Friday, September 12, 2014

Limitations of Sitefinity v. 7.x

If you are using Sitefinity v. 7.x, here are some MAJOR limitations to the platform that might influence whether or not you consider migrating to the Project Feather platform (when it is released):

  1. The Sitefinity project is still built on .NET v. 4.0.  There is no .NET v. 4.5 (or v. 4.5.1) release nor are there any current roadmap plans to add support for .NET v. 4.0.  While .NET v. 4.5 is a minor change from .NET v. 4.0, it still requires Web.config changes.  In addition, features that are specific to .NET v. 4.5 and above (such as Model Binding in ASP.NET Web Forms) are not available because Telerik still references the .NET v. 4.0 assemblies and not the native .NET v. 4.5 assemblies.  Of course, you can spend countless hours upgrading the project to support .NET v. 4.5 all around, but what happens each time you want to run an upgrade??  If time is money, you can easily spend thousands of dollars supporting upgrades to Sitefinity just to run .NET v. 4.5 (and who really wants to go through that hassle)?
  2. The Sitefinity project includes Telerik.Reporting assemblies but you cannot use them with Visual Studio 2013 because the assemblies don't support integration with Visual Studio 2013.  There is also no roadmap plan to include later versions of these assemblies.  Therefore, if you decide to use newer versions of these assemblies, it will also require additional assembly redirects in the Web.config (and always having to deal with this with each subsequent upgrade)
  3. The Sitefinity project still references ASP.NET MVC 4!! In addition, if you want to support ASP.NET MVC 5 and the features included with MVC 5, you are probably out of luck since even the latest release of Sitefinity v. 7.1.5200 does not yet support MVC 5.  You may be able to update and upgrade all of the Web.config files and the associated project references to add support for MVC 5, but once again you will have to deal with this on each and every project upgrade.  
On the bright side, Project Feather ( seems to be more loosely coupled than the original releases of Sitefinity since v. 4.x, but there is no clear direction as to when Project Feather will become integrated into the mainstream release of Sitefinity or if it will remain as a side project all on its own.  As of this writing, Project Feather still only has support for ASP.NET MVC 4 and has not been formally released to RTM.

So, if you are currently doing modern development using all the latest technologies and versions (Visual Studio 2013, Entity Framework, ASP.NET MVC , Web API and .NET v. 4.5 or later), you may well be out of luck until the Sitefinity team decides to update and upgrade their current solution or at least wait until Project Feather is released to see if it holds a brighter future than the current release of Sitefinity. 

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