Telerik, maker of the Sitefinity .NET Web CMS, has announced release 4.2 of the product. Despite what the press release says, it's all about content and commerce -- not customer experience. The essentials. How refreshing.
Sitefinity 4.0 - Improvements to Web CMS
It was mid-January when we spent some time chatting with Telerik about the latest version of their web content management system. Sitefinity 4.0 was a big update for the product, one primarily focused on a brand new task oriented user experience and a number of developer improvements, including a new SDK and integration with Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) integration.
At that time, we were told that Telerik was in the process of integrating the e-commerce functionality it obtained via its acquisition of MallSoft, a former Telerik partner that built custom shopping cart technologies.
The 4.2 release brings another level of e-commerce integration, lots of bug fixes (the initial 4.0 release was a bit rough), improved QA and automated testing processes and a focus on refining the core content management experience.
What this release doesn't bring is those things we call Customer Experience Management (e.g., marketing dashboards, campaigns, multi-variate testing, personalization, rules engines, multi-channel management, etc.).
That's fine. As we know, despite the hype, the basics are not going anywhere and e-commerce is exploding. We applaud the sensibility.
Sitefinity Gets E-commerce Module
Sitefinity 4.2 is the version you need to get access to the new e-commerce module. It offers the fundamentals, but isn't yet fancy.
- Product, manufacturer and department management
- Support for custom product types and variations
- Real-time shipping and tax calculation
- Customizable regional currency and exchange rate settings
- Payment processing via Paypal and Authorize.Net integration
- Reporting and metrics
Sitefinity 4.2 Integrates E-commerce Features from Mallsoft Acquisition
Additional Web CMS Enhancements
While the addition of the e-commerce was the big focus for version 4.2, there were some other improvements to the Web CMS. The media library system has been extended to support additional storage providers. Localization support has been added for templates. Filtering of feeds and configuration of notifications has become much more granular, pleasing content managers focused on these tasks.
The product does offer some level of support for A/B testing and experience optimization, but this mainly relies on integration with Google's Website Optimizer.
We recently spoke with members of the Sitefinity team, and discussed the near and medium term product roadmap. While customer experience is on the radar, the immediate focus is on product quality, e-commerce integration and delivering an exceptional content manager user experience. That's a fine place to be, if you ask us.