Kentico 12 MVC FAQ

What is the difference between Portal Engine and MVC in Kentico 12?

  • Web Development Models

    From the technology perspective, Microsoft is continually evolving their primary technology stack, they're moving from ASP.NET Web Forms to ASP.NET MVC (and ASP.NET Core MVC) which is the next evolutionary step for Microsoft technology.

    Kentico Portal Engine runs on ASP.NET Web Forms. Web Forms is a technology not compatible with the new .NET Core framework, though. Therefore, everyone running on the Microsoft framework needs to switch to MVC, and, gradually, take the first step towards .NET Core MVC. In fact, soon, there will be new features and add-ons running on Web Forms and the old Full Framework.

    The biggest difference between the two frameworks is, therefore, in the way you develop projects from a developer perspective. However, the goal for Kentico and for business practitioners is to abstract technology differences away, and provide the best editing experience no matter what technology is running underneath.

What is the upgrade path from Kentico 11 to Kentico 12?

  • Upgrade

    All Kentico 11 projects can be upgraded to Kentico 12 following the usual upgrade procedure. All Kentico 11 projects running on Portal Engine can be upgraded to Kentico 12 and continue to run on Portal Engine. All Kentico 11 projects running on MVC can be upgraded to Kentico 12 and continue to run on MVC.

How does a customer upgrade a Kentico 11 Portal Engine project to Kentico 12 MVC?

  • Upgrade

    We recommend upgrading to the latest available version—i.e., from Kentico 11 Portal Engine to Kentico 12 Portal Engine. MVC is the recommended approach and, therefore, customers should consider transitioning as soon as possible.

    1.      If a site is currently at the end of its lifecycle and is about to be redesigned, the best approach is to create the new one based on MVC. During the redesign, most likely, some content will be reused, and so will OM and EC data, and some extensions, etc. The front end will probably be created from scratch.

    2.      If a site will come to the end of its lifecycle in the following years (by 2022), the best approach may be to wait and redesign at that point.

    3.      If the site is not going to come to the end of its lifecycle in the near feature and full support will still be required, the transition from Portal Engine to MVC must still be performed.

    There is no tool to automatically convert Portal Engine front end to MVC front end because the two technologies are very different at an elementary level. It is subject to being validated on whether we can find a (partial) solution for certain customers.

    Structured data independent of the development model (e.g., system configuration, online marketing, commerce data, ...) are upgraded automatically. Content created and stored on a Portal Engine based site (e.g., content stored in widgets/webparts, Portal Engine specific page types) won't be upgraded and need to be migrated.

Was the Kentico 12 API a major upgrade, in case we upgrade from Kentico 11?

  • Upgrade

    All Kentico 11 projects can be upgraded to Kentico 12 following the usual upgrade procedure. All Kentico 11 projects running on Portal Engine can be upgraded to Kentico 12 and continue to run on Portal Engine. All Kentico 11 projects running on MVC can be upgraded to Kentico 12 and continue to run on MVC.

How does the transition from Portal Engine to MVC look for existing customers?

  • Transition to MVC

    Existing customers running a Portal Engine project should consider transitioning to MVC at their earliest convenience.

    We recommend upgrading to the latest available version—i.e., from Kentico 11 Portal Engine to Kentico 12 Portal Engine. MVC is the recommended approach and, therefore, customers should consider transitioning as soon as possible.

    1.      If a site is currently at the end of its lifecycle and is about to be redesigned, the best approach is to create the new one based on MVC. During the redesign, most likely, some content will be reused, and so will OM and EC data, and some extensions. etc. The front end will probably be created from scratch.

    2.      If a site will come to the end of its lifecycle in the following years (by 2022), the best approach may be to wait and redesign at that point.

    3.      If the site is not going to come to the end of its lifecycle in the near feature and full support will still be required, the transition from Portal Engine to MVC must still be performed.

What should customers that recently invested in Portal Engine do about MVC?

  • Sunsetting PE

    Customers that have recently invested into a Portal Engine based project should upgrade to Kentico 12 Portal Engine at their earliest convenience. 

    In line with our official product support lifecycle policy, we will support Kentico 12 projects running on Portal Engine till 2022. That will provide customers with enough time to realize ROI on the project, and, most importantly, give them enough time to plan for the transition from Portal Engine to MVC.

How long does Kentico plan to support Portal Engine (aka Webforms)?

  • Long Term Support

    In line with our official product support lifecycle policy, we will support Kentico 12 projects running on Portal Engine till 2022. That will provide customers with enough time to realize ROI on the project, and, most importantly, give them enough time to plan for the transition from Portal Engine to MVC.

Which development model should customers kicking off EMS development use?

  • Long Term Support

    MVC is the recommended development model for all new projects, whether that's Kentico 11 or Kentico 12 projects.

    If the MVC model is not suitable for whatever reason (e.g., not enough MVC skills), customers can build the project using Portal Engine, but should plan for migration to MVC at their earliest convenience, but before Portal Engine support is dropped in late 2022 in line with the official product support lifecycle policy.

Can you explain how to migrate web parts from web forms to an MVC approach?

  • Transition to MVC

    When it comes to web parts (as building blocks of your website), however, their equivalent in MVC will most likely be represented by your own code-level logic in the MVC application (shopping cart, menus). Of course, you can develop reusable components and use them across the website or other projects (and this is a standard approach in the MVC world). The Page Builder is suitable for widgets—components that are used by marketers to add content to specific areas within a page.

What are the benefits of MVC over Portal Engine for business roles?

