In March 2022, Kentico Xperience's flagship Connections conference ran across APAC, EMEA, and US. It was an online-only virtual conference again this year, but the silver lining was that I got to attend (and present at) all three!
This year the conference ran across two days, and provided a great mix of industry expert insights including a keynote speaker from Gartner, lots of product updates from the Kentico team, case studies and customer success stories, and sessions with the Xperience MVPs from around the globe (including me!).
One of the highlights of the conference however, was the next generation of the Xperience platform, that the clever folks in the R&D labs at Kentico Software have been working on for the last couple of years. This is not just the 'next version', but a completely new edition of the product. In fact, it won't even have a version number, it'll be known simply as Xperience by Kentico.
Everything! It truly is a complete rewrite, from scratch, or if I may employ an overused buzzword, a re-imagining of the Xperience DXP. While it is of course the next generation of the same class of product – an all-in-one, unified Digital Experience Platform (DXP) – it truly is a new product at the same time.
Some huge changes include:
- A complete, end-to-end rewrite of the codebase, on the latest cloud and Microsoft (.NET 6) technologies
- Totally new administration user interface, written with React.js and driven by APIs
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS, or fully managed cloud service) option
- Completely new as well as re-imagined features, such as smart suggestions/notifications, cross-site activity tracking, and atomic content (no more XML blobs!) - but I'll go into more detail on the tech goodies in a later post 🤓
What's not new?
Yes, this is a completely new product, built from the ground up. But it's built by the same team, to achieve the same dream. The mission and vision, and target market, remain the same. The feature set will be comparable – although of course they're taking the opportunity to refine and improve features as they rebuild. They're just shedding the weight of 15+ years of technical debt to be future ready.
While the user interface is technically brand new, it will feel familiar to Kentico Xperience users. Over a decade of refining CMS user experiences isn't being thrown away!
The current version, Kentico Xperience 13, is here to stay, continuing to be developed, and will be supported until at least 2026, or even longer if customers are still using it. (How many vendors can tell you reliably what's happening with their product in 2027?) In fact, with the same company working on both existing and new products simultaneously, we're already seeing features built for one product being released in both, side-by-side.
There is a well-supported migration path for customers if and when they're ready to migrate to the next generation platform. Check out my presentation 'Upgrading your Xperience' from the Connections conference for my take on this.
Naturally, I've got my hands on it already. As one of the Xperience MVPs, I've been fortunate to be able to play with early versions for some time now, and provide feedback to the Kentico team. We've been playing with it and evaluating it internally, and here are my initial thoughts:
- It's already very much a functional CMS platform, it's just not feature complete quite yet. It's well and truly capable already of building and running a website – in fact the classic Dancing Goat demo site is already there. But it will take time for them to catch up on over a decade of rich features from Kentico Xperience.
- The new UI is both familiar, yet very slick and refined – if you've seen Kontent by Kentico it'll feel familiar...
- For developers, the install and deployment processes are massively streamlined and improved. No more KIM – a quick dotnet new and you're off and away.
- The Managed Cloud (SaaS) platform is looking super promising and will launch as a real differentiator for this platform against the competition.
- It's fast! Really fast.
The Xperience Adopters Program (XAP) ⚡
With the next generation product right around the corner and rapidly catching up on Kentico Xperience, naturally we're interested in when customers and projects can get on board this rocketship! Of course, in its early stages, and while we're still waiting for all the features, it might not be right for every project.
For those just beginning their journey and who don't want to miss out on the next-gen Xperience, Kentico have announced the Xperience Adopter Program (or XAP), which will launch in July this year (yes, that's really soon!).
Under this program, Kentico's (and Luminary's) Solution Architects can review your project requirements, and compare it with the current feature set and planned roadmap for Xperience by Kentico. If it's a match, we may just be able to get you on that early train/rocketship.
Contact us to discuss whether the XAP is for you! ⚡🚀
Xperience by Kentico is the next generation of Xperience, in development by Kentico. It's a complete reimagining of Kentico's rock-solid DXP vision, built for today. And it's looking great!
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