When Sitecore 6.5 was released, Sitecore introduced a modified concept with the digital marketing system (DMS). DMS replaces Sitecore online marketing system (OMS), which was used in the 6.4 release. Besides the massive change of switching from online to digital (joking), there are huge improvements in utilizing Sitecore for content personalization.
If you’ve worked with previous versions of Sitecore, the first thing you’ll notice is a new concept of personalizing a component. Sitecore has moved the OMS personalization that was within the “Edit” panel of a Control, to its own panel called “Personalize”. Below is a screenshot of the Personalization panel that shows a component with multiple rendering conditions.
Sitecore’s personalization is extremely simple to understand and utilize in comparison to previous Sitecore releases. The default action for conditions is “Change Data Source” with an option for hiding the component altogether. Conditions are processed in order from top to bottom, and the first matching result will return the personalized data source to be displayed to the end user. The order is something to keep in mind when writing the underlying rules, as there may be overlap across conditions. In that case, the first true condition is the one that will determine the data source of the component.
One of the challenges with the Sitecore 6.4 personalization was identifying variations within a component/placeholder. Sitecore has done an excellent job of addressing these issues with the 6.5 release by cleaning up the UI and grouping variations within a control/placeholder. Within Sitecore there are two ways to view presentation-level components:
Notice that Sitecore has added the number of variants for a given control/placeholder within both Presentation Details and Page Editor. Now when editing content within Page Editor, it’s as easy as selecting the variant you want to see. Also worth noting, Sitecore has added a new icon to the control/placeholder details within Page Editor. This allows content editors to click over to a control’s personalization panel and modify the conditional renderings directly from within the Page Editor.
Overall, Sitecore 6.5 has made huge improvements across the board when it comes to easily supporting personalization on a large site. Marketers and content editors will rejoice when they make the upgrade to Sitecore 6.5 for new features such as improved UI and Personalization Panel. Look for upcoming posts where I’ll dive deeper into the guts of the Sitecore DMS, including engagement plans, profiling and patterning, and much more.