I just started a new project, my first one in Sitecore 6. Sitecore have improved 5.3 in a number of ways.
The installation was not without its problem. The installer complained about a missing
ASPNET user, although the user was clearly present. Hence I ignored the warning, and continued. After installing the files, I tried to install the databases via the installer, but for some reason it failed and rolled back the whole installation. So I installed again and reverted to my old procedure of attaching the
mdf file manually, and creating a login for the Sitecore user.
But here came the first pleasant surprise: The number of databases have been reduced from 7 to 3, leaving only
Web. This clearly simplifies the process of attaching and deploying databases. And in a environment like ours, where we host multiple Sitecore instances on a single Microsoft SQL server, the aesthetic aspect of not having 7 databases per instance popping up in the enterprise manager should not be underestimated.
Sitecore 6 features inline editing, a feature found in other Content Management Systems. The page can be edited directly on the page though editable panels, and not via the simple input forms used in the previous Sitecore versions administration interfaces. I predict that this feature will be very well recieved among our clients, and make it a lot easier for Sitecore to target not-so-technical administrators.
The overall impression of my administration interface of choice (desktop), is that the interface have been simplified a bit, and hence been made a little more responsive. A new detail that I greatly enjoyed was the icon that appears besides the titles of locked items. This makes it very simple to ensure that your work have been checked in.
Sitecore 6 ships with at collection of Sitecore .NET WebControls, located in the
Sitecore.Web.UI.WebControls namespace. I you prefers sublayouts over renderings, these will come very much in handy. You can simple insert a Sitecore field value in the markup like any other WebControl – without writing a single line of codebehide. These WebControls are configured in the sc tagprefix. This collection includes WebControls for rendering
TextFields and so on in the typesafe and intellisense enabled manner common to ASP.NET developers.
All said, Sitecore is not a ‘out of the box’ system, and nor should it be (in my opinion): Sitecore advantage is that is a flexible platform for development more that a classic CMS. And you still need to manually tweak configuration files and permission to get the instance online. But my first experience in Sitecore 6 was definitely a positive one.