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Episerver features - November 2015

Have you upgraded your websites with the latest? This document describes new features from updates 80 to 89 for the Episerver platform, including new functionality for projects in CMS and campaigns in Commerce. Updates are cumulative and the latest always include previous updates.

What is new for..?

Features for CMS users

New project features 

A Project lets you publish multiple pages, blocks, images, (and products, if you have Commerce installed) at the same time, either instantly or scheduled for later publishing. This feature was first introduced in the Spring 2015 release, and new features have been continuously added since then. See new features below.

Activity feed with commenting

The purpose of the comments feature when working with projects is to facilitate collaboration between editors. You can add comments on a project or on specific project items or actions. This way you can add information on changes you have made, ask other editors to review the item and so on. Other editors can view your comments and reply to them, and also add their own.

Project notifications through e-mail

If your system has been configured to use e-mail notifications, you will receive an e-mail when you have made a comment or reply and someone else replies to this, or if you have, for example, set a page to Ready to Publish and someone else comments on this action. You will also be notified if someone tags you in a comment. How often these notifications are sent depends on the system configuration.

Features for Commerce users

New Campaign features (beta)

New Commerce functionality lets marketers and merchandisers create campaigns and discounts using a new, friendly interface. These are the first parts of the new Marketing functionality, with a campaign overview, campaign and discount editing views, and a first discount in place. 

Campaign editing with overview

The Campaign overview displays the status for all available campaigns.

The new Edit Campaign forms editing view lets you define a campaign by entering the following information.

  • Name and description
  • Dates when the campaign is active
  • Target market and revenue
  • Analytics tracking code

Creating discounts

For each campaign, you can create discounts. Customers can take advantage of them when placing an order in a specified category during a discount's active period.

Currently, one discount is available to Commerce merchandisers: Buy [N] quantity from [category / set of categories/ catalog entry] and get the cheapest item for free. The example below illustrates the settings for a customer purchasing two items from the Automotive > Electronic accessories category. 

Features for add-on users

New Forms add-on (beta)

This add-on provides a block-based approach to creating web forms, a key element of many websites to collect information. Some examples of forms are Contact usSign up for e-mailSign up for an event, and Apply for a job. You can use several simple forms to build a progressive profile of a site visitor for marketing purposes.

Block-based forms provide the following advantages:

  • Re-use. You can re-use forms because you can re-use blocks.
  • Customized rendering. You can customize rendering of forms and form elements because you can customize rendering of blocks, including different renderings for display channels, personalization, multilanguage, permissions, publish-flow, and projects.
  • Inheritance. A block can inherit a block-type.
  • Extension. You can extend a block type with existing technology.

See the user guide for the new Episerver Forms add-on for information on how to work with block-based forms.

Connect for SharePoint add-on

Episerver Connect for Microsoft SharePoint synchronizes content between your local or remote SharePoint® repository, and EPiServer media repositories. See Connect for SharePoint in the EPiServer User Guide.

Features for CMS (core and UI) developers

Override database schema updating when deploying to Azure

You can override the automatic database schema update by adding a setting in the application configuration. See Automatic schema updates.

Support for storing time zone-independent date and time

You can store data and time in UTC format, making it possible to change the web server's time zone or move the database between time zones. See Storing UTC date and time in the database.

Removal of WF dependency

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) has been removed, and replaced with workflow functionality that will be part of the new Projects (beta) functionality.

Removal of Log4net dependency

The dependency on Log4Net has been removed, allowing you to use a logging provider of your choice. EPiServer.Logging.Log4Net has been upgraded, and is still available through the Visual Studio extension. See Logging.

Updated Visual Studio Extensions for Episerver

The update includes the option to install Episerver Find together with a Find-based search page for the Alloy sample site. See Installing Episerver.

New scheduled jobs for the Projects feature

Two scheduled jobs have been added, Notification Message Truncate job and Notification Dispatcher. The Notification Message Truncate job deletes expired notification messages that could not be sent and are still in the system. The Notification Dispatcher job determines how often Episerver CMS sends notifications of new or updated comments or replies posted in projects.

Features for Commerce developers

New campaign and discount features

Continued development of the foundation for the campaigns and discounts functionality. See Marketing for added API features.

Performance improvements 

The catalog content versioning has been moved to the ECF. Changes were made to the storing of catalog content versions and property data, as well as catalog content work IDs. See Breaking changes for Commerce 9.

Removal of dependencies 

Windows Workflow Foundation and Log4Net have been removed to align with platform changes (see CMS above). The dependency on Mediachase.Cms (legacy CMS) was also removed.

Updated reference architecture for Commerce

The "Quicksilver" sample site was updated to be compatible with Episerver CMS 9. The site also supports ASP.NET identity in Commerce Manager. See Quicksilver on Episerver NuGet.

Features for Find developers

Simplified installation of Find with CMS templates

The Episerver Visual Studio extensions have been updated to include Episerver Find as an option when configuring search for your project. If you choose to install Episerver Find, the installation adds a Find-based search page to your Alloy sample site project. See Installing Episerver.

Features for add-on developers

New connect for SharePoint add-on

This connector replaces the previous implementation for SharePoint. See Connect for SharePoint and SharePointProcessor API for installation and configuration details.

Episerver Instant Templates

This add-on for Episerver that allows content editors to create their own re-usable templates from within the Episerver edit view. See Episerver Instant Templates.

Updated Episerver add-ons 

These add-ons have been upgraded to be CMS 9-compatible:

Related information

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Last updated: Nov 09, 2015