Twitter LinkedIn

Umbraco evolution: seven recent updates to the platform

  • By 3chillies

Readers of this blog will know that Umbraco is one of our favourite Content Management Systems (CMSs) to work with. It’s quite a rarity in the digital customer experience space, in that it is very popular with developers who enjoy coding with it, web admins who find it intuitive and flexible, and content teams who find the core CMS very easy to use. It also has a loyal and active global community, partly because it is an open-source platform, but also because it has been ably steered by Umbraco HQ who have continued to expand the platform. These days it competes with other more commercial digital experience platforms (DXPs).

We report here on the latest updates on Umbraco from time to time. The last time we checked in was back in June when we reported on five takeaways from the 2023 Codegarden conference. Since then, we’re pleased to say that Umbraco has continued to evolve. In this post we’re going to bring everything up to date and cover some of the key updates from the past few months.

1. Umbraco 7 reaches end of life

Since September the 30th , Umbraco 7 has reached end of life and is no longer supported. This means using Umbraco 7 now represents a risk, for example not having the latest security patches applied. Most organisations have now moved off Umbraco 7, but there are still some sites that remain. In fact, Umbraco HQ suggests that “there are still quite a few Umbraco 7 projects in production.” If you are still on Umbraco 7, upgrading should be a top priority for 2024. If you’d like to discuss upgrading or replacing Umbraco 7, then get in touch

2. Launch of new Umbraco UI Builder

A recent trend for Umbraco HQ is to acquire apps or add-ons hat have been developed by trusted partners or community members. They then integrate these into the wider Umbraco cloud suite of products, and offer them as part of the platform with ongoing support. The latest of these is the Umbraco UI Builder, that had its origins as “Konstrukt” and was created by Matt Brailsford, who now works at Umbraco HQ. The update was originally announced at the Umbraco Codegarden conference.

The Umbraco UI Builder helps developers manage data sources that they want to bring into Umbraco, for example from a Customer Data Platform (CDP), comments on a web page, or data that resides in other databases. The UI Builder automatically builds a user interface within Umbraco to manage that data and can be used by both developers and users. It has the potential to save significant amounts of time. We can see this helping lower the barriers to entry in integrating data into Umbraco experiences or where its useful to reference other data within the Umbraco CMS when creating experiences.

3. Umbraco CI / CD flow goes into general release

The Umbraco CI / CD Flow capability is set to move out of public beta in December. This is an update that is going to be more interest to developers than marketers, but it is a significant step in being able to more easily integrate Umbraco Cloud into the existing development and deployment processes adopted by individual dev teams. Anything that supports more robust DevOps is good news for everybody.

Without getting too techie, the release of Umbraco CI / DC Flow means that teams will be able to integrate Umbraco Cloud more tightly into how they already develop, test and deploy projects, enabling smoother processes and ultimately more successful website launches and changes. It also enables more advanced capabilities including automated testing that can be applied to Umbraco Cloud, as well as increasing scalability and flexibility. More enhancements are also set to follow next year.

4. Improvements to Umbraco Authorized Services

The release of Umbraco Authorized Services package earlier in the year was another release aimed at the coding community but again it is actually good news for everybody. It allows Umbraco to be more easily integrated with various third party services including in areas such as authentication; since Codegarden it has gone through further enhancements, again supporting developments which need to work nicely with third-party systems.

5. Improvements to Umbraco Heartcore

Like many other CMSs and DXPs, Umbraco has made progress in supporting headless publishing and composable architecture over the past year or so. One of the ways this has been done is to invest in Umbraco Heartcore, the platform’s SaaS-based version of the core Umbraco CMS. Recently Umbraco HQ announced a new set of Heartcore improvements. At the centre of this is a planned upgrade set for Q1 2024 which brings more of the newest features of the overall Umbraco platform into Heartcore including the Block Grid editor, as well as improved performance and a range of smaller enhancements. Other Umbraco features such as the Umbraco Workflow content management workflow tool are also due to be rolled into Heartcore later in 2024.

While bringing Heartcore up to speed with the rest of the platform might not feel like a major change, it shows Umbraco’s commitment to keep on supporting headless.

6. Umbraco Commerce goes headless

Back in our last update from Codegarden, we reported that Umbraco Commerce was launching, providing a broad range of eCommerce features; this was another partner offering that has been acquired. While Umbraco Commerce has been available for a while, a new version has been released. This includes a new Umbraco Commerce StoreFront API that provides headless support, allowing organisations to extend commerce experiences across more channels. There’s also a number of other minor enhancements.

Although it’s been on been on the release map, again it supports the wider mission of making Umbraco a viable DXP with a range of different features that also supports headless and composable scenarios.

7. Preview of the new backoffice

It’s always important for a CMS or DXP provider to focus on the admin experience. Over a number of months Umbraco HQ has been working on an updated version of the Umbraco backoffice – the administration interface for the platform. The public release of the new backoffice - now branded as Project Bellissima – is slated to be part of Umbraco 14 with a target release of May 2024. A new updated administration interface is always welcome but initially it can be a learning curve, so this is now in preview. Although initially the preview is initially aimed at “package and extension developers”, others may want to have a sneak peak.

More Umbraco improvements set for 2024

In this post we’ve covered some of the main Umbraco announcements from the past few months, but there a whole set of minor improvements that we haven’t covered here. 2024 also looks set to be a busy year with Umbraco 13 and Umbraco 14 on the way, an early keynote update of what’s on the roadmap from Umbraco HQ set for January, and a likely mix of new add-ons and enhancements. We’ll keep you updated here on the blog!

If you’d like to discuss any of the Umbraco updates we’ve mentioned in this article, or your Umbraco project, then get in touch!

scroll back to the top of the current web page