Change, the inevitable occurrence to life, yet a constant challenge for most to embrace and endure.
The fluidity of change within Technology and web development these days is evolving more rapidly, allowing for online platforms and interfaces to become much more intuitive, sleeker and time-efficient, to both businesses and their end-users.
The fundamentals for change is to understand the when, why and the how of any situation. Knowing the fundamentals helps circumvents chaos, disruption and eliminates the unknown, but instead, empowers us with the knowledge to plan and future proof.
"What has change got do to with my Kentico website", you may ask.
Well, significant changes are forthcoming with Kentico come September 2020. And with 2020 just six months away, we at i3 Digital are giving the lowdown on the when, why and the how-to help future proof your website during this transitional change.
Firstly, let's discuss what the changes are and why they're happening.
The End of Kentico Portal Engine
September 2020 draws an end to developing any further portal engine updates or versions by Kentico. However, Kentico will still support portal engine until September 2022; after this, it will be replaced entirely by MVC (Model View Controller).
Why the Change to MVC
We are seeing more and more traditional ASP.Net CMS companies such as Sitecore and EpiServer evolving and moving away from portal engine based platforms to MVC (Model View Controller).
Microsoft's plans to abandon ASP.NET Web Forms have been on the cards for a while, so the decision from Kentico was not to jump ship to MVC straight away. Kentico's approach is to have a release-by-release transition towards a full .NET Core MVC development model by 2020, which includes supporting ASP.NET Web Forms until then.
Microsoft made the call a number of years ago, stating they would cease developing Web Forms and that MVC is the future. In the beginning, there was a significant push back, so much, so they retracted. With latest announcements from Microsoft, in openly admitting to .NET Core and Core MVC being the future, the time has come to acknowledge that the end of Web Forms is near.
Initially, the Kentico platform got created when switching from ASP Classic to ASP.NET WebForms. An exciting period when innovative Technology backed all the needs for developers to meet with their expectations. As applications evolved from the desktop to web to mobile, developers wanted to replicate the fluid experiences users were having with native apps. It's what's driving the demand for Technology that helps to satisfy the needs of front-end developers' to build better experiences.
The Impacts to Consider
Making changes to a website has many important factors, with time, money and energy being at the forefront. Other components to consider are the intricacies and complexities towards the existing build of the website as it currently sits.
Your business will inevitably face impact if planning to continue with, or start projects over the next year on the Kentico Portal Engine, as support will be for two years maximum.
If your portal engine website is reaching the point where you are considering a redesign or rebuild, then the best approach is to rebuild on MVC. During the redesign, most likely, some content will be reused, as will data and extensions etc. The front end will probably be created from scratch to keep in line with the redesign.
It is not a case of businesses choosing the model they prefer anymore, as the feature sets now available on MVC have caught up. Instead, it's about ensuring businesses are choosing the right platform for the future. As to whether it's with Kentico, Microsoft or any other .NET based platforms, the future now lies in MVC.
Do we have to switch to MVC immediately?
The short answer is, not necessarily. However, if your site is constructed utilizing Portal engine and is on Kentico 11 or earlier, we would strongly recommend upgrading to Kentico 12 Portal engine. We recommend this because Kentico will be supporting version 12 on the Portal Engine until 2022, which provides enough time to start planning towards the eventual transition from Portal Engine to MVC.
The longer you stay on an older Kentico version, the more time & costs will incur with each new version released. A critical factor we recommend taking into consideration. It's due to the Kentico upgrade process, where it involves stepping through each version incrementally to get to the latest version. Also include taking into account the fact that there will be differences in features from version to version, with some features not available in other versions.
Here's what a typical Kentico upgrade path looks like: