Last week I went to the Sitecore HQ in Copenhagen, to get some upgraded skills on the Sitecore DMS package. In my current position, I haven’t really tried working with the DMS part of the CMS. I’ve implemented a lot of features using the Rules Engine, but as that has become a part of the Core CMS, it’s not really DMS (but it empowers lots of features in it). One of the key reasons for us not having embraced the DMS yet is because our primary focus is Intranets via Sitecore Intranet Portal, and that product hasn’t fully utilized the DMS.
Anyway we thought that it was time to get some knowledge on the DMS, and what better way, then to go straight to the “horse’s mouth”, and attending the Sitecore DMS .NET Developer (DND). I went with my colleague Michael Pedersen, who work as a Sitecore Architect.
The training focused on DMS from a developer’s point of view. This meant that all students were developers, and that the training PCs all had Visual Studio installed. The instructor was Raul Jimenez (@rauljmz), a Sitecore specialist located in London.
The course was split into 6 subjects, covering; General DMS Architecture - Current Visits Campaigns and GeoIP Data – Page Events and Tags – Content Profiles and Visit Profiles – Personalization and Conditional Rendering Rules – Engagement automation.
The beginning and one of the things that are basics for every DMS developer is to get to know the architecture. This focused on how the DMS saves its data, and to what extent the DMS tracks data on users. It wasn’t exactly new informations, as we have heard this many times before, but nice to get a refresh on it.
The things that I thing we will take with us and use soon, is the rules and conditional renderings and personalization. I see some great usages there, and we have already made some solutions that does personalization and conditional renderings, but they haven’t been built with Sitecore. Utilizing the DMS should standardize these kind of solutions more, and make maintenance easier.
The engagement automation could have some great potential as well, but this is where you need to think about the creepy factor! It is possible to track whether a user didn’t fill in an entire form, but only the email address, and didn’t submit it. From that data, you could send an email to the person via engagement automation, with some guidance on how to fill the rest of the form. That is the creep :-).
Overall, it was a great training session, it took the entire day, which might have been a little too long, but at least there were plenty of time for QA with the instructor. It was a great introduction to developing with the DMS, it was practical, meaning that the exercises had to be solved by going into Visual Studio and actually coding, compiling and testing it.
I can highly recommend it to get a kick-start on developing with the DMS