Bryan Soltis Technical Evangelist

Bryan Soltis Technical Evangelist at Kentico Software

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...

Bryan ranks #17 in the community leaderboard with total of 840 reputation points.


Adding Application Insights to a .NET Core Site in Azure

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Once you select Azure as your hosting platform, a vast world of resources becomes available. From CDNs to Load Balancers, Microsoft’s cloud has loads of great services to help you develop and maintain your applications. Because performance is king, adding Application Insights to your site is a great way to stay on top of issues and understand how your application is performing. In this article, I’ll show you how to add this great monitoring tool to your .NET Core applications.

Using the Kentico Cloud Personalization API

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Personalizing a user’s experience is a great way to make a connection with your audience. By customizing their visit to your site, you create a welcoming environment that helps build loyalty and trust. Along with great content management and delivery capabilities, Kentico Cloud also offers a dedicated API for implementing this tailored experience. In this article, I’ll show you how to integrate the Kentico Cloud Personalization API within your application.

Developing Applications Using Microservices and Azure – Part 1

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

As more companies transition to a modular development model, integration with different services and platforms has become a common approach in many projects. By leveraging multiple systems, developers can build out complex applications, incorporating functionality from several sources to accomplish their goals. Many of these systems are small, light-weight services designed to perform a single function or purpose.  In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of building an application using these microservices and Microsoft Azure.

Quick Tip: Testing Virtual Objects in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico has many features to aide developers and editors in their day-to-day tasks. From CSS validators to logging, helping users find issues is essential to a good CMS. For developers, one of the most critical steps is ensuring that their code compiles and there are no errors. While Visual Studio will certainly help with your custom code, issues in transformations and other data-based objects are a little harder to find. In this article, I’ll show you how you can test your virtual objects within the site using some built-in functionality within Kentico.

Adding a Google PageSpeed Utility to Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Every website should be designed to load and display information quickly. Regardless of the form factor, the content should be designed to be presented quickly and, of course, look great. Luckily, there’s no shortage of tools to help you ensure your site is as fast as possible. One of the most popular of these tools is the Google PageSpeed Tool. In this blog, I’ll show you how to easily integrate this functionality into your Kentico sites.

Using the Kentico Power BI Reports

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Every feature added to Kentico is designed to improve users’ experiences with the platform. Whether they are developers or marketers, everyone’s time is valuable and ensuring a productive experience is key. As more and more roles are driven by data, providing employees with fast and efficient tools to consume and understand the information is important. In this article, I’ll show you how we’ve added support in Kentico for Microsoft Power BI reports to help your users track email campaigns and activities.

Searching Files with Azure Search

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Over the past few years, I have spoken on Azure Search several times at user groups and conferences around the world. While many developers are familiar with Microsoft Azure and other cloud platforms, I’ve found many people still haven’t used Azure Search. In previous blogs, I’ve demonstrated how to integrate this service with Kentico. In this article, I’ll show some new functionality Microsoft added to the Azure Search SDK to index and search blobs (files) in Azure Storage.

Creating a ReactJS Site with Kentico Cloud

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about Kentico Cloud and how it presents a new way to develop your applications. One of the greatest benefits of the platform is how you can quickly develop applications in nearly any language and leverage cloud-based content. In this article, I’ll show you how I recently used Kentico Cloud and ReactJS within an MVC site for a tournament website for our booth at CodeMash 2017. Oh, and of course it's deployed to Azure Web Apps!

Quick Tip: Pinning a Form to the Kentico Dashboard

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico’s Admin Dashboard is a great place to access information quickly and easily. By pinning applications to the interface, you can save users loads of time by giving them access to the information that’s most important to them. In this blog, I’ll show you how to pin an individual form to a user’s dashboard.

Adding a Bootstrap Button plugin to the CKEditor in Kentico 10

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

The CKEditor toolbar has been a long-time staple of the Kentico interface. As an open-source editor, it’s extremely flexible and allows users to update their content quickly, using a variety of built-in features. While the utility provides a lot of functionality out-of-the-box, did you know it was possible to add additional plugins? In this blog, I’ll show you how to add a Bootstrap button plugin to insert formatted controls into your content.

Announcing the 2017 Kentico MVPs

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico’s technical community is a vibrant and diverse mix of developers, designers, and site administrators. Among those members are several individuals who go to great lengths to help others and promote Kentico and its features. For their efforts, Kentico awards these dedicated members the title of Kentico Most Valuable Professional (MVP).  In this article, I will introduce you to the 2017 Kentico MVPs.

Modifying the Dashboard Styling in Kentico 10

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Everyone enjoys when an application is familiar to them. Whether it’s the styling or imagery, providing a consistent and familiar experience for your users is a critical step in developing a site. Kentico has long provided developers ways to customize the interface and in Kentico 10 we made it even easier. In this blog, I’ll show you how you can easily modify the admin dashboard using your own styling.

2016 Kentico Technical Evangelism Year in Review

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

As 2016 wraps up, I wanted to share with you some Kentico Evangelism highlights over the past year. Following an eventful 2015, the past 12 months have somehow topped the excitement scale with new conferences and events, product releases and launches, and a whole lot of blogs. In this article, I’ll recap all the activities we did within the Kentico community to bring you the latest information and keep you informed.

