Joomla is extending support beyond MySQL to increase its penetration in businesses and enterprises.
The upgraded 2.5 version of the content management system (CMS), which becomes available on Jan. 24, offers multi-database support, notably Microsoft SQL Server out of the gate, and Oracle support in the near future, as well as an enhanced natural language search engine and automatic notification and delivery of updates and extensions.
The addition of a database extraction layer to the PHP framework is aimed to improve its scalability, noted Andrea Tarr of Joomla's Production Leadership Team. The previous version supported MySQL exclusively.
Tarr also pointed to the platform's new update and notification services and search improvements in version 2.5. A release by the project, a fork of the Mambo open source CMS project, details it this way:
Automatic notification when a Joomla or extension update is available. When logged into the control panel, site administrators will instantly have access to new notification buttons that allows them to see and act on the latest updates. In addition to updates for the Joomla CMS, a second button offers third party extension notification updates.
A better natural language search engine to the Joomla core. Complete with auto-completion and stemming (for example if you type “running” in a search field you also see run), it is faster and more versatile than the standard search.
Over the last year, Microsoft and eBay have contributed code to the Joomla project.
It is the first version released under the project's new six-month release cycle pledge. It is most popular in the small-to-medium-sized business sector but is gaining attention in the enterprise, execs said.
"We're starting to find larger companies using Joomla more frequently," said Ryan Ozimek, president of Open Source Matters, a non-profit that provides management, legal and financial support to the Joomla project. Ozimek said Joomla is a pure open source project not under the control of one company or "benevolent dictator."
The six year old project is, like WordPress and Drupal, an open source CMS. Ozimek says Joomla sits somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of features and functionality while WordPress's easy-to-use GUI makes it suitable for the masses and Drupal is "extremely developer centric."