Worth all the sweat: product improvements we shipped in May

June 10, 2016


Readers of this blog know that we never shy away from highlighting major feature releases. Under the radar though we've been working on a lot of incremental changes - the type of improvements that feel too small to talk about and yet taken altogether significantly improve the experience of using Contentful. To give you an overview of these changes, we are launching a monthly rundown of the recent updates. We hope you'll enjoy it.

New tagging UI extension and more

Feature illustration

Our front-end team was neck-deep in revamping the way our web app looks and behaves. We left no stone unturned, rolling out in the process an improved date, slug and location UI extension as well as adding brand new checkbox and tagging UI extensions. And to cap it all, we also tweaked the styles, simplified key interactions and adopted simpler labels, so from now on "entries" are "content," "media assets" are "media" and "content types" became "content model." But the best news is yet to come, so stay tuned for the June update.

Independent locale publishing

Managing content in several languages is akin to holding an improv theater meetup in the middle of the Times Square - it rarely goes according to a schedule. Remote translators, random national holidays, and incompatible timezones can delay even the most committed teams, which is why we reworked how locales behave. Now you can publish entries containing required fields even if some of those fields are still missing translations. The trick is to designate the critical few locales as required while setting all others as optional.

Content type field deletion

feature illustration

If you have worked with content types, you would know that the Contentful web app likes to err on the side of caution. For example, it was impossible to delete any fields from a content type once you publish your first entry using that very content type. Having spent many weeks researching the issue, we have finally found a way to delete fields without triggering a JSON armageddon. All we ask for in return is for you to delete your fields in steps: first, hide them from the Content Delivery API and, once you confirmed that your app or website continues working as expected, remove it for good with the content type deletion feature.

Swift SDK updates

Our Swift SDK has been live for a while, but in May we added the offline persistence library to go along with the SDK. The library should enable you to build highly resilient and fast mobile apps in one of the most forgiving programming languages out there. You can get started by looking at the Swift demo app, an implementation of a simple product catalog, authored by our iOS frontman Boris "NeoNacho" Bügling. Boris is attending WWDC and AltConf (13-16 June, SF) and speaking at Forward SWIFT (28 July, SF), so if you want to swap some Swift tales, come by and say 'hi.'

Workflow automation: scheduled publishing & content moderation

The improved webhooks that we released back in March opened up a lot of new opportunities for building deep integrations with third party services or automating individual steps within the Contentful web app. To demonstrate just how versatile they are, we released Ruby gems for scheduled publishing and content moderation. To add these workflows to your space: edit the config file, setup space webhooks, and deploy the gem to Heroku. After that, your editors will be able to set a date and time at which an entry has to go live, or get automatic email notifications about new entries waiting for their approval.

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