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Umbraco Cloud Update April, 2022

The latest news and features on Umbraco Cloud

Rune 1 (2)
Written by Rune Strand

New features are available in the Cloud portal such as static IP addresses, useful resource and bandwidth statistics, new security features, and more. There’s also new functionality and improvements available for your projects with releases for Umbraco CMS, Forms, and Deploy. Let’s take a look at all the goodies recently added to Umbraco Cloud 🌤️

Overview:

New features 

Since the last Cloud Update in February, an impressive amount of new features and improvements have been added to Umbraco Cloud. If you haven’t tried out Umbraco Cloud yet, you can take a free trial and see all the benefits for yourself

Backoffice User Group Selection

In addition to the recently added role assignments to the project invite workflow, it is now possible to select which Backoffice User Group the invitee is assigned to for each environment. This makes it possible to easily set up all permissions prior to inviting a new team member to your project.


This feature completes the planned improvements of the project invite flow. It has never been easier to invite portal users or backoffice users from the Umbraco Cloud Portal.

Top 10’s for bandwidth, resources and Media

You can now gain more insights into how (and why) your project is performing. We made a number of lists available detailing usage-specific areas.

On the Usage page of a project, you will now see a top 10 of the HTTP referrers causing the most bandwidth. A referrer is the name of an optional HTTP header field that identifies the address of the web page, from which the resource has been requested. It is the bandwidth generated from these resource requests that counts in the monthly usage limit of the project.

You can use this insight of pages generating the most bandwidth to see where optimization and minimizing the file size of resources will have the most impact.

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A new top 10 for resources is also available where you will see the resources that are contributing the most to the total bandwidth of your project. Each resource is represented by its path together with the number of requests and its total contribution of bandwidth.


You can use this insight of paths generating the most bandwidth usage to see where optimization and minimizing the file size of resources will have the most impact. The top 10 contain all bandwidth usage and the number of requests for a specific month.

Next month you will also be able to see a Top 10 list of the most requested Media files in your projects. 

Static Outbound IP Address

When your Umbraco project connects to an external endpoint that requires connections originating from a static IP, such as a database or a web service using an IP address-based firewall, you will need static outbound IP addresses for your Cloud project.

On the Advanced page of your project, you are now able to turn on the static outbound IP address feature to ensure persistent communication. This opt-in feature can be switched on for Standard, Pro, and Enterprise cloud projects.


For Starter projects, there is also a new addition on the Advanced page. You can see the current outbound IP addresses of your project. These are however dynamic and may change at some point due to either Azure or Umbraco optimizing hosting resources.

Managing Transport Security

You can now configure transport security options for all or specific hostnames within a project. These security options all relate to the traffic that goes through your hostname from the origin (Umbraco Cloud) to the end-user - meaning the protocols and encryption used to transport your website and assets from the webserver to the browser.

This can be done on the brand new Security page found in the Settings menu for your project.

Umbraco Cloud Manage Transport Security

The options currently available are:

  • HTTP/2 (default: on)
  • TLS 1.3 (default: off)
  • Minimum TLS Version (default: 1.2)

When a new hostname is added to a Project it will have the default settings applied for all environments. You can change the default settings for your project, so new hostnames added will get the default settings you have chosen. It is also possible to add hostname-specific settings if needed and thereby overriding the default settings.

Read more in the Manage Security documentation

Content Comparison

You can now compare content between environments prior to transferring them. This feature was added with a recent release of Umbraco Deploy and immediately adds value to your projects on Umbraco Cloud. Content Comparison enables you to preview content changes directly in the backoffice and can help to ensure the correct updates are transferred and improve predictability when working with content in multiple environments.


You are able to see what has changed when. And understand what will change if you proceed with a transfer upstream or a restore into the local environment.

Content comparison is available in all Umbraco Cloud projects running Umbraco Deploy 9.3+ for Umbraco 9, and 4.5 + for Umbraco 8.

You can read more about it in the release blog post.

Member Deployment

From the same Deploy release, you also get the Member Deployment feature. This enables you to handle and transfer Member data in the same way as Content. The feature has been added by popular demand but is turned off by default. It is enabled with a config setting and you have granular control over how the content can be transferred and allow you to adhere to a given data policy. 

It is also possible to enable Member Groups to be transferred via the backoffice. More details on how to configure Member Data and Member Groups in the Configuration documentation for Umbraco Deploy.

Content comparison is available in all Umbraco Cloud projects running Umbraco Deploy 9.3+ for Umbraco 9, and 4.5 + for Umbraco 8.

You can read more about it in the release blog post.

Editable Entries in the BackOffice

It’s not only Umbraco Deploy that has seen new and useful functionality. Umbraco Forms has also been updated and you can now edit entries from forms submissions directly in the backoffice. This can be useful for editors or administrators to be able to correct data (e.g. a typo in an email) or as part of an approvement workflow. 

By default the editing feature is disabled, but you can enable it for a given user or group via the Form Security section 

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If enabled for a user, they will be able to click to edit entries when viewing via the back-office, at which point the previously read-only view switches to an editable one. Changes can be made, saved, or canceled via the additional buttons available.

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The intention of this feature is not so much to offer a full data entry experience, but more to allow for minor amends and fixes to entries after they have been received via website form submissions. Validation - as defined by mandatory fields and regular expressions - is enforced.

You can read more about it in the release blog post.

Huge Heartcore Update & Product Webinar 💙

And finally, on the feature front, Umbraco Heartcore has also taken some big steps to make it even more fun and product to work with the headless offering. In fact, there are so many new things added in 2022 that it deserves its own blog post.

