What’s new and changed in Matrix 6?

New features

New backend UI

Matrix features a newly designed and improved backend UI that aims to improve the usability and intuitiveness of the overall application.

image$6.0.0 new backend ui

New design

A new design theme is applied that follows the new Squiz Design System conventions used by all products in the Squiz Digital Experience Platform.

The new design theme improves the overall visuals of all UI elements such as fonts, colors, backgrounds, buttons, menus, and more.

The system default sign-in and password change screen also reflect the new design system.

image$6.0.0 sign in password change

Finally, backend notices, warnings, and errors are visually improved to be easier to read and understand.

image$6.0.0 warnings redesign

New toolbar

The Matrix application toolbar has a couple of new improvements to it. You can see your Matrix system name in the toolbar to quickly identify it if you have access to more than one system.

image$6.0.0 new toolbar

A new help menu option gives you quick access to the product documentation and a link to the asset type reference screen.

image$6.0.0 help menu

New screen header

The new screen header aims to make it easier to do everyday actions such as navigating asset screens, seeing asset information, saving, acquiring editing locks, and changing status.

image$6.0.0 screen header

Navigating between screens is now much easier and faster because you can access common screens from the tabbed navigation. You can find additional screens within the Settings drop-down menu.

image$6.0.0 screen header settings

The new screen header also features a brand new status switcher. This feature lets you quickly change the asset status from any screen without always navigating to the details screen to do it.

image$6.0.0 status switcher

You can cascade the current status while also seeing how many child assets would be affected by the status change.

You can also add a workflow comment when requesting approval of an unpublished or draft asset.

New main panel

The main panel area of the UI has been improved in layout and design to offer a more visually appealing and user-friendly experience.

image$6.0.0 new main panel

Sections on screens now have a maximum width so that content within them is easier to read. Some screens, such as code editing screens, still have a fluid 100% width applied.

The main panel now also features an asset lineage that tells you the full hierarchical location of the current asset you are editing.

Furthermore, the current screen’s name is also now a heading on top of the main panel, together with the filter field tool being available to the right-hand side.

Dynamic and bookmarkable backend URLs

Your browser’s URL address bar updates automatically to represent the area or asset you are currently on and which screen you have active.

For example, navigating to the metadata screen of an asset with ID #1234 will result in the following URL: https://www.example.com/_admin?screen=metadata&asset_id=1234

image$6.0.0 dynamic urls

Dynamic backend URLs are useful for when you want to share a backend location quickly with another user or if you want to bookmark that location to return to it later.

The <title> tag is also dynamically updated to quickly identify which asset and screen the bookmark refers to.

New page builder

A new page builder has been introduced to make it easier, faster, and more enjoyable to create, edit, and publish new page content with Matrix.

image$6.0.0 new page builder

Access the new page builder by navigating to the “Content” screen of any asset that supports components. Content assets such as standard pages, custom forms, and layout assets like paint layouts and inline editing layouts support this screen.

Add new component

Adding a new component now opens a brand new panel that makes it easier to add new components by selecting from a unified list of core and custom components.

image$6.0.0 add new component

If the list of components is large enough, a filter tool will be available to find the component you want to add quickly.

Each component can have a colored icon and a description that tells the user more information about it.

image$6.0.0 add new component description

Component redesign

Components on the page are less cluttered when you view multiple components on a single page.

Hovering over a component displays the new component toolbar, which gives you access to all settings and tools of a component.

image$6.0.0 component redesign

Edit component properties

The design of the component properties panel is improved.

image$pagebuilder properties

Advanced settings are now hidden from view until you need them.

Reorder component

You can reorder components through the page builder in addition to the existing asset tree method.

image$pagebuilder reorder

Drag-and-drop the component to the location you want.

Personalize component

You can assign personas to components directly through the page builder to easily target and personalize content.

image$6.0.0 personalize component

The Personalize component option is available only if you have personas available for the current asset you are editing.

New inline editing experience

This release introduces the new inline editing experience for Matrix 6.

Inline editing enables users to edit content quicker and more intuitively. You can directly see what your changes will look like on the frontend as you edit the content.

By default, inline edit mode is only available on standard page assets. Using the custom editing layout feature, you can create inline editing experiences for other asset types such as news, events, or even data records.

You can access inline edit mode on a standard page in three ways:

  1. Right-click on the page in the tree and select “Inline edit”.

    6.4.0 right click inline edit

  2. Click on the inline edit mode button (“pen icon”) in the screen navigation when viewing a standard page.

    6.4.0 inline edit pen

  3. Append the inline edit mode suffix (/_edit by default) to the end of a page’s URL. For example, https://example.com/about-us/_edit.

Once you load this screen and acquire the locks, you will see the editable content highlighted within grey dashed outlines.

Click into these areas and start editing using the WYSIWYG editor.

Click Save once finished to save your changes, just like editing any other screen.

Within this mode, you can also click on-site navigation links within your design to navigate to other standard page assets to quickly edit them as well.

Read more about the new inline editing features in the Inline edit mode documentation.

Custom edit layouts

You can create custom edit layouts for the inline editing feature using the Custom edit layout (formerly known as “Simple Edit Layout”) asset.

The Custom edit layout asset lets you create inline editing experiences for assets that do not offer a native inline editing experience. This feature is useful for template implementations that use many metadata fields and customized paint layouts.

To add a custom edit layout to an asset, you first create a custom edit layout asset. You then configure it using a combination of Matrix’s keyword replacement framework and your custom JavaScript and CSS.

Once created, you can apply it to an asset using its custom edit layouts screen.

A custom edit layout applied to an asset.

After that, users can access the “Inline Edit” screen on that asset and edit it using the customized layout.

For more information on custom edit layouts, please refer to the Matrix 6 documentation.

Standalone inline edit mode

A new setting called Enable standalone inline edit mode has been added to the details screen of design assets. This setting lets you control the behavior of accessing inline edit mode on assets.

6.4.0 enable standalone inline edit mode

This setting is off by default. When users add the inline edit mode suffix (/_edit by default) to an asset URL on the frontend, they get redirected to inline edit mode within the Admin UI.

With the setting turned on, the redirect from /_edit to the Admin UI will not happen, meaning that users can edit inline without loading the full Admin UI. This mode does not give you all inline editing features. However, it may be a better choice if you heavily customize, limit, or control your users’ editing experience.

New asset creation experience

When creating a new asset, you’ll notice the creation screen loads inside a modal overlaid on the current screen you are editing instead of replacing it entirely.

Example asset creation modal

The modal makes it much quicker and easier to create the supporting assets you need while not leaving the current screen you are viewing.

For example, if you are on the Details screen of an asset and need to add a thumbnail image quickly, you can do so without leaving the details screen at all.

After creating the asset, you will see information about the newly created asset, including its asset ID, status, lineage, and URL.

Example asset created successfully modal

You can choose to navigate to that asset to edit it or close the creation modal to return to the screen you were on.

Furthermore, improvements to the creation interface of several asset types make the asset creation experience more consistent no matter what asset you are creating.

Beta feature configuration

If you are a system administrator, you can use a new system configuration screen to toggle experimental features on your Matrix system.

You can help the product development team gather early feature feedback by testing features before they are officially released.

Beta features are considered experimental. By enabling these features, the system may experience undesirable side effects. Enabled features apply to all users of the system.

This tool is accessible to system administrators only from the System Configuration drop-down menu in the toolbar.

New asset reference report

A new reference report screen has been added to all user creatable asset types in Matrix.

You can generate a report on this new screen that tells you all the places in the system that reference the asset.

Asset reference report

For each asset in the report, it will tell you where and how that reference is set.

This report is helpful when you want to unpublish or delete a specific asset, but you want to make sure that doing so will not impact any other assets.

