These capabilities could be used to build any number of Web applications, such as an e-commerce transaction system or a front-end Web interface to some aspect of a back-end scheduling system. "There are all kinds of things you can do," Dexter said.
Joomla is not the first open-source WCM system to separate out its core functionality for re-use in other endeavors. Developers behind the Joomla competitor Drupal also re-architectured their software to fit this model.
"On the plus side, you have the freedom to develop custom applications off the Joomla Platform, leveraging core services like security, database handling, logging, without having to use or getting tied down by the restriction of CMS layer," explained Sanjeev Gupta, an analyst with the Real Story Group, in a blog post on the release. "On the down side, it means two different (albeit related) environments for the all-important Joomla add-ons ... to address. This could complicate compatibility going forward."
The new release also comes with the usual round of bug fixes and a wide range of other new features. This is the first version of the software to feature one-click version updating, where administrators can upgrade their versions of Joomla by clicking a single button. Previous versions required replacing multiple files.
The nonprofit firm Open Source Matters manages the mostly volunteer-led development of the software.