Percussion is taking a multi-pronged approach to the Java issue.  We are taking short term measures and long term measures.

Percussion Rhythmyx and Java Applets

Wed Nov 18, 2015

Percussion Rhythmyx has long depended on Java Applet technology for it's primary user interface.  Like many rich internet applications, the Rhythmyx developers made use of best in class technology available at the time the product was constructed.  

Java Logo

When Rhythmyx was originally developed, Java Applet technology gave our Engineers a method to build a user interface that was more performant than JavaScript, was deliverable via a web browser,  508 Accessible,  testable, and platform neutral. 

Fast forward to 2015, and it is a different world.  Internet security issues dominate headlines.  HTML5 and CSS3 have enabled a whole new class of UI, functional on smartphones, cars, or refrigerators.  Last week, Oracle's Java Platform team summed up the end for Java Applet technology with this Blog Post. On the same day, the Mozilla team followed Chrome and Microsoft and announced that they will be dropping support for Java in their browser by the end of 2016.

These announcements have many Rhythmyx customers justifiably concerned about the future of the product.  This blog post is intended to erase or ease those concerns.  

The most important statements that I can make are:

  • Yes, we are developing a new UI with a ship date in 2016. 
  • No you don't have to find another CMS. 

 Percussion's Plans

Percussion is taking a multi-pronged approach to the Java issue.  We are taking short term measures and long term measures:

Short Term Measures

  • AjaxSwing: For customers that need to switch from Java immediately, we have added support for the AjaxSwing product.  This tool deploys in front of Rhythmyx and translates the UI to HTML and JavaScript requiring no Java Plugin in the browser.  AjaxSwing has been available as an option to customers since 2014.  
  • TinyMCE Rich Text Editor: Much of a content editors job is in editing text, and the default Rhythmyx rich text editor is an Applet.  We added support for the popular JavaScript based TinyMCE editor in 2014 to provide customers with a Java free text editing experience.  
  • Web Start Content Explorer: To insure against a premature drop in support for Java in Mozilla and other browsers, and to eliminate Java plugin update issues, we are adapting the Content Explorer to run as a Web Start deployed Desktop Application.   This will eliminate browser dependence and enable Enterprise Deployment management. Once shipped (late 2015 / early 2016),  priority will be given to WSCE bugs or issues over Java applet bugs or issues. 

Long Term Measures

  •  Fusion UI: As most Percussion followers know, we market two CMS products.   What many customers don't realize is how closely those products are related.  We will "fuse" the Rhythmyx and CM1 products into a single product UI that is 508 accessible and Java free. Rhythmyx customers will lose no capabilities in this change. 

All of us at Percussion are looking forward to helping our Rhythmyx customers through the upcoming transitions. We are working hard on developing training & service schedules for 2016 that line up with our product plans, and we hope to retain each of you as we modernize and optimize our CMS.

Nate Chadwick
Nate Chadwick
Vice President of Products & Services | Percussion Software

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