A week ago, we've released Sitefinity 3.1 BETA and now in the dawn of the final release, let's take a look at what has been introduced in version 3.1. Instead of seeping cocktails on the beach, we’ve been working really hard during the summer and here are the results.
Apart from our constant efforts to add out-of-the-box functionality (like forums in this version), we had two main goals: a) make Sitefinity simpler and b) add some more advanced features to the existing functionality. Obviously, we have been fixing bugs as well.
New out-of-the box features
“Forums” is a new pluggable module. We’ve been asked about this module quite a lot, so finally here it is. The module is simple to use and efficient. The module has one public control, appropriately named “Forums”, so it’s all pretty straightforward.
The search in Sitefinity is another feature we’ve been asked about many times that made it to the version 3.1. It’s based on extremely fast and efficient Lucene.net engine. With search you can create multiple indexes if you prefer, than later aggregate them in larger index and all this from Sitefinity admin area. In addition to this, you can create individual indexes for modules. All in all, some pretty cool stuff in search.
Making Sitefinity simpler for end user
We completely understand that in order to make you happy, we also need to make your clients – the end users – happy as well. Thus, we’ve invested a lot of time and effort in order to make Sitefinity simpler. When creating a new project, we’ve introduced the possibility to create a project from a template (personal or company), as well as providing more ready to use themes. Following the same idea, we’ve also started to create very simple and user friendly control designers. This we have started for the most popular public controls: Image, NewsList, PostsList and Lists, however you can expect more of this goodness in the future.
If you have given 3.1 beta try, you may have also noticed the new slick page edit mode – overly. Apart from being infinitely cool (at least in my humble opinion), it allows users to easily focus on the part of page they are working on.
Improving already existing functionality
The major improvements can be seen in the RSS functionality. Though we had an implementation of RSS in previous versions, the new RSS feed service sets the bar much higher. Creating various feeds is now easily achievable through Sitefinity administration area UI and in turn created feeds can be simply chosen by the public RSS control.
Being a blogger myself, I’ve been frustrated with the lack of categories in tags just as the next guy. This frustration has also come to an end. In Sitefinity 3.1 all generic content based modules (Generic Content, News, Blogs) have the ability to take advantage of Tags & Categories.
Developers familiar with Sitefinity will also notice some new controls in page designer. Among those are the login controls, which can be used for creating web pages that require some form of membership. Along these lines, a new improvement is also that support for multiple membership providers has been introduced.
That is all for this introductory post. I will go in detail about some of the mentioned topics in future posts.