Webnodes AS announces the release of version 5.0

Oslo, Norway - 2. December 2014 – Webnodes AS, a company developing a .NET based semantic content management system and e-commerce platform, today announced the release of version 5.0, with with major improvements in the development framework, simplifying and cutting down on development time.

In this version, we have focused on development speed, with major improvements in the development framework. Our ecosystem is now equipped with a state of the art development tool, for rapid development of websites and e-commerce solutions. With version 5.0 we take another step towards simplifying and cutting down on development time. In addition, we have added several functional enhancements for editors and users

Visual Studio plugin

"Version 5.0 is one of our greatest improvements ever. The biggest change is the total rewrite of the ontology module. The entire module is now a new Visual Studio plugin, which streamlines how developers work with Webnodes. Developers will now save a significant amount of development time in projects, leading to more effective- and better project deliveries to end customers. In addition, this version also has a number of unique improvements related to the development of responsive web solutions." Says; Ole Gulbrandsen - CTO Webnodes.

An even better development environment

Webnodes has the best combination between a flexible data model combined with a powerful core engine, which the CMS market has to offer. This has always been our footprint and unique identity in the marketplace. With this launch, we reinforce our identity, and makes it even easier and faster for developers to apply our core technology across all four product areas; CMS, E-commerce, Intranet and Social Collaboration.

A new Responsive forms module

Today most websites and e-commerce solutions developed on the Webnodes framework are created using responsive templates. The big news in that regard is that the forms module (builds and designs different forms), is now fully responsive. It is already in use on the Save the Children's website.

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Automatic resizing and compression of images on mobile, in responsive web solutions

One of the challenges of making good responsive web solutions is that the amount of data mobile phones needs to download is very often heavier than if the website had separate mobile templates. Mobile phone subscriptions have strict limits regarding data traffic, and the speed of mobile networks can vary significantly depending on traffic and reception. This means that the size of a responsive web page plays an important role for the overall user experience.

Webnodes now have a built-in function that automatically compresses images and/or adjusts the image size for mobile phones, without losing the visible image quality for the user. By enabling this option, the amount of data downloaded on a mobile is often just 20-60% of the original. Exactly how much it can save depends on the use of images in the page.

Focus point and image scaling

The content in a web solution is often exposed through different templates and in different channels. The consequence is that the images are displayed in different sizes and with different proportions. This creates challenges around how images are scaled without losing whatever element that is vital to the image. Traditionally there have been two different approaches to this:

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  1. One solution is to manually create multiple versions of an image. This requires a lot of work, and when a total redesign of the website is needed, this generates a massive job updating all the pictures to fit new sizes and proportions. Web publishing through multiple channels is becoming more and more common. When you want to use the images in new channels, it creates a manual job with all the pictures, because the content is too closely linked to the presentation layer.

  2. The second option is automatic cropping of images. This is a solution that requires less work because different versions of the images are automatically generated to the channels they will be applied to. Unlike option 1, this solution will usually not require any manual work when doing a redesign of your website, since the image versions you need, automatically will be generated. This also makes the content lifecycle longer and management cost lower.

Alternative 2 is a good alternative and something that Webnodes has supported for many years. However, this can sometimes still cause problems, for example when a vital element of an image becomes partially or completely cropped away. You will occasionally see examples of this on various websites. The normal error you see is when the head of a person is cut in half in some versions of an image.

In version 5 of Webnodes, we have added support for setting a focus point on images. As an editor in Webnodes you can now apply a focus point per image. Webnodes will automatically ensure that an area around the focus point is always included in all generated versions of the image.

All the cropping of images will be performed based on the focus point, and not based on the center of the image. By adding a focus point, we've created a solution that achieves all the benefits of automatic cropping (loose coupling between content and presentation and little manual work), while retaining better control over what parts of the image the various generated images contain. The website gets a perfectly generated image every time, regardless of channel or device used. 

Improved MVC support

This version also has improved MVC support, which makes it easier for developers to develop templates in Webnodes using ASP.Net MVC.

New payment methods

Webnodes has a provider-based solution for payment methods in the e-commerce solution. This makes it very easy and fast to set up credit card payments with the payment method of your choice. Webnodes ships with a number of providers and our partners can easily create new ones. In the new version we have added several new payment method providers, including Payex and Cresco.

Future Roadmap

The Webnodes user interface has been one of our major competitive advantages. However we also see that the internet evolution is changing rapidly, and that we need to adjust to new possibilities that this opens up for. A new user interface solution will therefore be a top priority for Webnodes from now and until the next release. In addition, we will also focus on e-commerce and graph technologies for better product recommendations and functions for interactions with the users in social networks etc.

About Webnodes CMS

Webnodes CMS is a .NET based web content management (WCM) system powered by Webnodes Semantic Content Engine. Designed for the future of content management where taking advantage of structured content by using a content graph is a key to delivering value to the customer.

About Webnodes E-commerce

Webnodes E-commerce is a unique .NET based E-commerce platform powered by Webnodes Semantic Content Engine. It offers the ultimate in flexibility and extensibility.  

About Webnodes AS

Webnodes AS (www.webnodes.com) is a Norwegian software company developing and distributing Webnodes CMS and Webnodes E-commerce. Our customers cover a wide range of industries, from small companies with advanced needs, to large and multinational corporations with complex web presences. The company is founded on 14 years of experience developing advanced web content management systems and e-commerce solutions

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