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Experience Sitecore! | SUGCON 2019 Takeaways

Experience Sitecore!

Martin Miles on Sitecore

SUGCON 2019 Takeaways

SUGCON 2019 was a blast! 

More and more of thrilling changes are coming into our beloved platform, you find them out below. Also, it was a pleasure to receive a physical trophy of my Sitecore MVP award!

With this post, I am not going to do what everyone else does, like generously describing sessions attended. Instead, I'd share a brief bullet list of my own takeaways from this important event. Please forgive me my memory - not everything is covered below, but the most important is. Let me know if I've missed something. So, here we go:


General takeaways

  • Sitecore 9.1.1 has been released - this release is mostly focused on bugfixes and stability
  • Sitecore 9.2 is coming shortly
  • JSS becomes a massive game-changer for Sitecore
  • Docker will soon be in high demand for DevOps (XM and XP 9.1.1 images are already available)
  • Helix principles got updated with guidance for Commerce and xConnect, simpler VS project structure, new samples, some UX.


Sitecore XP 9.1.1 features

  • other templates now possible to run before the ARM templates (useful when installing Solr and others)
  • logging of xConnect connections errors improved
  • plenty other fixes covering:
    • EXM
    • Experience Editor
    • Experience Optimization
    • Sitecore Forms
    • Security
    • Marketing Foundation
    • Marketing Automation
    • Sitecore Services Client
    • etc.

Sitecore XP 9.2 expected to feature

  • graphical installer assistant is coming back - a simple GUI over SIF installer
  • Rainbow library will be used for serialization in Sitecore 9.2 OOB and also TDS is moving to YAML
  • better robot detection
  • new Active Personalization Report - a well-in-demand tool that we should have got earlier 
  • publishing services with Sitecore Host support
  • reworked Links Database tool:
    • it will work in batches, works way quicker
    • lowers impact on xConnect
  • improvements to Universal Tracker:
    • reduced number of requests to xConnect
    • session:end improvements
    • server role assignment
  • search improvements:
    • new Sitecore search role
    • Lucene becomes obsolete
    • better control on fields indexing in Azure Search

Sitecore Commerce

  • Commerce 9.1 released out very shortly after SUGCON
  • version numbers and runtime aligned with compatible XM / XP products
  • could be used in conjunction with JSS (calling commerce API through a proxy)

SXA

  • creating Sitecore JSS site with SXA, including full separation presentation from content (with partial and page designs)
  • improvements with background images
  • plenty of minor improvements coming with version 1.8.1

 JSS

  • basic SXA support
  • full support for Sitecore Forms fully working with JSS client site, also for multistep and validations
  • introduced JSS Rendering Host to offload server-side rendering
  • no requirements for Windows for local development

Sitecore Host

  • upgraded to the latest .NET Core version
  • architecture changes for scalability and maintainability
  • in addition to Identity Server already using Sitecore Host, we now expect Publishing Service to move there
  • a NuGet package to help build Sitecore Host plugins is available for download

Is anything missing from the list, anything got forgotten? Of course - it's Horizon

Since it was not mentioned, I assume it will later become part of the platform, not in 9.2. It was previously announced at the Sitecore Symposium and currently, only Sitecore MVPs have access to Horizon previews in order to provide feedback with the development team. Maybe It might get available with Sitecore 9.2 as a separate add-on (as Sitecore normally does with their new features before actually integrating them into XP/XM platform, but yet no news on that). Let's keep fingers crossed!

And finally, if you missed any of the presentations, you can get slides and videos from the official SUGCON Video Download page.
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