We are thrilled to unveil the latest iteration of Brightspot CMS, version 4.7! This release represents a significant step forward in enhancing our customers' content creation, management and site-administration capabilities. Our CMS product and development teams have poured their collective energies and expertise into creating features that will not only streamline your content workflows but also inspire innovation and creativity. With the 4.7 upgrade, we focused on driving efficiencies with four key platform pillars: the extensibility of the platform; the authoring experience; the CMS search UI; and ease of administration for the CMS. Read on to find out more about what this means for Brightspot CMS users.
100+ ready-to-use content types drive flexibility
In the current version of Brightspot (version 4.5), we introduced a plethora of upgrades to enrich the content-editing experience, but we understood that customization was sometimes necessary for optimal utilization.
With the latest version, version 4.7, our aim was to provide features that seamlessly integrate into existing business processes and workflows, and thereby require less need for upfront customization. Here, we focused our efforts on ways to ensure that CMS users can get their work done as quickly and as effectively as possible.
With version 4.7, Brightspot now comes with over 100 pre-built content types, covering everything from standard articles, galleries and blog posts to dozens of other types like presentations, podcasts or FAQ modules. All these come pre-modeled out-of-the-box, but can also easily be extended through a low-code Typescript interface, Java development or even crafting entirely new types from scratch.
A balanced mix-and-match approach ensures you can shape your CMS to fit your requirements efficiently, including getting started on day one with no dev support required.
Start fast and customize without limitation
In that same vein of ensuring efficiencies across the board, we have doubled down on the need for extensibility through all facets of the platform.
This includes support for an array of pre-built integations—from AI tools to analytics to advertising—that deliver a major head start for many, if not most, of the tools in your digital tech stack. No need to model things from scratch or build in utilities to make connections with third-party apps and APIs. As with all our pre-built content types, these can be used as-is or extended using Typescript or Java.
For teams with deeper technical resources, crafting custom integrations is entirely in the hands of your developers (or work with Brightspot's world-class services team, who've built thousands of custom integrations across countless use cases). Case in point for the efficacy of starting with the existing framework: APNews recently leveraged Brightspot's out-of-the-box advertising integrations and layered its custom sponsorship injection code on top.
The extensibility you enjoy with 4.7 goes further with the addition of a new flexible approach to the front-end presentation layer, which is called the Brightspot Design System. CMS users can start with the Design System and modify it as much or as little as needed. You can customize colors, fonts and more with a no-code interface or download the design system to embark on your own completely customizable software project (one that's achievable with 80 percent or more of the framework, modules and code samples you need for a successful site launch already in place).
Simple CSS, JS and Handlebars extensions empower you to add even more of your brand and stylistic touches. Additionally, you can even create entirely new presentation layers in your preferred language or framework.
Create content faster with AI-assisted suggestions and seamless content import from external libraries
When it comes to authoring content in Brightspot, we pride ourselves on delivering a best-in-class publishing experience. With 4.7 we challenged ourselves to bring even more efficiency, creativity and speed to the editorial process through a suite of enhancements to the CMS UI.
Perhaps one of the most notable additions is the new integration with OpenAI. Now, Brightspot users can tap into a generative AI assistant built right within the editorial interface in order to overcome creative blocks, quickly revise content, as well as to draft entirely new content pieces from scratch.
Other powerful out-of-the-box integrations that are also designed to help users create content faster and more efficiently come with our selection of new "connect and create" integrations.
Importing content from Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint has never been smoother. Imported content from these commonly used repositories seamlessly transforms into CMS content such as articles, blog posts, sections and tags, both streamlining your content-creation process as well as strengthening governance and versioning between disparate content silos.
An additional note here that ties back to our focus on extensibility: CMS users can customize their own "converters" for these connect-and-create integrations. Meaning? It's not just limited to common file types like documents or spreadsheets; teams can build hooks for whatever content types they need to import, whether that's whitepapers, presentations, documentation files or some other specific content use.
