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Brian McKeiver's personal blog. This blog is mostly dedicated to Kentico CMS and ASP.NET development.

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    In about 3 weeks from now, my fellow Kentico MVPs and I will be joined by Thom Robbins and Juraj Ondrus from Kentico to answer your questions about Kentico CMS and Kentico EMS. We'd love to answer any of your burning questions so don't miss your chance.


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    A few weeks back I was lucky enough to be a part of the Azure Kentico Virtual Conference hosted by Kentico Software. The day long virtual conference featured multiple sessions that showed developers how to jump start Windows Azure development using Kentico CMS and Kentico EMS. As a followup to the event, I am posting my talk and slide deck on this blog post.

    Below you can watch my presentation, "Get set.. Introduction to Windows Azure Development". via the below embedded video. The presentation download is after the jump.

     

     


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    A few of my fellow developers were recently inspired by one of the newer knowledge based articles post over on Kentico DevNet about how to serve less HTML code from a Kentico web part. While their intentions were good they forgot one golden rule of correctly utilizing ASP.NET controls that involve PostBacks. It took me awhile to figure out why none of the Edit and Delete buttons were working as expected on each row of the UniGrid. So I am sharing this quick story today to hopefully save some time for other Kentico developers out there.


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    Do you ever wish that you had nickel for every time you typed in the letters c-m-s-d-e-s-k ? Well then this Google Chrome extension is for you. Cody Rose, one of our certified Kentico developers at BizStream recently developed a slick little browser extension that allows you to get into any Kentico sites' CMSDesk or CMSSiteManager with one quick keyboard shortcut. That's right all's that you have to do is hit ALT-1 to get to CMSDesk or ALT-2 to get to CMSSiteManager.


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    In about 5 days from now, my fellow Kentico MVPs and I will be joined by Thom Robbins and Juraj Ondrus from Kentico to answer your questions about Kentico CMS and Kentico EMS. We'd love to answer any of your burning questions so don't miss your chance.

    • Date: Thursday, Septemeber 12th, 2013
    • Time: 7 AM PST/10 AM EST/3 PM BST
    • Location: Everywhere! Google Hangouts and Twitter at: #KenticoExperts

    Chief Evangelist for Kentico CMS,Thom Robbins, caught up with me last week and we talked about what to expect at the fourth installment of the panel.

     


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    Kentico CMS has many different ways to handle content notifications in the form of email alerts. You can use the built in notification gateways, various subscription web parts, and/or dynamic newsletters. All of these components offer  great solutions to the various scenarios where you want to keep your users up to date on what is going on with the content on your website. Notice the key word I used in that last sentence, users. I am re-enforcing that point because all of the above mentioned components require that a subscriber be a full user account, password and all, in your Kentico website.

    Having a user who has a full account on the website works perfectly when it comes to an intranet or membership based web site, but doesn’t always work for someone who is just running a blog or basic company website. Sometimes the whole goal of a personal blog or brochure site is to actually capture an anonymous visitor’s email address without that visitor having to go through the hassle of creating a full fledged account. The less steps the better is usually the rule of thumb. So having a visitor perform a full registration may not be a good thing and could been seen as a barrier to entry.

    In this two part mini blog post series I am going to show you how to leverage a few tools that Kentico CMS gives you, out of the box, to create a system to alert anonymous subscribers when a new blog post is created. The solution involves using the built in Newsletter module, Advanced Workflow, and a custom Workflow Action to tie it all together. One other small note, Kentico CMS Ultimate or Kentico EMS are required for all of this to work.


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    This is the second part of the blog post series that wraps up the whole idea and focuses on the Newsletter portion of the solution. If you did not read the first post of the series, please be sure to read part 1 of Anonymous Blog Post Notifications using Advanced Workflow in Kentico CMS.


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    Wow I can't believe that I almost forgot to mention it here on my blog, but on September 23rd and 24th, just a few short days away, Kentico Developers, Partners, Employees and Customers will be meeting up in Boston, MA for the 2013 version of Kentico Connection. I am attending and speaking again at the best, most informative Kentico CMS conference of the year. 