So if you want to learn more about Content Notifications, the new Data Property Editor, Single Sign-on, and a big round of new items added to the roadmap for Heartcore - dive into the Umbraco Heartcore update for April 2022.

Join us live next week 📹

We're doing a live product webinar to talk about all the new and upcoming features. The webinar will be for anyone already using Umbraco Heartcore today and for everyone interested in adding a headless option to their service offerings.

The webinar will take place on April 26, 2022, at 15.00 PM CEST (Convert timezone)

Here you’ll get an update on the roadmap, demos of new features, and the opportunity to ask questions directly to the people working with Umbraco Heartcore. You’ll also get an update on the Community team with information on the application process and more details on what the team will be up to. We’re looking forward to providing some exciting updates and answering all your questions:

Sign up for the webinar

Improvements and fixes 🛠️

During March and April, we have provided a lot of small fixes and improvements to the Umbraco Cloud Portal. Actually too many to mention, but you will find the highlights in the list below.

  • Display the time of creation for environments (now presented on the project  “Overview” page)
  • Restrict access to functionality when environments are changing (to avoid actions on environments that are being created, deleted, or modified)
  • Ordering Umbraco Logs correctly by date (the logs and errors log of Cloud projects were not always listed chronologically)
  • Always display a link to the error page for environments on the project page (and not exclusively when the project has new errors).
  • Better user guidance when visiting the project page before accepting the project invite.
  • Only show usage warnings for cloud projects on Starter or Standard plans (As these are less relevant to projects on a Professional and Enterprise plan)
  • Ensure project name is part of the email subject (to ease the overview of received emails for technical contacts)

Release Notes

Remember, you can read about the new features when they are released in the Umbraco Cloud release notes. They are available at our.umbraco.com under the Cloud documentation. You can also access them through the Umbraco Cloud in your profile menu:

Umbraco Cloud Portal Release Notes

We are constantly releasing features and fixes to the portal, release notes are added 1-3 times per month depending on how much there is to shout about.

 

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Umbraco Cloud on the Product Roadmap

Make sure to check the Product Roadmap for the latest updates. Here’s a highlight of the items that are directly related to improving Umbraco Cloud and have been added or updated since the last Cloud Update:

New in “Now”

Media storage Top 10 for Projects

As mentioned above, we’re working on a Top 10 for items in the Media library (blob storage). Here you’ll be able to see the size of Media items, whether they are referenced (used) in the project, and a sum of all cached files in a project.

Target release: May 1st, 2022

New in “Next”

Projects secrets and application settings

A secure way of storing secrets such as connection strings, credentials for a service, or other sensitive information to be in the project. Also, we will surface a subset of the app service settings that can be set to enable the Umbraco Cloud project to e.g. load client certificates from the file system.

Target release: Q2, 2022

Updates and history

You might also notice the target release for a couple of the Cloud roadmap items has been updated. This goes for Expanded CDN capabilities which have been delayed from March to April (it’s almost done and we can’t wait to release it!) and the Customizable project overview which we’ve had to delay from Q2 to Q3, 2022. 

The Static outgoing IPs and Custom hostname security options have both been released and the roadmap items have been moved to the Roadmap History page.

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Automagic updates, new features, and more

Aside from all the new features that have been added to the Umbraco Cloud platform, there has also been a number of release for the core products used on Umbraco Cloud. Umbraco CMS, Umbraco Forms, and Umbraco Deploy are a huge part of the Umbraco Cloud offering. They come for free with all Cloud and Heartcore projects, and there have been great new additions to all of these products, meaning a whole bunch of new features for all Umbraco Cloud users.

Umbraco CMS

  • 2 minor released
  • 7 automated patches rolled out for the CMS

The release of Umbraco 9.4 has brought new helpful dialogs and information on where your content, media, and members are used, a bunch of UX improvements, and support for Content Apps on Dictionary items.

Umbraco 8.18 has also been released. This marks the final minor release for Umbraco 8 and is a long-term support (LTS) version. It’s packed with new features for Umbraco 8 such as History Cleanup and a long list of improvements to the user and developer experience. More than 110 features, improvements, and fixes are included in this release.

Both minor releases and patches were all immediately available or rolled out automatically to your Cloud.

Umbraco Forms

  • 2 minor releases (and another 2 coming tomorrow)
  • 2 automated patches rolled out

Umbraco Forms allows you to create and manage forms for your project, directly in the backoffice. Now it is also possible to edit entries in the backoffice. You can read more in the Umbraco Forms 9.3 & 8.11 release blog post.

All releases also provide additional improvements and fixes - and they were all immediately available or rolled out automatically on Cloud.

Umbraco Deploy

  • 2 minor releases (and another 2 tomorrow)
  • 1 automated patch rolled out for Umbraco Deploy (and one more coming tomorrow) 

Umbraco Deploy is responsible for deploying schema and transferring content for Umbraco Cloud and Umbraco Heartcore and has received 1 patch and 2 minor releases since the last Cloud update including features such as Content Comparison and Member Deployments


Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 25, both Umbraco Deploy and Forms will see new minor releases for both Umbraco 8 and 9. If you want a sneak peek of what you get, take a look at the release candidate blog post where the new features are explained.

See you in the Cloud 🌤️

Next Cloud update will out in June after the Umbraco Codegarden conference - so there will be plenty to talk about!

If you haven’t done so already, or it’s been a while, you really should give Umbraco Cloud a go. You get a 14-day completely free trial, so why not give it a spin?

You can try out Umbraco Cloud right here.

 

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