I am an Umbraco lover! I am a Certified Umbraco Professional. I attend umBristol talks when I can, and I recently went to the Umbraco UK Festival at the Barbican this month.
Umbraco is a .Net based content management system. It’s powerful, intuitive for content editors to use, and doesn’t require a huge learning curve for developers building their first site with it, which is why it’s rapidly gaining popularity. In my opinion, it’s the best CMS that I have worked with in the last 15 years of being in the software industry.
The umBristol meetup group is largely, but not exclusively, a group of developers sharing their knowledge and experiences of working with the Umbraco CMS, as well as demo’ing projects they’ve built.
On Wednesday 29th November, umBristol are running their regular meetup talk.
Each meetup that is arranged has several speakers, demo’ing a project, talking about an Umbraco related conference they attended, and/or sharing the insights gained. However, this week’s meet up will also have a Q&A panel of 4 members – 3 developers, and me.
I have been using Umbraco to build websites since v4 (circa 2008) – we’re now up to v7.7.6, with v8 expected in the New Year. One of the meetup group organisers was a developer working for me when we first started using Umbraco, so he asked if I would join the panel to answer any questions relating to project delivery and requirements gathering.
Although the talks and conferences I’ve been to are based around Umbraco, part of the reason I find them valuable is to learn about the application of new tech, and overcoming problems that anyone in a development environment deals with.
My favourite demos so far have been about machine learning for media libraries, handling multilingual sites, and content translation services.
Machine Learning for Media Libraries
Steve Temple demo’ed his first draft of a project, which integrates Microsoft Cognitive services API with the Umbraco media library. The demo used image recognition services to analyse the content of the image, and provide meta information which could be used for a multi-faceted search of your media library. Gone are the days where you end up with duplicate images in your CMS, and uncategorised, badly named images meaning you can’t find what you need for your website. This will be a great package to use with Umbraco when complete. Steve has a lot more ideas to integrate before this is available for us Umbraco lovers, and developers, to use.
Handling Multilingual Sites
Dyson staff demo’d the James Dyson Foundation website which uses the Vorto package to handle language translations. This site just requires straight translations of fields for each language version, as there are no differences in content. However, to assist content editors in ensuring all content had been translated, the Dyson developers added additional reporting features to allow editors to see where the content gaps are. A great productivity improvement.
Multi-site, multi-language websites
At Umbraco Fest, Kevin Jump demo’d his Translation Manager package. Umbraco’s out the box functionality allows users to clone sites to create independent multi-language websites. However, there is no link retained to the parent site, so if a new page is created at the parent, this isn’t reflected across the cloned sites. Kevin’s package extends this functionality and allows a link to be created (if required), and additionally, provides a ‘Send site to translate’ function using online translation services for you to review before sending live.
It was a very cool, and very comprehensive package. Used in the right way, this would take a huge amount of the headache way from content editors.
This next set of talks includes a demo of a facial recognition app, again using Microsoft Cognitive Services, and details about ‘Fractal’; a front-end design system and how it can be integrated with Umbraco. Never fails to disappoint…