Sitecore Experience Platform 10.4 Enhancements and Updates

Sitecore XP 10.4, also referred to as Sitecore 10.4, is the latest version of the Sitecore Experience Platform (SXP), released in April 2024. The version boasts several significant enhancements and updates designed to improve the user experience as well as the overall performance of the platform.

Check out the latest episode of Sitecore Water Cooler to learn more about all the improvements in Sitecore 10.4.

 


Introducing Americaneagle.com’s Certified Sitecore Developers

Naim Al and Alex Lentz are seasoned Sitecore solution architects at Americaneagle.com. Naim has been with the company for eight years, starting with Sitecore version 7.4, while Alex has nearly a decade of experience, beginning with Sitecore 8.2 and even touching version 7.5. Their extensive experience spans multiple versions, providing them with deep insights into the latest updates and enhancements introduced in Sitecore XP 10.4. This expertise allows them to guide clients through the complexities of Sitecore’s evolving ecosystem.

New Features of Sitecore 10.4

The Sitecore XP 10.4 update introduces over 200 features aimed at improving security, integration, and performance. It includes significant security enhancements, such as updated JavaScript libraries and advanced cybersecurity measures to mitigate risks. Integration capabilities have been improved with support for SQL Server 2022 and expanded Azure services. Performance has been optimized through enhanced Solr indexing with quicker data availability via "soft commit," ensuring faster search indexing. Additionally, there is now direct support for custom languages without requiring additional .NET integrations. The updates collectively enhance the overall functionality and security of the Sitecore platform.

Migration Assistance Updates from Sitecore 10.4

Migration to Sitecore XP 10.4 is now more straightforward due to enhanced migration tools and comprehensive documentation. Notable updates include tools for migrating content, images, and users from Sitecore XM to Sitecore XM Cloud, allowing developers to focus on frontend migration without worrying about the backend. Additionally, tools for Sitecore XP to Sitecore CDP migration save significant time. The enhancements provide a robust framework for transitioning to the cloud when ready, ensuring data integrity and minimizing downtime during the migration process.

Accessibility Enhancements from Sitecore 10.4

Accessibility has been a significant focus in the Sitecore XP 10.4 update, ensuring websites are more inclusive. The update improves compatibility with screen readers, making it easier for visually impaired users to navigate websites. Enhancements in keyboard navigation allow users to access all interactive elements without needing a mouse. Additionally, improved color contrast settings help users with visual impairments read content more easily. The updates not only enhance frontend accessibility but also make it easier for content authors with visual impairments to perform their tasks effectively.

Sitecore graphic with Alexander Lentz quote about focusing on content author accessibility

Marketing Highlights from the Sitecore 10.4 Update

From a marketing perspective, Sitecore XP 10.4 introduces several features to enhance campaign effectiveness. Improved analytics tools provide deeper insights into customer behavior and campaign performance, enabling more informed decision-making. Personalization enhancements allow marketers to create more refined audience segments and deliver highly personalized content. Additionally, better integration with Sitecore Content Hub streamlines content creation and distribution processes, making it easier to manage and deploy marketing campaigns. These updates collectively enhance the capabilities of marketing teams, helping them achieve better results and drive greater engagement.

Differences Between Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) and SXA Headless

Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) and SXA Headless offer distinct approaches to website development. SXA provides a drag-and-drop interface for rapid site development using predefined components, making it user-friendly for content authors. In contrast, SXA Headless decouples the frontend and backend, allowing developers to utilize modern JavaScript frameworks like React or Angular for building the frontend. This headless approach is increasingly popular due to its flexibility and performance benefits, facilitating faster, more dynamic web applications. Evaluating the available components and ensuring they meet your needs is crucial when considering a move to headless.

Benefits of Moving to Headless SXA and Sitecore 10.4

Adopting a headless approach with SXA, alongside the Sitecore XP 10.4 update, offers significant performance benefits. The decoupled architecture and optimized APIs result in faster page load times. Headless setups enhance scalability, enabling efficient handling of higher traffic volumes. Additionally, development agility improves as teams can independently deploy frontend changes, accelerating the development cycle. These advantages make transitioning to headless SXA and upgrading to Sitecore XP 10.4 a strategic move for organizations looking to enhance website performance and operational efficiency.

Most Important Considerations When Upgrading to Sitecore 10.4

When preparing to update to Sitecore XP 10.4, several critical considerations should guide your planning. Firstly, ensure all existing customizations and integrations are compatible with the new version to avoid operational disruptions. Thorough testing in a staging environment is essential to identify and resolve any potential issues before deploying the update to production, ensuring a smooth transition. Providing comprehensive training to your team on the new features and enhancements maximizes the benefits and efficiency gains from the update. Lastly, prioritize taking a full backup of your current Sitecore instance before initiating the update process to safeguard against data loss or unforeseen complications.

Learn more about upgrading to Sitecore 10.

Take Advantage of all that Sitecore 10.4 has to Offer

Sitecore XP 10.4 introduces significant enhancements across usability, performance, and accessibility. Key updates include refined content management tools, advanced personalization features for tailored customer experiences, and improved integration capabilities with third-party services. The update also prioritizes accessibility with enhanced support for screen readers, keyboard navigation, and improved color contrast settings.

For marketers, advanced analytics and deeper personalization options enhance campaign effectiveness, while better integration with Sitecore Content Hub streamlines content workflows. Moving toward a headless architecture with SXA offers performance advantages like faster load times, scalability, and development agility. Planning an update involves considerations of compatibility, thorough testing, team training, and ensuring backups for a smooth transition.

Listen to the Sitecore Water Cooler Today!

Start listening on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also watch the podcast taped in the Americaneagle.com Studios on YouTube.

To read the transcript/captions of this episode, click "CC" within the YouTube video.

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This podcast is brought to you by Americaneagle.com Studios.

About: For years, ‘water cooler talk’ has been a natural way for people in the workplace to come together and connect on common interest topics in what would otherwise be a formal environment; it boosts morale, improves culture and gets the creative juices flowing! Some of the best workplace ideas and conversations happen through face-to-face conversations around the ‘water cooler,’ so just as the name implies, The Sitecore Water Cooler podcast is a casual conversation between colleagues and peers centered around all things Sitecore. This podcast is an outlet for various Sitecore experts within the Sitecore community to have a meaningful discussion around the latest with Sitecore products, every day topics, challenges and successes associated with this top-of-line digital experience platform. Each podcast episode will range in topic, but will be geared towards quick-hitting initiatives that affect how business is done today. Whether you’re a new Sitecore user, a Sitecore MVP, or just someone who wants to learn more about Sitecore technology and capabilities, then meet us at the watercooler!


About Author

Podcast producer at Americaneagle.com
Bryan Winger is a Podcast Producer with Americaneagle.com. He began his career in broadcasting back in Minnesota, producing for several radio stations and syndicated shows throughout the Twin Cities. He has over 5 years of experience in the broadcasting industry, before joining the team at Americaneagle.com. He enjoys playing golf and hockey, watching football on Sundays, and producing music for fun.


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