Kentico Support Policy Update

Getting our support policy inline with Kentico's product roadmap and overall platform direction.

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By Michael Kinkaid, CTO

February 04, 2019

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TL;DR

The latest and greatest version of Kentico EMS (v12) is built on updated technology. If your site is on a previous version, then upgrading to v12 before the end of 2020 will ensure support from Kentico and ourselves – up to the end of 2022. If you move to the newer technology anytime between now and 2022, then you will be positioned for support beyond 2022.

...and now for the detail.

Changes in Kentico EMS

The launch of Kentico EMS (v12) in November 2018 sees the platform evolve the underlying technology from ASP.Net Web Forms to ASP.Net MVC. This is basically a move from an older technology to a newer one that performs better. All Kentico EMS sites before v12 were built on ASP.Net Web Forms with what Kentico referred to as the “Portal” engine. Hear “Portal”, think “Web Forms”.

Why the change?

This technology change was made for several reasons, but a significant motivator was the fact that Microsoft (which provides those technologies) has itself signalled a move away from ASP.Net Web Forms. Platform vendors are now responding accordingly and proceeding to transition their products to alternatives such as MVC.

The Kentico EMS roadmap

Before version 12, Kentico could be considered “Portal first” – with development, training, etc., being focused on the Portal approach. With version 12 Kentico are now “MVC first” – with development, training, etc., being focused on the MVC approach. Kentico has provided a roadmap that outlines how this change relates to its support and development.

Kentico Roadmap

The Kentico EMS product roadmap to 2022.

As shown on the roadmap above, Kentico will support sites built using the Portal approach until 2022 (so long as they are on v12). The Portal approach itself will be available on the platform until 2020. Note that, with the move to “MVC first”, new features and development will only be available for sites developed using the new MVC approach.

How this affects our agency

ASP.Net Web Forms is a legacy technology that has been superseded by ASP.Net MVC. The Microsoft support issue aside, there are increasingly fewer developers who are competent in the technology or wish to work with it professionally (which is also a retention challenge). Kentico EMS is the only platform we offer that requires our team to develop, and remain trained, in ASP.Net Web Forms. Given Kentico has now transitioned to being “MVC first”, we are now following the same approach.

Our roadmap

It is for the reasons outlined above that we will also be following a similar roadmap to that provided by Kentico for their EMS platform:

Web Forms Support Roadmap

Our agency's roadmap for Web Form support specific to Kentico EMS.

  • All new Kentico EMS sites will be developed using the ASP.Net MVC approach from 2019 onwards.
  • If you are on an older version of Kentico that uses the Portal approach, we will continue to support that site until the v2020 release in 2020.
    • This support will include maintenance and new feature development.
  • From the v2020 release in 2020 to the v2022 in 2022, we will only support Portal sites if they are on version 12 (the same version Kentico has committed to support until v2022).
    • This support will include maintenance but not include new feature development.
  • We will not support Kentico sites that use the Portal approach after the v2022 launch in 2022.

How this affects your website

Kentico's product support lifecycle states "we always support the latest major version and previous two major versions". At time of publishing this post, that would require you to be on version 10. Between now and the release of v2020 (expected late 2020) you should upgrade to version 12 to ensure support up to 2022. To benefit from new features and more longterm support, you will need to move to the MVC approach.

Moving from the older Portal approach to the newer MVC approach is not an upgrade – it's more like a rebuild. Consequently, it makes most sense to consider this if you are doing a somewhat significant project, such as a full site redesign. Either way (upgrade or rebuild), should you have any questions at all – on Kentico’s roadmap, or our own - then please do not hesitate to reach out to me.