An early look at Xperience by Kentico
We have recently had the pleasure of test-driving an early pre-release of the brand-new Xperience by Kentico, built from the ground up in .NET Core and React.js. It's always exciting to get a glimpse and to try out any new technology. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the evolving features we’ve loved so far!
.Net core set up
As a Kentico Gold Solution Partner and .Net agency, our developers have been working in .Net Core for several years now and welcome any move towards templating and automation via the native .NET CLI. We were pleased to find that the installation of Xperience had been completely overhauled, with native dotnet templates, including a template for a new blank solution, and a template allowing us to easily spin up a ‘Dancing Goat’ sample site.
Creating a local database is now as simple as using the new Xperience DB Manager CLI tool, providing a database name, and the rest is done for you. It’s a refreshing new take on the installation of Xperience, and we had the example site up and running within minutes.
We spent a couple of weeks in Xperience by Kentico, upgrading one of our portfolio sites to the new version. The solution relied heavily on a range of custom content types, media libraries, online forms, and page builder widgets – a perfect level of complexity.
The migration was relatively straightforward, helped partly by the fact that we didn’t have any custom CMS interfaces or form fields to try and port over. Kentico has kept the Xperience API interfaces familiar, and most of them required just a smaller tweak rather than a total rewrite.
Content migration was a breeze for a site of this scale, using the beautiful new CMS interface written in React. To say that the interface is faster is an understatement! We stuck to manually porting our content over for this one, but Kentico is building a promising-looking feature for larger-scale content migrations, and its open source.
A huge draw towards previous versions of Xperience for us here at Ridgeway has been the ability to extend the built-in functionality. With a range of clients operating in completely different industries with massively varying business requirements, the ability to extend out-of-the-box functionality provided by the CMS is a key requirement for us. We were pleased to hear that Xperience by Kentico is being built completely from the ground up with this level of extensibility at the forefront.
Xperience by Kentico marks the start of an exciting new journey for us at Ridgeway, into the realms of hybrid headless, and it’s great to see that Kentico isn’t just expanding their existing RESTful API suite but is also building out an extensive dataset in GraphQL, enabling us to build applications to complement our sites, with the full backing of Xperience behind the scenes.
Finally, this article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning deployments. With the new continuous deployment of CLI tools, we’re looking forward to automating the code and data/schema deployments of our applications. This is something we’ve struggled with on previous versions of Xperience, needing various third-party tools to handle migrations, it’s refreshing to see this functionality ship straight out of the box.
Xperience by Kentico is now firmly on an accelerated product development trajectory with further exciting refreshes in the coming months in readiness for its future debut and an ongoing feature roadmap.
Powerful next generation DXP
It’s not often that you get a chance to feel directly involved in the shaping and redevelopment of a tool that forms such a huge part of your technology stack, used day in and day out by your clients. This is a great opportunity for not only Xperience by Kentico to grow and evolve, but for us to offer a powerful new generation of secure, future proofed DXP, and deliver truly performant solutions to meet the evolving digital maturity of our clients.
An exciting fully-fledged new SaaS DXP and journey lies ahead!