Fresh Look , DMS EpiServer

  • Ektron Spring 2017 Updates
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    While many clients are making or considering the move to the Digital Experience Cloud, Episerver consistently delivers updates for the Ektron platform. If you actively log into the Support Portal, you already knew this. Protecting your investment? We have you covered! After several great conversations with Ektron customers, I thought it would be helpful to explain our Ektron release process regarding updates, releases, and how requests are handled behind the scenes. There is no magic to this and should look familiar to most. Ektron releases cumulative updates on a continuing basis. Each update typically contains 1-3 items and includes all previous updates for the service pack that it supports. For example, the 9.20 cumulative update .3 includes updates .2 and .1. Cumulative updates are eventually “rolled-up” into a service pack or major release for our spring and fall product launches. Enhancements and bigger changes are released in service packs or major releases because there is a greater amount of regression testing applied to ensure proper validation coverage and reduction in risk for potential update issues.   How do we prioritize and managed these requests, and what goes into each release? Working closely with our services teams, we review requests from them and from customers to address issues and other requests. As we review requests, we may identify some that are more fitting for our major release; they are put into a backlog and prioritized. Some may end up in service packs or major releases like 9.20. Have a request for something that you need that might help you out with your current Ektron system? Consult with your account manager.What’s in Ektron 9.20 Service Pack 1? The Episerver Ektron spring 9.20 service pack 1 release includes all the cumulative updates that were created for version 9.20. There also were additions that are worth mentioning:Episerver Social – an option to use Episerver Social allows for expanding your marketing solutions using an easy-to-use service for user-generated content. Workarea performance enhancements – updates were made to improve the overall experience for common activities, such as viewing and navigating folders, viewing and editing content, and general navigation of the folder trees and general user interface. Framework and library updates - component frameworks and libraries were updated to the latest available versions. These include: Microsoft System.Web, Microsoft System.Net.Http.Formatting, Newtonsoft.Json, Microsoft Enterprise Library, and the Microsoft Unity Framework.Review the Ektron 9.20 Service Pack 1 Release Notes for details. For information about the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud or your Ektron platform, consult with your account manager. […]

  • Episerver releases
    on April 4, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Episerver releases ―Or why you don’t have to ask “When is the next Episerver version coming?” Many software companies release new versions of their software once a year, and maybe some smaller bug fix releases in between. Each time they release, they hit the big drum and make a lot of advertising for the new release. Customers have gotten used to this and wait eagerly for the next big release and hope for a bunch of new features. They might even wait with buying the software because they want the latest-latest. Weekly releases At Episerver, we are taking another approach. In technical mumbo jumbo, it is called continuous releases (but never mind that, the term itself isn’t important) and that means we are releasing new features and bug fixes as soon as they are done. And tested, of course! This also means that we release almost every week of the year (okay, we may slack a bit around Christmas and New Year but generally, we release e v e r y  w e e k!). The main idea is that by releasing smaller upgrades every week, there is less risk of introducing major bugs, and the system is always thoroughly tested. Less work for us, less work for you. Advantages for us Working this way is a great advantage for us. As the cycle is short between starting with a feature, testing, releasing and getting feedback, we have a good overview of each step in the process, and we can quickly fix issues not working so well. Creating the big bang release every year also has a huge cost, both in effort for the company and in dollars and cents. Advantages for you It is also a great advantage for you, as users of the Episerver platform. Episerver developers can upgrade whenever they want to but generally, the more often they upgrade, the less hassle it is. And Episerver editors don’t have to wait another year for the next great feature in the user interface. Versioning Another term we use is semantic versioning. The term itself is not important, but it is important to understand the concept, and how we think of our releases and how they are named. When we speak of releases, we tend to use one, two, or three digits, as in Episerver 10, Episerver 10.2, or Episerver 10.4.3. First of all, we call the single-digit releases (such as 8, 9, and 10) for “a major version”. Major versions are releases that have some breaking changes. And by breaking changes, we mean that a developer may have to change something in their code before they can upgrade. But if you are an editor, there may not be a single change between the previous version and the new major version. A release with two digits (also called "a minor version"), such as Episerver 10.2, is a release that has some new features. The new features can be either inside the software (what we call CMS Core) or in the user interface (CMS UI). (I’m mentioning just Episerver CMS here, but all parts of the Episerver platform are released and versioned the same way.) A three-digit release, such as Episerver 10.4.3, is a release which contains only bug fixes. It does not contain any new functionality.So between versions 10.1 and 10.4.3, there are new features and