Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Major Minor - introducing Umbraco 7.4

TL;DR: We’ve released Umbraco 7.4 with a huge UX update, enhanced media library, an incredible new content type editor, strongly typed models and so much more. It’s almost too awesome for a TL;DR and it should have been named Umbraco 8 (but unfortunately, it’s too backwards compatible to get that version number). You can download it here or try it on Umbraco as a Service today.

The following weeks will see many blog posts about all the awesome new features in Umbraco 7.4, but I wanted to start this series by sharing a little story:

About a year ago we set sail to create a small update to Umbraco that would focus on making it more intuitive to use the first feature that web developers use - the Content Type editor.

The background was one evening where someone told me that it was complex to create simple sites with Umbraco compared to other products on the market. Nonsense I thought, so I started up a screen recorder to record a quick video that proved them wrong. With the mindset of someone new to Umbraco, I opened our beautiful back office, went to the settings section and did what many of us has done many times - clicked “Create New Document Type”.

The danger of doing the same thing many times is that you accept flaws. Know your way around them. That evening, seeing this dialog with fresh eyes I could almost cry. This feature was no longer outstanding - it was only on par with the rest. We’ve poured so much energy in improving most of Umbraco throughout the last couple of years, but always postponed this one. That evening I had enough.

So as many evenings before, I pinged Per and while it’s mostly related to the CodeGarden bingos when we disturb each other late at night, he forgave me and we agreed that it was time. Quickly we also agreed that this was the opportunity to involve the community from the very start and one thing - and month - quickly took another. It turned out we opened a can of worms and what should have been a little evening video recording project resulted in spending several man years on a single feature (involving everyone in the HQ and even added new hires to the HQ).

The result is stunning and every single new project you do should be based on 7.4. The new Content Type editor isn’t just more intuitive, it’ll also produce better sites. It’s the magic of really great UX - it guides you in the right direction, it’ll speed up your workflow and without you really noticing, it’ll reveal features of Umbraco you probably didn’t know existed.

I’m so proud of what the team and the community has produced. How that collaboration showed the real strength of the Umbraco project, is a story on its own but that’ll have to wait. Remember - I had a video to record. So until then - try Umbraco 7.4 now!


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