Looking forward into 2016, here is a hint of features in Liferay 7. For those very adventurous, there is an currently alpha available but the release is still scheduled for 1Q 2016. As you can image, there has been a lot of interest in the past few months around what is in store. At the Liferay conference in Chicago, we learned about the themes of Liferay 7 , which are:
- Great web and mobile sites,
- Engaging and understanding users
- Unifying the digital journey.
Below I have summarized some of the key improvement or features. As we get closer to release, I and many others will be focusing on how Liferay has implemented these features to see how close shipping code is to the vision set and conveyed.
- Liferay has already developed over 500 new features or improvement for Release 7, here are some of them.
- More sites available out of the box. The idea is to provide templates for corporate site, product page, creative site and a digital media site.
- Predefined decoration for application and content, more configuration in theme and navigation via the site administrator and not the developer.
- Web Content administration – simplify authoring process including ability to compare versions of content for approves via the “Differences Viewer”.
- New location capabilities to allow fully localized sites including better RTL (Right to Left) language support.
- Greater flexibility for workflow and approvals based on location or type, for example all press releases follow approval via the PR team or all content in this folder.
- Geo-locate content and documents – Documents, web content and forms allow for defined location field(s) .
- Mobile SDK for iOS and Android along with Liferay Screens, which is another way to develop native mobile experiences.
- Liferay 7 now supports @ mentions for blog entries. Liferay also believes they have improved the ability to comment, to keep users engaged.
- Alloy Editor has been developed to improve the content authoring experience. The included media editor allows the author to not only address content, but also make changes to images as part of the experience.
- New blog authoring experience for a better user experience.
- Liferay Forms with multiple pages as well as polling capability.
- Single Page Application – requires new 7 UI for existing applications. and frameworks. Liferay 7 will automatically convert any portlet into SPA. In an example, a page with two portlets, converted to SPA. Response time went from 2 seconds to 0.7 seconds. Data went from 1,300 KB to 67.9 KB. Requests went from 42 to 11. SPA will be applied to all of of the Out of the Box portlets.
- Many more configurations options that don’t require a server restart.
Liferay isn’t done when Release 7 ships, throughout 2016 new features will be released via the Liferay application store. Until the code ships we won’t know for certain but Liferay 7 is shaping up to be a strong release and one that will be widely welcomed by the community. As others here have mentioned in previous blog posts, Liferay and IBM now are atop Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for horizontal portals. I expect Liferay 7 do nothing but enhance Liferay’s visibility.