September 17, 2014

Sitecore symposium 2014 - Barcelona

For those who didn't have the chance to go the the Sitecore symposium at Barcelona this year, I will send some info, previews, ...

Day 1 - Session 1 : Keynote

In the keynote we have mainly seen the new features on the future Sitecore 8. Some screenshots of the Sitecore 8 will be uploaded when I will be back for the symposium. The good news are:
  • Sitecore 7.5 will be release in about 2 week
  • Sitecore 8 should be release before the end of the year
I can already have multiple conclusion about this first sessions:
  • The speak UI is more living than ever. Most ot the applications are or will be rewrites using this new "language"
  • After the login you are redirected to the Speak Dashboard
  • It is amazing to see how far they go with this new personalization and content testing

I will be honest, I was not very enthusiast when I saw the program of this year. But after the keynote. I think that it will be really exciting finally.

Day 1 - Session 2: Why did we do that?

This session was mainly an history of the Sitecore developments. They also have announced a new partnership with Coveo. Coveo is a new search available in Sitecore and the great thing here is that they are a free version for Sitecore 7. The non free version include some additional stuffs like the possibility for the content editor to change the filters, the boosts, ... The possibility to integrate some external datasource and the advanced configuration. After a small visit to they stand I really thing that I will investigate this product.

Day 1 - Session 3: Visit the Emerald City: Understanding the Sitecore architecture

The main things here we have learn are:
  • Sitecore 7.5+ : The new architecture for the analytics data collection. In summary, you collect all the data into the Mongo DB. Then those data are process by some pipeline to inject it into the reporting database. When a data need to be retreive the service layer decide if he need to take it from the mongo db when it is a personal information like the identity card of a visitor or for the reporting db if it is some into about the a group of user.
  • Sitecore 7.2+: The new publishing process is now multi-thread
The rest was mainly some basic architecture stuffs like the pipelines, ...

Day 1 - Session 4 : Compiling, personalized Sitecore StoreFronts with any commerce platform

First coding session!
A session who explain how to customize the pipelines and the SPEAK applications to add a new section into the "events" tab of the user identity card. It was an interesting session to have a quick overview of the SPEAK framework and a look at the eCommerce API.
The thing I will remember about this session is the fact that the dashboard that Sitecore provide for the User Experience are not static at all and really me to be modified by the developers. If we need to track some custom events and have a view on it.

Day 1 - Session 5 : Our princess is in another castle_ Tracking activity on non-Sitecore sites

Definitivelly the best session of the day. With this system we are able to track the statistics for a non Sitecore site. Just create a new site into the interface and after that, you will see your site with the same kind of ribbon than a normal sitecore site in webedit.
The developer is suppose to: add a line of javascript into the non sitecore site. After that he will define some place, and element who will trigger the events to track by using this ribbon. After that, the marketer, is able to associate those elements to a analytics goal or campaign
With this tool you are also able to add a sublayout .... into you old website! This is done by the same javascript and wy using the same ribbon. Just select the place to replace with your sitecore content and insert the sublayout. Select a datasource if needed of course and it is done! You are even able to do personalisation on it.

Day 1 - Session 6 :

The Skynet project : nothing to do with Terminator. This project is made to learn from the previous experiences of content testing and after that he is able to propose some segmentation of users. For example if you have 2 variants of content on a first sublayout and 3 variants of content in a second sublayout, the system will test it with the user and after that he will proposed something like: for the users form Belgium between 6AM and 4PM you should do variant 1 and it will impact 6,5% of the visits, ...

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