Five Things Developers Should Be Excited About in Kentico 9

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With the release of Kentico 9 only a few days away, there’s no shortage of excitement in the community about the new features coming to the platform. The latest version will include some exciting functionality for developers and designers that will make creating your sites and applications even easier. In this blog, I’ll cover the top five things you should be excited about in Kentico 9.

Every version of Kentico is full of functionality aimed at allowing developers to build better sites and work more efficiently. Some of these changes are highly visible, often improving the way a particular module works or is built. Others are focused on background functionality and capabilities. For developers, they all collectively mean a more stable product, more capabilities and options for your projects, and an overall better experience.

Kentico 9 is no different in that it is packed with some amazing functionality and capabilities. One of the more developer-focused events in recent history, Version 9 is a true revolution for the CMS space. I see it as a doorway to a new developer experience by opening up the platform to new development models, new integrations, and an overall better experience.  And once you see it, I’m sure you’ll start to feel the same way!

Here are my top five features of Kentico 9 that I think developers are going to love:

1. MVC Support

MVCIf by some chance you somehow have missed the million articles and news releases about ASP.NET 5 and the lack of support for Web Forms, there are huge changes coming to the .NET development community.  The emergence of MVC (which was actually created in 1979) has shifted the entire .NET world and is reshaping how developers build and code applications. For better or worse, building applications using MVC is the future and Kentico 9 has you covered!

Let’s just say that some developers like those with 16+ years of Web Forms experience) are still trying to wrap their heads around these changes. Adopting MVC (or similar architectures) will be paramount for companies and as such, Kentico 9 includes new MVC Development Support. While we have supported MVC for years, we recognized that we needed to retool how we handled that model. We leveraged our experience from the previous implementations and constructed a brand new model that allows you to leverage many areas of API, while defining your own layout and functionality using MVC.

To learn more about our new MVC Support:

Article: A Fresh Start for MVC in Kentico 9

Technical Webinar: Kentico 9 - ASP.NET MVC Support

2. Continuous Integration

Recently, I put a poll on DevNet asking developers what feature(s) of Kentico 9 they were looking forward to the most. Continuous Integration was the clear winner and with good reason. As projects grow more complex, so do the development teams working on them. As more and more developers are added to a project, moving functionality and changes from one environment to the next becomes paramount for overall success. That’s where Kentico 9 saves the day!

Poll: What features of Kentico 9 are you looking forward to the most?

An industry-leading solution, CI in Kentico 9 will allow teams to monitor their changes much more efficiently, by allowing them to serialize their objects and track their progress. Once serialized, these objects can then be migrated to other deployments and environments to ensure all changes are copied properly. It’s a very powerful addition to the system and one that will bring some much needed support for large development teams.

You can find out more about the new CI support here:

Article: Team up, it's easier that way

Technical Webinar: Kentico 9 - Continuous Integration

3. Web Farms

Web FarmsAs more projects get deployed to the Cloud, web farms become more and prevalent. In the past, managing your web farm servers was a manual task, requiring developers to understand and configure how the system synchronized changes between servers. In Kentico 9, we have added a brand-new Web Farm Module which removes all of the hassle for companies. This new module now registers and manages servers dynamically, allow developers to focus on their code and not the hardware.

As servers are created and deployed, Kentico 9 can automatically register them and bring them into the synchronization process. If a server encounters an issue, Kentico will remove it from the environment and stop syncing tasks and data to the ill-fated hardware. This will prevent the issue of orphaned sync tasks and their impact on the system.

You can find out more about the Web Farm changes here:

Article: Web Farm 2.0: Enhanced Auto Scaling Support

Technical Webinar: Kentico 9 - Web Farm Support

4. Smaller Installation

This one is not a specific change, but rather an overall concept we have adopted in Kentico 9. Over the years, we have added a ton of functionality to the platform. While these features bring some great abilities to the platform, with them comes a lot of code and layout that not all developers may want. As part of Kentico 9, we are making a focused effort on reducing the overall size of the platform while still providing the features that developers need most.

But don’t worry about your code! While we are removing some older web parts (Lightbox viewers, language selectors, and scrolling news to name a few), we aren’t dropping support for them completely. We are removing them from the base install to make it faster, leaner. The removed web parts will still be available for you to add to your projects for free, but only if you need them. This allows us to focus the base installation on the essential features and improve build times, reduce the deployment footprint, and improve the overall stability of the platform.

You can learn more about the web part changes here:

Article: Removing Web Parts

5. New Documentation

DocumentationWith Kentico 9, we are adding a lot of developer-centric functionality. We recognize that with this will come with a lot of questions from the community on how to utilize them and best practices. With the launch of Kentico 9, we will also be updating our documentation to provide this information to get developers heading in the right direction. Shifting to a different development model like MVC is a daunting task, so we will be providing a sample MVC project to demonstrate how to leverage the new functionality in a clean and efficient way. It’s really going to help developers understand the new features and help them implement within their applications.

So, there’s my top five developer features for Kentico 9. This release is one of the most exciting ones from a developer point of you because of the new possibilities it creates for projects. I‘d love to hear your thoughts and comments, so definitely let me know. And if you’re in Brno, let’s discuss them over a beer.

Go to Kentico Connection Brno

Now go build some awesome Kentico 9 projects!

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Bryan Soltis

Hello. I am a Technical Evangelist here at Kentico and will be helping the technical community by providing guidance and best practices for all areas of the product. I might also do some karaoke. We'll see how it the night goes...

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