My SUGCON 2023 takeaways
I’m looking back at a great two days at SUGCON Europe 2023. The conference was packed with great sessions from both Sitecore and community members. Yet again I learned a lot from those sessions and got a lot of inspiration out of it.
A couple of things caught my attention.
The event started off with a great keynote from Sitecore’s CPO Dave O’Flanagan, who was joined remotely by CEO Steve Tzikakis.
They reiterated that we live in an exciting time, where composable is the way to go for any platform.
Sitecore’s main purpose continues to be to help its customers and partners build successful solution.
They want to lead by innovation, shown by their latest products, which will help us build those success stories.
Sitecore strives to be the leading player in content management products. The new products XM Cloud and Content Hub One help drive this, but the platform DXP (Experience Manager and Experience Platform) will continue to play a vital role for customers that can’t move to public cloud hosted products.
Dave was very open in admitting that, since the launch of the new products, they had not been doing a great job in explaining them. He stated that for once the products were ahead of its marketing. For this reason they will focus on helping partners and customers better understand these products as well as what it means to be or become composable.
Sitecore will continue to help build the story for migrating to the composable and public cloud. Currently the step towards composable is for many too big of a leap, and therefor Sitecore will continue to improve their products, its marketing and come up with means to bridge the gap between MVC implemented platforms and XM Cloud.
It was great to see more about the latest products XM Cloud, Search and Content Hub One. Through various sessions I learned more about what their strong points are and what the plans to improve them are.
XM Cloud has seen a lot of improvements over the past couple of months, some of which were demonstrated and explained during the event.
The Components module has undergone some UX improvements, which make it easier to use. Even though this module is still in development and currently in a beta status, it already shows its potential by allowing any user to build new components through low-code/no-code configuration.
Sitecore XM’s traditional way of showing content to an editor through a tree view is still a great experience, and the Explorer module has strived to make it even better by giving it a modern UI which makes it easier to navigate.
One of the most requested features for XM Cloud is still a forms module. Sitecore has been working behind the scenes to find the best way possible to bring a forms module to the SaaS product. During the keynote, it was shared that this new Forms module will be a much-improved version of the Sitecore Forms module part of the DXP. With an updated architecture and UI, it will be possible to compose forms through a drag & drop editor and add them to any web frontend.
Last but not least is the developer experience, for which was shared that Sitecore is focusing to accelerate developer productivity by reducing barriers to adoption. Sitecore aims to improve the experience by simplifying JSS, providing more support for developers running MacOS, integrating code repositories for their SaaS products and building a world class CLI.
I wasn’t able to attend all sessions related to Sitecore Search, but I’ve heard many great things about those that I missed.
Since Symposium, Search has come a long way. The product is still under development, but a new SDK is soon to come. During different sessions it became apparent that it will live up to its promise of being one of the best search tools out there. The potential is great and the first implementations are starting to become a reality.
Sitecore has improved the way you can push content to the indexes and is getting valuable feedback from partners on how to improve the developer experience.
Content Hub One
It was great to see that the Content Hub One team is using their own product to build the product. Some of the content pages within the CHO portal are created in CHO itself. During this implementation, which they called “ONEception”, the product team itself was able to learn what it’s like to work with the product, giving them valuable feedback on what they can improve.
The product is still in an MVP phase, which means there is still a lot to improve, and the roadmap is long.
During the Friday morning keynote session, the product team gave a detailed overview of what that roadmap looks like. Split into three areas (Marketing operational efficiency, Data modelling fundamentals and Media library improvements), the roadmap contains features like publishing content including references, multi-language support, bulk upload and serialization.
I’m sure many who attended have been reenergized as I was, giving me new inspiration to work with and drive my urge to contribute more to the community. I look forward to exploring Sitecore’s latest products myself as well as for the period ahead of us, during which we continue to build the composable story and make it a success.