Jun 18

Kentico Rocks Podcast Episode 21

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian is joined by a special guest, Jeroen Furst. Jeroen is a .NET specialist and lead engineer at TrueLime, a Dutch company that specializes in enterprise scale webapplications for clients across the globe. Brian and Jeroen spend time in the episode discussing ways to deploy Kentico sites on Microsoft Azure. During the show They cover tips and tricks on how utilize Azure PaaS, Azure Search, Azure Blob Storage, and Azure Redis cache with Kentico. Oh and it doesn't hurt that Jeroen is a 9 time Kentico MVP as well.

Also, a quick update on the podcast itself. You can now subscribe to the Kentico Rocks podcast on spotify! So click on over to that and start following Kentico Rocks today.

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Jun 02

I'm Speaking at Detroit Tech Watch 2019

The first annual Detroit Tech Watch conference is happening June 29th, 2019. I am happy to announce that I was selected as a speaker for this new event. Detroit Tech Watch's goal is to look toward the future of software development and is a day long event with nationally recognized speakers to discuss cutting edge ideas in software development and new programming languages.

My session at the event is titled "Do Not Build a Website with Last Decade’s Tech". Keep reading after the jump to get the full details on why I feel that the future of software development is not a large monolithic software installation, but instead powered by microservices, api, and simple front end rendering.

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May 06

Kentico Rocks Podcast Episode 20

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian McKeiver embarks on a new era for the podcast of being a solo host, but also has a fancy new video recording setup. Topics include a run through of using .Net Core CLI to create a Kentico Cloud site that can easily be deployed to an Azure App Service.

Listen and Watch the latest episode of the Kentico Rocks podcast after the jump.

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Apr 20

I'm Speaking at Beer City Code 2019

On June 1st, 2019 I will be speaking at Beer City Code 2019 in Grand Rapids, MI. Yes, that is my hometown, and that is why I am stoked about it! I have actually spoken multiple times at this event back when it was named GRDevDay, but in the last few years the conference organizers have really upped the ante on the conference. Along with the re-branding, it has grown much larger than the old days, now attracts close to 500 developers around the West Michigan area, and brings in national level speakers.

It's great to see this conference grow because the board at West Michigan .NET Users Group does such a great job at making it affordable for almost anyone to attend. Also in the last few years the conference has spawned new events like a Diversity Mixer provides people in under-represented groups in the tech industry a chance to get to know each other before the conference, and a new kids portion of the event for some hands-on and kid-friendly sessions at the first annual Root Beer City Code. 

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Mar 16

I'm Speaking at Philly.Net Code Camp 2019

On April 13th, 2019 I will be speaking at Philly.Net Code Camp 2019 in Malvern, PA. I am excited about speaking at this event because it will be the first time attending for me, and it sounds like the code camp had quite the turnout last year (700 attendees). This will be the 28th Code Camp over 15 years at Philly.Net. The camp itself is run by a dedicated staff that includes several Microsoft MVPs.

I actually have two different sessions selected for the camp. Keep reading after the jump to find out what they are.

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Mar 16

Kentico Rocks Podcast Episode 19

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian McKeiver and Bryan Soltis focus on what's going on with the Kentico community, open source projects, and blog posts for both Kentico EMS and Kentico Cloud, as well as, a special update for one of our co-hosts.  Listen on to find out what's new and happening in Kentico community. You just might find out how you can win yourself a $150 Amazon gift card as well.

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Feb 24

Why a Kentico MVC Upgrade Should Not be One Hour of Work - Part 2

In the second part of the series, I am going to continue on with the reasons why Kentico Upgrades take what they take and answer the $64,000 question as to what should an upgrade take for a Kentico MVC Site. Be sure to read part one first of the this two part mini blog post series about Why a Kentico MVC Upgrade Should Not be One Hour before continuing on.

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Feb 24

Why a Kentico MVC Upgrade Should Not be One Hour of Work

Recently, I have been involved in multiple Kentico MVC Upgrades and Hotfixes for versions 10, 11, and 12 of Kentico. Some have went really well, and some have went not so well.  This hasn't really surprised me as, this is typical of any complex software upgrade. Raise your hand if you have even seen a Visual Studio or MS Office installation completely crap out due to user permissions, mis-matched .Net framework components, or even in the old days dll hell. Yep, I've been there too.
 