    I am thrilled to be speaking at the conference. I will be giving a session on Team Development with Kentico CMS. Full abstract is below.

     

    Team Development Best Practices for Kentico CMS by Brian McKeiver The Team Development Best Practices for Kentico CMS session is intended to show you how to be as efficient as possible when developing in teams for your Kentico project. Topics covered will include how to setup multiple environments that enable various resources to collaborate as painlessly as possible, a review of using third party source control management systems, working with document and object versioning, and deploying changes between development, staging, and production.

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    This past week I attended and spoke at the 4th annual Kentico Connection conference in Boston, MA. The annual conference is the premier learning and networking event for Kentico developers, partners, and customers. The event was broken up into three tracks. The technology track focused on detailed product functionality within Kentico 7 and various product improvements slated in Kentico 8. Next, there was a partner track which showcased case studies and completed projects that are built by Kentico partners. The last track, the marketing track, was a program for marketing professionals interested in digital marketing best practices.

    Frequently throughout the conference, I wished I could be in two places at once because of the quality of each session. It truly is one of my favorite events of the year because there is so much to see and so many like-minded people to network with. This year BizStream was also well represented by myself and few of my colleagues because we were a standard sponsor as well as lanyard sponsor for the event. 

     

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    About two weeks ago fellow Kentico MVP, Bryan Soltis, and I decided to start a podcast focused on Kentico CMS. The idea was formed over a beer, or three, while we were both in Boston for the Kentico Connection conference. Our goal of the new podcast is to talk about Kentico and focus on what is going on with the Kentico development community. In our opinion there is a boom in Kentico projects and opportunities out there recently, and anything that we can do to let more developers know about Kentico and how best to utilzie it is a good thing.

    I am also excited about starting up this podcast because it is a new format for me. I have not previously ever attempted to host one. We are still in the process of figuring out if we should throw up the podcast files on iTunes or Windows Store or wherever. Hold tight and we will get a syndication feed up as soon as we figure it out. For now you can subscribe to my blog via email if you want to know when new episodes come out. Just go back to the home page and enter your email address in the side bar under the Stay Up To Date section.


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    In this post I will walk you through creating a new Page Tab App in Facebook using any existing Kentico CMS web site page. It is shockingly easy how to do this once you know one simple secret. But more about that later on in this post. The idea here is that we can leverage the fact that your Kentico CMS web site can easily be extended to host pages or apps "inside" of Facebook.

    In case you do not know what a Facebook Page Tab App is, I would encourage you to read more about it on Facebook's developer documentation. Basically a Page Tab App is one of the small boxes, or tabs, that appear on any Facebook Page.

     

    Facebook Page Tab in Kentico CMS

     

    Most on-line marketers configure their brand's Facebook Page to have custom tabs that showcase a brand's product a service, or utilize custom tabs to create mini applications that give incentive to Facebook users to “Like” the page or brand. These tabs are really nothing more than just iframe elements to an html page that can be hosted anywhere. Specifically not hosted on Facebook itself.

    I am providing a full walk-through on how to create this solution below. However, if you want to jump right to the end result and see what the heck I am talking about, you can navigate to my own Mcbeev.com Page on Facebook and click on the Subscribe Page Tab App. That is what we are building in the full example.


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    This is second installment of Brian McKeiver and Bryan Soltis' Kentico CMS Podcast. Today we are discussing some of our favorite customizations of Kentico CMS and why they were successful.

    Our goal of the new podcast is to talk about Kentico and focus on what is going on with the Kentico development community. In our opinion there is a boom in Kentico projects and opportunities out there recently, and anything that we can do to let more developers know about Kentico and how best to utilzie it is a good thing.

    No update yet on if we should throw up the podcast files on iTunes or Windows Store or wherever. Hold tight and we will get a syndication feed up soon. For now you can subscribe to my blog via email if you want to know when new episodes come out. Just go back to the home page and enter your email address in the side bar under the Stay Up To Date section.


