Sitecore XP 9 is finally here and it is packing some serious new functionality, features and improvements for developers, marketers and content managers alike.
According to Sitecore themselves, the 9th major version of the platform features one of the largest payloads of new functionality in a single release, ever.
We look at some of the headline new features and functionality below:
Sitecore XP 9 offers new, express migration functionality from versions 6.6, 7.2, 7.5 and any version of Sitecore XP above 8.0.
The latest ‘express migration’ functionality assures that migration to Sitecore 9 is the most friction free path forward for existing Sitecore customers.
Perhaps the most exciting new functionality in Sitecore XP 9 is their Cortex Machine Learning platform. Built upon the foundation and data available in xConnect and XDB, Cortex gives a scalable service for processing data and turning it into marketing intelligence, allowing Sitecore to automatically discern highest value audience segments or to automatically optimize user journeys.
Sitecore are also working on developing their Cortex platform to deliver automated personalization and intelligent user segmentation.
Improved Marketing Automation
Security and Compliance
Sitecore XP 9 boasts a significant number of improvements on the security front for both managing platform users and site visitors alike.
Most notable for managing platform users, Sitecore XP 9 offers Federated Authentication, allowing customers to use the SAML provider of their choice, including Azure Active Directory. This also has the added benefit of allowing site visitors to authenticate and register via social logins/OAuth such as Facebook or Google ID.
Encryption capabilities have also been improved with the addition of at-rest and in-motion data encryption which gives platform managers the tools to ensure compliance with the latest GDPR regulations through the newly introduced xConnect API framework making management of personally identifiable information faster, and easier.
Although Sitecore began supporting Cloud hosting and management capabilities in partnership with Microsoft Azure back in 2016, the latest release of Sitecore boasts “managed cloud” which gives full management and monitoring of the underlying Sitecore infrastructure as part of “Sitecore Experience Cloud”.
‘Sitecore Experience Cloud’ allows for all aspects of the platform running in a fully “serverless” capacity using Azure PaaS building blocks, without the need for any virtual machines to configure or manage. Additionally, customers and partners are now able to deploy on their own Azure subscriptions through a single, unified interface on Azure Marketplace.
xDB: Choice of servers
Sitecore XP 9 now supports multiple options for managing your xDB Database. Historically MongoDB was the platform of choice for all xDB implementations, Sitecore are now offering native support for Microsoft SQL Server 2016 or above and Azure Cosmos DB in addition to MongoDB. This will allow for the opportunity to manage and maintain databases more efficiently where teams are already familiar with Microsoft SQL or Azure Services and can improve infrastructure where datasets may have historically had to interact between different technologies.
Seamless integration with your CRM of choice is now possible with less effort and maintenance requirement as Sitecore XP 9 features pre-built connectors for most major CRM systems inclusive of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
Want to find out more about Sitecore XP 9 or how best to upgrade? Get in touch today.