Content Pipeline in Sitefinity Cloud: CI/CD for Content

Content Pipeline in Sitefinity Cloud: CI/CD for Content

March 03, 2020 0 Comments
Sitefinity-Cloud-Content-Pipeline
Modern user-friendly tools, clear responsibilities, teamwork and clever use of technology to automate basic tasks. These are the things you need to succeed, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re baking bread, building a house or managing digital content.

You know what I mean, whether you’re writing code or copy, you need free-flowing collaboration, not bottlenecks. You want to rely—but not depend—on each other, and you need everyone to pull their weight. That makes two of us then. And turning words into action, we just made Sitefinity Cloud better. Here’s how.

Sitefinity Cloud: Secure, Scalable and High-performing Platform-as-a-Service

Sitefinity Cloud has got a shiny new Content Pipeline for promoting content in a safe, consistent and error-free process. You need to look no further for the right way to create, stage, preview and publish compelling, quality content through a fully configured and sufficiently automated pipeline for a near zero margin of error and no downtime.

Sitefinity Cloud’s PaaS architecture is fully capable of supporting complex digital strategies at scale and we’re constantly upgrading it to take advantage of evolving technologies and meet customer needs in an increasingly competitive market. Tapping into a modern, powerful infrastructure, Sitefinity Cloud empowers your development team and content editors alike.

Content Pipeline is the solution that gives marketers and content creators the same level of productivity and independence that developers get from code pipelines for continuous integration and continuous delivery.

This blog is a sequel of sorts to a recent post that looked at the built-in CI/CD capabilities of Sitefinity Cloud and the DevOps tools for automating the build and deployment process. As we constantly strive to improve the platform and continue enabling our customers, we looked at the other end of the equation too.

Having given developers a comfortable and secure environment to release updates faster and safer, it made sense to match it with a toolset for content managers to conceive, execute and make due adjustments to advanced communication and marketing strategies—and do so at scale.

In short, Sitefinity Cloud puts the right tools in the right hands. A comfortable and secure environment that enables developers to deliver updates faster and safer? Check. An equally safe and error-free process of creating and managing content with zero implications for your applications’ availability and performance? Check.

Manage Content, Not Risk

It’s obvious that editing content directly on the production environment may adversely affect the user experience.

A single page is usually the most likely casualty but the entire website or sections of it may suffer too if, for example, a page template has been updated. Any changes to a template that you push to your live environment will trigger cache invalidation for all the pages using it. A user requesting any of the pages in question may therefore have to wait longer than they’re used to.

Now, the cache is invalidated regardless of whether you’ve made a quick and dirty edit directly on live or use Content Staging and SiteSync. The latter clearly is the smart choice though, for giving you sufficient control over when the changes are published. You’ll obviously want to do so at a less busy time with lower traffic.

Furthermore, although Sitefinity Cloud is superbly equipped to mitigate the effect of cache invalidation, there’s always the possibility of human error when editing content directly on the production environment. And you certainly wouldn’t want to pay the price for inadvertently moving or deleting an item or page or making any other irreversible changes directly on live. You may end up losing quality content and even valuable traffic in case of downtime, calling the dev team to the rescue either way—and wasting time and resources.

Content-Pipeline-Blog-Image

There’s a more secure and consistent way to deliver compelling content and give your audience the best possible experience. The Content Staging environment that’s part of the Content Pipeline, lets you validate the changes by previewing the updates as they will be available to the public on the live environment.

You have full control too over when to promote to Live, at a time when the traffic of your website is typically low or to maximize the effect of a campaign you are running. It all but rules potential content loss or other side effects on your production environment—a reliable quality gate and a proper insurance policy.

Content Pipeline: Continuous Delivery for Content

So, think CI/CD but for content, not just code. Sitefinity Cloud gives you a fully configured additional environment for staging content and an automated pipeline for getting new content published. The Content Pipeline is the secure and reliable alternative that will leave editing content on your production environment firmly in the past.

The best thing about it is, developers don’t need to get involved in pushing bits and pieces of updated content and the pipeline itself is fully configured right out of the box. The Content Pipeline takes full advantage of the Sitefinity SiteSync capability and saves you the potentially complicated, time-consuming and error-prone configurations, especially in complex multi-instance projects.

Meticulously configured by the Sitefinity Cloud engineering team, the entire setup leverages the advanced capabilities of Azure App Service and the Sitefinity SiteSync mechanism for validating and promoting content from your authoring environment all the way to live.

Here’s how it works. Sitefinity Cloud has long offered Staging and Production environments, complete with a CI pipeline for builds and CD pipeline for deployment. This setup is now complemented by an additional Content Staging environment for previewing and releasing content updates to production. The Content Pipeline can be purchased standalone regardless of the license and infrastructure tier you choose.

additional-content-pipeline-v1.2.3

Once a code change is checked in, the CI pipeline initiates a build and the resulting package is deployed on the Staging environment via the CD pipeline. It then awaits approval for a controlled promotion to Production.

additional-content-pipeline-approval

A successful release to Production automatically triggers an update of the Content Staging environment as well. From then on, the two environments are ready to send and receive content updates courtesy of SiteSync.

additional-content-pipeline-synced

You clearly need your Production and Content Staging environments to be identical code-wise, in order to move content between them. That’s right, it’s the first rule of SiteSync—if you’re setting it up yourself. But that’s the beauty of it, in Sitefinity Cloud you don’t have to. All the backend work has been taken care of.

All you need to know is you have fully configured, automated and secure gated pipelines for releasing both code and content at your preferred speed and scale.

I know you’re promised solutions left and right that will make content management a walk in the park. You’re welcome to always take them with a pinch of salt but the Content Pipeline is just another reason to enjoy a walk in the cloud with Sitefinity. Here’s why…

With the Content Pipeline you’re getting:

  1. Additional Content Staging environment fully integrated into the CD pipeline
  2. SiteSync for scheduled or direct content promotion
  3. All the required settings and configurations

And the benefits are there for both IT and content editors:

  1. Fully configured right out of the box
  2. Reliable and error-free SiteSync for even the most complex multi-instance projects
  3. CI/CD for content
  • Quality gate: content staging and textbook content promotion
  • Low-risk, error-free productivity with zero downtime
  • No overreliance on dev team, no bottlenecks

Sitefinity-Cloud-Solution-Overview-Whitepaper


Talk to a Sitefinity expert today about how to get the most out of your CMS. Sitefinity Cloud and the Content Pipeline give marketers the same level of productivity and independence that developers get from code pipelines for continuous integration and continuous delivery. Bottom line, everyone has the right tools to do what they do best and an environment that favors collaboration free of dependencies and bottlenecks.

AntonTenev

Anton Tenev

A new addition to the Sitefinity Product Marketing team, Anton has a mixed background of software and writing for the web. He has spent the last 7 years in software development, on the project management and product ownership side, all the while writing about technology, gadgets and their use and usability. Always trying to get to the bottom of it without missing the bigger picture.

Comments
Comments are disabled in preview mode.
Topics
Latest Stories
in Your Inbox

Subscribe to get all the news, info and tutorials you need to build better business apps and sites

More From Progress
Crystal_cruises_pic_650x800
Crystal Cruises Delivers a Website Experience that Matches its Luxury Brand with Sitefinity
Read Success Story
 
Nova Scotia Power Thumbnail
Future-Proof Your Digital Experiences: Nova Scotia Power’s Transformation Story
Watch Webinar
 
Cloud Purple Graphic
Manage Your Experiences, Not Your Infrastructure
Download Whitepaper