Joomla 1.7 stable release was available on the 19th July 2011. The new features are primarily behind the scenes, and are not as “visible" as features have been for other Joomla upgrades. Yet the new features are very powerful and they include one click upgrades, and Joomla Platform is now split from the cms.
Joomla 1.7 now includes one click version upgrades. It has a built in version updater which means no more headaches when conducting major upgrades. You should still always backup your website when you are version updating your site, even with the new updater, to be on the safe side.
This feature has been in the making for 6 years. Joomla Platform is now split from the cms. The Joomla platform consists of the files in the library and media folders. The cms sits on this platform. This is a very unique cms feature and no other cms offer this type of system. There are many advantages to having the cms and platform separate. It means that another cms can sit on the Joomla platform. It also means that it is easier for developers to code and add new features, because of the ease of adding to the platform, rather than the cms.
There are many other features including:
• The new language features allow for menu items to be assigned to different languages.
• Creation of predefined search fields
• The “save" function has been enhanced. It validates the entered data automatically, adding extra protection from unsolicited access.
• Ability to create automatic category allocations, for article submissions
• Articles can now be batch processed
The new platform and cms split and the ability to update Joomla to the latest version with one click are the 2 major improvements for Joomla 1.7.