Why We Use Sitefinity

Digital Design launches new projects on Sitefinity by Progress. Our developers adore this tool, so we decided to share what is so special about it. Well, if Sitefinity has been becoming such a popular platform for Enterprise development, why not to learn more about it.

This article is not an advertisement of Sitefinity, but just a bunch of opinions collected from our developers working with this tool. It will be useful for those who want to figure out what distinctive features Sitefinity has and for those who need to choose what to study or which tool to work with.

To cut a long story short: Sitefinity is a system of web content management that uses .NET 4.0 development templates, well-known among Microsoft developers. It is becoming very popular in the world. Basically, all the clients who asked us to develop a system on Sitefinity had heard about it from their foreign colleagues or from the vendor itself, and Digital Design is the only official partner of Progress.

We will not discuss the pricing aspect here. Firstly, we work with corporations which need platform’s reliability, support and development; therefore they are ready to pay for it. Secondly, both clients and developers value its opportunities, so let’s focus on them.

What is Sitefinity Compared with?

  • SharePoint
  • 1C-Bitrix
  • WordPress
  • Umbraco
  • DotNetNuke
  • Orchard CMS

What are Sitefinity Advantages?

Widgets on ASP.Net MVC

Sitefinity is extremely convenient for developers as you write code on the pure MVC (Model View Controller, development technology in .NET). You do not bind to controllers or widgets, you may write ‘back’ and ‘view’ separately, and they interact with each other via MVC. You may do whatever you want with it because you’re not limited by technologies or platform frames. You may even create a SPA (single page application).

Sitefinity has dynamic ListModules which have a much better functionality than SharePoint lists. It’s modular and expandable as it allows to change data storage (files and databases types, cloud integrations, etc.). Everything is designed in the Telerik style.

Powerful admin panel

Sitefinity has a powerful admin panel where you can easily configure any processes and personalize your content. For instance, you may create several websites using one CMS (one admin panel): create the core and set various websites in many ways.

Progress Sitefinity, Dashboard

Progress Sitefinity, Users

Progress Sitefinity, Permissions

Progress Sitefinity, Settings

Progress Sitefinity, ListsModule

Progress Sitefinity, ListsModule, extra field

Convenient architecture

MVC Layout allows you to make flexible pages settings, generate pages, add widgets to them in an admin panel. And it requires no programming at all.

Fast ORM

Object-Relational Mapping, or ORM, allows writing modules without studying new programming languages. It’s enough if you only know MVC. This is a convenient management solution for administrators and a low development entry threshold for developers.

Gorgeous documentation

This is probably the best documentation which I had to work with. It’s available on the website and you can prove it for yourself.

Support

Sitefinity has excellent vendor’s support and an active community. It launches update packages to increase its functionality three times a year and constantly adds new options following clients’ feedback.

Fine personalization

This aspect is more likely to be appreciated by marketing managers. Sitefinity DEC component (Digital Experience Cloud) allows to set up a website according to marketing campaigns. For instance, you may create a website and configure it to show different content for users under and over 18. The website will change content according to campaign aims, and all of that can be set via admin panel without programming.

Examples:

1. Alumil

Feature: special content is shown for different regions via Sitefinity DEC.

2. Weaver Leather

Includes integration with SmarterCommerce, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP, SnapEngage chat, Power Reviews, Pixlee, SLI Enterprise, learning search, Hubspot.

3. Ag-Pro Companies

The website uses the Sitefinity workflow, personalization opportunities and Sitefinity DEC for content analysis.

A little bit about the drawbacks

  • The Deployment process is not fully considered. For example, one of the vendor’s proposals for development is to copy an industrial stand to the development environment (including all databases and file storages), refine it and bring it back. On the other hand, there are some synchronization utilities, Export for Deployment, data export and list structures. By combining it you can set up the DevOps process and update all environments and stands with no problems.
  • You may solve one task by different means in Sitefinity, but they do not link to each other in documentation. This is a little drawback to documentation which we praised above for its completeness and good structure.
  • A part of options is available only for more expensive senior licenses. At the same time, you may add all these options by yourself like we did with auditing. Security events logging is available only after purchasing the senior license, but we developed a simplified version for our client.
  • Price.

Our experience

In 2015, we developed a portal for working with partners for a real estate holding RBI using Telerik Sitefinity 8.0. This is a website for RBI partners containing information about real estate objects. It allows agents to book and reserve apartments for showing them to potential customers, and provides a convenient set of options.

Later we made a website for contests and tenders for the same company, on Telerik Sitefinity as well, based on a newer 9.2 version. Several more projects are in progress now. There are plenty of convenient options for working with documentation set there. It provides automatic assessment of procurement participants by financial and production parameters. We implemented a simple mathematic algorithm to analyze participants and generate a ranking automatically. For more additional features we provide for Sitefinity, click here.

Conclusion

Sitefinity is a good CMS on .NET with background tasks and a nice users list module, Workflow Engine. It requires their own solution, DataDirect, to work with data, which allows you to get data from a wide range of sources (databases, file system, cloud services, other systems) and not to lose performance.

Moreover, according to the Forrester report, an international analytics agency studying the IT market, Progress Software has a whole stack of technologies that accelerate the process of implementing valuable functions for a customer, including Sitefinity.

  • Mobile development — NativeScript and Kenvey
  • Integrations — DataDirect
  • Web CMS, web content management system — Sitefinity
  • Business rules management — Corticon