Extending Sitefinity

In the past, software was very ‘closed.’ If you wanted to implement a new feature or make a change to improve it, it more than likely would only happen if and when it made monetary sense for the software creators and owners to do so.  

Today, some applications are still like that. However, if we narrow our focus to websites, it is common to find sites that are built as a content management system (CMS) which provides a ‘platform’ from which to create a self-managing website. These platforms often still require a developer to make customizations but the true power comes with what those platforms allow the developer to customize.

Sitefinity allows almost anything to be enhanced, extended, or replaced from its out of the box implementations. Let’s look at a metaphoric example of using a car.

Let’s use the Toyota Corolla, the worlds most common car. It suits our needs but we want a bigger feature sound system. No problem. We can replace that with any number of options and upgrades out there – and it doesn’t have to be Toyota-made either. If we look at almost any other part of the car, brakes, muffler, engine, paint job, etc. chances are we can replace it with our own customization.

Sitefinity is similar in that way and is particularly designed to allow for customizations. Out of the box, it has the ability to store logs in the filesystem or an ELMAH database. You can then create your own implementation and send those logs to a third-party cloud service or your own internal logging system.

The platform has built two integrations which connect to two digital asset management systems (DAMS), Cloudinary or Frontify. But more importantly, Sitefinity has built an interface allowing developers to connect to other DAM systems. With this approach, you don’t need to lobby Sitefinity to support your preferred third party. 

Sitefinity has many other places to make your own customizations. 

Perhaps you wish to add some extra data to the news items that are displayed on your site. You can add your own custom fields or extend Sitefinity’s news data model to look up and calculate something from another system.

You may have some special requirements when creating the sitemap file for search engines. Sitefinity allows you to intercept that generation process to add in those specific requirements.

There is an event system allowing you to run code when data is created, updated, or deleted. There are web services and web hooks allowing other systems to push data to you for certain actions and vice-versa.

One of the special purposes of a CMS is the actual management of data. Sitefinity comes with a well-designed backend user interface (UI) for you to do this. If you need changes or improvements to help your team manage that data and information, you can customize and enhance that UI to suit your needs.

Sitefinity has a lot of great features but there’s one that may not seem as prominent as the others, and that’s the ability to extend or replace functionality with your own requirements. That ability to adapt to your business rather than you adapting to the CMS is one of the real special features Sitefinity offers.

As a Progress Titanium partner, Americaneagle.com has extensive experience building solutions on the Sitefinity platform. Our team holds the knowledge necessary to create you a dynamic digital experience that leverages the full suite of tools available on the platform. To speak with a trusted Sitefinity partner, contact us today


About Author

Darrin Robertson
Darrin Robertson is a Sitefinity awarded MVP and developer at Americaneagle.com. He started his career at a bank launching and managing their initial online banking services at a time when the cloud just meant rain was coming. After discovering Sitefinity and becoming a specialist, he eventually came to Americaneagle.com. Darrin lives in New Zealand with his one and only ‘teams’ joke of being ‘a man from the future.’


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