Everything you need to know about Kentico and MVC.

Everything you need to know about Kentico and MVC.

1. What is MVC?
2. MVC and Kentico.
3. Kentico development model history - ASPX, Portal, MVC.
4. Comparison of Kentico Development Models - ASPX, Portal, MVC.
5. Feature history of Kentico MVC.
6. Why MVC model is the right choice for you?
7. Do you really have to choose the MVC model?
8. Why would you want to stick with the Portal Engine?
9. Upgrading from Portal to MVC.

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1. What is MVC?

The Model-View-Controller, well known as MVC, is a programming advancement framework that enables engineers to arrange their tasks into pieces, making their code simpler to compose, comprehend and modify.

Kentico is based on Microsoft's ASP.NET framework. Microsoft's underlying web framework for ASP.NET was released back in 2002 and was initially referred to as Web Forms. At that time, Web Forms was viewed as very progressive. Sixteen years after its inception, Web Forms feels dated and seems to hinder innovation in many ways. With advancements in web development, MVC has become the favorite framework to work with among web developers. Its due to this very reason that in 2009 Microsoft launched ASP.NET MVC to keep its crucial developer community content. After eight noteworthy updates later, ASP.NET MVC has for quite some time been the go-to framework for web developers on the Microsoft stack.

2. MVC and Kentico.

Migrating Kentico from Web Forms to MVC is an immense undertaking, border lining on a redesign. Partial support for MVC development was released way back in Kentico version 9, with a considerable number of its core-functionalities unsupported in MVC development. In particular, the visual-editing experience of Kentico's portal-engine was far from enjoyable. Previously, MVC usage of Kentico was constrained to just "content" page types, which meant that altering the interface was restricted to the Form tab.

​>> Kentico 12 - Launch Report

With the launch of Raptor 12, Kentico is going down the line of a multi-release process that will, over time, eliminate the need of a Web Form based portal-engine editor. The omnipresent "web part" in the Kentico world will be eventually succeeded by "MVC widgets". As web content pages have grown longer and more modular, it's not sensible anymore to consider using static layout with predefined fields. Instead, a layout may contain a combination of "content widgets" that an editorial manager may include on the page as they see fit. While Kentico has supported widget-based layouts since version 5, modifying the content within widgets required filling in a form. Kentico 12's MVC widgets support inline-editing, providing a more adaptable visual editing experience for content editors.

3.  Kentico development model history - ASPX, Portal, MVC.

ASPX:

In the early days when Kentico was conceived, ASP.NET itself was in its infancy. It led to "Web Forms" which allowed developers to deliver complex and robust web applications. Any "Web Forms" website page would, in general, have a .aspx file extension, which drove this methodology being prevalently referred to just as ASPX.

Portal:

In Kentico version 2 released in 2006, Kentico presented a progressive and extremely smart product based on "Web Forms" that they called the "Portal Development Model" display. With the Portal-engine, designers can structure Layouts and make components called "Web Parts", which would then be utilized without anyone else's input or by the CMS users to create or alter layouts without leaving the web browser.  This model enabled marketers and developers to work together more productively and made the creation and support of content-heavy sites increasingly cost-effective while maintaining efficiency.

MVC:

Sometime around 2010, an innovation from Microsoft began to pick up popularity, called ASP.NET MVC. It changes the way developers compose their code, by being increasingly lightweight and giving them more accurate control over the code being delivered. It is highly suitable for creating high-performance and responsive sites, which reliably recreate what a designer had planned. So, it's reasonable that its fame in web development took off instantly.

Kentico, following in the path of most of the major .NET-based CMS vendors, went with the same pattern instantly and began including support for this innovation into their product. At first, the Portal engine being more mature and developed attracted many developers. Now, MVC support has consistently been improved throughout the years, to the point where it is currently a genuine alternative for many kinds of projects.

4. Comparison of Kentico Development Models - ASPX, Portal, MVC. 

Kentico gives three primary models for web development that designers can use to create sites. These should not be confused with different releases of Kentico - as you can find them in every version. Despite your choice of model for development, you get the same Kentico Administration interface, with same applications and modules.

ASPX -

The 1st model with which Kentico was launched. Most of the Kentico features are accessible (minus the Portal engine). This model is utilized sparingly, only in explicit situations as seen fit.  

Portal -

This is the current prescribed model for general cases. All Kentico features are accessible to designers utilizing this model. It is based on Microsoft's old but still supported ASP.NET Web Forms.  

MVC -

The newest member of the Kentico family. Provides the ability to build websites using the ASP.NET MVC framework. Previously it used to be inferior to the portal engine, but now it's the recommended model in the Kentico 12 release.

5.  Feature history of Kentico MVC.

Now that we know MVC has been there in Kentico for so long, let's look at the updates till now.

6. Why MVC model is the right choice for you?

Since the features within MVC are up to mark now, as a marketer your best bet is to move ahead in that direction. In case you're contemplating to expand on the Kentico platform moving ahead in 2019 and beyond, and want to get most out of your investment, at that point you should ensure you're doing things the MVC way since that is THE FUTURE of Kentico.

7.  Do you really have to choose the MVC model?

Absolutely not! If your marvelous site is constructed utilizing the Portal-engine on Kentico 11 or earlier, you can, in any case, upgrade to Kentico 12 without having to deal with MVC. Kentico has announced support for version 12 projects running on the Portal Engine till 2022. That should be enough time to start planning for the transition from the Portal Engine.

8. Why would you want to stick with Portal? 

Much of this discussion is about the eventual fate of Kentico. Keep it in mind that unless you're thinking about rolling out some significant improvements to your site in the near future, you won't be able to harness the true power of MVC and hence there would be no point in switching to it. Feel safe, for now, that you have years of support before Kentico phases out the Portal-engine.

9. Upgrading from Portal to MVC. 

Drumroll...... There is no upgrade :P 

As there is no simple tool that you could run to make the conversions, you would have to "migrate" or "recreate" the Portal components in MVC manually.

There is absolutely a great deal of compatibilities between the two - after all, they utilize the same CMS back end! The huge contrast is that every one of your Layouts and Widgets will most likely have to be recreated. On the off chance that you have plenty of complex Layouts and custom Widgets, this could be a ton of work. On the off chance that you've experienced a ton of upgrades or migrations, custom module development and complex back-end integrations with third-party frameworks, you would be skilled enough to handle this change to MVC. If you think you cannot undergo this transition yourself or want someone to do the tedious task for you, feel free to contact us at info@zenesys.com.

Check out our other blogs on Kentico 12 to know more about the latest release.
>> What's new in the upcoming installation of Kentico 12 – Raptor?

** Originally published by Luminary

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