At a Glance

Released on
02/06/2013
End of Life
02/06/2014
New Features
12
Idea Exchange Votes Satisfied
286  
Improvements
19
Issues Resolved
27

Cascade Server 7.2

Cascade Server 7.2 introduces a number of new features that improve the content authoring and asset editing experience among other things.

  View Requirements

Autosave Drafts

Drafts now will be saved automatically in the background as user makes changes to the form.

Autosave Draft Screenshot

To avoid issues with editing outdated drafts (i.e. drafts of assets that have been edited since the initial draft was created), users will now be always directed to current version of the asset when attempting to edit it. When the edit form for the current version is loaded, a link to a draft is presented if a draft already exists. 

Editing Outdated Draft Warning

Also, when editing a draft that is outdated, a prominent warning will be displayed.

Outdated Draft Warning 

Draft related confirmation dialogs are now inline pop-ups instead of full page refreshes which prevents issues with losing unsaved contents when confirmation dialog is displayed.

Draft Related Inine Popup Confirmation Screenshot

Lastly, saving a draft does not perform form validation anymore. This allows saving partially populated forms as drafts without receiving error messages about missing required fields.

Scheduled Publish Report Recipients

For assets that support scheduled publshing, you can now specify which users or groups should receive the publish report. It is also possible to suppress the publish reports when there are no errors encountered during a publish.

Scheduled Publishing - Choosing Users and Groups Who Should Get Publish Reports - Screenshot

Autocomplete Site Drop-Down

When switching to another Site, users can now start typing the name of the desired Site to be able to quickly find it in the drop-down with couple keystrokes.

Autocomplete Site Drop Down Screenshot

You can still see all Sites by default when selecting the dropdown.

Autocomplete Site Drop Down - Preserved Functinoality Screenshot

The drop-down is also populated only on demand instead of on each page load. This speeds up each page loads because the Sites the user has access to are not loaded synchronously. This is a significant performance improvement in instances that have hundreds or thousands of Sites.

Also, the new drop-down avoids browser limitations that previously caused the browser to freeze in implementation with more than a thousand Sites. This has been avoided by loading up to 1,000 Sites at a time and providing a link to load additional sites.

These improvements make the system more robust when managing systems with numerous sites.

Drag and Drop Move

Assets can now be dragged on the left hand side tree and dropped to a desired container to invoke Move/Rename operation. As the asset is dropped, the Move/Rename dialog is loaded with the Parent Folder pre-populated. While dragging an asset, a user can hover over a Folder which will then expand to display the Folder’s child assets.

Format Editing Improvements

While editing a Format, it is now possible to preview either a Block’s or Page’s content. This helps with writing the formatting logic because an XML preview is presented on the same page as the Format itself.

Format Editing UI Screenshot

Users can then perform a Format test on that Block or Page content before the Format is submitted. This saves developers time and prevents them from having to make numerous small edits to incrementally test pages. It also reduces the number of versions being generated for the asset because only final, tested changes need to be saved.

Format Editing UI Transformation Test Screenshot

Effective Abilities for Users

It is now possible to view a User's effective Abilities for a given Site or the Global area from the User view screen. This allows managers and administrators to check the abilities of a user based on their assigned Global role and Site-specific roles.

Effective Abilities Screenshot

It is also possible to see which Sites a given user has currently access to.

User's Switchable Sites Screenshot

Selected Destinations Checked By Default

Less frequently used Destinations can now be set to be unchecked by default when loading any asset's Publish tab. This is more elegant solution for Destinations that are intended to be used occasionally than repeatedly enabling and disabling the Destiantion from the Administration area. At the time of this release, this was the most popular idea on our community idea exchange.

Destination Form Screenshot

Screenshot of a Destination Unchecked by Default

Easier Dynamic Metadata Field Configuration

Configuring Dynamic Metdata Fields on a Metadata Sets now uses a simple point and click interface instead of an XML configuration. Also, the Dropdown field type that allows multiple selected values (i.e. multiple="true") has been converted to a separate field type called Multiselect.

