Get off to a flying start with Pimcore X!

Hit the ground running with Pimcore X!

Just in time for its tenth anniversary, Pimcore GmbH communicates the immediate disposition of Pimcore X, the internationally most popular operational base for the administration of customer data and customer experiences. Usually, the company makes innovations accessible in so-called «minor versions». However, Pimcore X is a «major version», which means that the technical basis of the system has been raised to the most up-to-date status. Thus, an exorbitant abundance of obsolete code has been eliminated and the most feasible backward compatibility has been taken to heart. The new version, which was released at Pimcore Inspire 2021, brings lush performance enhancements and virgin functionality for enterprise-wide collaboration on product data, digital assets and content. This celebration is my driving force to present you the new features of the product. So I invite you to dive in and explore the depths of the system with me.

New technology under the hood

As mentioned earlier, the technological cornerstone of the application has been modernized. Specifically, Pimcore X is based on Symfony 5, PHP 8 and ExtJS 7. This overhaul primarily increases the performance and stability of the application. With an eclatant speed increase, Pimcore X is the fastest Pimcore ever. Symfony 5 is based on the latest architecture of Symfony components, the most common set of libraries in the history of PHP, which guarantees unwavering durability. Furthermore, Symfony 5 has been tested in established CMS and e-commerce projects such as Drupal, Magento or Shopware and is one of the most popular frameworks "ever" with 50 million monthly downloads. In addition, the clean source code, the updated documentation and the numerous new features and coding guidelines open up an economical working environment for developers, which significantly advances the handling of Pimcore projects.

The right model for all subject areas

The platform is available in three classes. The "Cloud Edition", the "On-Premise Edition" in the "Enterprise Edition" or the "Open Source Community Edition" are available.

Cloud

The Cloud is the fastest deployment model and comes in three flavors. The "Starter Cloud Edition", the "Professional Cloud Edition" and the "Ultimate Cloud Edition". The three variations differ in terms of their performance and consequently their price. The Cloud version is particularly suitable for "PIM / MDM / DAM", although "Headless DXP" is also possible. However, this is exclusively in the two editions mentioned last. With the "Pimcore Cloud Edition" you work faster, reduce your expenses and can easily scale your project. The end result is an unparalleled product experience where all product, customer and master data, as well as the complete digital media inventory, is wittily unified and delivered to the right client touchpoints.

Pimcore Enterprise Edition

The "Pimcore Enterprise Subscription" in the "on-premise variant" is the most adaptable foundation for directing data and customer experiences. It includes complementary functionalities for Digital Experience Management and Digital Commerce, and forms the perfect nudge of tools to bring out positive digital stories for any channel. The merit of this execution lies in the "open code" fundamental consensus. This allows, through scripting and explicit development to the needs of the customer, the complete adaptation of the application including the administration in their preferred infrastructure.

Pimcore Community Edition

The history of Pimcore is based on the essence and vision of open source, because Pimcore believes that this factor enables rapid innovation. The company trusts in the power of community and the thriving of collaboration among developers and Pimcore enthusiasts. Open source is therefore the best way for the company to counter this collective. Consequently, the "Open Source Community Edition" is free of charge and will remain so. Furthermore, the "Open Source Technology" grants massive bonuses to the clientele, because besides the protection of the intellectual property, a remarkable evaluation can be worked out about the total expenses of the operation (costs). The Community Edition offers the client an "amuse-bouche" to the all-in-one Pimcore platform and is perfected by more than 300 developers and implemented by over 130 partner agencies.

Pimcore Data Importer

Pimcore's customer base now manages over 3.6 billion product data, customer data and all sorts of other stuff. Data Importer drives the exchange of data and complements Pimcore Datahub with a rich import function. Accordingly, it arranges importing information from external sources and mapping them to Pimcore data objects. Building on a configured incorporation. The ultimate trump card of this approach is that no code needs to be written to perform the goal-oriented import. This tool streamlines the mechanism of merging data from various possibly differently structured data sources into one target database. The data can come from heterogeneous, remote sources and be merged using, for example, SFTP or HTTP protocols. Currently, CSV, XLSX, JSON or XML file formats are supported. To avoid surprising consequences, a preview file can be used. As a result, settings can be checked and used immediately. Moreover, procedures can be defined how to deal with already existing objects. For example, to update them. Of course, the location and visibility of virgin entities can also be specified. To support the mapping of the source data, auxiliary tools for uncomplicated transformation and a preview of the imported data are available. The completion of an import can be triggered either directly in Pimcore or via an automated cron job. Once the import is complete, the user is provided with reports on the development status on the one hand and detailed, chronological logs of the process on the other.

Capture content in a friendly and uncomplicated way

In Pimcore X, document customization has been improved immensely to make the user experience more accommodating. For example, editing and creating content can be achieved without refreshing the administration interface. Documents and objects have been equipped with an AutoSave function to ensure that modifications cannot be lost. The process automatically saves the data again after each correction. Furthermore, Pimcore X endorses the MPEG-DASH standard. This enables the simultaneous and high-quality transmission and playback of video and audio data over the Internet using common HTTP web servers. The content is split into a chronology of small subsections, with each subsection showing a short section of the total playing time. The content is held in a selection of different bitrates. When media objects are played by an MPEG dash client such as Pimcore, the client unprompted selects the appropriate variation for the current connection conditions from the available offerings. As a result, Pimcore can adapt fluidly to fluctuating network conditions, ensuring excellent and smooth playback.

Product Experience Portal

The Product Experience Portal is available for the Cloud and Enterprise editions, making it part of a suite of other enhancements for the two models. By offering real-time product information in consumer-friendly portals, you can create exceptional product experiences for your customers. The highly configurable and customizable portals provide significant functionality such as search, filtering, sharing and analysis.

Search and filtering

The option to immediately view the correct information about your items or services can be very essential for the productivity and therefore the profitability of your business. That's why the portal features an extremely fast and sharp full-text search engine based on Elasticsearch. The way the search works with configurable filters refines the appropriate result within a short time. The effectiveness of the search is enhanced by useful tools such as auto-complete and saved searches.

Data display and download

Data can be presented in different views on the website. For example, you can prefer a list view to a grid view or vice versa. You also have the option of downloading attachments instantly or placing them in a download bin to be downloaded collectively at some point. The configurable download manager offers the information in a structured way as CSV, XML or JSON file. This can be subsequently used for further use in third-party applications.

Collective use

Moving exquisite information between confidential and remote users is an ongoing challenge. The portal provides advanced tools for the collective use of product data and digital documents. For example, an expiration date, relevant media asset file formats, watermarks, and special conditions can contain access to data.

Collections

Collections offer the option to subdivide a range of products in a flexible and personalized way. That is, individual pieces of content can be arranged into a group. These collections can then be released to internal and external users and provided with explicit download options.

Security and authorization

Security and access control are fundamental components of product experience portals. You can control access to product information and media content at the data pool level, or alternatively at the user level. The complete configuration can be done in a visual editor. Accordingly, no programming knowledge is required.

Conclusion

It is fun to work with Pimcore X. Many small wizards make working with Pimcore X quick and easy, and the results are quickly worth mentioning. Pimcore GmbH has recognized the signs of the times and created an application interface that is intuitive, performant, self-explanatory and easy to use. An expertise in programming is often not required to achieve a desired objective. I therefore rate Pimcore X as another adequate and significant step into a promising future and attest it the rating «world class».

Roland Kneubühler

Web Developer

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