bug fixes, but upgrading should be very smooth since there are no breaking changes. Our releases are also cumulative, which means that release 10.8 contains all the features and bug fixes that were released in 10.7.9 and 10.5 and all other previous releases. So, if you are a developer, this means you are most interested in the major releases, as these may give you more work than simply just pressing the Upgrade button. But note the word *may*, your specific site may not be affected by the breaking changes at all. As an editor, you may be more interested in the minor versions, because that’s where most of the goodies are released. If we take the Episerver 10 release as an example again, the 10 release didn’t include anything fun for the editor at all. But the 10.1 release did, as did the 10.7 release. In release 10.1, you got the first sneak peek of the content approvals feature, and in release 10.7, content approvals were implemented for assets such as blocks and media. Add-ons The Episerver platform is built up by Episerver CMS, Episerver Commerce, and Episerver Find. In addition to that, there are a number of add-ons, which contain functionality not included by default in a standard installation but can be added to enhance the product. Some of them are built by Episerver and some by third-parties. Some of them can be used for free, while others require an additional licence. When we release a new major version of Episerver CMS, we know people are eager to get it and start working with it. So we prioritize releasing it as soon as it is ready, which means that some add-ons have not been tested against the new CMS version at the release. After a major release of Episerver CMS, we update the add-ons to support the latest CMS version, but this is a process which takes some time. If you are using add-ons, you can check the Add-ons compatibility page to see which CMS versions support the add-ons you are using. Where to find what has been released and when? We try to keep you informed of what we have in the pipeline, and the different teams generally blog about major releases before they are released as a heads-up. New features are also released as Beta features while still under development, to give you a chance to try them out and give us feedback. Beta features are tested but should not be used on production sites as they may be changed without prior notification. When we release each week, we publish what we call “a weekly update” on Episerver World. The weekly update includes information on what is being released and it also links to a release feed. The weekly update also includes links to relevant updated documentation. Example of weekly update:The release feed displays all new features and public bug fixes and you can easily use this to sort out information for a specific release:With the short test and release cycles we have, it just isn’t possible to say when the next major or minor release will be released. We release major versions when we have enough breaking changes to warrant a new major version. Minor versions are released as soon as new features are thoroughly tested. We never release anything unless all tests are green. The best recommendation we can give you is that you try to be as up-to-date as you can be. The more up-to-date you are, the easier it is to upgrade each time. Other useful information Editor? The weekly update is often full of technical details and aimed at the developers who are responsible for doing the upgrade at customer websites. Four times a year, we summarize all new features that were released since the last time in what we call feature lists. They are found on Episerver World (our community site) and are intended for editors, or other people interested in new functionality. You find shortcuts to the weekly updates, release feed and feature lists under Releases and features on the Episerver World start page:From Documentation in the top menu of World, you can find developer documentation but also a link to the Episerver User Guide, which is aimed towards editors and descibes how to work with the Episerver platform.The user guide isn’t released every week but we try to release it every month, if necessary. There is a section called What’s new which shows the last weekly update that it covers. Many new features are also demoed in short videos. If you prefer to rather print the user guide and read on paper, you find PDFs on the User guides for print page. Developer? As you probably already know, Episerver World is full of information for you. Regarding releases, the most useful information is:The release feed The weekly update information Bug listNote that if you want to try out features still in Beta, you need to enable these features by defining a EPiBetaUsers role in your system. See Fredrik Tjärnberg’s blog post. System manager? IT boss? If you are more interested in the future than the past, we plan on keeping our roadmap available on World. This is still work-in-progress, but keep your eyes open. […]

  • Ektron - time to tackle competitive FUD
    on February 22, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Like many of us, toward the end of 2016, I was very excited that the U.S. election would soon be over. What a crazy year it was. Like many, I enjoy a good debate over real data and when both sides are civil. However, I’m not a fan of mudslinging, name calling, and language that lowers the level of the debate. It’s no secret that we live in a highly competitive world, and last year’s election proves just that, where challenging statements are made to distract us from reality. This seems to be the case in the business world too, where competitors routinely highlight a customer’s “only” options, entice them with unrealistic financial incentives, or occasionally communicate misinformation about their competition. Whether this approach is coming from a political party, politician, or a competitive organization or their associates, I’m quick to acknowledge that someone is attempting to take advantage of me. In this case, the approach is the continuing fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) directed against my company, Episerver and our product, the Ektron CMS. So, let it be very clear (again) - Episerver   has   no   plans   to   discontinue   the Ektron CMS. There are still many hundreds of Ektron clients using the platform every day who are an important part of the Episerver family, just as there are hundreds of customers using the Episerver CMS platform, which is also an important part of our family. Episerver was clear about this back in January 2015 when Ektron and Episerver merged and laid out a roadmap for the convergence of the best of both products into the next-generation Digital Experience Cloud platform. Customers who have chosen to make the move up to the Digital Experience Cloud, regardless of product heritage, have been fully supported through every step of the process by Episerver and our partners with great success. Episerver continues to offer this support for all customers, just as we continue to support customers who chose to remain on their current investment for now.  While we know that we are genuine with our position (after all, it’s now over two years since we outlined it), and stand behind all customers through their digital experience journeys, we also encourage your own validation with our many customer references, from those that have made the move as well as those that are planning to do so but are still on the Ektron CMS or older versions of the Episerver CMS platform. Please consult with your account manager today who can connect you with many reference accounts who have moved up to the Digital Experience Cloud. If you are still not ready, that’s OK too, because when the time is right, we’re ready for you. Until then, we have you covered. […]

  • Ektron Fall Updates
    on December 9, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Ektron Fall 2016 Updates Episerver interacts with customers at many stages of their digital marketing journey, and we are very proud to be considered great listeners. Beyond listening, we gain an equal amount of pride delivering solutions to solve problems, which makes this journey together successful! The Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™ represents the convergence of the Ektron and Episerver product lines, as well as substantial new features and functions previously unavailable with either. While the strongest value for clients is the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™, we understand there are reasons for continuing to use the Ektron CMS. As part of the Episerver fall product release, we are excited to announce Ektron 9.20. This release includes useful enhancements, product updates, and platform updates. Ektron 9.20 is available for download and use.  Enhancements The Ektron CMS features and enhancements added in version 9.20 include:Change Auditing - Ektron 9.20 now has change auditing functionality to help with your authoring needs where compliance may be important. You can configure content, folders, menus, and taxonomies to protect or log the activities. Recycle-bin - The Recycle-bin like functionality makes use of the change auditing feature. This provides a more visual way for content authors to delete items while maintaining the ability to restore them, preventing accidental deletion or simply as an added safeguard to a workflow. Strategies Wizard - You can now easily create Ektron Strategies using a point and click wizard. This new interface helps speed up the creation by presenting a list along with automating some configuration details. IQueryable Data Sources for Ektron Data Types - For developers that prefer to use Linq queries, an IQueryable interface is now available to interact with most core Ektron data types.Product Updates As part of our release scheduling, all updates from Ektron 9.10 were added to this release, including 3 service packs, over 100 cumulative updates, general performance enhancements, and all applicable security patches. Full regression and acceptance testing were performed to ensure proper test coverage for all core functionality with the common configurations. All relevant documentation was also updated to coincide with the product changes.  Platform Updates In addition to the mentioned updates, we also extended support for the latest platforms and technologies used with the Ektron CMS. Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and .NET 4.62 are included and validated to ensure compatibility with the latest versions from Microsoft. We are also happy to announce support for the latest Solr Manifold version. As many have been requesting the ability to update to the latest Java Runtime, you can now upgrade to the current version of JRE. Ektron Digital Experience Hub users that have or would like to integrate with Microsoft SharePoint 2016 can now upgrade and use Microsoft SharePoint 2016. For complete details on what’s included in Ektron 9.20, please visit the release notes. How do I move to the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud? Our next-generation platform features many capabilities that Ektron CMS users enjoyed but re-envisaged in an improved manner. The Digital Experience Cloud brings together the best of the Ektron and Episerver products and is easy to adopt for users on current versions. That said, it is a major new release and, as users of Ektron who moved from version 4 to 6 to 9 know, major version moves need planning and some services. Episerver partners and customers who have made the move will tell you it’s one worth making. To start, it is best to speak with your account manager, as there are many options and resources they can provide, including:Licensing and current Ektron contract information Upgrade options and product offerings specific to your needs and interests Episerver Expert Services site assessment - If you are planning a site redesign or have other goals, this may be an ideal time for an assessment, which will reduce the risk of a move Connecting you to one of our partners willing to help with your implementation and/or re-design needsNot quite ready to switch to the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud? Episerver continues to support the Ektron platform with updates to address issues and add enhancements based on customer feedback. Your M&S subscription includes access to the Episerver Support Portal, which also provides:Episerver developer support Software downloads and updates for all products, including past versions Helpful articles and news about the Ektron platform for developers, administrators, and end users Updates through RSS feeds Ability to view and submit support tickets Links to product documentation Access to Ektron developer resources including:Developer reference library Community resources (forums, blogs, etc.) Archived articles and other informationIf you have suggestions for what you would like to see in future releases of Ektron CMS, please contact us today! &nbs […]

