Sitecore is one of the most advanced marketing platforms that is empowering modern digital marketers to resolve challenges in managing siloed data, delivering personalized customer experiences, poor omnichannel delivery options and lengthy time to market. The Sitecore platform is constantly evolving and releasing new features and functionalities for marketers to leverage. In this blog post, we will walk through some of the remarkable fixes introduced in the latest Sitecore 9.2, that resolves several issues faced by users of the previous versions.
1. Eases environment setup and configuration
The introduction of Sitecore 9 brought a new method of installation in which the OOTB.exe installer was not available. This made it mandatory for Sitecore developers to make use of the Sitecore Installation Framework (SIF) that required manual execution of PowerShell scripts, command line as well as configurations. However, this approach was complicated and led to errors when trying to install the command line.
The arrival of the new Sitecore 9.2 version brings Sitecore Install Assistance (SIA) that has improved the installation approach. With the help of SIA, developers can now easily install Sitecore using simple GUI compared to complex SIF of the older version. Also, SIA helps developers to carry out installation using a simple GUI layer over SIF, which offers a user-friendly interface to users to start quickly.
2. Resolves xDB collection database issues
Previous versions of Sitecore 7.x and 8.x encountered issues with analytics data in the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) installation. The xDB collection database stores all contacts (visitors) and interactions (browsing session) data to help marketers understand the experiences and action of these insights in real-time to constantly drive highly engaging and relevant experiences. Earlier, MongoDB was the default choice for data management but if you are upgrading to Sitecore 9.0 and above, you need SQL Server for analytics data.
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Are you planning to upgrade from your existing version of Sitecore to XP 10? Deciding whether or not you need the version and how to migrate all your data is not easy.
Sitecore 9.2 has introduced advanced Experience Platform with xConnect capability which a service layer between the Experience Database (xDB) and digital infrastructure. xConnect helps marketers to connect with and store data in any third-party data system such as ERP systems, Point of Sale, CRMs, machine learning engines, digital devices and touch-points. Moreover, Sitecore xConnect gives total control of indexing of any contact, interaction, event or facet, to help marketers create effective campaigns that attract and acquire customers. Moreover, in version 9.2, a new API has been introduced which cleans up data from xDB and makes it compliant with data privacy regulations like GDPR.
3. Improves Sitecore dashboard features
Sitecore dashboard is an integral part of the platform that enhances user experience. It is part of the experience optimization application and showcases a number of key performance indicators. However, in the preceding versions of Sitecore, the dashboard had limited features and functionalities. Moreover, it lacked personalization for its users.
But with the arrival of Sitecore 9.2, a remarkable feature of ‘active personalization’ has been launched. This feature gives marketers a complete overview of all active personalization experiences and related details in one single dashboard.
Here’s what the marketers can get through the active personalized list:
- It gives an overview of all personalized experiences that have been created on your sites.
- It also showcases the personalized experiences that are tested and implemented as well as the personalized experiences that are currently being tested.
- It sorts and filters the list and allows you to search for a page by item or display name.
- Finally, you can see how many components on a page have personalization rules applied to them.
4. Enhances Sitecore Host capabilities
Previous versions of Sitecore were missing out on few low-level settings such as logging setup or service registration. To address such fundamental user experience, Sitecore Host was introduced as an enhancement to the platform in Sitecore 9.1. It was initially designed to standardize various common pieces with base functionality that is required for development.
Sitecore Host has got further enhanced in Sitecore 9.2, as a pluggable framework. Now it provides marketers with the capability to extend and modify the base application without having to change any underlying application code. For instance, applications and plugins built on the Sitecore Host framework share common services to handle things like dependency injection, logging, and configuration management. Moreover, it allows marketers to easily inject any services into your Sitecore Host code and use them when required.
In Sitecore 9.2, marketers are introduced to a new set of hosts including identity and publishing improvements that enables load sharing and helps to increase performance. Here’s what the host improvements include:
- Updated .NET Core 3.0 version
- Improved architectural solutions
- Single sign-on over multiple applications
- Token validation – for secure access to API
- Identity Server – to be on Host
- Persistent storage – publishing service to be on Host
- Universal Tracker
5. Enroll existing contacts in marketing automation
Enrolling existing contacts in marketing automation was a drawback when it was first mentioned in Sitecore 9.0 but got added in version 9.1 and finally, it has been improved in Sitecore 9.2. This feature is now advanced and is utilized to simplify the process of adding contacts to a marketing automation campaign. Now all you need to do is create a list of contacts in the List Manager and then in one step enroll all the contacts from the contact list to marketing automation in the list of a campaign.
The final say
Sitecore 9.2 is a promising platform that provides marketers with great capabilities that allows them to improve customer experiences significantly. Softweb Solutions, over the years, has helped many enterprises with Sitecore, whether it is implementation, development, integration or customization. Bring your requirements to our experienced Sitecore consultants and start optimizing your digital marketing experience.