Matrix Newsletter - December 2018

31 Dec 2018   By Bart Banda

It really does feel like it was yesterday that I was writing the December 2017 newsletter, reflecting on the year that was and looking ahead towards a big 2018. However, 12 months has passed and whilst that period doesn't seem like a long time these days, a lot has happened.

2018 was the year of Squiz Matrix 5.5, our latest big release in our never-ending quest of developing the greatest CMS in the world and a big milestone towards Matrix 6.

Whilst a lot of things changed and improved in the product itself, we also made a great deal of adjustments to the way we operate as a development team internally and the way we maintain the code for our products, scripts, and tools. Even though you may not see all of these internal changes, we aim for them to directly impact the way we develop Squiz Matrix and how fast we can release new versions to our users. We hope that this will be reflected in the types of improvements and new features we'll continue to add over the next 12 months.

Speaking of new releases, this year we had a total of 15 new version releases with over 300 new improvements and enhancements spread across the 5.4 and 5.5 branch!

Of course, the biggest release this year was version 5.5, which introduced a much improved Admin UI, the new User Preferences feature, ability to set custom Asset Map root nodes, a brand new Matrix Accelerator Cache extension, PHP 7.1 support, and of course a lot of code cleanup and refactoring.

This year we also said goodbye to Matrix 5.4 as we released 5.4.7.1 which marked the end of active development for that branch and which now has gone into support mode until Nov 2019.

We once again had a strong contribution of product feedback from our user community with over 300 ideas and feature requests raised in our Roadmap tool with over 100 of those either already released or scheduled for development. Next year we're actually also planning on moving to a brand new ideation tool to make it even easier for our customers and users to share feedback and ideas on how we can improve our products.

Over 45,000 users visited the Matrix Community website with Keyword Modifiers, Common Keywords, and Global Keywords pages being the most viewed on the site. Furthermore, over 300 new topics were created in the forums with over 1,300 posts made by our user community.

Early in the year we created a unique Release Notes Generator tool to make it easier for you to see all of the changes and new features that have been released between two specific versions of Squiz Matrix.

A new Deprecations Page was published that lists all of the past and upcoming feature and asset deprecations of Squiz Matrix. Links to this page also started popping up within the interface itself for those features and asset types that have been marked for removal for an upcoming version.

We published a few new tutorials including a guide on how to create a site menu using ESI tags and another one on using Server Side JS with some new keywords to list assets in a new way.

Squiz Summit this year was our biggest and best ever with extremely successful events in Edinburgh, London, Sydney, and Warsaw. You can now check out all of the presentations from each event and the Squiz Matrix related presentations have also been added to the Media section of this site.

Squiz also capped off the year big by launching two new additions to our DXP. The first, a brand new Squiz Marketplace where you can consume and download Squiz Matrix components and templates as well as register your interest for a brand new Squiz offering called Drop-In-Apps. The other, an Integrations Library that lists information on all of the different technologies that you can integrate with using Squiz Matrix or Funnelback.

Once again, we've had another massive year of news, releases, updates, improvements, ideas, discussions, contributions, features, bug fixes, events, knowledge sharing, user engagement, and much more.

We have even more ambitious and exciting plans for 2019 and we're already working on some big changes and improvements to not just Squiz Matrix, but for Squiz product development in general, that we are planning on releasing next year.

This post also marks the end of the monthly Squiz Matrix newsletter as we are retiring this format at the end of this year. We believe there are better ways of sharing product news with you other than a monthly update and we'll be trying some new things in 2019 to ensure that you get filled in with the latest product news, releases, and tutorials with Squiz products in the best way possible.

Finally, on behalf of the Matrix team, I wanted to again say thank you to all of our users, customers, supporters, advocates, enthusiasts, and everyone else for another great year of support and love for the product. We are committed more than ever to take Squiz Matrix to new heights in 2019 and can't wait to bring you all on the journey with us.

Happy new year and we'll see you again in 2019!

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