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    I'm happy today to introduce 4 new Yammer web parts for Kentico CMS. If you or your company have a Kentico CMS based intranet and are wondering how to be more social than you need these web parts! With these new parts you can display your company's group feed, like a page, follow a page, and finally comment on a page. Utilizing the group of web parts is a powerful way to foster enterprise collaboration on your company's intranet.

    Why Yammer? Well, did you know that 85% of Fortune 500 companies use Yammer for Enterprise Social? I was a bit surprised that number was so high myself, but it explains why there has been a recent trend of requests from our customer base at BizStream. Customers as well as potential clients are asking to include Yammer feeds in their intranets or help them integrate Yammer with their SharePoint installations and business applications.

    After seeing this trend we started using Yammer recently for our own internal BizStream intranet. I am quite pleased with the results so far. And since we use Kentico to power our intranet it was time to fire up Visual Studio and write some code.


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    I'm happy to present the third episode of Kentico Rocks by Brian McKeiver and Bryan Soltis. In this episode Bryan and I discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to upgrading Kentico CMS. One of these days I promise that it will be up as a podcast subscription service / iTunes. Maybe.

     


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    I'm happy to announce that Kentico Rocks is now available on iTunes. The following URL should open up the iTunes store:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kentico-rocks-podcast/id754786884

    You can search the iTunes store for Kentico or Kentico Rocks and it should come up as well. By all means subsribe to the feed and feel free to rate each episode if you like them. As always we are very interested in any feedback you may have on the podcast. Feel free to leave a comment on my blog here to let us know what you think.


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    In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Bryan Soltis and I discuss how best to use Kentico CMS to power E-commerce websites. We talk in detail about how and why we like using the Kentico platform for building E-commerce solutions. Bryan and I have both been building Kentico E-commerce sites since Kentico 5.5 came out and share our inisights into how the platform has matured over the last few years. Any developer who is thinking about using Kentico CMS or Kentico EMS to create a new E-commerce based website should definitely listen up.


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    One month from today my fellow Kentico MVPs and I will be joined by Thom Robbins and Juraj Ondrus from Kentico to answer your questions about Kentico CMS and Kentico EMS. Ring in the new year with us and your Kentico questions.


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    2013Happy Holidays everyone. Since it's the first day of the year, and the Rose Bowl game doesn't start until 5:00 pm, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the past year.

    2013 was a successful year for myself, BizStream, and Kentico. My blog here at Mcbeev.com saw it’s traffic increase by over 55% from 2012, that is a tremendous increase. Most of that traffic is attributed to my two most popular blog posts of the year combined with the fact that I feel Kentico is becoming more and more popular among developers.

    The various social channels that I participate in didn't have quite as big of a jump, my Twitter followers increased only about 10%, but my Google +1's increased about 35%. To be honest 2013 was so busy I didnt have enough time to be overly social. But, enough about me, let’s get to the real point of this blog post.


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    If you are using Kentico EMS to power your E-commerce shop don't forget to set the On-line Marketing related Conversion Settings. There are three sets of Conversion names and values that come built in. 

    • Registration conversion - name & value of the conversion that will be logged when a user successfully registers on the website through the checkout process.
    • Order conversion - name & value of the conversion that will be logged when a user completes an order.
    • Add to shopping cart conversion - the name & value of the conversion that will be logged when a user adds a product to the shopping cart.

    These conversion settings and values are very valuable peices of data to have when measuring the activity and effectiveness of your e-commerce website. Once these values are configured, your Activities log should show them with their repsective values. 


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    Kentico CMS / EMS 8 is slated to be released in just a few short months (official release date is set to end of Q1/2014).  But with early preview builds in the wild, some great feedback is coming in from the Kentico community for those who have taken a first look at it. I myself have been reviewing the latest builds for a bit now. I am truly impressed with this update, and I want to share with you what you can expect in the new release of Kentico Enterprise Marketing Solution.

    Keep reading to find out about what’s new for the on-line marketing tools that Kentico EMS gives you. Side note one: they are no particular order other than the order I discovered them in. Side note two: All content of this blog post is from the Milestone 2 Beta version of Kentico 8 and is subject to change before the final gold version is released.

     

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