Introducing Crafter CMS 2.5 Community

We’re very excited to announce the release of Crafter CMS Community version 2.5.0! This release of Crafter delivers a brand new authoring interface and a new Crafter Studio architecture in addition to a number of other features, enhancements and bug fixes that are sure to help your team create and deliver more engaging digital experiences! Here is a quick summary of what’s new:

Updated Authoring Interface

Crafter Studio, Crafter CMS’s authoring component just got a facelift and a major upgrade.  Let’s walk through a number of the changes:

 

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Modernized Look and Feel

The first thing you will notice when you log in to Crafter Studio is a brand new look and feel.  2.5.x does not drastically change the basic navigation of the application but the interface is cleaner and more modern.  We’ve also begun to transition our Studio interface code to Angular JS.

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Internationalized Interface

We’ve also added internationalization support for the Studio interface. New translation packages for the application are easy to produce and install.
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Improved In-Context Editing

The easier it is to identify and quickly make content changes to your pages and components, the more engaging content and experiences your team can create.  In Crafter CMS 2.5 we’ve updated the in-context editing to make it faster to set up and easy to use.
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Improved Drag and Drop

We’ve also improved drag and drop.  The interface is cleaner, more beautiful and authors now have better categorization and organization of their available widgets.

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Improved Code Editing

Now it’s easier than ever to update your scripts and templates in Crafter CMS.  We’ve improved our code editor with a more functional, full screen code editing experience and our new code templates make coding easier and faster.

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New Project Blue prints

Crafter Studio 2.5 also ships with a number of new Project Blue Prints that provide examples and help you get up and running with your project quickly.

  • The Pluton Theme which demonstrates how Crafter easily supports any kind of markup or responsive design framework
  • The Angular JS Example Memory application which demonstrates how Crafter is a perfect platform for content as a service, single page applications and Component based content.

Improved Architecture

In previous versions of Crafter Studio, our authoring tools were an extension of the Alfresco Share application and integrated with in-process Alfresco services.  In this release we moved Studio to it’s own independent application. Now communication takes place with the underlying repository through an abstraction layer and over CMIS for Alfresco.  This allows us to continue to provide a deep integration with repositories like Alfresco but to manage the lifecycle and upgrade of Studio independently.

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Improved Engine and Development Capabilities

Crafter Engine, the dynamic content delivery server in Crafter CMS continues to improve and impress. As many of you know Crafter Engine is by far, the fastest and most scalable dynamic content delivery server on the planet. It’s used to run many of the world’s largest web properties, mission critical portals and apps.  With Crafter 2.5 we’ve made some changes that will make the development of your sites, applications and other digital content applications so fast and easy it will blow your mind.

Server Side Scripting

featured-Groovy-3MIn our 2.4 release we introduced a Groovy scripting capability that along with Freemarker templates enable developers to write and deploy applications and RESTful services very quickly without heavy deployment.

Many developers in the Java space that are looking for the power and flexibility of the MEAN stack are finding Crafter Engine’s Spring MVC, Groovy and built in MongoDB integration a much better solution than switching out their application tier for Node.js and the Javascript language on the server. They know Spring, they know Groovy, it’s tried, true and there is no comparison performance-wise. Crafter Engine blows Node.js out of the water.

In Crafter 2.5 we’ve continue to improve our scripting capabilities. Building on our ability to script page, component and RESTful service controllers we’ve added support for interceptors (Servlet Filter like functionality) and scheduled tasks. AWESOME!  While you will always be able to create Java backed Spring beans, with Crafter Engine 2.5 there’s almost nothing you can’t do in script.

Support for GIT, SVN and Other Source Code Repositories

Developers love Crafter Engine because it’s fast, familiar and easy to develop for.  With the 2.5 release, development just got EVEN BETTER.  With 2.5.x we support full development of your applications and websites on top of GIT and other source code repositories.  Developers simply point Crafter Engine to their Source Code Management (SCM) check out location and start working.  Every change is tracked and shared with the team by SCM.

This is useful for any kind of application development but it’s AMAZING for WCM and digital experience projects.  The developer/designer vs author split has long been a huge point of pain for web teams of all sizes.  Everyone wants to use the tools that are best for them.  Crafter CMS now bridges this divide in a simple, beautiful way that lets developer and authors each use the workflows and tools that are best suited to their needs.  It’s powerful, it’s elegant and only Crafter can do it.
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Easy to Install and Setup!

Installing enterprise software can be tough.  With Crafter CMS 2.5 we’ve simplified our packaging and made the installation as simple as downloading and opening a zip file.  It doesn’t matter if you are installing on Windows, Linux, or OSX, it’s all the same simple install.  Give it a try!

