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Interview with an Episerver developer

Chris Derry Interview Still

Episerver’s reputation as a first-rate content management system is something that continues to develop and grow. This year marks the second in a row in which the .net CMS has been recognised as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Our experience with Episerver has been behind some of our most complex web builds, with award-winning results

We caught up with our own Episerver developer Chris Derry to find out why he’s such a big fan of the platform. Chris covers everything from its advantages over open-source systems to its language and translation tools.  

 

What are the key differences between licensed and open-source platforms?

Chris: While both enterprise-level CMS systems and open-source platforms offer a great degree of flexibility and scalability, open-source platforms tend not to offer the same level of security. When compared to licensed products, they often come under criticism for not adhering to the latest online security measures. In this regard, choosing to be an Episerver developer has felt like a safe decision!

To put it bluntly, it’s rare that an open-source provider will have a vested interest in making sure that their product is up to date with internet safety concerns.


So how is this not the case for licensed platforms?

Well, Episerver of course does have a vested interest in making sure that all their products are secure and up to date. Also, they provide sufficient support should you need it, in the form of documentation and in-house developers available for consultation.


You also mentioned scalability, how does Episerver fare with regards to this?

Some of the great benefits that Episerver has over its competitors are due to the fact that it has been built from the ground up to be an enterprise-level solution. It’s not just something that started out as someone’s garage project, and has had bits bolted on to try and ensure that it can scale-up. It’s been designed to scale from inception, and that really shows.

 

Episerver isn’t just something that started out as someone’s garage project, it’s been designed to scale from inception, and that really shows.

 

Episerver’s built-in editor has received a lot of praise – what are your thoughts on it?

The actual editor itself is one of the best out there. It’s also much easier to work with from a training perspective. In my experience I’ve found people become familiar with it a lot quicker than other CMS platforms. I think because Episerver’s setup is similar to Microsoft Office programs, it caters a lot more to the average user – thankfully you don’t have to be a certified Episerver developer to pick it up!

The editor’s drag-and-drop capabilities are great too, and also really easy to use. It’s literally as simple as just dragging and dropping things onto your pages to build them up from scratch.


Talk to me about Episerver’s integration capabilities…

The Episerver Content Provider is a really versatile tool. It essentially allows you to hook into any kind of data source – that could be anything from a CRM system to a digital asset management system – there’s all sorts of things you can do.


Any particularly unique integrations that you’ve managed to achieve using Episerver?

We’ve integrated with tons of other programs and platforms in the past, Spotify, Google Maps, Salesforce, Oracle, Facebook, the list goes on.

 

We’re yet to find another CMS with the same level of language support and translation tools

 

What are your thoughts on the platform’s user interface?

It’s very adaptable from a developer’s point of view. If you want to create some kind of custom gadgetry, or have other things built into the system like Microsoft Power BI reports and such, you can do it, and quite easily as well. With other platforms it’s much more difficult to do that sort of thing, and usually it won’t scale up as well.

How do you approach website rollouts for clients with a global customer base?

Luckily for us, Episerver has incredible language and translation services built into it. We’re yet to find another CMS on the market that is able to do what Episerver can with its language support, not to mention its built-in indexing and search mechanisms.


What is it you like about these search mechanisms? 

They just make life a lot easier. Subscribing to Episerver’s FIND service when deploying a solution essentially gives you access to an industry-standard content search functionality. This can really help to streamline procedures when you’re working with clients that literally have millions of data assets.

Any final words to say on the platform?

Overall it’s just an incredibly flexible system for developers, editors and senior marketing staff to work with. The Digital Experience Cloud helped us immeasurably in building a smart, functional ecosystem of sites and pages for Bostik, and the WYSIWYG setup also lends itself really well to building sites that work across multiple devices.

 

Download the Gartner overview of the 2016 web content management market

 

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