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Codegarden 2015

From the 11th of June until the 12th of June Vishal and me (Thomas) went to CodeGarden in Copenhagen. Regrettably we missed the first day which included the Umbraco keynote, however we caught up thanks to the other conference goers. In this blogpost I will detail the most interesting things that came out of this conference.

Umbraco 8

Some big changes are coming with the next major version of Umbraco. The main focus apparently is to get rid of all the legacy code from Umbraco 4 that is slowing down development of new features. Also instead of ids, Umbraco will move towards using GUIDs for identifying entities. Other points that are on the roadmap for Umbraco 8 are personalization and adding features currently used in Umbraco SaaS for migration and synchronization of content. Finally they will also put focus on improving the UX of Umbraco.

Sessions

On the first day we had a lot of interesting sessions, the first of which was about leveraging ElasticSearch for the indexing and searching of a product catalog. ElasticSearch is built upon Lucene and is schema- less. You can push JSON serialized representations of the content you want to be searchable to the ElasticSearch service running on the server to add them to the index. It is apparently very fast and very easy to use, and therefore is worth looking into. See https://www.power.dk/ to test their implementation.

The rest of the day we had a few case-study sessions, of which the Britax case study was the most impressive. For the new Britax website (http://www.britax.co.uk/), built on Umbraco 7.2, the developers extended Umbraco with a huge amount of around 40 new property editors. Impressive work, and very inspiring.

Finally we closed out the day with a session on using ReactJS, a javascript templating library used by Facebook. The main selling points were that it is easier to use than for example AngularJS. The quick demos that were shown made it clear that is also a lot easier to read code written using this framework.

Open sessions

The main theme of the final day was open sessions, allowing people to come up with their own subjects to discuss. I participated in three of these sessions, of which the deployment session was the most interesting. The session’s purpose was how to best migrate from test/acceptation environments to the live environment, possibly including new content. Umbraco now offers the Courier package for this purpose, however our experiences with this have not been positive. Someone from Umbraco HQ was present at this session, and told us that features from Courier are being moved to the core and are being revised. This could be an interesting development to keep our eye on in the near future.


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