Alfresco 5 Support

Crafter CMS adds support for the latest version 5.x of Alfresco’s open source, enterprise-class content repository.  Alfresco is the leading open source content repository in the world and continues to improve year over year.  Our architectural work in 2.5 enables us to more easily provide deep integration with Alfresco and certification.

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Crafter is the award-winning Web content and experience management solution that allows leading enterprises to build personalized digital experiences across all online channels. To learn more about the open source Crafter CMS project, connect with our community and download Crafter CMS 2.5.0 here.

The Enterprise Edition of Crafter CMS, which includes commercial licenses, production support, cloud offerings and integration services, is available through Crafter Software and its certified partner network.

10 Things You Should Know About Crafter CMS

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Over the last year Crafter Software has collected the top ten FAQs we most commonly receive from enterprises looking to invest in a modern Web Content Management solution. Each question is essential for any enterprise looking into a new WCM solution and the answers below reveal how Crafter CMS works to enable highly personalized digital experiences.

Crafter CMS Top FAQs Answered

1. Where is content stored?

Crafter Software was built on the award winning Alfresco ECM platform as the first and only fully integrated WCM solution for Alfresco.

2. What types of page templates are supported, and how are templates created?

Crafter supports all types of templates. Templates are coded in Freemarker and are created and managed in the CMS. Crafter allows multiple templates for any given item.

3. Is the UI easy to use for non-technical content authors?

Crafter CMS makes it very easy for non-technical authors to create, edit and manage content with drag-and-drop site design, in-context editing and multi-channel preview.

4. Does the CMS support multi-channel publishing (web, mobile, tablet)?

Yes! Crafter supports multi-channel publishing and offers a multi-channel preview so you can view what content edits will look like in iOS and Android before publishing right out of the box! Crafter CMS supports responsive mobile, adaptive mobile, and native mobile app approaches.

5. Does the CMS integrate with back-end systems like CRM, analytics, eCommerce, and Social Media?

Yes! Crafter integrates seamlessly with most best of breed back-end business solutions like Salesforce.com, Marketo, Hubspot, Omniture, Google Analytics, along with multiple language translation & e-commerce platforms.  Crafter Social makes it very easy to add social capabilities to your website, such as user-generated comments, likes, ratings, blogs, discussion forums and more!  Crafter Profile supports user profiles, and integration with social login, and third-party single sign-on systems.

6. Can administrators configure different types of user accounts and permissions that will limit their ability to view/edit specific types of content or specific sections of a piece of content?

Yes! Crafter gives you full control to create specific roles with specific access at each level of the information architecture within each web project. User activity can be fully monitored, including each user sign-in and all content interactions. Also, user activity can be audited by date and time of activity, type of activity and activity targets.

7. What types of content are supported? (video, .pdf, audio files, xml and binary downloads)?

Crafter supports all types of content and can be integrated with any media player.

8. Does the CMS offer language translation? What languages are supported?

Crafter supports language translation model and workflow. Crafter integrates seamlessly with most translation platforms and supports all languages.

9. Does the CMS support both simple and complex workflow?

Yes! Crafter supports both simple and complex workflows. Complex workflows are modeled via a graphical interface and executed in the workflow engine.

10.  What is the difference between your open source Community Edition, your on-premise Enterprise Edition, and your SaaS-based Cloud Edition? Are there any limitations?

Crafter CMS is developed and licensed under an open source license (GPL v3). The software features for all Editions are exactly the same.  However, the Enterprise and Cloud Editions provide you with:

  • Commercial License

  • Production Support

  • Certified builds for the full set of supported stacks (Community is tested on a limited set of databases, browsers, etc.)

  • Access to upgrades and patches (security, etc.)

  • Ability to engage Crafter Certified Partners for implementation services

  • Fully managed service (Crafter Cloud Edition)

Looking to learn how Crafter CMS can help your enterprise? Email us at info@craftersoftware for details.

 

Crafter Software Announces Annual Global Partner Awards

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Crafter Software recently announce our first annual global partner awards.  These awards recognize outstanding performance of System Integrator and Technology Partners. Partners are selected based on demonstrated excellence in the areas of customer satisfaction, innovation and open source community involvement.

“Crafter Software experienced over 200% growth in sales in 2014, in large part due to our exceptional partner ecosystem,” said Russ Danner, VP of Products at Crafter Software. “Crafter CMS is chosen by many of the world’s top brands for building next generation customer experiences because of its ease of use and its unique architecture. Our partners are instrumental in helping our customers quickly identify and implement innovative solutions that drive great customer experiences and better bottom line results.”

The following companies are recipients of the Crafter Software Partner Awards for 2014.

