Last week we launched Nuxeo Studio 2.0, a new version of our online customization service for the Nuxeo Enterprise Platform. Working on this release side by side with the rest of team here at Nuxeo, I have been really impressed by what we achieved. Studio is an important piece in our overall product strategy—what we fondly refer to as Customization-as-a-Service. And, we’re not talking about a distant future, today, there are already approximately 150 applications powered by Nuxeo Studio!
When it comes to developing content applications, we believe that most cases have specific needs and ask for a high level of flexibility and extensibility, hence our decision to build a strong and sophisticated platform: Nuxeo EP. While we develop this platform, we also focus heavily on building tools that make it easy for application builders to develop solutions on top of it. Enabling developers to simply and efficiently build applications is critical to fulfilling our mission of allowing our customers to better manage their content. It’s not enough to have a sophisticated platform—the tools used to build on top of it must be effective, powerful, and intuitive.
The opportunity to provide customization and configuration in the cloud, “as a service”, as well as applying this strategy to development and deployment environments, as a whole, opens up tremendous possibilities for our customers and developers alike. It’s exciting to know that we’re just scratching the surface of Studio’s capabilities!
First of all, it means you can start developing quicker and you can stay focused on your development. No software to install on your systems, no environment to build, you get rid of all the usual tasks that often curb your projects in their initial phase and require too much maintenance.
It also means you can simplify the deployment of the work that you do such as using the automated update from Studio on your Nuxeo application in different runtime environments (typically: development, QA or production) without any hassles!
A very simple example is deploying document types. I’ve been working with many CMS, some of which are not really flexible or offered poor capabilities when it comes to define your own content types. Others, like Nuxeo EP, are much better and allow you to define in just a few clicks your own content models to suit your needs. This is a great asset, but unfortunately, if you don’t have a simple way to manage deployment of the document types you define, it can easily turn into a burden for people in charge of the run, constantly struggling when it comes time to deploy on new environments, upgrade their platform, or realign their configurations. These are some of the problems that Studio can solve.
But the biggest value in my opinion, is that it helps you handle the upgradeability of your platform! Studio automatically handles upgrades of your work (or should we say remove the need for upgrades) and ensures you won’t have to spend hours on your custom code or configuration when you want to benefit from a new version of Nuxeo EP. Your plugins developed with Studio will naturally run on the new version without any effort on your side. And, of course, being delivered as a Service, upgrades of Studio itself are transparent to you …
So, to sum up, my views on the key assets of studio when it comes to Customization as a Service:
- developing faster and expending less effort to control your work environment
- deploying easily on your various platforms
- ensuring upgradeability of your work!
Of course Nuxeo Studio is much more. It’s a full environment which abstracts the complexity of coding and provides a visual way to build applications—but I won’t go into details here, it’s better to have a look at the online resources that I summarize below.
On the technical side, as it is delivered as a service, its user interface requires that it run in a browser. Making large web based applications using a lot of Ajax in such an industrialized way is not an easy task. That said, we decided to go for the Google Web Toolkit technology (GWT) plugged into Nuxeo Enterprise Platform on the back end.
Studio is approximately 100,000 lines of java code and GWT helped us in that respect, providing rich user interface snippets, a relatively painless learning curve, and development tools that integrate with Eclipse (the google eclipse plugin) which help reduce the time for coding and testing cycles.
We’re constantly enhancing Studio with many innovative features, providing more customization capabilities, and will continue offering it as a service! We’ve got a lot brewing and we’re looking at an integration with Eclipse for better integration with the tools used for Java development when this is requested. We’re also planning a bunch of improvements in the fields of deployment and usability in general. As ever, we would love to hear your feedback and ideas.
A few pointers if you want to know more:
- The Nuxeo Studio forum if you want to discuss the topic
- The upcoming webinar February 9th
- Overview of Nuxeo Studio
- Nuxeo Studio documentation
- Studio trial for 30 days for free
- And some screencasts:
A a 3-minute introduction to Nuxeo Studio:
How to make an application based on Nuxeo open source document management system in 7 minutes with Nuxeo Studio:
See how to configure your Nuxeo application in less than 15 minutes using Nuxeo Studio to deploy your customizations thanks to the Admin Center!: