Magnlioa CMS Blooms at Supersonic Speed with V. 4.0
Magnolia’s here with another release. Magnolia 4.0  is the fourth generation of the Java-based web content management system and brings with it a whole mess of template related pizzazz.

In addition to production-ready functionality, Magnolia’s latest release delivers content presentation that follows accessibility guidelines, is search-engine optimized and introduces support for mobile devices.

Stop and Smell the Flowers

With the new release, Magnolia (news, website) boasts that managing the layout of one or multiple websites is as simple and yet as sophisticated as managing content. Designers and programmers using the platform now have full control over the look and feel of content input and output interfaces within both the front and back-end through the browser-based administration interface. Users can also put their design skills to the test by building custom website designs on top of the new Magnolia Standard Templating Kit.

"With Magnolia 4.0 we have reached our goal of further simplifying the development process of Web site layouts as well as keeping control of design maintenance in a professional way,” says Magnolia CTO Boris Kraft. "This is not only true for a site's front-end displayed to regular visitors, but also true for the back-end, where Magnolia 4.0 allows users to modify or add input interfaces for content authors with a few clicks in its administration interface."


The most hyped new feature in 4.0 is what Magnolia calls Supersonic Templating. ‘Supersonic’ because, As Kraft puts it, “You can create custom, feature-rich and pixel-perfect websites faster than you can fly from Paris to New York.”

Supersonic Templating is brought to you by the support for a new templating language called Freemarker in addition to templating in Java Server Pages (JSP). Freemarker enables the storage of templates in the repository which in turn allows them to be put under version and access control (three cheers for workflow!).

Learning Opportunities

Additionally, that Freemarker doesn't depend on Java means users can write templates without knowing Java. Newcomers to Magnolia can now begin getting familiar with the platform without feeling intimidated, and veterans can breathe a little easier known their maintenance efforts will be significantly reduced.

Here is a quick look at some other new features:

  • New web forms module
  • New templates management module
  • New Multi-Site module (Enterprise Edition)
  • Enhanced email module
  • Access control, workflows, automated backups for design elements
  • Follows Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG2 and Germany's BITV)
  • Incorporates Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practice
  • XHTML-conformant page templates with table-less CSS layout
  • Smart view-port detection to provide optimal browsing experience on any device, including mobile devices such as the iPhone

They’re in a Good Place

Kraft addresses the economic downturn on his blog with almost unheard of optimism. He shows confidence in Magnolia’s new features and their ability to carry the company through 2009 with more success than they had in 2008.

Reporting that his team of workers is “happy but not complacent,” however, speaks to the truth that there is always room for improvement. Good news for their users is Magnolia doesn’t seem to mind the work it takes to fill that never-ending void.