Kentico EMS – the Shape of Things to Come

By Duncan Hendy and Michal Kadak in MVC
·4 min read

The beauty of having such a strong partner and end-user network means we are able to listen to the needs of the people that work with Kentico EMS on a daily basis and implement them into our roadmap. So, when you are looking for a platform that keeps your best interests at heart, let’s just say, our journey together is going to be awesome!

Well, Kentico is no stranger to MVC. We introduced it in Kentico 10. But two releases later, what does it mean to you? If you are a developer, our MVC-first approach means you can have almost the same freedom that the Portal Engine provides to set up and control the pallet of widgets you create for your marketing department, and if you are a marketer, you can have these pretty cool widgets at your disposal, so you don’t need to be so constantly dependent on the technical bods in your company.

The major change is the development model. In taking the MVC approach, agencies are able to recruit the new dudes on the block who like to use the latest development tools. Our approach to Kentico 12 has been, if there are crucial aspects to developing that need to transition to MVC, we have given them priority. Our main ethos remains to make your job as easy and rewarding as possible. And we know there are those projects that depend on the things that Portal Engine provide, so, we have not forsaken you!

But when it came to things that needed a technology that was not facing imminent redundancy, we knew taking an MVC approach would be the best solution. So modules such as Pages and Attachments now benefit from this.

However, ASP.NET Core, ASP.NET Core MVC, .NET Standard will all feature heavily in the next four years of Kentico EMS. How exactly will reveal itself over the course of time. So, stay tuned!

Bring On the Mighty New Page Builder

We like to take care of our marketers. They are often very technically savvy, but their job is very demanding, and this means they need to have the freedom to do their work with a better user experience and a smoother design, without having to call on their faithful developer friends all the time. So when it comes to adjusting aspects of the website or composing dedicated landing pages for an AdWords campaign, with MVC, it is going to be a lot less hassle!

With the MVC widgets approach, developers can develop and they are automatically registered by the Mother (admin interface). Plus, to make things easier, we have even added some demo widgets for you to get your creative juices flowing. These include Banner, Latest Articles, and Rich Text Image. And because you are already familiar with the Pages tab in the Pages application in Portal Engine, we have connected it to the MVC instance. This means you get to see your content “live” within the current web presentation. Plus, because marketers can insert widgets precisely where they need with drag and drop and across zones on other pages, controlling content and its appearance has never been easier.

Of course, having widget control is great, but what about the content and properties of those widgets themselves? Great question, we provide general dialog with text boxes and drop-down menus, as well as Inline Editors, for instance, so you can enjoy the freedom of the interactive editor in the demo Latest Articles widget to control the number of displayed articles. Marketers, take control!

Send Reinforcements, We’re Going to Advance!

While marketers need more freedom, developers still need to make sure they can bring some kind of order to this new liberty. This means instead of letting your marketers get too widget happy and getting recognition in The Guinness Book of Records for the most content on a webpage, you can provide them layout options with restrictions that still allow them to be creative and choose the way their content is formatted. They can select the widgets they need, and then have the rows and columns necessary to display them properly.

Take It Personally

Personalization, that’s the best tool in the marketer’s toolkit. And Kentico 12 won’t let you down there, either! You can adapt your individual widgets according to the criteria you need, be it personas, shopping cart, demographics, geolocation, etc. You need customizability? You got it!

Form Me to You

Tricky online forms are not going to get anyone’s vote. And that is exactly why we made them easy to add within MVC sites. But what if you update them? No problem. All changes are immediately reflected on the live site! Plus, did I mention Smart Forms? These are a non-intrusive way to collect the exact info you need your visitors to submit, all GDPR-compliantly, of course J

I’ve Seen the Future, and It’s Kentico

EMS has never been one to rest on its laurels. As we gaze off beyond the digital horizon, we can see a fine array of features coming your way in future versions. With MVC firmly at its heart, workflows and widgets are going to offer even more advanced features and search capabilities. Then there is the integration of artificial intelligence services… But, the true beauty of the future is that we can prepare you for it and help you stay on top of things.

And when it comes to porting all assemblies to .NET Standard, we have already started its inclusion in Kentico 12. It is an exciting release cycle that will include full ASP.NET Core MVC front-end development support. You can also look forward to a Core version of Page Builder moving from the current MVC 5. And after that? Let’s just say big things are on the cards.

But what about upcoming features? The plan to fully switch to the modern ASP.NET Core framework should take about four years (and it’s planned and in motion). After that, we will focus on the Mother. Keep an eye on our roadmap! We like happy developers, they are able to progress through Warcraft more quickly!

By Duncan Hendy and Michal Kadak in MVC
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