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A Software Spring Cleaning: Superdesk 1.33

Superdesk version 1.33
Superdesk version 1.33

For anyone accustomed to the cold, spring is a season of preparation. With warm weather knocking on the door, now is the time to dust off the winter cobwebs and ready the house for sunshine, open windows, and fresh air.

Software undergoes a similar process of renewal. As we ready the rollout of Superdesk 2.0, one of the biggest releases we’ve done in years of our open-source headless CMS, we’re concurrently tidying up a few areas that needed a bit of polish. Here are some of the biggest updates you’ll find in the just-released Superdesk 1.33.

Introducing the Superdesk Production API

As boundaries between organisations and around content become more fluid, it is becoming strategically important for newsroom systems to connect to third-party applications. The new Production API allows such external apps access to content that is still in production in Superdesk (meaning that it has not yet been published).

Use cases for the Production API are many and multi-faceted. Examples include the following:

  • Newsrooms can build mobile apps for reporters to submit content on the ground, from wherever news is breaking. 
  • Newsrooms can build apps for editors working remotely to have a better overview of what's going on in the newsroom. 
  • Newsrooms can build apps for partners to give them access to content before it gets published.  

In order to grant apps access to the Production API, you first need to set up the associated authentication server. Read more about that here.

New efficiency-enhancing features

Superdesk has been fitted with new predictive text and autocomplete features, making it a smarter and faster digital news management system than ever before. Now, when editors add authors to content items, input fields are populated based on keystrokes. Prior to version 1.33, it was only possible to search for and add authors by typing their full username. Importantly, predictive text is being supported in multilingual vocabularies, instead of only English as before.  

Efficiency tools have also been targeted at specific Superdesk groups. For editors, a new user activity widget makes it easy to quickly view the content workflow of an individual user. For instance, using the widget, editors can see when reporters create, lock, mark for editing, or move a piece of content to another desk within the newsroom software. 

We’re also making life easier for content creators. A new “+” icon has been added to the always-available left toolbar, allowing users to trigger a new content window with one click. Prior to 1.33, the only way to create new pieces of content was in the Monitoring view.

Greater collaboration

Within news organisations, the ability for users to work seamlessly together is key, which is why Superdesk is already packed with newsroom automation and collaboration tools, such as inline comments. Now, we’ve added one more: the “mark for user” feature. First released as part of Superdesk 1.32, the “mark for user” window has been enhanced to make it easier and faster for writers and reporters to track assignments. In the upper right-hand corner, next to the user avatar, is a box labeled “marked for me” along with the number of open tasks. Clicking on the box reveals a list of tasks categorised by desk. Users also receive notification when a new content item is assigned.

Additional updates

  • Extensions have been enhanced to allow integration with external repositories, making things easier for developers.
  • Users can now filter content items in the Monitoring view by content profile, making it a snap to locate needed items.
  • Existing APIs have been improved so that new keywords can now be saved to the keyword-controlled vocabulary on publishing, and extensions can be enabled or disabled in instance-specific configurations of Superdesk instead of in Superdesk core.

These are just a few of the upgrades included in the Superdesk 1.33 release. Watch this space for more news and updates in the weeks to come.

Is Superdesk right for your organisation? Schedule your free Superdesk demo today to find out how the industry-leading open-source CMS can transform your newsroom. 

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