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Matrix Manuals Live in Matrix

First of all, Happy New Year!

Secondly, as announced in last month's monthly newsletter, the Matrix Manuals Website has finally been migrated over to Squiz Matrix.

Everything should be the same as before as it was a like-for-like migration, but please let us know if you spot any issues by either using the suggestion feedback form or emailing us directly at matrix-manuals@squiz.net.

This is just the beginning as well. Now that the site is in Squiz Matrix it will allow us to add more improvements and enhancements to it including en eventual re-design. 

Stay tuned over the next couple of months for more announcements and news regarding the Matrix Manuals website. 


Squiz Matrix Newsletter - December 2015

Welcome to the Squiz Matrix Newsletter, a monthly look at all the latest and greatest Matrix news, direct to you from our Squiz Labs development team. 

We've been extremely busy over the last couple of months, so much so that our Monthly Newsletter has had to take a step down on the priority of our list of things to do. We do apologise for the lack of news lately, but it only means this edition is jammed packed with things to catch up on.

Enough talk, grab a coffee and read on for the latest news surrounding Squiz Matrix.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. Squiz Matrix 5.3 Released
  2. What Else Is New in Our Latest Releases?
  3. User Manual Library Moving to Matrix
  4. Internet Explorer Changing Support
  5. New Subscription Service Coming Soon
  6. Happy Holidays

As always, we'd love to hear your feedback. Let us know your thoughts by shooting us an email at matrix-newsletter@squiz.com.au. Til next month,

The Squiz Labs team.

 

SQUIZ MATRIX 5.3 RELEASED 

Last month saw the release of the long anticipated and awaited release of Squiz Matrix 5.3. As the fourth release in the 5.X series of Matrix, this expansion sees some very innovative and powerful new features be included alongside the Matrix core offering. 

Let's examine some of these features as well as the benefits they will bring to content authors and website implementers in their day-to-day creation, publishing and management of information and web content.

Content Templates

#2746

Content Templates is a powerful new feature that allows you to combine Paint Layouts, Metadata Schemas, and Simple Edit Layouts and apply them to content containers as templates. These content templates can be used by editors on the Contents screen of Standard Page assets, taking care of the presentation, data storage, and editing interface for the containers they are applied.

This new feature should allow you to create unique and tailored front-end content as well as custom user intuitive and friendly editing experiences that are targeted for specific implementation requirements and solutions.

As part of our testing we've been able to come up a variety of different template ideas using these new features, such as:

A tabbed content template, allowing users to create content blocks in tabs easily with flexibility over how many tabs to create.

Feature screenshot

A template for embedding Google Maps within content with auto-complete street address searching for the default map marker position.

A column content template allowing for easy creation and management of content in column boxes with an optional background image.

Structured content can also be easy to manage and edit using a custom editing interface for all field values similar to that of the metadata screen.

These are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. We envision a multitude of potential template ideas, really, the possibilities are endless.

With a growing awareness of the power of high quality content, these container templates should provide your editors with more freedom when creating content, taking away any worry of initial HTML creation and element styling, as well as the overheads for initial setup and training.


WYSIWYG Commenting

#5874

Inline WYSIWYG comments allows you to add comments to content in a WYSIWYG content container. These comments can then be replied to by other users for easier collaboration on content authoring.

Comments and threads can be deleted by the user who created them and existing comments can be edited which will also track the time-stamp of the edit.

Each comment thread can be marked as resolved at which point they become locked down for further editing until the thread is unresolved again. A pagination tool is also available to quickly navigate through each comment thread and see the associated content.

A new keyword (%asset_attribute_comments%) can also be used to extract all comment data from a particular page into JSON format.


GIT File Bridge

#6183

Git is a widely used version control system for software development. It is a distributed revision control system with an emphasis on speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows.

The Git File Bridge asset enables you to integrate static file assets from a Git repository directly into the Matrix file system.

Once a connection between a Git repository and Matrix has been established, Matrix will load all of the files from the external repository into its file system and represent each file in the asset tree.

You can also set up Git Hooks in your Git system in order to automatically update the files on the Matrix server every time the Git repository is updated with events such as a push or commit.


WYSIWYG Class Picker

#6472

The Edit+ WYSIWYG Editor has been enhanced with a class picker. Editors can now easily style up their content with a simple select list of pre-defined styles created for them specifically to work with the site design they are publishing content within.

Classes can be shared between the edit mode and preview so that editors can easily see what their content with applied classes will look like directly within the editing interface.

Classes are applied on the Design assets in the back end and are automatically cascaded down to customisations. Control can be given as well on what HTML elements certain classes can be applied to.


ACE Code Editor

#4571

Ace is an embeddable code editor written in JavaScript. It matches the features and performance of native editors such as Sublime, Vim and TextMate.

This editor has long been part of Edit+ as the source editor found in the WYSIWYG and has now been ported to the Admin interface.

Admin users will now receive a full fledged code editor when editing code based assets including Design Parse Files, CSS Design Files, JavaScript &, CSS Files, and Raw HTML Content Containers.


Asset Editor

#6623

This feature is actually a powerful extension to the already versatile and useful Asset Builder Page.

Previously you could only create new assets with the Asset Builder, leaving you to have to create additional pages and screens for exposing custom editing interfaces for the assets users were building.

Similar to the Account Manager Page, this enhancement now lets you edit assets via the Asset Builder as well as create them. You can create custom editing interfaces for each type of asset and keywords are available for things like success and error messages when an edit has been performed.


