Today open source content management system provider Joomla! announced its latest release, version 1.7, which includes a number of productivity, architecture and security improvements that the very large Joomla! (news, site) community requested.

Joomla Improves Ease of Use and Security

Joomla!’s latest release fully embraces the spirit of open source. The features in version 1.7 are based on the feedback from over 2 million posts and almost 500,000 forum members as well as data collected from Joomla! extensions. The release includes an impressive number of new enhancements such as:

  • One Click Version Updating -- This enhancement not only makes upgrades faster but can also improve CMS security because users are more likely to perform upgrades


New One-Click Update

  • Pre-Defined Search Options -- Improves search effectiveness for end users by allowing developers to define options that automatically complete search fields in the user interface
  • Automatic Form Data Validation -- Improves security by protecting against malicious input from forms
  • Automatic Article Categories -- Improves productivity for administrators by allowing site administrators to restrict the articles users post to a defined set of categories
  • Improved Multi-Lingual Support --  Language packs now support selecting the best font for the language without additional user intervention


Improved Multi-Lingual Support (Chinese)

  • Architectural Decoupling -- The core Joomla! libraries have been separated from the CMS core. This will enable use of the Joomla! platform to be used in other types of development projects without requiring deployment of the entire CMS platform.

Joomla! has also included more extensive code samples for building custom extension in the release and improved security by alerting users to remove the installation directory once the install is complete.

New Development Lifecycle

In addition to the new features, the Joomla! team is now following a six-month, time based release cycle.  According to Joomla!, releases will be in development for six months and then be retired one month after the next release.  However, long-term support will last for 15 months starting with the next release, 1.8. A fixed delivery cycle is unusual for an open source project that typically releases based on feature completion instead of time. Fixed delivery cycles, however, allow organizations to better plan upgrade operations. The move may give Joomla! an edge over other CMS options in enterprises with a strong focus on operations planning.

Have you had a chance to look at the new version of Joomla!? We would love to know your thoughts.