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Over the last year, we have been working on developing the new Haicloud functionality (content sharing between Haiku websites). The purpose of the content sharing is to allow editors to share a variety of content across a range of Haiku websites quickly and easily. The functions that are going to be available, are for editors to be able to pull and subscribe to an item of content. This function will keep the item of content in sync with the original, updating it immediately if the original is updated. The other function option that editors will have available is to simply pull an item of content into their website. This function will simply make a copy of the item of content, and save it into the website is is pulled into, as well as then being editable.

Developing this functionality has most certainly had it’s ups and downs, as well as a vast amount of discoverable work and dependencies (moving to Amazon Web Services has helped in many ways). The scope of the content sharing functionality has been vast, and we have been working hard to ensure that we are able to roll out a suitable phase one for the functionality that will allow editors to use the content sharing and subscription as quickly, and in the most streamlined way possible.

We have come up against many challenges whilst developing the content sharing functionality, including speed of replication for subscriptions, managing all of the items of content from all Haiku websites, and ensuring deduplication when items are being used across more than one Haiku website. Although this has taken a lot longer to accomplish than we first thought, we are extremely happy with the way that we have overcome the challenges, and implemented the new Haicloud functionality that will spread a huge benefit to all users of the system.

We are now at the stage where we are able to begin the task of linking up the existing Haiku websites to the Haicloud. This task in itself will take us a few days, as we are running nearly 85 instances of Haiku. When we link up the Haiku websites to the Haicloud, this will initially only provide us with very limited functionality. The initial linking of a Haiku website the Haicloud involves pairing each Haiku website with the Haicloud service using authentication tokens, and secret keys. This ensuers that only Haiku websites that we want to be integrated with the service are, and that all of the data is being transferred securely. One of the first cool pieces of functionality that the Haicloud functionality brings with it is the in system notifications, that you may well have seen and used to find out about this update. We have a lot of plans for this functionality, including improving the way in which we send out release notes, and links to documentation when we release updates to Haiku.

Once all of the Haiku websites are connected to the Haicloud service, we then need to begin to synchronise all of the content from each website into the Haicloud database, so that we have the content stored suitably for it to be reused on other Haiku websites. This is a large and resource intensive task for us to run (we have Haiku websites with the number of items of content ranging from 50 to nearly 50,000), and so will be completed over the next two weeks, out of business hours. Neither you or your website visitors will notice any difference in website performance, and you will still be able to log into your website and edit as usual, but we are running the synchronisation outside of business hours to ensure minimal impact on performance.

When we have all of the Haiku websites synchronised with the Haicloud service, we will begin to roll out the use of the functionality in BETA. We are rolling out the Haicloud in BETA initially for a few reasons. Firstly, this new functionality is very complex and has a lot of dependencies so we cannot be 100% sure that we have squashed all of the potential bugs in the system, therefore we would like to use the BETA release to get help from users to find any critical bugs that we did not cover with the automated and internal testing. Secondly, we want to make clear that at this stage you should not be using this functionality in business critical situations, until we have had a period of the Haicloud service running on live in a stable way - we hope this won’t take too long to confirm! Lastly, we want to take this opportunity to get feedback on the user experience of the Haicloud service, so that we can look to make any improvements before the finalised first release - please let us know your feedback through the helpdesk.

We appreciate that the Haicloud service has taken longer to develop than was first indicated, and so we thank you all for your patience whilst waiting for what we see to be extremely useful and powerful new functionality. Now that we have got to the stage of being able to release Haicloud BETA, we are really excited about the future for the functionality that will enable us to work with page history and versioning….but that is for phase two.

We will be sending out more information over the upcoming weeks to update you, and invite you to begin to use the Haicloud functionality.

The Haiku Team

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