Test Center review: New Day dawns for Web CMS
Day Communique WCM 5.1 impresses with snappy GUI and rich features for business users, easy setup and management for techsFollow @infoworld
Day Software may be best known for its CRX (Content Repository Extreme) Java Content Repository. But after testing the general release of its Communique 5.1 (CQ5) modular CMS, I think it's time to get reintroduced to the rest of what the company offers. This notable Web content manager will impress business users with drag-and-drop page design, in-context content editing, and a component library that includes Flash elements, form builders, and Google Gadget support. And it will impress IT with a nice complement of enterprise bells and whistles -- from integrated BPM to hot backup, disaster recovery, and clustering capabilities.
CQ5, like the previous 4.2 version, is a Java application. However, Version 5.1 has even more open associations. It was completely rewritten around Apache Sling -- a Web application framework that Day incubated and then open sourced. The entirely rebuilt client application now incorporates AJAX components for a great user experience, including drag-and-drop content placement.
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New components, including ready-to-use forms, really speed the development of Web pages. Also, workflow and tagging have been substantially revised. Workflow now includes a full-fledged BPM engine. Plus, there are numerous infrastructure improvements for anyone looking to deploy CQ5 for an enterprise.
Easy from the start
I really think Day redefined the user experience -- and not just for business users. Web developers and system administrators also get to enjoy the principles of Web 2.0.
Consider CQ5's setup: Just double-click a "quick start" JAR file and everything you need is automatically installed, including a repository, virtual repository services, index and search services, workflow services, security (already configured for LDAP integration or Windows single sign-on), and a Web server. Overall, this process required six minutes -- plus another two minutes to fire up the environment and log into the CQ5 application.
The administration screen is logically arranged, providing quick access to the Web Content Management (WCM) application, user rights settings, group security, workflows, enterprise taxonomy, and tagging.
Like the previous versions, the main section of the user interface presents a hierarchical view of your Web sites and pages within each site. But because the interface is AJAX-enabled, I easily dragged and dropped pages betweens sections of the site -- and CQ5 ensured the integrity of links. As expected, when I right-clicked on any page, a context-aware menu appeared.
The new Content Finder, which appears in the left pane when working on a page, represents an important productivity improvement. Behind the scenes, a complex query runs to show things that you might want to add to the page -- perhaps recently uploaded images or documents that you used in the past. Even more impressive, when I installed connectors for Documentum and SharePoint, assets from these systems also appeared. To situate any of these objects on a page, I just dragged them into place.