Day’s CTO David Nüscheler and CMO Kevin Cochrane gave us a tour of the top new features in CQ 5.3.
Day’s latest minor release includes more than 600 enhancements over CQ 5.2.0 code base. Changes start right from the welcome screen that now has descriptive buttons for both previously existed and new functionalities.
CQ 5.3 Welcome Screen
The UI is mostly unchanged from CQ 5.2 with the exception of some tweaks and additional columns.
CQ 5.3 Personalization, Segmentation and Targeting
CQ Targeting is a brand new module that allows marketers to create, manage and measure their online marketing efforts (campaigns, landing pages, etc.) and customer targeting and segmentation.
Day Software has built a segmentation engine that allows users to adjust segmentation rules by referral keywords or general surfing patterns.
CQ 5.3 Segmentation Editing
Developers can create specific custom traits to provide marketeers with more specific targeting. Those traits are managed using the Clickstream Cloud, which shows a specific user profile.
CQ 5.3 Clickstream Cloud
Navigation and click stream behaviors and patterns can be captured, measured and analyzed even for anonymous users to tune in targeting. All profile information that is captured is stored in the central repository.
Personalization is not easy to do well. Many Web CMS vendors have tried it in a variety of approaches. According to Day, they wanted to make personalization more dynamic and scalable with all the action happening on the client side vs. server side. Personalization comes as part of CQ Social Collaboration module.
Privacy concerns? Forget about it, privacy is more dead than ever. Day’s CQ 5.3 can capture external browser history and geo location. Just like the links you click on in a browser turn different color and your browser knows that next time they’re displayed, CQ 5.3 knows which website you came from and which websites you visited in the past. Knowing browser history and mouse cursor movement is possible thanks to the dynamic, client-side nature of Day’s personalization.
This approach also is more friendly to horizontal scalability, as there’s no need to add more hardware. Cherry on top is what Nüscheler calls “a completely revolutionary approach” to personalization caching. Personalization in combination with multivariate testing and voila: get the impressions, click-through rates, etc. and simulate the best performing version of your page.
One of the nice features in CQ 5.3 is built-in support for A/B and MVT for optimization of content, so that marketeers can not only attract visitors, get insights into their behaviors, but also get a higher chance of converting them.
CQ 5.3 MVT
The most interesting part, says Nüscheler, is the combination of segmentation and MVT, which allows marketeers to see results of which content would be attractive to different populations. As we mentioned above, many of these functionalities are possible due to all of that data being stored in the content repository (CRX) as opposed to disparate data sources.
Speaking of CRX, the CQ 5.3 release is already JCR 2.0/JSR-283 compliant; with CRX 2.1 release expected later this year.
Social calendaring is an improved feature that initially appeared under the CQ5 Social Collaboration umbrella. In CQ 5.3, you can promote events more effectively with the ability to subscribe or import events from a site to your calendar of choice.
CQ 5.3 Social Calendaring
The events you add to your calendar are stored in the content repository, thus allowing for bidirectional management of content (in personal and corporate, internal and external calendars) and synchronization of changes. The calendar component has been enhanced to include automatic RSS feeds and iCal event subscription.
CQ 5.3 DAM Updates
Adding some external coolness, Day went ahead and integrated with CoolIris to provide 3D visualization and fly-over navigation of digital asset libraries.
CQ 5.3 DAM with CoolIris Integration
Other new Digital Asset Management features include MediaRSS support, easier management of metadata, new lightbox for building pick lists of assets, and new drag-and-drop components for uploading, tagging, commenting, and rating assets in the spirit of user-generated content.
CQ 5.3 DAM
And to the developers’ delight, Day introduced browser-based IDE called CRXDE lite. While those hardcore Eclipse fans may not completely switch over to CRXDE lite, it’s a nice mechanism to provide them with a nearly full-fledged IDE experience in the browser.
CRXDE Lite In-browser IDE
Developers can make changes to .jsp files (which are then recompiled behind the scenes), take advantage of the integrated check-out from a centralized subversion environment and the ability to commit back to the SVN, creation and compliation of OSGi bundles – as a replacement for Apache Maven.
All in all, it’s a much faster way to make smaller changes, or a quick look at the code.
Site Importer is one of the tools in CRXDE Lite that is designed to do exactly that: import non-CQ sites into CQ 5.3 (i.e. downloading all CSS, HTML elements into the repository). The CMS then creates a blueprint for that site, and developers can “translate” the import -- component by component -- into CQ5 templates and editable content components.
CQ 5.3 Site Importer Tool
Upgrading to CQ 5.3
Day says it’s a breeze and cites their own experience of upgrading the corporate site, which now runs on 5.3. There are two ways to upgrade for those on 5.x:
- Go to Package share and download the upgrade package, which contains the entire 5.3 install and migration bits. Restart CQ twice and you should be good to go.
- Using the familiar Quickstart .jar file with an upgrade mechanism built in to replace a prior version with the 5.3 binary and run migration scripts.
Depending on the complexity, you may expect various upgrade efforts and timeframes. According to Day, the upgrade of their http://dev.day.com site, which they consider to be an upgrade of medium complexity, took 14 hours. An optimistic outlook, isn't it?
Note that if you’re upgrading a CQ 5.2.1 instance with Hotfix 23673 installed, you may need to do some manual migration of user content, as CQ specific user content is lost in the upgrade to 5.3.
And a bit of trivia to wrap it all up, CQ 5.3 release cycle started April 1, 2009, went through 19 iterations of QA and bug fixing, before it was ready to go GA today. Oh, and MS Internet Explorer 6, while supported in CQ 5.3, is officially finita la comedia.