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Seven New Features in Sitecore 10.1

Seven New Features in Sitecore 10.1

Author

Brandon Bruno

Published

March 01, 2021

Tags

Sitecore 10.1 has been released as the first major update to Sitecore 10, and it brings along a few new features that will be welcome for users and developers alike. Here's a quick summary of some key new features.

New Launchpad

Sitecore's Launchpad interface is the starting point for most content authors and admins, and 10.1 brings an updated look. This new design language comes from the Horizon editor and marks the start of a new, light-color theme for the entire platform.

The new Sitecore launchpad.

Unfortunately this visual refresh is limited to only the Launchpad, as the rest of Sitecore sticks with the Sitecore 8-era red-and-gray theme. I expect future releases of Sitecore 10 to include additional theme updates across the CMS and a full visual overhaul by Sitecore 11 (or whatever the next version is called).

Sitecore Forms: Simple Email Submit Action

Sitecore Forms is a great way build web forms for gathering data from visitors and customers. While Sitecore stores responses in the forms database, getting form data to external systems has typically required custom integration. Sending form data to an email address wasn't even built in - until now.

Creating an email submit action in Sitecore Forms.

Sitecore Forms finally has a Send Email submit action built in, complete with a message editor that can utilize form fields in the body of the email message. Even better: EXM is not required for this functionality! A few notes on the Send Email implementation:

  • The submit action uses Sitecore's default SMTP email functionality, which is just a simple implementation of the .NET SMTP client.

  • SMTP settings use the default MailServer SMTP settings found in Sitecore configuration under /configuration/sitecore/settings:

      <setting name="MailServer" value=""/>
      <setting name="MailServerUserName" value=""/>
      <setting name="MailServerPassword" value=""/>
      <setting name="MailServerPort" value="25"/>
      <setting name="MailServerUseSsl" value="false"/>
    
  • The Send Email submit action is implemented the Sitecore.ExperienceForms.Mvc.dll library in the following class:

      Sitecore.ExperienceForms.Mvc.Processing.SubmitActions.SendEmail
    

GeoIP Rules for XM Solutions

The CMS-only version of Sitecore became known as Experience Management ("XM") a few years ago, and while it offered a slightly simpler, cheaper option for Sitecore customers, is also lacked many key features of the full Experience Platform (XP) version.

GeoIP personalization rules.

One of those missing features in XM - GeoIP personalization rules - are back with Sitecore XM 10.1.

Other Highlights

  • SXA 10.1 - SXA sees a new release with a few new features - namely integration with Horizon, page branches, and per-component theme inclusion (allowing specific components to trigger the inclusion of theme asset, potentially slimming page sizes).
  • EXM Retry - Retryers in EXM are configurable services for handling certain email failure scenarios. EXM now comes with three out of the box: Send (for SMTP failures), ValidateConnection (for validating an SMTP connection), and xConnect Conflict.
  • HTML Cache Clearer - Custom Logic - HTML cache clearing (typically on publish) can be configured with new strategies or customized entirely, which means the full cache doesn't have to be wiped away.
  • Upgrade Process - Default Sitecore database items in the content tree will be stored externally so developers do not have to apply specific upgrade packages during a Sitecore upgrade.

Bonus Round: a Bunch of Horizon Updates

Horizon is Sitecore's future WYSIWYG editing experience, and 10.1 brings a bunch of enhancements and features to the current pre-release version. These tweaks are small and not terribly exciting (droplink support was just added), which reinforces the fact that Horizon is still a beta product. Bringing support for SXA is a significant feature, however, so it's great to see progress being made.

Do you have questions, comments, or corrections for this post? Find me on Twitter: @BrandonMBruno