This past Friday, I had a chance to sit down and chat with Kentico Xperience Product Director, Michal Kadák and Product Owner, David Komárek. Our goal was to discus the Kentico EMS to Kentico Xperience re-branding from an insiders standpoint. But we spent most of our time on Kentico 13 beta 3, including the reveal of long awaited release date of beta 3.
Michal and David and I were actually trying to record the next episode of my Kentico Rocks podcast. But, the technology gods frowned upon my OBS abilities /skills. The audio recorded with such a bad echo that it is unusable. You'd think after 30 episodes or so I would have figured this out by now, but 3 audio streams was too much for me. I promise I'll have it correct next time. Yet, technology be damned. The content of the recording was so good, and the timing so right, I couldn't wait to get this information out to the Kentico community. Instead I have went with plan b, and I have turned the audio recording into this interview style blog post.
Keep reading to find out David and Michal's thoughts on Kentico Xperience, what's included in Kentico 13 beta 3, and when you can get your hands on it.
Kentico Xperience Interview
Hi Michal and David. Thanks or joining me. Can you guys introduce yourselves and mention what what you do at Kentico?
Thanks Brian, ok I will start. My name is Michal, Michal Kadak, the Product Director at Xperience. I think many of you know me, but if you don't know me, after being on Kentico Rocks I will be famous. At least I hope so. If you don't know me, you can find me on Twitter and on YouTube. Basically I am David's boss [in a nutshell Michal is in charge of what makes it in and out of Kentico Xperience and the development roadmap], but David go ahead.
Ok, my name is David, David Komerak. I am not famous at all like Michal is on social media, but I am the Product Owner in Xperience. But in the office, it is quite the opposite. If you come by the office I am happy to speak the truth on all things Kentico Xperience and answer any questions.
What is this Kentico Xperience thing, David? What's the new name and why did Kentico make the change?
Well there is a lot actually when you talk about re-branding. If you read some of the blog posts that Petr Palas, Kentico CEO, published about Kentico Xperience, the whole industry is moving away from wcms or cms or web content management as a term. It's time to move to something that is more relevant to today's customers, and that is now known as a digital eperience platform. As you know Kentico EMS stands for enterprise marketing solution, we named it that several years ago because it was not just a CMS, it had extra digital marketing features even back then. Because of this we have decided to go with Kentico Xperience as the new name for the product.
There is still some discussion on what is the short name for Kentico Xperience, esecially internally, but we have decided to go with KX as the short name, so if you guys want to shorten it, we think KX or KX13 works.
Fantastic, that makes sense. I can tell you from the US Kentico Partner side, all of the feedback that I have heard has been good. Most of the US partners like the new name and aknowledge the market has shifted to DXP. [Reader note: If you want to know more about Kentico Xperience you can read our post at the BizStream blog at What is Kentico Xperience.]
Michal, How is Kentico 13 coming along? We've had a taste of it with the first two betas and want more.
With beta 3 our focus is on Page Builder within MVC Core, Form Builder was already there on MVC Core, so we wanted to finish the Page Builder. We see these as the most important parts before the finishing the Xperience 13 product. The stress is on this MVC Core support, we really want the feeback on where ASP.Net Core support is going with Kentico. This is key, because we won't have a ton of time after beta 3. So the Page Builder, Form Builder, and other aspects of MVC Core support is huge to us right now. We want to really get a feedback around these functionalities so we know that if there is something not as good as it should be, we have time to make it better before the actual release. We only have a very limited scope with what we can do after this release.
I'm excited about MVC Core as well. I've definitely got my hands wet with with Kentico 13 beta 1 and beta 2. MVC Core as an agency and as a group of developers is huge, it is the future of .Net for sure. I know that's what most developers want to know about I'm also excited about what Page Builder can do in Core.
Michal, Can we speak to routing at all in MVC Core for Kentico Xperience?
That is correct, that is the last thing we have to do around the MVC Core epic because the router is still under development. We have to wait until the router is dev complete in MVC 5 before we finish it in MVC Core. We are still building it in Kentico Phoenix for the first time. That's the reason why it wasn't in the beta 2, and not available yet. Routing should be available in the beta 3 release now when it comes out.
I think that the new routing support in Kentico 13 is amazing because no matter your development style or stack, you will be able to have routing support. It doesn't matter if it is MVC 5 or .Net Core. Maybe even the future of .Net 5 and Kentico will just work as well.
