Release Notes for EPiServer CMS 6
EPiServer Framework is released in conjunction with EPiServer CMS 6. EPiServer Framework contains common UI and API functionality intended to be used by all EPiServer products.
EPiServer OnlineCenter is the new personalized "entrance" to your web environment. When you log in to your website you will have a new "Dashboard" option on the right-click menu, taking you directly to the OnlineCenter of your website. Or, you can can move directly into the EPiServer CMS edit or admin mode the usual way.
The OnlineCenter is intended for both web site owners, editors, administrators and infrequent users of EPiServer CMS. From here you can both monitor activities and create content directly, and access other modules and applications integrated with your web environment. These will appear on the top global navigation menu, next to the CMS option. From the Online Center top menu you can also access the new global search function, which searches in both pages and files on your website.
EPiServer OnlineCenter is part of the EPiServer Framework.
EPiServer CMS 6 comes with a new XHTML editor based on the XHTML editor TinyMCE. When upgrading to or installing EPiServer CMS 6, it is possible to chose which editor to use. You can also use different editors for dfferent properties.
Changes needed in web.config
The first step is to edit the web.config file of the site so that you get the editor you want or are able to select between the editors you want for each property. How to do this is described in detail in the tech note XHTML Editor - PropertyXhtmlString and PropertyLongString.
Changes in CSS handling
The functionality for handling CSS classes and styling is very different in the EPiServer CMS 6 editor. The TinyMCE editor does not have an as advanced context sensitiive CSS functionality as the EPiServer CMS 5 editor does. In reality, this means that every CSS class in the TinyMCE editor CSS will be shown in most class selection lists. Another change regarding CSS functionality is that TinyMCE editor does not support the "EditMenuName" CSS property that the EPiServer CMS 5 editor uses to write a friendly name for the classes. So to get more friendly names in the TinyMCE editor, the CSS classes might have to be renamed and that would affect the entire site since old content need to be updated to reflect changes in the editor CSS files. This functionality will be improved in future releases. For now, the recommendation is to use the EPiServer CMS 5 editor until EPiServer fixes these issues if you cannot accept the drawbacks that this has.
Changes in spelling tools support
TinyMCE does not include a built in spellcheck. For Firefox users there is built in support in the browser for spellchecking that can be used for TinyMCE in EPiServer CMS. The advantage with this is that it does not require an installation of Microsoft Office to work. For Internet Explorer that does not have any built in spelling functionality there are external plug-ins available, although this will not be included in the default installation of the first release of CMS 6. There are several 3:rd party Tiny MCE plug-ins that can be used for spelling but this might require licensing and some additional work to integrate into the TinyMCE editor. Please refer to the 3:rd party plugins on TinyMCE site to find examples.
What Impact will the Change of Editor have on my Content?
The EPiServer CMS 5 DHTML editor has functionality that does not generate proper HTML code. This means that the content that we have from before the upgrade might still have these flaws not desired in the new editor. The TinyMCE editor has functionality for cleaning up this type of corrupt HTML code. When content is loaded into the XHTML (TinyMCE) Editor from any source, the content will be corrected.
When the page is saved this updated content is stored to the database. The cleaning is done by converting some deprecated tags to a valid tag and adding styling via style attribute instead of deprecated style elements. A lot of the code is kept as is, but some HTML code will be automatically changed in the cleanup process. Here are the most common changes that will take effect:
- The font tag <font> is changed to span tag <span> with style attribute
Example: <FONT color=#808080 size=3 face="Gill Sans MT">Some Text</FONT>
Becomes: <span style="font-family: Gill Sans MT; color: #808080; font-size: small;">Some Text</span>
- The width attribute on a table tag is changed to inline style
Example: <table width=”50%”>
Becomes: <table style=”width:50%”>
- The borderColorLight and borderColorDark attributes on the td and th tags are removed
Since these attributes only work in Internet Explorer and are not valid HTML attributes we don’t want to make exceptions.
- The Underline tag <u> iis changed to a span with inline style
Becomes: <span style=”text-decoration:underline;”>text</span>
NOTE Some problems might occur, for instance if you have content that is invalid on another level, like nested tags which are not allowed according to HTML standards. The editor might keep that corrupt HTML and in some cases even crash. In these special cases you might want to turn on a text area or the old DHTML editor for that property, in order to edit the corrupt HTML code. How this is done is explained in the tech note XHTML Editor - PropertyXhtmlString and PropertyLongString.
