Sitecore 10 Features We're Excited About
We’ve been working with Sitecore since 2006, and as a longtime Platinum Partner, we’ve had the privilege of watching Sitecore grow its power and versatility. Sitecore continuously evolves to answer business challenges, to streamline content authoring experiences, and to enhance its analytics capabilities. We’re excited that with Sitecore 10, the already powerful CMS gets another robust upgrade.
As anticipated, Sitecore XP 10 offers everything from enhanced container infrastructure to integrated data and marketing automation. Here are our favorite new features in Sitecore 10 as told by our Sitecore experts and MVPs.
Features for Marketers
Enhanced Analytics Reporting
The marketing landscape changes quickly, and Sitecore knows this. I'm glad to see that Sitecore continues to push out updates, enhancements, and new features to the marketing pieces of the platform as well as the development side. Sitecore 10 is no different. One of the key elements of Velir’s marketing practice has always been making data-driven decisions and Sitecore helps us do that even better in this release through increased ways we can analyze the data we’re collecting.
With the last big update in 9.3, Sitecore pushed out a new report that let you see all your personalization in one place, and in Sitecore 10, they continue their marketing support with enhanced analytics options. The new features allow marketers to explore the wealth of user-level analytics data in the platform through audience filters. This will allow marketers to get more robust segmentation and engagement data at an individual audience level so they can derive more actionable insights.
I’m also happy to see enhancements to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) Connector for improved syncing of media and behavioral data.
- Matt Richardson | Principal Business Systems Analyst
Content Editing Experience and Data Privacy
I’m looking forward to the fact that Sitecore 10 comes with a new iteration of Sitecore Horizon. While still a way off from what’s possible in Experience Editor, Horizon provides a much more elegant UI for managing simple editing tasks and surfaces site analytics data in a more explicit way. The new release took another step forward with the ability to handle multilingual sites and multisite scenarios. There’s now drag and drop support in the page tree. You can more easily edit non-explicit, page-level content without context switching. It will be very interesting to watch this UI become more sophisticated and ultimately replace the current one as a superior authoring experience.
Also, I wanted to mention the added support for data privacy rights compliance. Anonymizing data that has been collected via Sitecore Forms is now more straightforward, which is good news because many clients are demanding more GDPR compliant platforms as a core requirement.
- Dan Murphy | Director, Business Systems Analysis
Features for Developers
One thing I’m looking forward to in the second half of 2020 is all the ways we can solve old problems with new technology. With Sitecore 10, we now have a powerful new developer-focused feature: Sitecore CLI. When promoting this feature, Sitecore announced, “Sitecore CLI and Sitecore for Visual Studio bring you headless serialization combining the best of TDS and Unicorn.”
One of the linchpins of successfully deploying your carefully crafted Sitecore Experience Platform is how we transfer not just code changes, but also configuration data. Everything from your templates to taxonomies needs a way to be deployed quickly without errors.
To date, the community of developers has had two options: TDS or Unicorn. Both have strengths and weaknesses but together, they have immense value.
Here’s how it works. First, you install a Nuget Package to your project. Then, you configure the login so you can connect. After that, you simplify your solution and build configuration since you don’t need extra Gulp tasks for Unicorn or lengthy builds to trigger TDS syncing calls. (Full disclosure: the last step may not be as easy as I’m making it sound)
What's great about Sitecore CLI is not only how much simplification is built into the process, but also the new opportunities it presents. For example, you could trigger push and pull commands from a Windows scheduled task. It also has a built-in watch mode (like Unicorn) to auto-sync when changes are deployed as well as a whole automation flow being developed.
Lastly, a feature I am relieved to see is that Sitecore 10 incorporates a rich user interface in Visual Studio (like TDS). This makes it much easier to set up and tweak serialization settings, taking the human error out of tracking your valuable business assets.
- Mark Stiles | Technical Director
.Net Core Support
For several years, I’ve noticed that .Net Core has received an increasing share of Sitecore's attention. Most supporting services (Sitecore Identity, Publishing Service, Commerce Engine) are written on this new open-source, multiplatform Microsoft technology. Microsoft has announced that all future enhancements to ASP.NET will be based on .Net Core, so it was inevitable that this would play an increasingly important role in Sitecore's efforts. With Sitecore 10, I see .Net Core coming to CMS development in two ways: a new Sitecore command line, built on the .Net Core command-line interface (CLI), and a new way of developing Sitecore solutions, using a .Net Core rendering host.
One of the nifty features of .Net Core has been the ability to do a large amount of your work outside of Visual Studio, using the "dotnet" command line. For instance, with this CLI you can create, compile, and run a console application in three lines. This power now comes to Sitecore, with a new "dotnet sitecore" command-line interface. Currently, this is limited to login, publishing, and serialization, but it is easy to envision new capabilities being integrated here as the product evolves. In addition to supporting developers who like to work at the command line, this also enables automation and continuous delivery scenarios.
The second big change I see is a new Rendering Host, built on top of the Layout Service introduced with JSS, but now supporting using ASP.NET Core as a headless client. There are two major advantages that come with this new approach: you can use the new ASP.NET features only available in Core, and you can greatly reduce the role of Application Pool recycle times since most changes to rendering logic will not require Sitecore to restart.
- Dan Solovay | Sitecore Practice Lead
Public Docker and Kubernetes Support
In the last few years, I’ve been happy to see that Sitecore community has deeply embraced the Docker revolution with the open-source Sitecore Docker Images project. Today the Sitecore XP 10 release accelerates the Docker adoption publishing comprehensive documentation on Docker containers and introducing the official Sitecore Docker container registry to distribute images for different Sitecore topologies (XP and XM) and modules, like SXA, JSS, Sitecore PowerShell Extensions, and the newest Sitecore Management Services.
Sitecore development using Docker containers simplifies the developers onboarding on a project and speeds up their local environment setup, eliminating the need to manage dependencies and conflicts across multiple versions of tools on their machines. For teams managing and supporting multiple solutions at the same time, like our Managed Services department team, the Sitecore containerized approach makes it very easy to switch between multiple projects.
When Docker containers are used in the entire delivery chain up to production, it increases the deployment predictability bringing consistency across non-production and production environments and lowers the infrastructure costs to run a Sitecore solution. The Sitecore XP 10 release introduces the support for Kubernetes as the Sitecore platform default orchestrator system, to help in deploying and managing containers in production.
- Alessandro Faniuolo | Principal Production Support Developer
- Adam Lamarre | Principal .NET Developer
We’re excited to dig into these new features with clients as they look to upgrade to Sitecore 10. Learn more about our Sitecore practice or read more of our ideas on Sitecore here