Joomla’s CMS is RAD
November 19, 2013 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that are looking for a full-featured content management system (CMS) to run sophisticated Web sites might want to check out the latest release of Joomla, the PHP-based open source CMS. With the newly released version 3.2, Joomla gets lots of enhancements, with a big focus in the areas of app development, security, authentication, and version control.
In early November, the Joomla Project and Community announced the availability of version 3.2 as a stable release. With about 600 new features and bug fixes, version 3.2 is the biggest release of the CMS ever, according to project coordinators.
One of the new features sure to be getting attention in version 3.2 is the new Rapid Application Development (RAD) framework, which was designed to simplify the process of writing Joomla extensions. Much of the broad functionality in Joomla is due to the rich ecosystem of more than 6,000 extensions and add-ons, such as payment, video, or calendar functionality, which customers can use to bolster their Joomla-powered websites. The RAD framework should make this process easier and boost the number of extensions.
Version 3.2 also brings a new Extension Finder that should make it much easier to locate and install Joomla extensions. Previously, installing an add-in was a multi-step process, but now users can complete the process with just a few clicks on their Joomla admin consoles. Administrators will also save time with the new version control feature, which allows them to revert to older content in a website, and compare content changes with a handy side-by-side view.
It’s all about making Joomla easy to use. “With 3.2 we worked hard to make sure you don’t have to be an expert to quickly tap the sheer power of Joomla,” said Paul Orwig, president of Open Source Matters, the non-profit organization that supports the Joomla project.
On the security front, the Joomla CMS has been bolstered with support for two-factor authentication, which goes above and beyond the user name and password method. This feature will help to lock down Joomla-powered websites by requiring users to enter a code that’s sent to their cell phones before granting them access to the systems. Version 3.2 also brings support for Bcrypt, a strong encryption method that scrambles passwords stored in a Joomla website databases, the company says.
Joomla has been downloaded more than 45 million times through early November, according to Orwig. That’s 10 million more downloads than the product had just four months ago. “Joomla is growing at a furious pace,” he says.
Joomla is written in object-oriented PHP and runs on SQL Server, MySQL, and (with version 3.x) the PostgreSQL database. For more information and free downloads, see www.joomla.org.