New image editor

A new image editor has been added to Matrix. You can make quick and simple edits to image files on image assets without relying on an external tool.

You can access this new editor on either the image’s Details or Varieties screen.

Image editor button

Once the image editor is open, you can use it to crop, rotate, or flip the image file easily.

Image editor interface

You can also use the editor to upload a different image file and edit that instead.

Improvements

Icon selection for component templates

You can apply a colored icon to a component template that displays when you view the list of components to add to the page builder.

image$6.0.0 icon selection component templates

The icon helps users quickly find and identify component templates in the list and visually separates them from core components.

Dynamic usage conditions for component templates

You can apply a usage condition to a component template that, when met, makes it conditionally appear in the page builder.

image$6.0.0 dynamic usage conditions templates

You can use any keyword combination to create custom and flexible conditions. For example, you can base a condition on the user, the page, or anything you can get from keyword values.

Component template descriptions used in page builder

The description field of component templates now displays as help text in the new page builder.

image$6.0.0 component template descriptions

Any description added to the field appears when a user hovers over the “?” icon when viewing the components they want to add to the page.

Some basic HTML styling is supported, such as bold, italics, and links.

Improved asset right-click context menu

When you right-click on an asset in the asset tree, you get a better-grouped list of asset screens from which to select.

image$6.0.0 asset menu

The new menu layout makes the menu less cluttered when you first open it. The most commonly-used asset screens are readily accessible to you.

Settings screen removed

This screen no longer exists, and its functionality moved to other screens.

Dates

This functionality is now available from the new “Dates” screen.

Versioning

This functionality is no longer available from asset screens.

Morphing

This functionality is now available on the “Details” screen.

Read the asset settings documentation for more information about the new structure.

New Dates screen

This new screen lets you configure the date values of an asset.

Read the Asset dates screen documentation for more information about this new screen.

Web Paths screen renamed to URLs

The “Web paths” screen on all supported assets is now named “URLs” to make it more representative of what you can do on the screen. This name change also makes it consistent with the already named “URLs” screen on Site assets.

Improved recently viewed list

Previously known as the “Asset Navigation History”, the recently viewed list has been improved with a new design and more functionality.

image$6.0.0 recently viewed list

The way this list is generated has also changed to be more efficient, where the list shows you the last ten viewed assets or screens.

This list now also includes system configuration, maintenance, and tool screens.

Each asset listed now shows the asset ID and a shortcut for finding it in the asset tree.

Improved handling of the content screen on standard pages

Navigating to the “Content” screen of a Standard Page no longer redirects you to the dependent child bodycopy asset.

This change improves screen navigation when editing standard pages. You can use the screen switcher to easily switch between screens without ever leaving the top-level standard page asset.

Admin UI access for content editors

Content editors (previously known as Simple Edit Users) can now access the Admin UI (/_admin).

The /_admin interface was previously not allowed for this user type because content editors could only use the /_edit and Edit+ interface to edit content. This restriction is now relaxed because of the significant improvements and changes to the backend UI in Matrix 6.

This improvement also enables content editors to perform a similar list of actions they had access to in Edit+ back in Matrix 5. Some back-end features are unavailable for content editors, such as restricted access to specific tools, asset screens, and asset types.

Improved lock acquisition

Lock acquisition has been improved for content editing.

When you click Edit (acquire locks) on either the Details, Content, Metadata, or Inline edit mode screen of an asset, you now also get the locks for the Attributes, Linking, and Metadata screens.

This improvement means that you no longer have to click Edit multiple times to start editing content for each of these screens.

Important changes

Terminology changes

Several terminology changes are present in Matrix 6 to support the new backend UI.

Matrix 5.5 Matrix 6

Authentication terms:

  • Log in

  • Login

  • Log out

  • Logout

Authentication terms:

  • Sign in

  • Sign-in

  • Sign out

  • Sign-out

Content Container

Component

Read Content components to learn more.

