8 reasons to upgrade to Umbraco 8.

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What are the new features in Umbraco 8? What does Umbraco's roadmap look like? What should businesses consider when upgrading or re-implementing Umbraco 8?

We sought in-depth answers to these questions, which is why we were a part of the 2019 Umbraco Codegarden event in May. Here is the essence of of the output, that has been reduced to 8 points. If you want to know more contact us or look for the next Codegarden event or Umbraco Festival event.

Summary by Senior Architect Esben Seindal, Senior Architect Kim Andersen and Consultant Line Oredsson, Kraftvaerk A/S.

#1 The editor gets a new favorite tool // Infinite editing

In Umbraco 8, efforts have been made to make the editor's experience even better than in the previous versions of Umbraco. On of these efforts is the so-called "Infinite editing", which ensures overview and improves workflows, but allowing the editors to stay in context they currently work in.

Example. An editor works on a page and will use a snippet of an image that is in the media library. In the past, the editor had to go to the medial library and edit the snippets of the image, then browse back to the page and use the image. With "Infinite editing" the editing options of the image will simply be opened as "a layer", allowing the editor to work on media and other content elements directly from the page where they sit and work.  See the demo of ”Infinite editing”.

#2 Administration is simplified with new tracking concept // Content Apps

Another new concept in Umbraco 8 is "Content apps". For example, these apps my be information or functionality that is relevant to the piece of content that you are currently working on. Some examples of this could be: individual page tracking from Google Analytics, managing newsletter signups from MailChimp, quality assurance of content on the page. Everything takes place in Umbraco exactly where it is relevant for the editor.  See the demo of the content app ,where contrasts, filters, rotation etc. are worked upon directly in Umbraco.

#3 Umbraco 8 ensures a proper language versioned sites // Language variants

Finally! Multilingual sites are a part of Umbraco 8. Built-in and official way of working with multiple languages in Umbraco has long been in demand. Previously this required various "detours" to properly run language-versioned sites. In Umbraco 8, the editors can work with each page in several languages as well as introduce new language versions of each page. An editor can also determine mandatory languages and select fall back languages for pages that have not yet been translated.

#4 A plan has been put in place to improve the editor experience // Roadmap

At Codegarden, Umbraco were themselves up on the stage, talking about the focus areas of their roadmap. See keynote here. The roadmap is divided into three main points. "Now", "Next" and "Later", as elaborated below.

#5 Umbraco headless is being developmed on Umbraco 8 // Roadmap Now

Here's a bit about "Now" from Umbraco's raodmap: Currently, Umbraco is working on release version v7.15, which is currently the last scheduled version in Umbraco 7. Next, the focus will be on developing new features in Umbraco 8. There will be however, security patches are still coming to Umbraco 7. In addition, Umbraco is also working to release an Umbraco 8.1, which will include performance enhancements, API fixes and support for performing content migration from v7 to v8. In the third quarter of 2019, the plan is to release "Umbraco Headless". It will be developed on Umbraco 8 and will only be available as "Software as a Service". This supports cloud services such as Content Delivery Networks (CDN), which becomes an integral part of the product. Umbraco Headless will enable Umbraco to use more than one CMS. Among other things, you will be able to utilize Umbraco's good editorial interface to publish content on various channels such as Single Page Applications, Apps, Smart watches, info screens etc. Read more about Umbraco Headless 

#6 New deployment tool simplifies the life of Umbraco developers // Roadmap Next

Here's a little about "Next" from Umbraco's roadmap: Further in time, Umbraco HQ will work on a deploy tool for solutions that run OnPremise in a multiserver environemtn. The deployment tool will make life easier for Umbraco developers around the world, because deploying solutions is faster and will significantly minimize human error. Incidentially, Umbraco will focus on improving the editor experience when an editor is editing and creating content in the Grid editor. The planned improvements are supported by user tests. Umbraco HQ will also focus on improving the usability and editorial experience when an editor works with media (images, PDFs, videos, etc.) in Umbraco. There will, among other things, focus on creating a better overview of all uploaded media in the media library. One of the things Umbraco wants to improve in the media library is the editors' ability to track the use of media and see where a media is used in the solution.

#7 In the future, full support from Microsoft // Roadmap Later

Here's a little about "Later" from Umbraco's raodmap: Umbraco HQ now commits 100% to going from .NET framework to .NET Core (Microsoft's new version of .NET). Among other things, it ensures full support from Microsoft and significantly better performance than the "old" .NET framework. In Umbraco 8, Umbraco is already getting ready to replace the .NET framework. A plan has been laid out for what and how the different dependencies should be replaced / ported.

#8 Older versions will no longer be updated with new features

Please note that older versions of Umbraco will no longer be updated with new features, as Umbraco will only be developing on version 8 going forward. There are many reasons to update to Umbraco 8, as mentioned above. But that doesn't mean you have to. It depends on what you need in your Umbraco solution, where you need improvements and how old your current solution is.

 At Kraftvaerk we know that no solution is the same, so we will always make every effort to guide you based on your particular solution. Get in touch with our Senior Architect Kim Andersen, if we need to talk about the many opportunities that come with Umbraco 8.