What's new in Xibo version 3

What's new in Xibo version 3

Welcome to a summary of some of the key features we've put into Xibo Version 3!

Xibo v3 - code name “Finlay”, has launched! Check out our release announcement to find out how to get it.

Interactivity

One of our missions at Xibo is to provide an extensible, flexible set of tools with which our users can build amazing experiences. We have been well aware that Xibo is lacking when it comes to interactivity and we've started to address that in version 3. When we think about interactivity it is often "touch" control that comes to mind - we certainly agree with this, but also that you can interact without touching. Therefore we have two elements to our interactive component: touch and web hooks.

We have introduced a new concept called "Actions" which can be attached to a Layout, Region or Widget and defines "things that happen" and how they are triggered.

Adding/Editing an Action for a Widget

We support triggering by "Touch/Click" or "Web Hook", and Previous, Next, Navigate to Layout and Navigate to Widget action types. When navigating to a Widget, that Widget is added to the "interactive Drawer", accessible underneath the Region timeline. Widgets added here do not have to exist in the current Region timeline.

Interactive Drawer expanded to show Widgets

Web Hooks require a trigger code and can be triggered by calling the Players API via a Widget or on the embedded web server URL. We've also written a JavaScript library called "Xibo Interactive Control" which wraps up common interactive functions, an introduction to this can be found in our refreshed developer docs Player Control section.

Version 3 compatible player software will be released in due course. Currently we have an alpha release of Xibo for Windows to test interactivity with.

Folders

Xibo is fortunate enough to have some users with truly large content management systems and we're the first to admit that organising and sharing content can be a challenge. One of our hardest decisions for v3 was how we improve this part of the product. After many months deliberating and experimenting we've decided to add the tried and tested "Folders" concept into Xibo!

Folders are common across all of the core Xibo items, Layouts, Playlists, Library, Displays, etc. Each item can be in a named folder, or be in the / root folder, and folders can be shared with other Users and Groups.

Folder tree on the Display Page

Once you've selected a folder from the tree view, that becomes your "working folder" and any new items you create will be automatically placed in that folder. If you can't find an item, or don't know which folder its in, you can tick "global search" and run the filter criteria across the whole system.

As part of the Folders change, Permissions has be re-branded "Sharing" throughout the application.

Features

We've done away with the complicated page permissions model and streamlined into common sets of Features. These can be enabled/disabled on a User or a User Group and control exactly what users can see and do within Xibo.

Turn features on/off for User and Groups

The new Features system has been designed so that you do not need to know which Features to group together to get something done. Each feature is independent from the other.

New installations will come with a set of User Groups pre-configured for common functions. These can be modified as needed!

Pre-configured user groups for new installs

Finally a step by step onboarding wizard has been included for adding new Users.

Add new User step by step

Widgets

We have extended our suite of core widgets with two new ones; a World Clock and Weather Tiles. Supported Players have also been embedded with a new smoother scrolling marquee for Text/Ticker widgets.

There are many other small adjustments to existing widgets to make them easier to use and more intuitive. We know we can still do more and this will be a focus for our upcoming 3.1 release.

Commands

We've overhauled commands to make them easier to configure. Each command can be created with a general command string, and then customised by Display Profile if required. A command builder is available to make creating commands as straightforward as selecting a few options.

The command builder showing a RS232 command

Reports

A new report centre has been developed to pull all reports into one place so that they are easy to find and run. There is also a new report called "Time Connected" which shows a visual summary of how much Displays are connected.

Time Connected Report filtered to 3 Displays for Today

Web Portal

The CMS web portal has been updated with the latest libraries and frameworks such as Alpine 3.12, Slim 4 and Bootstrap 4. These changes keep Xibo at the cutting edge of modern security best practices and design trends.

Also included in this set of improvements are common controls such as date pickers, tag selectors and charting, as well as JWT tokens for the API.

Finally a new welcome page brings this all together for new and existing users alike! This page has access to 3 new tours and a wealth of information to help users on their way.

New User Welcome

Closing thoughts

We are already getting started on 3.1, which will add other minor new features to those listed above. If you have an idea for a great new feature, or improvement to the things added in version 3, please join our community and let us know!