Building an MVC Site with Kentico Cloud – Part 3

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In the previous blogs in this series, I showed you how to create a .NET Core MVC site and add content from Kentico Draft. I then showed you how to expand on the content types, nest modular content, and leverage the Deliver API to display multiple types of data. In this final post, I’ll show you how to easily add Kentico Engage to your site for activity tracking, add a contact form, and deploy the application to Azure Web Apps.

Building an MVC site with Kentico Cloud – Part 2

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In Part 1 of this blog series, I showed you how to create content types in Kentico Draft, add content via the tool, and display it within an MVC site using Kentico Deliver. Part 2 will include expanding on the content types, adding more dynamic content, and updating the site to display the new data. It’s a good bit of code, but a simple process to get your site running with Kentico Cloud.

Building an MVC site with Kentico Cloud – Part 1

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico Cloud is a new headless CMS platform that you can use to build your applications. By leveraging an Azure-hosted content repository and APIs, you are free to develop nearly any application you want and populate it with your managed content in Kentico Draft. In this blog series, I’ll show you how I migrated my own site to MVC and Azure, while leveraging Kentico Cloud for my content and activity tracking.

Displaying Feedback Within Your Kentico Modules

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Developing custom modules is a key part to many Kentico projects. Whether it’s integrating with a backend system or extending the capabilities of the platform, developers often create these interfaces to expose new functionality to their users. As with any UI, providing accurate and relevant feedback is just as important as the module itself. In this blog, I’ll show you how you can leverage a standard method in Kentico to keep your users informed.

Managing Kentico Application Settings in Azure App Services

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Azure Web Apps are one of the most widely used options for cloud deployments. This is largely due to their ease of deployment and use, along with their vast customization options. In this blog, I’ll discuss several ways you can manipulate your Azure Web Apps to fit your needs and set up a fool-proof deployment experience for your developers.

Kentico Cloud Labs at 404

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Last week, Kentico hosted the first ever 404 Conference in Las Vegas. It was a great week filled with a ton of interesting topics and sessions. Along with the presentations, attendees were shown an exciting new Kentico Cloud product that allows developers to use many of Kentico’s great content management features without installing them on their systems. As part of the announcement, we created two hands-on labs to help developers get started with these new services. In this article, I’ll provide you a description of these labs and let you know how you can get your hands on them for a test drive.

Quick Tip: Changing How Emails Are Validated in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico has a lot of great capabilities out of the box for validating data submitted by users. For many companies, these default settings and configurations are just fine for running their sites and capturing information from their users. Occasionally, a company will encounter a specific challenge that requires them to modify how a particular type of data is validated. In this blog, I’ll show you how you can leverage a setting key to change how Kentico validates email addresses within a site.

Working with Forms in Kentico Marketing Automation – Part 2

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In Part 1 of this series, I demonstrated how to create a form and implement a basic Marketing Automation process to handle when users submit their data. In this follow-up article, I expand on that functionality by implementing a custom macro and conditional logic within the process. This functionality will allow the process to be dynamic, resulting in different actions based on the user’s form submission.

Working with Forms in Kentico Marketing Automation—Part 1

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Marketing Automation is one of the most powerful features of Kentico. By defining and configuring the process to execute automatically, you can simplify the marketing processes and minimize mistakes and issues. When combined with Kentico Forms, this becomes a very valuable tool to use within an organization and improve business processes. In this two-part blog, I’ll show you how to leverage several EMS features to achieve powerful and efficient results using Forms with Kentico EMS.

Four Good Reasons Why Developers Should Attend 404

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

You’ve heard Kentico talk a lot lately about 404. Sure, you know it’s a new conference happening in Vegas where experts focus on their failures and how they learned from them. But what you may not know is why developers should consider attending. In this article, I’ll try to give you some great tips on what’s in store for coders at the event, and why you won’t want to miss this exciting new conference.

Displaying Poll Results in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

I’m pretty sure an hour after the first website launched in 1991, someone put a poll up asking people a profound question to get their opinions. Since then, polls have continued to be a great way to get a feel for how your users like a product, enjoyed an event, or any other type of survey. Kentico has a built-in poll module that allows you to place polls on your site easily and get feedback from your users. In this blog, I’ll show you how, with a little bit of JavaScript and API code, you can display poll results anywhere.

Creating a Filter Alternative Form in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Forms (or BizForms, if you’ve been using Kentico a while) are a great way to store data within your application. With a secure administration interface, you can allow editors and administrators to design and manage the form easily, all using the built-in application. In this article, I’ll show you how you can customize the form data interface with filters to help your users search and display data quickly.

Simplify Your Upgrades with the Kentico Upgrade Tool

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

Every new version of Kentico always has some changes that impact development. Whether it’s a new feature or the realignment of an API, there is no doubt there is going to be some updates that have to be made within your application. While this can be a daunting task for some, Kentico offers a great tool to help you through the process. In this article, I’ll show you how the Kentico Upgrade Tool can simplify your upgrades, and save you a lot of headaches.

Quick Tip: The Kentico NuGet Packages

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

The toughest part of any software company is getting people to use your code, your product, or your platform. That’s why so many companies rely on distribution methods like NuGet and APIs to get their code in the hands of developers. Because of its popularity (and because it’s so easy to use), Kentico leverages the NuGet framework to expose a number of packages to the community. In this article, I’ll explain these packages and let you know how and when you may want to use them within your projects.