Updated Edit+ Interface

#7494

The Edit+ interface has had a bit of a facelift to further modernise and improve the user experience. A lighter theme has now been applied and various minor improvements to editing elements have been tweaked and improved.

The Metadata screen in particular has received some attention in terms of spacing, layout, and consistency.


Multiple Related Asset Metadata Field

#2736

The Related Asset Metadata Field has been enhanced to support multiple asset selections.

There is now a setting where you enter a number value of how many related asset selections you want to allow for the field. Setting this to anything higher than 1 will automatically turn it into a multi asset select picker on the metadata entry screen.

When multiple assets are selected by this field, the output is printed in a JSON structure that can also be turned into XML or CSV using keyword modifiers.

In Edit+, each related asset selection can have its order changed via the easy drag and drop interface tools.


Edit+ Linking Screen Info

#1973

The Linking Screen in Edit+ has been enhanced display more information about where the current asset is linked to.

The new "Asset Links" table displays link types of:

  • URL Link - An asset that links to current asset using a ./?a= link
  • Nested Asset - An asset that is nesting in the current asset
  • Root Node - An asset (such as Asset Listing) that is using the current asset as a root node selection


Trigger Logs

#6258

Logging of changes have been added to the Trigger Assets in the Admin Interface. System Administrators of a Matrix instance can now easily review all changes made to a Trigger and more importantly, which user made the changes, to help properly audit these power assets.


HPRM 8 Connector

#6872

A new dedicated connector and Saved Search asset have been created for connecting a HPRM 8 system to Matrix. This connector and functionality is essentially the same as the existing TRIM connector in Matrix, but is powered off the new REST API that is available in HPRM.


LDAP With SAML Authentication

#5416

Both LDAP and SAML authentication has been available in Matrix for a long time. Now these two powerful and popular authentication mechanisms can work together to let your users login to Matrix using external user accounts through a SAML login screen, and managed within Matrix as LDAP user assets.


Braintree Payment Gateway

#7458

A new payment gateway system has been added to Matrix to increase the E-Commerce implementation and integration capabilities. Braintree, a PayPayl owned company, specialises in payment solutions for websites to enable fast and easy payment processing online.

This payment gateway can be connected with the standard E-Commerce functionality in Matrix such as the E-Commerce Form and Shopping Cart assets.


LDAP Login Using Email

#7009

The LDAP Bridge allows Matrix to display the structure of your LDAP directory in the asset map. You can browse your directory from Squiz Matrix and use the users and groups just as if they were created within Squiz Matrix itself. You can assign permissions for LDAP users and groups, and apply security restrictions to them to limit their interaction with the administration interfaces.

A small enhancement has been added to the LDAP Bridge to let users login using their email address rather than their usernames.


Search Page Enhancements

#6557

Several enhancements have been added to the Search Page asset in Matrix to bring it more in-line with functionality that is available in the Asset Listing asset. These enhancements include:

  • Dynamic root nodes - Ability to pass dynamic search root nodes to target when doing a search using parameters such as GET variables and global keywords.
  • Exclude root nodes - Specific root nodes can be excluded from the search page so that no assets under those nodes get returned in search results.
  • Exclude assets - Similar to exclude root nodes, however only targets individual assets to exclude from search results.

Parse Push Notification Trigger Action

#7724

Parse.com is a platform that lets developers create powerful supporting app components such as cloud databases, push notifications, and analytics tracking.

A new Trigger Action has been added to Matrix that can connect to the Parse Push Notification API to send updates from your website into users device notification systems for things like tablets and smart phones.

This feature was generously submitted by Nic Hubbard from Zed Said Studios.



With the release of 5.3 on November 2nd 2015, it also means we saw our last version of the 5.1 branch released on the same day (5.1.15.0). It also means that the 5.2 branch has now switched over into a support branch meaning it will only contain bug fixes and security enhancements in all its future releases.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW IN OUR LATEST RELEASES? 

It's not only Matrix 5.3 that we've been celebrating. Since our last newsletter, several other enhancements have been added into the various Matrix version releases. Click on the links below to view the release notes for each version:

  5.1 5.2 5.3
24 Nov 2015   5.2.8.0 5.3.1.0
02 Nov 2015 5.1.15.0 5.2.7.7 5.3.0.0
06 Oct 2015 5.1.14.6 5.2.7.6  
02 Oct 2015 5.1.14.5 5.2.7.5  
30 Sep 2015 5.1.14.4 5.2.7.4  
29 Sep 2015 5.1.14.3 5.2.7.3  
09 Sep 2015 5.1.14.2 5.2.7.2  

  

Below are also some of the other notable features released in Squiz Matrix since 5.2.7.7:

Better Error Handling For REST Calls

Squizmap Idea #7374 

Better error handling and reporting has now been added to REST web service calls for things like the Trigger Action and REST Resource asset.  

If a REST call fails, you can print and check the error message and code that was returned as part of the failed web service call. These error values are part of the REST.response JSON data and can be accessed and printed within the JavaScript execution code:

print(_REST.response.error);
print(_REST.response.error_code;

Introduced in version 5.2.7.7

Ability to Create Children Under Assets in Workflow

Squizmap Idea #7817 

When an asset is in workflow, all of its attributes and metadata are locked down while the asset's status is in "Up For Review" or "Pending Approval". This is to ensure no data is changed while the asset is in a review state. 

This however also meant that the asset's linking information was locked down, and in turn meant that no new child assets could get created under it. This minor enhancement now removes this restriction.