Dynamic Metadata Field Configuration Screenshot

Code Section Improvements

Passthrough code sections have been improved with the addition of new protect tags and the renaming of the old START-CODE/END-CODE tags.  

Revamped Passthrough Code Sections

Passthrough Code Sections have a new tag name: "passthrough" (formerly START-CODE, END-CODE).  These tags allow a user to specify that a section of code should not be touched by Cascade and should also not be included when rendered inside Cascade.  They are typically used for doing server-side includes.  

In the past, users could wrap their code in <!--#START-CODE #END-CODE--> or <!--#START-ROOT-CODE #END-ROOT-CODE--> tags in order to indicate that code should not be touched.  These tags will still work as they did in the past, but users now have the option to use <!--#passthrough #passthrough--> and <!--#passthrough-top, #passthrough-top--> tags instead.

Protect Code Sections

New "protect" tags have been added that can be used in the same way Passthrough Code Sections have been used in the past.  The difference being that content contained in protect tags will render inside Cascade as well as outside Cascade. Users can use these new tags by wrapping content in <!--#protect #protect--> or <!--#protect-top #protect-top--> tags.

To aid with wrapping sections of JavaScript code that can contain sequences of characters that are not allowed inside HTML comments, a CDATA version of protect tags is also available.  These can be used as <![CDATA[#protect #protect]]> and <![CDATA[#protect-top #protect-top]]>.  

Skipping Code

Finally, in 7.2 it is possible to include content wrapped in <!--#cascade-skip--> to prevent it from being rendered inside of Cascade as well as outside of Cascade.  These tags have 2 slightly different behaviors.  Content that is wrapped in a pair of <!--#cascade-skip--> tags (e.g. <!--#cascade-skip-->Don't output this at all<!--#cascade-skip-->) will not appear at all when rendered.  Content that comes after a single <!--#cascade-skip--> tag will not be rendered at all (e.g. <!--#cascade-skip-->This is content at the end of the page).  This can be useful when creating a Page that needs to render non-XML content.  

See Code Sections for more information.

LDAP Configuration UI

Previously, LDAP sycnhronization was configured using an XML file.  The old XML structure has been converted into a form; making it much easier to configure LDAP.

LDAP UI

It is still possible to configure LDAP synchronization using the old XML format.  A text editor is available on the XML pane of the LDAP configuration screen.

LDAP XML

Note that changes made to the XML in the text editor will be reflected in the form-based configuration fields when the user clicks on either the Options or Policies pane.  The same goes for when editing the configuration via the form fields.  Any changes to the form fields will cause the XML view to be updated.

Other Improvements

Site Migration Performance Improvements

Numerous improvements have been made to speed up the Site Migration tool. Migrations of extremely large Sites that may have preivously taken hours or days to complete, now complete in minutes. Site Migrations now use much less system memory as well. Several minor bugs in the Site Migration tool have also been fixed.

Clickable Labels

Labels for all radiobuttons and checkboxes in all form fields across the system are clickable now so that clicking on them will select given field. Clicking on labels for textboxes, drop-downs and multiselect fields focuses these fields. This makes it easier to navigate forms in Cascade with the mouse.

New Web Services Operations

Existing operations related to the new features have been updated in Web Services accordingly. These include:

  • Being able to specify recipients of scheduled publish reports and whether or not the report should be sent when there are no errors in it
  • Easier dynamic metadata field configuration - the XML field has been removed as well and has individual properties extracted

Also, additional operations are now available through Web Services:

  • ListSites operation to retrieve all Sites authenticating user can access
  • ReadWorkflowSettings and EditWorkflowSettings operations that mimic the "Workflows" tab funcitnoality of Folders
  • ListSubscribers operation that mimics the "Subscribers" tab of all applicable types of assets.
  • Publish operation now allows specifying which particular Destinations the asset should be published to

Minor bug fixes related to consistency between WSDL specification and what actually Cascade Server requires have been implemented as well:

  • Access rights and "applyToChildren" properties can be null in EditAccessRights operation
  • The "unpublish" property can be null in Publish operation
  • The missing "maintainAbsoluteLinks" property was added to Page assets'
  • Not providing any Destinations in Publish operation will publish the asset only to the enabled Destinations that are available to authenticating user instead of all Destinations
WYSIWYG Editor Upgrade

Our TinyMCE editor has been upgraded to a newer version which resolved many reported Cascade Server bugs. We made some improvements to the user interface of the "Insert/Edit Media" dialog, the HTML source code can now be directly edited inside of the dialog and we added options for HTML5 Audio, YouTube and Iframe media types, YouTube being the deafult option.

