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IP.Content 2.3 Dev Update: New Toys

Development of IP.Content 2.3 continues, and while we have many more great things in store for this release, we wanted to take a moment to tell you about two new features you can expect to see in this release. Many of the recent blog entries have described consistency improvements, SEO improvements, and other integration changes, but we wanted to make sure you knew that this release would have a couple of new "fun" features that you can use on your site as well. Certainly, we are not yet done with our IP.Content 2.3 changes, and you can expect several more blogs detailing further improvements you will see with this release, but to tide you over until then, here are two new features that we hope you will find useful.

New Plugin Block: Currently Viewing

Many users have asked us to add a "Currently viewing" block to our database and article pages, perhaps even to other IP.Content pages. If you are not clear on what I am referring to when I mention a "currently viewing" block, it is the block you see in many applications (the forums included) that tells you who is also viewing the current page.

Rather than give you an option to add this capability to individual databases or pages, we decided to take it one step further. We have implemented a new plugin block that you can create in IP.Content to generate a "currently viewing" block, which you can now integrate onto any page you like in IP.Content (databases/articles included), as well as any other page throughout the entire IP.Board suite! Remember that IP.Content blocks can be embedded into any IP.Board skin template, allowing you to easily add "currently viewing" blocks throughout your site, at your discretion.

Note that while blocks can be embedded into external pages using a javascript widget, this particular block will not properly track page viewing on those external non-IP.Board pages (because it relies on session data in IP.Board), and we do not recommend using this block on external pages as a result.

With that said, you can now add a currently viewing block to your databases, articles, other IP.Content pages...and anywhere else throughout IP.Board you feel it would be useful! You can even use this block in your third party applications, though support for viewing individual pages will vary by application based on how they have configured their session plugins.

Shared Media Field

The shared media button, available in the WYSIWYG editors throughout IP.Board, is a powerful tool that allows you to quickly and easily insert content from across your entire suite of applications (and many third party applications!) anywhere you can post content with the WYSIWYG editor. You can share calendar events, attachments, gallery images, download manager files, and more anywhere that you can post.

We have decided to make use of this powerful functionality and take it a step further with IP.Content 2.3. You can now add a "Shared Media" field to any database (including your articles section), which will act as a separate way of inserting these shared resources into your submission. The items do *not* insert into the available RTE (you can already do that by using the button available on the editor) - instead they show and list separately. You can use this powerful new capability to link your database records logically to any other content in the suite - link a database record to a calendar event, or link it to a particular file in your download manager. Reuse your attachment or gallery images in your articles. Link to blog entries about upcoming software changes in a particular version when posting an article about that version. The possibilities are vast.

We have taken a quick video to show you the functionality in it's most default form - this is a brand new database with no template customizations, to give you an idea how the feature will work right out of the box.


More To Come

We have a lot more in store for IP.Content 2.3, and we can't wait to tell you about some of the other changes you can expect to see. We are working hard to better integrate the features available in the IP.Board framework, allowing you to make use of some of the great capabilities the framework offers in unique and powerful ways. We hope that you find these two new features useful, and we we welcome your feedback about them in the comments below. If you have other suggestions to enhance IP.Content, please be sure to leave them in the feedback forum.

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