StreamServe version 5.6 has been in the making for nearly one year and we reached the functional freeze milestone last week. Over 70 people have been participating in the development of this release. They have been working hard to give you the best StreamServe release to date.
StreamServe 5.6 is scheduled for release in December with a public launch in January. Between now and December, we are primarily working on bug fixing, documentation and go-to-market activities such as writing blogs, hosting webinars and meeting customers, partners and analysts.
The key themes for the release:
- Media Management for CCM
- Office Integration
- User Experience
- Improved dynamic document composition
- SAP integration enhancements
Let’s take a look at some of the more important aspects of this release.
"StreamServe Persuasion SP6" is now "OpenText StreamServe 5.6".
We are now adapting the look and feel of the product to OpenText standards. StreamServe will still feel familiar but you will notice changes in the areas of product names, version numbering, icons, imagery and documentation. This is the new product icon for 5.6:
Despite the changes, we have been striving to do a gentle makeover. The most important aspect of this is that we will drop the “Persuasion” brand and change the product name from “StreamServe Persuasion” to:
We will in other words use our former company name as the product name. On the same topic, the versioning scheme used previously in the 5.x series (where the dot releases where dubbed “Service Packs”) is now replaced with proper version numbers such as 5.6 for this release.
OpenText Media Management Integration
OpenText Media Management (OTMM) is a digital asset management system that will help you realize a new level of operational effectiveness around all of your digital assets. OTMM coordinates and facilitates multiple creative and production environments such as video production, photo libraries, graphic design and brand management.
We have made it possible use image assets managed in OTMM directly from StreamServe either as linked resources or by copying them across to StreamServe. By using references, you can be assured that the latest revision of an asset is being used at all times. This makes it possible to enforce global brand management across all channels including transactional documents and customer correspondence managed by StreamServe.
You can connect to and browse the OTMM repository directly from Design Center resource sets, StoryTeller and even Composition Center. Managing for example a company logotype in OTMM for all channels including online and offline media can make a brand change a breeze since you only need to update the centrally located resource in OTMM to push the change to all distribution channels. The integration supports both versioning and batch update of assets.
Ad Hoc productivity enhancements
Ad Hoc Correspondence is gaining momentum with our customers. In this release, we have focused on the productivity aspect.
Text resources now support categories and tags, so managing text assets suddenly now become a lot easier. Composition center now has a category manager. Ad Hoc also support for exposed stories and text resources can either be read/write or read-only. This makes it possible to expose a text via Ad Hoc that the user can include in his correspondence but not alter.
The problem with previous versions of Ad Hoc was that only one version of an application/service can run at a particular time. This had an impact when upgrading StoryTeller templates and re-deploying projects as messages in message store could not be used with the newly deployed version (the messages became “stuck” in the message store)
The solution introduced in 5.6 is support for simultaneous, multiple service versions. Different versions of the same service/application can run simultaneously.
The benefit is that messages in the message store are always tied to the correct template/document definition version. Callproc rules, managed in design center, are now supported and document definitions, published during job execution, will always be associated to the document defintion when the job was instantiated. Furthermore, can events be modified and the project redeployed to the ”same” service/application under some circumstances.
Composition Center preview enhancements
We have now removed resource synchronization between the web content and runtime databases for preview. We have also implemented Batch Web Service calls and Resource caching. When preview is performed, no data is copied as preview operation works directly with web content database. The result is fewer WS calls with up to 75% performance improvement.
MS Word Driver
One of the more interesting new features is the Microsoft Office Word driver. This is a driver that works with StoryTeller to produce fully editable documents in the .docx format. This is a native StreamServe driver so it will work on all supported StreamServe platforms including Unix and Linux and does not need MS Word on the server to function. It supports all StoryTeller content including Composition Center and Ad Hoc. The output is compatible with MS Word 2010 and later.
This driver allows you to render documents that can be put to a workflow where it can be edited before it is completed.
PDF Digital Signatures
The StreamServer now has support of producing locally signed PDF documents. This provides assurance to the receiver that the information has not been altered since it was sent and verification of the signer's digital identity. The signing component is integrated with the StreamServe Authentication Profile manager and can produce both visible & invisible signatures.
We now provide 64bit versions of the StreamServer and related components. This allows the StreamServer to access and use much more memory (if available) during operation. The result is the capability to process much larger data sets and in some cases also better performance.
Scalability and performance
The StreamServer has had the capability to scale out since version 4.x but one major limitation has been that only one input has been possible to process in a single job thread. With version 5.6 we have made it possible to scale out even when processing a single batch input file at a time. This makes it possible to take full advantage of the available hardware to increase throughput and removes the need to split up jobs externally prior to processing.
New type manager
We have added a new type manager to the product that simplifies all font-related configurations. The new type manager supports multiple font pools that can be dynamically accessed during runtime. It also supports complex scripts such as Indic and can even read fonts from PDF input and the Print Processor. This means that you in most cases don’t have to configure font mappings.
Other noteworthy features:
- PDF/X driver for digital print and publishing
- HTML driver enhancements
- HTML import enhancements
- Possibility to deploy projects directly from Design Center
- Improved license Management
- Administration / Control Center enhancements
- Versioning enhancements
- OpenText Archive Server integration enhancements
- Java script functions to call Java classes
- New JMS connector
- DBAT available in main installer
- Updated Java connector SDK
- New transaction counter
- ControlCenter 5.6 now only manages 5.6 app domains
We understand that many of you are curious about release. You will get the chance to ask questions regarding this release in one week time during our bi-weekly twitter chat. We will also host a beta program for selected customers during the fall. Invitations for the beta program will be sent out shortly.
Robert Smith – Director Engineering
Stefan Cohen – Product Manager
Written by Robert Smith