The team at open source content management system (CMS) SilverStripe has decided to extend their reach beyond content management into multi-purpose application development. SilverStripe has announced it’s decoupling its core framework from the Web CMS platform so that the framework can be used independently to build applications.

SilverStripe as a Development Platform

The SilverStripe Framework, known previously as Sapphire, is an object-oriented PHP5 development platform that reduces the time required to create new applications by providing a common implementation of features like security and server-side caching. Previously, the framework was coupled with the Web CMS platform making it challenging to reuse the framework in other types of applications beyond content management.

 SilverStripe’s framework has a number of features and benefits:

  • Designed from the inception to take full advantage of PHP5 features
  • Object-relational mapper that allows developers to model a database using PHP5 and provides a form for editing the data. The framework can also generate programming interfaces and the database from the PHP5 model.
  • Pre-made form starters (scaffolding) and form fields library to speed form development
  • Module-based architecture designed to make code reuse easier
  • HTML5 and CSS3 template engine that allows template creators to define the user interface without requiring use of PHP5.
  • Pre-implemented software infrastructure like: friendly URLs, security model, caching, internationalization and cross-platform support 

The framework can be installed on a number of server configurations, see the system requirements for framework installation. There is commercial support for the framework via the SilverStripe’s commercial arm SilverStripe, Ltd.

What’s Next for SilverStripe

SilverStripe plans to release the next version of their Web CMS, version 3.0 to alpha in October and the beta prior to Christmas. SilverStripe previously released a preview release on May 2nd. According to SilverStripe representatives, 3.0 will feature user interface, technical architecture, social media and mobile enhancements.

In addition to the enhancements to the CMS and the separation of the development framework, SilverStripe will also rename their site performance monitoring tool from Dawn to SilverStripe Site Monitor. SilverStripe will name the collection of three products the SilverStripe Suite. Branding all of the products under the SilverStripe moniker could serve as an effort to improve name recognition for the product.

We will definitely be watching for the next release of the CMS so we can tell you our thoughts on the newest release.