Adding the Kentico Draft Import Module to Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico Draft is a cloud-based service that gives companies a single location for web content production. Powered by a robust API and sleek interface, the service gives you the ability to enter content even before your site is complete, allowing projects to end on schedule and save development costs. One of the best advantages to Kentico developers is the free Kentico Draft Import module for versions 9 and 8.2 sites. In this blog, I’ll you how to add this free module to your Kentico 9 installation. 

2016 Ask the Experts #3

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

Do you have a tough Kentico question or challenge? Are you looking to extend the platform and need guidance on the best way to implement? The Ask the Experts webinar is the event for you! This interactive webinar consists of a panel of Kentico experts ready to tackle your toughest challenges. Covering all areas of the product, our experts will take your questions and provide guidance and solutions. 

Kentico 1 on 1 – Site Maintenance with Brenden Kehren

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In this edition of Kentico 1 on 1, I sat down with DevNet rock star and overall good guy Brenden Kehren, of Kehren Development. As many of you know, Brenden is one of the most active members on the forums and helps tons of developers every week with their challenges. What you may not know is how much he works with maintaining sites, upgrading installations, and implementing new code for existing solutions. Because this information can help every company with their projects, I asked Brenden about how he goes about working with different projects in various environments.

Using Azure Functions with Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

Microsoft Azure is continually being enhanced with more and more functionality that developers can leverage within their applications. From data storage to computing, there are a ton of great features available to simplify programming, offload workloads, and improve efficiency. Recently, Microsoft introduced Azure Functions, which is a huge benefit for developers. In this blog, I’ll show you how you can leverage Azure Functions to automate functionality within your Kentico site and eliminate resource-intensive processing.

How Kentico Draft Benefits Developers

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

Every digital agency faces challenges when developing websites for their clients. The ultimate goal is to bring in the project on time, which requires collaboration between marketing, content, and development teams on both sides of the table. Kentico Draft brings everyone together to collect content early in the web development process, helping avoid delays that postpone the project. In this article, I’ll take a look at how Kentico Draft benefits developers by helping them produce websites faster, minimize delays, and limit dependencies on content contributors.

Creating a Blackout Calendar Form Control in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Many companies often have several contributors to their website’s content. With so many authors producing articles, it becomes essential that publishing rules are established and enforced to prevent multiple articles being released at the same time. Enforcing those rules can be a challenging task but can be easily done with a little custom code. In this article, I’ll show you how to create a custom form control to limit the number of articles that can be published on a specific day.

Which Super Hero Developer Are You?

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Developers are, all around, pretty awesome. To the average person, they have incredible powers and the ability to do amazing things. While all are capable of being heroes (or villains, if you’re a little on the sinister side), not all developers have the same strengths. In this blog, we’ll find out which super hero developer you are, and get you started on your path to saving the world. 

Technical Webinar: Kentico Draft for Developers

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico Draft is a powerful, cloud-based service that can simplify content creation and collection. Using a powerful API behind the scenes, Draft allows content to be entered and maintained in a single location by multiple contributors. The Kentico Draft team has released a free module, to help developers working with the tool, to allow content to flow seamlessly into your Kentico applications.

Dynamically Replacing Content in Kentico - Part 2

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Dynamically replacing content within a site can improve content production and ensure consistency for organizations. While this a great solution for companies looking to expedite their content editing, external links should be verified to ensure the new content is correct and valid. In this blog, I’ll show you how to build upon my original blog and add a validation step to ensure your external links are valid.

Announcing the 2016 Kentico APAC Partner Day Events

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Over the past year, we have brought events to several cities in the US and EU regions. These events consisted of technical and marketing presentations from Kentico staff and brought a lot of great content to our partners. We are excited to announce that, coming this August, we will be hosting three events for our APAC partners, as well!

Quick Tip: Understanding the Macro Report in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Macros are a great way to add dynamic values to your content and configurations and are a helpful tool for developers. However, they can sometimes cause problems with a website’s performance and functionality if there is an issue with resolving the values. When this happens, it’s often difficult to find every instance of where a macro is implemented. Luckily, Kentico provides a helpful report to tell you where in the system a macro is used.

Using BulkInsert to Import Data in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

From product data to blog posts, populating applications with data is part of many Kentico projects, especially when a website is being redesigned. Kentico provides several options for getting this data into the site, but sometimes companies have to develop a custom solution to achieve their specific needs. In this blog, I’ll show you how can leverage the BulkInsert API to simplify your imports and speed up your application.

Dynamically Replacing Content in Kentico - Part 1

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Nearly every article features keywords and terms that grab the reader’s attention and emphasize the writer’s point. Whether it’s referencing a popular technology or product, wise authors know that using the correct terms and references within their content can greatly improve its readability and SEO. In this blog, I’ll show you how to leverage Custom Tables and the Kentico API to replace terms dynamically with links, ensuring your content is as engaging as possible.

Technical Webinar: 7 Key Concepts for Successful Development in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

After all the requirements have been finished, it’s time to get down to business and start developing your site. While you may know the modules and features you’re going to use, there’s still a lot to think about when you start development. Understanding and applying these seven key concepts is essential to developing your Kentico projects and ensuring your site performs well. 

Poll: Vote for Topics at the Kentico APAC Partner Day

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

We are excited to announce that we will be bringing the Kentico APAC Partner Day to Sydney and Melbourne this August! As part of the event, we will be presenting three different developer topics, each focusing on an important area of the platform. We are looking to the development community to help us decide the topics to make this event as great as possible.

