Last week the bomb shell was dropped whom we all had been waiting for - Umbraco 8 was out of its five year cycle of release and made its world debut. Of course I had to check out the latest features for the content management system on a closer basis. And not to say the least, I was quite surprised.
A deep dive into Umbraco
Umbraco is a Content Management System for handling web based structure. The community behind Umbraco have been working hard with polishing all details for Umbraco 8 from the 7th version. Basically a lot of polishing has been med from Umbrco 7 where the team have been enhancing that version's functionality and best practices. There are no larger technical depths to consider. AngularJS is still being used for the back office, the latest version 1 compatibility that is. Neither on the platform has things been shaken up side down. No .NET Core in sights from Microsoft so far, but who knows once Microsoft ships the third installment later this summer. Perhaps Umbraco 9 will look further into this?
Installation and setup
Once I was about to start with Umbraco 8, I immediately liked how simple and intuitive it is to get started with this shipment. In less than five minutes I was up and running with creating content for my site specific needs. Umbraco themselves have made a really huge impact with better documentation in terms with the release of Umbraco 8, which you may find here. I will go through it more in details.
Umbraco 8 lives its life in the .NET 4.7.2 Framework, as least compatible reference and core code may be get from either NuGet references or zipped down as a project. Just as before you start off with an empty web project in Visual Studio, get your code references, build the project and surf towards the site's localhost address to start with the installation.
If you would lack the 4.7.2 dependencies as option in Visual Studio when creating your project, you may download it here. Also, you need to make sure that you in Visual Studio Installer enable the 4.7.2 version under ASP.NET and web development area of the product installation helper.
First time visit
Like Umbraco 7 the installation procedure is more or less the same one this time around. You get the oppertunity to configure your admin account and create database settings for first time usage. What really made a difference after the successful installation was the first time visit tour where the system introduced you to the different navigation aspects of Umbraco. You also got an education of what to do next for advancing in the Umbraco context of handling content creation, such as document type creations, templates and properties.
I have to say, this was very stylistically pure but somewhat buggy with the different next steps clicks which sometimes made me login and restart the whole procedure. But a very nice feature for newcomers and a fresh clarification for users since before.
One of the big news with Umbraco 8 is the built in language globalization context of site domains - finally! Say goodbye to all different language based third party plugins whom solved it for Umbraco 7 and we may now have a standard approach for creating multi lingual sites from Umbraco themselves.
The process for enabling the language variants took me five minutes as a total! It was really simple. All you hade to do was to make your way to the Settings tab, Languages and enable your preferred languages. After that back to the properties and document types where you also enable per type and property, save and back to the content creation site tree view where you published new variants of different languages for the different part of your structure. You also added a unique domain (url) for where the content of the lingual context should be based upon.
KISS (keep it simple stupid) which Umbraco clearly have been putting a lot of effort into!
The second largest feature is the infinite editing term, as . The idea is that every view should be accessible through the same view. You should never get lost in context of uploading images or media while you're in the middle of creating content for enriching your page bodies.
This is as well a fenanomal concept broght by the team. Even Umbraco 7 was smooth, simple and easy to use, Umbraco 8 does it even better with more consistency, better user experience in terms of structure and behaviour as well as colour schemas.
Summary of this new version
I have always loved Umbraco by its supportive community, awesome CMS and open source approach. The 8th version tend to keep their current users and contributors in the game, as well as new ones.
Umbraco 8 deliveres a more suitable, stable and all around better experience than its predecessor, Umbraco 7. I think that the future is bright for Umbraco with a life spawn about five more years such as version 7 had.
✅ Language variants
✅ Sleek new interface
✅ Lots of bug fixes and stability issues resolved
✅ Infinite Editing
✅ Migration is made possible (although hard with all third party packages)
❌ Back office is still using the latest version 1 resources of AngularJS
❌ .NET Core not implemented
❌ Missing some new features out of the box, such as site search handling and Active Directory implementations