CQ5 Main FeaturesIt is clear that a lot of work poured into CQ5. We’ll tell you about its main features. Be sure to check out your DayCare site or dev.day.com for more information and hidden gems.
Focus on Web 2.0While some CMS vendors shy away from Web 2.0, thinking the Web 2.0 implosion is imminent; Day focuses on it big time. Some Social Collaboration-related developments are still in beta and will be released in Q1 2009, including forum, blog and calendaring functionalities. CQ5.1 ships with pre-built widgets for site enhancement: posts and comments, categorization and RSS feeds, tagging, slideshows, forms and enterprise wiki. A floating Sidekick is, essentially, a widgets and components toolbar. You can drag-and-drop items from Sidekick into pages. CQ5.1 Sidekick
In the Tagging Manager, tagging and specific targeting rules are based on your user permissions. But any user can suggest tags, which later can be included in the overall taxonomy based on, for example, the number of times the tag was suggested. This allows for flexible taxonomy management. CQ5.1 Tagging on a Page Level
One thing we’ve noticed with the newly created tags is that they seem to be going through the workflow as any other content item, but they’re nowhere to be found in the workflow’s list of active items. There is a potential for users can create and manage very complex taxonomies in CQ5’s tagging environment.
Digital Assets ManagementCQ5.1 offers decent DAM for Web CMS scenarios. Some of the main features of managing digital assets include: * Full image rendering * Audio and video * PowerPoint, Word, Excel, PDF file formats’ management * Transparent file-server replacement * DRM and metadata Management * Watermarking * Format transcoding One of the nicest things about CQ5.1 from an end user perspective is image editing. Unlike many other vendors, Day offers good image cropping functionality that is not Flash, but browser-based. You can crop (and not squash), rotate, map and flush images. CQ5 Image Editing Tools
Web Analytics and ReportingManaged from the Page Properties level, CQ5’s analytics and reporting capabilities are quite basic and allow users to see real-time reports for a page or a content item. The number of impressions for each page is displayed in the Site Admin mode. A graphical representation of the number of visits over preset periods of time is available in the Page Properties view. CQ5.1 is said to be shipped out-of-the-box with Omniture and Google Analytics integration. In our evaluation, we were only able to identify Google Analytics capability present. As far as WebTrends integration goes, it needs to be custom-built based on the ability to query all data on all Web pages from the CRX. So far, it hasn’t been implemented by any customers. Other external analytics providers’ integration is also possible we were told.
Clustering, Backup and Disaster RecoveryCQ5.1 shines when it comes to such crucial functionality as backup and recovery. Backup has been greatly simplified. The CRX repository now offers a hot backup utility that creates a backup file of the entire system, including content, configuration, components and scripts. Restoring your entire CQ5 instance is as easy as extracting the backup zip file and restarting the system. This functionality is a great accomplishment that should save organizations considerable amounts of time, money and resources. One click and all changes (even those currently being made) make it into a Quickstart-packaged file for disaster recovery, and your environment can be back up and running within minutes. Clustering was also improved. A CQ5 WCM cluster can be now set up much easier. A new cluster node is added by installing an empty CRX on a new machine and pointing it to the running CQ5 WCM cluster. It will hot join without you having to lift your finger. The full synchronization with the slave machine is done automatically. It sounds great and, as all things great, active clustering is an optional module and requires a separate license What we found especially compelling is a totally new way of working with customer support, should there be a problem with your CQ5 instance. Forget the never-ending chains of e-mails and exhausting phone calls, where customer support is almost blindly trying to navigate its way through your system. All you need to do is export (as a Quickstart image) your entire CQ5 image, send it to CS and have them unpack it and figure out what the problem is. No more sending log files and worrying about setting up VPN access.
Workflow and User ManagementCQ5 WCM comes with a new workflow engine and a new http interface for creating and maintaining workflows based on the Java API and REST. Day’s workflow was in a dire need of a facelift, and we are glad to see a major rework here. Any business user with proper permissions can now create a custom workflow. While we think there’s a little too much freedom in this approach, it could be beneficial in the right hands. Unlike with many other CMS vendors, Day’s workflow is located directly in the Web client, thus eliminating the need for, say, Visio or Eclipse plug-ins and development work. Nope, we are not kidding you. CQ5 Workflow Designer
You can drag-and-drop extra steps (Container, Participant, Process) and splits (AND and OR). RTFM is a must if you want to figure out how the steps are differentiated. You can also complete, step back or delegate any of workflow activities. Watch out for the fine-grained access controls, as they may make your workflow very complicated very quickly. The User Management console allows you to add new groups and new users. While user management is pretty robust, there are some not so user-friendly things like the grayed-out Members tab under User Management. If we are not managing groups but users here, why do we need to see a tab that’s not relevant to what we are doing? Surprisingly, groups can also belong to other groups, which may end up creating a confusing mess. You can set up Page Permissions for Groups or Users. You can go as granular as you heart desires, including setting permissions not only on content, but on templates and digital assets. Usability-wise there are some other things Day could improve in the next point release. Look at this, for example: Would you have ever guessed that you could double-click on "deny" in red to change user permissions? We didn’t think so. A dropdown, for example, would have accomplished the task in a more efficient manner. Users can be prepopulated from other user repositories by an initial import via LDAP, followed by creation of groups and modification of settings. One of the cool features about CQ5 is the ability to create a user in one mode and impersonate that user in a different mode, which could be very handy in many scenarios, as in if want to double-check workflow or permissions settings, for instance.
Installing CQ5CQ5 needs about 700 MB of free disk space in the deployment directory. Prerequisites include an installation of a Java Runtime Environment (Java 5 or newer). You have to have it. The new CQ5 comes nicely packaged in a (not so nicely large) 145 MB executable .jar file. They call it a “Quickstart” file, and it has all the underlying platforms within it, including CRX (Day’s content repository). There’s a known bug associated with a path resolving issue around space characters, so place your Quickstart .jar file carefully. Word of advice: Read download instructions and release notes very carefully to be better prepared for some not-so pleasant surprises. And, you better know how to manually configure the JAVA_HOME environment variable to reference the JRE home directory, if you want to enjoy CQ5 properly, as this feature when we evaluated CQ5 was not automated for unknown reasons. Day’s idea was to make CQ5 easy to install and fun to use. Double-click on the Quickstart file, and wait for magic to happen. It looks like this (for about 20-30 minutes): When the installation is complete, it
The new Eclipse-based development environment CQDE further improves the development experience.