Introduced in version 5.2.7.7

Logging of Changes on File Assets 

Squizmap Idea #6879 

A new type of logging has been added for File based assets called "file.updated". This log will track changes made to a file and will allow you to download the file at any specific point in time of when it was updated. This will especially be useful for reverting accidental overwritten text based files such as CSS and JS.

File Logging 

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

New Keyword for Asset Status Code

Squizmap Idea #8178 

A new keyword has been added to print the status code of an asset. %asset_status_code% will print the code associated with the current status on an asset. Effect when using on a Live asset:

%asset_status_code% => 16

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

XPath support for tag name extraction on XML Datasource asset

Squizmap Idea #5374 

When selecting with tag names to use to extract values from on an XML Datasource asset, you can now use the XPath syntax to extract specific tags that share the same names as tags on other levels of the XML structure. For example, if your XML structure looks like this:

<books>
  <title>List of books</title>
  <recid>cat1</recid>
  <book>
    <recid>item1</recid>
    <title>The Dead Zone</title>
    <author>Stephen King</author>
  </book>
  <book>
    <recid>item2</recid>
    <title>The Murder of Roger Ackroyd</title> 
    <author>Agatha Christie</author>
  </book>
</books>

Using "book/title" or "books/book/title" as the tags to extract will return: 

  • Record 1: The Dead Zone
  • Record 2: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

While tags to extract set as "books/title" will return:

  • Record 1: List of books

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

Ability to Change Time When Sharepoint Scheduled Job Runs

Squizmap Idea #8227 

Similar to the TRIM Scheduled Job, the Sharepoint Job can now be configured to be run at any time instead of the previously fixed time of 00:00. 

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

Dynamic Keyword Support for Start Position Setting on Listing Assets

Squizmap Idea #8248 

Similar to the "Assets Per Page" setting on listing assets, the "Start Position" setting now supports dynamic keywords as the setting value. For example, passing a URL parameter of "start=3" to an asset listing and setting the "Start Position" value to %globals_get_start%, will make the asset listing start the list at position 3.

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

OAuth2 2-Legged Authentication

Squizmap Idea #8176 

OAuth2 2-legged authentication has now been added as a new authentication method within Squiz Matrix. This is similar to the already existing OAuth2 3-legged authentication where user needs to be redirected to another website server to login and authenticate the connection.

This new 2-legged method inherits current OAuth2 functionality but doesn't require any redirection on the front end, Matrix will instead work in background to grab the Access Token directly from the end point using server side interaction calls.

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

New Keywords for Form Submission Assets

Squizmap Idea #8136  

New keywords have been added in order to make all Form Submission attributes available as keyword replacements. These include:

  • Attributes - %submission_attributes% (json string of the attributes array)
  • Captcha Status - %submission_captcha_status% (boolean 1 or 0)
  • Complete - %submission_complete% (boolean 1 or 0)
  • Submitted date:
    • Normal - %submission_submitted_time%
    • Short - %submission_submitted_time_short%
    • Readable - %submission_submitted_time_readable%
    • Readable date - %submission_submitted_time_readabledate%
    • Readable time - %submission_submitted_time_readabletime%
    • iso8601 - %submission_submitted_time_iso8601%
    • rfc2822 - %submission_submitted_time_rfc2822%
    • iCal - %submission_submitted_time_ical%
    • Relative - %submission_submitted_time_relative%

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

Update File Contents JS API Function 

Squizmap Idea #7705 

A new JS API function has been added that allows you to update the contents of a file by passing the file data as a base64 encoded string. This is particularly useful when creating front-end web apps that let you create and update file assets such as images without the need to use asset builders or a simple edit layout.

Example JS API code: 

js_api.updateFileAssetContent({  
  "asset_id": "1234", //Asset ID of the file asset
  "content" : "/9j/4QDGRXhpZgAASUk...", //Base64 encoded string data
  "dataCallback": callbackFunctionHere //Callback function
});

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

New Keyword Modifiers for base64url Decoding and Encoding 

Squizmap Idea #7380 

A couple of new keyword modifiers have been added to enable encoding and decoding of strings into base64url format. This is similar to the already existing base64 keyword modifiers, except they encode the string slightly differently to cater for use in URL implementations in order to properly escape URL sensitive characters.

One example where this is required is when integrating with the Google Gmail API. A ":no_pad" argument can also be passed to strip whites space characters from the end of the string.

Example where the value is "foo bar": 

%asset_name^base64url_encode% => Zm9vIGJhcg

Introduced in version 5.3.1.0

USER MANUAL LIBRARY MOVING TO MATRIX

You may not be aware of this, but for the entirety of their lifetime, the User Manuals Website for Matrix has been running on Squiz CMS. This is a smaller based Web CMS built and developed by Squiz Labs which is no longer active in its development.   

study zone

While it has served us well as a basic CMS that allows us to edit and create pages quickly with basic site functionality, we now have bigger and better plans for the Manuals, which means we need to look elsewhere for a system that is able to support it. The obvious solution is of course, Matrix!

Subsequently, with this migration already in motion, the plan is to have the Manual's Website fully relocated 'like-for-like' to a Squiz Matrix platform in the next couple of weeks. When this has been completed and the migration is live, we can start working on all the new improvements we have in store for the site.

Stay tuned for further updates and keep an eye out for changes and improvements coming to the site over the next few months. 

INTERNET EXPLORER CHANGING SUPPORT

Microsoft has announced that support for older versions of Internet Explorer ends on January 12, 2016.

"Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical supports and security updates. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10."

