Dock9 attended the 2017 Sitefinity Summit in Boston. It was a great opportunity to learn, meet the Sitefinity development and product teams (from the US and Bulgaria) and engage with the wider Sitefinity community. Below is a summary of our key reflections from the summit.
10.0 and beyond: an exciting twelve months ahead
Underpinning most sessions at the conference was the release of the Sitefinity 12 month development roadmap in the first session. With the recent release of Sitefinity 10.0 earlier this year the platform took a big leap forward, but the next 12 months look to be perhaps the most exciting in the six years we have worked on the platform.
Progress are investing heavily in next-generation cognitive-first, machine learning and data science that will change the dynamic with business applications built on Sitefinity. These will enable customers to:
Increase Customer Engagement - To encourage engagement it needs to be the right content (contextual) at the right time (customer journey).
Optimise Lead Generation - Your sales team will want to know as much as they can about your customer before contacting them so tracking all your customers' interactions with your site can facilitate that.
Satisfy Returning Customers - As these are already customers then you will have the best data, their contact data.
With the 10.1 and 10.2 releases coming over the next 12 months a number of key features are being introduced or further developed:
A/B Testing as an out of the box feature
This is an exciting feature for us as we typically have to use third party platforms to execute our A/B and multivariate testing.
Support for Google’s AMP (accelerated mobile pages)
With AMP growing in importance for search optimisation Sitefinity will offer an out of the box solution delivering significantly faster load times and reduced page size. It’s essentially a lightweight version of your page. Sitefinity 10.2 will support AMP out of the box. There will be AMP Templates for blogs, news etc.
Support for Facebook Instant Articles (FIA)
Similar to AMP Sitefinity will offer out of the box support for Facebook Instant Articles.
Further maturing of the Digital Experience Cloud (DEC)
The DEC is now maturing in to a market-leading personalisation and prescriptive and predictive analytics platform. New features will allow improved lead nurturing by personas. Target segments and the use of widgets allows personalised content such as relevant news items etc. It takes just one click for information on the success of those personalisations. The next release will integrate with Eloqua marketing automation.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Support for PWA is currently in development. It offers the push notifications and offline support of an app for your webpage. PWA is a shell with website wrapped inside requiring just a few lines of code to create the shell.
New Sitefinity Back-End UI
We got a sneak-peak at the completely re-designed back-end interface. The purpose of the re-design is to simplify and reduce clutter for content editors, improve back-end speed and build for a world of content that is distributed through an increasing array of new devices and channels. It will also be available as a separate Single Page Application (integrating with Sitefinity ODATA Web Services) which will give more options for separating out the front-end and back-end of Sitefinity.
Landing page and presets
Recognising a common request from marketeers for landing pages Sitefinity have developed a new feature enabling users to save a page as a preset and use it across the system. Aiming to automate more of the personalisation process.
Support for continuous delivery in the cloud across all major cloud platforms.
Sitefinity will increasingly focus on a service-first architecture, building on the ODATA Web Services released on Sitefinity 9.0. These can be consumed by other web applications or mobile apps.
Sitefinity's in-built e-commerce module has always been a relative weakness for the product for those use cases. Sitefinity are addressing this through the ROC Commerce partnership and a future UCommerce integration.
Abstracts and slides from the presentations are available for download on the Sitefinity Summit website.
We were honoured to be recognised for our design execution on the Sitefinity platform with an award on the final day. It’s great to get recognition for all our hard work, especially our design team, well done everyone!