Posted: Wednesday 21st July 2010
It’s been quite a hectic couple of days, first of all we launched the new Contensis site yesterday afternoon and today we’ve had an all day presentation at the University user group. Luckily the site was ready to go live days ago and only a few last minute tweaks were required, otherwise I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be up at 5:30 this morning to get down to the LSE.
I’m lucky that Michelle my Fiancée, who is always such a star, looked after our new arrival baby Olivia as ever, so I could get a good nights sleep, ready for the meeting!
Thank you for the cards we have received they were very much appreciated.
We had a good turn out at the user group with around 30 present. A big thanks to Stephen Emmott from the LSE who hosted the meeting and organised the room.
It was nice to see so many faces being as passionate about Contensis as we are!
Set-up a good development Environment!
For many a hot item on the agenda was development environments in the enterprise, but I think that whilst it is a given that a development environment should be available to test upgrades and ideas with any enterprise application, probably one of the most key areas is ensuring that you actually set your environment up correctly to start with.
When looking at a development environment in my opinion it should be a single click to get your production data into dev or visa-versa. Jules from EUI has successfully set this up, being in the position whereby they can move production to development weekly or at a time of their choice.
Making the process easy is really important to making the dev environment a real asset rather than a real hassle!
For Contensis all you need do is backup your CMS database and files, restore them on a new server and then run some scripts to update any configuration parameters necessary.
Many customers have set this process up off their own back, but as part of R7 we are planning to provide a tool, that does this for you. For now I recommend configuring your environments to make this a piece of cake, that way if you want to test a new version, all you need do is deploy your environment and then run the installer (Typically less than 5 minutes for the installer!)
The other real advantage of setting your environment up in this way is that it gives you good experience for DR and other environment related issues.
What’s coming in R7
Outside of the Contensis customer community, we don’t like to divulge too many of the new features we are working on, but it was good to hear feedback that everyone liked what we have planned, some of which are already under development.
Having integrated with Google Apps, it was interesting to hear more about the Live@edu offering (apparently free), that we will certainly look more into in the future. We are always the first to build on the shoulders of Giants not fight them!
In the session we identified 10-15 wish list requests, we will certainly implement as many as possible.
What I can tell you is that more integration with Social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter is hot on the agenda. Lets face it, for organisations, managing your social media interaction is certainly something that needs governance and control just like your other enterprise content.
We are making big inroads into further improving usability of the CMS in general, with lots of new features around making every day tasks even quicker than they already are.
Cloud storage is something that is becoming more and more important, and we can certainly leverage our publishing engine to publish to many more places than just your website or enterprise data store.
We now use the Amazon cloud for all our software downloads and videos, which for customers outside the UK is definitely a massive improvement in performance.
For those of you that are not aware, you can download the latest development version of Contensis at any point from the support site, which is automatically uploaded to Amazon as part of our build process at the end of every day.
The Support Site
Now we have launched the new website, we are going to start a project focused on our support site, making various improvements that have followed customer feedback.
One important issue that came out of the session today, was to allow customers to choose if their helpdesk tickets can be made public. If they choose to allow this, we will then automatically make the ticket available and searchable for the whole Community.
From the feedback at the user group, everyone thinks this is a good idea, and we certainly agree, sharing knowledge is an important topic.
The Next User Groups
We are planning to announce a date soon for another user group soon. Hoping to see many of you there!
As far as the next university user group is concerned, Jules from EUI has offered to host the next one in Florence. We think it’s a great idea, and hope that we can actually get the costs for flights to Florence down to a similar amount of a train ticket!
I certainly know that the flights I have taken have cost less than some of the train tickets people had paid for today, so perhaps it may get approval, and perhaps we can get some sun and culture whilst learning more about Contensis, what's coming and good knowledge sharing!
Many thanks to EUI for offering their hospitality.