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Sitefinity 3.6 BETA released!

by Ivan Osmak
I am glad to announce that we have managed to ship Sitefinity 3.6 beta today.

 

You can download the installer file, if you wish to install the application from here:
http://www.sitefinity.com/download/sitefinity-3-6-beta/Sitefinity_3_6_1836_standard.exe
or alternatively just the empty project from here:
http://www.sitefinity.com/download/sitefinity-3-6-beta/Sitefinity_3_6_1836_standard_BlankProject.zip

 

We have made the decision to release Sitefinity 3.6 beta, though it has some rough edges, primarily to provide developers with early access to the new backend framework for creating and extending modules. While, we have not been able to transfer all our modules to the new framework (which however, does prove the backward compatibility with the old modules), the framework itself is completed and we do not expect any more changes in that area.

I will post first examples of how to use new framework tomorrow. For the adventurous developers with a knack for Reflector, I’ll mention few classes you may want to check out:
  • Telerik.Cms.Web.UI.Backend.ControlPanel (base control panel class)
  • Telerik.Cms.Web.UI.Backend.CommandPanel (base command panel class)
  • Telerik.Cms.Web.UI.Backend.ProviderControlPanel (base control panel class for modules that support multiple providers)
  • Telerik.Cms.Web.UI.ViewModeControl (the new ueber control on which everything is based – including ControlPanels, command panels, controls etc.).
Basically, when creating modules, you will be creating hierarchy of ViewModeControl based controls. So, for example – GenericControl Panel (control panel of Generic Content module) has following views which all inherit from ViewModeControl:

 

> GenericControlPanel
      > ContentItemsView
            - ContentItemsListView
            - ContentItemNew
            - ContentItemEditView
            - ContentItemHistoryView
            - ContentItemPreviewView
      > CategoriesView
      > TagsView
      > CommentsView
            - CommentsListView
            - CommentsEditView
      > PermissionsView

The cool thing about this new approach is that you can add a child view to any of the views through configuration, which means that if you want to add some functionality to Generic Content module, it is not necessary anymore to override the whole thing – you can simply plug in your view. E.g. you create some kind of analytics control which displays number of times each content item has been seen and you want to add that control to the backend of Generic Content, Blogs, News, Events. Before, you would have to override all those controls and basically reimplement them – apart from the time and complexity of the task it would also present maintenance nightmare with each new upgrade. Now you can simply plug in your control as a view and save yourself a lot of time while making sure upgrades are seamless.

I am sorry that I did not have time to prepare samples for today and please do not take this as a teas. I will make sure that I post several examples of the new implementations over the weekend.
At the end, I will also post release notes and known issues here. On that note… have fun with Sitefinity 3.6 beta.

Release notes

We have decided to release beta version of Sitefinity 3.6, even though it still has some rough edges, primarily to expose the new backend architecture to module developers. The framework has been completed and we do not expect any changes in this area in the official release.

Sitefinity 3.6 beta is released only in a standard edition built against .NET 3.5 framework. The official release will feature all editions built against both, .NET 2.0 and .NET 3.5 frameworks.

Sitefinity 3.6 beta does NOT work under medium trust. Official release will support medium trust environment as well.

We do NOT recommend using Sitefinity 3.6 beta in production environment.

New features

 

