Phase2 and Atrium: 2015 in Review

Annie Stone, Marketing Strategist
#Atrium | Posted

I’ve been leading the Atrium team at Phase2 for over a year now, and as we launch our updated website and branding, it’s amazing to look back on what we’ve accomplished. Our dedicated team has added features that represent exciting new capabilities for our users and the community. As we get ready to release version 2.50, I wanted to reflect on how far we’ve come since Atrium’s last major release in 2013 and how these upgrades have translated into tangible benefits for our clients.

New Atrium Features in 2015

Some highlights from the last year:

  • Related Content - The integration of the Paragraphs Module has enabled us to solve a number of complex data modeling and content linking problems. By building on Paragraphs, we’ve not only been able to add powerful media gallery and text management capabilities to every content type in the system - we’ve also created a way to link and reuse content through our related content and snippets systems. Using these, you can do anything from linking to an existing piece of relevant content to compiling content to build larger documents (assembling a proposal out of existing sales collateral, for example). This single enhancement provides so many different solutions to common problems, we’re constantly discovering new ways to use it.

Read more about Atrium’s Related Content feature here.

  • Performance Improvements - A HUGE focus for us at the beginning of this year was performance improvements. We used profiling and flame graphs to figure out where the system was lagging. We knocked each issue down one by one and, as a result, Atrium (even with a lot of content) is now greatly improved when using an out-of-database caching system such as Memcache.
  • Reply-to-Anything - A very common request from Atrium 2.1x was the ability to have threaded discussions. As we looked into building this capability, we also aimed to free discussions from being limited to specific sections. The Work Tracker app, which extended the Drupal comments system, became our inspiration for solving these issues. Through the combination of the extension of Drupal comments and our aforementioned related content mojo, we’ve created a flexible system that allows conversations on any piece of content in the system. Integration with the OA Notifications and OA Mailhandler apps allow users to receive and reply to those discussions from the web or from email. Reply-to-Anything makes it easier to collaborate on events, documents, tasks, and anything else you care to build on Atrium.

Read more about Atrium’s Reply-to-Anything feature here.

Continued Improvement for Better Collaboration

While those are some of the highlights, we’ve progressed through so many releases this year that there are numerous enhancements, bug fixes, updates, and security patches that have been delivered beyond what’s covered in this blog. For example, one of my favorite “little” enhancements allows you to specify the minipanels that are used as the header and footer of a space, effectively allowing you to create a totally different look and feel for a given area or micro-site. In the upcoming 2.50 release, we’re adding the ability to export Space blueprints into other Atrium instances. This may seem like a simple way to migrate configuration around, but it actually gives us a way to share best practices for configuring Atrium for specific tasks (such as project coordination or asset management). We’re just scratching the surface on what we’ll be able to do with this functionality, so stay tuned for Mike Potter’s release announcement (coming soon).Together, all these improvements have accumulated into a powerful platform for collaboration. What’s more, it isn’t just limited to the back office anymore. Collaboration is everywhere these days; and with Atrium you can build a system that allows you to work not only with your coworkers, but also with your vendors, partners, and customers. The open source nature of the platform means that you can build the solution that is right for you, while counting on great new features from both the community and our team here at Phase2. Check out our new website or subscribe to our Atrium newsletter to learn more!


Annie Stone

Annie Stone

Marketing Strategist