It has been over a year now that our team has been working with Sitefinity 4.x, from the first release of 4.0 through the other 9 releases and patches through 2011.
To say the least it has been a very painful year for Falafel to work with Sitefinity 4 and I can add that it has been equally or even more painful for the Sitefinity team at Telerik to go through this painful year with numerous punches from customers, media and experts all the over the place, but most painful probably from their own partners.
From the pricing change to the lack of features from the previous version of Sitefinity (3.7) to the tremendous amount of bugs all over the product, simply put, it was a nightmare…
We have tons of very good friends at Telerik in general and Sitefinity team in specific and it hurt us seeing them under the gun for such a long year but I am proud of them to finally be able to start breathing with the release of 4.4 and now 5.0. A new page is turning and we wish the 2012 year will be what 2011 was supposed to have been for Sitefinity.
Will Sitefinity 5.0 be perfect?, by ALL means NO! There are still serious omissions and I am sure there will be some bugs but it is a normal and workable CMS system that partners and customers can build great things with and overcome the obstacles that could be found in ANY CMS system in the world. I am honored that the team trusted me with early builds of Sitefinity 5 and Thunder, and I can assure you they have been working very hard in moving this product forward and I am glad we stuck with it to get to this point where we have a product that we can build part of our business around.
We built dozens of Sitefinity 4 web applications for customers in 2011, some went great and some did not go so great. It was a very stressful time for the team here at Falafel as we worked with a product that was in constant changes (breaking changes). Some customers (non-technical) did NOT understand that fact and wondered WHY we allowed them to move to Sitefinity 4.0 if the product was not ready for such a move. Pretty good question, don’t you think?
Other customers paid for 2 weeks of manual migration from Sitefinity 3.7 to 4.0 or 4.1, then a migration kit appeared and the customer asked why weren’t they told that a migration kit will be available so they didn’t have to pay us to do it manually? Good Question as well. The answers were simple, first we did not know Telerik is working on a migration tool, nobody believed us , second the migration tool did not work, but Telerik said it did.
I taught at least 40 classes on Sitefinity 4 in 2011 online and onsite, from business users to admins to designers to developers, I did everything I could to bring focus to great areas of the product and hinting to the areas where customers need to avoid for now or workaround to get to where they need to go. The classes and the experience were always very much appreciated by all students worldwide.
Will we ever see sharable Content Blocks on templates?, will we ever get the names of ContentPlaceHolders in our templates to know which one is which? Will we see Formbuilder notification upon submit? ? Hopefully soon after 5.0 is released, maybe 5.1
Falafel was hired by Telerik to build the On Demand Training program (Videos) and the certification exam for Sitefinity 4 in 2010 (yes before the 4.0 was released), till today I am amazed that we were able to complete that project by March 2011 while the product was in no state whatsoever to get it to behave and work appropriately. I am looking forward to remake most of these videos starting next week with Sitefinity 5 with a lot more depth, now that the product allows it
I am very grateful for so many areas of the product like Workflows, Module Builder (backend side only, the front end side for widgets needs some work ), Page Manager, Template Manager, Widget Templates, Responsive UI & Mobile features, and many other areas of the product that work well and easy to develop against.
We are currently accepting projects for Sitefinity 5 and the last week alone we signed 8 contracts to move major web sites to Sitefinity 5. We are looking forward to working with Sitefinity 5 and our tests and investigation provide a very clear level of confidence that Sitefinity 5 will be ready for PrimeTime.
Congratulations to the Sitefinity Team in Bulgaria and the USA and here is a glass of Rakia in the air for a great 2012 for everybody!
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