Business Catalyst Unconference - Adobe Max 2014

Business Catalyst Unconference 2014During this year's Adobe MAX after an amazing keynote it was time to sit down to the Business Catalyst Unconference.
Liam Dilley from Pretty was there to represent the company attending Adobe Max and sat in on the Unconference along with a number of Business Catalyst Partners. What did Business Catalyst have to show?

Opening the unconference was Cristinel from the Business Catalyst team providing a great summary of work done to BC today including open platform.

The Business Catalyst new Rendering Engine

Pretty has been deep into the new BC.Next for some time now, testing and observing all the new abilities and features, but what are they?

The new rendering engine includes a new caching system to help the performance of sites built on BC, A new easier to follow module syntax for all modules in BC, Liquid Markup and a number of other tweaks and enhancements such as a new editor.
Pretty has been delving into explain such new features with our Brass Tacks webinars in recent months and we will continue to do so.
For the unconference opening Cristinel summarised all these great new coming features. Lucian Cozma was up next with a deep dive into BC.Next. 

Oh and there are REST API's for things like pages, eCommerce and the CRM to enjoy and use.

In the BC.Next deep dive Lucian showed off some of the core code fundamentals that both the new module syntax and Liquid markup. Everyone seemed really focused listening and viewing all the new features. It is a big change to the platform and expands massively what you can do. It is a lot to learn!

Being able to render a gallery through liquid for example allows you a massive change in how you can customise the output in any way you like. You have control over the entire data set from the gallery. Ever been frustrated by the core wrapping markup BC puts on its elements? That is all gone by tapping in the data, and you can even suppress wrappers created by modules through using <!-- Liquid Enable Collection --> in your template. No more CSS and javascript fudging needed.

Next up was Radu, We have been waiting for this part for a while as Radu had something special to demo today.

That Secret Source

Business Catalyst has great new features now at your finger tips, and while the team has already done a great job exposing more data to the Liquid Markup and look to add more, there is only so far they can take this, there will still be limitations. This is where something special they have been working on comes in.

Introducing the new module - module_webresource


This is something special and Radu shows great enthusiasm as he demonstrates and explains what it does. So what is it? Coupled with the new API's this module, quite simply is a means to tap into that API data on the front end of a website through. It was amazing stuff and you could tell people were blown away by it.

This and the means to which you can apply call features through a parameter based approach allows you to pull in data through the API's. With this data you can then use the new Liquid Markup to render that content out. This for both Open Platform and Websites is some serious power we have never had before and the best thing about all of this so far is that it is not some pipe dream like previous reveals such as the new web app engine. This can be turned on for a site to try out RIGHT NOW!

While there has not been many updates to BC this year you can see the team has been working seriously hard on all this new stuff, we at Pretty seriously appreciate their efforts in this great new direction.

What's next for Business Catalyst?

Next up was Alexandru Costin, Alexandru revealed possible avenues to tackle next on Business Catalyst and put it to the people attending the event online and in person. Some of the obvious things voted quite highly but there is still clearly some discussions still to be made on what the Business Catalyst team should tackle next.

Liam made some good points that people should really get stuck into all the new Business Catalyst. Next functionality to understand the scope of what they can do now, before they really start asking those questions of BC.

Business Catalyst new ICE Editor


Alexandru also showed a really early preview of their new ICE Editor. While Pretty do not use the Business Catalyst ICE Editor because of the custom designs and solutions we do mean it does not work that well we have always been impressed with its technology base. This again is without question as Alexandru shows off some early work in allowing more data to be edited such as product information, codes, prices.... Very Clever! It is some way off but it is another thing the team has been working hard on and we know a number of people will appreciate more ICE development.

Business Catalyst Sandpile


Finally Scott Reynolds from Thise came up to represent the BC Sandpile and demonstrated some ways to interlink web apps together to give you more options outside the core box of offerings BC has. This will be very useful for many people.

It was a long unconference and a big day - Pretty is very excited about all this!

The event was also live streamed by the BC Sandpile

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