Hippo CMS 7.2 With HST Gives Editors More Control

Building on the previous 7.1 version of its open source CMS, Hippo (news, site) released the new 7.2. It brings bug fixes as well as new functionality focused on giving more control to the end users in regards to managing layouts and document types, and getting new sites up and running faster.

Hippo CMS 7.2, they say, is "the fastest, most stable version yet." Let’s take a look at the release in detail.

Hippo CMS 7.2 and HST

The Hippo Site Toolkit (HST) is an integral part of this release and allows users to:

  1. Control how to assemble web pages in the CMS
  2. Create new document types in an easier fashion
  3. Do document batch processing
  4. Roll back to previous versions, control versions

HST Configuration Editor

With HST configuration editor, Hippo CMS content editors can choose HST components and style sheets, and map content and design URLs when creating new pages.

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URL designer (part of HST configurator in Hippo CMS)

The combination and availability of components on a page can be limited to what a web administrator has enabled. Pages built with the configuration editor are built once, but can be re-used across different compatible platforms, including Apache Jetspeed Portal.

Check out this feature in action in this videocast.

Template Editing

The new Hippo CMS Template editor allows content authors to create document templates, which can be 'nested,' which means they are compound and can consist of several modular template components allowing for wider re-use across websites and web pages.

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Hippo CMS Template Editor with new document type fields

This feature allows end users to exercise more control over various layouts.

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Hippo CMS Template Editor (a.k.a Document Type Selector)

Hippo CMS Batch Processing and Version Control

This new batch workflow allows for publishing and unpublishing of content in a particular folder in batches. An obvious addition to that is the ability to manage version history and roll back to older versions at any time:

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Hippo CMS Revision History

Walking The Line

Other new features in CMS/HST 7.2 include:

  • Project export to allow developers to collaborate
  • Where-used functionality to display documents linked to a particular document to avoid broken links
  • Better IE 7 and IE 8 support, with IE 6 no longer supported
  • UI and image picker refinements
  • Javadoc for external API classes
  • Documentation for creating CMS plug-ins
  • Free text search within documents and assets
  • Better control of URL processing
  • New HST plug-ins: related items suggestions, video portlet and others.

With the previous version released in June of this year and 7.0 in January, Hippo – as some would probably say – is on the right track as far as the frequency of releases goes, if not a little too active. The question here is whether the bug fix to new functionality ratio is also sound.

Too often, we hear CMS users complain that chasing the new features blinds their vendors from supporting/improving the core of their systems. It’s walking the fine line and balancing the two that may propel a vendor forward.

What do you think about 7.2? Share your thoughts in comments below.