- Microsoft

This also means that the next big release of Matrix (5.4, scheduled for start of Q2 2016) will not be supported in IE8, IE9, and IE10. All other existing browsers will still be supported with the addition of Microsoft Edge

This will hugely impact the development and testing in Matrix for new features that are getting built as we can build tools and improvements that solely rely on new and powerful web browser technology.

NEW SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE COMING SOON

In order to ensure you always get the latest news regarding Squiz Matrix and Squiz Labs products in general, we have decided to start a brand new email subscription service!

This will be an email newsletter containing updates and news on all Squiz Labs product development. Never miss a release note, bug fix, minor enhancement, newsletter, or announcement again by getting everything new about Squiz Labs products directly in your email inbox.

Keep an eye out on the User Manuals Website for a subscription link popping up in the near future!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Well that's it for another cracking year of Squiz Matrix development news. This will be the last Squiz Matrix newsletter edition for the year and we'll be back next year bigger and better. 

Stay tuned for an end of year Squiz Labs post where we look back and recap all the highlights of the year that was 2015. 

Until then, from the Squiz Matrix team we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 


SQUIZ MATRIX: 09/15.

Welcome to the Squiz Matrix Newsletter, a monthly look at all the latest and greatest Matrix news, direct to you from our Squiz Labs development team.

The Squiz Matrix Newsletter: September 2015

It was a busy month with Matrix taking center stage at the annual Squiz Summit, as well as a string of fantastic new releases. Continue reading below for more information on September's exciting new developments.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Matrix on Show at the 2015 Squiz Summit
  2. What's New in Our Latest Releases?
  3. Women's Institute Revamps Website for 100th Birthday
  4. University of Salford is First to Match Make Students With Courses Using Tinder-Style App

As always, we'd love to hear your feedback. Let us know your thoughts by shooting us an email at  matrix-newsletter@squiz.com.au. Til next month,

The Squiz Labs team.

MATRIX ON SHOW AT THE 2015 SQUIZ SUMMIT

Earlier in September, Melbourne played host to a day full of fantastic content at the 2015 Squiz Summit.

This year's conference was headlined by a diverse program of talks, discussions and technical demonstrations covering recent developments in the digital world, as well as our latest products and features.

As part of the 2015 Squiz Summit, Squiz Matrix Product Manager, Bartek Banda presented a special Tech Corner, demoing some of the exciting new features that our team is currently working on for our upcoming 5.3 release.

Squiz Summit 2015: Matrix Tech Corner

Bart observed a great deal of interest and positive feedback in what was presented and we're now more excited than ever to bring you a new release that will hopefully knock your socks off.

"We had some really great feedback and interest in the new Git File Bridge and the Content Template features that are coming out in 5.3. This isn't surprising, as we believe it will change the way users implement website solutions in Matrix for the better, going forward."

Bartek Banda
Squiz Matrix Product Manager

We're entering our testing phase next week with our first RC version planned for release, meaning that Matrix 5.3 isn't too far off.

Be sure to keep reading the Squiz Labs blog for all the latest leading up to release day.

WHAT'S NEW IN OUR LATEST RELEASES?

We've been hard at work since last month's report, with three sets of new patch releases: 5.1.14.1 and 5.2.7.1 (Aug 31st); 5.1.14.2 and 5.2.7.2 (Sep 9th); and 5.1.14.3 and 5.2.7.3 (Sep 29th). These releases contained minor bug fixes and minor enhancements. 

All of these recent releases are available now via our Git repository; contact Squiz for access. Continue reading below for some of the great functionality introduced within the last month. 

SOAP: New Parameter on Workflow Functions to Support Commenting

Squizmap Idea #5430

The SOAP API Workflow Service asset within Matrix manages the workflow functions a SOAP Server, including starting and canceling the workflow approval process of an asset.

Previously, the StartWorkflow and CancelWorkflow functions did not support commenting, a feature which is usually available to users during the workflow process.

This feature introduces the new optional WorkflowMessage parameter on these functions, allowing you to leave a message when initiating or canceling the workflow process. 

The new format of the StartWorkflow function is as follows:

<soap:Body>
<ns1:StartWorkflow>
<AssetID>string</AssetID>
<WorkflowMessage>string</WorkflowMessage>
</ns1:StartWorkflow>
</soap:Body>

The new format of the CancelWorkflow function is as follow: 

<soap:Body>
<ns1:CancelWorkflow>
<AssetID>string</AssetID>
<WorkflowMessage>string</WorkflowMessage>
</ns1:CancelWorkflow>
</soap:Body> 

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.3. 

Online Poll: Clear Votes for Poll Option

Squizmap Idea #4267

Matrix's Online Poll asset allows you to add poll questions to your site, allowing your users to vote on the available options. This asset then allows you to view these voting results of your poll.

This feature adds an additional Clear Votes option on the Details screen of an Poll Question asset to remove any votes received on a specified option.

Clearing votes on an Online Poll Question asset

Clearing votes is easy, simply select the corresponding Clear Votes check-box for the option(s) you want to remove the votes on and commit your changes.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.2.

Global Keyword Support on the Submit TRIM Record Form Submission Action

Squizmap Idea #7699

The Submit TRIM Record submission action on a Custom Form allows you to submit a form submission as a TRIM record.

When configuring this submission action, the Create Record Settings allows you to configure the settings for creating the TRIM records, including specifying the values used for both the mandatory and additional fields on the record.

While keyword replacements are supported when configuring these field values, previously global keyword replacements were not. This feature adds support for global keywords when configuring these values on the Submit TRIM Record submission action.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.1. 

