Kentico 12 as The Modern .NET MVC Technology - Best Kentico Hosting
What is MVC?
MVC stands for Model-View-Controller, a popular software development architecture that helps developers organize their projects into modular chunks, making their code easier to write, understand and change.
As you may know, Kentico is built on Microsoft’s ASP.NET platform. Microsoft’s initial web development framework for ASP.NET was called Web Forms and was released way back in 2002. At the time, Web Forms was considered revolutionary. Sixteen years later, it feels dated and very much “in the way”. As web development evolved, MVC has become the preferred architecture among web developers, and Microsoft released ASP.NET MVC in 2009 in order to keep its vital developer community happy. Eight major releases later, ASP.NET MVC has long been the architecture of choice for web developers on the Microsoft stack.
MVC and Kentico
Unfortunately, switching a complex application like Kentico from Web Forms to MVC is a huge endeavor, verging on a rewrite. Kentico released partial support for MVC-based development back in version 9, with many of its core features unsupported in MVC implementations. Most importantly lacking has been the visual editing experience of Kentico’s portal engine. Current MVC implementations of Kentico are limited to “content only” page types, meaning the editing interface is limited to the Form tab. As a result, developing Kentico sites in MVC is a tough sell for agencies whose customers have been sold on a visual page editing experience.
With version 12, Kentico is beginning a multi-release process that will eventually phase out the Web Forms-based portal engine content editor. The ubiquitous “web part” will be replaced with MVC widgets. As web content pages have grown longer and more modular, it no longer makes sense to think of static templates with predefined fields. Rather, a template may contain an assortment of content components (widgets) that an editor may organize on the page as they see fit. While Kentico has supported widget-based templates since version 5, editing the content in widgets requires opening a dialog and filling in a form. Kentico 12’s MVC widgets will support inline editing, finally providing a truly modular, flexible and visual editing experience for content editors.
What's New in Kentico 12?
MVC Page Builder
With the MVC Page Builder, your content admins and marketers can intuitively adjust the web content across your MVC-powered website using MVC Widgets. The widgets are easy to drag and drop into editable sections of your website, support content personalization, and can be of any size and type to satisfy fully every content need.
Provide your marketers and content editors with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for content creation. The MVC Page Builder allows the creation of perfectly tailored MVC Widgets so that the website content can be created, updated, and removed with ease. Whether there is a need to place a testimonial, social media feed, or anything else on the page, a dedicated MVC Widget can be created for it.
Unlock your team’s potential with MVC Widgets in MVC Page Builder. Developers can create any kind of MVC Widgets to meet every content editors’ requirements to ensure they can design the content of the website quickly and effortlessly. Leveraging the native drag and drop support, MVC Widgets can be dropped into predefined zones in the MVC Page Builder and further configured with just a few clicks. Every zone can be set to allow only specific MVC Widgets, making work with the web content even more effective.
Give your marketers the true ability to personalize website content on their terms. Every MVC Widget can be personalized directly in the MVC Page Builder, and can have an unlimited number of personalization variants. You can set up any number of bespoke display conditions so that marketers can quickly define when the given personalization variant of the MVC Widget should be displayed to an online visitor.
Safe Content Changes
Allow your MVC developers to rest easily when content editors adjust the website content in MVC Page Builder as it is done purely through MVC Widgets that can be limited to being placed only into dedicated sections of the page, meaning the front-end structure of the website cannot be broken.
MVC Development Model
The ASP.NET MVC development model in Kentico CMS allows for a more semantic approach to content editing without the distraction of page settings. As a content editor, you can create content in the Kentico Administration Interface using the MVC Page Builder, and store it in the Kentico database. The developer codes the website and determines the layout separately from the content creation and then uses the content already stored in the Kentico database to populate the MVC application (live site).
