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Currently in beta, version 6.5 of Jahia Web CMS (news, site) brings considerable architectural changes to the table with focus on modularity, transition from page-centric to component-centric -- all in a composite content platform.

What you will see in the 6.5 version revolves around these concepts:

  • Composite content platform approach
  • New integrated development environment (IDE) for development and assembly of composites called Jahia Studio
  • Jahia xCM (eXtended Content Management)
  • JahiApps for apps development and integration.

Technology Changes Overview

Quite a few items have changed under the Jahia Web CMS hood. Jahia is now organized in three layers:

  • Jahia Core
  • Jahia Services
  • Jahia Modules

Architecturally, Jahia 6.5 now looks like this:

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Jahia 6.5 architecture
 

Composite Content Platform

Inspired by the modularity of PHP frameworks, Jahia 6.5 aims to provide similar capabilities for the Java world.
 Based on JSR standards, the platform is designed to work as a content application server. New in this release is completed transition to the full JCR architecture.

With that, all content managed in Jahia is stored in one central Java Content Repository based on Apache Jackrabbit. One of the obvious benefits of this is content re-use across multiple channels.

REST API support gives developers the ability to access services, and build custom extensions and dynamic content applications.

Multiple Scripting Support is a new feature that allows developers to code templates by mixing various scripting languages: from PHP, JSP and Velocity to FrameMaker, etc. on the same page if that is desired.

Many of the underlying frameworks used in the product have been updated (e.g. Jackrabbit 2, Spring 2.5.6, Pluto 2.02, etc.). Some new frameworks were introduced, including:

  • JODConcerter
  • Apache Tika
  • Xwiki
  • Apache Shindig
  • jBPM
  • Apache Camel

New IDE

Jahia Studio, the new IDE, is the place where templates are assembled. It includes:

  • A simple JSP skeleton (page structure)
  • Drag&drop of predefined components
  • Access rights preconfiguration at the component level
  • Ability to pre-define content tree structure
  • Restrictions on editable areas
  • Ability to change a template without deploying server side configuration files

New Data Model

With the move to JCR, Jahia CMS repository is set as a tree with content objects as nodes in the JCR. Thus, such dependencies like page > CL > container hierarchy have been resolved. Content objects can be manipulated outside any given context in various amounts of « views » (i.e. renderings) and accesses through an internal API, a REST API, a taglib, etc.

Jahia xCM

Jahia xCM brings together web publishing, portal, social, search, DAM, DM and content management. Aside from a smoother UI experience, business users of Jahia Web CMS will notice:

  • Dedicated workspaces
  • Extensible user profiles (public and private)
  • A dashboard that can display a variety of components such as My tasks, My documents, My groups
  • Activity streams and messaging
  • Collaboration and networking through "My friends" and "My colleagues" functionalities

Workflows have been reworked as well. Workflow is no longer limited to publication and is applicable to a given node and all of its children. Workflow notifications can be sent via e-mail or displayed on a user's dashboard.

For creation of complex workflows, there's now a separate tool. The entire workflow engine is based on jBoss PVM.

Granular workflows include the ability to build a specific workflow per content type.

Jahia CMS now comes in several different modes -- Live, Preview, Edit and Contribute. Contribute Mode is the most simplistic one suitable for casual content contributors.

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Jahia 6.5 edit mode
 

All in all, there's a *lot* going on in this release compared to prior ones. If you want to take a look yourselves, Jahia put up a preview site. Start with this video: