Liam GoldfinchLiam Goldfinch

Liam Goldfinch

.NET developer

Kentico Xperience Connection 2020

Kentico has been through many changes in the past year. From rebranding the Kentico EMS product to Kentico Xperience, to splitting the company into two distinct product based divisions - Xperience and Kontent.

With Kontent now belonging to its own division, this year’s Connection event was purely for Xperience and even COVID-19 couldn’t stop Kentico’s annual Connection get together!

Broadcasting Connection 2020 online through an interactive, virtual event, we attended the agenda packed two days to learn about all things Kentico Xperience. Here’s a rundown of what the event shared…

The future

Kentico is following the market trend, moving towards a more agile product. It’s planned that Kentico Xperience will be updated regularly throughout the year, adding more features and changes based on feedback from the community, customers and partners around the globe.

Taking this iterative approach, Kentico will be able to respond to changes in the market far quicker compared to only releasing a new version of Kentico Xperience annually.

Licensing

With this new development cycle in place, it also makes sense that Xperience would move to a subscription-based licence model. The change follows other software products on the market, such as Microsoft Office becoming Office 365, in becoming a subscription-based product with a lower annual cost that is updated continuously throughout the year.

Don’t worry if you already have a perpetual licence as you can either stick with your existing licence or migrate to a subscription if you decide to make the switch. If you’d like to know more information about licensing, visit the pricing page on Xperience.io.

As well as offering a subscription based, self-hosted licence, Kentico will soon be offering a Software as a Service (SaaS) alternative which will take care of the hosting and maintenance of the site on your behalf. Kentico also mentioned potentially offering container-based hosting services in the future for Kentico Xperience sites.

Technology stack

Kentico Xperience 13 has already made the groundbreaking change of being one of the first DXP vendors to switch to an ASP.NET Core MVC technology stack. Developers can now use the latest cutting-edge technology to build fast and efficient websites that can be hosted on a number of platforms, from Windows to Linux, or even within Docker containers.

The .NET Core stack currently only applies to the front-end MVC application. However, Kentico has announced plans to migrate the administration portal over to become a React single page application (SPA) powered by a .NET Core backend. Not only are Kentico keeping up with the latest backend technology, but the administration portal is also going to be a NetConstruct favourite front-end framework - perfect!

Marketing automation

One of the most useful marketing tools within Xperience is the marketing automation application. This feature allows you to trigger automated processes and actions based on a prospective customer's interactions with your website. This means you can track and nurture leads into converting.

Although the tool has been useful for customers over the years, one of the biggest issues is the complexity of the tool. Marketers often needed extensive guidance and input from developers to understand how to use it to its full potential.

With Kentico Xperience 13, a newly redesigned and streamlined version has been launched.  Some of the key changes include:

  • Toolbars have been moved to more suitable locations
  • Steps have been renamed more appropriately
  • Cloning steps is far easier
  • You can configure steps without losing sight of the whole workflow
  • Important properties have been moved to the top of configuration panels
  • Workflows now auto-save while you make changes to steps
  • Clear warnings on steps that are not configured correctly or incomplete
  • Sticky notes have been added so you can add notes next to steps for other marketers to understand
  • Time-based triggers have been added, processes can be set for a specific date and time
  • Email builder functionality has been embedded into the designer, allowing you to configure/add or A/B test a new email directly within the workflow

Marketers can also access key statistics about the marketing automation workflow directly from the designer itself with no need to navigate away. You can also track individual contacts that have been processed through the workflow with the ability to see where they are and what steps they have taken.

This article was originally posted over on the NetConstruct blog.