Latest from the umbraco blog RSS Feed for the Umbraco Blog

We're more transparent than glass. Follow us on twitter and our blog.

 

Friday, August 26, 2016 by vera

Umbraco Gold Partner byte5 has sent us this great guest post about their first Umbraco Hackathon. An afternoon that turned into an evening full of detective work, problem-solving, learning and probably a lot of coffee. A massive H5YR! from us to you for embracing what Umbraco CMS is all about - being open and transparent so that everyone can suggest and contribute with solutions to make Umbraco even better. And have a look at that post-it creation - truly impressive! 

Problems and solutions at Frankfurt’s first Umbraco Hackathon

The sixth group meeting for the members of Umbraco-Meetup Rhein/Main was all about source code. In the first Umbraco-themed hackathon in the German region, developers from Frankfurt and its surrounding area – supported by their colleagues at Umbraco HQ – worked tirelessly in order to locate problems, patch errors and improve the system.

The huge Umbraco logo made of Post-its on the rear office wall shows at first sight what the meetup of Umbracians in the Rhein-Main region around Frankfurt is to be all about: “The centre of today’s event is the open source CMS that we work with every day in these rooms. Our goal for today’s activity is to return some own solutions for the system to our colleagues in Odense, Denmark.” Christian Köhler, byte5 operative manager, explains. For working with Umbraco – for him and his colleagues at byte5 – means both: giving and taking. “Our aim is not only to help improve the Umbraco core, but also to promote Umbraco in our region and give developers opportunities to network and share their experience.”

When it comes to the tasks that the developers have picked that afternoon, there’s often a fine line between success and failure. “We have specifically searched for issues on Umbraco’s to-do list that can theoretically be fixed in a few hours. But what seems to be simple at first glance often proves itself more complicated than expected. Then you have to go further into the details and also work with the developers in Denmark in order to go for the right solution.” byte5 chief developer, Sören Deger, says. His job at the hackathon was to coordinate the developer projects for which he stayed in touch with Umbraco developer Sebastiaan Jansen all afternoon. The two issues that he picked for himself will probably require a few more days and weeks of work: “With our analysis of the problems and first ideas on how to solve them, an important step has been made, though.”

Luckier with his choice of issue was certified developer David Brendel, who finished his first pull request – a modification for upcoming Umbraco major release 8.0 – after only a few minutes: “What I did was to move the member types tree from the Umbraco members section into the settings area. This way the function will be more secure in the future and editors will be able to work much more comfortably with Umbraco.” The developer’s motivation to take part in the hackathon was the fact that he has worked on the Umbraco core before and enjoys being part of the lively community: “I just like being able to work on a community project where we all motivate and help each other and share the experience.”

 

However, for byte5 developers Eike Hanus and Theresa Danowski the hackathon experience turned out to be more of a detective’s task throughout the evening: “You really need a lot of patience even when working on potentially simple display errors since many problems are not based where you’d actually expect them to be,” Eike Hanus explains. Still, the hackathon has been immensely informative for him for one simple reason: “You get the opportunity to learn about system characteristics that you’ve never worked with before. Especially those using Umbraco professionally can profit from this experience.”

Do you want to read the original blog post from byte5? Here it is (auf Deutch, natürlich)  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 by Andrew Barta

Hi all, it's Andrew again with another Umbraco TV update

We have just released the Umbraco as a Service and Visual Studio chapter for free on Umbraco TV! In this chapter, I walk through the workflow and automation tools that we have created to get you up and running with Umbraco as a Service and Visual Studio in no time! Learn how to add custom code to your Umbraco as a Service site and access the Umbraco data layer all while following MVC best practices. 

Check out the free chapter and see first hand the power of Umbraco as a Service paired with Visual Studio!   

Not using Umbraco as a Service?

Get started today with a completely free 14-day trial! Simply head over to Umbraco.com/cloud to sign up. When the trial runs out you are in good hands with our flexible pricing plan starting at just 25 EUR a month.

 

 

Want to learn more about working with and extending Umbraco?

Umbraco.tv provides hours of tutorials, so you can enjoy 24/7 self-paced learning across all Umbraco CMS components. Subscribe today and access the full suite of video tutorials. 

As always, don't hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts on Umbraco TV. Get in touch through Twitter or find my contact info on the Umbraco HQ team page. We value (and seek!) your feedback, whether that be insight into which video structure you like best or ideas for future chapters. I look forward to hearing from you!

Oh, and if you're thinking "what's the deal with this picture" then I can assure you that there's no deeper meaning with it - It's just an eye-catching publicity stunt ;)

Cheers,
- Andrew

Monday, August 22, 2016 by vera

A case study by LUX* Hospitality

After 4 years, the Hotel Le Recif's website needed a fresh new look and more importantly, it needed to be available on mobile & tablet devices. LUX* Hospitality where therefore looking for a solution that could facilitate these demands and wishes. A solution they found by the means of Umbraco 7 and Umbraco as a Service.   

What we were challenged to solve

Hotel Le Recif's website used to be on Umbraco version 4.7 and we decided to create everything from scratch instead of going through the process of upgrading. The main focus was to have it under Umbraco version 7 and to make full use of all new functionalities. 

How we solved it

We chose Umbraco because it is the most stable CMS and the one we consider doing the best job. Having used Umbraco for nearly 6 years now, we truly think it is very flexible when it comes to running either small or complex website. 

