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Sitefinity 4.3-4.4 Roadmap Review

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So the long awaited roadmap has finally been released, and this dear sitefinitizers is my review :)

I’ll do this line-item by line-item

1) Site sync: Great idea, but I’m not totally sure what this will entail.  Will it be like the migration tool to just copy model data from one DB to another?..sounds like it.  So that’s a bit handy, but I don’t understand the need for it since we have the concept of drafts in the content items.  Also after using the initial version of the migration tool I would be a bit leery of migrating content that way as it has caused me (ongoing) some huge problems with my blog posts and users.

2) Module Builder: Sweet fancy moses, this is the holy freaking grail of a CMS.  I was under the assumption from the forums that we wouldn’t get this till 2012 at the earliest so I am ecstatic that it’s coming THIS YEAR!  It means that any generic user who knows nothing about development can define a custom content type to store and display data.

So lets say you have a community site and are hosting a convention and you need to store and display user registration.  Right now this would be difficult as you’d have to get a developer to implement some custom module or control to store the DB to the database, and then there’s the custom styling to get it to look native to the CMS.  Not to mention going forward having to make changes when things change version to version.  SO with the new module builder inside of the UI you should be able to build the registration type, define it’s members, and create widgets for that type…all with ZERO code\compiling!  SLICK, SLICK, SLICK.  I really hope this ends up completed by the end of the year and doesn’t just end up in the next release or two in “beta”.

3) Email Campaign Module Revamp: Golf-Clap, this was defiantly needed.  It was perpetually in beta, and kind-of unable to deliver on what it promised.  If I remember correctly though I think this was someones pet project and only had one or two dedicated resources.  Regardless it was unable to deliver a professional looking newsletter.  So I hope the re-vamp allows us to deliver a newsletter comparable to that of a telerik newsletter (they make some pretty newsletters).

4) Image Editor:  Hey sounds cool right…but we already have it technically so I’d hope they’re just implementing it and not re-inventing the wheel.

5) Azure Support: Don’t deal much with azure because I’m not a millionaire :)

6) Migration Tool: Any enhancements to this are a plus in my book, even though I’ve technically already migrated.  The initial experience I had was pretty painful.

7) New Widgets:

  • Social Widget: Like above, we should already have this coming, so I hope it’s just the same thing, but done modern, and done right :)
  • Blogs List: Glad to have this native now.  I hope we also get a blog post list like we had in 3.x.
  • Missing: Where’s my Breadcrumbs control!

8) E-Commerce: I’m not all that versed with e-Commerce as of yet, but any enhancements are a ++ in my book.  It’s a separate team working on it anyway so all these enhancements should detract from the core CMS development.

Missing or not noted that I wanted:

  • Where’s my notifications…seriously…not joking.  I don’t want to wait till 2012 to be emailed on a blog post comment.
  • Multipage Forms, or forms enhancements…not mentioned
  • No Polls (sad)…I’d start a poll on it, but I can’t.
  • Webeditor controls
  • Breadcrumb Widget
  • Widget template editor improvements.  Even just some simple CSS could go a long way on this, like put in a scrollbar and remove wrapping…so I’m hopeful still.
  • This one I just though of recently, but I’d love some oData integration so I can start moving with KendoUI more easily.

Overall Impressions:

Happy :)  …at least I think so.  I believe that the roadmap doesn’t contain every tiny detail and bug fix that they plan to implement, and the Module Builder UI is worth the price of admission alone!  If you doubt that, just wait until you can get your hands on it.  Your module building just went from hours to minutes (so no pressure SF devs ;)