Today, Document Exchange 6 (DMX6 in short) has been uploaded to this site and Snowcovered. After Months of programming, debugging, tweaking, and … a conference (DNN World in Orlando) I am very proud to announce that DMX 6 is final. Although this release is somewhat behind the internal schedule, it was not opportune to release earlier. Next to some changes in the data model and codebase there are numerous visible enhancements. Allow me to guide you round this new version.
First you’ll notice the familiar 3 panel Ajax UI has been replaced with a 2 panel version (the details panel was sacrificed). You can still get the 3 panel UI, though, by selecting it in the module’s settings. You’ll also notice the menu’s have been slightly rearranged and the Admin and Help menus have been stuck to the right. Both these changes were made among other to speed up the interface. The right-hand menus don’t need to be refreshed so they stay static. The left-hand menu is context-aware and you’ll see it refresh.
Below I highlight some of the bigger visible changes to this version of DMX.
Files can now have thumbnails. If the file is an image type the thumbnail is auto-generated. This mechanism can be extended so in the future we could add auto thumbnail generation for other file types. The thumbnails by default will be stored as jpgs (with a hashed name) in a directory in the portal directory. This is a (tiny) security hole as someone who happens to know the hashed name could access this thumbnail. So we provide as option the ability to have thumbnails stored in DMX itself, so secure. But this creates an overhead, so our default (and recommended) setting is regular storage. Read more in the help file on thumbnails.
Up until now portal administrators had specific rights in DMX like assigning approval permissions, hard deleting, etc. This can now be delegated to any number of roles who become “document managers”. Users in the selected roles can do most of what the portal admins could before. Find this on the main options screen under application permissions.
Document Administrators can manage who is subscribed to an item through a subscription management screen. This also allows them to add users to items as subscribers.
A new upload provider has been added based on Silverlight. This control allows the user to select multiple files with his/her own browser and this control takes care of the rest.
Mail documents to others
Up until now DMX included a function whereby users could email themselves a document (called MailMe). A completely new mailing engine has now been integrated into DMX allowing users to send documents to others. Because spam is such a menace to our society and we wish to avoid adding vulnerabilities through which users may spam, we have added a bunch of parameters to restrict what users can do. First the ability to mail is only available if the portal administrator allows it. Then the administrator specifies who is allowed to use the mailing engine and to whom they may email. We feel enough guarantees are in place to avoid spam but to allow you to distribute DMX content to your users through this powerful mechanism. We hope you like it.
All DMX documentation has been revised for this release. Note most help files are found under the help menu of the module.
Several other enhancements have been implemented in this release. The full list is as follows:
New Feature: Files can have thumbnails
New Feature: Ability to specify people with Document Admin rights which gives them almost all admin capabilities
New Feature: Subscription manager allows admin to examine and control subscriptions to items and hence notifications
New Feature: Language files can now be downloaded directly from Bring2mind without the need to go to the site.
New Feature: New upload control using Silverlight allows multiple file selection
New Feature: Integrated mail application allows users to mail documents to others with many options
New Feature: New default view UI now only shows 2 panels. The old 3 panel UI is optional.
New Feature: The details of a file can be seen by selecting "properties" from the context menu
New Feature: Doc Admins can recover hard deleted files from the "Graveyard"
Enhancement: Revised view template management allows template sharing across the portal
Enhancement: Search engine revision should make it less prone to errors
Enhancement: Revision of the way content localization is implemented in the database
Enhancement: Improvements to IPortable should make it less prone to errors when used in portal templates
Enhancement: Lucene search engine update to 2.9. Supports highlighting as well.
Change: Code namespace reorganization
Change: Dependency to DNN 5.2.3
Installing is simple and like any other DotNetNuke extension. Please download the revised installation manual for details.
If you’re running a previous version of DMX and you have a DMX license with a service period (check the license page of the module on the module’s menu) that extends until 29 November 2011 (or later) you can install this version free of charge over your old version. Please read the following carefully to make sure you don’t get stuck with a broken site.
Major releases have a potential major impact on a site, so one takes more precautions than otherwise. In this iteration the codebase has not been overhauled as much as with DMX 4 and 5, but it has been significantly reshuffled to make it more manageable toward the future. Also, the multilingual implementation has been altered which impacts most aspects of the module. This can only be done during a major upgrade as most users will be aware of the significance and take necessary precautions. These precautions are no different than any release, but this time we really emphasize you:
- Make an inventory of any DMX Extensions (e.g. Shortlist) or any code that you have that relies on DMX in some way (e.g. the DMX browser for the RadEditor). If you have any you must make sure you have DMX 6 compatible versions for these extensions before you continue.
- Pick a quiet moment (evening/weekend)
- Backup your installation (i.e. files and database)
- Install the module (and any extensions you need after that)
- Refresh your browser to refresh css and js files from the site
- Run a couple of sanity checks (i.e. Does it come up? Can you add and edit documents? etc.)
- If you find anything odd: describe in detail anything you have seen (screenshots etc), let us know and roll back
We have run numerous upgrade tests and are confident you will not run into any issues. But as I’ve illustrated in this blogpost, there is no substitute for a live site. So please take these precautions.
Where to get it
You can download the module directly from this site here: http://www.bring2mind.net/Downloads.aspx?EntryId=1589. You can also buy licenses through the Bring2mind site or renew your license. Note there is a 10% discount here on subsequent licenses. Alternatively you can go to Snowcovered to buy DMX or use the new integrated extension gallery in DNN 6.
The module needs to be activated and can be activated in trial mode which lasts for 30 days. Please read the instructions in the installation manual.
We hope you like this new release. We thank our customers who have been with us for all these years and we think this version really does improve the experience of the module. Let us know what you think and feel free to like our product on Facebook or on Snowcovered. Personally I am proud to be part of the larger DotNetNuke project and where it has gotten us so far. At the conference I was able to meet with some of you and as always those are the highlights of my year. I look forward to 2012!