We have released our first ever product increment to our SDL Web Cloud customers. This underpins the cloud first strategy that we practice, where we bring functionality to our customers when it is ready rather than keeping it on the shelve until the complete annual release is ready.

What is New?

So what is available today in SDL Web Cloud and on-premises near year-end?

  • System Privileges, a new authorization concept
  • An Administrators Group concept (end-users do not have administrative access)
  • A Publication Administration right
  • Publication Mappings in Content Manager Explorer
  • SDL Web Cloud online documentation

These are end-user features, other changes include, but are not limited to expanded instrumentation and an enhanced user notification mechanism.

We had to change the authorization model as the Administrator in the system was too powerful. By mistake this role could do harm to the setup of the system, which of course should never happen in a managed solution. We introduced the concept of System Privileges on Groups. This enables users to perform system-wide actions such as manage Groups, create child Publications in a BluePrint, manage Publish Transactions from other Users and change Approval Statuses in Workflow or Multimedia Types.

We also introduced a System Administration Privilege that allows one to manage Administrators in a Group, including the benefit to manage the Group members in an LDAP directory.

You may already have seen or installed a GUI extension that we published earlier this year which provides the ability to map Publications to Web Application URLs as an alternative to the PowerShell scripts that shipped with SDL Web 8. This now became core functionality of the product.

All documentation of the new functionality is available from our online portal at http://docs.sdl.com and is completely tailored to our Cloud solution. The major difference obviously is the lack of installation and configuration instructions, though some sections found their way to the Workspace chapter. To find more about this, read the documentation!

Content as a Service and additional Managed Services

In the past few years SDL has heavily invested in re-architecting our Content Delivery stack into Content Interaction Services (CIS) and Content Interaction Libraries (CIL). This made it already in the SDL Web 8 release late last year and is recognized by customers, partners and analysts as our headless CMS strategy. Among established Digital Experience (DX) and Web Content Management (WCM) vendors SDL's solution is seen as leading, especially if you take a look at our Content as a Service offering. This is a fully managed solution in terms of the SDL software stack that consist of the Content Manager and its range of capabilities, and what's called the Content Interaction Services. This is the set of microservices that provide the capabilities for consumption by the web solution. The CaaS offering (pronounced as Káás, the Dutch word for cheese, in remembrance of Tridion's roots you could say) assumes a partner or tech-savvy customer is involved to manage the web application stack. This provides maximum flexibility as the partner or customer is in full control of the stack, leaving the management of the Content Management and Delivery backbone to SDL as the vendor.

Other cloud offerings add additional managed services of the web application infrastructure and platform to the web solution as a whole. In all cloud flavors we work with our partner network, each providing their unique digital experience services on top.

Hybrid Cloud

The architecture also enables us to provide hybrid solutions, where for example the Content Manager is hosted in SDL Web Cloud and Content Delivery in your own datacenter or private cloud. This even works with previous versions of Content Delivery, specifically 2011 SP1 HR2 and 2013 SP1 HR1, to smooth your migration path. Call us to receive guidance on this to learn about the requirements (such as Legacy Templates not being supported) or any other hybrid setup available.

Extensibility and Integrations

SDL Web is known for its rich number of extensibility points and integration capabilities. GUI extensions, Event System, Workflow and Custom Pages are supported, just to name a few. You develop the extension and submit it to SDL to be deployed, along with instructions on how to deploy, disable or un-deploy it. We expect extensions to be good citizens, be performant and stable and when calling out not to stall the system. In case of failure SDL will act according to the provided runbook and disable or remove the extension.