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Sitefinity 4.0 Webinar Questions – Round 1

by Gabe Sumner

Sitefinity 4.0 Logo We had a record number of attendees for our Sitefinity 4.0 BETA webinar.  These attendees asked a record number of questions.  In fact, we received 407 questions.  Answering and organizing all of these questions is a daunting task.

Below are 50 of these 407 questions.  I’ll post another round of answers tomorrow.  I’ve done my best to organize these questions by subject.  Comments are welcome below.  Additional questions are probably better asked in the forums though

Questions about the webinar

Q: Will you be posting the questions and your responses somewhere?

You’re reading them.  :)    This is only a few of the questions & answers though.  I’ll divide these questions into 4 blog posts.  (Yes, there are that many questions.)

Q: How many words can Ivan speak in 60 seconds?

Ivan works as an auctioneer in his spare time - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=croJhabLiYI

Q: He is speaking WAY TOO QUICK

Sorry again for this.  As you’re now seeing from this blog post we had a lot of questions.  (I’ve removed many duplicates from this blog post).  Ivan was trying to stay in front of all of the questions. 

Q:  Will these samples be available online with the beta download?

Yes, they can be found here.

Questions about release dates, pricing and licensing

Q: When will the beta be released?

By the end of this week.

Q: Roughly speaking - what's the expected timeframe for the release of Sitefinity 4.0?

RC in October.  Official release is expected later this year.  Our goal is to release Sitefinity 4.0 in November.

Q: What will the pricing and licensing be for Sitefinity 4.0?

Announced with the RC.  Everyone with an active Sitefinity subscription will be eligible for a free upgrade to 4.0 when it is released.

Q: Do you have to buy Google Analytics to get the reporting from Sitefinity?

No Google Analytics is free. 

Q:  Will the SDK be included in the Sitefinity license or an additional license purchase?

It is included with your license.

Q:  But if we waste our upgrade from 3 to 4, what about 4 to 5?

I don’t really understand this question.  Purchasing Sitefinity makes you eligible for 1 year of free upgrades.  After that year, you can purchase a subscription (completely optional) at a reduced rate that makes you eligible for upgrades for another year.  P.S.  The mere mention of Sitefinity 5.0 may drive some of our developers insane.

Q:  I'm looking for a product that supports CMS for 50+ different domains. Your pricing would be outrageous for that. But a little $10 a month cheap site, can't afford $800 and a different CMS per domain. Sounds like I need to find a different CMS system that supports the little guys - multiple domains per product.

We’ve never considered our target market the $10/month web sites.  There are obviously lots of free CMS’s that might be a good fit for your projects.   We do have volume pricing though.  Please, contact sales for our best offering. 

Q: Will final version release before year end?

This is definitely that plan.  If you ask our CEO, he will assure you this is happening.

Q: Why should we consider 3,x when 4.x is so much better

Sitefinity 3.x is available now. 

Q: When will the documentation for beta be available?

With the Beta release we will distribute the User Manual and Developer Manual.   More examples and tutorials will be available as part of the Sitefinity SDK which will be released within one week after the release of Beta.

Questions about features and functionality

Q: Are wikis still supported in 4.0.

The Wiki module will not be included with Sitefinity 4.0 release.  We’re planning to re-add this module 2-3 months after the official release.

Q: Active Directory integration?

Yes.  It is supported in BETA.  Instructions for enabling will be posted soon.

Q: What's about Azure compatibility (Web role and SQL Azure)?

Sitefinity 4.0 RC will focus on adding features and easy upgrades. We may not have the time to test for Azure support for the RC release. Hence, we are planning to target the official release for Azure and SQL Azure support.

Q: Will Sitefinity 4.0 include templates for iPhone and other mobile devices?

There are some plans for mobile friendly news & blog templates.  However, you will be able to create these templates yourself.  We will also be glad to explore these topics through blogs, documentation and videos.  In addition, we would gladly add mobile friendly templates to our marketplace. 

Q: What is planned for e-commerce?

This feature is often requested and a high-priority.  However, we will not deliver built-in e-commerce with the Sitefinity 4.0 release.  In the meantime, we have partners who create full-featured e-commerce add-on’s for Sitefinity.

Q:  Will workflow be part of the beta release

No, it doesn’t exist in the BETA.  It will exist in the RC.  Sitefinity 4.0 workflow will be based on Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0. 

Q: I didn't see anything about notifications. Will that be out for BETA?

Notifications will be done for the official release.

Q: Is there a self registration feature for site visitors

It is in our plans.

Q:  Any changes for blogs?

Granular permissions.  Advanced editing options.  More URL control.  Drafts  Summaries. 

We are also planning to have blog creation wizards which will simplify the process of creating a blog and setting up feeds. For the official release we will also add option to automatically publish blog posts to social media,  such as Facebook and Twitter.

Q: How about any content staging concept like posting to the development/stage server prior to publishing

This feature is scheduled for some of the subsequent releases after 4.0.

Q: Is there a control to automatically create a navigation link based on the page grouping within a subsite??

In the navigation control you will be able to select a parent page.

Q: What about multipage forms?  With tabs?

