Home again after a long Nordic Sitecore Conference day at Sankt Gertrud in Malmö, Sweden. A fully packed day with great topics, speakers and a few minutes of networking in between the sessions.
Lars Nielsen started the day with a keynote about the Sitecore road map so far and the schedule of the upcoming 8.2 release, commerce, EXM “the mail thing” (aka ECM) and the schedule of upcoming updates of all the other versions as they are being maintained as well. Since it was presented, I assume the upcoming 8.2 next year is not a secret any longer. A lot of bugs has been fixed in the latest updates and more fixes are on the way. I’m really happy that Sitecore is running this initiative not to kill as many issues as possible. I’ll keep feeding the support team 😉
Content has been king for quite some time. With it goes the context queen. To give customers the right experience, the right kind of content has to be served in the right context (device, situation etc) to the right person. Essentially the Sitecore 1:1 vision. To help us achieve this, Todd Mitchell gave us a nice overview of xDB and where it’s heading.
Emil Okkels Klein shared his experiences on how to succeed with Sitecore as a platform. Good reminders that’s worth repeating over and over again. Some key takeaways are that the platform goal has to be well sold in and communicated within the client organization. Editors are a first person citizen and should be treated as one. If you just think you know how their daily work look like, then spend a day observing it. It’ll be worth it. Finally, ensure everything is tested before deployment.
After lunch, Stephen Pope took us through an amazing journey on using some new ASPNET5 components within an existing Sitecore solutions. I never thought that was even possible at this stage. The future of DI in Sitecore looks really promising. And some nice anim gifs as always in his presentations.
Unfortunately, Popes session collided with Robbert Hocks session on advanced Sitecore Rocks – Tips & Tricks. But that session will hopefully show up on YouTube pretty soon. Can’t wait 🙂
Jens Mikkelsen showed us some live coding on how to build real life SPEAK apps. Impressive to get something working from scratch in such a short time and simultaneously sharing thoughts, tips & tricks. Key takeaway is the A in SPEAK (Sitecore Process Enablement and Acceleration Kit). It’s an Acceleration kit – not a framework. Let it do its job and fill in the gaps and the learning curve will be easier.
Meanwhile, Mike Edwards held a session with a very interesting topic: Making it open source. I’d love to attend that one as well, but unfortunately I haven’t learned how to clone myself. Everything isn’t Items yet.. But I heard a lot of good comments about it afterwards.
Mike Reynolds probably convinced a few people of how powerful Sitecore PowerShell Extensions is. I’ve been using it for some time and is already a believer. If you haven’t used it yet, it’s really about time! Imagine remoting into your production environment and bulk updating things without touching the server code, or provide your authors with reports, gutters, context menu commands etc with almost no effort. Well, don’t imagine. Just do it with SPE.
Martina Welander wrapped up the day with nice insights on how perform text search with Sitecore. Sitecore ContentSearch is really indexing. Search becomes more complex than you may think at first. A very pedagogic way of describing what tokenizers and analyzers do, the differences between search LINQ .Like(), .Contains() and .Equals() methods etc and a little bit about the Predicate builder.
Finally, thanks to our host Alan Coats and all of you guys at Pentia, Cabana and Sitecore that pulled off this great conference!