What's new for administrators in HCL Digital Experience 8.5

HCL Digital Experience 8.5 includes new features and improvements for administrators, such as syndication troubleshooting tools, staging-to-production tools and more.

If you are migrating from 7.0, review the What's new content for 8.0 too. A link is provided at that end of the page.


Roadmaps provide high-level steps that help you set up your environment. For example, an environment might be a development environment or an authoring environment. The roadmaps are intended to help you simplify the complex tasks and interfaces that are required to help you achieve your environment.

The roadmaps include links to essential supporting documentation resources. The installation roadmaps include topology diagrams to help you visualize your environment.


The installation and deployment is improved. Start with the appropriate roadmap for your environment. Then, use the Installation Manager to install a working portal with a Derby database. After a successful installation, go to the Configuration Wizard to deploy your environment. These changes simplify the installation and configuration process.

DB2® is no longer preinstalled with the Installation Manager installation. You can upgrade your HCL Portal installation to Enable, Extend, Web Content Manager, or Web Content Manager Standard Edition. These changes simplify the installation and create a flexible deployment.

The Configuration Wizard replaces the Customization Dialog panels in z/OS®.

Configuration Wizard

For new deployments, the Configuration Wizard provides you with a guided path to apply a topology to your environment. The topologies guide you through the steps that are required for your environment. You can transfer your database, enable federated security, and create your cluster. For existing deployments, you can also use it to add on features, migrate, or upgrade your existing product offering.


Review the migration roadmaps to develop your migration plan. When you are ready to migrate, start with the roadmap to prepare your source and target environments. Then, use the Configuration Wizard to run the migration from your previous version. The Configuration Wizard automatically migrates your data.


Attribute based security for Web Content Manager content is a new access filter in the product filter chain. You can extend the access control permission checks for Web Content Manager content beyond the user or group-based decisions. You can define your own criteria. The criteria might involve categories, keywords, textComponents, htmlComponents, or shortTextComponents for an item. For more information, read Enabling Attribute Based Security.


The remote search service installation requires fewer manual steps. Install the remote search service with the Installation Manager.

The Did you mean? Search feature improves the search experience. It recommends suggestions or corrections for keywords in a search query. The Did you mean? Search feature is available for immediate use.

New search configuration parameters provide higher-quality search results for site visitors. The boostingSettings parameter enables the allocation of extra weight to search terms in a query that are found in specific metadata fields of a document, such as title or description. You can also change the default search operator from Or to And. This change ensures that all terms listed in a search query are found in all of the documents that are returned in the search results list.

Staging to production

Use a Portal Application Archive (PAA) file to package and deploy your initial server. Export your initial server into the PAA file. Then, you can deploy the single PAA file instead of importing multiple resources.

After you set up your initial server, you can create a PAA file for your differential release. Then, you can deploy the single PAA file instead of deploying multiple differential resources. You must create PAA files for all of your virtual portals.


Additional tools have been added to the syndication and subscriber views to help troubleshoot failed items during syndication.

Each failed item for a selected syndicator is displayed in the Failed Items view. Information is displayed about each failed item, including information about what the appropriate action is to fix the issue.

Root and Impact columns have been added. These new views are used to find the root cause of a syndication failure, and what secondary items are impacted by the root cause. By finding and fixing the root cause of the syndication failure, you also potentially fix the syndication failures of the items that are impacted by the root cause.

Web Application Bridge

Use the new web application bridge interface to create pre-configured web dock applications for your content authors. Create content provider profiles that include at least one policy. The policy provides directives and tuning parameters for a specific context root or a regex to provision certain applications or resource paths. Then, create web dock applications that are pre-configured with the correct settings. The content author finds the appropriate web dock application and adds it to their page.

Digital Data Connector

The Digital Data Connector (DDC) for HCL Portal is a new feature to integrate data from external data sources on portal pages by using HCL Web Content Manager presentation components. Use the Digital Data Connector for HCL Portal to create list-rendering profiles that define the set of attributes available for your content authors to integrate external data sources.

Information mode and user assistance

Information mode displays more inline information, examples, and hovers help in the user interface, such as the site toolbar. Information mode gives you more assistance when you need it. After you are comfortable and understand the user interface, you can turn off information mode. Information mode is a global setting. Information mode is not implemented for the entire user interface. For example, it is not available for the administration portlets. From the site toolbar, you can turn it on and off to suit your needs. The user assistance is now divided into two help sections. One section is specific to the administrator and one is specific to the content author.

Accessing administration options

You can now access Administration from the toolbar. Click Administration menu icon and select a specific area of administration from the menu. You can access all the Administration options in the navigation section after you open an administration page from the menu.