These are part of the plans, however, will be delivered after BETA.

Questions about migration or upgrading

Q: Will there be a migration path from 3.7 to 4.0?

Yes, although our primary focus is releasing Sitefinity 4.0.  If creating migration tools would cause the product’s release date to slip then we will release Sitefinity 4.0 without migration tools, and add them later.

Understand that we have customers who have new projects with dependencies tied to Sitefinity 4.0.  Forcing them to delay their projects while we create migration tools which they don’t need, does them a disservice.  It also hurts new customers who are forced, unnecessarily, to build on 3.x.

On the other hand, customers already using Sitefinity 3.x have a stable platform for their projects.  Potentially delaying migration of a production web site to 4.0 is far less damaging than delaying the start of a brand new project.

All this being said, we plan to deliver migration tools as close as possible to the Sitefinity 4.0 release date.  There are a huge number of deployed 3.x web sites and we NEED to migrate those web sites to 4.0.  We will create migration tools to convert the data between 3.x and 4.0. 

As a first step we are planning to support the transfer of content (generic content based modules, pages). This will be done around the time of the release of 4.0.

Q: Will there be examples on how to import WORDPRESS blog items into Sitefinity Blogs? Or are there utility apps that will do this automatically?

There will not be built-in functionality for this, but it sounds like a great topic for a blog post or video.

Q: Any issues in a 3.x template to 4?

Once transferred, master page templates will work but will not be subject to editing.   As of now we are still investigating how to import custom control template and cannot commit that this can be achieved. 

Questions asking ‘How do I…’ or ‘Can I…”

Q: Can I have multiple domains, where the one domain have one start page and another domain points to another start page?

There will be no problem to point multiple domains to different Sitefinity sections, however, this might require the purchase of additional licenses.

Q:  I am with a University and currently we have the main university site plus several office website as subsites with unique permission, content pages, image library etc. Does this allow to create root admin and subsite wide web authors?

Permissions in Sitefinity 4.0 can be very granular, so this should not be a problem.

Q: When the pages were moved -- what about the menu updating.  Should status now be Draft and not published?

When pages are moved, the page status remains the same and the menu is updated. When we have workflow in place, and such movements are subject to approval, then we will change the status from published to “Waiting for approval”.   Let us know if you have something else in mind.

Q: if we have multiple web sites using Sitefinity (different domain names), do we have to make every customization change to all domain versions?

It depends on how you organize your project. If you have each site in a separate Sitefinity Project, then customizations will have to be transferred across all projects. If you choose to have all web sites as different sections under one Sitefinity Project, you will make the customizations on one place. In this case you should point your domains to the respective Sitefinity sections.

Questions about technology or Sitefinity development

Q: Will it work with .NET 4.0 ?

BETA is .NET 3.5.  The RC is be .NET 4.0.

Q: Are there any major changes between CTP and Beta as far as architecture wise?

The core architecture was planned long ago and has proven very successful.  However, there have been changes to the schema and API’s between the CTP and BETA.  In addition, the implementation of content life cycle and the refactoring of pages interface were significant changes introduced in Beta. 

Q: How will we change the Sitemap Provider to a custom provider ? Through the web.config or the custom tool ?

Sitefinity 4.0 comes with a built-in Configuration Editor.  If you’re curious, all of these settings are persisted in XML files that can be found at ~/App_Data/Sitefinity/Configuration.

Q: Is it RESTful based web services?

Yes, everything Sitefinity’s UI is doing is being accomplished through RESTful based web services.  You will be able to use these web services directly.

Q:  What about any custom fields?

Creating custom fields through the interface will be supported in the official release.

Q:  Will the custom tables you create be accessible via the web service layer


Q: Can we use VB.NET with Sitefinity?


Q: The fluent API looks quite messy with longer chains, and the formatting of tools such as ReSharper would surely interfere with it?

Please explain.  I’ve worked a lot with Sitefinity 3.x’s API and worked some with the Sitefinity 4.0 API.  I’ve found the Fluent API to almost be self-documenting / self-explaining and extremely easy to work with.

Q: So, could you have multiple do methods, or just try to fit it all in one Do delegate?

You can apply both approaches depending on the case.

Q: Since it implements IQueryable, can these be used in conjunction will web services to Silverlight?

Yes. We will present examples and details in documentation.

Q: Just to verify you will be able to build in .net 4.0 when the BETA is released..

Not with Beta. You will be able to build in .net 4.0 with some of the releases coming the next months.

Q: Will it work in shared hosting environments?

Yes.  Sitefinity was created to work in medium-trust environments and we tested with shared hosting environments in mind.  Sitefinity Beta will not support medium trust and is meant for use in local environments. Subsequent releases will offer such support.

Questions about our plans

Q:  Plan to translate the interface into Russian?

We are planning to translate the backend to different languages but Russian is not in our immediate plans by the end of the year.

We have done a lot to simplify the translation of backend labels by users. This can be easily done. 

Q:  As far as delivering web sites that are mobile friendly?

We have plans to release themes for mobile sites with or soon after the official releases of 4.0.

This request is high on our priority list. 


Look for another round of questions and answers tomorrow.

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