North America Partner of the Year Award: Rivet Logic
“Today’s content, data and user experience challenges require a new approach,” said Alaaeldin El-Nattar, Executive Vice President of Client Services at Rivet Logic. “Crafter CMS is the most modern open source and SaaS platform of its kind. Crafter enables our team of experts to deliver truly engaging websites, sleek mobile applications, and rich multi-channel digital experiences for our clients.”

EMEA Partner of the Year Award: Sourcesense
“Crafter CMS enables Sourcesense to meet the need for a full suite of WCM and ECM capabilities for large, high profile organizations throughout Europe” said Massimo Massacesi, Partner & Alliances Director of Sourcesense.

Crafter Enterprise Innovator Award: Blue Fish Development Group
“Crafter’s WCM architecture and integration with enterprise content management makes it possible to deliver a wide range of content solutions to our clients – including traditional websites, e-commerce, portal and other content oriented applications on premise or in the cloud.” said Jeff Philipp, CEO, Blue Fish Development Group.

Crafter Cloud Innovator Award: Tribloom
“It is no secret that many CIOs are moving their business systems to the cloud. Crafter Software’s SaaS and hybrid solutions provide a high ROI and allow organizations to focus their resources on what matters most to their business. Crafter Cloud is leading the way for the future of web content management.” said Michael McCarthy, CTO, Tribloom.

Crafter CMS’s award-winning web content and experience management solution, paired with our partners’ specialized experience in modern open source and cloud implementations, has helped leading enterprises reclaim freedom over their websites, mobile applications and multi-channel digital experiences.

To learn more about our exceptional partners visit our Partner Page.

Content.gov 2015 Recap: Taking Back Control Over Content

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Content.gov 2015 brought together industry experts, IT leadership and developers with extensive implementation experience who gathered to exchange ideas and explore best practices on managing content and documents digitally. Attendees learned from experts with extensive practical experience garnered from large real-world enterprise content management implemented into the public sector.

“Document management done well can bring order to an increasing volume of electronic documents, help organizations meet legal and regulatory compliance requirements, and reduce paper documentation.” Apoorv Durga, Analyst, Real Story Group.

This event showcased the undeniable growth of content and how new opportunities can emerge, especially in the public sector. One example illustrating this is the large growing number of content, documents and processes moving online. The government has the perfect opportunity now to build a better work environment through a modern, user-friendly and collaborative multi-channel application that allows for faster, convenient access to the growing volume of content. This approach will enable the public sector to become more effective and efficient, in organizing, securing, processing, and locating all of their content.

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Russ Danner, VP, Products, Crafter Software

Each year Alfresco’s Content.gov conference attracts leading vendors in the enterprise content management  space.  Crafter Software sponsored the event to share our expert knowledge on Web Experience Management solutions, and to demo Crafter CMS – our modern award-winning Web CMS platform solution for Alfresco, that allows organizations to build and manage rich online experiences on the web, mobile, social, and all digital online channels.

At the start of the event, attendees sat and listened to the to the first talk on “Modernizing Today’s Business” by Doug Dennerline, CEO at Alfresco. During his speech, Mr. Dennerline pointed out how enterprises can benefit in a number of ways by having all of their content stored digitally and located in one centralized place.

Next up were keynote speeches from Directors, Senior Architects, Program Managers, CIOs and VPs, with one common mission in mind: to show how companies can gain control over their content with a digital solution.

Lisa Haralampus, Director of the Federal Records Management Policy Section, Office of the Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government, NARA, was truly passionate about document management. Her talk emphasized how large the government can be and made a simple point to explain that a one size fits all approach does not fit all in the public sector. She also conveyed the need to archive and classify all of the nations important documents and communications within National Archives and Records Administration. This is where Alfresco helps to solve this issue with their simple, smart and secure technology allowing the NARA to enforce the policies of Managing Government Records Directive in a way that is secure and easy, allowing stakeholders to access information across all departments.

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Candid shot of the Executive Panel Discussion

At the conclusion of keynote speeches, Alfresco and FedScoop held an executive panel discussion to answer questions and address key topics in the IT Government community related to solutions to manage all documents and content in a digital solution.

Event Summary: Intimate event hosted by Alfresco with ample time to talk with industry experts, IT leadership, developers and vendors, about enterprise content management in the public sector. Plus, the great location and food made for a relaxed learning environment.

Like to learn more about enterprise and web content management in the public sector? Check out Crafter CMS or email us at info@craftersoftware.

 

Three Reasons to Attend Content.gov 2015

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Crafter Software is excited to announce our sponsorship of Alfresco’s Content.gov Conference in Washington DC on March 24th 2015!

