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Umbraco Product Update - October 13th, 2021

Get yourself updated on the latest product development

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Written by Rune Strand

New minor for Umbraco 8, with some highly requested features, a bunch of patches, progress on future-proofing the backoffice and updates for the roadmap are just some of the things we take a look at in this Product Update - October isn’t scary, it’s exciting!!

  • New release: Umbraco 8.17 (and Deploy 4.3)
  • Upcoming release: Patches for Umbraco CMS, Forms and Deploy
  • Umbraco Cloud news
  • Updates to the Roadmap
  • New Request for Comments: Defining the Extension API
  • Hacktoberfest events

New release: Umbraco 8.17 (and Deploy 4.3)

Umbraco 8.17 is out and it’s a long-awaited release, finally bringing tabs to the Umbraco 8 backoffice. And it’s not just tabs, the release is packed with a ton of great improvements, a bunch of bug fixes and some additional features.

Tabs are back!

Tabs is probably the main attraction and gives you even more options to customize and tweak the editing experience and workflow. If you’re familiar with Umbraco 8, you know that you can group properties together and that’s still the case. With 8.17 and tabs you now get an additional layer of organization for properties on Content, Media and Member types. Really useful for easy and quick access to properties whether it’s for content with a lot of properties, to avoid scrolling, or simply to give an overview of different areas on the item.

In other (feature) news

You get some splendid additions to Media Pickers with improvements to how things are displayed in the backoffice. More options for configuring overlays used by link pickers and in the RTE and Markdown Editor. There’s once again a bunch of performance enhancements that help make Umbraco even faster and much more.

With the release of Umbraco 8.17, there’s now feature parity between Umbraco 8 and 9. This means that, aside from framework-specific features that have been added or changed in version 9, all the features you have available in Umbraco 8 are also available in Umbraco 9. For now...

The last scheduled release of Umbraco 8

All feature development has now shifted to Umbraco 9 and the release train (6-week minor release cadence) will be for the .NET 5 (ASP.NET Core) version of Umbraco. That doesn’t mean all work has stopped on Umbraco 8. We’re still patching issues, addressing security concerns and even have an Umbraco 8.18 in the works including some new features and wrapping up all the contributions we’ve received for Umbraco 8 - it’s just not on a fixed release cadence anymore and will be released when it’s ready 🙂 Once version 8.18 is released, this will be an LTS version, which means you can expect 24 months of bug and security fixes followed by an additional 12 months of security fixes only. This will hopefully help you plan your current and future projects in Umbraco 8 - or 9. 

For more details on tabs and all the other goodies see the Umbraco 8.17 release blog post. We’ve also updated the Umbraco Product Knowledge Center to reflect LTS and EOL policies for Umbraco 8 and 9 as well as release cadence going forward.

Umbraco 8.17 was released on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

New release: Patches for Umbraco 9, Forms and Deploy

Umbraco 9 was released a couple of weeks ago and we’re so happy to see the enthusiastic reception to Umbraco on ASP.NET Core. We’re also very glad to see that the enthusiasm has turned into a lot of people adopting the new version and even better, reporting on their experience. This means we already have a patch release ready for you with some fixes and there’s even a couple of community contributions already - Open Source FTW (and Hacktoberfest for that matter). See the Umbraco 9.0.1 release notes for the details.

Umbraco 9.0.1 was released on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Patches for Umbraco Forms and Deploy

As part of the Umbraco 9 release, we’ve also taken the opportunity to align the major version numbers of Umbraco Forms and Deploy, which both had 9.0 releases ready on day one. Going forward Forms and Deploy majors will be released along with new majors of Umbraco CMS, while minors and patches will continue to be released when they are ready and/or needed. 

Both packages incidentally also received the first patch yesterday, so Umbraco CMS, Forms and Deploy are all on version 9.0.1. You can see more in the release notes:

Umbraco Forms and Deploy 9.0.1 were released on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Umbraco Cloud news 

Umbraco 9 is the default for new Umbraco Cloud projects and it has allowed us to deliver an improved development experience with a new project structure, cross-platform capabilities for local development, and of course all the advantages that come with Umbraco 9 running on .NET 5 (ASP.NET Core). We dive into many of the features and advantages in the Umbraco 9 on Cloud blog post and Warren Buckley, developer advocate at HQ, also made a video tour to show you just how cool it is:

 

With Umbraco 9 projects, all dependencies are installed via NuGet. This also goes for the packages we’ve created to add Cloud specific functionality. As such, these are now available on NuGet and and are added as dependencies out of the box with Umbraco 9 on Cloud. 

These libraries are also used for Umbraco 7 and 8, so in addition to the versions that currently target Umbraco 9, we have made all the versions available for you to use and reference the nuget packages for any Umbraco version that you have running on Umbraco Cloud.

Furthermore, the media storage provider for Umbraco 9 is open source and available on Github. We mentioned during CodeGarden earlier this year that we have joined efforts with the community package authors to make one blob storage provider package for Umbraco 9 that is supported and maintained by Umbraco HQ.

