Kentico CMS 4.1 Upgrades Search and Multi-Lingual Features

The release of Kentico (news, site) CMS v4.1 sees a number of upgrades to the Czech ASP.NET-based Web CMS that go beyond the usual bug fixes associated with a one point step-up.

Principal amongst those are an upgraded search engine, enhanced multilingual features and a new interface that enables the easy upload and manipulation of images.

If we don’t sound excited -- or even surprised -- well, that’s what you get for outlining exactly what you are going to include in your next update five months before you do it. Keeping promises is good though. All that really remains is to see whether Kentico CMS 4.1 has everything promised.

Keeping the CMS Promises

In the case of v4.1, the answer would appear to be "yes," although it may be a bit early to say. The release just went out, and as of yet there has been little reaction on Kentico’s blog.

It was as early as March 2009 that Kentico outlined what they hoped would be coming. The principal new features, said founder and CEO Petr Palas at the time, would be a search engine with enhanced speeds and an ability to provide wider and better defined search results.

It would also, he said, contain a document preview that would rank documents in order of relevance based to the initial query.

Also on the wish list was enhanced translation and multilingual abilities. The only thing that needed to be seen in this respect was what features would come on stream in 4.1, as Kentico indicated that this would one area that they would be concentrating on over the next few points upgrades and probably even into 5.x.

And while these were the principal features we were promised, the Kentico community itself came up with another list of 1000 upgrades, features and fixes that they were hoping to get.

Enhanced Kentico CMS 4.1

So what is in Kentico CMS 4.1? Well, it does appear to have the goodies it promised. There is a new search engine, improvements to the image editor, and there are improvements to its language capabilities.

Search Upgrades

Kentico CMS v4.1 comes with a new Smart Search Engine. This full text search engine is based on the open source Apache Lucene for .NET. There are also improvements to the current engine based on SQL. It enables users to incorporate full-text search into a website and includes:

  • Search result ranking
  • Document preview with search results
  • Search filters and customer search queries
  • Ability to define the scope of a search across a given site.

Multilingual Features

The new multilingual abilities were high on the original wish list from Kentico’s user community.

While Palas has indicated that the language abilities of Kentico’s CMS will be an ongoing project, the new abilities in v4.1 focus on document versions of translations, including:

  • Translation tracking, which will track content, its translations, the versions of its translations, or even whether the original content will be, or is intended for translation.
  • Determine what workflow will be used at a given enterprise site depending on the language being used at that site
  • Language-defined permissions that will restrict access to given documents to users working on specific language versions

Side-by-side translation or translation management is expected to come in later versions.

New Image Insertion Dialogs

The new dialogs will simplify inserting of images and links into the text. They will allow you to insert images, video, flash or YouTube videos.

Principal features include:

  • Automatic image resizing through the image resize dialog
  • Automatic insertion of image into text without uploading into system first
  • Automatic resizing of images to pre-determined sizes on upload
  • Large image format displayed with roll-over, if required.

From Kentico CMS 4.0 to 4.1: More to Come

Kentico has been busy recently with more than just new versions of its CMS, the most notable of these projects being the release of its connector for SharePoint. Earlier this year, Kentico launched v4.0. That version added new social networking features like blogs, forums, wikis and message boards.

Petr Palas said at the time that upcoming versions would focus on improving on those features rather than adding new ones and that appears to be what has been delivered here.

Version 4.1 is available for download. There's a 30-day trial, if you want to take this baby on a test drive.