability to tag assets making them more findable, edit and reuse them easily without having to go into the backend Web CMS. This tool is designed for users who are not technical, may not even be power users, but need to get content updated.
Desktop Publisher for Sitefinity
The functionality comes by way of the Desktop Publisher which is synced to the Sitefinity CMS:
- Desktop Image Editor: This tool is similar to Photoshop. You can open an image and edit it (eg. resizing, cropping, inserting text, adjusting hue, inserting colors or sharpening).
- Live Documents Editor: Open pretty much any document type in this editor, make updates and have those changes reflected on the site. No need to download and re-upload, it's all live editing.
Also available in Sitefinity 6.1 is a new thumbnail generator. This tool is availability directly within the Sitefinity CMS and is designed to support the creation of different sizes of an image without the need of a designer. You can upload an image once and then select the different ways it needs to be manipulated for different areas of the site.
One unique capability that comes with the Desktop Publisher is that you can use when you aren't online and automatically sync up any work you've done when you get online. Note that the Thumbnail generator isn't part of the DP so you don't have this feature with that tool.
The Desktop Publisher is designed with an idea to allow users access to functionality they need without having to work directly in the CMS. For Web Admins, it's way to keep people out of the backend who only need limited editing capabilities.
According to Eric Odell, Telerik Sitefinity Product Manager, the DAM tool provides three key benefits:
- Lower cost of recreation of assets.
- Allows an organization to maintain brand consistency easily.
- Improves findability.
I like this capability, I think it helps manage assets quickly and easily, and offline usage is very good to have. But I also wonder why there isn't a browser-based UI of the same thing. Most Web CMS have UI for non-technical users built in, based on permissions, you see and do only very specific things. Of course with a browser-based UI you don't get the offline editing features.
New to Sitefinity 6.1 is a new selective sync feature that supports the synchronization of environments. You can select specific assets, from content types down to specific content assets, to pages or languages.
Mobile Enhancements Continue on Sitefinity 6.1
Also new in Sitefinity 6.1 are a few mobile developer tools to go along with the mobile functionality it introduced in version 6.0:
- Revamped Navigation Widget: You can skin your navigation to work differently based on the device you are using, so on the iPhone, navigation looks like typical iPhone navigation, same for Android. This improves the user experience quite well I think.
- Geo-location API: Display content based on a users location. This functionality seems to be in bigger demand all the time.
- Semantic Content Blocks: Using semantic nodes in content blocks can help improve the machine reading of your content and display it much better in searches.