Exploring Kentico CMS 5.5 (Beta)

Just when you think you got 5.0 figured out, Kentico drops an early beta version of the upcoming 5.5 release. The beta version, which has been made available via the Kentico Partner Portal, allows us to learn and play with the new features and provide feedback for a even better Kentico CMS release.

As curious as I am, I downloaded and installed the beta right away. Below I will describe my first impression and the features that got my attention.

Interface tweaks

While exploring the new version, I notice subtle changes in the UI. A good example of this is the UI personalizations section which has been updated with icons.


A bigger change can be found in the administrations grids. The new pager offers users the ability to jump to the first, last or select a specific page.


Web parts & Widgets

Kentico 5.5 brings us a couple of new web parts and widgets. I particurly like the ones for syndication (real big time saver).


Also new are the Maps (Bing, Google, Yahoo) web parts and widgets.


Other new interesting web parts are:

  • CSS stylesheet which allows linking the custom CSS stylesheet file to the HEAD tag of the page
  • Mobile device redirection which redirects visitors using mobile devices to a specified URL
  • Random redirection redirects users to a page randomly chosen from a list of URLs
  • Google analytics for easy integration with the Google analytics service


Multiple master pages

You can easily setup multiple master pages (and break the inheritance of the parents master template) by checking the "Master template" checkbox in the Page templates properties.


Template scopes

Admins can use "Page template scopes" to limit page template selection. You basically modify the template properties and set the starting path, targeted document types, cultures and levels. In the screens below you can see that the page template "Scope template" is only available for new menu items (Pages) within the starting path "/Scope".


Integrated Meta Weblog API

Via the integrated Meta Weblog API, version 5.5 offers it's bloggers the possibility to blog with external tools like "Windows Live Writer".


Custom Tables in Smart Search

Some while ago, via UserVoice, I added a suggestion to include Custom Tables in the Smart Search Index. Version 5.5 contains that functionality:


This concludes my first exploration of Kentico 5.5. There is still a lot more to play and test with and I will probably look into it any time soon. For now I hope you liked my post and for a more complete list of the changes, check out Michal Neuwirths blog post. Cheers!