With version 7.5 having been out in the open for a few months now, we thought it would be a good time to take a look through what's included and why it was such a hotly anticipated release.
Umbraco is moving incredibly fast. Since version 7 was released, over 1,500 bugs have been resolved with more than 100 new features making their way into the CMS. With the project being open source, we can watch progress being made on a daily basis, and even contribute where possible.
As a developer that has been using Umbraco since version 4, it's great to see the core team so focused on building a powerful but simple-to-use content management system. There have been times in the past when this focus hasn't been so prevalent, the release of version 5 in particular left us wary of recommending version 6 to our clients. However since version 7 became available - and now 7.5 - we’re not only much more confident in the product but we love developing with Umbraco and our clients really enjoy the experience too.
Here are the three things we were most looking forward to getting our hands on when 7.5 was released a few months ago:
1. Health Check
Being a Microsoft Partner, a lot of our deployments are into Azure, which while being very powerful can take away some of the control we once had when managing our own servers. Health Check is a way to bring back some of that control, quickly identifying what needs to be done to ensure our Umbraco websites are correctly configured and secure.
We still find that we need our own deployment checklists alongside Health Check, but the automatic fix feature has allowed us to spend less time searching through configuration files, which is always an advantage! One aspect of the tool that we haven't yet been able to try out is the ability to extend the dashboard, allowing us to include additional components and checks. We can see this being very useful for us, as we need to ensure that our systems comply with ISO 27001 security standards.
2. Performance Boost
We've certainly noticed a nice performance increase on our sites running 7.5, with both the back office and front-end pages appearing to render slightly faster. It's always great when an upgrade comes not only with new functionality but better performance, especially for some of our larger environments.
3. Forgotten Password
We couldn't mention our favourite aspects of the 7.5 release without talking about the new forgotten password tool! I think everyone wondered why it wasn't here a lot sooner, but its finally made its way into this version. It works as you would expect, and is a really important security feature. Not only does it save our time as developers having to assist when editors forget their passwords, but in those circumstances, we had to generate a new password and let them know what that was. This was a security weak point, and while we would ask that they updated their password once they logged in again, there was no guarantee. By allowing the editors to reset their own password, it removes the need for us to generate something temporarily.
As I mentioned, Umbraco is moving at an astounding rate, and the 7.5 release included a lot more than what we could mention here. The release itself and the full release of included changes is of course available on the Our Umbraco website. We’d recommend you take a look if you haven’t already had chance, or come along to the next UmbCardiff meetup, during which we’ll walk through our favourites in a live demo!