SCHEMA Blog (EN)

Corporate blog of SCHEMA GmbH

From Hidden to Revolutionary: New Easy Operation in ST4 2014

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Without a doubt: ST4 has become more and more powerful over the years regarding the function range. It contains many things we are very proud of from the developer’s viewpoint. Despite all technical innovations, we never lost sight of the user. Those who use ST4 on a daily basis are able to carry out their tasks quickly and intuitively. But users can also gradually explore the enormous performance spectrum for themselves.

Usability in this sense does not only mean to keep the user interface of each ST4- version tidy. We also see a challenge here to develop totally new concepts to operate and access ST4. In order to reduce complexity but also to cope with the different user types. Here I collected the new features offered by ST4 2014 in this respect:

Slim Client Reviewer – Minimalist Design for Maximum Efficiency
Now Rich Client and Thin Client have a little brother: With the new Slim Client Reviewer those who use the system only occasionally (the so-called “casual users”) have the opportunity to carry out their tasks purposefully and without much previous knowledge. The user interface has been designed in a minimalist fashion. Its concept is intended to put casual users as well as decision-makers into a position to intuitively operate the client without much training. They do not have to bother themselves about structures but the purely problem-oriented design almost takes them by the hand and leads them through.

A completely new product line has been created with the Slim Clients which not only feature bare simplicity but also enables mobile connectivity for the first time. This might greatly speed up some authoring processes.

Target Medium Mobile Devices – New “Out of the Box” Layout
Consequentially the next logical development of the system is the new ST4 standard layout for HTML, with which the content for mobile devices can be produced. We include a prepared design which can be used as a basis so that you can start right away. With the “mobile content out of the box” you can quickly create your own design. No programming knowledge is necessary as all configurations can be carried out using the graphic user interface.

monitor_1

DTD Extension – Configuration Instead of Programming
Some Power Users will be happy: Programming knowledge is not necessary any more to make extensions to the DTD. There is now a graphic user interface where the DTD can be configured. Your changes are automatically adapted for the editor interfaces.

DTD

ST4 Administration Console – Extension of the User Management
As administrator you can now log out users via the administration console. In our opinion, this feature can be put to practical use mainly in two cases: On the one hand during maintenance work on the server when you need to be 100% sure that no user is logged on any more. Or secondly: A logged in user is blocking one of the ST4 licenses, though he does not work in ST4 right now. In this case you can just log him out of ST4 using one mouse click.

Variant Filters – Drawers for More Tidiness
Those using variant filters know the phenomenon: The number of filters is increasing steadily and so in the long run a project may become rather confusing. We identified the problem and completely revised the “Edit Variant Filter” dialog. To stay on track, ST4 now offers the possibility to categorize variant filters. They are then respectively displayed on the user interface in different tab groups.

Variants

Reuse – A Core Functionality is Extended
In a system for reuse it is logical that usage information plays a central role. Therefore we were looking for ways to offer our users a bit more traceability. It resulted in the following:

We improved the usage information: It no longer only indicates in which project a node is used but also the path of the node.

In addition we complemented the “classic” reutilization information with a new information source: In the new viewlet “Usage Tree” you can exactly track where – in which project and exactly at which place within the project – content is used. And you can of course directly navigate there via the displayed structures.

Usage tree

Small Improvements – Large Benefit
So far for the highlights. Some smaller details have also been changed that came from your and our list of wishes for easier operation. So we expect to make your daily work with ST4 easier:

    • Word Editor Up to Date: The most obvious change is probably that the Word editor has been adapted to the current Office environment: The toolbar of the Word editor has been converted to ribbons. For more clarity, we divided the functions into groups.

Ribbons

    • Improved Quick View and Compare View: The Quick View can now be locked. So two Quick Views of different nodes can be opened side by side. With the special Compare View, graphics can now be easily and directly compared to each other. This saves time.

Quick view

    • Individual Desktop: You can also better adapt your working environment to your demands. There is the possibility now of assigning individual titles for viewlets. Thus you can customize your working environment even more.

WindowName

    • Easier Handling of Fragments: Fragments need not always be entered to the content via the editor but can also be added directly per drag & drop at the end of the node.

Fragments

  • Improved Translation Management: And… those eager to learn about our many new features regarding translation management can look at our blog

Author: Jochen Marczinzik

Team lead web and mobile development at SCHEMA GmbH

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