But here's the deal, sometimes customers, and even developers, expect an upgrade to hit all three points on the magic business triangle of the speed: fast, the cost: cheap, and quality: good. Over the many years of working with Kentico and end clients, I have been told by Digital Marketers, IT Directors, and CEO's that why can't this upgrade "just" be finished tomorrow? Why is it so hard? Can't it "just" be done in an hour or two?
 

Pro Tip: Just is the most evilest word in I.T. Can't we just add this feature? Can't we just deploy right now? Can't the code just work as I told showed you in my napkin drawing? If I had nickel for every time someone used the word Just…I'd have a lot of nickels.

 

My answer to all of these questions never beats around the bush. I always look the person directly in the eye, take a small deep breath and simply say "No". 
 
Keep reading after the jump to find out why a Kentico MVC upgrade really does take more than an hour or two.
 

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Dec 28

How to Create an XML Sitemap in Kentico 12 MVC

Wow, it is nearly the end of 2018 already. It is amazing that the older I get, time seems to move faster and faster. I can't believe how fast the time has went this year. In fact, time has went by so fast that I didn’t really have time to join in on the buzz of the Kentico 12.0 release that happened last month (well other than having some fun on Twitter celebrating the launch of Raptor).

In case you didn’t hear, the Kentico 12 release focuses 100% on moving the Kentico platform to an MVC first development methodology. This is great news for ASP.Net developers out there who want to move into more modern technologies and tooling. Kentico is even working on updating the platform to have support for Dot Net Core in the near future. If you are interested in more on the technology roadmap I would recommend checking out the Kentico MVC transition guide and definitely watch Michal’s video towards the bottom of the page.

Now, I could sit here all day and write about the benefits of MVC and how it is flat out a better choice for any Kentico web project these days, but I am not going to do that today. Instead I am going to focus a bit on the argument that I have heard from some Kentico developers, Kentico partners, and even some end clients against the move to MVC. I have heard the point that many of them say: “Why would we move to MVC? We have a CMS with a Portal Engine and pre-built Web parts that gives us so much built in functionality and moving to MVC means that you have to give up that functionality and do everything 100% in code”.

While this is a somewhat valid point, there is indeed more code involved in a Kentico MVC solution, I want to point out that the opposite of this statement is also true, and almost never said by that side of the argument. When you implement in MVC you are opening the door to using solutions that are part of the whole .Net community and not just Kentico specific. Developing your site in MVC gives you the ability to use things like NuGet packages that are well known, secure, and maintained over time. These packages can easily add in a ton of functionality to any ASP.Net site, just like web parts could for the Kentico Portal Engine.

To illustrate my point, I am going to use a concrete example of building out an XML Google Sitemap for a Kentico MVC based website. I think this makes sense as a comparison because yes, the Kentico Portal Engine has this feature built in to it, and the MVC starter site that ships with Kentico 12.0 does not.

Keep reading after the jump to see one option for How to Create an XML Sitemap in your Kentico MVC site.

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Nov 18

How to Configure Kentico MVC Sites for Azure Blob Storage with Media Libraries

In this How To guide, I will show you how to connect your Kentico MVC site to leverage Azure Blob storage for hosting and providing media library files. This process is not exactly new, it has been around since Kentico 8.0 or so, however, with the new focus on the MVC development methodology, it is not exactly as straight forward as the Kentico documentation mentions. Don't get me wrong, each small part of the Kentico documentation is 100% correct, but there is no great 100% holistic walkthrough for MVC based sites.

Plus, the trend of hosting Kentico sites on Azure PaaS via Azure App Services is very much increasing. I would say at this point it is the most common way that we deploy Kentico sites at BizStream (sorry AWS and Rackspace lovers). The only down side of hosting on an Azure App Service is that each App Service filesystem is limited to 50 GB in total size. That's where Azure Blob storage comes to the rescue. You can offload your media libraries to get those site images, pdfs, and other downloads to a storage mechanism that does not have this size constraint. After all, the largest benefit of utilizing the Microsoft Azure cloud for hosting your Kentico MVC site really boils down to added performance and scalability that the cloud gives you.  

Keep reading to see the whole process step by step of how to connect an external storage provider for Azure Blog storage on your Kentico MVC site.

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