SDL Releases the first SDL Digital Experience Accelerator 2.0 Community Technology Preview

This is the first Community Technology Preview of the Digital Experience Accelerator to showcase the work that has been done so far on version 2.0. DXA 2.0 is the name for the merge of DD4T and DXA, but when you look at the DXA 2.0 CTP 1 release, you might think, how is this a merge? Please read my posts about the merge and architecture of the merged product for a bit more detail on this. We are taking a phased approach to the merge, and the CTP releases are just phases in this merge, with the intention of getting early feedback and collaboration with the community.

The end result of the merge will be the DXA 2.0 release which we are hoping to deliver around the beginning of Q4 2017. Before we get there, we have a lot of work ahead and a lot of decisions we will all need to make. Since DXA remains open source, we need your help.

Feedback

The goal of this CTP 1 release is to gather feedback on the following topics:

  • Impact of upgrading from DXA 1.x to DXA 2.0
    • Using Legacy Model Mapping for gradual migration purposes. Does this work in practice? Is it a useful intermediary step?
    • Using R2 Model Mapping
  • Impact of migrating a DD4T implementation to DXA 2.0
    • Does Legacy Model Mapping help for gradual migration purposes?
    • Where should we provide interoperability with DD4T?
    • Where should we provide migration support (documentation)?
  • Comparison of Legacy (DD4T-based) and R2 Model Mapping in real-life implementations
    • Is the R2 Model Mapping indeed more efficient and scalable (try with Pages containing many CPs and/or large Components with many Component or Keyword links)?
    • Is Dynamic Component/Keyword link expansion useful and usable in practice?
      • What should we further improve (apart from Data Presentation resolving, which is a Known Issue and already scheduled for Q2)?
  • What to incorporate for a "DD4T merge"?

To give this feedback there are a few channels we can use, for starters to report issues you can use the GitHub repositories like usual, for questions about the CTP, you can ask them on https://tridion.stackexchange.com and for discussions around the merge, we can use the "meta" Tridion StackExchange site: https://tridion.meta.stackexchange.com/.

What's new

SDL Digital Experience Accelerator 2.0 CTP is a Community Technology Preview for the 2.0 release. This preview introduces an architectural change. Note, do not use this for production purposes!

SDL Digital Experience Accelerator 2.0 CTP introduces a DXA microservice called DXA Model Service, which runs on the Content Delivery server, more precisely, on a machine that also contains the SDL Web Content Service or the SDL Web Session-enabled Content Service.

This architectural change is meant to improve the overall performance of the product. If, for whatever reason, you do not want to switch to this new architecture, but would instead prefer to continue using the existing (now deprecated) architecture without the Model Service, follow the upgrade instructions. If you want to install the old setup fresh in a new server environment, follow the legacy instructions.

Where to find the release?

To make it clear this is a pre-release, we did not update the regular downloads of DXA 1.7, the DXA 2.0 CTP 1 release is only available through GitHub:

Documentation

The product documentation will be available soon online in the SDL Documentation Center: https://docs.sdl.com/SDLDXA2-CTP

The documentation is like this release itself, a "work in progress" and we will update it frequently when we have more/new information or updates.

Final notes

The DXA 2.0 CTP 1 release is not an Alpha or Beta release, but it is also not a finished production ready release either. We are aware that the performance of the Java web application is not up to par, since it currently is missing caching.