If you're an e-commerce retailer—or really, anyone with a product to monetize—the Brightspot integration with Shopify delivers on the promise of better content-to-commerce storytelling. Connect to your Shopify store to import products and product collections and showcase them directly alongside all your content and brand storytelling features within Brightspot.
Reduce the time to publish, optimize and manage your content with CMS search tools that work for you
With thousands of CMS users accessing Brightspot across the globe every day to get their jobs done, we know what it means to work smoothly, quickly and efficiently. Seconds saved for one editor multiplied across dozens or hundreds of users multiple times each day adds up to massive time savings—not to mention, cost savings. With 4.7, those savings will add up even more.
Searching for content is often the starting point of content creation, which is why we've reimagined the discovery stage.
Quick View allows you to preview assets directly from search, eliminating the need to navigate through numerous tabs. It's perfect for quick assessments and comparisons. Additionally, drag-and-drop functionality within search simplifies asset management. Move articles, images or videos between sections, workflow states or assignees seamlessly. This enhancement reduces the need for repeated opening of individual assets, saving you valuable time.
With 4.7, we've also introduced what we call Search Collections, a feature designed to streamline your asset organization. Whether it's collaborating on content sets or organizing assets for specific purposes, Collections provide a curated grouping of diverse asset types. From articles to images, videos to landing pages, the possibilities are endless. What's even more exciting is the ability to share these collections among team members, enabling collaborative content creation and strategic review for all your content and publishing plans.
Streamlining digital operations with better site management, monitoring and analysis
It goes without saying that digital experiences today are never monolithic. With real-time publishing, revisions, testing, optimizations and more happening with each click and page load, dynamic content experiences require active content management. We've taken this mindset into how we have built in several new tools for even greater efficiency within the CMS.
Whether it's a fast-paced newsroom or a rapidly growing corporate-marketing division, the new Production Guides in 4.7 are a game-changer. They provide the latest editorial guidance, ensuring everyone is aligned with content goals while ensuring knowledge is not locked up with a singular gatekepeer or library of hard-to-access external resources. Whether you're seeking field-level guidance or modifying it for your team, this feature streamlines the onboarding process and enhances productivity.
For busy and constantly evolving teams, seamless communication is pivotal, too. Brightspot 4.7 introduces Watchers. Users can "Watch" an asset to receive notifications about content updates. This feature benefits teams responsible for content production, advertising, archiving and more, ensuring everyone stays in the loop.
Site admins will also enjoy the enhanced reporting and monitoring framework that comes with the 4.7 release. The new Site Health Framework establishes an alert system designed to proactively errors, warnings, and suggestions, aiding effective site management. The Reporting Framework allows users to create, run, schedule and share content reports from Brightspot, offering a robust set of new tools to execute on content strategy, research and governance tasks without reliance on technical resources.
Fostering better efficiency and collaboration among our community of CMS developers
While we've focused on content creators with much of what's available in version 4.7, we've also considered our developer community. The Brightspot Developer Portal is a dedicated space equipped with a community discussion area and a library of code samples. This resource is instrumental in fostering third-party developer engagement and expediting development on the platform.
Moreover, we've revamped our GraphQL feature set, enhancing the developer experience. The upgraded GraphQL explorer simplifies API endpoint creation, and we've refined the editorial content types feature set for better content management.
We've also added new reporting and visibility tools into the Editorial Content Types (ECT) feature set for easier content type management. ECTs are types that can be created directly in the CMS, typically (but not always) for headless use cases. These support a robust set of fields, matching the capabilities of of building a content type using traditional Java code. The ECT Reporting Tool gives site administrators a holistic panel from which they can administer these types.
On the technical framework front, 4.7 also includes an upgrade to Java 17 (LTS) and various accessibility and security improvements to ensure unparalleled reliability.
At Brightspot, we're committed to delivering a CMS that not only meets your needs but anticipates them. Version 4.7 is a testament to this commitment, driving efficiency, creativity and collaboration across your content ecosystem. We're excited to witness the inventive ways you'll leverage these enhancements.
Thank you for choosing Brightspot. Your journey towards even more efficient, effective and innovative content results continues here.
Senior Vice President, Platform Product Management & Solutions