I received the opportunity to give Sitecore XM Cloud tonight and without even waiting provisioned my first site as soon as I logged in.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as this is brand new way to build and deploy Sitecore websites. However, any fears I had quickly disappeared as I had a fully working site up and running in 20 minutes.
When you have an account you need to login and in the middle of the page will see a button to create a project
Soon as you click it you will see the following options. As this was my first attempt I chose ‘Start from a starter template’
You get 2 starter templates:
- XM Cloud Starter Kit
- PLAY! Summit demo
I chose the PLAY! Summit demo, but whichever you choose it will deploy everything you need
Next you enter your project name and this will form part of the Sitecore XM URL
You need to store the code somewhere, and you are given an option to link your GitHub account. Step 4 gives you a list of any repositories you have in your account.
If you don’t have any you need to authorise GitHub.
You enter your credentials and are presented with the following where you can choose all repositories or selected ones
Last step is to fill out and environment name and select whether this is a Production environment.
Also it gives you a nice option to trigger a deployment on branch commit.
Now the fun starts, when you click ‘Create and Deploy’ you are taken to the deployer view with shows you the status of your website provision and deployment.
Everything was updated in real-time and in just under 20 minutes deployment was completed. I was really expecting something to error or not deploy correctly. I thought that because my account was brand new and I have never used this before something would break. I was so wrong and excited to launch the site.
A nice feature I noticed on this screen was the ‘Promote’ button. It looks like it will be possible to push your deployed branch to the next environment all from this single view.
The site loaded really quick and I was presented with the Dashboard. This is a refreshed and condensed view of the Sitecore 10 dashboard, obviously all the options here are geared towards building great content quickly and easily.
Clicking the ‘Sites’ tab showed me my new site and also gives the option to create a new website here – Hopefully multisite websites should we very easy to setup in the tool.
The editor is really clean and gives users all the options they need to build the site. I like how without many clicks users can update page content or drag new components in with ease.
One feature I really want to callout is device view has been transitioned from Horizon. It offers users a quick way to see what a page will look like on a device.
Anyone familiar with Platform XM/XP development will see that behind the scenes it still has the original desktop and also media library.
Finally let’s look at what was created in GitHub. Looking at the repo everything has been created correctly and in theory if I made a change here and committed it would be deployed straight to my site.
What are my thoughts
I was really impressed with the whole experience and if you have a repository you can deploy your own custom site quickly and easily. Some of the parts had ‘Coming Soon’ which I think shows this is the first major public version but the next versions are not far away.
I have always liked the editing experience with Sitecore and when its done correctly Content Editors have a really powerful tool. Seeing how easy this was to setup and deploy I am hopeful this is a massive step in the right direction.
Happy Building with XM Cloud