What's new with Sitecore 8.2
We’re always excited when a new version of Sitecore is released. And now that Sitecore 8.2 is out we’ve been busy getting to grips with it. One of our Sitecore MVPs, Ian Graham, tells us what’s changed.
Update – Sitecore 9 is the latest Sitecore version.
What new features are included in Sitecore 8.2?
Building on last year’s release of Sitecore 8.1, Sitecore 8.2 introduces a number of great features for both marketers and developers. Here’s an overview on what’s new:
For the marketers
For marketers, it’s all about making it simpler to deliver contextual marketing to customers across channels, devices and multiple visits. The last few versions of Sitecore have focused on giving marketers the tools to build great customer experiences. Sitecore 8.2 builds on this, with major improvements to ‘on page’ content management and Sitecore analytics.
Content Management improvements
More functionality has been added to Sitecore’s Experience editor. These changes really help simplify processes for the content editor. Changes include:
- You can adjust workflow directly from the Experience Editor.
- More information is available around the data sources used on each page. Sitecore is an object based CMS and pages are built up with a number of components. This feature makes it easier to manage the page content.
- You can now assign marketing attributes directly to pages from the Experience Editor.
Enterprise Publishing system
The Sitecore Publishing Service has been designed to improve publishing performance for enterprise customers. This optional add-on replaces the existing system and can be run on multiple IIS servers.
The module solves inherent problems with Publishing large amounts of data (100,000’s of items) across multiple data-centres and geo-graphic locations. It’s an add on module that works with Sitecore 8.2. It’s also the first step in using the new ASP.NET Core 1.0 framework with Sitecore.
Better reporting and insight
Sitecore have listened to marketers and made a number of significant improvements to the Experience Analytics offering. These changes add a higher level of contextual intelligence to the data collected. Which will make marketing personalisation quicker and easier.
Now marketers can re-aggregate the data they see in the Experience Analytics dashboard and retrieve historical data in reports. Data can be better analysed with the introduction of a new KPI chart.
Also some charts offer the ability to drill down and analyse the data in more detail.
The Path Analyser User interface has been upgraded. This makes it simpler for marketers to track user journeys across channels.
‘Funnels’ are a new marketing definition that allows marketers to define a set of steps in the user journey. These steps are tracked and visualized within the Path Analyzer. So Marketers can understand the paths that their users take in more detail. And identify any drop-outs or diversions from the funnel. Plus, this gives marketers insight into the engagement value of every user journey.
For the developers
For developers, Sitecore 8.2 brings the platform up to date with current ASP.Net technology. Sitecore has also taken on-board feedback from its developer community to make a number of valuable upgrades.
MVC gets a makeover
Sitecore 8.2. has improved support for MVC to make Web Forms a second class citizen. And it’ll iron out some of the issues of working with MVC in Sitecore.
Sitecore has added support for:
- Asynchronous Controllers
- Edit Frame support in the Page Editor
- Static Controller Renderings
They’ve even included their own means of dependency Injection. This gets rid of the need to use other DI containers such as Castle Windsor.
Extended ASP.NET and SQL support
Sitecore has added support for the following platforms:
- ASP.NET 4.6
- ASP.NET 4.5.2
- SQL Always On
Sitecore’s vision for contextual marketing relies on getting data from external sources and allowing different channels to communicate. With this in mind, the API used to retrieve data has been improved.
The existing Sitecore Services Client API has been polished to support oData. Token based authentication has also been added. So developers unfamiliar with Sitecore can use a commonly recognized standard to extract data.
One of the biggest headaches for Sitecore developers is the upgrade process. This is often lengthy and fraught with risks. Especially if you’re upgrading from much older versions of Sitecore.
The express migration tool is designed to upgrade Sitecore instances from version 7.2 to 8.2. It’s a wizard-style Windows application for quick migration of data, rather than updating the whole instance.
For customers that haven’t upgraded to Sitecore 7.5 or later, now is a good time to make the jump.
Want to find out more about Sitecore 8.2
To find out more about Sitecore 8.2 get in touch with us at Kagool. We’re a Sitecore Platinum Partner and platform specialist.