All members of the Sitecore community must have heard by now of the Sitecore 10 release announced in August 2020.
In this article, I’ll discuss the most prominent improvements and new official features that come with this release and explain the benefits these bring to developers, marketing specialists and customers.
1. Get Started with Containers Officially
The most significant feature that comes with version 10.0 is that Sitecore has packaged its software in containers. You know that Sitecore 9.3 had already supported containers, but now they will come out of the box.
Developers can now make use of an Azure-based Kubernetes container orchestration service, the Docker engine and image repositories.
Containerization is a flexible approach to deploying and running software. Support for containers makes the installation process easier. Moreover, containers make the onboarding process for new dev team members really fast.
Previously, to start working with version 9.0, developers had to use a rather complicated Sitecore Installation Framework (SIF). In Sitecore 9.2, a simplified option with GUI was introduced — the Sitecore Install Assistant (SIA).
The official support for containers in Sitecore 10.0 enables easy and rapid software deployment and allows users to start and stop instances independently, which has become the basis for the continuous delivery model.
Check out the documentation on Sitecore containers.
2. Headless Experience with ASP.NET Core
Sitecore already based some features, such as the publishing service, Sitecore Identity Server, or Sitecore Commerce, on the open-source framework ASP.NET Core; but most components depended on the .NET Framework.
In this release, the platform has extended the usage of ASP.NET Core by developing a JSS-based SDK for headless services. However, this is not a full migration yet.
ASP.NET Core is a robust framework that provides powerful and fast performance. Sitecore supports the latest version, .NET Core 3.1.
A headless development approach with .NET Core technology ensures flexibility, omnichannel experience and time-efficiency.
Businesses can get cloud-based cross-platform applications for Windows, macOS and Linux, so they’ll spend less time and money on the adoption.
3. Opening a New Horizon
The interface for content creation and editing, Horizon, was released in version 9.3, though with limited functionality. Sitecore 10 presents the extended content manager Horizon, which replaces the Content Editor and Experience Editor. It integrates with SXA.
Horizon allows for content management without the presentation layer, contributing to a headless experience.
It supports multi-site and multilingual environments, making Sitecore even more applicable to omnichannel solutions. The supported drag-and-drop functionality contributes to content tree usability.
With the extended support for SXA, you can create specific images and edit content in all fields on the website.
Horizon integrates with Content Hub, a platform for managing content operations. Such integration opens new opportunities for marketing specialists, including personalization and the usage of intelligent technologies such as AI and ML.
4. Managing All Media with Sitecore Content Hub
The unified solution Sitecore Content Hub facilitates the management of media content across all channels.
Sitecore Experience Platform 10.0 has new features that help integrate editing experience with Content Hub.
Marketing teams can now aggregate their media content from Content Marketing Platform (CMP) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) into a single centralized source of truth. This makes content management easier.
For instance, the taxonomy data created in Content Hub can be persistently distributed to other Sitecore channels.
In general, I believe in the enormous potential of Content Hub, and I’m sure that we are going to see more capabilities in the following release.
5. Command Line Interface (CLI) for Serialization
Another promising tool in Sitecore 10 is the Command Line Interface (CLI), which opens new capabilities in terms of interacting with Sitecore instances. CLI provides a simplified headless approach for serialization, bringing together the best features of its antecedents, TDS and Unicorn.
Now, you can publish and serialize content items from the command line and synchronize all changes automatically.
Further CLI releases will extend the functionality to cover all aspects of content creation and management.
6. Sitecore + Salesforce
There is a range of solutions that connect Sitecore to powerful Salesforce products, enabling efficient data analysis and marketing campaign management.
With the latest release, improvements were made to Sitecore Connect for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Now, you can easily send data stored in xDB to Salesforce even in real time and respond to events immediately.
7. JSS and SXA Tandem
Since version 9.2, developers have been using SXA and JSS together. This productive tandem continues operating in Sitecore 10 without major changes, but with minor fixes that aim to improve some old features and support new ones.
8. Solr Replaces Azure Search
In our work, we’ve had many problems with Azure Search, which doesn’t perfectly fit Sitecore. Fortunately, Sitecore 10 has deprecated this search engine and now suggests working with Solr instead. In my opinion, this is good news for developers, as we all faced similar problems working with Azure Search.
9. Personalization for Sitecore XM
Unlike the comprehensive Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) that makes use of variable personalization rules, the lightweight CMS Sitecore Experience Manager (XM) did not offer the capability to set up personalization rules.
Sitecore 10 has fixed this injustice by adding basic personalization rules to XM.
Companies that don’t need or can’t afford the full Sitecore XP installation will be able to use a light XM version and still deliver a personalized experience to their customers.
10. Segmentation for Analytics Reports
Sitecore 10 makes analytics reports more valuable by adding a segmentation filter. You can apply a variety of segmentation rules to your audience, dividing it into groups, and get insightful reports about each group.
Segmentation analytics makes it possible to better understand customer needs, building the basis for more efficient marketing campaigns.
11. Easier Email Campaigns
Sitecore 10 adds new templates for email campaigns in the Email Experience Manager in addition to standard out-of-the-box design.
Marketers save time in preparing email campaigns based on the numerous customizable templates.
12. New Rules for Marketing Automation
The Marketing Automation tool has redefined rules, which has improved its usability. Moreover, it’s also added new rules focusing on customer birthdays.
Marketing teams can create marketing scenarios around your contacts’ birthdays, e.g. send greetings and offer discounts.
There were also enhancements for more efficient interaction with xConnect.
13. Clean Text in Experience Editor
One of the most desirable features for marketers has finally arrived: there will be no unnecessary markups and styles when you copy text from MS Word documents and paste it into Experience Editor. You will just get clean content.
Content managers don’t need to clean the content styling manually, which saves much time.
14. Improved Data Privacy
Some Sitecore 10 updates concern data privacy, which is crucial for many clients. Thus, the process of data collection via Sitecore Forms has become more compliant with GDPR.
The update in Sitecore Forms simplifies the removal and anonymization of personal data while saving the ability for marketing teams to see anonymized reports.
Another update brings new consent management tools. Using these tools, marketers can customize consent requirements for different sites.
To Sum Up
My team and I are looking forward to using the above-mentioned features and other minor improvements that have been made in version 10.0. I’m sure that this will help us enjoy Sitecore performance even more, and help us develop incredible projects for our clients.