Following on from Chris Morgan’s great post ‘What’s new in SDL Tridion 2013 SP1’ from a technical perspective, I wanted to provide an overview of some features/improvements from a content editor’s point of view. Whilst there are only a small number that would impact a content editor, I believe they are worthy of a mention.
For a full list of SDL Tridion 2013 SP1 updates, please refer to the documentation here (login required).
The most obvious change with SP1 that you will notice is the new home-screen and the use of a slide-out navigation. Previously, the SDL Tridion tab just created an extra click for most users as they immediately jumped straight to where they wanted to be – the Content Explorer.
Despite the fact you could previously alter your default home screen within the User Preferences - > View Settings, this first page has always been a bit of an annoyance to many users.
SDL have taken this on board and created a much more useful landing screen where you can easily access any favourites you have saved or use the slide out navigation to jump to the main Content Explorer.
If you have multiple SDL Applications, the slide-out panel will group your Applications together so that you can easily switch between them.
Experience manager (previously SiteEdit) has received some updates in the latest service pack as well. The main ones to note are the ability to select any item from the breadcrumb in Experience Manager. E.g. you can now select the page, a component and a field right from the breadcrumb.
TMS has also benefitted from some updates. The main one being the changes to Retry Sending. Retry Sending will now only resend items that have failed – where previous releases would have started a new translation cycle and remove the link between the actual Translation job in Content Manager and the job in TMS. You can now Retry sending on any items in the ‘Error Sending’ state.
New look and feel
The latest service pack update now provides a new visual design theme including new icons and colour scheme. Whilst this doesn’t really help the content editor with day to day tasks, it is nice to see the look and feel get a refresh from the 2011 design.
Making the jump from SDL Tridion 2009/2011 to SDL Tridion 2013
Whilst the above updates refer specifically to the 2013 SP1 update, let us not forget the wealth of updates that occurred between the Tridion 2009/2011 and Tridion 2013. SDL Tridion 2013 provides some great new features for editors if you are considering upgrading from 2009/2011 to 2013.
What had previously been released as a separate product called ‘Device Emulator for SDL Tridion’ has now been fully integrated into the Tridion interface allowing you to preview and edit content as it would be seen on a number of mobile and tablet devices. Great for seeing how your content looks on your responsive or mobile specific websites.
External Content Library
The External Content Library (ECL) is a new module for exposing multimedia contained in an external system. You are also able to drag and drop content (both from ECL and Tridion Multimedia Components) directly onto your page using Experience Manager which is a great new feature.
Bundles is a term you will be hearing much more about if you are considering an upgrade to SDL Tridion 2013. It is essentially a container that allows you to group content to push through workflow.
I see this being very useful for campaigns or new product releases where you want to publish a new page plus updates to the homepage and a news article all at the same time but all this content must be approved through workflow before the whole lot can be sent to publish. It is also possible to link Schemas and Bundles meaning any time a new component is created using a specific Schema, it will automatically be added to a Bundle.
TMS (Translation Management System) updates
One great improvement to TMS with SDL Tridion 2013 is the ability to now send Multimedia Component Metadata for translation. This is something that always had to be done outside of TMS previously and makes the life of the local country editor that little bit easier.
Editing on the move
Using Tridion is much easier with the later releases (with much better cross browser support) but the latest 2013 edition is especially good for editors on the move and is very usable on an iPad.
Whilst the majority of the updates in SDL Tridion 2013 SP1 will benefit developers and technical teams, it is good to see SDL catering to the needs and requests of the content editor by improving and streamlining these elements.