Most web content management platforms support mobile: whether that's responsive design, mobile websites or mobile apps. Sitefinity 6.0 supports all three. Let's take a look.
Sitefinity's view of the importance of mobile should not come as a surprise. With the release of Sitefinity 5.0 it offered responsive design as the key approach to supporting customers with both their websites and mobile presences. And Sitefinity is a huge proponent of responsive design.
But what it also understands is that there are use cases for separate mobile websites or even mobile apps. So it only makes sense that the newest release of Sitefinity offers support for all three.
Let's go through each of the mobile publishing options available in Sitefinity 6.0, starting with Responsive Design.
Sitefinity 6.0: Responsive Design
Sitefinity 5.0 saw the first wave of mobile publishing within the Web Content Management platform. Responsive design is device agnostic. You build a single instance of your website, but do it in a such a way that it transforms the way web pages are delivered based on the device being used.
Sitefinity Responsive Design
Once you have your web page designed, you create rules for responsive layout as shown below. New to this version of responsive design within Sitefinity is the ability to hide certain layouts or column elements, simplifying the view for some devices.
With Sitefinity's responsive design approach, you also have a device simulator and device preview.
Sitefinity 6.0: Mobile Websites
There are business cases for separate mobile websites and to ignore that fact could be bad news for a WCM vendor. So those who want the ability to create mobile websites, Sitefinity has a solution. Working from the same initial design, instead of transforming the design, you can select an option to go somewhere else completely (notice the "Apply behavior to..." section):
Sitefinity design options
Once you set up the redirect, you then test your mobile website with the same Sitefinity Device Preview and Device Similar tools. With this option, you can chose to redirect someone to a completely different website for everything or only for selected webpages or sub-sites.
Sitefinity Mobile Website
Sitefinity 6.0: Mobile Apps Builder
Your third option for mobile with Sitefinity 6.0 is to build your own mobile app. This is done with the new Mobile App Builder. Included here is a Module Builder that lets build HTML 5 applications. You create modules based on a content type and the platform generates the basic code for your app (we are talking CRUD (create, read, update and delete) or maybe only simple read) functionality.
Sitefinity Mobile App Builder
You get three options for this generated code for your mobile app:
- Download source code as a zip file and work on it in your developer tool of choice
- Upload it to Icenium -- Telerik Cloud-Based Mobile App Platform, where you can continue to work on it.
- Upload it to Sitefinity Box where you can quickly make the app available to users.
Sitefinity Box is new and it's a pretty cool capability for organizations who want to surface some functionality via a mobile app for their employees but may not want to create a full-blown app for the App Store. Sitefinity Box is a mobile app available already in the App Stores of Apple and Google. It allows you to log in with your assigned credentials and get access to your mobile functionality.
Obviously this is meant to be more for internal use and not for consumers, but it's a good option for organizations who need some mobile access, but don't have the IT resources to build and maintain a separate mobile application. Telerik will be open sourcing Sitefinity Box.
Icenium is in beta, so it's open to everyone to use right now, it uses Telerik's Kendo UI Mobile and Apache’s Cordova to create Native Apps based on HTML5 technologies.
Telerik now supports cloud-based storage of data through its new Everlive Cloud service. Utilizing a MongoDB, organizations can store content in both Sitefinity and the Everlive Cloud. The modules to sync to the cloud service can be selected and as content is updated, both Sitefinity and Everlive are updated (the sync time can be set)
Sitefinity Everlive Cloud
More New Features in Sitefinity 6.0
While the big focus on the latest release of Sitefinity is mobile, there are a few other enhancements to the Web CMS. There's a connector for SharePoint which offers either a one time content migration, a one way connection and two-way synchronization between Sitefinity and SharePoint.
In addition, there's a new Canonical URL service and there are improvements to SiteSync, Event and Libraries modules and Ecommerce capabilities, so be sure to check those out.
For now, it's good to see Sitefinity's support for a number of different approaches to mobile. Sitefinity customers won't be locked into one way of delivering mobile content, instead able to choose the best technical solution to their business need.