If you’re looking to upgrade your Umbraco 8 projects to Umbraco 9, we now have an official Umbraco 8 to 9 migration guide that will help you get on the latest and greatest. Umbraco 8 is still available on Umbraco Cloud, you can create new projects and are supported with automatic patch upgrades. 

Last but not least there are some great new features coming to your Umbraco Cloud projects, courtesy of Umbraco Forms and Deploy, which you can read more about in the roadmap section ⬇️

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Updates to the Product Roadmap

A lot has happened in the world of Umbraco over the past couple of weeks. That goes for the Product Roadmap as well. There are new items, updates to existing ones and a few that have been finished (Tabs and Umbraco 9 🎉) and moved to the Roadmap History page.

New in “Now”

History Cleanup for Umbraco CMS
Add the ability to configure automatic clean up of content history (revisions) in order to reduce database footprint and improve performance. This item has been moved from “Next” to “Now” and renamed from “Version Clean Up” to “History Clean Up for Umbraco CMS”. This feature will available for both Umbraco 9 and 8. 

Target release: November 18th, 2021 

Tree transfer for Umbraco Cloud and Deploy
With this feature, you will be able to queue an entire tree for transfer in one go on Umbraco Cloud and in Deploy on-premises installations. 

Target release: November 2021

New in “Next”

Improved Package Metrics for Umbraco CMS
Improved reporting and telemetry for packages used in Umbraco installations. This is done to provide better insights into how and when packages are used in all Umbraco installations. Improving this data can help package developers as well as be the basis for improving the way packages are discovered and delivered. It will be opt-in for community/3rd-party packages.

Target release Q4, 2021

New in “Later”

Editable backoffice entries for Umbraco Forms
A highly requested feature for Umbraco Forms that will enable editing Umbraco Forms submissions directly in the backoffice. 

Backoffice localization for Umbraco Forms
Umbraco is used all over the world and a lot of the backoffice is translated to a wide variety of languages. This will be extended to the Umbraco Forms section as well and offer a better and more coherent editing experience.

Updates, new items and targets - what’s up?
As you can see, a lot of exciting things are coming up. We’ve added new target release dates and items, moved things around and removed a couple target dates from the Roadmap. With the release of Umbraco 9 and the new infrastructure on Umbraco Cloud in place, we’ve closed two of the major long-running projects. This makes it a good time to assess the planned features and updates as well as look at the prioritization for the upcoming year. We’re continuously working on this and will update you in future Product Updates as we aim to keep the Roadmap as transparent and predictable as possible.

 

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New Request for Comments(RFC): Defining the backoffice extension API

Earlier this year we started looking into how a new extension API in Umbraco could look, alongside this a new Backoffice community team was also formed, and they’ve been busy! A lot of work has gone into mapping out the current extension points and APIs in Umbraco and prototyping what an updated and modern architecture could look like. This has resulted in an RFC that details the new approach with plenty of examples. It’s all very exciting as this brings us closer to start implementing the new backoffice API. 

But, before then, we would love to get your input and feedback on the new approach. So head over to Github where you can find the full RFC for Defining a new Extension API and join the discussion.

Hacktoberfest events

This year’s Hacktoberfest is already in full swing. The community has been busy and there are already quite a few Pull Requests to both Umbraco HQ repositories and packages. When we look at numbers, we can see that we’ve had 68 incoming contributions to Umbraco CMS, documentation and Our Umbraco. Of those, 46 have been merged already. We’re especially happy and impressed with the  number of quality contributions this year. For example Jesper Maynthusen has been working hard on getting more acceptance tests created, using Cypress. You can follow and join his work on Github. Additionally Patrick de Mooij has been very busy helping out with polishing the rough edges of the Umbraco UI.Other than that we’ve seen quite a few brand new contributors sending us good code as well!

In terms of package contributions, in the participating package repositories we’ve seen 23 contributions so far. If you’re a package developers, it’s not too late to add your project to the list and ask for contributions. And, of course, if you’re a contributor, it’s not too late to help out either.

Well done - keep up the good work 🙌

There are also a number of Hacktoberfest events coming up. Good excuse to hang out with your Umbraco friends, ask questions and get some inspiration or help for contributions.

  • Callum Whyte is hosting a live Twitch stream every Wednesday (Starting today) where he’ll be working on Umbraco contributions. 
  • Every Thursday this month Emma and Sebastiaan will be hosting a Hacktoberfest special event on our new Discord server, come join the 260+ people already there at: https://discord.gg/umbraco. Come along to chat, learn, work or just watch. The first confirmed guest for tomorrow is Paul Seal and next week Warren Buckley will join.
  • We are organizing a 24-hour hackathon Umbrackathonon October 29 and 30 in collaboration with community members including the hosts of the Candid Contributions podcast, the Skrift team and some of our MVPs from the US and down-under too! Join us for the marathon or pick a timezone that works best for you.

Happy Hacktobering! 🎃

… Until next time

A large part of the work we do is inspired by the feedback we get from you. For issues and specific feature requests, you can find the issue trackers for our products on the Umbraco Github account.

If you have product feedback, you’re welcome to reach out to us at product@umbraco.com.

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