Quick Tip: Use Macros Wisely

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Macros are one of the most powerful aspects of Kentico, and developers can use them throughout the platform. While macros are very capable, it’s important to remember what is happening behind the scenes when you use them so you know the impact they may have on the system. Because this code is compiled on the fly, it may have significant repercussions on your site’s performance. In this blog, I’ll show you a good example of how and when to use your macros the right way.

What Calvin & Hobbes Can Teach Us about Web Development

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

For over 30 years, readers have been delighted by the adventures of an animated boy named Calvin and his fictitious tiger friend Hobbes. While their tales are certainly entertaining, you may be asking yourself what they could possibly have to do with web development. Much like the many characters that come alive in Calvin’s mind, the key is imagination.

Cloning Objects in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Developers should always be looking for ways to code smarter and more effectively. Often when developing with Kentico, objects need to be replicated within an environment. Luckily, Kentico provides some great cloning capabilities that developers can leverage to simplify their development and replicate their configurations.

Kentico 1 on 1 - Discussing CDNs with Andy Thompson

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In this Kentico 1 on 1, I talked with Andy Thompson (CTO at Get Started) about his experience with CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and how his company uses them within their projects. Andy has been developing high performing sites for years and has implemented many solutions with some unique CDN capabilities. 

2016 Ask the Experts #2

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Do you have a tough Kentico question or challenge? Are you looking to extend the platform and need guidance on the best way to implement? The Ask the Experts webinar is the event for you! This interactive webinar consists of a panel of Kentico experts ready to tackle your toughest challenges. Covering all areas of the product, our experts will take your questions and provide guidance and solutions. 

David te Kloese is now a Kentico MVP

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

David te Kloese is the latest Kentico MVP! David has been a very active member of the development community for years and has spoken at many Kentico events and conferences. As a Lead Software Developer at Evident, David has worked on many different Kentico projects and solutions.

Quick Tip: Viewing Running Worker Threads in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Understanding what’s happening within your application is key to running a high-traffic site. Every MB of RAM matters, and understanding your resource utilization as much as possible will ensure your site is running as optimally as possible. Often, background processes and tasks can drain your site’s horsepower and slow down the application. In Kentico, you can easily view what tasks are running and which ones are sleeping by viewing your Running Worker threads.

Displaying Instagram Posts in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Integrating with social media is pretty much commonplace in every project. The challenge for developers is that every social network has a different API, seemingly endless changes to functionality and authentication, and varying results you have to parse in order to get the data you want. In this article, I’ll show you how you can quickly (and painlessly) pull an Instagram feed into your site and display all of the selfies you can handle.

So Your CMS Released an Upgrade – Now What?

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Deciding to upgrade a core component of your business is not always an easy choice. There’s downtime to consider, the development effort to apply the upgrade, and the impact a new feature or interface will have on end-users. Other factors to consider are whether or not the upgrade includes important security fixes, performance enhancements, and key features that will streamline your business processes. Without a doubt, deciding when and how to apply an upgrade to your CMS is not a decision taken lightly.

So what are companies to do? In this article, I’ll attempt to walk you through both the benefits and the drawbacks of each side of the dilemma that, sooner or later, faces every CMS customer.

Technical Webinar: Analyzing Your Way to a Successful Project

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Have you ever wished you could ask your client more questions about their project goals and expectations? What if just one question changed (completely) the way you designed a website? There is no doubt that being on track with your project timeline will make your life easier and your clients happier. How many times have you ended up postponing project deadline because of improper website design?

Kentico 1 on 1 - Talking Support with Juraj Ondrus

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In this edition of Kentico 1 on 1, I spoke with Juraj Ondrus, Kentico’s Technical Support Leader. A veteran of Kentico (he’s been here for over nine years), Juraj has helped hundreds of developers solve their issues and has certainly seen just about every implementation of Kentico imaginable. In this edition, I asked Juraj about his role within Kentico, common Support requests, and the not-so-common requests that have come through.

Technology Partnership Webinar - Compare for Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Compare for Kentico was built to solve the problem of challenging deployments in CMS projects that fail all too often when multiple environments (Dev, QA, Production) and multiple development teams are in play. Using Compare for Kentico makes deployment easier, quicker, and more reliable than deploying by hand. Compare gives developers the ability to see the differences visually across two Kentico environments at the same time and know whether or not a change should be deployed. 

Creating a Braintree Payment Gateway in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Every e-commerce site is different, and with so many payment processors available, developers are often tasked with integrating with a new system for each project. While legacy providers like Authorize.NET and PayPal have been used for years, newer providers are being launched all the time, expanding the options for companies. In this blog, I’ll show you how to integrate with Braintree, a simple payment gateway with a powerful API behind it. 

A Day in the Life of a Kentico Technical Evangelist

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Technical Evangelist is a pretty unique title. Depending on who you ask, it may have several different definitions. For some, it’s all about blogs and forums, spreading information out to the masses. For others, it’s about growing a community and stimulating innovation. In this article, I wanted to give you a glimpse into this role within Kentico and let you know how I spend my time most days.

Writing to the Kentico Event Log

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Proper logging and recording are at the core of every good Kentico project. Unless someone understands what the code is doing and has a record of the events, even the most well-designed and -architected solutions will frustrate users and admins and create a black hole of information within an organization. Luckily, Kentico has a number of supporting modules and utilities to help you document processes and log events quickly. In this blog, I’ll show you how to leverage logging to the Kentico Event Log within your code to get an accurate account of any processes and a record of events that occur within the system.

