Sitecore Milwaukee User Group - Feb. 7, 2019

On Feb. 7th, a coworker and I made the hour and a half trek to the Sitecore Milwaukee User Group. It was a cold evening, but we were warmly hosted by Perficient, who has a very nice office in the middle of downtown Milwaukee.

This user group was hosted by Sitecore MVP Derek Dysart @DDysart and Joe Ouimet @jouimet. Thank you for putting this together!

Sitecore developers waiting for User Group to begin

We were greeted by a nice selection of specialty pizzas and drinks, as well as some great Sitecore swag.

After some social time, there were two great presentations put together by some experienced Sitecore MVPs.

Sitecore MVPs Corey Smith and Rick Bauer

Sitecore JSS

Corey Smith @sitecorey and Rick Bauer @Sitecordial

This was a very interesting presentation about Sitecore JSS, something that I've heard of but really didn't know anything about. I think this presentation was originally given at the last Sitecore Symposium in Orlando.

Their presentation wasn't too detailed or too general, but gave a good understanding of the benefits of Sitecore's new JSS rendering engine. Sitecore JSS is headless, meaning that Sitecore is used to return JSON data which is rendered by a front-end Javascript framework: Angular, Vue or React. Other frameworks can be adapted to use Sitecore JSS, but these three should work out of the box.

During the presentation, Corey made a bold prediction. He said that in a few years, MVC will be phased out just like Webforms has been, in favor of this headless architecture. We'll see if this holds true, but I predict that the responsiveness of Javascript frameworks will give enough of a benefit for Sitecore JSS to become the new standard.

Sitecore JSS is great for front-end developers, since it has the option to run in a disconnected mode that simulates data coming back from Sitecore. This makes development changes immediate, since you don't need to wait for Sitecore to spin up during each change, something that can take several minutes.

Great job Corey and Rick!

Sitecore MVP Mike Reynolds giving a presentation

Sitecore Experience Forms

Mike Reynolds @mike_i_reynolds (presenting remotely)

This was a fairly detailed presentation going into Sitecore Experience Forms, which is replacing Web Forms for Marketers (WFFM) in Sitecore 9.

Sitecore Experience Forms is a new way to make forms within Sitecore. It has a drag and drop UI, good documentation and looks pretty easy to use. The main drawback is that it is not really backwards compatible with WFFM, meaning that if you are upgrading to Sitecore 9, you will likely need to redo all of your WFFM forms to migrate them to Sitecore Experience Forms.

While I haven't really had to use WFFM or Sitecore Experience Forms at work, it was good getting a general understanding of how it works.

Thank you Mike!

This was the second Sitecore User Group that I have attended. While I very much felt like the new guy, I found going to this Meetup was a great way to meet local Sitecore developers, as well as learn some exciting new things going on with Sitecore. The presentations weren't too difficult to understand, so even if you're a new developer, I'd recommend going to a Sitecore User Group if you have one in your area. Heck, at least you'll get some free food and nice Sitecore swag.

Sitecore pens, buttons and can cozies

Take care!


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