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Tuesday, June 21, 2016 by Kris Deminick


Best Technical: BeaconSage by Aristotle Labs

BeaconSage is a page creator for Eddystone URL based beacons. By delivering real-time relevant content, a business, event, or individual can provide an interactive experience that draws their customer in and keeps them coming back.

What we were challenged to solve

BeaconSage came to fruition when we understood the potential of url-based beacons and realized that a page creator was the next logical step. We really liked beacons but we kept coming back to the same question - beacons are cool, but how can we make them more appealing? How do we get a small business on board? The answer - develop a responsive CMS application that will provide the business owner with the ability to quickly put together a page and deliver to their customer immediately.

BeaconSage is also a beacon management tool. Using the APIs of various beacon manufacturers, our clients are able to use a beacon of their choice and manage the beacon’s features along with the delivered content in one place.


How we solved it

Aristotle decided to use Umbraco because we could develop a solution and deploy it faster than developing our own content management system. Umbraco’s powerful framework and flexibility allows Aristotle Labs to create products which are very intuitive and user friendly in a relatively short amount of time.

What we gained from it

We just released BeaconSage to the public. Before this release, we did a trial run at a Gymnastics event. The Gymnastics event utilized BeaconSage and beacons to improve the attendee experience. People were able to access scores in real-time without having to stand over each other reading a posted spreadsheet. Also, attendees could find out information about any schedule changes right from their phone. This saved both the attendees and coordinators time and energy.

Site usage statistics are the key indicators of our measures of success. During the Gymnastics event, there were 785 sessions which were the result of users connecting directly with the content they wanted via BeaconSage. Mobile devices were the source of 92.91% of those session connections. Because beacons projected the exact URLs that were of interest to the event attendees, searching for the desired content either on the web or by shuffling through paper information was completely eliminated.

"Gymnastics competitions are always hectic. The Beaconsage app allowed us to engage with all of the parents and coaches in real-time to make our event run smoothly. Giving parents schedule updates and access to scores on their phones was a real game changer for us."

Tina Lee, USA Gymnastics Certified Coach, Emerald Classic – Little Rock, AR


We have a wildlife refuge center about to deploy beacons and use BeaconSage to deliver content about their animals. Several of our local parks and museums are looking at ways to use BeaconSage to educate and entertain their visitors. One of the largest farm and construction equipment dealerships in Arkansas wants to use BeaconSage as a sales component in their showroom.

Content presented through BeaconSage is limitless. We have demo examples that include coupons, interactive polls, and basic content. Our development roadmap includes several game modules and other content delivery options.

BeaconSage works hand-in-hand with another Aristotle Labs SaaS product, Bamboo Events. Bamboo is an Umbraco based, turnkey solution for event planners. Our product allows event planners to manage all aspects of events such as scheduling, session moderation, exhibitors and sponsors for business conferences, music festivals, sporting events or any other meeting types.


How it works

BeaconSage is built on the Umbraco platform and makes use of it in several ways. The backoffice is used by clients to create the pages that the beacons connect to. A number of templates (document types) are available and colors and layout can be customized. The event system is used to connect to the beacon management API and set the beacons based on data entered in the backoffice for the beacon document type.

BeaconSage works with both Android and iOS operating systems and allows the user to create pages with text, images, forms, photo galleries, and social feeds. The system also employs cards as a method of content delivery. Cards are a streamlined, interactive way to present content in a container that is flippable. This interactive medium displays information in a way that uses less space and is fun for the user. An example can be seen here,

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 by Kris Deminick


Best Designed Site: Spring/Summer by Spring/Summer

The site is our own company site. It sets out to tell the story of who we are and what we can do for our clients. We chose Umbraco as a Service as the foundation for this as it gave us the freedom we wanted to build a super modular site that gives the designers more possibilities than limitations. The site goes to great lengths to tie the navigational experience seamlessly together in a responsive environment. Hope you enjoy...

What we were challenged to solve

We needed a very modular responsive website where all pages would be built from the same collection of components. The modular approach we came up with required that content could be nested in the CMS, which isn't a built-in feature in Umbraco. We needed the modular approach because the content of a page couldn't be predefined. Each page could contain several Grid-Items and a Grid-Item could even contain additional sub-nodes, for example a Gallery which need to contain several images. On top of this we wanted to show off our capabilities in front-end development with fluid transitions between pages that underpins the structure of the site, and make sure that the site is just a pleasure to use in all aspects.


How we solved it

To be able to nest content we used a plugin called Nested Content from Lee Kelleher which is able to put several Document Types inside one Property. The component seemed to fix all structural difficulties we would ever meet, and from here on the Umbraco structure was done pretty fast. But when we had to go live we faced the issues of using a plugin for this very essential part of our structure. The issues we were facing was related to synchronization between the two environments. Some of the Properties of Data Types that refer to other nodes did not synchronize correctly, meaning that the ID of the content it was referring wasn't updated with the correct ID in the live environment. We seeked help, and the friendly people at Umbraco started looking into the Courier system and went through everything that was related to synchronization. After some talking forth and back we figured out that the problem must be related to the Nested Content module, since everything that wasn't in touch with this module worked fine. But it was inconsistent as some content was transferred perfectly, so we couldn't conclude that Nested Content didn't work. After some testing we figured out that it was only DocTypes that had inherited properties which failed the synchronization. So we could conclude that the Nested Content plugin which did a perfect job, just wasn't build for DocTypes with inherited properties. at least not properties that referees to other nodes like the Media Picker. We solved this issue by moving referring properties away from parent DocTypes and instead attach them to each concrete DocType.


