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OpenText WSM 11 – Is the “Swan” release going to fly?

OpenText Swan

Good news everyone!

It looks like RedDot isn’t dead after all, the development didn’t stop and thankfully no one followed through with the mad plan of merging RedDot and Vignette.
In the past 10 months we could see up to 9 hot fixes being released in OpenText’s Knowledge Center. Some were minor, others had some really good enhancements hidden in the release notes. So what’s happening in the land of the red dot?

OpenText is keeping things low key

There wasn’t much buzz about these fixes. OpenText kept this very quiet, in fact, I don’t think anyone would have noticed without checking the Knowledge Center. Still, there is movement, stuff is happening. If I were Mr. OpenText I would talk about this a lot more.
The OpenText Web Site Management platform, aka RedDot CMS, gets attention again and perhaps there’s actually more happening in OpenText’s Research & Development department in Oldenburg, Germany, than we all might be able to see right now. By the looks of it, some R&D people even seem to share a few insights on new features and allow a glimpse into technical backgrounds.
The marketing strategy seems to have changed. Perhaps it’s less talk, more action or perhaps one is cautious to raise expectation levels just a bit too high. So currently it’s a waiting game and very few people had the chance to look at a version 11 beta.

So what’s new in version 11 aka “Swan”?

By the look of things it will be an evolution jump, not revolutionary new features to knock your socks of. Again, this is good. Less marketing talk, more core strength for the product. Rumors have it that the new version will come with:

  • .NET 4 integration, by the look of things it won’t be a full transition yet. I assume the reasoning behind this is to allow an upgrade path for older versions. It would be quite hard to upgrade with a full switch and OpenText seems to aim for an easy upgradable solution for customers running OpenText WSM 10.1 SP2 or later.
  • 64bit support, allowing more speed on the CMS side of things.
  • More OpenText integration points to more OpenText products. Allowing to add new solutions for the recent additions to the OpenText family.

It obviously makes sense (not just to the sales guys) to enable integration with more of OpenText’s latest acquisitions, such as the semantic search (formerly Nstein) or the multi mobile device platform “Wave” (formerly WeComm).

The CMS core product is still strong and provides a great foundation for rapid prototyping and third party integration. The effort involved is relatively small compared to the full blown ECM frameworks out there, trying to fit everything into one solution and some of them taking a spin up time of several months..

Important changes for RedDot CMS consultants and customers
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About the author:

Markus Giesen Markus Giesen is a Solutions Architect and RedDot CMS Consultant, formerly based in Germany. Travelling around the world to find and offer solutions for a better world (in a very web based meaning). He just found a way to do this as part of a Melbourne based online consultant house. On this blog Markus shares his personal (not his employers) thoughts and opinions on CMS and web development. In his spare time you will find him reading, snowboarding or travelling. Also, you should follow him on Twitter!


6 comments for “OpenText WSM 11 – Is the “Swan” release going to fly?”

  1. I could be wrong but from what i’ve been seeing on the webinars over the past few months they are refactoring all of the classic vb code and converting to vb.net. There was a very nice graphic that showed a total classic vb code line count going from thousands of lines down to nothing.

    Posted by Morgan Ritchings | October 11, 2011, 7:21 am
  2. Markus, you forgot about the holy grail feature: custom rendertag.

    Also, the new warp speed communication technology: WCF

    Posted by Jian Huang | October 11, 2011, 3:02 pm
  3. @Jian – you can already do custom rendertags. We’ve always been able to do them, it’s just that nobody does it. But you can!

    @Morgan – Seems like that has been the process for much of v10’s .NET code also.

    Posted by Richard Hauer | October 11, 2011, 3:23 pm
  4. Will they finally merge the nav list and page list? the simplist thing and it never gets done. This is one of the biggest things I find clients cant understand. And a better template editor :’(

    The rest sounds good though, at last no more com+.

    Posted by Tony Gayter | October 11, 2011, 6:03 pm
  5. Richard, I thought it is currently broken according to http://websitemanagement.reil-online.de/2011/06/developing-custom-rendertags.html

    The fix will be available in a hotfix post SP2.

    Posted by Jian Huang | October 11, 2011, 7:26 pm
  6. That’s correct, custom rendertag functionality was broken in at least 10.1 and above. I’m not sure if this has ever worked before, but with 10.1 SP2 HF1 and 11 it will be working now.

    Regarding the .NET4 migration: It’s correct that we have been migrating the VB6 code to VB.NET. This is already complete with many refactorings.

    I guess, Morgan, you have seen the VB6 LinesOfCode graph indicating that we have been down to 0 lines of VB6 code somewhen in February, I think. On the UI layer side, we still have a whole bunch of ASP code, but the core server is fully migrated to .NET4.

    Posted by Dennis Reil | October 13, 2011, 7:25 am

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