Sitecore Symposium: Bridging to XM Cloud with Sitecore DXP 10.3
This year’s Sitecore Symposium was a blast. After almost three years of remote events due to the pandemic, it was great to attend the conference in person and meet so many members of the Sitecore community.
Sitecore made a lot of exciting announcements at the conference. Three new cloud-composable products were announced: Sitecore Search, a new search product based on HTML indexing of content pages; Content Hub One, a pure-headless CMS product based on Content Hub but stripped of digital asset management (DAM) and content operations capabilities; and Sitecore Connect, a low-code/no-code integration platform as a service (iPaaS) product to facilitate the integration between Sitecore’s composable products. Sitecore also finally announced that their SaaS CMS offering, XM Cloud, which initially launched last summer, is in general availability, with its new editing interface (Sitecore Pages) and embedded personalization and analytics capabilities (a simpler version of Sitecore Personalize).
The DXP Platform for On-Premises and PaaS is Still Alive
Cloud announcements weren’t the only ones that Sitecore made at this year’s Symposium. If you’ve made a significant investment in Sitecore DXP, hosting in an on-premises or a PaaS infrastructure, you’ll be happy to know that Sitecore continues to invest in their traditional XP product. They shared that in the upcoming weeks they will launch Sitecore DXP 10.3, and version 10.4 next year.
The upcoming 10.3 version will include some of the major improvements that were originally implemented for the XM Cloud product, making it a bridging version, which allows you to migrate to the cloud and adopt composability.
What’s Upcoming in DXP 10.3
In Sitecore 10.3, webhooks will be available to support integration with external services and push notifications when platform events occur, or actions are performed around content in the XM platform. Instead of implementing custom pipeline event handlers, you can leverage this new functionality to execute custom event processing outside the platform. Webhooks will support both JSON and XML payloads in their asynchronous API calls, and their configuration will leverage the existing Sitecore rule engine with an initial suite of supported event conditions. A common use for webhooks would be to flush a CDN cache when a content item is published. Another example would be sending content to an external translation service when a specific state of the workflow is reached.
An extensive modern set of GraphQL APIs will be available in Sitecore 10.3 for management and authoring, allowing you to perform everything with APIs that you can currently do through Sitecore’s user interfaces. GraphQL has the advantage that it can be extended in a non-breaking way, making these services safe to upgrade without the need for versioning.
Both webhooks and GraphQL APIs are intended to help you separate your custom logic from the XM platform and facilitate a future migration to XM Cloud, a SaaS product where customizations are still allowed but might be phased out in future versions.
Sitecore 10.3 will also include the SXA Headless framework for compatibility with JSS headless implementations, providing enhancements for site scaffolding and a basic library for SXA components built for Next.JS.
Other general updates for Sitecore 10.3 will include the upgrade to .NET 6 for .NET Core-based components, the support for Windows Server 2022 aiming to reduce hosting costs, the support for Solr 8.11.2, the OAuth support in EXM for custom SMTP and the inclusion of over 200 bug fixes and small enhancements originated from customer requests.
You Can Choose and Control Your Own Journey
Once you upgrade your Sitecore solutions to DXP 10.3, you’ll have the choice of upgrading in place to future platform versions or migrating to Sitecore’s SaaS product offering.
Jake Hookom and Roger Connolly’s roadmap session at the conference illustrated three possible journeys and the decisions points behind them for existing Sitecore clients:
- Customers can stay on the traditional DXP platform – This is if you’re a new XP customer on 10.x versions of the platform and if you’re still in a maintenance period, or if you’re already successfully leveraging the XP functionalities of the platform (and not just content management), or you have strict data privacy and on-premises requirements.
- Customers can stay on the traditional DXP platform and gradually add Sitecore Personalize and CDP products – This scenario is if your organization wants to start to using customer data across multiple channels or wants to scale up and expand your current personalization and A/B testing efforts.
- Customers can migrate to XM Cloud now and add Sitecore Personalize and CDP as needed – This is if you’re not really using your existing XP capabilities today, or you’re on an older version of the platform. You could take this opportunity to re-platform your website with a modern headless approach that supports a robust experience delivery at scale.
The Sitecore DXP 10.3 version of the platform will bridge the future journey to cloud and composability for all existing customers, providing you with implementation choices without asking you to make drastic changes all at once.
If you need help figuring out which new Sitecore products you should pursue or determining which Sitecore upgrades will set your organization up for long-term success, contact us.
Our Sitecore MVPs can give you more information about Sitecore’s latest features and help you better understand them so you can make the right choices for your organization.