Tiny MCE Inser/Edit Media Dialog Screenshot

The "Insert/Edit Image" dialog now allows maintaining aspect ratio when modifying dimensions of images. Alternative text can be now left empty if user specifies that given image is a decorative image. Empty "alt" attributes on images are the accessible way to indicate that an image should be ignored by assisitve technologies such as screen readers.

Insert/Edit Image Dialog Screenshot

Linking to Raw Renderings

It is now possible to link to raw renderings of assets inside Cascade.  One scenario in which this is useful is when a Page is used to dynamically generate CSS.  Linking to this Page from another Page via a <link> tag will result in the CSS not being rendered as a plain CSS file.  It will actually render as the "View" screen inside Cascade. By indicating that the rendering of the Page should be "raw", it will be rendered as only the generated CSS and can then be applied to the Page linking to it inside Cascade.

To force Cascade to render a linked-to asset in its "raw" format, simply append the word "raw" to the end of the link as a value-less query parameter.  For example: <link href="/css/dynamic?raw"/>.

MySQL 5.5 Support

Cascade Server 7.2 supports MySQL 5.5.

64-bit Installers

For the first time, we've released Cascade bundled with 64-bit JREs for both Windows and Linux. So now you don't have to go out and download your own 64-bit JRE to take advantage of your 64-bit server.

New Features

Improvements

  • [CSI-55] - Web Services: Provide a way to read/edit workflow information for Folder assets
  • [CSI-267] - Update libraries in Image Editor and image resizing Plug-ins to produce resized images with better quality
  • [CSI-294] - Upgrade TinyMCE to latest version
  • [CSI-310] - Allow for entering empty "alt" attributes in "img" tags
  • [CSI-390] - Add "Maintain absolute links when rewriting" properties to web services schema page asset
  • [CSI-424] - Add to WYSIWYG Image Editor the ability to maintain aspect ratio for resizing
  • [CSI-462] - Allow saving drafts with partially populated forms
  • [CSI-464] - Scheduled Publish Report Recipients
  • [CSI-465] - Autocomplete Site Drop-Down
  • [CSI-466] - Format Editing Improvements
  • [CSI-468] - Easier Dynamic Metadata Field Configuration
  • [CSI-477] - Improve Site Migration performance and lower memory usage
  • [CSI-505] - Detect and autolink hyperlinks in the WYSIWYG
  • [CSI-506] - Change default XML for Workflow Definitions to give triggers human readable names
  • [CSI-507] - Simplify Ehcache configuration in Cascade
  • [CSI-508] - Change "Configuration" to "Output" to make Config Set editing and Page view consistent
  • [CSI-509] - Publish reports: Indicate whether or not files were skipped due to Smart Publishing
  • [CSI-511] - Add alternate TinyMCE Lists plugin
  • [CSI-512] - Maintain 32-bit and 64-bit installers for all platforms

