Day 1 – UK Umbraco Partner Summit
London, November 2, 2023
As an Umbraco Gold Partner Mentor Digital's team was invited to attend the UK Umbraco Partner summit. The Partner Summit held in Central London brings together top tier Umbraco partners to discuss the roadmap for the world's leading open source .Net CMS. The UK Umbraco community plays a key role in driving the development and growth of the Umbraco platform, and our directors had an opportunity to discuss the roadmap with the Umbraco senior team. The event offered valuable insights into the future roadmap of the Umbraco product. Here are the key takeaways from the event:
- UK is Umbraco’s largest market: The UK has played a pivotal role in propelling Umbraco's revenue, accounting for a remarkable 33% of its earnings in 2023. The UK market has established itself as one of the fastest-growing segments for the Umbraco platform.
- Umbraco is the most popular CMS for UK Membership organisations: A recent survey by MemberWise found that Umbraco is the most widely used CMS amongst medium and large membership organisations and associations in the UK.
- Umbraco V13 Launch: Anticipated to launch next month, Umbraco V13 will be based on .NET 8 and will introduce a host of innovative features. These include the integration of webhooks, the ability to seamlessly add Blocks directly into the Rich Text Editor, a new login screen to eliminate technical debt, and more. Additionally, V13 will be the next Long-term Support (LTS) version following V10, which is scheduled to reach its end of life in mid-2025.
- Exciting Umbraco V14: Scheduled for release at the end of May 2024, Umbraco V14 promises a major transformation of the back office. Built on cutting-edge technology, it offers superior customisability, moving away from Angular toward a more industry standard Web Components based approach. We are promised that almost every element and button area in the back office will be customisable, negating the need for extensive hacking into the CMS for complex customisations and ensuring an easier upgrade path for Umbraco.
- Rising Demand for Headless & Composable DXP: The Umbraco platform roadmap is indicative of a growing shift towards headless and composable Digital Experience Platforms (DXP). This trend, observed by industry experts like Mentor Digital, is likely to gain further momentum in the coming year. Umbraco's future development plans align with this trend, emphasizing the need for a hybrid approach in many projects. The platform's commitment to this approach demonstrates a forward-looking approach to the ever-evolving digital landscape.
- Umbraco Commerce: Earlier this year, Umbraco introduced its E-commerce product (previously known as Vendr), offering a flexible solution for creating e-commerce stores. This product leverages the same patterns and technology as other content types within Umbraco, making it a versatile choice for businesses. The summit featured a demonstration of order management and fulfillment processes, showcasing how elements of the product can be seamlessly integrated with PIM, ERP systems, and more. Order fulfilment workflows can be managed in the Umbraco back office, offering a powerful e-commerce solution out of the box. The discussion also delved into the positioning of Umbraco Commerce in the market and its pricing, with debates around the price being too low for some people and perfect for others. Open source libraries were announced and released with a full headless e-commerce solution available for free on GitHub with an MIT license ready for developers to build upon. The fully featured set of headless APIs makes Umbraco Commerce a promising candidate for businesses considering a headless commerce solution.
The Umbraco Partner Summit served as a platform for Umbraco partners to gain insights into the platform's growth, innovative upgrades, and its alignment with industry trends, underlining its commitment to delivering exceptional content management experiences. The event highlighted the pivotal role of the UK in driving Umbraco's success and provided a sneak peek into the platform's exciting roadmap.
After the summit talks were completed drinks were provided and an after party was laid on at the cool Shoreditch Glitch bar. With electric remote control car racing, beer pong, retro arcades and dance offs, this was a classic Umbraco after party, and pre-festival warm up for day 2.
Day 2 - The Umbraco UK Festival 2023
The Umbraco UK Festival 2023 entered its second day with a refreshing start, full of inspiring talks, intriguing discussions, and new connections.
Opening Words and Sustainability Efforts
Callum, the host, welcomed everyone with the opening words, setting the stage for an exciting day ahead. He offered insights into what attendees could expect, shed light on the Umbraco UK Foundation's role, and proudly announced that the entire festival venue had successfully eliminated single-use plastics. A green thumbs up for this eco-conscious initiative!
Custom Templates for Efficiency - Lotte Pitcher
The first session of the day, led by Lotte Pitcher, focused on the creation and utilisation of custom templates for dotnet. The talk emphasised the ability to quickly transform any project into a reusable template, making it a significant time-saver in the development process.
Astro Web Framework - Louie Richardson
Louie Richardson followed with an intriguing discussion on the Astro web framework. This powerful set of tools is designed to help scale applications using Web Components and structuring content into what Astro calls "Islands." An innovative approach worth exploring!
Custom Property Converters and Personalisation - Laura Weatherhead
Laura Weatherhead then took the stage to shed light on Umbraco 12's Content Delivery API and the possibilities it offers for tailoring content to suit multiple channels and custom properties. Demonstrating the use of custom property converters and a personalisation package, attendees gained a first-hand understanding of the new capabilities in Umbraco.
UmbraCoffee is now becoming an integral part of Umbraco events. Callum and Marcin conducted a live-streamed chat in front of an audience, offering insights into the day's events. They even invited a first-time attendee to share their experience, encouraging a feeling of community and engagement. While the coffee was still hot, attendees received news about UmbraCoffee's future plans. The team announced a shift from weekly streams to a monthly schedule, beginning after episode #300.
Client-Centric Approach to Software - Matt Sutherland
Matt Sutherland highlighted the importance of focusing on clients' needs to launch a successful software project. He emphasized continuous iterations and collaborations with composable architectures, leveraging Umbraco, Commerce, Struct PIM, Azure, and uMarketingSuite to deliver successful products.
.NET Maui Magic - Carl Sargunar
Carl Sargunar took the stage to share insights into building cross-platform apps using .NET MAUI. The content delivery, powered by Umbraco, can be consumed by Android, iOS, MacOS, or Windows applications, expanding the horizons of application development.
Escaping the Developer Rut - Rachel Breeze
Rachel Breeze addressed the challenges developers face in feeling stuck in a rut and provided tools to lift oneself and others out of it. Her talk encouraged developers to explore their skills, inspire others, and prioritise physical and mental well-being.
Optimising Umbraco Websites for a Connected World - Damiaan Peeters
To wrap up the day, Damiaan Peeters returned to the stage, this time to share insights on optimising Umbraco websites for a connected world. Drawing from his recent journey to Madagascar, he emphasised the importance of website optimisation in places with unstable internet and power infrastructure, offering a unique perspective on the subject.
A Day of Inspiration and Learning
After a day filled with enlightening talks, attendees from Mentor Digital left the Umbraco UK Festival with a plethora of inspiration and ideas to process. The festival proved to be an absolute pleasure, and we’d like to extend our gratitude to the organisers, speakers, and everyone involved. The Umbraco community and the connections made at the event were inspiring as always, and we’ll look forward to next year.