  • Episerver World updates
    on August 9, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Anything going on with Episerver World? Our Episerver community site has been around for some time, supporting more than 30,000 developers worldwide working with the Episerver platform. Our web development team continuously work to improve the functionality on World, based on feedback from our community. This article summarizes the latest enhancements, and what is in the backlog for the future. About World First some background. Like many other websites, World is a complex site which has been added to and built on by multiple developers during the years. It contains both legacy code, as well as newer parts based on recent functionality. A large part of World is the community sections with blogs and forum posts. World is also the home of most of the technical documentation for the Episerver platform, as well as other product-related information. World is based on the latest Episerver CMS and Find, and is regularly updated to include recent features and fixes as part of the continuous release process. This way, World also acts as a "guinea pig" for instant testing of new features, and is an important channel for collecting feedback about the Episerver platform.  The site runs in a load balanced staging environment with multiple web servers both in the stage and in the production environment. World also has integrations with other systems, for example our CRM system, and the issue and project tracking system we use in software development. This integration also provides the source for auto-generated release notes for our weekly updates, and for the bug list where you can monitor status for bug fixes. Working with World Our community members create much of the content on World, and some of our great EMVPs help us monitor and answer forum questions. We also have quite a few editors working with content. So who are they? Well, you might be surprised to know that most editors are actually Episervers' own developers, working with developer guides. And of course they get to use as much as possible of the functionality they built themselves. Eating your own dog food, that is... Projects Whenever we have releases with associated documentation changes, we use the Project feature. This lets teams collaborate on content items using notifications, and at release time, instantly publish everything related to the release.Filtering Some of the content filtering you see on World is based on the good old built-in category functionality in CMS, but we also use Find to filter out information, like in the filtering of release notes by product, packages and versions. Search optimization We also use the built-in search optimization possibilities in Find, to ensure that certain popular content we know visitors are frequently looking for, is properly displayed when searching using different keywords. Personalization We also use personalization on some sections on World to present selected content to a targeted group of visitors, for example specific content that is only for Episerver partners. Add-ons In addition to add-ons like the Spellchecker and Google Analytics for Episerver that we use on the site, we recently added the new block-based Episerver Forms add-on, to take advantage of the more advanced possibilities provided with that. Recent enhancementsIn case you haven't already noticed, the Manage your blogs feature is now publicly available. This lets you conveniently manage your blog posts, if you are blogging directly on World. See blogging on World for available blogging options.  There is now a Recent documentation updates block, which lists new updates to for example system requirements and developer guides. The block can be seen on the Documentation and Start pages.  Other recent fixes based on your feedback:Subject titles on new forum postings are now mandatory, so no more empty posts without titles... All forums are checked by default (may need to click Go to populate the list). Clearer indication of forum posts with solutions to questions (marked as answered). Not possible anymore to add a post with a heading that is too long. Hidden views and ratings for syndicated blogs. Fixed issue where you cannot edit the first forum post. Improved search with added product and version numbers for hits. Improved print output for pages (useful if you're studying for a certification). Fixed issues with ordered lists in forum posts. Improved password resetting procedure.In the backlog Work continues to make World even better. We have a list of improvements within areas like search capabilities, content tagging, layout and design, and documentation presentation. Please continue to send us your feedback, to ensure that we are doing the right things! Useful hints How do I find...Status for a bug - see the bug list under Support (requires login) Most recent features - check the feature list, or go to world.episerver.com/features Most recent updates - see the weekly updates list, or go to world.episerver.com/releases Release notes - see release notes, or go to world.episerver.com/releasenotes […]

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