February 17, 2020 | 5 Min

2019: the year in releases

Nick Piper
AuthorNick Piper
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At Amplience our goal is to empower our customers to tell powerful stories through rich and engaging content.

To deliver on this, we invest heavily in continuous improvements and upgrades to our platform as we build out new features and capabilities and learn from user feedback.

We’re passionate about Agile and in 2019 our product teams released a total of 169 enhancements to the platform. With such a big year for releases, we thought it would be useful to call out a few highlights and give you a flavour of what’s to come.

Supporting your content workflow

One of the many features introduced in response to user feedback was the ability to add customizable statuses to your content items. These statuses are flexible enough to map to your production workflow and provide a visual indication an item’s progress towards completion. You can also use them as a filter when finding content. In conjunction with webhooks, status changes can trigger interactions with external systems and automate processes such as translation.

We’ve got much more planned for workflow in 2020 – so watch this space.

Streamlining content creation

For a big project with lots of content types, finding the one you want can be a challenge. You can now choose to sort the content type list, manage a list of favourites and search for the content type you want by name.

We’ve extended the content model to support linking of content items via "content references". Content references work in a similar way to content links, the key difference is that when content containing a content reference is retrieved via the API, only the id of the referenced content is returned, rather than the complete content item.

This is particularly useful when working with a content item such as a blog, where you might want to link to several related blogs, but only load a blog when it’s requested by a user.

There’s also a new properties panel, providing easy access to key information about a content item or slot.

Working with localized content

Dynamic Content is built to handle enterprise grade localisation use cases and we added several features to make it easier for planners and in-region translation teams to work with localized content.

Locales can now be assigned to events allowing the timeline, calendar and list view to be filtered by locale. This makes it easier for you to focus on the events containing editions with content for the particular locales you're working with.

We’ve added some new repository settings to let you choose which repositories are displayed and in what order. This is particularly useful if you are working with localized content and want to display only those repositories that contain content for the locales you're working with.

Finally we’ve made it much easier for teams to plan content across time zones. You can now add "favourite" time zones and switch between them from a menu in the masthead, allowing you to plan and schedule in your target region’s time zone without having to do the math in your head.

Giving developers the tools they need

Developer enablement was a big focus for us last year. Our new schema editor lets you quickly create and manage content type schemas within Dynamic Content.

The schema editor includes declarative snippets for most common property types, validates your syntax as you type, allows you to preview how the content item will appear to content authors and allows generation of sample JSON to help developers create, test and refine rendering code and templates.

The webhook management UI has been updated to show the POST request and response for every webhook invocation, making it much easier to debug integrations

We also made some major updates to our API docs. The docs are now fully interactive and allow download of insomnia configs to help your developers get up and running in a jiffy. Along similar lines, we recently released the first version of our Dynamic Content Command Line Interface (CLI) tool with further enhancements planned in the near future to help streamline your development process.

Manage your images- with a little help from machine learning

Our new image recognition service makes it possible to identify objects, faces and text within images uploaded to Content Hub. The service uses machine learning technology to identify objects, faces and text in your images and adds this information as metadata that can be used to search and filter your assets.

You can use this information to search for images in Dynamic Content.

JPEG2000 support

We now support JPEG2000: the successor to the original JPEG format. This format provides better quality images than JPEGs of the same size and is currently supported by the Safari browser for iOS and mac OS.

Point of interest updates

Point of interest is a feature that allows you to upload a single image and to enhance that image with metadata to specify how that image should be cropped for different screen sizes.

The Point of Interest (POI) app has been enhanced as a result of user feedback. You can now save an image from the POI app before publishing it, so you can work with POI metadata in unpublished images. A POI focal point is also no longer added to an image automatically, so you can just add hotspots to an image.

Last but not least… UI extensions

The content editing capabilities of Dynamic Content are extremely flexible, but it’s impossible to account for every use case with a generic set of features.

UI Extensions are small web apps that provide developers with a way of customising the content editing experience. By developing your own extensions, you can add custom features not found in the standard content editing form: such as a clickable map of store locations, an enhanced rich text editor, or an extension that retrieves data from your product catalogue.

We’ve developed a few out of the box open source examples that solve for some common use cases, including product selectors, translation and image editing.

Here's the Salesforce Commerce Cloud product selector extension in action.

So that’s the highlights, a more comprehensive list can be found on our documentation hub.

What will 2020 bring? We have lots of exciting stuff already in progress and this year has got off to a great start with the release of our next generation Content Delivery 2 API, customizable webhooks and some great new workflow features.

We'll be covering these new features in upcoming blogs and you can expect more updates to developer tooling, business workflows and API capabilities in the near future.