What we gained from it

The first month we had around 55,000 unique visitors, where 66% of them had never visited our site before. This has leveled out to around 1,000 visitors every weekday, which is a lot for an agency site. The site won the award for Site of the Day from Awwwards, TheFWA, Commarts and CSSAwards.

The client was very very happy. Fun aside, it has worked really well to get everybody on board, and we actually succeed in making a modular site where it is possible to build pages that we didn’t even think up in the build process. We have had incredible feedback from around the world through social channels.

"Nice looking agency site. Even smooth on my clunky retina" - Dave Soderberg ‏@davesoderberg

"I can't remember the last time I saw a site as well engineered as Great work." - Andreas Blombäck ‏@blomback


How it works

One of the reasons for us to choose Umbraco was the built-in Image-Scaling-Service, ImageProcessor, which is begin used for almost all assets on the site. For color picking we use a package called Spectrum Color Picker. Except for these packages (and of course Nested Content) the site uses Umbraco as a Service as it comes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 by Kris Deminick

Best Integration: by Phosworks

ATG, the Swedish Horse Racing Totalisator Board, provide news, live/on demand video and betting for horse racing players. Phosworks part of the project was implementing a CMS solution allowing the editors/reports to create rich content integrated with numerous other systems. 

What we were challenged to solve

The existing web platform when the project started consisted of three different sites (flash, mobile and classic). All the functionality from the old sites and more needed to be integrated in the new site. Heavy integration with existing betting systems, result systems, VMS and media systems and single sign-in solutions. is also one if the most visited site in Sweden.

How we solved it

The new solution is a single responsive web application instead of three. Umbraco CMS was chosen as a lightweight and highly customizable solution for content management.

ATG Phosworks

What we gained from it

An integrated player experience which is accessible from all common platforms, all with fast response.

How it works

ReactJs was chosen as the frontend framework. Content is served as JSON from the Umbraco and sport system backends. We have written a custom middleware/caching application for Umbraco content, and BIG-IP reverse proxy servers are used to keep up with the high demand. Editor (2-factor) authentication from internal and external networks is integrated with Oracle Access Manager. The solution relies heavily on custom property editors that integrates with video VMS system and the ATG sport system APIs. A social media module was also written allowing the editor to share articles/media on Twitter/Facebook. Phosworks made the Umbraco solution and integration with content APIs, the frontend is made by the customers own development team.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 by Kris Deminick

Codegarden Bingo 2016 saw a first for Umbraco - our debut "on ice"! No, not an ice-skating Unicorn, Giraffe and Rabbit (though what an idea, next year perhaps?!) but a roughly 80cm tall, 10+kg Umbraco logo ice sculpture.

David Wincent

Our lucky (?) winner, David Wincent from Phosworks and his team took it for a tour around Odense documenting their adventures as they went. So we present to you:

The Adventures of Umbraco in Ice 

“This is my first time at Codegarden and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations so far. Winning the Umbraco logo in ice took me by surprise to say the least, and it didn’t stop there. The next day we won the Umbraco Award for best integration of the year! My biggest thanks to Umbraco and the community for giving us such a warm welcome!” - David Wincent, Phosworks 

Read about their Umbraco Award win here.


Rumour has it that the Umbraco U made it to three bars before fading away into the night...

Monday, June 20, 2016 by Paul Sterling

We often say that the Umbraco Awards are one of our favorite parts of community sharing, as we at Umbraco HQ get to see the stunning work done by those in the community. To say we were blown away by the quality, beauty, and breadth of the entries this year is a huge understatement.

We are once again honored to present the Umbraco Awards.  This year was no exception to what we’ve seen in the past with 89 entries across the three categories – best integration, best technical, and best design.  Any one of the entries could easily be the winner, making our job to select the winners very, very difficult.  The quality of every entry was absolutely top-notch and it was obvious those submitting entries spent significant time crafting the submission. 

Without further ado, here are your 2016 Umbraco Award winners.

Best Integration

The winner is from Phosworks AB

This solution has multiple integration points from the very robust security, backed by Oracle Access Manager, to the betting management system and many more.  It is an impressive, complex solution that demonstrates just how capable Umbraco is for integration solutions.


The runners up are by Crumpled Dog and by Sanger & Eby.

Best Technical

The winner is from Aristotle Labs

This solution is a beautiful example of making a complex process, the process of managing beacons, look very simple and allowing the beacon owner to manage their beacons from a single location.

The runners up are from Sanger & Eby and from The Outfield.

Best Design

The winner is from Spring/Summer

This site is impressive for its level of design in that every pixel is designed and has a place.  There seems nothing left undone in this site.  It is a beautiful example of how Umbraco allows you to design without limits.  I encourage you to visit the site, you’ll see what I mean.

The runners up are by Equator and by SkyBrud.

To all who submitted an entry, a heartfelt thank you from us at Umbraco HQ and to the winners a massive #H5YR and congratulations.