Paul Gruffydd, Technical Director and an Episerver MVP, takes a quick look and an important new announcement by Episerver that will offer enhanced speed to go with your content.
Nestled amongst the keynotes at the recent Episerver Ascend event in Miami, there were quite a few notable announcements. But one in particular felt like it should have been heralded with a shaft of light from above and a blast of the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah. Episerver announced support for .Net Core.
This announcement has been a long time in the making and, while it may have been overlooked by some as merely a technical implementation detail, it is likely to have a major impact on the options available to us when building sites in Episerver.
Lighter and faster
.Net Core is the latest incarnation of Microsoft's .Net platform, rebuilt from the ground up to be lightweight, cross-platform, open-source and, perhaps most importantly, fast. As a consequence, those currently building on Microsoft technologies and, in particular, CMS vendors have been scrambling to take advantage of this new technology.
Unfortunately, this isn't an easy task. A platform like Episerver is the culmination of tens of thousands of development hours so it would be impractical to throw away that effort and start again. Even porting Episerver from .Net to .Net Core as-is would take a massive effort and either of those options would leave customers with a tricky, if not impossible, upgrade path with limited benefits. Instead, Episerver is taking a more strategic approach.
Old and new
Rather than rebuilding the entire platform, the Episerver team has opted to keep the main platform on its current technology stack (for now) but to add a separate .Net Core delivery platform. This approach puts the decision of when to upgrade in the customers' hands. Those ready to rebuild on .Net Core can build on the new delivery platform while still retaining the familiar, tried and tested management UI. For those not yet ready to make the jump to .Net Core, they can continue to build on a first-class supported .Net platform.
By decoupling the management capabilities from delivery, we can build more scalable, high performing solutions on a wider range of infrastructure options. If the current Episerver platform is an SUV, think of the new .Net Core delivery platform as a Formula 1 car, tuned to perform its one job of delivering content as fast as possible. And the benefits don't stop there. This approach also opens the possibility of running multiple, geographically distributed instances of the delivery platform closer to our end-users, bringing us a step closer to Episerver being a truly distributed platform.
Find out more about .Net Core and other developments with Episerver by contacting us on the form below.