Join us at Content.gov 2015 and meet with industry experts, IT leadership and developers with extensive implementation experience to exchange ideas and explore best practices for enterprise content management in the public sector.

Here are 3 Reasons why you need to be at Content.Gov 2015!

#1: Intimate Access to Industry Experts and IT Leaders

Content.gov boasts an exclusive list of speakers and vendors, offering attendees a perfect forum to network with one-another and industry leaders. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity for face-to-face access to the industry’s best and brightest and a chance to learn about today’s best practices and emerging trends in enterprise and web content management.

#2: Leading Vendors and Product Exhibition

Each year Content.gov attracts leading vendors in the digital experience and enterprise content management space. The vendor exhibition is a  great resource for attendees to discover new solutions and meet technical experts.

While you are there, stop by the Crafter Software booth! Meet our team, see a demo of Crafter CMS, our award-winning web content management platform for Alfresco, and sign up to win a prize in our raffle!

#3: Fun Location

Content.gov 2015 will be hosted at the Newseum, positioned between the White House and the U.S. Capitol. This impressive museum invites visitors on an interactive journey to explore journalism’s history through historic artifacts, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, hands-on exhibits and much more!

We look forward to meeting you in DC!

Click here to register for this event and meet top IT government leaders.

Introducing Crafter CMS 2.4.0

We’re excited to announce the release of Crafter CMS version 2.4.0! This release of Crafter delivers a number of exciting features as well as small enhancements and bug fixes that are sure to help your team create and deliver more engaging digital experiences! Here is a quick summary of what’s new: Continue reading

Happy New Year! Are You Ready for 2014 and The Era of Engagement?

It’s a new year.  Time for introspection and change! Your customers changed a long time ago.  They are now living in the “Era of Engagement”, online all the time and wherever they go.  Consumers are also more informed than ever before and have the ability to connect, share and collaborate directly with their vendors and each other.  Leading companies are leveraging this changing landscape to create exceptional customer experiences and build brand loyalty. As more and more companies move to adapt, consumer expectations are changing such that experiences like mobile readiness and social media engagement that were novel in years leading up to 2013 are now a must-have in 2014. Are you ready? We’ve got some great ideas for you to help you get up to speed for the era of engagement in this new year.

Ok, you’re ready for some change! Right?!  Now, where to start?  One thing to keep in mind is that all organizations are unique. Each organization is at a different level of maturity and sophistication when it comes to the digital experience they offer their customers. Some organizations are very early on in the maturity model and are just trying to get to a place that’s easy for authors to create and maintain fresh content while other organizations are fairly advanced and are working to bring different parts of the organization like marketing, sales and execution together to deliver memorable consistent experiences.  No matter where your organization is at, one thing we all have in common is a need for the proper architecture for the era of engagement.

Here are five foundational aspects of any content management architecture designed for success in 2014 and beyond:

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Twitter is Powered by Java and Open Source

“Inside Twitter engineering we prefer things to be open rather than closed”

Christopher Fry, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Twitter

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According to Computer World, to eliminate disruptions and infrastructure problems while scaling up its service, Twitter has turned to Java and open source software.

With the hyperbolic growth of the company, their initial architecture was unable to handle the onslaught of messages. Twitter started out in 2006 by using a monolithic Ruby on Rails server rather than a distributed platform. The number of service disruptions eventually got out of control, and trying to improve the system by throwing more servers at the problem was no longer a solution.

Twitter processes about 6,000 messages a second, adding up to more than 500 million messages per day or about 3.5 billion a week.

Some of Twitter’s key decisions that has allowed them to scale out while increasing reliability has been a commitment to using Java (and a distributed, service-oriented architecture) and using open source software, which includes Apache Mesos.

According to Fry, there’re many benefits of open source software. “One is obviously that you end up building quality into the product because it’s very transparent, everybody sees what’s happening.  And then you get contributions back into the project, so then you can create a platform on which people can build new things and you can bring them back into the company”. See more of the interview at WIRED.

Chris Aniszczyk, Twitter’s head of open source computing at LinuxCon Europe in Edinburgh, mentioned: “One of the lessons Twitter learned is that basing its infrastructure on open source is a good idea” “That is where you find the best software these days”.

Proving yet again that smart businesses with business-critical apps turn to Java and open source software, not only to avoid service disruptions, but also for better security, pricing, flexibility, scalability and productivity, among others.

Learning Crafter

The following Guest Blog was written by Chris Paul, Software Engineer, Tribloom Inc.

Earlier this month I attended a training course for Crafter CMS, the open source Web content management system. In this post, I discuss my motivations for taking the training, highlights, and my impressions.

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