Strong developer focus
A key element in the success of Umbraco is the friendliness - not only through the backoffice experience - but also in the freedom and flexibility that Umbraco offers for developers. We want to have a strong focus on this in the future too and that’s also why we decided on the new release cadence so that we can keep pace with the latest .NET (core) releases. In the coming years, every odd version (11, 13, 15, etc.) will be based on the latest .NET version so when Microsoft releases a .NET version in November, our release in November/December will include an update to the latest version - and by the way; every other of these releases (13, 17, 21, etc.) will have long term support).
- .NET 7
- Block-based grid
- Variant permissions
- Entity Framework
- Headless with Open API
- .NET 8 LTS
- New Backoffice
- Block reuse and Block level variations
- Support lazy loaded content
This way developers can benefit from the latest improvements in both the platform and in the corresponding .NET languages. We believe that is true developer focus and quite awesome.
On another note, we plan to investigate if Entity Framework could be used as our Object Relational Mapper in version 12. We have for many years used NPoco, developed and maintained by Adam Schroder and his team. NPoco has served us for around 10 years and it still does. It’s still too early to say a final thanks to Adam and his team, but you definitely deserve a loud #H5YR for this awesome contribution throughout the years. Although NPoco has done a fantastic job we believe the time has come to look into Microsoft Entity Framework and try to benefit from the broad usage and support it has. It has matured over the years, it will be aligned with the latest .NET (core) versions and we believe it will help us standardize our development.
In general, we are very aware of our dependencies - both in the sense that we are careful not to take in new dependencies unless we can support and update them but also because we know how much benefit it adds to Umbraco developers if new functionality within our dependencies are updated on a regular basis. We, therefore, plan for ongoing dependency updates as part of every major version in the future.
Continued focus on the editor experience
Last month we started working on variant permissions and a block-based grid for Umbraco 11. With respect to variants, we want to ensure that you can set up user groups to only have editing access to specific languages and if so, only are allowed to publish and edit the assigned languages.
The block-based grid has been an idea almost since we created the block list, and as we would like to also have an updated grid in the new backoffice this is currently on our board. Although both features are planned for Umbraco 11, recall that if they are none-breaking and ready, they will be shipped with the next minor - meaning that these features could potentially go out in Umbraco 10.X. We have opened a GitHub discussion to gather feedback on the new Block Grid Editor.
Talking variants and blocks, let’s also mention that we plan to utilize much more of these concepts in the future. We see a huge potential in the blocks, and with a coming block-based grid it makes it even more ideal to be able to reuse blocks across various instances of the block-list and the block-based grid. At the same time, we expect that adding variants to the block level will add a lot of freedom and flexibility, - especially around the upcoming block-based grid. Currently, our plan is to add these two features in version 13. As a side note, we expect these features to offer good and future-proof alternatives to nested content, which we expect to formally deprecate in a later version.
The biggest single project in our pipeline is the New Backoffice which is currently getting started with qualified help from the newly established Backoffice Community Team. We are fully rewriting the Backoffice with the usage of our new UI Library. As part of this, we are also rewriting our management API to be more lightweight and better decoupled - and again build in close collaboration with the Heartcore team, so that it can be used in a headless setup and of course in Heartcore.
Besides moving away from old AngularJS, one goal with the new Backoffice is to give more documented and official flexibility to the developers extending Umbraco, - so that we can avoid unofficial extension points that make it difficult to add ongoing improvements without risking breaking changes. We aim for a release of the new Backoffice in version 13 but we will make sure to have pre-releases available early so migration is as easy as possible for both package authors and project creators.
You can find more details on the new backoffice, how it will be implemented, and give feedback on the new Request for Comments (RFC) - we look forward to hearing from you.
Headless functionality in the Core CMS
As you may already know we are investing a lot in our headless offering Heartcore. However, we are aware that many of you could benefit from headless functionality in your current Umbraco solutions - maybe as hybrid projects - which is why we plan to introduce a headless API based on Open API in version 12 and afterward Webhooks in version 13. We are working closely with the Heartcore team to align this so that we can benefit from each other's work in this area.
More enterprise focus benefits everyone
With the latest .NET implementations, Umbraco has benefited when it comes to performance and we’ve seen huge performance improvements in the last few years. However, as Umbraco today has all content in memory the very biggest sites running can become quite resource intensive. That’s why we wrote “enterprise” in the heading. We see more enterprise sites on Umbraco that are really big and we want ensure that Umbraco scales well with these types of projects. We believe we can improve on this by introducing lazy loading of content in version 13. This way, we can better support the biggest Umbraco sites as we can load the least used content only when it’s needed. This will benefit all sites that will be able to run with fewer resources allocated. Already today, you can run Umbraco on a Raspberry Pie, so we look forward to seeing what will happen after version 13.
Digital Experience Platform (DXP)
Package development and extensions has always been a cornerstone of Umbraco and it fits so well into a world where the CMS sometimes needs to play a central role in a larger setup. We expect to establish more tech partnerships in the future and plan to be spearheading integrations with a number of bigger vendors like Shopify+, Zapier, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and many more. However, in order to do this, we’ll also have an extended focus on good and solid extension points in the CMS as well as a new Marketplace where all the fantastic packages can easily be found. Hopefully, these improvements will support developers to continue improving and inventing new and awesome packages.
Community contributions and a new Community Team
Not long ago, we announced our new CMS Community Team and two weeks back we had our very first meeting in this group which is just another initiative in us trying to prioritize what adds the most value to your work, businesses and lives.
Community contributions continues to be a key part of how Umbraco evolves, as well as the many innovative ideas initiated in the community. If you have a good idea for something bigger in the core of Umbraco, please share it with us on GitHub. Of course, you are also always welcome to implement good ideas in your own package and share these with the community. Now and then, such packages find their way into the core if usage shows that they benefit a broad group of users.
We’re very excited for the coming year, and indeed the coming versions of Umbraco, and look forward to sharing progress, collecting feedback and shipping a bunch of great new features and improvements for Umbraco CMS.
You can always find the current Product Roadmap for all things Umbraco on umbraco.com.
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