With the MVC development model in Kentico CMS, you get a much cleaner architectural layout, which helps speed up the delivery of websites while providing a semantic approach to the creation of content. In the MVC application (the live site), the developer codes the website, including the layout and presentation, while also setting up the content structure (page types and the organization of folders within the content tree) in the Kentico Administration Interface. Content editors create and adjust the content in the MVC Page Builder using its intuitive drag-and-drop MVC Widgets, implemeted by the developer to perfectly cover marketers' needs, and all the content (including texts, pictures, videos, etc.) is stored in the Kentico database. The developer can then access the content in the Kentico database using the Kentico API and display it on the live site.
Separation of Concerns
Leveraging the MVC Page Builder, content editors have a more semantic approach to content editing, without the distraction of page settings or the need for any technical knowledge of HTML, ASP.NET, or CSS. Once created, the content is stored in the Kentico database via the Kentico API. The developer codes the website and determines the layout in the MVC application while also setting up the content structure in the Kentico Administration Interface, along with the MVC Widgets defined in the MVC Page Builder, before using the content that is stored in the Kentico database to populate the MVC application (the live site). The structure and MVC Widgets greatly increases the productivity of the content editor as there is no need to constantly write the same content for various parts of the website. The MVC development model allows you to write and store the content once, and it can then be used in various locations on the live site.
With full control over the output HTML, developers can utilize MVC to develop modern responsive websites independent of the content editing process. It also results in a much smaller typical page size, meaning your website is quicker to load on mobile devices and uses much less data in the process.
Increased Security with Cloud Deployment
The MVC development model in Kentico is fully compatible with cloud deployments as well as deployment on your servers. Separation of the administration and the live site in MVC makes it possible to deploy the live site to the cloud and keep the administration behind your server’s firewall to increase security and scalability.
Website Preview, Workflows, and Multilingual Site Support
Although the work of the content editor and the developer is separated, using the Preview mode in the MVC Page Builder, content editors can still view the live site from within the administration, even if it is stored in a different location. The MVC development model is also fully compatible with the workflow operation in Kentico as well as the development of multilingual sites. You can write the content needed for the website in various languages and developers can implement the appropriate culture from the database during the website’s development.
Web Farm Synchronization
The MVC development model takes advantage of the out-of-the-box Web Farm Support in Kentico, allowing the continuous, bi-directional synchronization of semantic content, content structures, and code between the Kentico Administration Interface, the Kentico database, and the MVC application. Using Web Farms also means that your site is capable of scaling to meet higher traffic or site loads, when needed, offering a better and more consistent experience for your visitors at all times.
Your marketers can easily create online forms using MVC Form Builder. It has a predefined set of form components that can be dragged and dropped into a designated area to create an online form that meets every marketer's need. The online forms can also be turned into progressive forms to gather data from online visitors more efficiently.
MVC Form Builder
With MVC Form Builder, your marketers can create online forms for your MVC website with ease. MVC Form Builder offers a predefined set of form components that can be dragged and dropped into a designated area and easily readjusted to create an online form in the exact way the marketers want. It also allows turning the online forms into Smart Forms so marketers can gather information from your visitors in a more efficient way.
Out-of-the-box MVC Forms
Give your marketers the ability to create their ideal MVC online forms in minutes. With MVC Form Builder’s native drag-and-drop functionality, and a predefined set of form components, form creation becomes a breeze. Furthermore, every form component supports various validation rules that can be used to ensure that the website visitor enters only the right type of information into the form field.
The created online forms can then be placed anywhere on a website with an MVC Widget via our intuitive MVC Page Builder.
Provide your marketers with a powerful way to gather information about website visitors with Smart Forms. These progressive forms display just a few selected form fields to a visitor during their first visit, and only when these fields have been filled in, different form fields are then shown to them. This allows your marketers to create long forms but keep them compact at the same time, and place them along the visitor’s journey across your MVC site to collect visitors’ info in an elegant way. Creation of such Smart Forms is a breeze as every form designed in the MVC Form Builder can be turned into a Smart Form with just a few clicks.
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