CWIS 3.9.0 Beta Released

CWIS beta version 3.9.0 has been released, and is now available for download.  This is a beta release, leading up to CWIS 4.0.

This version focuses on three main areas:
  1. Interface Refactoring – The standard page start and end in the default interface have been simplified, better documented, and heavily refactored to be more maintainable and much more easily customized.  All CSS in the default interface has also been replaced with SCSS (AKA Sass), which should be easier to maintain and customize as well.  (It’s preferable to customize your site via the NavEditor plugin and -Override.scss files if possible, before creating custom versions of the standard page start and end.)
  2. Multi-Schema Support – Search now works across all content types, including entries created and maintained by the BlogCalendar Events, and Pages plugins, and the search interface has been refactored to be easier to maintain and customize.
  3. PHP 7 Compatibility – The latest major version of PHP introduced significant performance improvements and some new capabilities to the language, and in the process made a few changes that broke existing PHP code.  CWIS 3.9.0 includes revisions that should allow the software to run smoothly under both PHP 5.x and 7.x.
A few other improvements you’ll find in this release:
  • The Folders plugin now supports transferring folders between users.
  • MetricsReporter now tracks stats for the Blog plugin.
  • Metadata field group names can now be displayed (or not) on the full record page, via a system configuration option.
  • When a plugin is enabled, any plugins upon which it is dependent are now automatically enabled as well.
  • Search now supports prefix and suffix operators (^ and $) for text fields.
More information about additions and fixes can be found via the CWIS Revision History option on the Administration menu.  As a beta release, this version is not recommended for use on live production sites.  If you are going to run it on a production site (which, to be fair, we’ve been doing at Scout for months), please test and monitor your site carefully.
Moving toward 4.0, we’re very much looking toward the future.  Because of that, two additional notes:
  1. Some of the existing measures in CWIS to maintain compatibility with old user interfaces have been eliminated, and others have been moved to the BackwardCompatibility plugin.  We don’t anticipate these changes requiring much effort for interfaces based on CWIS 3.x, and interfaces based on CWIS 2.x should still be reasonably easily upgradable.  Custom interfaces based on CWIS 1.x will definitely require more effort.  In any event, if you need to make changes to your custom interface to get it to work with this release and run into difficulty, we’re happy to provide whatever assistance we can via the CWIS support forums.
  2. The minimum PHP version for CWIS is now 5.4, which came out in 2012.  If you’re running PHP 5.3 or earlier, this might be an excellent time to upgrade to 5.6 or even 7.0, as support (including security fixes) from the PHP team for PHP 5.5 is ending in July, and they are no longer supporting earlier versions at all.  On the plus side, one significant benefit to moving to PHP 5.4+ is that you can now count on short echo tags always being available (i.e. you’ll be able to use <?= $MyVar ?> instead of <?PHP print $MyVar; ?>).
As always, after installing the new version we ask that you use the Register with Scout feature on the Administration menu to let us know you're using the new version of the software.  It really helps us determine what kind of operating environments the software is running in, and where to go next with development.
We look forward to your feedback on this new version of CWIS.