Hippo CMS 7.3 Updated With Faceted Navigation, Surf-and-Edit

With Europe being under heavy snow this winter, the NL-based makers of Hippo CMS (news, site) seemed to have many cold days to concentrate on the next release as opposed to spending their time ice skating on Amsterdam's canals. Here's what's new in the recently released Hippo CMS 7.3.

The latest Hippo CMS 7.3 brings several new features and improvements, continuing to focus on giving more control to content editors over the presentation layer straight from the Web CMS interface and ease of use.

Highlights of Hippo CMS 7.3

In addition to the revamped search, which now is part of the navigation area in the UI, here are some of the new features in the open source Hippo CMS 7.3:

  • Faceted navigation allowing content editors to find and “slice and dice” content.
  • Surf-and-edit feature with which editors can click an edit button in the preview site, which will lead them to the exact location of that item in the CMS, eliminating the need to search or browse the content structure.
  • Ability to build web forms from the CMS interface.
  • Ability to specify SEO-friendly URLs.
  • New rule-based replication process.

Faceted Navigation

With Hippo CMS 7.3’s new faceted navigation content authors and external users have a different view and access to the content repository.

Hippo Facets.png
Hippo CMS Facets

Users now have the option of browsing content and drilling down through it based on specific combinations of tags and keywords, which can come in handy in undefined and unstructured browsing structures.


In 7.3, Hippo CMS users can preview unpublished content in context to check exactly how it’s going to look like in the live environment post publishing. In this view, editors can use the new 'surf-and-edit' feature that allows them to jump directly to a specific piece of content in the CMS. Afterwards, they can click the “edit” button and edit content in the same interface.

Developers can add logic to their JSPs and associate content with corresponding links that allows the user to jump to a certain document in the CMS to edit the content.

Web Forms

Catching up with many other in the Web CMS market, Hippo CMS now features the ability to build Web forms within the content management system.

Hippo Forms.jpg
Hippo Web Forms

Web forms are treated like any other content type in Hippo: they can be published, version-controlled and re-used across different pages. In Hippo CMS, editors can create composite documents by including references to other documents. Since a form is a document too, they can be re-used anywhere within Hippo, said Arje Cahn, Hippo’s CTO.

SEO-Friendly URLs

Still chasing after SEO and graces from Google et al? Now, you can do “pretty” URLs (as Hippoids call them) in Hippo CMS 7.3, a friendly URL is automatically generated based on the document name that was specified by the user.

Hippo URLs.jpg
SEO-Friendly URLs in Hippo

There’s also a capability of manually changing the URLs.

Smart Replication

Administrators using Hippo CMS can now chose and automatically replicate subsets of content to repositories running in a distributed environment. Check out more info on replication here.

HST 2.04.04 Updates

Hippo Site Toolkit (HST) saw some love as well in this release. You will see flexible exception-based error page handling, canonical URLs, context-aware linking, support for Freemarker Template Engine and architectural improvements among many other changes.

Feeling Like an Upgrade?

Since version 7.3 was expected in the fall of 2009 (per Hippo’s roadmap of 4 scheduled releases per year) you’re probably anxious to try out the new goodies. Head right over here for the upgrade instructions, do your homework and check out any know issues before you upgrade to 7.3 in your DEV environment. Then, tell us what you think about the new release in the comments.