Will Ezell
Chief Technology Officer

dotCMS 5.0: More Than a Software Update

Aug 08, 2018
By: Will Ezell

When it comes to digital experiences, speed is the new currency.

In the era of smart voice assistants and progressive web apps, developers will tell you that speed entails a flexible, technology-agnostic environment with headless content management. A marketer, on the other hand, prioritizes clean interfaces, WYSIWYG editing, and code-free authoring environments.

It’s a balance that’s hard to strike, but we believe we’ve done it with dotCMS 5.0 — and we can’t wait to see how Fitbit, Honda, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and other dotCMS clients will leverage it.  

dotCMS 5.0 At a Glance

We’ve made a company-wide decision to make dotCMS the most user-friendly CMS in the marketplace, and dotCMS 5.0 is a giant step in that direction.

At the same time, we’ve prioritized the two urgent needs of growing brands; to increase their time to market speed, and to simultaneously lower their total cost of ownership.

To cater to those needs, dotCMS 5.0 brings about a slew of new drag-and-drop capabilities, a newly integrated reporting module, as well as enhanced support for containers. Here’s a summary of what’s new:

  • Drag-and-Drop Page & Layout Editor: Layouts are now tied to the page itself, making it easy to make changes to the layout without having to leave the page editor.
  • Drag-and-Drop Workflow Builder: Building on the ‘Four Eyes’ approval feature from dotCMS 4.3, the dotCMS 5.0 workflow builder allows for multiple workflow schemes per content type.
  • Drag-and-Drop Content Type Builder: Users can now drag and drop from a list of fields to build out content types. Adding rows, columns, and changing the order of fields makes it easier to build out new content types, especially forms.
  • Enhanced Container Support: dotCMS now has full containerization capabilities. We consider this to be a huge improvement to the usability of the platform, containers can be used multiple times on the same page, leading to the decrease in the number of templates and the overall ease of management of templates, layouts and containers.
  • New Reporting Module: integrates with Google Analytics to allow businesses to gain insight into their website right from the dotCMS Dashboard. This visualization of your web properties can be customized to show what insights are most important to your business.
  • ElasticSearch 6.1 Support: Empower your website or application with powerful ElasticSearch technology.

Learn more about dotCMS 5.0 and upgrade today

More Than a Software Update

As you can see from the graphic below, dotCMS 5.0 is our most significant release since dotCMS 4.0 over a year ago.


But dotCMS 5.0 isn’t just building on top of the progress we made with the dotCMS 4.x series — it’s the physical manifestation of our change in philosophy here at dotCMS.

Firstly, we’ve taken our ‘‘NoCode’ initiative to a new level with greater tools for marketers Secondly, we have strengthening our stance on ‘Content as Infrastructure’ by way of container and microservice architecture support — both of which are key for enterprises looking to survive and thrive in the API era.

A Codeless Environment for Marketers

From customizing the color of your dotCMS dashboard to using drag-and-drop page editors, dotCMS is becoming the most marketer-friendly enterprise CMS around.

With a cleaner UI, new drag-and-drop features, and an added reporting module, dotCMS 5.0 follows our ‘NoCode’ initiative, offering non-technical users, editors, and marketers the autonomy they need to create without heavy reliance on their IT department.

We’ve noticed that as more brands adopt headless and decoupled technologies to serve their content on IoT devices, many have simultaneously left their marketing teams out in the cold. CMOs have to either lead their teams through code-ridden interfaces and workflows, or integrate a slew of third-party solutions to help plug the technology gap.

It’s a sad state of affairs that we’ve taken action against through the release of dotCMS 5.0. Here’s how.

Improved Edit Mode


Marketing and business users spend a majority of their time in our authoring environment, which is why we decided to do a complete refresh of our Edit Mode. This area has the biggest impact for marketers when creating and managing dotCMS-enabled digital experiences.

Page Editor


Content contributors can now drag-and-drop containers and widgets around in the page without having to deal with code, and without leaving the page they’re editing.

The new dotCMS 5.0 interface makes adding content to a page easier than ever; just click on the purple + icon, search for the type of content you want, and then drag it into place.

Layout Editor


Marketing teams can make changes to existing page templates and layouts in a drag-and-drop fashion without writing a single line of code. No, seriously!

The dotCMS 5.0 layout editor is grid-based, making it easy to understand and customize so you can produce a truly unique digital experience. Our layout editor also helps future-proof your content, allowing you to adjust the way your content displays no matter what device hits the market next.

Workflow Builder


Our ‘NoCode’ Workflow builder has also been enhanced with drag-and-drop support, making it easier for non-technical users and editors to build content publishing workflows. All workflows are indexed by ElasticSearch, so you can quickly pull up lists of things like unpublished content or all content published by a particular user. Additionally, you can execute bulk actions against thost lists, like publishing all unpublished content.

Content Type Builder


Our content type builder — which enables anybody to build Angular-based elements like forms, banners, and video containers — is now also ‘NoCode’ compliant. That means marketers can build content types and drag-and-drop individual fields within those content types, all while the IT department gets on with more pressing tasks.



Marketers spend a lot of time studying their analytics dashboard, so we decided to bring that dashboard into the dotCMS experience. A new Google Analytics and reporting module allows business to get enterprise reporting on a site by site basis. Dashboards can be customized and boast visualization so marketers can gain insights faster.


Despite all of the above, dotCMS 5.0 didn’t just come to spoil marketers and non-technical users — there’s great news for CTOs, CIOs, and developers, too.

By breaking out the caching and search layers as separate containerized microservices, dotCMS 5.0 makes it easy to maintain a fully dynamic delivery tier that can auto-scale to meet the needs of the most heavily trafficked apps and sites.

dotCMS Docker images have been designed as “Orchestrator Agnostic”, so brands can use Kubernetes, Swarm, or any other orchestrator. Additionally, dotCMS supports complete internal testing against both Swarm and Kubernetes based orchestrators.

dotCMS uses can also externalize services, like an ElasticSearch layer for example, making them individually scalable.

We’re Just Getting Started

We built dotCMS to help brands get to market faster, scale sooner, and lower their total cost of ownership along the way — so we’re thrilled that dotCMS 5.0 positions brands to empower their marketers and containerize their applications

But we’re even more excited about what we’ve got coming next.

With our decoupled architecture and Content as Infrastructure philosophy, we’ve already set the foundations for our vision; an enterprise CMS that seamlessly connects brands with their employees, partners, and customers through every major channel and touch point available.

Download dotCMS 5.0 today, and join us on this journey by signing up to our newsletter.

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