Hannon Hill Releases Cascade Server 7.2 for Beta Testing with New User Interface and Accessibility Features

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Hannon Hill Corporation, creator of the most popular enterprise CMS in Higher Education, has released Cascade Server 7.2 for beta testing, including new user interface and accessibility features.

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I'm really excited to see this addition to Cascade Server as it demonstrates our commitment to consistently evolving our product to help our users keep their websites in line with new accessibility standards.

Hannon Hill Corporation, creator of the most popular enterprise content management system (CMS) in Higher Education, has released Cascade Server 7.2 for beta testing. The newest version of its CMS software introduces several features that will improve the usability of the software for both administrators and content contributors and make it easier for clients to maintain accessible sites using the software. Additionally, this version will improve performance and decrease the time needed for site migrations and expand the functionality of the web services API.

One of the improvements to the user interface is the ability to drag and drop webpages within the website structure. A user with this ability activated will be able to drag and drop a webpage or other asset into a different folder on their site, and upon doing so, that user will be presented with additional options for renaming and republishing that webpage in its new location.

In addition to drag and drop moving, there are several other user interface features included in the beta release of Cascade Server 7.2, such as automatic saving of drafts in the background of the application, an updated format editing user interface, clickable labels enabling easier selection of options throughout different parts of the system, auto-complete site switching for navigating between sites in Cascade Server, an easy way for administrators to check which effective abilities a user has for a given site, and preview functionality to the format editing interface.

“Improving the user experience in Cascade Server has been our focus for quite some time now,” emphasized Hannon Hill Lead Software Engineer Mike Strauch. “There are few things more frustrating than a powerful piece of software that is difficult to use, which is why I love the improvements we've made to format editing and saving of drafts; things feel much more seamless.”

In keeping with Hannon Hill’s commitment to helping higher education, government, and non-profit organizations meet the ever-increasing standards for accessibility on their sites, the Cascade Server 7.2 beta includes a modification to the way alt text is populated for decorative images on pages in the system. According to W3C, an authority on web accessibility standards, images that do not add informative content to a page are considered decorative images, for which the alt text tag should be empty. This ensures that assistive technology, such as screen readers, can ignore these items on pages. Cascade Server 7.2 allows for images to be designated as decorative images so that they will be marked up properly.

“Hannon Hill has always been a leader in supporting the latest in accessibility best practices for our clients,” said Hannon Hill Services Manager Penny Kronz. “I'm really excited to see this addition to Cascade Server as it demonstrates our commitment to consistently evolving our product to help our users keep their websites in line with new accessibility standards.”

Other noteworthy features in the Cascade Server 7.2 beta release include an upgrade to the supported version of MySQL to version 5.5, a dynamic metadata editing user interface to replace the current interface requiring XML to be entered, the ability to send publish reports to selected users or groups, a significant improvement to reduce the time needed to perform site migrations, and an expansion of the functionality of the web services API for Cascade Server.

Hannon Hill’s customers have been notified of the beta release and invited to test the new features in a sandbox environment or by downloading and installing it on a test server. Users who have previously tested a Cascade beta release can use their existing credentials again, and other customers can request access to test Cascade Server 7.2 Beta. For more information, please see the Cascade Server 7.2 Beta Release Notes or visit http://www.HannonHill.com.

About the Company
Located in Atlanta, GA, Hannon Hill is the creator of Cascade Server, the premier enterprise content management system for higher education. Designed with colleges and universities in mind, Cascade Server gives higher education, government, technology, healthcare and non-profit organizations the freedom to manage their web presence with ease and cutting edge technology. It is engineered for any network environment, provides a content contributor-friendly interface, and provides deployment flexibility, robust multi-site management and a fast implementation.

Since its founding in 2001, Hannon Hill solutions have been utilized and trusted by more higher education institutions than any other CMS. Over 185 organizations in higher education use Cascade Server, including Emory University, The College of William & Mary, Northwestern University, University of Saskatchewan, and Texas A&M University, among many others. For more information about Hannon Hill and its products, please visit http://www.HannonHill.com or contact the company directly at 800-407-3540.

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