03 May 2018

What is Core 2 and what happened to Core 1?

Imagine if you could change your electricity provider and save 90% on your bills. The only snag is that it’s a different type of electricity and none of your appliances will work.

This is the scenario faced by transitioning to Core 1. OK if you’re starting from scratch and are intending to buy all new appliances – not so appealing in any other event.

Let’s suppose that some clever chap offered a widget, that enabled your appliances to work with this new electricity, without too much fuss – now it’s a much more inviting proposition.
So, rather than spending four years redeveloping iCentric Core 1, we waited and then spent eight months transitioning to Core 2.

So, does Core 2 save you 90% on your website costs?

It’s not quite that black and white, but the answer is that it’s possible, depending on how much you intend to keep adding to your website and how savings would compound.

Previously, every time a developer touched your website, he would need to spend a lot of time merging changes, fixing any conflicts and going through the deployment process on top of the initial task that he had to carry out. The more bespoke features you added to your site, the longer it took.

With iCentric Core 2, the CMS is entirely separated from anything else that has been added, meaning that there are no merging conflicts. Also, the new CMS deploys automatically, which saves 15-20 minutes of developer time per deployment.

OK, but what if I don’t need to add things often?

You may not add new features or functionality to your website often, but we intend to add plenty of new features and continually improve the iCentric CMS. Before, you couldn’t benefit from these unless we used a lot of your SLA hours, manually updating your CMS. With Core 2, we can update your CMS in a few clicks. We could even automate this process, but we prefer to have a human finger on the trigger, just in case.

How else does it save money?

In two ways;
Firstly, Core 2 and its underlying concept, known as Dependency Injection, means that less code needs to be written in order to carry out any task and that any new task has considerably less impact or reliance on other code that it interacts with.

This translates as; if you want to add some unique feature, it takes us less time to write the code, less time fixing any arising issues and we don’t spend any time merging changes. Time equals money and over a lot of time, that could be a lot of money!

The second saving comes from efficiency. Core 2 uses up less processing power and many of the workings of the old iCentric have now been removed from the CMS and replaced by external services which are called as and when required.

In layman’s terms, it can run on a lower capacity server, which saves money. To illustrate that point, reducing the capacity of a web server on any cloud provider by one increment, reduces the cost by half.

What are the other benefits?

Core 2 is faster and this benefits the front facing websites and especially speeds up editing in the CMS. We’ve also reduced some of the journeys in the CMS and added some new exporting features too.

The new CMS handles user and customer records in a GDPR compliant way, allows customers to be forgotten and keeps an audit log of downloaded customer information.
For e-commerce websites, iCentric Core 2 now uses STRIPE as the default payment gateway, which gives a far better user experience than the old Sagepay as well as reducing the PCI compliance obligations.

What happens if I don’t go to Core 2 or the new iCentric CMS?

That would be like opting to stay with a black and white TV set. It doesn’t mean that you can no longer watch TV in the short term, but you’ll miss out on the benefits of colour and your old TV will need fixing and it will become harder to find anyone who fixes black and white TVs and you’ll spend more on repairs than it would cost for a new colour TV until eventually, you can’t get a signal in black and white anymore.

Are there any other Core 2 CMSs?

Not yet, because Core 2 is so new, but you can be sure that nearly all CMSs will eventually be built on Core. In recent years, aside from Java which has its own niche in the world, nearly all CMSs were built either on PHP, which was open source, or on Microsoft’s .NET.

Products such as Wordpress and Drupal dominated the PHP sector, while .NET was reserved for more commercial products aimed at large businesses and enterprise solutions.
Core 2 changes that – yes, it’s Microsoft but it’s completely open source and has been developed with several technology partners, such as Samsung and Qualcomm to ensure that it meets the wider needs. Any Core application can now be hosted on Linux or Mac servers which was another lure of PHP previously.

So, where there used to be a strong argument in favour of PHP applications over .NET, there now isn’t and the pendulum has in fact swung the other way entirely.

How much will it cost?

At this time, only the cost of migration will be charged. This will vary according to each CMS requiring the upgrade, but time taken will be in days, rather than weeks of development, so will be relatively painless in terms of price, especially considering the benefits.

What’s the roadmap for iCentric Core 2?

We have plenty of minor features and enhancements lined up over the coming 12-24 months, but the most eagerly awaited feature is the template builder. This will be a chargeable addition, but once added, will give unrivalled capabilities for the CMS.
We also intend to make iCentric available initially as a one click install on AWS marketplace and we may open up some aspects to third party developers with an SDK under license.

Tell me more..