EPiServer has just released version 8.0 of their popular CMS/WCM system. What is new for editors? How hard is it to upgrade from 7.x? Let's take a look.
People following the EPiServer CMS product know that new major versions (e.g. 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) usually mean a lot of new features, but also a lot of work upgrading to the new version. This time it is different.
Before EPiServer would come out with large updates about once a year with lots of new features and a long list of bugfixes. It would bring a lot of new value to the product, but it sometimes also was a pain to upgrade. (Especially between version 4 and 5, and 6 and 7.) As of summer 2014 EPiServer has changed their approach and is now releasing updates on weekly basis! That means faster bug fixes and a continously improving product. The reason they have increased the major version number now is for symantic reasons (read: breaking API changes).
The only big new feature in CMS 8.0 is "Projects". Projects lets editors create a group of content including pages, blocks, products, images and videos, and then preview it as if it was published. When you are ready to publish the group of conent (e.g. a marketing campaign, or a new product launch) you can publish it all with one click or set up a timed release in advance.
Group content (pages, blocks, pictures, videos and products) into "projects". Publish everything with one click, or schedule automatic publish in the future.
Create and work with multiple projects in EPiServer CMS 8
There are performance improvements, you can restrict what blocks can go where and IE9 is no longer supported (only IE10 and 11). Full list here.
Since the product is updated weekly, it means that if you have the latest 7.x release, it should be fairly easy to upgrade to version 8.0.
The project feature is really useful to editors, the performance improvements are noticiable and to be able to continue to get the benefit of the weekly improvements EPiServer releases, our advice is to upgrade.