CWIS 4.0.0 Released

CWIS version 4.0.0 has been released, and is now available for download on the Scout Site.
More than anything, CWIS 4.0 represents a quantum jump for the software in three areas:  maintainability, customizability, and SEO-friendliness.  We’ve invested a great deal of time and energy in the almost two years since 3.2 was released, on smoothing out many of the rough edges in the underlying user interface code, adding new conveniences to make CWIS-based sites easier to maintain, and optimizing the metadata and areas of performance most important to search engines.
That said, there have also been some other improvements and significant new functionality added to CWIS since 3.2:
  • You can now search for when a field was last modified, using the "@“ operator, and search now supports prefix and suffix operators (“^" and “$") for text fields.  (See the Advanced Search Tips box at the bottom of the Advanced Search page for examples.)
  • 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.
  • User fields can now be configured to be automatically updated when records are changed.
  • There's a new Piwik plugin, that automatically inserts the header code required for use with the open source Piwik web analytics package.
  • The Folders plugin now supports folders containing all content types (e.g. resources, events, blog posts) and transferring folders between users.
  • Metrics Reporter now tracks and reports on stats for the Blog plugin.
  • Password complexity requirements are now configurable.
  • The Rules plugin has been completely refactored to use an IF/THEN model, that supports complex search parameters in the IF section and complex email recipient selection parameters in the THEN section.
  • The Resource Exporter plugin now supports exporting all content types, allowing the export of (for example) events or blog posts.
  • The Batch Edit plugin now supports batch editing records for all content types.
(One caveat about the new Rules plugin: it will not work with rules set up under the old plugin, so if you’ve been using Rules, you’ll need to make note of the details of any rules you have set up before upgrading, and then manually add them again using the new plugin.)

And there were a few new additions intended specifically to make development with CWIS easier:

  • All CSS in the default interface has been replaced with SCSS (AKA Sass), which should be easier to maintain and customize.
  • The Developer plugin now supports a developer.ini file, that can be used to force plugin configuration settings to specific values and force plugins to be enabled/disabled.  (See install/EXAMPLE-developer.ini for more information.)  It can come in very handy when copying a database from a production site to a development or test installation.
  • There is a new "cwis" command line utility, that can be used to perform some common operations directly from the command line.  (The utility can also be found in the install directory – you'll need to copy or link to it to somewhere in your PATH to use it, and possibly also check that the first line points to the correct directory for PHP, if you have the PHP executable installed somewhere other than /usr/bin/php.)

As usual, more information about additions and fixes can be found via the CWIS Revision History option on the Administration menu.  (If you’re maintaining a custom user interface for your CWIS site or are doing development of any sort with CWIS, it’s definitely worth a look – there are some additional very significant infrastructure enhancements, that are not mentioned above.)

The minimum PHP version for CWIS 4.0.0 is 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 from the PHP team (including security fixes) for PHP 5.5 and earlier has ended.  At Scout we have moved to PHP 7.0 on our production sites because of the significant performance increase it brings.
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.