Squiz Matrix 2014 Summary

19 Dec 2014   By Unknown LDAP User

The end of 2014 marks one of the biggest years for Squiz Matrix with a plethora of new features and improvements. There have also been other changes and milestones surrounding the product such as support, testing, releases, and upgrades.

Highlights

Lets first look at some of the highlights and significant events that happened this year for Matrix.

  • Matrix code management and development was moved from the public CVS repository into Git together with all other Squiz Labs development projects.
  • The old bug tracker got deprecated and management of all bugs and feature requests were moved into Squizmap for further consistency between all of our products.
  • Matrix 5 was finally released which included exciting new features such as conditional content containers, Viper in Admin mode, Marketo Integration Bridge, and a brand spanking new interface for both Admin and Edit modes.
  • Along with the 5.0 release, Matrix also got an official Product Manager appointed meaning Squiz Labs also received a new member into its team, Bart Banda.
  • The release model for Matrix versions changed in order to support more efficient bug releases and more powerful feature releases.
  • Anthony Ponomarkeno joined the Matrix team and Squiz Labs as a dedicated and official user tester and implementation specialist which has resulted in improved stability and quality of our releases.
  • The last version of Matrix 4 was released.
  • Matrix 5.1 was released with over 70 new features including Custom Form editing in Edit+, Google Analytics integration connector and Analytics screen in Edit+, Maintenance Mode, and Dynamic Workflows.
  • Matrix and Edit+ version numbers were combined to make them more integrated as a single product.
  • And once again, Matrix helped Squiz get recognised by Gartner's 2014 Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management, as well as a 'Market Leader' by Ovum.

As you can see, it's been quite a busy year for the Matrix team and product. And if 2014 is anything to go by, 2015 is shaping up to be even bigger, better, and more exciting.

Matrix In 2015

Looking at 2015, here are some of the main things we are already looking at and working on.

Localisation in Matrix is 1 of the big things we are working towards at the moment. Currently we have the Edit+ interface available in Polish, and a massive project is currently under way to do the same for the Admin interface. After support for Polish has been added and bugs fixed and translating functions fine tuned as part of that work, we'll then be able to more easily add further languages with German being the next cab off the ranks. This is all in an effort to make the Matrix product more globally recognised and suitable for International expansion.

Next year we'll also continue our increased focus on the Edit+ interface. We'll be working towards a more integrated solution for installing and enabling Edit+ on a Matrix system. As part of this, we'll also look at merging the Matrix and Edit+ projects together for easier maintenance and management of bugs and features.

Improvements to business areas around Matrix will also get looked at next year. A big part of this will be better methods for us to support our client installations of Matrix when it comes to upgrades (automatic), custom patches, and support tickets. There have already been preliminary discussions about ways we can do this and proof of concept work is currently under way. More details on this will be shared early next year when we are more confident in these proposed solutions and ideas.

Other exciting things are also planned for next year, which we'll be able to talk more about as the early months go by.

5.2

Many of you have asked when Matrix 5.2 is being released, and to all I've more or less responded with "early next year". This is simply because we don't have a set release date yet. We are still working on features for 5.2, but also deciding on what other stuff we want to achieve by that release. As you know, the more stuff we want to put in, the longer it will take. So at this stage it is hard for us to make a cut off because some of the things we want to achieve, are still in the specification stage. We are still figuring out the total effort of a few big items and their feasibility of making it into the next release.

We also don't want to leave ourselves short for testing, and we won't know how long testing will require. It might be smooth sailing, but there might also be a few unknowns which might push things out for us. We are dedicated to making 5.2 the best release possible, and with some of the big ticket items that are going in, testing will be an essential part in making it a success.

What I can say is that we are aiming for a release in late Q1 of 2015, but we'll be able to have a closer ball park estimate after January.

What Are The New Features?

Well, as I previously mentioned, we are still working on the complete feature list for 5.2 and I don't want to make any false promises of things not yet completed. But in saying that, here is a list of big and exciting features already committed and currently in testing or in final stages:

  • Localisation support - As mentioned above, we are rewriting a lot of interface screens to support an improved translation system in Matrix to make localisation support a reality in 5.2. With the help of team Poland, we are currently getting strings translated to Polish as the first supported additional language for Admin mode. Even though all screens and strings might not be 100% translated by release, we'll have the framework in place for continuous implementation of it.
  • Image upload functionality directly into WYSIWYG editing - Previously when writing content in WYSIWYGs in Matrix, you would have to leave your current editing screen to upload a new image to use within your content, and then navigate back to the WYSIWYG editing again. In 5.2, we have improved the insert image plugin to allow you to directly upload an image into Matrix, without leaving the WYSIWYG. There will be an upload button next to the asset picker that will allow you to browse for an image on your computer to upload and use directly within the content. This will provide a more intuitive, faster, and more user friendlier content editing experience for content authors both in Admin and Edit mode.
  • Insert image via Copy & Paste and Drag & Drop - Not only are we enabling direct image uploading in the Edit+ WYSIWYG, but we will also be supporting the ability to copy an image from a Word or Excel document.and paste it directly into the WYSIWYG content. You'll also be able to drag multiple images from an open folder on your local computer, and drop them into the content for immediate use.
  • Preview support for multiple screen sizes - To better support content editing for responsive websites, we've added new preview tools to both Admin and Edit mode which allow you to quickly change the size of the preview window to a pre-defined with and height. This will allow authors to quickly see how their content will look like at all set breakpoints of the design. 5.2 will come with some common default resolutions to take advantage off straight away after an upgrade, but will also offer the ability to configure custom sizes as user preferences. You will also be able to drag & drop the side, bottom, and corner of the preview window to manually set the preview window size.
  • Cloning assets in Edit+ - Cloning is a common practice when working in Admin mode. Until now, it has not been possible in Edit+ without custom plugins. In 5.2, it will be out of the box. When using the Asset Creation Wizard there will be a new option for cloning an existing asset instead of creating a new one from scratch. You will be able to create multiple clones at once, and from multiple sources.

In addition to those, we are currently also working on Content Experiments and Goals for Google Analytics, a Sugar CRM Bridge, Resizing the asset map via drag & drop, and much, much more.

Thanks

Lastly I just wanted to say thanks to all of Squiz for an incredible year. Thanks to Squiz Labs and especially the Matrix team for all their hard work, dedication, and love they have put in towards this product to make it the powerful beast it is today. Thanks also goes out to surrounding business areas that help make Matrix awesome including our Support CRU, Marketing team, Production staff, Training, Sales, and Hosting. The combination of all of these areas in Squiz working together is what makes the product a blazing success to all of our clients and users.

I wish you all a joy filled and safe holiday, and can't wait for bigger and better things in the new year.

Best wishes,
Bart

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