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Five takeaways from the 2023 Umbraco Codegarden conference

  • By 3chillies

The annual Umbraco conference Codegarden takes place in Denmark and always features a strong mixture of updates about the platform, sessions from both Umbraco HQ and implementation partners and case studies. Unfortunately, this year at 3Chillies we were too busy to attend, but some of us were able to access the sessions remotely. Umbraco HQ have also published a useful post detailing the key product updates.  

In this article we’re going to cover five significant and interesting updates from Codegarden and what they mean for Umbraco.  

1. Umbraco Commerce is launching 

An existing development revealed at the conference was the confirmation of the release of Umbraco Commerce, which brings ecommerce features such as order management, analytics, international support, integration with third-party payment system and discounts to the Umbraco platform. This is being officially launched in July, although is actually already available to customers.

Umbraco Commerce is a rebrand of the existing Vendr solution that was produced by Outfield Digital, an Umbraco partner that was acquired by Umbraco HQ in April 2023 with the intention of adding Vendr to the Umbraco’s commercial offering. Adding a native commerce solution to the platform is a logical set and helps to position Umbraco as a more fully featured digital experience platform, allowing it to compete with other DXPs. We can also expect Konsrukt – a back-office user interface builder from Outfield Digital – to be also integrated into Umbraco’s core offering at some stage.

2. Umbraco expands its headless capabilities

Headless publishing capabilities are currently being pushed by CMS and DXP vendors as well as support for composable architecture. Headless and composability were both key themes at the recent Passle CMO Live event and we can expect tech providers to continue to double down on these themes.

In recent months Umbraco has been emphasising and extending support for headless, principally through the Umbraco Heartcore product, but it is now extending headless capabilities to other offerings. The most significant of these is a new Content Delivery API that ships with Umbraco 12 and is released this week, bringing headless to the core CMS and potentially to far more Umbraco-based projects.

Headless will also extend to the new Umbraco Commerce in the coming weeks, while Umbraco Forms already has headless support. Although the news of this has been on the roadmap for a while, it was emphasised at Codegarden, with the platform’s commitment to supporting a headless and composable future.

3. Umbraco Cloud gains flexibility for more complex projects

Umbraco Cloud is a fully managed, hosted environment that always has the latest version of the CMS installed. It can suit projects that need to get off the ground quickly or where in-house IT resources do not want to be involved in hosting, upgrades or day-to-day management. At Codegarden a number of improvements for Umbraco Cloud were announced that we think considerably increases its flexibility, potentially making it more appealing for larger digital projects.

The main change is the integration of CI/CD (Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery) into Umbraco Cloud that enables customers to carry out customisation on their source code repository, install automated acceptance testing and more. This removes some of the limitations around the flexibility of the environment. It’s about to go into Beta.

Another welcome change is a new performance and availability” dashboard for Umbraco Cloud that will track and monitor elements such as app performance and CPU usage.

4. Sustainability reporting comes to Umbraco

Sustainability and climate change are very important topics that are increasingly going to influence the way we work and the decisions businesses take. Many organisations have an active commitment to reduce their carbon footprint. Environmental reporting will also start to be key for larger organisations.

Because of this, we’re increasingly seeing the potential carbon footprint and environmental impact of a digital project being a consideration in a way a website is built, or needing to be part of internal reporting.

Umbraco is an organisation that has said it is committed to sustainability, recently announcing a new dedicated sustainability team from the wider development community and also issuing a new “Impact Report” that covers Umbraco’s wider community initiatives, but also its drive to become carbon neutral.

At Codegarden the team also announced a dedicated sustainability dashboard for Umbraco Cloud which will track emissions of a project and offer an environmental benchmark against other websites. We think this is going to be a growing need and it will be fascinating to see how the new dashboard is used and evolves.  

5. Umbraco remains on a growth trajectory.

In the past two years Umbraco has effectively been on a growth and maturity trajectory, receiving investment from a well-established Swedish technology investor, bringing its core platform up to date with the latest version of .NET and establishing a more regular and predicable release cadence. It has also made two small acquisitions resulting in the expansion of its commercial offering, increased its marketplace capability and ramped up its marketing messaging, pitching Umbraco as a viable alternative DXP that supports headless and composable architecture. It has also had a very active roadmap including some solid improvements to its editor experience.

What’s impressive about this is that all this has achieved without negatively impacting the loyalty of its professional developer community and partner network. The various announcements at Codegarden including new roadmap items, the upgrades to Umbraco Cloud and launch of Umbraco Commerce, makes it feel that Umbraco remains very much on a trajectory of growth and improvement. We look forward to seeing the improvements that are implemented between now and next year’s Codegarden.

On to Codegarden 2024

Umbraco is a platform we love working with and we’re glad that platform goes from strength to strength. We’re looking forward to seeing how the updates announced at Codegarden evolve over the next year.

If you’d like to discuss the latest changes to Umbraco or discuss your Umbraco digital project then get in touch!

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