Tech Update 4.0 - Plone 5 Update

We updated our website platform from Plone 4 to Plone 5 because support for elements of Plone 4 is ending this year. This is a very big update to the backend of our website, and our staff and volunteers extensively to be sure it all works. The average user won't see any major differences, but the upgrade includes improvements for our volunteers.
Jeff Bowman Jeff Bowman
IT Manager
April 29, 2020

Our website is built on the open source Plone CMS (Content Management System). It was running on Plone 4, which is built with Python 2.7 with an end of life this year. We started the update to Plone 5 in May 2019, and launched it on May 5, 2020, our website's sixth "birthday."

This is an extensive update that affects every corner of our website. Numerous rounds of adjustments and testing were required to make all of our website's features work in Plone 5. A huge note of thanks to our volunteers and staff who helped with the testing!

Though the update is primarily to the "backend," we gained some improvements that come natively with Plone 5 and made a few improvements of our own. The average user won't see any major differences, but the upgrade includes improvements for our volunteers.

admin panel

Instead of a horizontal bar just below the header, website users with admin privileges will see is a vertical column on every page. It will be displayed on the left on desktop and opened with the icon in the upper left on mobile. Depending on the page you're viewing, the admin panel may have several items or it may be empty, but it will always be there if you’re an admin. Those who are leaders without also being an admin will not see the admin panel, but will see new, user-friendly portlets and buttons.

admin_panel.png

Manage activity  portlet

manage_activity_portlet.pngAs an improvement for leaders, we added a portlet on the bottom of the right side of activity pages that will help leaders manage activities more quickly and easily. As before, scheduling an activity still starts by choosing a route/place. Learn more about scheduling and managing activities.

 

manage events portlet

manage_event_portlet.pngAs an improvement for leaders, we added a portlet on the bottom of the right side of event pages that will help leaders manage events more quickly and easily. These buttons include options to manage roster, cancel or clone the event, and more. Learn more about scheduling and managing events.

 

To schedule an event start by clicking the "+ Add Event" button at the top right of the appropriate calendar:add_event.png


adding routes & places

As an improvement for leaders, we added a "+ Add Route/Place" button at the top of Find Routes & Places:

add_route_place.png

manage_route_place_portlet.pngAfter saving, a portlet is displayed at the right to edit and submit the suggested new route/place. Learn more about Routes & Place.

 

date & time entry widgets

The widget used to enter dates and times is slightly different, and it is consistent across all edit forms.

datetime_widget.png

folder contents view and bulk upload

The folder contents view (“Contents” in the Admin Panel) has improvements including bulk file and image upload, and better drag and drop to reorder (items can still be temporarily sorted by clicking on the column headers). The bulk action buttons are now at the top of the page, and we're especially excited about the bulk file and image upload feature available with Plone 5.

folder_contents.png


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