Add New Submission Action List Sorted Alphabetically

Squizmap Idea #7698

Previously, when adding a new submission action on a Custom Form, the Add New Action list displayed available submission actions in no real order.

The Add New Action list in alphabetical order

This feature modifies this list to display form submission actions in this list alphabetically, making it easier to find the action you want to add.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.1.

SOAP Available Functions Listed Alphabetically

Squizmap Idea #7887

Previously, when configuring SOAP functions on the Make SOAP Call trigger and form submission actions, available SOAP functions would be listed in the order of the SOAP Serve. 

This feature modifies the way Matrix lists these functions to display the available options in the list alphabetically, making it easier to find the action you want to add.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.3.

Workflow Support for Users Dynamically Linked to a User Group

Squizmap Idea #7827

Previously, users who were dynamically linked to a user group (i.e. via the Join User Group for Session trigger action), would not be able to or contribute to the approval process of an asset in workflow.

This meant, for example, that a SAML user linked to a user group for the login session was not able to approve asset changes that the rest of the regular Matrix users in the group would be able to.

This feature modifies the workflow process to now allow users dynamically linked to a user group to take part in the workflow approval process of assets.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.2.

Dynamic Workflow Single Value ID

Squizmap Idea #6385

The New Dynamic Condition? field on the Details screen of a Workflow Schema allows you to dynamically configure an approval condition within the workflow process, based on a keyword replacement value evaluated against the asset in workflow.

The New Dynamic Condition Field

Previously, however, this dynamic condition only support single value IDs. This feature modifies this option,now allowing you to pass multiple user IDs in the dynamic condition, as either an array of IDs, an array of IDs as strings or in JSON format: ({ "user1": "100", "user2": "200"}).

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.1.

Wider Name & Short Name Fields on the Calendar Search Page

Squizmap Idea #7657

This feature modifies the width of the Name and Short Name fields on the Details screen of a Calendar Search Page, to address an issue where the original fields were too narrow.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.3. 

Wider Schema Name Field on the Workflow Schema Asset

Squizmap Idea #7963

Similar to the feature above, this feature modifies the width of the Schema Name field on the Details screen of a Workflow Schema, to address an issue where the original field was too narrow.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.3. 

WOMEN'S INSTITUTE REVAMPS WEBSITE FOR 100TH BIRTHDAY

Originally posted at: https://www.squiz.net/blog/womens-institute-revamps-website-for-100th-birthday.

Women's Institute Revamps Website for 100th Birthday

We're proud to have appeared in this fantastic article from NetImperative.

You can read our excerpt here or head on over to their site for the full piece.

The Women's Institute (WI) has partnered with Squiz, the digital transformation company, to create a responsive website that engages with its members, and enables easy on-the-go promotion.

Squiz initiated a digital transformation campaign which enabled:

* Easier site navigation to support basic information sharing with members, visitors and prospects across the WI website.

* A mobile responsive site to appeal to WI members using mobile and tablets on the go who wanted a slicker, more dynamic set of content services.

* Greater consistency with the look and feel of the WI brand to ensure that the aesthetics of the digital project matched the great work that WI does.

* Upskilling of the WI federation via video content, step-by-step documents and general support to allow everyone to use the new technology.

In the first month the WI reported a 22% rise in traffic, a 23% rise in new users and a 20% rise in tablet/mobile users. The digital transformation campaign has been so successful that the WI is now exploring even more new ways to innovate their site and boost member engagement 

Rory McNeil
UK Marketing Manager

UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD IS FIRST TO MATCH MAKE STUDENTS WITH COURSES USING TINDER-STYLE APP

Originally posted at: https://www.squiz.net/blog/university-of-salford-is-first-to-match-make-students-with-courses-using-tinder-style-app-for-clearing.

Match Made in Salford Tool

University of Salford is the first institution to offer students a Tinder-style app in order to find a course through clearing. The immersive online experience, 'Match Made in Salford' created by Squiz offers essential, informative content about clearing in a playful and innovative way.

Delivered across mobile, desktop and tablet, the digital clearing tool asks prospective students to 'swipe left' or 'swipe right' when they are provided with personalised course recommendations based on their grades achieved, course and career of interest.

Any 'match' can be explored in more detail within the service, with information provided about the course and University of Salford. Any 'matches' are then added to a shortlist that can be viewed in full once the user has exhausted all course recommendations.

John McCarthy, Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment at University of Salford commented: "Usually students are faced with lengthy lists of available courses, but with this tool we're making our clearing process student driven and much more interactive. Because users are recommended a course based on their interests and long term goals, it means that when they telephone us they feel more informed about the course they are enrolling on. We want students to be able to find their ideal course partner, and then look forward to a wonderful new life together in September when term kicks off!"

University of Salford saw over 10,000 unique visitors using the matchmaker to find courses, with site engagement (measured by time spent on site) increasing by 264%. Prospective students have also been encouraged to share their 'matches' on social media through the app using #MatchMadeInSalford.

Roger Warner, Head of Strategy at Squiz added, "18 year olds use mobile apps daily so it makes sense for universities to offer an experience of clearing which echoes other popular services. University of Salford is leading the way in how institutions should be interacting with students during this busy, and sometimes stressful, period. Offering this service as 'digital first' allows the university to make the clearing process enjoyable, more personal and engaging."

Warner continues: "With the cap being lifted on the number of university places this year, universities are dealing with more enquiries, but are also facing higher competition for students to sign up to their courses. This digital service allows the University of Salford to quickly see which courses are being filled and where there is space available, as well as differentiating their clearing process and communication with students through a highly engaging experience."

Use the 'Match Made in Salford' clearing tool here: http://www.salford.ac.uk/matchmaker.

Robin Marchant
Global Marketing Director


SQUIZ MATRIX: 08/15.

Welcome to the NEW Squiz Matrix Newsletter, a monthly look at all the latest and greatest Matrix news, direct to you from our Squiz Labs development team.

The Squiz Matrix Newsletter: August 2015

We're trialling a brand new format, so feel free to take a look around, read some articles, and make yourself acquainted with our new newsletter style. Listed below are our featured stories in this month's edition, including a closer look at the new Squiz Matrix Newsletter.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Out with the Old and in with the News
  2. Be Inspired: Squiz Summit 2015
  3. A New Look for Squiz
  4. What's in Our Latest Releases?
  5. Content Creation: The Template for Success
  6. A Crash Course in UX at Usability Week Sydney

You can use the links above to head directly to an article, or just simply continue reading below.

We hope you enjoy the new format and welcome any feedback you might have on our new monthly newsletter. You can email us at matrix-newsletter@squiz.com.au. Happy reading!

The Squiz Labs team.

OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEWS

For over ten years, the Squiz Matrix Newsletter has been the go-to source for all the latest development news on your favourite CMS, Squiz Matrix (it is your favourite, right…?).

Originally titled the MySource Matrix Development Newsletter, it started from humble beginnings, basically as an email subscription to a simple list of features and bug fixes for the week. In fact, that format lasted quite a while, until 2012 when it moved to its current home, here on the Squiz Labs Blog.

Issue 1 of the Matrix Newsletter

Since then, we've been bringing you news on the latest features and enhancements (almost) every week, and last year celebrated the milestone of our 500th edition - not too shabby!

However, just as our product has changed over the years, we've determined that the way we bring you news is also in need of a bit of an overhaul.

This month we've debuted our new newsletter format, and there's more than just a couple of changes, so let's take a closer look.

Is Less Really More?

As you've probably already noticed, the newsletter will no longer be a weekly affair. Instead, we'll be releasing on a monthly schedule. We're aiming for the last Friday of each month, so next month's issue is due out on Friday, 25th of September.

Why are we no longer releasing on a weekly basis? Honestly, we just feel the recent newsletters haven't been all that content rich.

With our new release schedule introduced in Matrix 5.0, our feature development has changed and often there's just not a lot that we are able to report on in any given week. We want to keep your interest and there's only so much we can do to stretch a new keyword modifier to fill an entire week's worth of news.

By releasing on a monthly basis, we'll be able to really focus on the big features that you're sure to be excited about and also, go a little more in depth than we have previously been doing.

So don't worry, our new release schedule doesn't mean that you'll be getting less from us, in fact, quite the opposite.

Let's Talk Content.

We're pretty excited at the opportunity to bring you more content, and content that you actually care about.

Don't get us wrong. We'll still be covering all the latest features, enhancements and releases of Matrix, this is the Squiz Matrix Newsletter after all. But the manner in which we are planning to deliver this content will hopefully provide a more engaging, helpful and relatable reading experience.

We're big on stories here at Squiz and we're embracing that with how we're going to be presenting content from now on.

When we announce the latest awesome feature, we don't want to just tell you about it - we want to provide real-world implementation examples, discuss the reasons behind development, and show you why you should be looking forward to it.

We Want You!

With all that being said, as you know, this is only our first issue. We're still ironing out the kinks, so bare with us. There's always room for improvement.

We want to hear from you, what you like and what you don't like; what you want more of and what you honestly could do without.

As mentioned above, we've got an email address where you can send us your newsletter feedback: matrix-newsletter@squiz.com.au.

We want to hear from you, so please feel free to drop us a line and let us know what you think.

BE INSPIRED: SQUIZ SUMMIT 2015

This year's annual Squiz Summit is fast approaching and with the event coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Squiz Melbourne, we thought it fitting that Australia's coffee capital play host.

Squiz Summit 2015

Melbourne's Docklands is set to provide the backdrop for a day full of remarkable content on our latest products and features, as well as an abundance of education and training possibilities. We'll also be hosting a networking happy hour and our fantastic Gala Dinner, featuring performances from one of Australia's most beloved entertainers, Monica Trapaga.

With an impressive list of speakers lined up, including some of the best and brightest at Squiz, our partners and clients, this is an event that should not be missed!

Tickets are available now on the Squiz Summit site, so come join us on Thursday, September 3rd and be inspired.

A NEW LOOK FOR SQUIZ

Originally posted at: https://www.squiz.net/blog/a-new-look-for-squiz.

A new look for squiz.

We're delighted to announce the launch of our newly designed website! Take a look around and let us know what you think.

Our main goals for the website were to make it easier for you to navigate, with a more attractive design and an engaging user experience with enhanced search and navigation. But most of all, we wanted to help you get to know us better and make life easier for you.

The new website is full of resources to help those who are looking to use Squiz for their digital transformation needs. We'll be regularly updating our content to help you find out about creating digital strategies to help drive growth and gain a competitive advantage.

We hope you find the website engaging, fresh and relevant.

Enjoy!

Check out the newly designed Squiz website at https://www.squiz.net.

WHAT'S NEW IN OUR LATEST RELEASES?

On August 17th, we released two new versions of Squiz Matrix, 5.2.7.0 and 5.1.14.0, containing a number of bug fixes and minor enhancements.

