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John Håkansson
Nov 15, 2022
(7 votes)

7 reasons to migrate to CMS12 (.NET Core)

In 2020 Optimizely made the call to move from the old and dated .NET Framework to the new and future-looking .NET Core. And since the launch of CMS 12 and Commerce 14 on .NET Core in 2021 we’ve been at the forefront of versions from Microsoft … now with .NET7 support!

We feel the difference at Optimizely. Our OMVPs have recognized the shift, and so do our partners and customers that have made the move.

As of today (Nov22) 25% of our customer base on DXP Cloud are building and running their websites and apps on .NET Core. And since we launched the migration tooling this summer, we’ve also helped dozens of customers to migrate their projects from CMS11/Commerce13 and .NET Framework to CMS12/Commerce14 and .NET Core.

Some systems are difficult to replace, especially those that handle vital processes. But legacy technology can seriously harm your organization - higher costs, a small talent pool, and limited innovation are just a few of the downsides. Today, the .NET Framework is one of those legacy technologies, and moving to .NET Core is the best option.

But what does it mean for your business? How does it impact your daily operations?

We’ve listed 7 reasons to upgrade for you:

1.     Lower costs

Every month you postpone upgrading puts you back a month in tech debt.  As a customer, you probably do not want to stay on a framework that is marked as obsolete by Microsoft and Optimizely. You will likely face higher support costs from outdated solutions, especially if you use third-party components that could discontinue support even sooner.

Starting in November 2021, major Microsoft provided components used in web applications, such as ASP.NET MVC or Web API, will be retired. No bug fixing will be made available and efforts toward security patches will start to phase out. For third-party components, the cliff may be even more pronounced.

There is no end-of-support planned for CMS 11 at this point, see our list of discontinued products. We will continue providing patches for CMS 11 for important security issues and severe defects with no reasonable workaround that is reproducible in an unmodified instance of the software. But CMS 11 is not where innovation is happening and not where new features are released.

Yes, there’s a migration cost to move over the code from .NET Framework to .NET Core which is small for some customers and bigger for others. At Optimizely we’ve tried to make it as frictionless as possible for a customer to migrate with a .Net Upgrade Assistant and a Cloud Migration tooling including new environments at no extra cost, and feature parity of the core CMS/Commerce application (as of Oct-22).

In the DXP Management Portal, you’ll be greeted with a new tab called Project Migration. This will act as your main hub for administrating the migration process



2.     Increased talent pool and happier developers

.NET Core makes development much faster and light weight and adds tons of quality-of-life improvements that allow a faster and more productive inner development loop. It is also where all the new features are added, not in .NET Framework.

At the end of the day developers just want to be creative and productive in solving customer problems. With .NET Core you get more, and better things built faster, and what you build is also faster for end users. But not only does it make your day to day and customers' lives better now, it is also what you want on your resumé for the future. And by Microsoft embracing Open source and cross platform development with .NET Core, its great features finds more and more fans outside the traditional Microsoft developer community.

Today the talent pool for .NET Framework is bigger compared to the .NET Core’s, but that is changing rapidly as most developers are more interested in working with new technologies than anything  scheduled for sunset. In this survey by Stackoverflow .NET Core is ranked as the most loved Framework with 72,67% loving it, where .NET Framework is second to last with 42,14%.


3.     More innovation

Money, talent, and obsolescence are big concerns for companies today, and they can be made worse if the migration process from a legacy technology to a new one is delayed. Waiting too long will make the leap too big and will likely cause instability issues, which are only addressed in a timely manner when migrating between consecutive releases, as all attention is focused on it and results in relevant updates and fixes.

Access to new features from Optimizely will happen on CMS12 and Commerce14. Since it’s running on .Net Core this is also where you get access to the latest innovation from Microsoft with .NET7 and beyond, a future path you get out-of-the-box with CMS12 and Commerce14.

CMS 11 is not where innovation is happening and not where new features are released, so you must upgrade to get access to the nice new stuff.

Our OMVPs:

Recent releases on CMS12 (Nov22):

In development (Nov22):

  • Tag helpers
  • List property support
  • Single-Sign-On (SSO) across DXP services (H1 2023)
  • TinyMCE6 upgrade
  • Out-of-the-box CMS dashboard


4.     Better performance

Improved SEO is a result of better performance, that’s an old truth that is more valid today than ever since users demand a fast digital experience wherever they are. And being found is the first concern of many organizations, search engine rankings are directly impacted by load times. On top of that you’ve your users behavior where it’s key to ensure high engagement, satisfaction to increase conversions and the perception of your brand.

When we upgraded our own website to CMS12 the response times improved 3x, and some pages became 10x faster. A Nordic customer in the financial sector who migrated dropped their response times by more than 70%.

CMS12 and Commerce14 on .NET Core can handle 3x more server requests which means much better scalability and efficiencies. At the same time, Optimizely makes sure that customers migrating are also set up on the latest blueprint of performant infrastructure in Azure that scales faster and higher.

Finally, you also get a lovelier CMS admin experience that is much more responsive and easier to use. Our global customers see clear improvement among their content editors with a more democratized experience despite where you’re located in the world.


5.     Improved headless capabilities

Although headless Content Management Systems have been around for several years, many solutions focus purely on how content is retrieved, and leave content creators and editors with difficult to use, unintuitive editorial interfaces.

Content Cloud is often used as a headless or hybrid CMS, and we receive a lot of feedback on extending upon our capability to best support these use cases. From the extended RESTful APIs in CMS12 to our Content Graph service (GraphQL API in Open Beta), we are continuously improving the ways in which content can be consumed.

To support (and differentiate) headless and hybrid content creation in the UI we have launched a Multi-Channel Content gadget in CMS12 enabling more intuitive Headless content creation.


6.     Increased security

Most companies choose to keep legacy systems because they contain historical information stored on them and the very idea of ​​updating them is perceived as an unnecessary investment of time and money. Yes, some systems are difficult to replace, especially those that handle vital business processes, but the truth is that legacy technology can have a damaging impact. That impact can range from customer perception to actual security threats to your organization. Today,  the .NET Framework, unfortunately, is now one of those legacy technologies.

ASP.NET Core provides many tools and libraries to secure ASP.NET Core apps such as built-in identity providers and third-party identity services, plus that it offers several approaches to store app secrets.

.NET Core provides significant improvement in:

  • threat modeling
  • cryptography
  • defense in depth mitigations.
  • added support for OpenSSL 3 (Linux)
  • new runtime security mitigation roadmap


7.     Cross-platform support

Product innovation is critical for business innovation, how to enable growth, scale or other wanted outcomes. But lack of innovation can affect your budget too.

.NET Core is cross-platform, so it is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems. Your developers can choose the tools they’re most productive with to build applications that work across popular platforms. Our engineering team at Optimizely uses a mix of Linux, Mac and Windows machines working on the same products.


That's the list. So what's the next step then? Visit our developer docs to learn about the three phases we recommend for your migration journey.  


Nov 15, 2022


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