Zenbu 1.3: Sneak peek feature tour

After a long wait (sorry about that ><;), it's time to soon release the next major version of the very powerful entry manager for ExpressionEngine 2, Zenbu. Along with major internal code changes, EE 2.2+ compatibility and a number of bug fixes, many features have been added to make this version of Zenbu even more powerful and flexible. If you liked Zenbu up to now, you've seen nothing yet.

What better time than now to give a quick tour of the major changes and features in this version? Here are some of the major highlights (with full changelog available here):

Rules-based entry filtering

Zenbu1.3-1.pngUp to now, entries in Zenbu were filtered in a similar way as EE's standard Edit Channel Entries section (with the addition of a few more filters, of course). In this new version, I have changed the way entries are filtered and searched by using "filtering rules", similar to email filtering rules you can find in email software. You can add and remove as many filtering rules as you wish and entry results will display accordingly. This has the added benefit of making Zenbu much, much more flexible and powerful than before.

For example, you can filter entries that are associated with Category A and Category B, but not Category C. You can look for closed entries written by Author A and B, containing the word "pineapple" in the main body field. You can look for all entries in the "Blog" channel with a title starting with "My first", except for entries #3, #25 and #47. The combinations are endless!

Add to this a handful of new search terms, such as "contains", "does not contain", "starts with", "does not start with", "ends with", "does not end with", "contains exactly", and you start running out of ideas on how to filter your entries.

Save entry search filters for later use


With entries with a bunch of filtering rules, wouldn't it be nice to be able to save searches to avoid building your rules every time, right? Zenbu lets you save your searches for later use. You can also label them for easy access!

Oh, and these settings are per member, so each member can have their own set of searches

Choice of plain or HTML markup text display

Zenbu1.3-3.pngI always felt that having HTML markup displayed in custom field columns in Zenbu was much more informative than plain text, but not all agree. You can now decide, per custom field, whether your custom field data will be displayed as plain text or include HTML markup.

LiveLook... the way it was meant to work

Zenbu1.3-4.pngEE's standard LiveLook settings are nice, but not very flexible, as it assumes your URLs follow the templategroup/template synthax. In Zenbu, in addition to having LiveLook displaying your entry previews without having to leave the control panel, you now have control on the LiveLook URL: you can have LiveLook follow your channel's settings (eg. templategroup/template/{entryid}), or you can build your own LiveLook URL (eg. about/{entry_id}). You can even choose the last segment as an entry ID or url title. Your clients will love the accuracy of live previews and the confort of viewing their site pages without leaving the control panel. 


Zenbu works great in the latest EE 2.2.1, supports DevDemon's Channel Images 5, as well as MX Cloner, for those who want to be able to clone/duplicate their entries with ease.

More to come...

This is going to be big, people. I hope you're as excited as I am for this new version. It's also good to know that Zenbu is constantly growing in functionality and power, so there's almost always a surprise in each version smile