Issues Resolved

  • [CSI-12] - TinyMCE escaping characters within <noscript> tags if they are within comments
  • [CSI-30] - PHP code in WYSIWYG being chopped across separate line
  • [CSI-77] - TinyMCE removes attributes from "form", "input", and "object" tags in IE7 & IE8
  • [CSI-129] - Single quotes changing to double quotes on href and src attributes
  • [CSI-283] - Bug in TinyMCE causes page to freeze
  • [CSI-361] - Impossible to turn an image into a link when it has a inline style property "display: block"
  • [CSI-408] - Web Services: Publish operation fails if unpublish option is not provided
  • [CSI-451] - Publishing through web services publishes to all destinations - even the ones the user cannot publish to
  • [CSI-452] - IE: Full screen mode strips out <script> tags
  • [CSI-453] - <object> tags in Start Code sections in WYSIWYG getting mangled
  • [CSI-454] - No WYSIWYG token for <system-page-meta-keywords>
  • [CSI-455] - Cannot update or discard XSLT Format drafts
  • [CSI-456] - Move/Rename tab on a Draft does not move or rename
  • [CSI-457] - Submitting a page draft results in an error message but saves successfully
  • [CSI-458] - Data Definitions used by Blocks not included in Site Migration
  • [CSI-459] - Workflow Definitions assigned to Base Folder are not being included in Site Migration
  • [CSI-460] - Error when editing existing link in WYSIWYG
  • [CSI-461] - Blank screen when creating Template without specifying Target
  • [CSI-463] - Hitting "Discard Draft" button discards most recent changes done to the draft before user confirms it
  • [CSI-478] - TinyMCE disables right-click via Ctrl key for Mac users
  • [CSI-480] - Scheduled publish sets fail if user who created them is removed from the system
  • [CSI-504] - Use Default Metadata Set of current Site when using Zip Archive Tool to bulk import assets
  • [CSI-513] - Image editor's resize functionality shifts the image by 1 pixel right and 1 pixel down on Cascade hosted on non-Mac machines
  • [CSI-515] - No errors reported when database transport is unable to connect
  • [CSI-516] - Unable to delete workflow when the page relates to other pages
  • [CSI-517] - Capitalization inconsistency between 'advanced search' and 'search and replace'
  • [CSI-521] - Web services: Editing access rights - "applyToChildren" needs to be provided for assets that do not have children

64-bit Installers Now Available

64-bit installers are now available for Cascade and will be available for all future releases.  These installers come with a 64-bit JRE and for Windows will also include a 64-bit service wrapper in Tomcat.

New download links can be found on the Cascade downloads page for both Linux and Windows (OSX packages do not come with a JRE).  

Java 5 No Longer Supported

As of Cascade Server version 7.2, Java 5 is no longer supported.  The Cascade installers have been bundled with Java 6 for a number of years; so any clients updgrading to 7.0+ using the graphical installer will automatically be upgraded to Java 6.  Clients using their own installation of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) must ensure that a Java 6 JRE is installed. Not using a version 6 JRE will result in some Cascade features not working.  We recommend against trying to run Cascade with a Java 5 JRE.

Web Services API

As with most major Cascade releases, the Cascade Web Services API has changed in version 7.2.  It is required that all Java web services scripts be recompiled and tested using the new WSDL.  Both Java and non-Java scripts should be thoroughly tested in a test environment before being deployed in production.

Cascade Java Plugin API

The Cascade Plugin API has been updated in 7.2 and will require that all Asset Factory Plugins, Publish Triggers, and custom Workflow Triggers be recompiled and redeployed.  Please follow the instructions in the general upgrade installaion guide for updating plugins in Cascade.

First Time Installation?

Be sure to import our default database schema prior to installing Cascade Server for the first time. Then follow our standard installation instructions.

Upgrade Steps

  1. Shut down your currently running Cascade Server instance.
  2. Before you upgrade, we strongly recommend that you back-up your production database. as well as set up a test instance and perform a trial run of the upgrade. All customers are entitled to a test license for this purpose.
  3. Read the release notes and upgrade guides for all releases between your version and the latest version.
  4. If your current version of Cascade is earlier than 7.0, then you must use the full installation instructions.
  5. If your current version of Cascade is 7.0 or later, you can perform a full installation or upgrade in place using the ROOT.war installation.

Warnings:

You must upgrade to at least Cascade Server 5.5 before upgrading to Cascade 6 or Cascade 7.

Contact Hannon Hill Support (support@hannonhill.com) if deploying Cascade Server for the first time in a load-balanced environment as this will require a special license.