  • Embedded Templates
    Framework, including the new template parser has been implemented, however in version 3.6 beta only templates for Generic Content, Lists and Polls modules have been embedded. In official release all templates will be embedded. Configuration file for mapping controls to an external templates is provided in App_Data – in Sitefinity 4.0 graphical user interface will be available as well.
  • New backend framework
    New backend framework for rapid development of custom modules and simpler extending of the built-in modules has been implemented. In 3.6 beta only Generic Content, Lists and Polls have been transferred to the new framework. In the official release all built-in modules will be transferred to the new framework.
  • Client side data binding on the backend
    Generic Content module grid for displaying content items has been modified to use very fast and responsive client side databinding. In the official release, we will provide client side data binding for all Generic Content based grids.
  • Dynamic Links
    Ability to use dynamics links in editors of all Generic Content based modules and Generic Container control has been added. This feature provides link integrity even if the url to a page or a document changes.
  • Caching substitution controls
    Base classes for implementing cache dependent controls. These base classes allow controls ability to be dynamic even when on a cached page.
  • Hierarchical categories
    With this new feature it is possible to implement hierarchy on categories, where one category can be a parent to one or more child categories. When browsing by categories, users will see all content categorized in the given category or one of its child categories.
  • RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX Q3 2008 SP2
    RadControls have been updated to the latest service pack.
  • Video Library Support using RadMediaPlayer for Silverlight
    included in Sitefinity v.3.6 on .NET 3.5 only.
  • Amazon S3 Data Provider
    Data provider for Video Libraries using Amazon S3 for data storage and streaming.

 

Known issues


Dynamic Links

 

  • Don’t work for Lists, Forums and Newsletter

Generic Content module

  • Status and workflow of content items are not functioning correctly
  • When changing the providers, an exception will occur if providers are changed while an item in current provider is opened
  • Links from the dashboard to the Generic Content module (e.g. Create new content item, activity items) are not working
  • Generic Content is not working with wildcard mapping enabled
  • "Create new item” button is not hidden if user does not have permissions to create items, however user will not be able to create a new item due to security exception
Hierarchical categories
  • When you modify the parent category, child categories will move up to the parent’s level

Lists module

  • Rotating lists mode does not behave correctly
  • In Expandable lists module, “Expand all” link does not work correctly
  • When Permissions are displayed, the All Lists link in the Command Panel is also selected.

Pages

  • History window will not refresh after
  • History does not work when localization is turned on

News module

  • Thumbnail selector is not working
  • Time is missing from publication and expiration dates selectors
  • Permissions java script error prevents from clicking on “deny” checkbox

Polls module

  • Cannot delete empty questions
  • The All Polls command does not work properly after filtering the polls (by date or by current user) i.e. it still displays the filtered result instead of all polls.

New Backend infrastructure

  • Breadcrumb links does not work
  • Automatic command panel building does not produce correct command names
  • Command parameter does not get automatically cleared when not needed anymore

Video control

  • In Internet Explorer after numerous maximizing and restoring the control, control will eventually cause Java Script error and page will need to be refreshed

Upgrade

  • Sitefinity 3.5 at this moment cannot be upgraded to Sitefinity 3.6

Images and Documents

  • Uploading more than one item will cause Java Script error
  • Permissions do not work for multiple providers

Other issues

  • TIU sample site does not work in Sitefinity 3.6 beta
  • Sitefinity 3.6 beta does not work under medium trust

 


5 comments

Leave a comment
  1. Jules E. Jan 23, 2009
    What is the ETA on a release date for 3.6?
  2. Gabe Sumner Jan 23, 2009
    >  I will make sure that I post several examples of the new implementations over the weekend.

    You need to relax and have a weekend my friend.  :)

    Congrats on the BETA release!  I know the team is working really hard on this.  I'm looking forward to playing with the new bits.
  3. ROMI Jan 24, 2009
    Many Thanks for All Team members for this new version. ?
    Please make some Video and step by step for better understanding new implementation of Module developement. Waiting ansious!.

    Could you add some ajax features. After work from initial v3 we need more diversity and demostrating the powerfull of this cms under ajax as well. Please less callback and more ajax!, the way is big open now, you can!.
     
    Congratulations.
  4. Andrei Jan 27, 2009
    Hi, how big is the wave of bug reports? What is the expected waiting time for an aswer when reporting a bug?

    Thanks
  5. Kevin Hillinger Feb 06, 2009
    Really excited at this new design for modules, since it's very similar to what I did for the modules I created already and wasn't that happy with the fact that I had to build my own structure to make module construction worth while.

    Awesome!

    Leave a comment