At the Liferay 2012 North America Conference Ed Chung, VP of Product Management, gave us an overview of what Liferay plans are for the next version of Liferay Portal, Social Office, and Sync.
Below is the planned release schedule for 6.2. Of course the timeline can change, but its the best guess at this point.
Liferay Release Schedule:
Q1 2012———————Q3 2013 —————–2014
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6.1 CE & EE—————-6.2 CE & EE———6.3/7.0 CE & EE
CE is the free Community Edition, while EE is the Enterprise Edition, which comes with a support subscription.
CE is released first and an Early Access release for EE will come at that time. The goal is 1 feature release every year whether major or minor.
Before showing the list of planned features, Ed spent some time on how Liferay plans out releases. Liferay has an open and transparent development process and you can go to their development board to see all the items they are working on here http://issues.liferay.com/secure/RapidBoard.jspa?rapidView=60
Here are the planned updates for 6.2. Some of the features will be available only in the Enterprise Edition, although Ed did not specify which were EE only.
- Mobile Delivery Platform – Liferay’s strategy is to allow you to build your mobile presence the way you want. Liferay is adding a Mobile UI Toolkit to their AlloyUI features. They are going to allow hierarchical sub-sites for specific devices that can inherit from parent sites but still allow customizing at the sub site level.
- Liferay is also building mobile apps for certain features, such as Content Access, Content Authoring, Portal Management. They already has a native mobile app for Liferay Sync that runs on iOS and will be introducing an Android version soon.
- Liferay Sync will add better support for Macs, checkout/in documents, multi-tenancy (in 6.1, you can only sync with one instance of Liferay), and client and server file size quotas.
- Application platform – Liferay plans to improve portal resiliency and will address this with a proprietary link between portlets without using WSRP. These ‘sandboxes’ will isolate portlets into separate JVMs so one portlet won’t take down an entire system. I kind of hate to hear the word ‘proprietary’, so we’ll have to wait and see how this is handled.
- API improvements will also include better communications of what is changing in the API prior to a release. In addition, the engineering team is trying to provide better separation between core functions and ones that can be delivered via plug-ins.
- Liferay Cloud Services will introduce features specifically for managing the portal in a cloud environment. These new features include fix pack management, license management, security and code analyzers. These features will be included in a dashboard view of the platform, so you can easily tell where you are at with fixpacks, security, etc.
- Analytics – Liferay is wrestling with what analytics features to provide out of the box. This would include developing an inference engine to make recommendations.
- Web Content Management will be enhanced with easier page management, better search features. Finally, Liferay plans to add folders to WCM. This will also bring better features with being able to build better web content structures, including templates.
- Internationalization improvements will include a workflow for content to manage translating into different languages.
- Site Management will get the ability to create site hierarchies, navigation, default roles and custom fields.
- Staging and publishing improvements to make it easier to manage the publishing process. New features will include a progress bar, reports on export/import processes, etc.
- New calendar application that includes personal and site calendars as well as resource scheduling.
- For unified communications, they are looking to integrate with MS Lynx and IBM Sametime, as well as other conference service providers.
Many of these features are needed for enterprise customers and will be welcome additions.