Introducing the beta of eZ's next generation software
The last few weeks (if not months) have been very busy here at eZ and today we are happy to announce our first beta release of the next generation of eZ software, eZ Platform and eZ Studio!
There is a bright future for our new products, and we're designing them with users in mind. Innovation is all about accomplishing tasks in fewer steps, and with eZ Platform and eZ Studio we will simplify the way developers, designers, content editors and marketers leverage content to build delightful digital experiences.
It's been a long journey and there is still a lot of work to be put into our new content management solutions. Some even say it's just the beginning but still, this beta release is a very important milestone and we are looking forward to getting your feedback.
Now, for the details.
What are we releasing exactly?
Today's beta release is actually not just one, but two releases. We are indeed releasing both eZ Platform beta (version name 15.09) and eZ Studio beta. As you know, eZ Platform is an open source project and eZ Studio is not (read on here).
You'll find eZ Platform beta as a free download on share.ez.no along with our other open source software. When it comes to the eZ Studio beta (which is based on eZ Platform), we encourage you to connect with an eZ representative for more information.
What's in the betas?
The first beta includes the fundamental features that will be in the first stable version of eZ Platform and eZ Studio. Some features might not be here yet, some features might not be completed, but the core of what eZ Platform and eZ Studio 15.10 will offer is there.
We've built eZ Platform based on the new technical architecture introduced in our fifth generation of eZ Publish. eZ Platform provides a lot of tools and features for developers, leveraging and integrating components such as Symfony, Composer, the SolR search engine and, of course, the content repository. Beyond the technical features for developers, this beta release also improves the user interface to the content repository. The UI covers many key areas such as: creating and editing content, defining and managing content types, translating content, managing content and - I'd like to emphasize here - our new online editor, which is used for the rich text field. The online editor is still in an early phase, but the beta will help you get the basics of it.
Read the release notes for a complete description.
In eZ Studio, we are rolling out a variety of capabilities to simplify landing page management based on feedback from our customers and partners, and the talented people here at eZ. As seen in our beta, eZ Studio includes a drag-and-drop interface and a new, highly visual way to automate the flow of content on front pages. You'll also find a brand new "demo bundle," a modern demo site your organization will be able to use to test and showcase eZ Studio's capabilities and eventually use as a content base.
First, the main reason behind our beta releases is to collect feedback to help us further develop eZ Platform and eZ Studio. So in the coming weeks, we plan to spend a lot of time improving and polishing things that are in the betas. At eZ, all our teams will play with the betas to feed the development team back with input, bugs, comments and questions. If you are interested, please do the same!
Then, on our side the next step will be to reach a release candidate. Once the release candidate is out, we will mostly stabilize the software, with the goal to come with the first stable release of both eZ Platform and eZ Studio in early November. (see Update at the bottom of this post*) The exact date depends on the feedback we receive and our findings from the beta.
This stable release will be commercially supported, and will be available through the eZ Enterprise subscription for early adopters who want to start a project with it. Approximately a month later, we will come with another release, this time a Long-Term Support (LTS) release that will include a few key new features, such as our new Flex Workflow, as well as improvements, enhancements and bug fixes from the first stable.
That being said, here are the main links to recap:
The eZ Product and Engineering teams are very happy to share this new release with you, and we look forward to your feedback. Stay tuned for more product news, and you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Update: We've decided to bypass the stable release and instead launch our long-term support (LTS) version at the end of 2015.