Technical Webinar: Simplifying Your Content Management in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

The ability to enter content quickly and easily should be a key part of every Kentico site. Providing an intuitive and capable content management experience ensures users are able to add and update information with ease, without relying on a developer to implement styling and formatting. Proper setup and configuration will allow marketers to target your company’s audience and provide a streamlined content production experience.

Helpful CKEditor Configurations in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico offers a great editing experience to users through a number of interfaces, utilities, and integrations. One of the key pieces of a great experience is the ability to enter and edit text quickly. Kentico relies on the CKEditor (an open source WYSIWYG editor) to allow users to insert and format their content. In this article, I’ll tell you about some helpful configuration options you can take advantage of to tailor the experience for your organization.

SQL Injection Protection and Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Securing websites should be second nature to developers. Ever since the first sites launched, people have been trying to hack them using any means possible. With the proliferation of mobile technologies, machine learning, and nearly limitless computing power at hackers’ disposal, it’s more important than ever to ensure your sites are safe and not vulnerable. In this blog, I’ll cover how to lock down your site from one of the most widely known and utilized attacks: SQL Injection.

Customizing Usernames Displayed in the Kentico Admin Interface

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Companies typically develop large, company-wide applications to solve critical business needs. With so many people using the system for different needs, it can become increasingly important to identify a user within the site easily. While Kentico’s default format for displaying a user will work for many companies, it may be necessary to customize this behavior to ensure that site administrators can properly identify who performed what action within the site. In this article, I’ll show you how easy it is to customize this behavior within a Kentico site.

Adding Custom Workflow Notifications to Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico Workflows are a great way to ensure content is entered and approved before being published to your production site. Built-in notifications can inform approvers that a page is awaiting approval and inform editors when their content has been approved or rejected. While these notifications work well for many projects, developers can customize the content publishing process to fit nearly any business need. In this article, I’ll show you how to extend the notification process to inform other approvers when a document is approved by a member of the group.

Creating a Lorem Ipsum Generator Macro in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico has many macros that come with the system to do all sorts of things. From formatting dates to viewing system properties, macros provide a convenient way to execute a block of code and get the results quickly. If the built-in macros don’t fit your needs, there’s a simple process to create your own functionality. In this blog, I’ll show you how I created a Lorem Ipsum Generator macro for use within my site.

Integrating Slack Notifications with Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Slack is quickly taking the development business world by storm with more and more companies adopting it as their “go-to” form of communication and notification. One of the things that make it such a powerful platform is the ability to extend it in seemingly limitless ways. Because Kentico is largely driven by user actions, I thought it would be cool to try to integrate this notification functionality into the platform. In this article, I’ll show you how to post notifications to a Slack channel based on Workflow actions in Kentico.

Ask the Experts is Back!

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

The Ask the Experts Webinar Series is coming back! As one of our most popular events on DevNet, this webinar series provides you with a panel of Kentico gurus ready to take on your tough questions. This article brings you all of the details you’ll need to join this webinar and get your Kentico questions answered.

Kentico 1 on 1: Connect & Conquer with Jeroen Fürst

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Nearly every enterprise project requires integration with multiple systems. Often, data needs to be mapped from one system to another, requiring in-depth knowledge of business processes and relationships. In this Kentico 1 on 1, I talked with Kentico MVP Jeroen Fürst about Connect & Conquer, Kentico Gold Partner TrueLime’s answer to this challenge, and how it can simplify the integration process.

Technical Webinar: Advanced Content Staging Scenarios

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Proper content migration is essential for every organization. With multiple environments, dispersed content editors, and varying delivery schedules, finding a solution that works for your organization is key to making sure all of your digital assets are handled correctly. With Kentico’s Staging module, businesses can define their production process and implement a rock-solid delivery method for publishing their digital content.

Creating a Twilio Notification Gateway in Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Creating notifications in Kentico is a great way to automate communications and keep users informed. Site visitors will want these notifications in a number of ways, including email, SMS, and other alerts. In this article, I’ll show you how to create a notification gateway to alert users using SMS with Twilio.

Poll: What Would Help You Get Certified?

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

The Kentico Certification is a great way to showcase your skills and demonstrate your abilities with the platform. Many developers have passed the Developer Certification exam and benefited from this designation. For those of you who have yet been certified, we’d like to know what we can do to help you achieve your goals.

Announcing the 2016 Kentico MVPs

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

Kentico’s technical community is a vibrant and diverse mix of developers, designers, and site administrators. Among those members are several individuals who go to great lengths to help others and promote Kentico and its features. For their efforts, Kentico awards these dedicated members the title of Kentico Most Valuable Professional (MVP).  In this article, I will introduce you to the 2016 Kentico MVPs.

Jumping into MVC Development With Kentico - Part 1

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

By now you’ve probably heard about some of the great advancements and features in Kentico 9. Improved MVC support was one of the most anticipated updates as more and more developers transition to the (not so young) web development pattern. To support this development model, Kentico has reworked some of its core APIs to better allow the creation and utilization of data outside of the core Kentico installation. In addition, a demo MVC project has been offered, demonstrating best practices and use cases when implementing Kentico with ASP.NET MVC.

I decided to give MVC a shot using this demo project and upgrade some existing web parts I had created to the new development pattern. In this blog, I’ll show you how I took the Azure Search Integration Web Part, migrated it to MVC, and then into my demo site.

NOTE

This blog is the first of a two-part series. Be sure to check DevNet here for Part 2.

