A look ahead to what you can expect with Vendr v3, what benefits it will bring and also what this means for the various versions of Umbraco
It seems like only yesterday that we announced the launch of Vendr v2, but time stops for no-one and here we are planning what’s next for Vendr.
When we created Vendr v2 there were a lot of unknowns, for both us and the community. Moving to .NET Core for those like us who had been using .NET Framework for such a long time was a hugely daunting prospect, unsure of whether all the knowledge that had been built up over the years would still apply. Likewise, such a big change to the Umbraco CMS platform left many unsure what would be on the other side. Would it be the same? Will the packages I rely on be there? Will it be as stable?
It was that uncertainty that led us to develop Vendr v2 as we did, as a multi-targeted package that would work for both v8 and v9 installs. That way we could ensure we catered for as wide an audience as possible during this cross over period, supporting those that wished to stay with v8 whilst the dust settled as well as those eager to break new ground.
This approach has worked great for us, as during that time we’ve been able to release bug fixes and new features that work for both platforms with minimal effort. But at the same time, as we’ve learnt more about .NET Core and watched to see in what direction Umbraco are moving, we have realized that if we want to ensure Vendr stays up to date with the modern practices and not get bogged down with legacy code and processes, the multi-targeted package can not be our long term approach.
Looking towards Vendr v3, we’ll be focusing our efforts towards the future and that means going all in on .NET Core. From v3 our plan is to drop the multi-targeted support and be a purely .NET Core based package targeted towards Umbraco v10+ and .NET 6+.
We’ll also be looking to make some infrastructural improvements, reducing our dependence on Umbraco in some core aspects. The aim of these improvements are to ensure Vendr moves forward and is able to continue to do so at its own pace and is less susceptible to forced changes from the Umbraco code base. We’ll be aiming to keep our tight integration into the UI, so nothing will change there, it’s mainly within our core code, reducing those connection points where it’s not entirely necessary. Also, by reducing our code footprint we are hoping to minimize the amount of code we need to look after when the next big Umbraco update comes along, the new back office UI.
This does mean that as of Vendr v3, no new features will be developed for either Umbraco v8 or Umbraco v9 and these will move into a support phase where we will continue to address bugs and security fixes only. This is inline with Umbraco’s own EOL (End of Life) policy and so it’s very much in everyone's interest to start planning that transition now.
We don’t have a fixed time scale just yet, but as we’ve worked on some of the code changes and seen Umbraco’s plans for v10, it became apparent that this was the approach we would need to take and so we wanted to make developers aware with as much notice as possible.
Vendr v3 will target Umbraco v10+ so it will be after the Umbraco v10 release, but we still have plenty of testing to do too which will require us to put out at least an RC before any formal release.
As we don’t have a fixed time scale yet on v3’s release, we are planning to ensure Vendr v2 is at least Umbraco v10 compatible so that existing customers can continue to upgrade to the latest Umbraco. We will also continue to make updates to v2 until v3 is ready for release.
Whilst there will likely be some (hopefully minor) code based breaking changes, we don’t expect there to be any database breaking changes, or if there are, there will be migrations in place to automatically apply those changes for a smoother upgrade.
With this in mind, if you are on Umbraco v9 you shouldn’t face many challenges upgrading. If you are on Umbraco v8 though, you’ll obviously be facing the challenge of moving to .NET Core but there should still be little difference in your Vendr implementation.
As with the Vendr v2 launch, Vendr v3 will continue to work with existing licenses that are within their upgrade window (inc those on Subscription licenses). Any license outside their upgrade window wishing to update will be subject to the standard upgrade license fee.
If you have any other questions about our plans for Vendr v3, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact form, or you can also message us via twitter.
Thanks for reading,