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Ag CMS Upgrade is Coming

The Ag Content Management System (Ag CMS) will be upgraded this fall. Agriculture Communication provides the Ag CMS platform for the creation of Web content related to NDSU Agriculture and University Extension. It is built on the open source Plone system. September's upgrade will change the foundation of Ag CMS from Plone 3.3 to Plone 4.0.

This upgrade will have a minimal effect on the way content is created and displayed in the Ag CMS. Most of the changes deal with the internal structure and performance of Plone.

The upgrade to Plone 4 should result in the faster performance of the Ag CMS. Plone 4 is estimated to be twice as fast as Plone 3. This means Web content will be delivered more quickly to the end users and Ag CMS content creators will be able to edit, save and publish content more quickly.

Plone 4 also will bring improvements in the handling of large files. Storage of large files is something we have struggled with in Ag CMS. This upgrade will help us to quickly deliver large files to the end user and to use fewer server resources in the storage of these files.

The Plone 4 upgrade's most visible change will be to the visual editor. Ag CMS content creators use the visual editor to create and format Web content on their sites. The Plone 4 upgrade includes a new visual editor that promises to be more intuitive and boasts additional features (like more robust table editing) that are not a part of our current visual editor.

Ag Communication Web Services staff are testing Plone 4 for compatibility with our current Ag CMS products and content. We will begin the upgrade of the entire Ag CMS in September and hope to have it complete by early October.

If you're still creating pages in DreamWeaver or a similar program and FTPing them, contact one of us to transition your website to the Ag CMS.

Bob Bertsch, (701) 231-7381; Julie Kuehl, (701) 231-6403; Roger Egeberg, (701) 231-7382

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