Apr 03

How Compare For Kentico Works - Part 1

This past week BizStream launched a new product targeted at Kentico developers, Compare for Kentico. We have been very excited to do so because we believe that Compare for Kentico makes Kentico deployments easier, quicker, and more accurate. We strongly believe this because we have been using the tool internally for quite some time. In fact we have had almost a year to take this tool from a concept, and cobbled together set of functionality, to production worthy. We started with using it on just a few test sites, and are now happily using it to make deployments easier on our client's sites. Our development team loves it, and we think you will too.

With that being said my goal of this blog post is to do a deep dive on using Compare for Kentico to visually compare two different Kentico website instances to show you how it actually works. Keep reading to find out how you can cut your deployment time, be more confident that the deployment actually worked, and keeping some of your own sanity intact when it comes to moving changes from one environment to the next.

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Mar 13

Upgrade to Kentico EMS Checklist

From time to time I get asked: What are the steps to upgrade to Kentico EMS from an existing Kentico CMS site? The technical answer is that upgrading only requires having the correct EMS license added to the installation of Kentico (which you can generate from the client portal). Once the license is in place, the system automatically enables the full feature set of Kentico. The easiest way to check if it worked is to look and see if all of the menu items (Contact management, Email marketing, Marketing automation, etc. etc.) show up for the On-line marketing category in the Kentico menu.

However, if you want to make sure everything is working perfectly, and get the fullest out of your Kentico EMS site there are few more things to consider. For instance, if you have upgraded from previous versions of Kentico like 5.5 R2, 6.0, or 7.0 some of the required features and settings didn’t yet exist and therefore can cause issues. Ensuring that the EMS functionality works correctly really does come in to play if you have had your Kentico CMS site running for a while.

As a result of upgrading many Kentico sites over the years, my team and I at BizStream have found that there are a few things that seem to be recurring issues, and honestly there are some items that we sometimes forgot to check or configure, when upgrading a Kentico 7.0 CMS site to a Kentico 8 or 9 EMS site. To solve this issue I have created a checklist to make this process easier for my team, and I thought it was worth sharing with the Kentico developer community. So today I am presenting my Upgrade Kentico CMS to Kentico EMS Checklist as a free downloadable pdf.

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Feb 23

Kentico Rocks Podcast Episode 16

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian McKeiver and Bryan Soltis sit down and cover Macros in Kentico CMS. The discussion includes an overview, common use cases, best practices, tooling, and gotcha's for developers who are working with Macros in the CMS. Listen on find out how to best utilize this important aspect of developing websites with Kentico.

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Feb 14

Presenting at a Few Upcoming Developer Conferences

There are a few developer conferences that I will be presenting at in the next few days and weeks. The first one is actually coming up in just about a week from now. At the South Florida Code Camp I will be giving a new presentation that I am pretty excited about related to optimizing mobile pages of your site and/or cms. The SFCC event is happening on February 20th, 2016. It is billed as a free one day geekfest in Fort Lauderdale, FL on all things that developers are interested in .Net and beyond. Considering that right now as I write this it is 13 degrees in Michigan, a trip to Florida is going to be well worth it.  

The second event that I will be presenting at is the annual GR DevDay 2016. This is my second favorite of event of the year because it is right here in my back yard in Grand Rapids, MI (first favorite being Kentico Connection). DevDay is coming up March 12th, 2016. BizStream is once again a platinum sponsor for the whole GR DevDay and GR DevNight series. We really beleive this is the best event (and series of events) in West Michigan for developers.

If you are an ASP.NET developer from South Florida or Grand Rapids I hope to see you there. Keep reading to check out my abstract for these events.

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Feb 06

How To Use Kentico Custom Module Help Topics

Recently I was having a conversation with BizStream founder, Mark Schmidt, on how we could simplify the learning curve for using some of the custom functionality that we had created in one of our projects. Mark was on the side of adding custom labels into the pages where needed. I was on the side of trying to leverage the excellent help system that Kentico comes built with. The argument actually got quite heated, as it tends to do around the office, and we finally ended the argument without a real agreement.

The fact is that we frequently create custom modules in Kentico to handle any large customization need. Building your own modules is actually the preferred choice and Kentico best practice when it comes to adding in functionality to a site built with Kentico or the actual Kentico admin interface itself. But neither Mark nor I had actually taken the time to sit down and browse through the lesser known aspect of module development.

