Location: Copenhagen Date: 24.04.2015.

I have finally found some time to write a summary of a day 1. I wanted some time to pass by, so that all impressions can settle down.

When the schedule got initially announced, it was quite tricky what to pick from all those goodies. Luckily, some of the sessions got recorded which are already available on www.sugcon.eu

So my schedule for day one looked like this:

  • Welcome and opening key note
  • Serialize all the things with Unicorn
  • IoT, Event Hubs and xDB, oh my!
  • Design patterns on Sitecore: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  • Sitecore xDB personalization at the client
  • Party time and awards

Welcome and opening key note

The conference was kicked of by Sitecore, Michael Seifert and Lars Fløe Nielsen. They have presented what we can expect from Sitecore in the future (some things for sure, some not quite yet).

The focus of the Sitecore was presented in 2 directions:

  • Sitecore 8.2 – improving content management
  • Sitecore 8.3 – contextual improvements

Improving content management

  • The main (and a key) improvement is speed and performance of the publishing
  • Releasing migration tool – This is really a big win. Anyone who had to do upgrades in iterations of several versions is going to feel the relief.
  • In case you haven’t heard on last years conference, here it is again: go MVC 🙂

Contextual improvements

Here, the focus is more on the content editors and improvement of the Experience Editor. We got a glimpse how it might look in the future, but this is still not final.

The biggest news of this part: WFFM will be killed.

I hope that we won’t end up with: The king is dead, long live the king scenario.

Serialize all the things with Unicorn

I have started using Unicorn last year and in the beginning it took some time to get used to it. I come from TDS background where you have an actual GUI and not a web page.
After one day of skepticism, Unicorn has bought me. With one click of a button, you can sync all your data, or, you can categorize and choose what you want to sync. It stores files on the disk and with Git or any other tool, the changes are being synced. One of the examples which was an issue on one of the projects as merging items which have no value difference apart from the content length. Unicorn solves that part by splinting the values of the fields into separate lines.

To put it in a simple way, Unicorn makes your syncing simple.
For more info about Unicorn, check it here.

Kam did the presentation and he showed us that not just that you can serialize templates, you can also serialize users and roles from now on (think of an ACC and PROD environment).

IoT, Event Hubs andxDM, oh my!

What Jason has brought to a table is different view on personalization. We always focus on online tracking, but what about the offline content? How much data do we actually loose by simply ignoring the offline users and how can we benefit from them?
Jason has showed us his idea how to do it with Raspberry Pi.

The example he used was an idea of an app which in this case has 3 categories:

  • cycling
  • swimming
  • running

Depending on your activities, you either do one sport, biathlon or triathlon. That stored data will be used for personalization later on. Let’s take for example Polar. The device is used to track our activities and stores certain amount of data. We upload that data later on to our profiles and there we see our statistics, goals and achievements. Jason idea bases on the same principle. Let’s have an app, which will get synced at one point and personalize the content based on the broader data than we had before. This idea opens up a “playground” for the developers, but it also changes the way how marketers are thinking.

Check out Jason’s presentation.

Design patterns on Sitecore: The good, the bad and the ugly

Mike Reynolds took us through 3 commonly known and used patterns:

  • Decorator pattern: careful how you use it, otherwise developers won’t like you
  • Template Method pattern: subclasses change the abstract methods to implement real actions
  • Strategy Pattern: algorithm vary independently from clients that use it

It was great to see how he uses these principles in Sitecore.

Sitecore xDB personalization at the client

Unfortunately, I still didn’t have the chance to use Sitecore’s personalization to the max. We all know about the rules, how to set them and how to trigger them and to show a certain content. Sounds pretty simple, right?

Well, Nick has showed us to which extent you can personalize and the challenges which implementation brings.

There are several aspects which we need to take into a consideration:

  • Which content to show
  • Where to show it
  • How to show it
  • Where to run the rules
  • Scaling
  • Where to run the rules

Depending of the requirements, we can have several scenarios:

  • At the client
  • At the server
  • Distributed personalization

Scalings

  • CDN’s
  • Sitecore cashes
  • Custom cashes
  • No cashes

Awards, quiz and party time

Big congratulations to all MVP’s! Here is a video of the Benelux MVP’s coming to stage to take their awards.

If you want to see more pictures of Day 1 taken by Marc Duiker, check them here