Today we are unveiling something very special. Something we’ve been preparing for since the day we started working on Craft.
It’s a new field type, and we’re calling it Matrix.
If you’ve used Matrix for EE, don’t let the name fool you; this is not a simple port. It is a complete rethinking of what Matrix is.
Matrix fields are made up of content blocks. Each content block has one or more sub-fields, and blocks can be added, deleted, and reordered as needed. It’s great for times when you want to store repeating content within an entry.
You might be thinking that all sounds familiar. Here’s the thing: A single Matrix field can have multiple types of blocks available to it, and each block type gets its own set of sub-fields. Each time an author adds a new block, they get to choose which type of block they want.
We’ll give you a second to let that sink in.
The potential of this combination is huge. You could use it to create a foodie blog that mixes stories with recipes in each post. Or even build your own Verge, where articles can be made up of text, image galleries, quotes, and tweets, in no particular order.
Once you use it, you’re going to start seeing use cases for it everywhere you look.
By creating dedicated fields for all the different information each block type would need, you get complete control over how everything is output in your templates. Never before has it been possible to provide your clients such a high level of flexibility without compromising your standards.
Under the hood, Matrix is remarkably simple. So much of Matrix’s feature set has been baked into Craft over the past three years that when it finally came time to build Matrix, we were able to get the whole thing up and running within just two weeks. (And most of that went into the UI.)
Like every other field type, you can attach Matrix fields to anything – entries, assets, tags, users, and global sets. And every field type is automatically compatible with it, without a single additional line of code. It just works. (Plugin developers rejoice!)
In the database, each Matrix field gets its own dedicated content table, but besides that, your Matrix content gets stored in exactly the same way as any other field. You won’t find Matrix trying to cram all its data together as JSON in this CMS.
We could not be more excited about this. We think it’s the biggest step forward for content management since FieldFrame and Matrix 1.0 came out for EE. And it could only have been done in Craft.
Best of all? Matrix is completely free! We’ve built it right into Craft and included it in today’s 1.3 update, along with over 100 new features and improvements. All you have to do is
take the red pill click that red Update button.