Sitecore 9 is now even easier for marketers and non-Sitecore developers to use. It boasts many features that include machine-learning, backwards compatibility, data centralisation, new forms and marketing automation interfaces.
New API called xConnect
xConnect is a single, unified, data centralisation API that also supports connections from the Internet of Things. Because xConnect enables full data integration with third party systems, marketers can be confident that all customer interactions can be recorded in external systems like CRM as well as leveraged through the Sitecore xDB. This will bring about greater insights that will drive marketing strategies.
Creating forms is a breeze
One of the most talked about changes in the build up to Sitecore 9 was the introduction of a new forms interface. This slick drag-and-drop feature, which is accessible via the Sitecore Launchpad, speeds up the process of creating forms (including multi-page forms). Sitecore Forms allows marketers to easily and quickly reuse and reskin forms, saving them a lot of time and energy. If you’re planning to upgrade to Sitecore 9, Web Forms for Marketers will still be supported so your existing WFFM forms won’t break.
Sitecore Cortex = Machine learning
No doubt you’ve heard of machine learning. One of the most exciting additions to future releases of Sitecore 9 is Sitecore Cortex. This machine learning feature allows you to direct Sitecore to perform automated tasks that reduce time and ultimately improve the digital experience.
Sitecore’s long-standing separation of content from presentation can be considered as a pioneering ‘headless’ approach to web content management systems. This was available from the very early versions of Sitecore. Codehouse has multiple projects experience of serving Sitecore content through a service layer. Sitecore 9’s headless feature now means that marketers can create content within Sitecore and publish it somewhere else by linking to external platforms. This is now available out-of-the-box.
Marketing automation made easy
Sitecore 9 has freshened up its marketing automation interface. Gone is the frustrating Silverlight plug-in needed to build engagement plans. In comes an all-new drag-and-drop omni-channel automation interface designed to fully integrate the capabilities of email marketing, forms and CRM.
Other Sitecore 9 features include:
- Data Exchange framework 2.0
- Sitecore Connect for Salesforce CRM 2.0
- Sitecore Installation Framework (SIF)
- Designed 'Secure by Default'
- Dynamic Placeholders
- Federated Authentication
- Massive improvements to Sitecore Experience Editor performance
Sitecore 9 supports:
- Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10
- SQL Server 2016 and SQL Azure
- Net Frameworks 4.6.2
- xDB support for SQL Server 2016 and, coming later, Cosmos DB
- SOLR or Azure search (but no longer Lucene)
We’re looking forward to diving into Sitecore 9 and working on upcoming exciting Sitecore 9 projects.
By the way, we're already live on Sitecore 9 (yes, you're looking at it!), so we're already learning the ins and outs.
Are you ready to talk to us about a new Sitecore project, or do you need an experienced Sitecore Platinum Partner to help you with your existing Sitecore website? Either way, we'd love to hear from you so be sure to get in touch.