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My Kentico 10 favorite features

It’s been awhile since Kentico 10 release and it was enough to play around and evaluate new features coming with this version. In this article, I’d like to share my opinion about them and highlight my personal favorites. 

As usually new version of Kentico introduces a huge amount of new features as well as improvements. Some of them are minor, but others are what all community was waiting for. So, let’s make the ball rolling…
 

Performance

As you may already know Kentico 10 shows much better performance over previous versions. Thanks to Roslyn compiler Kentico compiles much faster, which significantly speeds up first page load. This improvement is noticeable even in heavy Kentico admin interface. To me, as a developer, it is really important as I have to wait (waste) 50% less of my time when making changes to code behind. That was actually one of the reasons why I usually used web site project vs. web application project: with web site changes to web parts does not require rebuild of the entire solution. Also, I’ve used this as a workaround implementing my classes in the web part (or user control) code behind file, debugging and testing them there and once class is ready I move it to AppCode folder. With new compiler, I looking forward to switching to web application project.
There were many other performance improvement, like web requests that cause logging task or trigger marketing automation process, overall improvement of contact management and so on.
 

MVC Support

Kentico introduced MVC support in version 9, however it was not complete and was good only for simple content sites. Now, with the latest release, we’ve got membership support, which makes possible to work with user, roles and their permissions. Another HUGE win is support of E-commerce and On-line marketing. Having all those features available we can manage all the backend through Kentico admin interface, but leverage benefits from complete control over rendered markup making it lighter and more flexible.
 

Responsive Images

Nowadays every application is targeting all possible devices and no one wants to lose a client if his application does not provide enough good user experience on some device. Of course, every application has to be responsive, but when we talk about reducing image size on the client side because of small view factor – is it real responsiveness?! When we force user to download 1000 x 600 pixels image and scale it to 500 x 300 pixels does this really improves UX?! No, we want to deliver only what customer uses. This is where Responsive images comes to rescue! Even more: they make content editors’ live easier as allow to update a single image and Kentico will do the rest. With some (minor!) development efforts we can configure Kentico to generate as many instance of the same image of a different size as we need and deliver a single image to a client that fits view port the best.
 

Email Templates

A simple, but useful feature was added that allows sending draft emails to a specific email address. Another feature that makes email look more professional is Reply-To field, which shows sender as Roman Hutnyk vs. rhutnyk@bitsorchestra.com in the recipient’s email client.
 

Form Builder

New Form Builder allows editors to clone already present fields. Another good improvement, in my opinion, is renaming form field after label, which, on one hand, speeds up form development and on another add some meaning to a field: agree that “Name” looks much better than “Field1”.
 

Others

There is a long list of other useful features added into Kentico 10: Continuous Integrating added support for almost all object types, WYSIWYG UI personalization, system object listing with their identifiers, mass actions for users and roles, UniGrid mass action, improvement to Staging and Event Log modules and many more.
All those feature shows the great job Kentico Team has done in order to make our lives easier and web apps greater, so there is no much to say except Thank You for your dedication and hard work!