Joomla 2.5 was released recently with the announcement that multi-database support has been added along with a number of other features. Joomla is one of the most popular open source content management systems available.

Of all of the plugins available to customers of website hosting services, Joomla is one of the most popular. Used by over 1.5 million current websites, Joomla noted in September that there had been over 25 million total downloads of their content management system.

The coolest improvement in version 2.5 of this CMS is the new multi-database support. Joomla 2.5 supports Microsoft SQL Server, which is important because previous versions could only be used with MySQL databases.

A press release from Ryan Ozimek said, “Multi-database support is a huge step forward for Joomla, which is already powering more than 1.6 million websites worldwide. It ensures companies and organizations, both large and small, will save even more money and time by adopting Joomla. No longer will Joomla developers be tied down to a particular database or have to spend more money and time integrating other software to get Joomla to communicate with their database. This enhances Joomla’s scalability immensely.” Ozimek is the president of the non-profit organization Open Source Matters. Open Source Matters is a big supporter of Joomla.

Even though the multi-database support is a huge deal, there are other new features available as well. This version of Joomla includes extension updates and a great control panel. There is also a new natural language search engine available as a part of the Joomla core.

A statement from a part of the press release from developer Mark Dexter said, “We literally received thousands of pieces of input at into what functionality should be added to Joomla 2.5, and overwhelmingly enhanced notifications and more elegant search topped the list.”

Needless to say, this version of Joomla is a big deal. If you want a complete list of all of the new features available, then you can get it from a post on the official Joomla blog. Joomla 2.5 is a part of the six-month release cycle that started in July of 2011.