 

What we gained from it

With the flexibility of Umbraco, we were able to build a smarter website with a better organized strucuture. One simple example is the use of DataType Related Links used to make a simple list of external Links. And by upgrading to Umbraco 7 it was now also easier for us to make the site look good on mobile and tablet devices. Another v 7 functionality we made good use of was Partial Views which helped us greatly when building a new booking widget.

Because we used Umbraco as a Service, getting the website LIVE was just a matter of seconds since everything was already replicated from Local environment. No database to replicate on LIVE server.

UaaS helps us in many different ways in terms of deployments. Now, instead of having 3 different databases we only have one on our local development environment. No more hassle when it comes to maintenance.   

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 by Sebastiaan Janssen

We're extremely excited and happy to present Umbraco 7.5.0 today – the Umbraco release that exemplifies our mission to continue to make Umbraco a bit simpler every day. This release sees Umbraco get that little bit more sophisticated, with features that really work WITH you.

What's new? Since the latest 7.4 release we've been getting a lot of wonderful help from the community in bringing some exciting new features to Umbraco. 

Redirects

When you change the title of a page, you really want the URL to fit the title right? So if your page was called about then your URL would have been /about. Let's say we change that title to about-us, then the URL changes to /about-us.

So, we now have a problem when people visit /about, but with Redirect this is taken care of. Umbraco automatically creates a redirect from /about to /about-us. Voilá, magic.

Of course, this also works when you move pages to another location in your site!

And to help you out, you get a convenient dashboard to manage the redirects that are created in the developer section. More information is available in the documentation.

Health Check

Umbraco needs to run on a lot of different environments, operating systems and servers. That flexibility comes at a price: there's now a lot of configuration settings that make Umbraco run better on specific environments or in specific configurations. And who can remember all these settings? Indeed, nobody can! And nor should you have to. We now help you out by offering a health check for your Umbraco install. You get an overview first:

Which you can dig into:

And the best thing about this is that you don't even have to fiddle with configuration files, there's a "Fix" button that will do the hard work for you.

Pro tip: developers can add their own checks to completely customize this dashboard to their specific needs and company guidelines.

Packages

Ever try to find and install a package from the Umbraco backoffice? Did you ever come away.. underwhelmed? That's about to change! The whole package section has been revamped to make browsing and searching a enjoyable experience and to give you all the information you need to see if a package fits your needs and your website. 

Package developers can now even require a minimum version of Umbraco so you will not be installing packages that are not compatible with your current Umbraco version.

And when you then try to install it in a not-supported version, it will give you a clear message indicating why it will not install:

Password recovery

After all these years. Yes, we now are helping you resolve the administrative burden of your editors calling you in blind panic: "It says 'Happy Wonderful Wednesday' but it's not wonderful at all, my password does not work, HELP". From now on they can reset their own password while you are having a quiet and Happy Wonderful Wednesday indeed.

Honorable mentions

There's many other things new in this awesome release. We've seen in our testing over the past few months that you get a free performance boost by upgrading to Umbraco 7.5, memory usage has decreased significantly and response times should be faster. 

Have you ever tried to do scheduled publishing on a server that's in a different timezone then where you are? You used to have to remember the server's timezone and calculate the offset manually. No more!

How about ordering list view by custom properties? Sure!

While upgrading, do you need a reminder of what changed between your old version and 7.5.0? No problem:

And then there's a huge list of bug fixes, some large, some small (for example: mario@plumbers-and.pizza can now be created as a member, in older versions the TLD could at most be 4 characters), all lovely to have fixed!

Get it now!

Still reading? You're very patient!

We would like to give a big shout out to all of the people in the community who helped us make this release so awesome! Out of the 171 closed issues for this release, 62 of them were direct contributions by the community, that's over 35%, wow! High five, you ROCK!

New projects on Umbraco as a Service will now be created with version 7.5.0 by default.

If you're still one of those people that likes to download Umbraco and install it manually, you can, as always it's available on Our Umbraco and on NuGet

We think you'll be very happy with this release, let us know how you feel about it!

Friday, August 12, 2016 by vera

A case study by Umbraco Certified Partner, Aristotle Inc.

As one of the biggest power pools in the United States, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has the job of maintaining power grids in 14 states — no simple task. Their new responsive website, designed with Umbraco, helps SPP’s staff and partners keep the lights on and stay informed.

What we were challenged to solve

SPP is the coordinating body that provides industry education to hundreds of other power pool partners. In this role, SPP conducts a large number of educational and informational events annually. More than 600 employees coordinate to monitor, study, and maintain the grids within the power pool. These tasks require a lot of information sharing between SPP’s employees and partners, and the SPP website wasn’t capable of effectively supporting the power pool’s vital service.

How we solved it

In order to help SPP with event and partner communications, Aristotle designed and programmed a custom event management system that includes registration and file management, along with homepage calendar and list display for upcoming events. This feature is an essential tool for helping employees in the office or on the road to keep track of their schedules and of the information they need for each meeting. This feature includes a comprehensive admin system for the staff managing the events.

What we gained from it

Aristotle used Umbraco as a foundation for the custom development of event, document, and live grid data modules. With Umbraco’s flexibility, we were able to optimize all images and content for fast download speed, resulting in a 1,500-kb homepage and 2.6-second perceived performance at launch. This meets the highest standards of web performance across the industry and makes the website an even more effective tool for SPP’s operations.

How it works

The new SPP.org is a case study in responsive web design that combines great aesthetics and interactive technical features without sacrificing speed. In recognition of this, several months after launch, SPP garnered the “Best Energy Website” Award in the 2016 IAC Awards Competition.