Our first experience with Umbraco Cloud or UaaS
In 2016 Umbraco company launched the cloud version of their CMS - Umbraco Cloud. The company says that Umbraco as a Service gives us the all-in-one solution: Azure hosting and predictability in the projects, built on 10 years of experience.
Umbraco as a Service or UaaS finally came to me, so let's start.
Prepare for a start
For an easy start Umbraco provides several ways:
- Step-by-step description and possible problems solving for fans to read manuals from cover-to-cover
- The video format - features overview and the launch instructions of Umbraco as a Service in the Visual Studio
I chose the 2nd way - video instruction. Then, the registration (gave 14-day trial after registration) and a standard process for local site deployment using Visual Studio and IIS. It needs to note that the CMS site code of the latest version is stored in Git repositories Umbraco Cloud. Good or bad, it depends on the specific task, but as for me, I wasn't upset.
Next, I created a couple of templates and controllers, added content, flooded through Git on Umbraco Cloud and used the Courier plugin for migrated content. Here, I note a first nice bonus: plugin Umbraco Courier comes in the box and doesn't require a purchase (129 euro).
All the above, well demonstrated and doesn't produce any difficulties, if you not ignored the Umbraco team recommendations how to avoid potential problems.
One my recommendation:
As in any process - planning, analysis, and only then - introduction. UaaS doesn't support all the control and packages, so think forehand about page's content structure and change your controls for analogs by the link.
Umbraco as a Service and movement from Umbraco CMS
But what if you want to move the project from Umbraco CMS to UaaS?
Please, read the article about site movement by the link. It will save not only time but the nervous system also :-)
Ok, let's speak about my difficulties in this process:
- custom code
UaaS provides for the definition of a custom code (controllers, helpers etc.) in a separate project that is added to the website;
- content Migration
Content not always correctly migrated from DEV to LIVE by using Courier if you use the additional controls for presenting data;
- custom table
No waste removal tool from local custom database tables, so still have to work hard.
And now about troubleshooting on the movement way to UaaS.
- To avoid errors and conflicts all controllers, helpers, handlers, etc. were made in a separate project and connected to the website as a collection. It took about 3 hours but passed well.
- We used the Archetype in the structure of CMS pages which determined the content, and it was a surprise for me - pictures and media files aren't imported. That was solved in 15 minutes: I received a response from Umbraco support with an attached Archetype.Images.dll, which gave the possibility for images movement to the Archetype. As for Umbraco support - they are in the top 3 by the UKAD Support Rank Awards.
- If you plan movement from Umbraco CMS to UaaS, I strongly recommend using plugins only from the list by the link. The U7 Grid Data Type plugin wasn't on that list, so it was my second Umbraco Cloud support ticket, and again I was greatly surprised by the support response speed. But this time, I had to move textual content without media and then added it in manual mode.
- Another problem that you may encounter - custom content tables. If you store any data in custom tables standard methods will not help you, but the Umbraco Cloud customer service guide and Powershell scripts will easily solve this problem.
What was great:
- Detailed manuals (text and video) of UaaS development and problems solving;
- Hosting responsive and easy site setup interface;
- Multiple domains hosting support;
- Easy code update;
- Regularly Umbraco packages updating;
- Fast content movement from staging to live using the recommended plugins.