This morning I had a chance to do that, and it turns out there is a really simple solution to linking any helpful information or documentation to a custom module. The best part is that the solution was just a few clicks away. 

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Jan 17

My First Impressions of Kentico 9

Today I would like to share my thoughts and observations on the latest version of Kentico. Especially since I recently finished upgrading my site here at Mcbeev.com. That’s right my blog is now on the latest and greatest version as you read this.

Kentico 9.0 has been released officially for about a month and a half. However, I have actually had my hands on it for much longer. Thanks to being a Kentico MVP, I was actually lucky enough to be included in some of the preview builds of 9.0 for a few months prior to release. During the beta period I was tasked with giving as much feedback as possible to the Kentico product team and I tried my best to do so. As usual I basically let them know that they knocked it out of the park with this release.

Keep reading to learn more about the big and small changes that come with Kentico 9.0.

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Jan 17

My First Impressions of Kentico 9 - part 2

This is the second part to My First Impressions of Kentico 9. It finishes up my thoughts on some easy to miss changes in Kentico 9, plus what it was like to upgrade from Kentico 8 to Kentico 9. Make sure that you read the first part of the post before continuing.

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Dec 26

Top 10 Kentico Related Posts of 2015

Another year has rolled by, and with it comes the chance to reflect on what has happened in the Kentico community and my own blog here at Mcbeev.com.

2015 started out with a bang, with the release of Kentico 8.2 in early January. Kentico 8.2 turned out to be one of the best releases of the year. All of our projects at BizStream quickly upgraded to this new version because of the increased performance and stability. I think everyone would agree that 8.2 rocked.

The year continued with all sorts of new activity for Kentico enthusiasts. The Kentico Developer Roadshow ran through 4 cities. We added a few new Kentico MVPs to the mix. Kentico DevNet itself saw a lot of new and interesting updates. And of course, the Kentico Connection conference in MelbourneOrlandoBrno once again proved it is the premiere Kentico event of the year.

Finally 2015's biggest news must of course be that Kentico 9.0 was released this past November. Kentico 9 allows for faster website development through CI, Modularity improvements, and optimized auto scaling in the cloud. It also gives marketers a way to optimize campaigns for more insight into their results, and has better support for semantic content editing.

2015 was an exciting year for sure. Now on to my best of lists for Kentico Related Posts.

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Dec 12

Kentico CMS Quick Tip - Mixed Mode Authentication

Kentico has supported multiple authentication methods for a long time now. I know this capability was in the older versions like 4.0, and 5.0, heck it may have even been there since version 2.0 or 3.0. Chances are if you have been developing on Kentico for any length of time you may have been tasked with configuring Kentico to do more than just Forms based authentication. That could be in the form of some sort of custom authentication, Single Sign On (SSO) authentication, or the next most likely, Windows Active Directory for Mixed Mode based authentication.

My team and I have done this exact thing many times. Most frequently it involves enabling what is commonly referred to as mixed mode authentication. In Kentico, mixed mode authentication lets you use both Forms based authentication as well as Windows AD based authentication. Even though I have done this specific task many times there always seems to be some sort of trick required to getting it to work correctly. Today I am going to share a tip that hopefully helps out any developer who needs to configure Kentico to utilize Windows AD for Mixed Mode authentication.

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Nov 11

Kentico Connection 2015 Orlando Wrap Up

I just finished attending and speaking at the Kentico Connection conference in Orlando, FL. The annual conference once again showed that it is the premier event for Kentico developers, partners, and end clients. Just like past editions of the event, the conference was broken up into three tracks.

The Developer track focused on Kentico best practices and product improvements slated in Kentico 9. Next, there was a Marketing track which showcased customer success stories and real world marketing examples illustrated by some truly great Kentico solution partners. The last track was new this year, the Hands-on track. This new track was a welcome addition to the event and it allowed end clients, marketers and developers get their hands dirty with Kentico.

Throughout the conference, I wished I could be in two places at once because of the quality of each session was pretty high. I know I say this year after year, but it is a fact. The connection event truly is one of my favorite events of the year because there is so much to see and so many like-minded people to network with. This year BizStream was also well represented by myself and Bizstream's founder Mark Schmidt. We were happy to be a lanyard sponsor for the event.

Keep reading after the jump to find out more about what happened in sunny Orlando.

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