Earlier, July saw the release of four new versions of Matrix: Micro releases 5.1.13.0 and 5.2.6.0 on July 13th, and patch releases 5.1.13.1 and 5.2.6.1 on July 28th.

All of these recent releases are available now via our Git repository; contact Squiz for access. Continue reading below for some of the great functionality introduced within the last two months.

HTML Entities Keyword Modifier

Squizmap Idea #7585

Keyword modifiers within Squiz Matrix allow you to modify the returned values of keyword replacements. 

This feature introduces the new htmlentities modifier, which will convert all applicable characters to HTML entities. This modifier takes a flag argument to specify how to handle quotes, invalid code unit sequences and the used document type. The default flag is ENT_COMPAT. 

In the example below, we are using the ENT_HTML5 flag to handle the converted code as HTML 5.

Example: %asset_metadata_feature.about^htmlentities:ENT_HTML5%
Effect: what " ' ' " < > ! , . / ? '  : ; > <p>what " ' ' " &lt; &gt; ! , . / ? ' &nbsp;: ;</p> 


A list of the available flags can be found on the PHP: htmlentities documentation.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.0.

Custom Form: Re-Order Form Submission Actions

Squizmap Idea #6037

The Submissions Actions screen on a Custom Form asset allows you to create custom actions that are run whenever a user submits the form, for example, running a db query or sending an email.

Previously, actions on this screen would be listed in the order they were created, without providing the ability for you to change this order.

This feature introduces a new option on the Submission Actions screen allowing you to reorder the actions that have been previously created.

The Reorder icon on the Submission Actions screen

Reordering your actions is a breeze, simply click the Reorder icon for the action you want to move, then drag and drop the action to the desired location.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.0.

Improved Styles and Layout on Data Source Record Assets

Squizmap Idea #7583

Data Source Record assets within Matrix store information returned from Data Sources, such as a DB Data Source, querying external resources (e.g. a database or LDAP directory). These records can be used within your site, for example, to expose record information on an asset listing.

This feature improves the styles and layout of the information on the Details screen of Data Source Record assets, to make record data easier to review and understand, as shown in the figure below.

Layout improvements on Data Source Record Set assets 

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.0.

Last Chars Keyword Modifier 

Squizmap Idea #7592 

This feature introduces the new lastchars modifier, which will return the last characters of the returned values, based on a set numeral argument.

In the example below, the keyword format will print the last four characters of the returned value e.g. homepage would be returned as page.

%asset_name^lastchars:4% 

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.7.0.

Reverse Keyword Modifier

Squizmap Idea #7521

This feature introduces the new reverse modifier, which will reverse the returned value of a keyword.

In the example below, the keyword format will print the name of your asset in reverse, e.g. Page would be returned as egaP.

%asset_name^reverse%

This modifier has been developed to be best used in conjunction with other modifiers, to further configure a returned value.

%asset_name^reverse^maxchars:4^reverse%

In this example, we've used the reverse modifier with the maxchars modifier to only print the last four characters of our asset name. So, if the name of our asset is PageHome, this keyword format would return Home.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.6.1.

After Workflow Step Condition Approved Trigger Event

Squizmap Idea #7459

Squiz Matrix's Trigger system contains a variety of workflow-based functions, allowing you to fire triggers based on the status of workflow within your system, as well as approve and reject existing workflow processes.

Previously, however, trigger events were only available for instances when the entire workflow was approved or rejected; individual step approval did not allow you to fire triggers.

The After Workflow Condition Approved trigger event

This feature introduces the new After Workflow Step Condition Approved trigger event that will fire when the conditions of a workflow step are approved. So, for example, if a user approved the changes made to the asset, which then satisfies the conditions for the workflow step, the trigger will be fired.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.6.0.

New Keywords to Print an Asset's Parent and Lineage Asset IDs

Squizmap Idea #7391

New keyword replacements have been added to print an array of an asset's parent and lineage asset IDs.

  • %asset_parents%: will print an array of all parent IDs of an asset, e.g. ["1111", "2222", "3333"].
  • %asset_parent%: will print the current parent asset, based on the current asset in its lineage context, e.g. 1111.
  • %asset_linking_info%: will print an array of the link information of an asset e.g. [{"linkid":"111","link_type":"1","link_value":"","lineage":["1111", "2222", "3333"]}].
  • %asset_linking_lineage%: will print the current asset lineage, based on the current asset in its lineage context, e.g. ["1111", "2222", "3333"].

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.6.0.

New Keywords to Print the User Groups a User is a Member of

Squizmap Idea #7330

New keyword replacement have been added that will print the user group asset IDs of all the groups a user is a member of.

  • %asset_member_groups%: will print the user group asset IDs a user asset is a member of.
  • %globals_user_member_groups%: will print the user group asset IDs that the current user is a member of.

These keywords will return an array of comma separated list of asset IDs, like so:

["1111","2222","3333"] 

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.6.0.

New Keywords for Next and Previous Sibling Assets

Squizmap Idea #7461

New keyword replacements have been added to print the asset ID of both the next and previous sibling assets in the asset tree.

  • %asset_sibling_next%: will print the asset ID of the next asset in the tree order for the current asset, based on the current lineage.
  • %asset_sibling_prev%: will print the asset ID of the previous asset in the tree order for the current asset, based on the current lineage.

If there is no next or previous sibling, these keywords will return an empty value.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.6.1.

E-Commerce: Transaction Response Keyword Replacement

Squizmap Idea #7556

A new keyword replacement has been added to Matrix's E-Commerce system to show the transaction response XML from the payment server.

