Find out everything businesses need to know about the release of Sitecore 9.2
Sitecore 9 has been up and running for two years and this is the second major revision. As with any mature platform, you would expect to see a release that improves the stability and performance at this time. Sitecore 9.2 irons out any of the kinks brought up from the time of Sitecore 9’s release from user feedback and case studies.
Sitecore 9.2 has exciting new features for marketers
You will now be able to see all your Sitecore personalisation activities in a single place. The personalisation dashboard is a new feature of the Site Optimisation module and with the Sitecore 9.2 release, you can now see:
- The total number of pages with personalised components
- The website that these personalised pages belong to
- The total number of personalised experiences on these pages
- The total number of combinations of personalisation components
- The total number of visitors to these personalised pages
- The total number of components involved on the page
- The effect in test mode, which indicates which personalised experience had the highest impact if there was a test running
- The total personalisation effect on engagement value per visit
- The total personalisation effect on goal conversions, versus the default experience
- The percent change for each Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which indicates how much the total has changed since the last time period
To see more information about the personalised experience on the page, you’ll simply have to select a page from the list.
We expected big advancements in the integration between Sitecore and Content Hub. The first release featured limited integration between the two platforms. This was understandable as Content Hub was quite a large and recent acquisition at the time. Well, 12 months on and all the clever developers have made the hub feel like a native Sitecore product. This means that content marketing and digital asset management capabilities are bringing us closer to ownership of the entire content life-cycle from within Sitecore.
Contacts are the construct Sitecore uses to track user behaviour. They separate from the user entity in Sitecore for some very good, but very technical reasons. There is some ambiguity around the definition of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) within Sitecore. Up until now, the ability to delete an entire contact record was not present. Some users found this at odds with their interpretations of GDPR. Sitecore have now added the ability to delete a contact record.
Big data is amazing until it becomes too big and bloated with superfluous information. The latest Sitecore 9.2 release allows far greater control over the rich data collection by the platform. There are now API’s that enable data to be purged, therefore reducing the cost of ownership.
Sitecore have added functionality that gives them insight into how customers and end users are using the platform. Previously, the only data available to Sitecore was qualitative. The addition of rich quantitative data should mean more focused and valuable enhancement for Sitecore customers.
Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) version 1.9
SXA was created to speed up the production of websites and reuse components across sites. This means quicker deployment times and cost efficient development. As it separates structure from design, developers, designers, and content authors can all work in parallel. This latest version of SXA is a valuable release in its own right. Advancements include the ability to add background images to any component. Content Hub has been integrated with Sitecore SXA for the enablement of responsive imagery across device types. The Sitecore Rules Engine can now be used to assign a page design to a page when it is rendered as well.
Sitecore makes it easy for marketers to create customised forms, create email templates, and automate marketing plans. In Sitecore 9’s iteration of forms, there was no way of sending an email when the user submitted a form. There were ways to get around this with the help of a developer, but now we will have this functionality introduced out of the box with the latest Sitecore 9 upgrade. The new default send action will allow marketers to send out personalised emails using information from the submitted form. There will also be a consent field for permission to send future communications.
Improved Azure Search
Sitecore 9 allowed customers to use Azure Search as a search engine. Users got to experience native Azure support for the entire Sitecore 9 solution. Working with Azure Search is improving with the latest update. This includes better control of field indexing in Azure Search. With this latest update, the Lucene search engine has now officially become obsolete.
Improved Robot Detection
The detection of malicious robots has been upgraded. This will help businesses to keep their Sitecore analytics data clean by filtering out undesired interactions on their websites. Otherwise, our analytics results may not be accurately displaying how genuine contacts are interacting with the website.
Sitecore 9.2 developer goodies
Sitecore Install Assistant (SIA)
Sitecore 9 introduced the Sitecore Installation Framework (SIF). The problem with SIF was its lack of GUI. This isn’t a problem for the Powershell masters of the development world. For the rest of us non-technical users who are not familiar with Powershell, we now have SIA. SIA is a GUI for running SIF scripts to install Sitecore 9.2+ which will make installation much simpler.
We can now specify dedicated indexing roles. Indexing is a resource hungry operation and so being able to isolate and optimise this means less risk to the smooth performance of the site.
When working behind a load balancer, the addition of SSL off-loading is a big security benefit for this latest version. A new configuration file has been included in the App Config folder that is disabled by default.
How can your organisation get the most out of Sitecore 9.2?
If you’re already using Sitecore 9.1, or an older version and need an experienced top tier Sitecore Partner to help your business best leverage the power of your investment – we’d love to chat to you. Equally, if you’re considering moving your organisation’s website onto Sitecore – we can help.
We have over 20 years’ experience designing, building and optimising sophisticated website solutions for enterprises. Contact us to talk to one of our Sitecore experts to find out how we can work with you on your next Sitecore project.