Content Template

Component Template

Read Working with component templates to learn more.

Content Types

Example: “WYSIWYG Content type”.

Component Types

Example: “WYSIWYG Component type”.

Read Content components to learn more.

Raw HTML Content Type

Code Component Type

Read Code component to learn more.

Link types:

  • Link Type 1

  • Link Type 2

  • Link Type 3

  • NOTICE

Link types:

  • Menu link

  • Hidden link

  • Invisible link

  • Reference link

Read Link types to learn more.

Some UI areas and the backend code for features like APIs still use the old link type terms.

Asset navigation history

Recently viewed list

Simple Edit User

Content editor

Simple Edit Layout

Custom edit layout

Edit Mode Suffix

Inline edit mode suffix

Layouts screen

Custom edit layouts screen

Layouts Manager

Custom edit layout manager

Payment Express Payment Gateway

Windcave Payment Gateway

New password rules default

The default password rules now contain the following settings:

  • The minimum password length is 12 characters.

  • Disallow User Info defaults to Yes.

  • The character rule Numeric Digits is active and set to 1.

  • Password History Enforcement is now 999.

  • The default blocklist now includes a broader range of insecure passwords.

Furthermore, the term “blacklist“ changed in favor of “blocklist“.

Search manager: minimum word length decreased

The default minimum word length for search term indexing is set to 3.

"Use default" setting on metadata fields disabled by default

The default value of the Enable Use Default Option is No. By default, new metadata fields that get created will not show the "Use default" option.

Default /_edit behavior changes

The inline edit mode suffix (previously known as Edit Mode Suffix) behavior is optimized for the new inline edit mode feature introduced in Matrix 6.4.

By default, adding this suffix to a Matrix asset URL (/_edit by default) will now take you to the Admin UI (/_admin) and onto the asset’s inline edit mode screen. If the asset does not have inline edit mode enabled, the details screen is loaded instead.

This behavior can be changed using the new Enable standalone inline edit mode setting on the details screen of design assets.

Default backend language set to US English

The default backend language setting under system configuration is “English (United States)”.

Deprecations

Stage one deprecations

The following features are now deprecated and are no longer supported or expected to function. You can still make changes to these deprecated features if they exist in your system. However, Squiz recommends that you consider migrating functionality built with these features away to another supported feature. The features identified in this section will be removed in a future version release of the product.

  • Cart

  • Checkout Page

  • Product

  • Donation

  • Promotional Code

  • PayPal Express Checkout Payment Gateway

  • PayPal Ecommerce package

Stage two deprecations

These features have been removed from Matrix and can no longer be used.

  • Internet Explorer 11 browser support for the backend UI

  • Edit+

  • Classic WYSIWYG Editor

  • Bulkmail

  • Upcoming Events List

  • Restricted-Period Calendar Page

  • Rolling Calendar Page

  • Rollback

  • Force Secure Setting

  • Design areas

    • Access History Design Area

    • Colourise Image Design Area

    • Constant Button Design Area

    • Custom Image Design Area

    • Cart Design Area

    • Datetime Design Area

    • Linked CSS Design Area

    • Head Design Area

    • Menu Stalks Design Area

    • Request Vars Design Area

    • Search Box Design Area

  • XML User Bridge.

Removed user preferences

The following user preferences are no longer available:

  • Admin Mode WYSIWYG Type

  • Raw HTML Content Type Preferences

  • Save Button Position

  • Assets in Navigation History

  • Asset Map Font Size

  • Asset Map Width.

Removed system configuration

The following system configurations are no longer available:

  • Editing Interface Settings.

For more information on all previous and upcoming deprecations, visit the Deprecated Assets and Features page on Matrix Manuals.

Removed scripts

The system_integrity_fix_char_encoding.php script has been removed from Matrix 6.6 because currently supported versions of Matrix only support UTF-8 character sets.

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