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SDL Web 8.5 – new features

Jonathan Whiteside
Jonathan Whiteside
Global SVP Technology & Engineering
3 min read
3 September 2017

SDL Web enables web content management teamed with digital media management, targeting, testing, personalisation and localisation, all housed within a modern architecture. Available as an on-premise, hybrid and cloud solution, Web 8.5 is strong contender for modernising the customer experience and supporting omni-channel marketing.

What’s new in web 8.5

In the 8.5 upgrade, SDL Web has been improved with some great new features:

Instant site

A wizard enables the creation and launch of campaign sites, country sites and any other online pages in less than 10 mouse clicks.

Adaptive blueprinting

Promote and demote items in a BluePrint hierarchy, giving you new options to reuse content for global reuse. This allows you to take full advantage of content that works by promoting it to be shared by other sites and channels.

Translation review & preview

SDL has enhanced Web’s translation management capabilities. You mow have the ability to review translations in-context while a translation is in process. This provides translators with valuable feedback before the job is finished, ensuring no additional iterations are necessary. In addition, you can now add metadata to translation jobs and allow for external reviews of translated content in context.

Personalisation preview

Personalise content, preview the experience for specific personas and run experiments with different variations of content to see what works best.

Extended cloud options

Deployment of SDL Web in the cloud provides flexibility and lower maintenance costs for hardware, databases and application software. SDL Web 8 provides: support for Microsoft SQL Azure and Amazon RDS (SQL Server databases); a Topology Manager for centralised delivery configuration across on-premise and cloud; docker componentisation and deployment flexibility to mix-and-match on-premise and cloud environments.


The authorisation model has been updated with Privileges which help give system-wide settings management to select users, without giving them full administrative access.

Faster web application development

New features in Web 8.5 have enabled faster web application development. These features include: a micro-services delivery environment; public artifact repositories (Nuget & Maven) for easier web application deployment and a decoupled web application server for faster upgrades and mixed mode upgrades that combine newer versions for SDL Tridion 2011/13 & SDL Web 8.5.

SDL Web 8.5 Digital Experience Accelerator (DXA)

DXA provides a quick-start foundation for web projects. This complete SDL Web implementation provides: a fully implemented in-site editorial environment (Experience Manager); mobile support; digital media management; testing, targeting & personalisation; standardised content & components for navigation, lists, carousels & more; and search using Apache Solr or Amazon Cloud.

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Global SVP Technology & Engineering

Jonathan Whiteside