Technical Webinar: Developing a Superfast Front End with Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

Did you know that your website may be very slow and, therefore, creating a bad experience for your visitors? Have you ever tried to measure how long it takes for your website to load? Have you ever tried viewing it on a device with a mobile connection? What if there was a way to minimize this time and have more satisfied website visitors?

2015 Kentico Technical Evangelism Year in Review

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

As 2015 comes to a close, I wanted to look back on all of the activities in the Kentico community. Over the past year, I’ve had the chance to talk with some truly awesome people, discuss their projects and challenges, and hopefully help them find answers to their tough questions.  In this article, I’ll be recapping on some of the highlights of the year and some of my favorite moments in the development community.

Deploying Kentico to Amazon AWS

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Over the last 6+ years, I have deployed Kentico to Azure a lot. A whole lot. Amazingly, I had never tried out deploying to Amazon AWS. In an effort to broaden my horizons and bring info to others, I decided to deploy Kentico to Amazon’s cloud platform. In this blog, I’ll cover my experiences and results.

Recapping the 2015 Kentico Connection Conferences

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Five weeks. Three conferences. 18 flights. A couple of train rides. Too many amazing conversations to count. As another Kentico Connection series comes to an end, I wanted to take a break from coding and recap on the events and all of the great partners I got to meet. In this blog, I’ll let you know my personal highlights, as well as what our partners and their developers got out of the conferences. 

Important Azure Changes with Kentico 9

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico 9 has a lot of well-known, exciting changes like CI, MVC Support, and a number of others. It also contains a several updates that will affect your Azure deployments. In this article, I’d like to give you a cheat sheet of some of the important ones you need to know about when deploying Kentico 9 to Azure Cloud Services or Web Apps.

Kentico Web App vs Website: Which One Is Best?

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

One of the questions I have been asked time and again is which Visual Studio project type should a Kentico site be? A website or a web application? Both of these options have their strengths and weaknesses, as well as different development patterns for your custom code. In this article, I will cover the differences between these project types and hopefully steer you on a path toward deciding which one is best for your applications.

Five Things Developers Should Be Excited About in Kentico 9

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

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.

How to Log Kentico Events to Visual Studio Online

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Every project has specific requirements that make it a unique development experience. From integrations to configurations, each customization requires developers to know how to achieve the desired functionality in the most efficient way. In some scenarios, system events need to log and track in an external system for external administration. In this blog, I’ll show you how to log all of your Kentico exceptions to Visual Studio Online for easy tracking and assignment.

Warming-Up Kentico in Azure Cloud Services

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Azure Cloud Services continues to be a great option for times when companies want to add an additional level of control over their applications when deploying to the cloud. With this model, developers package their applications and server configurations and then push them to Azure storage. From there, Microsoft creates a new server based on the configuration, then deploys the application. This process automates many of the administrative tasks and allows the developer to solely focus on their own sites.

When deploying Kentico to this platform (or nearly any other cloud platform), there is an initial hit to performance as the site is compiled. This can result in a delayed initial response to the first request to the site. Luckily, Azure Cloud Services offers some functionality to reduce this hit. In this blog, I’ll show you how to warm up your sites when deploying Kentico to Microsoft’s PaaS platform.

API Example Changes in Version 9

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Featured Article

The Kentico API Examples have grown to be an essential tool for developers. These code samples demonstrate basic and advanced tasks that can be accomplished with the API, and provide helpful examples of how to integrate with Kentico. In previous versions, these samples have been an optional module to install during the setup of a site. With Version 9, we are planning some changes to help you access these samples and make them easier to maintain.

Quick Tip: Cleaning up Your KIM Files

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

The Kentico Installation Manager (KIM) is a great utility for installing and managing your applications. Using the tool, you can quickly see the current version of a site, check for updates, download hotfixes, and apply them to your installations. One thing to note is the tool will download hotfixes you apply and keep them in storage for later use. In this article, I will show you how to clean up these hotfixes if you no longer need them.

Kentico 1 on 1 - Consulting

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In this Kentico 1-on-1, I sat down with Kentico Consulting Manager, Miro Remias, to discuss what his department does and how customers can leverage this great service for their projects. With several years of Support and Consulting experience, Miro has a ton of knowledge on projects and provided a great overview of the program and how they assist developers. 

Planning Your Data Structure

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Data is at the core of every site and deciding on its structure often is the driving factor when architecting a solution. Choosing a model that is open to integration, allows for flexibility, and, above all, is easy to manage is critical for a successful application. Kentico allows data to be structured in a number of ways to fit nearly every project requirement. In this article, I will discuss the different ways data can be stored and managed within an application and provide guidance as to when to use each option.

Technical Webinar: Most common issues with Kentico Azure Deployments

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Are you experiencing issues when deploying your application to Azure? Are you unsure of which options are best for your deployments? Learn how to resolve common mistakes, best practices when deploying, and essentials skills to ensure your sites are running smoothly when deploying to Microsoft’s cloud platform.

Simplifying your Hierarchical Viewers with the SubLevelPlaceHolder control

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Displaying content correctly is at the core of every good design. For many sites, this includes displaying different types of content together, along with specific layouts for each type. The Kentico Hierarchal Viewer is a great resource for developers that allows control over each content level. In this blog, I will show you how to simplify things using this control and these transformation layouts. 

