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What to Prepare For: Migrating to Kentico Xperience MVC

With the launch of Kentico Xperience, Kentico announced their plan to retire support for their Portal Engine clients in 2023 alongside ASP.NET Webforms being retired by Microsoft. Moving forward, Kentico Xperience would be fully adopting the MVC framework.  For many Portal Engine users wanting to migrate to MVC, the most common question has become: 

How Do I Prepare to Migrate to Kentico MVC?  

Prepare for the Inevitable 

As mentioned above, if you’re looking to move from Kentico Xperience Portal Engine to Kentico Xperience MVC, the support of your Portal Engine client ends by 2023.    

Depending on your organization, department, and current priorities, this may help or hinder your ability to prepare for this move. For most, the knowledge that support of your Kentico Portal Engine is on borrowed time can often act as the spark to move migration up in priority.  

Examine your Roadmap 

Depending on your organization, 2023 may be more than enough time to migrate to MVC successfully, or it may already feel like you’ll need to move mountains to make it happen.   

Regardless, taking a hard look at your current roadmap and where migration from Portal Engine to Xperience MVC fits is vital in understanding where you should be in that process currently.   

Start by asking you and your team the following questions: 

  • Where does an MVC migration fit with your current roadmap? 
  • What are the high-level budget requirements for an MVC Migration, and when/is that budget available?  Talking to your internal team, partners (we know a great one), and Kentico can help give you an idea of total costs. 
  • Can integrating a migration to MVC into an already planned roadmap project (ex: New eCommerce platform, major product release, redesign, etc.) help ease budget and release concerns?  
  • Are there integrations, vendors, or partners who need to be made aware of a migration? What impact will they have? 

The above questions should help your team form an estimated budget, timeline, and, most importantly, any critical conversations you may need to make a migration fit within your current roadmap. 

Human Resources 

While knowing where migration to MVC fits within your existing roadmap, knowing where MVC fits within your current internal talent is just as critical.  If you’ve been training and recruiting talent to maintain your Portal Engine framework, making sure you understand where your organization stands in terms of MVC proficiency is the next step. 

  • Audit your current internal skillsets for MVC 
  • With many clients on Portal Engine, entire teams have been built around supporting that skill set.  Knowing where gaps exist in MVC skillsets will help inform you where recruitment and training must be focused. 
  • Hiring / Talent Acquisition plan in preparation for MVC  
  • Based on your internal audit, prepare a hiring plan for the roles you’ll need to migrate and maintain an MVC environment. 
  • Integrating MVC into annual employee training  
  • Your internal audit will likely also reveal where internal training is needed.  Examining where this can fit within your above roadmap can help ensure that your team feels adequately prepared for a migration to MVC. 

Selling to Internal Stakeholders 

Armed with your budget, roadmap, and resource needs, ensuring you’ve taken the time to sell a migration to internal stakeholders is typically where many clients spend the most preparation.  While exciting to many in the industry, migrating to new frameworks often lacks the allure of a visual redesign due to much of the advantages it creates happening behind the scenes.   

Knowing that making sure that you’re well versed on the business advantages that migration to MVC can bring is critical.  With that in mind, we’ve collected a list of common advantages we’ve witnessed for client’s that migrate to Kentico MV: 

  1. Significant efficiencies for Creative & Front-End teams due to a cleaner separation of content and code. 
  2. Mobile experience and Search Engine Optimization benefits from increase MVC performance over Portal Engine. 
  3. Increases inefficiencies and flexibility with content distribution. 
  4. Reduced maintenance costs and efficiencies of MVC  
  5. Reduced Hosting costs of MVC 
  6. Increased Accessibility benefits 
  7. More flexible development paths than Portal Engine, allowing development more choices in how they tackle issues. 
  8. Security improvements of Kentico MVC 
  9. Increased Localization capabilities for localization, multi-lingual content, and users. 

Ensuring you understand the advantages of MVC over Portal Engine can help make selling a migration internally far easier.  If you’d like to know more on these advantages, Brian McKeiver’s article on 25 Reasons to Move to Kentico Xperience MVC dives into many of these at a deeper level and is worth a read.  

Our CTO, Dave Conder, has also put together a recorded webinar series on lessons learned from migrating from Portal Engine to Kentico MVC that is worth checking out for a deeper dive on the advantages of migration.  

Embrace Content Modeling 

One of the most significant aspects of migrating to MVC that can be overlooked is embracing Content Modeling internally.  Moving to Kentico Xperience MVC makes the advantages of content modeling even more transparent. It ensures that your organization is prepared for taking full advantage of what Kentico Xperience MVC offers. 

  • What is Content Modeling 
  • If your organization is new to the practice of Content Modeling, resources are abundant on the subject: 
  • Introduction to Content Modeling (Video) 
  • What is content modeling (Guide) 
  • Mastering Content Modelling (Guide) 
  • Audit and plan on how to integrate content modeling into your current processes. 
  • Where does content modeling change your current processes the most? The least? 
  • Where will you find the most pushback at implementing content modeling internally? 
  • What is the plan to help alleviate concerns over a new process for these stakeholders? 
  • What staff or partners have content modeling experience already of which they’d be willing to train your organization on? 

Schedule Demos and Training 

By now, you should have an idea of the teams and stakeholders impacted by migration.  However, we often see that training and demos can start too early, creating many questions and confusion that the above recommendations on preparation are meant to answer and anticipate beforehand. With the above knowledge, scheduling training and demos at this point will allow your teams to participate in these with the knowledge of why they’re there, what the benefits are and what the impact on the roadmap and budget will be. 

  • Scheduling Product Demos on Kentico Xperience MVC 
  • Schedule Internal Trainings on MVC with your  
  • Schedule Internal Trainings on Content Modeling  

Diving In 

Regardless of how your organization runs, preparing for moving Kentico Portal Engine to Xperience MVC can make the process far more successful.  The above recommendations are meant to reveal the unexpected delays, obstacles, and headaches that can accompany any large internal project.  The real goal is to ensure that you know the road ahead before you venture forth, as with any large project.  While the advantages Kentico MVC has over Portal Engine are vast, making sure your organization is fully prepared for migrating from Portal Engine to Kentico MVC makes those advantages stand out even brighter.