A couple of days ago, members of NetConstruct joined over 300 people in celebrating 10 years of Umbraco UK at their London-held festival (UMBUK10). The world’s biggest community organised Umbraco event featured a brimming line up with talks on development, front-end, design and UX and deep-dive workshops hosted by community experts.  

The event presented a great networking opportunity for Development Director, Chet Mistry, and Developer, Ben Stephenson, who attended the festival. They were given the chance to get involved with community discussions, learn about new features and the future of Umbraco. Take a read of our top takeaways… 

The Umbraco Community   

As the Umbraco community continues to grow with over 220,000 active community members, the UK is officially being recognised as the centre of excellence for Umbraco. With more than 300 people attending the event – it was so popular they had to turn people away! – the theme of community was a focal point, highlighting Umbraco’s ambition of creating a friendly, pro-active and helpful Open Source community.  

In a change to previous years, the event was given a sustainable focus across the venue, food and collateral goods. The venue, Hoxton Docks, is an old coal warehouse and fits in seamlessly with this theme.  

Umbraco Developments  

uMarketingSuite  

A plugin offering currently being developed for Umbraco 8, this is designed to provide a complete package for Marketing in Umbraco, enough to rival the types of functionality we get from Kentico.  

With an expected early release of 2020, the build includes A/B Testing and Personalisation features alongside email functionalities, automated processes and personas. Ben, in particular, highlighted his excitement for this new plugin stating, “It will open the door for Umbraco to be used in much larger projects”. During the event, Umbraco were looking for members of the community to discuss ideas with regarding elements around the product. Having signed up for regular updates on the release, the NetConstruct team hope they can use some of their knowledge around commercial enterprise CMS systems to help in this area.  

uSync.Complete  

uSync.Complete, a new set of packages from Kevin Jump, Strategic Director at Jumoo, builds upon the uSync packages that currently exist. These packages transfer information regarding page types and content between different Umbraco sites e.g. preview and live. A new package has recently been built which includes: 

  • PeopleEdition: Used to transfer users of the site (people who log into the Front End of the site) and members (people who log into the admin panel) between different environments and websites. This would be a useful feature if an Umbraco site was undergoing a complete rebuild and all the users needed to be transferred.  
  • Exporter: Creates a partial export of select page types and data that can then be imported into another instance. This would be incredibly useful when deploying new pieces of work to move content that has been created in a preview environment onto a live website. 
  • Snapshots: This creates a snapshot of all the data uSync can export. When various changes have been made, another snapshot can be taken alongside an export of the two making comparisons easier and deployments of smaller pieces of work simpler.  
  • Publisher: The feature allows us to create links between various environments and push the uSync changes directly to the target environments without the need to deploy any files. This works well with Content, Media Items and page types and can be used in a similar manner to Kentico’s Staging system. 

Azure DevOps  

During the festival, a lot of discussions centred around using Azure DevOps for deployment which in short, entails continuous, automated deployments. This is something we are already doing with our clients, so it was great to hear the team at NetConstruct are in line with industry conversations and expectations.  

A range of features were mentioned during the festival which are worth exploring including Azure Deployment Slots and Azure Front Door. These features are essentially the next level of deployment, increasing the efficiency of this process without needing to replicate code between previews and updates with zero downtime.  

The future of Umbraco 

Rounding off the event, Chet and Ben attended a Keynote regarding the future of Umbraco. The platform plan to continue their efforts in keeping things simple for the base CMS so anyone is able to use it, while also allowing for high-end users to extend capabilities as required. A ‘Best of Breed’ mentality is being pushed where creators will build packages for new functionality backed by a dedicated Umbraco support team. If the packages garner enough attention and would fit into the base system, it will look at being added to the offering.  

A brilliant few days were spent at the Umbraco Festival with great insight, effective networking opportunities and inspiring talks to keep us up to speed on all things Umbraco. Interested to find out more around what Umbraco can offer your business? Contact the team at NetConstruct.