Kentico 1 on 1 - Content Management

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In this edition of Kentico 1-on-1, I sat with Kentico’s Content Management Product Owner, David Komarek. A veteran in the company with experience in nearly every aspect, David has some great insights into our MVC support, upcoming version 9 features, and what the future looks like for developers. David shared his thoughts on what developers can look forward to the most and how they can help shape the product moving forward. 

Understanding Time Zones within Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

As an enterprise-class platform, Kentico must be able to handle implementations worldwide. Part of this support comes from Kentico’s ability to configure and manage time zones from within the platform, ensuring that all dates are correctly displayed. In this blog I will cover Kentico’s time zone support, available options for configuration, and some best practices when developing an application using this feature.

Quick Tip: Viewing Azure Storage Table Data

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Azure Storage tables are a great place to store non-relational data in an easy-to-access location with global availability. While writing to a table is very simple using the Azure Storage SDK, viewing the data may be a challenge for some developers. In this article, I will show you how to view and update this data quickly using some great tools provided by Microsoft.

Technical Webinar: Upgrade Best Practices

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Upgrading Kentico and feeling lost? Are you unsure about upgrading Kentico because of your customizations? Is there a possibility to customize Kentico while having a simple upgrade? Get answers to these questions and assure yourself that there is an easier way to upgrade to the newest version.

Quick Tip: Running the Kentico API Examples

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

As most developers are aware, Kentico 8.2 provides some API examples to demonstrate how to perform various tasks programmatically within the system. These examples are divided into categories and sub-categories and provide commented code for the action. In this article, I will show you how to execute these examples within your site, and how to see the results quickly.

 

Processing Outgoing Tasks with the Kentico Integration Bus

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Integrating Kentico with other systems is at the core of nearly every enterprise project. Often, data needs to be synced between Kentico and another source, requiring developers to create custom solutions to keep the information up to date. The Kentico Integration Bus provides a fault-tolerant option for this integration by allowing tasks to be queued and processed, ensuring all changes are synced correctly. This functionality supports both inbound and outbound changes, allowing companies to keep two different systems synchronized, regardless of where the change originates.

The Kentico Developer Roadshow is heading to Chicago and Denver!

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

After having some great events in Toronto and Boston, the 2015 Kentico Developer Roadshow will keep on rolling to Chicago and Denver in August! In this article, I will be detailing the dates and times for the next two events. Hope to see you there!

Integrating Azure Search with Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Microsoft continues to expand its cloud platform with new functionality to meet the growing needs of business. Azure Search is one of the latest offerings that can provide a robust and scalable search option for applications. I wanted to see how well this search feature integrated with Kentico, so I decided to develop a prototype using this new service. In this blog, I’ll show you how to combine these two great products to provide a powerful search platform to your application.

Deploying Kentico to Microsoft Azure – Know your web hosting options

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Deploying Kentico to Microsoft Azure can have a significant impact on the capabilities and reach of your application. Azure, Microsoft’s cloud solution, is a vast, world-wide network of systems providing instant resources around the globe. Since its initial release, Azure has constantly been improved and updated to provide more options and functionality for businesses to leverage. In this article, I will cover the different hosting options for your Kentico site and providing guidance on when to use them. In a follow-up blog I will cover data, session, and storage options, so keep an eye out of that in a few weeks. Now let’s get to good stuff!

Adding a TeamUp Form Control to Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Many companies utilize SaaS applications for managing parts of their business. Calendar and scheduling products like TeamUp are great for administrating your corporate events and keeping everyone and everything on schedule.  Here at Kentico, we use TeamUp for a number of internal processes, including managing our blog release schedule. In this blog, I will show you how you can create a form control to integrate with TeamUp to sync your events to a specific calendar.

Announcing the 2015 Kentico Developer Roadshow!

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In my first few months as Kentico’s Technical Evangelist, I’ve had the chance to speak to a lot of developers and produce several blogs to help the community. Working with other coders is one of the best parts of my job, and I really enjoy presenting to a group of developers interested in Kentico. What I have noticed is a lack of events focused on the platform within the community in several large cities. For this reason, I am delighted to introduce the Kentico Developer Roadshow! Think of it as a mini-Kentico Connection, with less karaoke. Well, probably less.

Kentico 1 on 1 - Talking Kentico with Petr Palas

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In this edition of Kentico 1-on-1, I had a chance to talk with the Kentico CEO, Petr Palas. A former developer turned owner; Petr has a very interesting history with the CMS industry and how Kentico came to be. In our talk, Petr shared with me his thoughts on the CMS community, how Kentico fits, and some of his favorite parts of the product.

Adding SKU Numbers to a Smart Search index

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Kentico has a very powerful search built on Lucene.Net, one of the most scalable and configurable search platforms available. Developers can easily configure any page type field to be searchable, as well as customize the syntax and parameters that users can filter on. Often pages have an associated SKU and users also need to search the product fields. In this blog I will show you how to add the SKU Number field to the index so that users can also search for these values.

Microsoft Edge and Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Among all of the announcements at Build2105, one of the most exciting has been the unveiling of Microsoft’s Edge browser (AKA Project Spartan). A lean, minimalistic approach to web browsing, this browser is aimed at speeding up your experience and delivering content in new and exciting formats.  I was curious how a Kentico 8.2 site would look in Edge and wanted to let you know what I found.

Brenden Kehren is now a Kentico MVP!