%transaction_response%

This keyword is available in the Receipt bodycopy of an E-Commerce Form Page and the E-Commerce form email format.

This feature was introduced in Squiz Matrix 5.2.6.1.

CONTENT CREATION: THE TEMPLATE FOR SUCCESS

Content is no longer simply 'nice to have' or even the proverbial 'king'. Today, content is a true must-have for all organisations and should be at the very core of their business in this era of digital transformation. 

Grace Kraus
Content Strategy Lead
Read More: The Content Imperative (Squiz Blog)

Back in June, we brought you news of an exciting new content template feature that would allow you to create and apply custom templates to content containers.

Adding a content container template 

Just to refresh your memory, this new asset allows you to create Paint Layouts, Metadata Schemas, and Simple Edit Layouts that can be applied to content containers as templates. These content templates can be used by your editors on the Contents screen of Standard Page assets, taking care of the presentation, data storage, and editing interface for the containers they are applied.

This new feature should allow you to create unique and tailored front-end content as well as custom user intuitive and friendly editing experiences that are targeted for specific implementation requirements and solutions.  

An accordion content template

As part of our testing here at Squiz, we've been able to come up a variety of different template ideas using these new features, such as: 

  • An accordion template (pictured above), allowing users to create accordion content easily with flexibility over how many tabs to create.
  • A template for embedding Google Maps within content with auto-complete street address searching for the default map marker position.
  • A template allowing for the creation of image galleries where the images can be sourced from a particular root node within the system or under the current asset.

These are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. We envision a multitude of potential template ideas, really, the possibilities are endless.

With a growing awareness of the power of high quality content, these container templates should provide your editors with more freedom when creating content, taking away any worry of initial HTML creation and element styling, as well as the overheads for initial setup and training.

Read More: 8 tips for creating standout content (Squiz Blog).

Content container templates are set to be introduced in our upcoming 5.3.0 release of Squiz Matrix.

You can view the Squizmap report for this feature for more information on the ongoing development and testing.

A CRASH COURSE IN UX AT USABILITY WEEK SYDNEY

User Experience (UX) refers to a user's end-to-end experience as they interact with your website or brand.

The ability to create a seamless user journey can drive customer relationships, loyalty and return on investment (ROI). It's worth noting that UX spans elements as diverse as search, navigation and payment. This can make it a confusing beast.

Beata Brodowska
Head of User Experience
Read More: UX Essentials (Squiz Blog)

The below video is a fun and slightly messy look at how a designer's vision might not always translate to the user (skip ahead about a minute, if you're short on time).

While this is a real-world example involving a bowl, the same concept can be applied to software development and the topic of user experience.

The Nielsen Norman Group is a leader in the UX field, conducting research, and providing UX training and consultations.

Squiz Labs' Usability Experience Analyst, Deborah Sherwood recently had the chance to attend NN/g's Usability Week in Sydney last month (July 20-24). The five day conference aimed to help attendees get up to speed on the latest proven methods and best practices in the UX world.

The conference was comprised of a number of all-day training courses, covering a variety of topics and methods. Deb attended three of these courses.

Lean UX and Agile

This course outlined how Lean UX approaches and Agile development processes, such as Scrum, can work together.

"As our development team uses the agile methodology to develop our products and the features within these products, this course provided ideas on how to work in UX within each iteration.

One of the main points that stood out to me during this course was testing using paper prototyping. As iterations generally last around two weeks, we normally don't have time to perform formal user testing with a product before it is released into the wild. With paper prototyping, we can take a design for a new feature before it has been developed, and test it with users to give a greater indication of how well it will perform."

Deborah Sherwood
Usability Experience Analyst

The Human Mind and Usability

This course discussed how to apply psychology principals to predict the actions and thoughts of your customers. By understanding the foundations of human cognition, you can more accurately predict and anticipate user behaviour.

"Coming from a development background, this course helped me to gain a greater understanding about the psychology concepts that affect design.

We are wired to see structure and logic, and rely on prior knowledge to help understand new information. Items in our peripheral vision can be easily overlooked by users, so it is vital to keep important information front and center. While users tends to not focus on every detail on the screen, they can still take away the meaning of what they are seeing."

Deborah Sherwood
Usability Experience Analyst

The One Person UX Team Tool Box

This course covered a variety of usability strategies and techniques for individuals who are the sole UX specialist on a project or in an organisation.

"Being a team of one in Squiz Labs, this course was right up my alley. We discussed various different methodologies that can be utilised to research and determine the usability of products, working as a team of one.

A lot of my existing research has been centered around usability testing, however, as our products are already being used by clients, this course encouraged me to consider alternative methodologies that could be potentially used to research the UX of our products, such as contextual inquiry, journal studies and surveys."

Deborah Sherwood
Usability Experience Analyst 


New Matrix Newsletter Format on Its Way

You might have noticed the lack of weekly Squiz Matrix newsletters recently. While we have been a bit quiet, there's definitely no need to worry. In fact, we've simply been busy working on a new newsletter format in order to bring you all the latest from the world of Matrix.

We're hoping this new format will provide more of the exciting and relevant news that you guys have been asking for.

Stay tuned to the Squiz Labs blog for more information on this new venture.


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Squiz Labs

R & D division of Squiz Pty Ltd

Open source web experience management solutions

Squiz Labs is the research and development division of Squiz, the company behind the Squiz Suite of web experience management and development tools.

Our PHP and JavaScript developers are responsible for producing innovative enterprise-quality software while our interface designers and testing team ensure our products both look great and are easy to use.