What new features have been introduced with Umbraco 9?
On initial review, it may not look like much has changed as the changes to the editing back-end have been very minimal. However, there have been several updates that are great news for developers.
For years, Umbraco has used the Microsoft .NET framework tying developers to Microsoft applications and platforms. Microsoft .NET framework is slowly being phased out to allow for greater freedom for developers therefore it is great to see that Umbraco are moving to the new .NET Core platform. This change means that instead of a simple upgrade to a new version of Umbraco, current systems will need to be migrated to Umbraco 9 to benefit from the new freedoms.
There are also several other updates with Umbraco 9 that are worth noting:
- Umbraco can now run-on Linux and Mac allowing for developers to work on Mac’s as well as allowing for some cheaper hosting options.
- The new .NET 5 framework has improved performance significantly.
- Third party code dependencies have also been updated or in some cases replaced, once again improving performance.
How can I migrate to Umbraco 9?
As we have mentioned above Umbraco is not a version update, it instead requires a migration to the new system. Simply put, this requires stopping using Umbraco 7 or 8 and moving all content, design, and functionality to a new platform.
Database changes are minimal and to make life easier the databases have an automatic migration process so you will not need to move your content over you can utilise the existing Umbraco 8 database. You will need to rewrite templates and functionality for them to be compatible with Umbraco 9 and .NET 5, this will form the main bulk of the migration process.
If you are now wondering whether all the work is necessary and whether you should either bother migrating to Umbraco 9, the answer is yes you should. No matter what solutions you are using you should keep it up to date. Migrating to Umbraco 9 will allow for better performance and open the door to future development opportunities. It is also worth noting that Umbraco 8 will only be supported until the 24th August 2024 and whilst that may seem some distance away making the decision to move now will save the panic of when that date arrives. Plus, migrating will allow you to utilise the new features that come with Umbraco 9.
What does the future hold for Umbraco?
Umbraco’s intention is to align their updates with the Microsoft .NET release cycle which is annually around November. The next release of Umbraco will be adapted to the new .NET version, so it is expected that Umbraco 10 will be released around the spring of 2022. Umbraco is not going anywhere anytime soon so it is worth investing the time now to migrate to Umbraco 9 to ensure optimum performance for you and your clients.