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Brenden Kehren is your newest Kentico MVP! Brenden is a long-time member of the Kentico development community as one of the most active members of DevNet. In 2014 he was recognized for efforts with the 2014 DevNet Hero award. Brenden also owns Kehren Development, a Kentico consulting company in Sparta, WI and works with several companies to implement Kentico.

Kentico 1 on 1 - EMS with Brian McKeiver

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In this edition of Kentico 1 on 1 I had a chance to talk Kentico EMS with MVP Brian McKeiver. Brian has a ton of experience with implementing EMS and I wanted to ask him a few questions about his experiences, what he likes about the product, and how people can get started with it. He gave some great examples and a lot of useful infomration for anyone getting started with this feature.

How to Create Users with the Kentico REST Service

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

The Kentico REST service is a great feature of the platform and allows developers to integrate with other systems using a standard Web API interface. Providing the ability to read and write data, the service is a convenient resource for retrieving and manipulating content and data within a Kentico site using only code.  Recently I was asked how to create users with the service. In this blog, I will show you how to configure your service, create the accounts, and assign them to roles.

Deploying Kentico to Azure Web Apps – Part 2. Running & Monitoring

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Now that you have your application in Azure and everything is awesome (think the Lego Movie), let’s talk about keeping it running well and performing optimally. Any hosting solution can be used for your site, but Azure Web Apps have a lot to offer in terms of monitoring, updating, and maintenance of your site. This blog is focused on those features and on demonstrating how you can leverage them for your deployment.

Excluding Shipping Options for Products

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

In a recent webinar that I delivered, I was asked how to make a shipping option only available to a particular product / set of products. I thought that was a great question and one that many developers may have. A particular carrier may not allow transporting of a particular type of product so in this blog I will show you how to filter out options based on the product(s) selected.

Webinar Recap - Adding real-time shipping rates to Kentico

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

I recently presented a Partner Webinar on Adding real-time shipping rates to Kentico. As a former developer in the industry I often had to add this functionality to the ecommerce projects I worked on. As such, I thought it would make a great topic for other partners and demonstrate a few different ways to add dynamic rates to your online stores.

Deploying Kentico to Azure Web Apps – Part 1. Deployment

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

So it’s been a while since I covered Azure Web Apps (formerly Azure Websites) and it’s definitely time for a fresh dose of info on what is possibly the best hosting option for your Kentico sites. This blog kicks off a new series I will be writing to detail how AWA (I just determined that is a good acronym for it) makes sense for your hosting needs. In this blog, I will cover the basics and how to get your site in Azure fast. Now let’s get to it!

Check out our session at Code PaLOUsa 2015

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Code PaLOUAsa 2015 will be taking place 4/27- 4/30 in Louisville, KY. A multi-day conference focusing on software development, CP2015 is going to be a great event with over 600 attendees and a ton of great info.  Whether it’s ASP.NET, Cloud, Angular, or Agile, there are some great sessions lined up that you don’t want to miss!

Quick Tip: Adding Kentico Icons to your Module Links

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Making UI elements is one of the most common tasks when making a new module. When you are creating your links you want to have them appear similar to the rest of platform and use those cool little icons, right? Did you know there is a page within the Kentico documentation that shows all of these icons? 

Creating a SendGrid Email Provider

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

Nearly every project with Kentico requires some sort of custom development to create an integrated solution that solves a business problem. One of the most common integration points is leveraging 3rd party SMTP systems for offloading email processing, such as SendGrid or Mail Chimp. These systems often offer functionality for monitoring and tracking messages and logging bounces and other errors.  This article details the process of creating a Custom Email Provider that utilizes the SendGrid API for all email communication within a Kentico site.

The Kentico Developer Newsletter is coming back!

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article

It’s been quite a while since the last Kentico Developer Newsletter, hasn’t it? Wait no more my friends as starting in April your digital Kentico digest will be heading your way again. As a Kentico developer I always enjoyed the great links and information they brought so I want to keep the knowledge flowing and will be sending these out once a month, usually within the first week.

HTML Editor Configuration Options

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article
The Editable Region is the cornerstone for many Kentico sites as it gives the editor the ability to enter their text, apply formatting, and link to other pages, files, and content. The HTML Editor is the workhorse of this webpart by allowing editors to style their text and insert dynamic content. The webpart itself has a few different configurations that will hide / expose functionality so understanding your options is very important

Say Hello to Your Newest MVP, Andy Thompson

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article
Andy Thompson, CTO at Get Started, is now the newest Kentico MVP. Andy is a great addition to the program and brings with him a lot of real-world custom development and integration experience. With Get Started having created over 200 Kentico sites, Andy will bring some very useful insight on custom development and payment gateways to the Kentico community. Look for him at industry events in the Australia region, as well as on DevNet and other Kentico webinars.

Understanding the JavaScript webpart

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article
JavaScript is continuing to take over the web development world by offering a quick, easy to implement solution to complex scenarios and requirements. While many backend developers (myself included) aren’t necessarily in love with JS, there’s no doubting the powerful shift it’s causing within the industry and how more and more functionality is being powered by it. Kentico recognizes this move and as such has a pretty powerful webpart to help you utilize JS in the best way for your site.

Greetings from your Technical Evangelist

Bryan Soltis    —       —    Article
Hello! I am writing you from my new position as Technical Evangelist for Kentico. Yes, that's right! I loved working with the product so much I wanted to be a part of this great company and help others as much as possible. This will be the first of many blogs you will see from me as I bring you as much info as I can to help you make awesome things with Kentico.

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