  • Value proposition

    Here are some of the benefits of MVC with a positive impact on business:

    • MVC helps with website performance optimization—full-control over the HTML output provides SEO benefits, faster page load and overall site interaction. Needless to say, the page speed is reflected by search engines in the ranking. 
    • Semantics  MVC allows to better control the semantics of the website (e.g., OpenGraph, Scheme.org, ...).
    • Accessibility  with MVC, it's easier to adhere to various accessibility standards and requirements.
    • Hiring new employees is easier, higher chances to acquire and retain the best talent.
    • Having a modern platform ensures a business is ready for the future and stays competitive.
    • Streamlined dev operations and lower upgrade costs (e.g., easier testing, better coding standards and coding practices, separation of concerns, no tightly coupled code, ...).
    • Easier to deliver experiences into multiple channels.

Are there specific concerns for upgrades from 11 to 12 that we should be aware of?

  • Upgrade

    All Kentico 11 projects can be upgraded to Kentico 12 following the usual upgrade procedure. That means all Kentico 11 projects running on Portal Engine (PE) can be upgraded to Kentico 12 and continue to run on Portal Engine. Since the majority of the changes made to Kentico 12 were related to MVC development, upgrading Kentico 11 PE to Kentico 12 PE should be pretty straightforward. All Kentico 11 projects running on MVC can be upgraded to Kentico 12 and continue to run on MVC.

How have you validated that your cleaner HTML plays nicely with Google and browsers

  • SEO

    Our goal with Kentico MVC development support was to provide puristic MVC support with minimal impact on the rendered HTML. That means developers building an MVC project (and MVC widgets used in the project) have full control over the final HTML. That ensures that only HTML that you decide to render will be used. That's the case with Page Builder and widgets. The only exception is the Form engine providing a set of pre-defined form fields (e.g., Text, Email, ...). These render HTML, again in very pure form as we tried to optimize for SEO. However, if you ever feel you want to alter the default HTML, you can easily do so by customizing a specific form widget or creating your own custom one.

Are the upgrades going to be easier going forward from Kentico 12 on?

  • Upgrade

    All Kentico 11 projects can be upgraded to Kentico 12 following the usual upgrade procedure. That means all Kentico 11 projects running on Portal Engine (PE) can be upgraded to Kentico 12 and continue to run on Portal Engine. Since the majority of the changes made to Kentico 12 were related to MVC development, upgrading Kentico 11 PE to Kentico 12 PE should be pretty straightforward. All Kentico 11 projects running on MVC can be upgraded to Kentico 12 and continue to run on MVC.

Do the MVC Sections support background-cover images?

  • SEO

    The support for Sections allows you to specify the HTML exactly as you require. You can use your favorite framework (such as Bootstrap) and create sections with responsive columns as well as specify a background color, image, or gradient if you require. Currently, all of this must be specified in the code by a developer when developing the Section type.

Do the MVC Sections support responsive rendering?

  • SEO

    The support for Sections allows you to specify the HTML exactly as you require. You can use your favorite framework (such as Bootstrap) and create sections with responsive columns as well as specify a background color, image, or gradient if you require. Currently, all of this must be specified in the code by a developer when developing the Section type.

Can you have multiple pages in the content tree based on one MVC view?

  • MVC Development

    You would usually create an MVC view per page type, but it is not a rule. As you can find on the Dancing Goat MVC demo site, the same view is used for all Articles and a different one is used for Article listing. The same applies to Cafes and can be used for landing pages as well. We are also considering adding the concept of templates to the Service Pack.

Can you add your own colors for the inline editor testimonial backgrounds?

  • MVC Development

    Yes, the Testimonial sample widget can be customized to provide additional color options. You would typically have your developers prepare widgets for you and they have all the capabilities to provide any kind of configuration option that fits your requirements.

What is the motivation behind releasing a service pack for Kentico 12 instead of a minor version?

  • Service Pack

    To deliver A/B Testing, page aliases support and a templating support to Kentico MVC as soon as possible without introducing any breaking changes, we decided to opt in for a Service Pack instead of a minor release. The Service Pack is essentially a collection of updates for Kentico 12, and it isn’t a new version, so you don’t need to do the upgrade you are used to with new minor/major releases. You simply apply the Service Pack (in a similar way that you apply a hotfix), and you're done.

Will there be a boilerplate template available for MVC projects?

  • MVC Development

    Kentico 12 Installer can install the blank MVC project or the MVC Dancing Goat demo site. Kentico 12 doesn't support .NET Core front-end development. This support is planned for the next major release.

Is there a plan to use alternative forms in the MVC Forms interface in future Kentico versions?

Is there an MVC GitHub project where you continue developing the K12 MVC integration libraries?

  • MVC Development

    With Kentico 12, we integrated all the extensions directly into our libraries, so there is no need for the GitHub project anymore.

When will certification exams be coming out for Kentico 12?

Is the K12 core code still in the .NET framework or is it now .NET ASP.NET Core?

Can you talk about best practices for reusable content in MVC mode?

  • MVC Development

    If you wish to reuse your content as much as possible, we recommend using structured content where applicable (such as Articles, Products, News, etc.) and the media library. Page Builder, along with widgets, is great for displaying content stored this way (a widget with a list of latest articles, a widget with files from the media library, etc.)  as well as for building "one-of" pages, where content is created ad-hoc with no intent to be reused.

What about an existing widget?

  • Transition to MVC

    Widgets that were built for Portal Engine cannot be used for the MVC Page Builder. You can try to make use of the front-end part (some HTML, styles, JavaScript) of your widgets, such as the formatting, how you output a list of articles, display image galleries, etc., but you need to implement the logic for manipulating data and behavior in MVC.

Please feel free to reach out to us at productmanagement@kentico.com.