Pro Tip: In the Phoenix_Milestone_2 beta 2 release download zip, there is a set of fantastic documentation in the Dynamic Routing folder about how Content Tree based routing is going to work in Kentico Xperience 13. I highly recommend reading it. Or since it is public knowledge, you can download the docs right here as well.
Is the main goal of have the third beta be the last beta? Or will there be a fourth beta?
The main goal of the beta release is to gain feedback. So it is important for us to do that when it is early in the year. It is kind of tricky to have another beta that is a preview right before the complete solution. In fact we may be able to give you everything soon around the fall Kentico Connection event, but we are not sure yet. Every year we have this discussion and have arguments around is this the right move or not.
David, Can you tell us how to give feedback on beta releases? How can we be impactful?
Thank you for that question! We have published several betas over the years. Sometimes the feedback has been quite nice, but sometimes we provide a download of a beta and receive hardly no feedback. Sometimes we don't get any feedback at all. In fact, with the Milestone two beta, we have had very sporadic feedback to almost no feedback. Feedback is crucial to Kentico. If we don't receive that feedback than we don't know if the solution works well for your agency or not. If we don't know about it, then we don't know if we are doing it the wrong way.
Our marketing team is going to provide a feedback form to collect your feedback on beta 3. In our feedback form, we provide testing scenarios for developers and even for some of the marketing teams to get us feedback. Please share it, please use the testing scenarios! We expect to you to share it. We want and need feedback to make the product better based on this feedback.
[Michal adds] I know that I heard that, if you don't fill out the feedback form, Santa does not bring you any presents under the tree this year.
Haha, true Michal. Kentico community if you are reading this please fill out that feedback form on Kentico Xperience beta when it comes in your inbox!
I didn't tell you this ahead of time, because I want your honest opinion here. You both have worked on and at Kentico for a long time as we know. What is your most favorite thing you have gotten to do on the product or at the company or in the Kentico community, and what is something you don't like about it?
[David leads with] Well I can tell you something I don't like right away. I hate having to cut scope as a release comes near. We receive a lot of requests for new features, do different performance improvements, tweak existing features etc. etc.. I want to do it all! My least favorite part is seeing the awesome prototypes for new features that we create but then having to cut them out of the scope because we just run out of time. But the thing is you always have to prioritize.
While foosball with my colleagues is great, and 7 cups of coffee a day is great, my favorite part is being able to talk to all of the Kentico partners and clients around the world and see them, see their offices, and just meet them all. Talking to all of the developers and see what they can build with the Kentico product is amazing, that is my most favorite part.
Well if it is my turn [Michal says], I am going to be even more specific. My favorite this was the Raptor world tour. This action that we did, the whole world tour, the t-shirts, the logos, the videos and everything around it was the most amazing thing I have done while at Kentico. For example surfing during that tour was amazing. Of course within the product there are so many amazing things that happened as well.
One thing I can tell you that I don't like is that if I was a sales guy, I wouldn't want to sell and I don't like having to try and sell it. I don't like having to justify getting more around the pricing changes or licenses changes going on without giving out the whole product. I'd love to give everyone in the world the whole solution all the time. I wish we could give it all and not have to worry about the pricing and licensing that goes with it.
Wow thank you guys, those were some great answers and I couldn't agree more. I know the world tour and all of Kentico Connection events are a highlight for me and many others as well.
Lastly, and most importantly, do you have any updates on the actual Kentico 13 Beta 3 Release Date, Michal?
The next beta will be will actually be released in one, two, three, ... four more days actually, Tuesday June 16th, 2020 is our target for Kentico 13 beta 3. [David chimes in here with this date is not 100% in stone yet, it could go live on the 17th as well, some of the links that will come in the newsletters will come little later because obviously we don't want to spam everybody like at the first date or the release but so little longer than that for some for the general public]. Even with a new website, we should be able to distribute it in the same way we always have.
In case you don't know how to get the latest Kentico Xperience beta, you can download it at the Xperience DevNet page (free account will be required).
A big thanks to Michal and David for joining me on our discussion about the Kentico EMS to Kentico Xperience re-brand and the state of Kentico 13 Beta 3. Next time I promise to have the audio quirk figured out and share the whole recording!