A Sneak Peek into Adobe CQ 5.6
It’s that time of year again when Adobe hosts a special webinar to preview some of the key features that are slated to be unveiled in the next generation of its web content management solution, Adobe CQ. While we still need to wait until the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit in March to see the official product announcement and the final list of features, the sneak peek provides insight into the direction and the approach the product is taking with this round of enhancements.
The first change to mention is not a feature of CQ, but a new layer of packaging on the total Digital Marketing offering that Adobe delivers. Adobe has reorganized its product line into a new package, called the Adobe Marketing Cloud. This package includes five key segments of solutions:
- Adobe Analytics
- Adobe Target
- Adobe Social
- Adobe Media Optimizer
- Adobe Experience Manager
The Adobe CQ solution fits into this last category. Together these cloud solutions provide the ability for marketers to make, manage, monetize and optimize their digital marketing efforts.
A major evolution with Adobe 5.6 is the strong focus on mobile, from both a content consumption and a content creation perspective. They’ve previewed a new user interface that provides touch-based support for content contributors. This allows users of tablets and other touch panel devices to browse sites, assets and projects in a different manner, with unlimited scrolling and large images. This is a neat idea, but a bit early in the spectrum in my opinion as most heavy content producers and authors are still leveraging traditional systems that are mouse-driven. For light edits and occasional users, this may be a neat feature.
Another new addition in 5.6 is the addition of Responsive Design support. This provides marketers with another way to address mobile by allowing them to create a single HTML view and send the same file to all devices. The display of the content is automatically adapted for each device, creating an optimal experience for every user. CQ 5.6 includes author level preview capabilities to simulate the various screen sizes and validate the responsive behaviors.
Other new features include new support for quick landing page creation and A/B testing. CQ has typically excelled for quickly creating uniform pages based on a certain look and feel, but when marketers want to do campaign-driven content that breaks the typical site mould, it can mean extra work. Now with CQ 5.6, you can use a blank canvas to create a new page based on a zip file. This means you can upload a zip file of HTML pages and CQ automatically converts this into editable content and breaks out any test elements. To me, this is an excellent feature addition, particularly for organizations working with external firms and multiple content creation resources.
In addition, there is a much deeper level of integration between CQ 5.6 and the other technologies in the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Analytics and Social look like they will be tied in nicely to help bridge the entire web experience and provide the data to analyze and optimize better on-the-fly.
The features and integrations released separately during 2012 will also be rolled into the new release. These include:
- Mobile app creation and editing with Phone Gap integration
- Facebook and Twitter based personalization
- Cloud hosting via Rackspace
- eCommerce integration via Hybris
- Landing page and email integration with Exact Target
We will see in March what other gems made the cut, but for me the tighter integration of other suite components, like social and analytics, and the built-in support for responsive design are the most valuable new additions for our clients. Watch the full sneak peak here. Learn more about Responsive Design by reading our eGuide.