Umbraco 9 has officially launched and we can't wait to build beautifully designed websites with this latest version. Earlier this week we attended the live launch and, as always, Umbraco put on a great show.
They covered everything from hearing about the Umbraco 9 purpose and journey to a walkthrough of the major changes and improvements you’ll find in Umbraco version 9, to the latest packages and how best to get started with this newest version.
Now that we have had time to digest what we learnt, we wanted to share just a few of the headlines from the launch and look at Umbraco 9 in a little more detail.
The Big Change: A New Framework
So we obviously have to start with the biggest and most obvious change between Umbraco 8 and Umbraco 9, and that is the new framework! Umbraco is moving away from the .NET Framework and will move over to .NET Core/.NET 5.
Umbraco has previously confirmed this change was because Microsoft is no longer working on the older technology of .NET Framework, so the upgrade was a necessity as opposed to a luxury. However, this has meant that Umbraco has modernised the codebase and, in doing so, will help make the CMS more future-proof.
One other benefit from moving the entire codebase to .NET Core is the addition of cross-platform compatibility. This will definitely please one of our developers, Pete, as he can now run Umbraco natively on his iMac without the use of a windows virtual machine in order to carry out development work on an Umbraco site!
In this latest version of Umbraco, packages will have to be uploaded via NuGet. This change in approach on how packages are installed was due to how .NET Core works. This change has meant there is no longer the option to install packages via the Umbraco back-office with a click of a button. But on the upside, Umbraco has implemented package migrations that allow you to run custom code and migration code when your package is installed or upgraded.
Talking about this switch, Umbraco said, "changing workflows is always tricky - but in this case, necessary. We believe that this solution will continually improve the discoverability and ease of installation of different Umbraco packages in the future."
BIG Performance Upgrades
Whilst the first two on the list won't mean much unless you're a developer, this one is a change that our clients will definitely notice! The .NET 5 framework can take advantage of new hardware and software architecture in a way the previous framework could not.
This means that Umbraco 9 can now reap these improved performance benefits too! Umbraco states that "depending on what operations you’re doing, you will see 100s, if not 1000s, percentage increase in performance compared to older versions of Umbraco".
Content Editing Remains Similar
What's great is that for our clients and their content editors, most of these changes are in the engine room, so to speak, so the editors will still have the same Umbraco experience they currently have with Umbraco 8.
The CMS will remain extremely editor-friendly, with all the features and fixes that we are used to seeing also available in Umbraco 9. This is great news for our clients and their content editors so they don't have to relearn how to use the CMS.
Besides the familiarity, with Umbraco 9 being the new major version of Umbraco, we will, of course, expect to see even more new editor-friendly features being added as time goes by.
Umbraco Continues To Deliver
With Umbraco, you get an extremely powerful and fully-featured content management system (CMS) that gives our clients the flexibility to run anything from small campaigns or brochure sites right through to complex applications. It’s also intuitive, simple, and fast, with no frustrating plug-ins for our clients to learn.