Show Sitecore how to improve…

Sitecore is alive and kicking. A lot is happening internally on product development. New modules and integrations with technology partners get released at the same speed as Bugatti Veyrons get sold ;). In new (even emerging) markets such as Australia, South Africa, Israel, Asia and New Zealand, Sitecore becomes the standard for Web Marketing.
Yeah that’s right: Web Marketing. More then ever Sitecore becomes a tool for the Marketers. Once again: yes, just the tool. IT grows up, we are more then often just the tool to reach goals. Information goals, conversion goals and even more physical commercial goals such as direct sale.

All of this doesn’t mean that Sitecore forgets where we came from. Very often Lars Fløe Nielsen and I have talks about the incredible number of developers who work with Sitecore, other Sitecore technical numbers like our implementations but also namespaces, classes and methods in our product(s). Both Lars and I are very proud when we look at Sitecore as a company. Almost 50% of our colleagues are involved in Product development. When I’m talking about involved, this doesn’t mean that they contribute code to the repository, but rather talk on a daily base about product directions. We supply our feedback, feeded by our outstanding power team of partners and customers, in a well formed way to product development. In this way there’s no way for them to find excuses for such another outstanding improvement in the product. We provide the exact reason, the pain and possible solution. Together with the right business case supplied by you out there, we’re able to remain world leading in innovative content management :).

This morning in the train I’ve been thinking how to address some of the issues of our developer customer around the world. The guys who are writing and rewriting code on a daily base. A lot of you have made us famous inside your company. So we should listen to you guys as well. Like I said, we try to do this always, but sometimes, it’s good to trigger people. So please! go ahead, react on this post. Tell us what we should do better, what we should different, what’s working what not. I’m particular interested in what makes your process less time intensive and more efficient.
Should we come up with a Visio shape for designing your data? Or should we deliver you a templated WebControl for our advanced types? Is a part undocumented what should be documented? Please let me know.
But please note one thing: I’m looking for feedback, not for a flame war. This is my first try to do this. Hopefully we can start a dialogue more often.

So please go ahead!

10 thoughts on “Show Sitecore how to improve…”

  1. How about a “Level 3” certification course. Not for me, for our new devs. 😉

  2. Performance, stability, scaling (.NET WebFarms, shared cache like Velocity), freeing the API from the httpcontext to enable new applications and proper unittesting/deployment/CI etc. Build a much better community site with better search and forums – Keep up the good work!

  3. Great Feedback Matt and Per,

    @Matt: We’ve changed our training curriculum over the past few months. So it’s quite likely that we’ll never talk again about levels. ‘The training curriculum is based on a couple of base exams and can be adjusted by role-specific tasks. More information upcoming soon on the Sitecore site. Or contact your local sales office about this.
    SDN6: If you point out there’s a lack of documentation for version 6, you’re wrong. Our documentation team has produced, on many requests, a set of 10 PDFs: http://sdn.sitecore.net/Reference/Sitecore%206.aspx
    More are upcoming in the next months. We’re also working on restructuring SDN. The amount of knowledge on this network has grown rapidly. Please supply us with some more information how you’d love to see your personal knowledge portal.

    @Per:
    >> Performance, stability, scaling (.NET WebFarms, shared cache like Velocity).
    This is a bunch, can you please give me the business case? At this moment we might be addressing some parts of it. But most of them are already working fine. I haven’t seen issues with performence and stability lately, but maybe you have some more info or you’re reffering to a specific case?
    >> Freeing the API from the httpcontext to enable new applications and proper unittesting/deployment/CI etc
    Again, thanks. I can imagine that the HttpContext is horrible for unittesting, but deployment? What do you mean by CI?
    >> Build a much better community site with better search and forums
    May I add better ‘search’ and ‘forums’ to the feature list of ‘SDN6’ ;)?
    Can you be a bit more specific, for example, how would you like to search in SDN?

    I can’t promise you guys that all of this will adressed, please supply me the additional information I’ve asked for so I can direct it to the right guy internally.

    Thanks so far and keep it coming,

    – Alex

  4. @Alex: I wasn’t implying SC6 wasn’t documented enough. I was only half joking/half suggesting we could use a 6.0+ only version of the sdn, rather than having 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.0 content all mixed together (yes some 5.x content applies to 6.0 as well). Also sdn5 is running v5.1, it must be hard for the editors to have to use the old UI when 6 is so smooth. 🙂

  5. @Alex
    Performance, stability, scaling >> Well, an example could be a solution with about 10 frontend servers each running 8 instances of staging slaves (8 sitecore sites on SSL) and one master server – Think about how much time it takes to publish and clear cache on on every 80 instances, and then think about the pain the SQL server cluster is is when every 80 instances request for data again. This is an extreeme example I know, but still it repesents issues we see in production enviorments and custormers expecatitions of sitecores ability to scale and performe. Feel free to look at our resent support issues the last few months or so.

    CI >> See (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_integration), what do you meen with “What about deployment?” – A start could be to make every think in Sitecore serializable so we could write data classes that would give us items directly from Sitecore or through a webservice if not running on the webserver.

    SDN: Go and buy Community Server and then you would have superior forums, blogs, feeds and search 🙂 – My point is that I need a search to search in ALL content on SDN, including all forums and I need ALL results to be shown and not only a few in each section. And please fix the search box, just remove the suggest feature – It dosn’t work. And last, the current design and layout is not optimal for the type of content that you serve, it should be more like MSDN for downloads, documenentation and the developer centers.

    Thanks for listening 🙂

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