Content Conversion from EPiServer CMS 5 XHTML Editor to TinyMCE
The conversion of content created in the EPiServer CMS 5 HTML Editor to TinyMCE is done automatically by TinyMCE with satisfactory results. There are however some restrictions that should be taken into consideration:
Table properties Light border (BorderColorLight) and Dark border (BorderColorDark) are not converted with TinyMCE and will be deleted.
Differences in general functionality
With the new XHTML (TinyMCE) Editor some of the functionality is different. Some tools work differently, some tools are new and some tools are gone. These differences are described in more details in the tech note Editor Comparison between EPiServer CMS 5 and 6.
Known Issues in the XHTML Editor
Abbreviation Tool in the TinyMCE HTML Editor
The Abbreviation tool in the TinyMCE HTML Editor does not work in Internet Explorer (IE) due to IE not recognizing the element. The tool is fully compliant with Firefox and other browsers supported by EPiServer CMS. This is a known issue for the TinyMCE development team at MoxieCode. The Abbreviation tool is not enabled in the HTML Editor by default.
Dialog Window Behavior in TinyMCE
Be aware that multiple clicks on a tool button in Tiny MCE, for instance when inserting tables, will result in the opening of multiple dialog windows. These will be hidden under the main browser window when this is activated. This is due to the TinyMCE Windows Manager, which controls the behavior of external windows in the editor.
Dynamic Data Store
The Dynamic Data Store is a new component offering an API and infrastructure for the saving, loading and searching of both compile time data types (.NET object instances) and runtime data types (property bags). The component is shipped as part of the EPiServer Framework package (first released with EPiServer CMS 6) and is intended to be used by all EPiServer products.
Dynamic data store is part of the EPiServer Framework.
A Page Object in EPiServer CMS is basically a normal .NET object instance that is associated with a CMS page. The Page Object functionality can be utilized in a mulitude of ways.
Page objects is part of the EPiServer Framework.
The EPiServer CMS initialization system is designed and implemented with the purpose of being the sole initialization mechanism to use for both EPiServer internal code as well as third-party and custom modules. EPiServer CMS initialization system comprises:
A discovery mechanism to determine which modules should be part of the initialization process
A dependency sorting algorithm that decides the order of execution
An execution engine that will execute the modules
Handling of re-execution of initialization modules (by hooking into ASP.NET) in the occurence of exceptions during startup
The namespace EPiServer.Framework.Initialization which resides in the assembly EPiServer.Framework
Initialization is part of the EPiServer Framework.
Other Changes Affecting Editors and Administrators
Republising a Page Creates New Version
When you republish a page that has been published before, a new version of that page will be created even if no actual changes have been made to the page. The republished page will receive a new time stamp under Saved in the version list.
The Versions tab in Edit mod has been updated so that it is now possible to compare changes graphically in three different ways.
Disable Delete Page Version
In order to prevent content being deleted, administrators can disable deletion of page versions and file versions by configuring web.config. Read more in Configuration in EPiServer CMS 6.
Other Changes Affecting Developers
New Role Provider - MappedRole
MappedRoleProvider is a new role provider in EPiServer.Security. MappedRole is used to map existent or non-existent groups to several other groups.
<add name="CMSAdmins" type="EPiServer.Security.MappedRole, EPiServer" roles="WebAdmins, Administrators" mode="Any" /> Set the mode="All" to allow users that are members of the CMSAdmins group to also have acess rights to perform tasks where the Administrator or WebAdmins groups is required. The mode is set to "Any" as standard.
EPiServer CMS Change Log System
The EPiServer CMS Change Log System (referred to simply as ”Change Log” in the rest of this tech note) is a facility where changes to an EPiServer CMS site can be logged. For example, all changes to pages, files and directories are currently logged in the Change Log to support the Mirroring and OnlineCenter features in EPiServer CMS 6 and also act as a general audit mechanism.
Fixed and Known Issues in EPiServer CMS 6
Most of the errors reported in EPiServer CMS 5 R2 SP2 have been fixed in EPiServer CMS 6.
Live Monitor and the EPiServer CMS 6 Demo Site
The Live Monitor module and a demo site "Alloy Technologies" is available for EPiServer CMS 6. If you plan to use Live Monitor with the EPiServer CMS 6 Demo Site, it is recommended to install the demo site first, before installing Live Monitor.