Squiz Matrix 5.5 Released

27 Sep 2018   By Bartek Banda

It is with great pleasure that we can finally announce that version 5.5 of Squiz Matrix has officially been released and is now available for installations and upgrades.

Release highlights:

  • Significantly Improved Admin UI/UX - Many UI and UX improvements and enhancements for the Admin interface to make interactions with screens and elements easier, faster, more intuitive, and more enjoyable to use
  • User Preferences - Ability for users logged into the Admin interface to have personalised preferences for controlling various aspects of the interface
  • Custom Asset Map Root Nodes - A new preference option for users to set customised Asset Map root nodes in order to have shortcuts to different areas of the CMS
  • Matrix Accelerator Cache Support - Support for a brand new accelerator caching layer which is designed to make caching easier to manage and more effective meaning much faster performing web pages and ability to let you cache multiple versions of the same page URL for different user groups
  • Refactoring and Deprecations - Refactoring of a lot of backend code for improved stability and future development as well as deprecation and removal of old assets and features to reduce complexity and improve usability and maintainability
  • PHP 7.1 Support - Ability to run Squiz Matrix on a more stable, powerful, and faster version of PHP

Make sure you check out the full release notes to see the full list of new features, improvements, and changes.

Please also read on to get informed on important changes that are part of this release.

Deprecations

This version of Matrix contains several deprecations of asset types and features that are important to be aware of when upgrading your system. To help you get ready for an upgrade to 5.5 and how to handle all of these deprecations, we have developed a brand new Deprecation Script that is available for all Squiz customers. Please get in contact with your Squiz account manager for more information and how to use this script to start preparing for an upgrade. More documentation on this deprecation script will be published on the Squiz Matrix Manuals in the coming weeks.

Matrix Accelerator Cache

5.5 is the first version of Squiz Matrix that adds official support for Matrix Accelerator Cache. This is a brand new caching extension that is available to all Squiz clients and can be used as a replacement caching layer technology for Squid or Varnish. This will also be the default caching layer used for all new Squiz cloud hosted Matrix systems moving forward. We'll also be publishing more information about this new caching extension on the website soon.

CentOS 7 stack

When upgrading to version 5.5, we strongly encourage you to upgrade your software stack OS to CentOS 7. This is Squiz's new recommended server OS for Squiz Matrix hosting and improves the maintainability, security, and performance for our clients systems.

Upgrading to CentOS 7 will also enable you to run Matrix on PHP 7.1, but more importantly, it will also get you prepared for the future Matrix 6 release later next year, which will only be supported on PHP 7.1+.

Matrix 5.4 now in support mode

With the release of 5.5, we will now be stopping new releases for the 5.4 branch.

We have one more release planned for this branch which will be version 5.4.7.1 and is scheduled to be released in the next couple of weeks. This version will only contain some security enhancements and bug fixes in order to finalise this branch.

Matrix 5.4 will however still be supported and warranted by Squiz SLAs up until Dec 2019.

What's next?

Over the next few weeks we'll be publishing more supporting materials such as new tutorials and videos as well as updating a lot of the documentation and interface screenshots to match the 5.5 version.

I'll also be presenting at the upcoming Australian 2018 Squiz Summit where I'll be highlighting the new release as well as introducing the future roadmap for the product.

Whilst this release was a massive milestone for us, we still have more new and exciting things in the works that the team is already busy working on.

There are also many more features and enhancements planned for future version releases for the 5.5 branch; many of these will also be important for helping us reach the Matrix 6 release which is scheduled for late 2019.

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