The new Ektron 8.7 offers big improvements
Ektron is the platform of choice for 3,800+ global companies to create and manage content for the web at an enterprise level. The platform offers a comprehensive range of content management functionality, allowing authors, developers, and designers the convenience of an integrated platform to manage their content across various computing devices. It facilitates updating content on-site, in near real-time, and thrives on simplicity, speed, and ease-of-use.
Ektron 8.7 is the new version of this web content and digital experience management platform. Compared to the previous versions, Ektron 8.7 enhances editing capabilities, broadens support for responsive design, extends support to Amazon EC2 through the cloud manager, and expands SharePoint capabilities in its Digital Experience Hub.
Enhanced Content Editor
Ektron 8.6 introduced a new HTML5 based content editor, which is very similar to Microsoft Word, loads very fast, offers true WYSIWYG in-context editing, and allows publishers to edit and manage content without the hassles of navigating the CMS work area. Ektron 8.7 enhances the features of the content editors. In Ektron 8.7, the content editor has predefined styles for image management, offering more flexibility when embedding images within a content item. It also features several additional controls to create HTML bookmarks within the content, to embed external content, such as videos, and to ensure that the content is accessible by people with disabilities.
Responsive Web Design
One technological innovation that have gained traction recently is Responsive web design (RWD). RWD aims at offering easy reading and navigation across multiple devices with disparate screen size, without the user having to resize or scroll the content to fit the screen. The implementation of RWD is through frameworks, such as Twitter Bootstrap.
Ektron 8.7 offers native support for such frameworks within the PageBuilder, allowing developers to set RWD-friendly widths for drop zones, and thereby make their web pages RWD-friendly by default. The platform now allows developer to create pages and visualize how the content would fare across various disparate screens, before publishing the same. Developing mobile friendly pages is now easy and fast.
Support for Amazon EC2
Ektron 8.6 had initiated support for the Ektron Cloud Manager, enabling content developers to develop websites and webpages on-premise, leveraging Active Directory and other internal systems, and deploying it directly to a cloud-based platform in double quick time, and with considerable ease.
Ektron 8.6 supported Microsoft Azure and Amazon S3. Ektron 8.7 extends support to Amazon Elastic Composite Cloud (Amazon EC2). With this, the Ektron platform now offers a pure or hybrid cloud option to Amazon cloud users. The Ektron Cloud Manager allows the user to auto-provision and publish content to either cloud vendors through an easy and intuitive wizard-based interface.
The publisher can now have the best of both worlds: the use of internal systems such as Active Directory for the authoring and approval process, and hosting the entire system hosted on either of the cloud vendors without investing on the infrastructure.
Extended SharePoint Capabilities
Ektron 8.6 initiated support for the new Ektron Digital Experience Hub (DXH), which enabled data sharing across various enterprise systems such as among customer relationship management, marketing automation, and web analytics modules. A connector represents each of these systems to the DXH. Ektron 8.6 also had optional connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Marketo, Adobe Sitecatalyst, Google Analytics, Webtrends, and SharePoint. This allowed transporting forms, questionnaires, and surveys from such external systems directly, saving time, and removing the inefficiencies and errors associated with manually copy-pasting data. Users could also pull SharePoint or other external content into the Ektron work area, to manage it like any other content types, thereby blurring the boundaries across disparate systems.
Ektron 8.7 adds additional options for the Microsoft SharePoint connection. Users may now not only import content from SharePoint directly to the Ektron CMS, but also sync the two systems automatically. Now, the imported content is deleted from Ektron CMS when the same is deleted in SharePoint. Similarly, when managed lists such as job postings, press releases, or biographies are updated, inserted or removed within Ektron CM, the corresponding entry is updated automatically in SharePoint.
Such major enhancements notwithstanding, Ektron8.7 is actually meant only as a minor release, before the upcoming big release Phoenix! Ektron 8.7 is available for download