Lately, I have been doing a little research and development concerning the new release of Sitecore version 8. There seems to be a lot of buzz in the community related to understanding what is so different about this release of Sitecore.
New Experience Platform
In version 7.5 of Sitecore (release in the 3rd quarter of 2014), Sitecore changed its product description from a customer engagement platform to an experience platform. This release to me was just a precursor of what Sitecore 8 was expected to focus on. Needless to say, Sitecore 8’s main focus is about understanding the consumer's experience and being able to configure your website in such a way that reacts to that experience. For a marketer, having this functionality is golden and makes the argument for a digital marketer on staff even more compelling in order to compete in today’s online market. A system that focuses on who the customer is, what they need and being able to serve content dynamically based on their needs leads to a very powerful system. The days of fishing for consumers using content baiting tactics are over.
New User Interface
I have been developing Sitecore solutions since 4.3.2 and this is the second time Sitecore has undergone a major UI change.
Sitecore version 4 to Sitecore 5 – this is when the desktop mode was invented and it has the Windows XP feel
Sitecore 7 to Sitecore 8 – this is the new design and app-like feel with then new launch pad
There were UI updates from Sitecore 5 to version 6, but those were more of touchups and not an overhaul.
As you can see within the first few modules, most of the features of Sitecore 8 as directly related to experience in some form or another.
Federated Experience Manager
As a solution provider, our goal is to make sure that our marketers can leverage all functionality based on their business needs. This is no longer just a content management system with the limited goal of making content management easy for users, but now it makes it easy for them to alter the experience of their content consumers.
Overall, I like Sitecore 8 and the direction that Sitecore is taking with the product. There so much in this product now to the point that is really takes a team of Sitecore experts to guide a customer in the best way to leverage the Sitecore product.