5 Limes is developing a custom project model for Microsoft Visual Studio that will allow template developers and visual designers using the Open Text Management Server CMS (formerly the RedDot CMS) to access the full gamut of functionality that is offered by Microsoft Visual Studio, the world's premiere IDE.
This represents a huge leap forward in the support provided to developers and visual designers, who traditionally have been required to edit CMS templates using legacy web-based screen editors. By integrating the template editing environment, we are able to provide incredible productivity gains through access to the extensive editing features inherent in the Visual Studio environment including:
- Windows-based development
Code quickly and efficiently with visual save-state indicators, multi-level undo and multi-item clipboard.
- Standards Targeting
The Visual Studio IDE provides for targeting of particular web standards including XHTML, Outlook Email, IE6, CSS 2.1, WCAG and Section 508. When template code breaches these standards visual indicators are used to quickly highlight the problems.
- Syntax highlighting, IntelliSense, collapsible code
Industry leading features for assisted development including fully customisable syntax highlighting, code completion and automatic formatting.
- Drag and drop development
- Set properties of multiple placeholders simultaneously
- Design, split view and code view editing modes
On top of the features provided by integrating Visual Studio with Open Text Management Server, the 5 Limes specific add-on provides:
- Offline synchronisation
Create, edit and manage CMS templates without being connected to the system - built in synchronisation tools allow all the features of the editing environment to be utilised while disconnected.
- Source control integration
XML code files for the project, templates, template variants and template variant content are all maintained separately to ensure maximum productivity in multi-developer teams by minimising the lock surface area.
- Multi-project support
Connect to multiple project simultaneously - all your login settings are tracked for each project independently in the Solution User Options file. This ensures that even when projects are shared through a source
control system, credentials are maintained on a per-user basis.
- Enhanced IntelliSense
Intellisense has been fully enabled for all of the CMS placeholders and block tags allowing template developers to create and manage placeholders directly from the template code window.
- Specialised editors for managing placeholders, templates and project variants
When not editing the template code you can manage all of the placeholders for a template in a purpose-built template editor.
- Ability to launch the CMS in a browser window inside the Visual Studio environment
When you need to access the templates and the content at once you can launch the CMS in a browser tab of Visual Studio! Save this preference against your project to have a CMS session launched each time you open the project.
- Drag-and-drop toolbox editing
Toolbox support is fully enabled in the code editor - simply drag-and-drop placeholders and block components onto the design surface or code window.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to buy a license of Visual Studio?
No. If you have licenses for Visual Studio already this add-on will install itself into your existing product, no matter what flavour of Visual Studio you use. If you do not have Visual Studio, the add-on will ship with its own Visual Studio shell. This provides all the features you need to edit and manage CMS templates without the features required for other .Net projects.
What is the licensing model?
At this time we expect the product to be licensed on a per-developer basis, with access to manage an unlimited number of CMS projects. We expect the majority of customers to be partners, independent developers or developers at larger client installations. In all of these cases, each developer will likely be accessing projects on many servers simultaneously, often accessed via VPN. We
know, because that is what we do. For these types of users, a per-server licensing model would become prohibitively expensive and introduce an overhead for each new client, which we felt was unfair. However, the licensing model is subject to change and will be finalised closer to the release date.
Do I still need Open Text Management Server licenses?
Yes. The add-on automatically logs you into the CMS when it needs to perform synchronisation. In order for it to do this you will need to provide credentials that have, at a minimum, Template Editor privilege.
Can I still use the built-in template editors?
Yes. In fact you can use both models simultaneously!
What versions of the CMS are supported?
The first release will support all versions of CMS 7.5, 9 and 10. Patches will be released to all licensed users with current maintenance agreements to support future versions as they are released.
Does the add-on use "unsupported" communications with the CMS?
No. All communications with the CMS are performed through the RQL public API.
Do I have to use Visual Source Safe for source control?
No. Any source control system compatible with Visual Studio will work seamlessly. Most systems are supported by widely available add-ons.
Does the add-on also work with Delivery Server (nee Live Server)?
No, but glad you asked. A sister product for Delivery Server is also in development. More information soon.
Can I manage the content tree or just the templates?
At this stage you can only manage templates. We are not looking to replace the entire excellent CMS front-end here! Some content-related features may be included in future releases based on your feedback.
My company is an Open Text reseller, can we resell this add-on to our clients?
Yes. Resellers will have access to discount pricing for internal use and will be able to sell the add-on to their current and new clients, making a tidy profit on each sale. License keys will only be issued by 5 Limes.
Can a single developer license be used on more that one machine?
Can the source code be purchased?
Not at this time.
Next up: we will be publishing a full list of v1.0 features very soon - be sure to register!
After that: we will be publishing screen shots and other information about the add-on in the weeks to come. If you register your interest we will email you with these new details as they become available.
This product is in the final stages of development and we are getting excited about the possibilities it offers. To ensure it meets your needs as well, we are looking for additional input during these critical stages. You can be a part of this ground-breaking project and help to shape the way that developers use the Open Text CMS for years to come.
» Register your interest in being kept up to date on development as it progresses
» Apply to be part of the beta program, commencing early in 2010
Contact us for more information