Recently, I had the privilege of attending an extraordinary event that left me not only inspired and enlightened but also eager to share my remarkable experience with you. In this blog post, I am thrilled to recount the highlights, insights, and memorable moments that collectively created an unforgettable journey.
The event in question was none other than “SUGCON 2023,” a grand gathering situated in the heart of the vibrant city of New Delhi. Proudly hosted by leading tech companies in the industry, this conference provided me with a wealth of knowledge concerning the diverse composable stack of Sitecore products, as well as their forward-looking vision encompassing cutting-edge technology. As a fervent Sitecore enthusiast and dedicated technology aficionado, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to immerse myself in this dynamic environment.
The event started with an incredible session from Pieter Brinkman, VP Product Marketing & Developer Relations at Sitecore, on the evolution of digital experience platforms (DXP) and the importance of inclusive collaboration among all team members.
On some of the insightful Composable DXP sessions and highlights
One of the most illuminating sessions was presented by Rob Earlem, Senior Developer Advocate at Sitecore, who masterfully unveiled the intricacies of Sitecore search functionality. He deftly navigated through its myriad applications and demonstrated how easily we can configure it to empower our websites with efficient content searching. Through his enlightening demonstration, he underscored the simplicity of implementing the search feature using various tools:
Rob provided a detailed overview of the Sitecore search functionality, navigating through its myriad applications and demonstrating how easily we can configure it to empower our websites with efficient content searching.
In the demo he underscored the simplicity of implementing the search feature using various tools:
- Utilizing distinct types of crawlers to index data in Sitecore Search
- Harnessing the power of the Push API for seamless data integration
- Employing the Data Extractor to efficiently query DOM and JSON data, subsequently indexing it into Sitecore Search
- Creating custom attributes, establishing facets, search fields, and more
Among the many engaging sessions in the XM Cloud realm, one particularly stood out as a personal favorite which was presented by Sitecore’s System Architect, Alistair Deneys.
Through a series of engaging demos, Alistair illuminated the manifold applications of GraphQL within various Sitecore composable stack products, such as XM Cloud EDGE and Content Hub One. The demos not only underscored the ease of GraphQL usage but also delved into crucial details:
- Creating different types of queries (Layout / Site / Item / Search)
- Mastering searching and pagination through the clever utilization of the “cursor” token.
- Implementing query reusability via Fragment creation, leveraging the spread operator.
- Embracing strongly typed templates to streamline data querying, moving beyond manual approaches.
XM Cloud Components – Feass
Prepare to have your perceptions reshaped! This session, geared towards developers and marketers, introduced a game-changing feature within XM Cloud. The innovative concept empowers marketers and developers to craft components effortlessly, all without writing a single line of code—a true “no-code” approach.
The enthusiastic presentation by the Horizontal team unveiled this revolutionary feature through engaging demos:
- Crafting components seamlessly without resorting to code.
- Tailoring CSS, font styles, and layout designs to perfection.
- Fetching data from diverse sources, including other CMS systems, Web APIs, and static JSON files.
- Establishing fields within the Component builder and mapping them to data sources.
- Providing developers with code snippets (e.g., React) to integrate these components seamlessly.
Sitecore Discover with Order Cloud
A deep dive into the intricacies of Sitecore Discover and its integration with Order Cloud was yet another enlightening experience. This convergence of products promises a rich e-commerce journey.
Key takeaways from the demos include:
- Enabling Sitecore Discover product via Sitecore Discover SDK
- Enabling the Sitecore Discover product through by direct API way without SDK
- Seamlessly embedding widgets into Sitecore Discover pages
- Enabling Ranking on the product to show as the top result item
- Control over product display, including hiding specific items
- Communicating with the Order Cloud and tracking all the e-commerce activities
Sitecore XM Cloud
Andy Cohen, System Architect at Sitecore provided an excellent overview of the XM cloud -his comprehensive overview covered the dos and dont’s of XM Cloud usage, offering developers and architects a roadmap to navigate the ever-evolving landscape.
One recurring phrase that repeated throughout the session was, ‘Just because something is possible, doesn’t mean you should do it’, a caution to developers that despite the ability to customize the content editor or create custom pipelines in XM Cloud, this doesn’t mean that it should be done.
Given Sitecore’s frequent updates to XM Cloud, customization efforts risk becoming obsolete or incompatible. It’s advised to tread cautiously, refraining from altering content editors or pipelines to ensure future-proof solutions.
Composable Tech and Generative AI for Real
An interesting session delving into Generative AI and the practicality of Sitecore Composable Product beckoned attendees. The presentation, brilliantly orchestrated by Sheetal Jain and George Smith from Horizontal, captured everyone’s attention. Prior to the demo, developers, and architects were asked about project delivery timelines. Responses hovered around the 6 months – 2 year mark.
However, the subsequent demonstration changed this perspective, showcasing how various composable Sitecore Products, including Order Cloud, CDP, Sitecore, and AI components, could synergistically expedite product development. The demo indeed proved that efficient solutions can be realized within significantly shorter timeframes.
Nicole Montero, Director of Global Logistics Strategy at Sitecore presented a wonderful session on how to become MVP and its benefits. Among the highlights, the MVP awards ceremony was my favorite session. Witnessing my colleagues and friends being acknowledged for their contributions to the Sitecore community resonated deeply with me. Their commitment to sharing knowledge and enriching the community was motivating and spurred a desire within me to engage in similar endeavors. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is wealth.”
Lastly, but by no means least, the unique camaraderie within the Sitecore community left an indelible mark. The opportunity to meet and connect with Sitecore community members, friends, and former colleagues from various corners of the globe was incredible.
Thank you to all the speakers and those who made this event possible. Looking ahead, I am excited about future events that will allow me to further engage with the vibrant Sitecore community.
Happy learning and sharing!