Despite some time having gone by, a lot of questions remain in the minds of many around the Ektron and Episerver merger. Every day, we encounter clients who are looking to make the jump to the Episerver CMS and have some good questions. Inevitably, one of the questions those clients will ask involves how Episerver handles eSync. For those unfamiliar, Ektron eSync is the feature that migrates content and asset changes or any coding changes from one tier of servers to another. A good example of this is the way the authoring server interacts with the production server. For those Ektron clients who use eSync today and are unsure of how that will effect their website’s workflow when they migrate to Episerver, I have outlined a few features below that will help ease that uncertainty.
To begin with, Episerver has a similar product to Ektron eSync called Episerver mirror, but before recommending it’s use to our clients, there are a few things we like to help folks keep in mind. For example, Episerver mirror is similar in many respects to eSync except for one key difference in that it doesn’t migrate your template (code) changes from one server to another. The primary reason for this is because Episerver is a web application and not a website (like Ektron). This difference can change the workflow for any migration project involving code deployments between servers. While this may seem like a show stopper for some Ektron clients, the reality is that with Episerver’s Continuous Release Cycle, other tools such as Octopus Deploy are far more efficient and scalable at deploying these code changes between server tiers.
While eSync can definitely be used to migrate template code changes between servers, its largest and most common use case is migrating content from authoring environments into production environments. This is really the bread and butter of the eSync product as it has helped organizations large and small solve the problem of previewing or staging content prior to it going live. While Episerver mirror does indeed help with the migrating of content from one server tier to another, for many current Ektron users, there may be out-of-the-box Episerver functionality which may negate the need for eSync’s features.
As a result, before we recommend utilization of Episerver mirror as a way to meet the same business requirements that are met by eSync, we think it is important to know the answers to a few questions:
- If you could preview your content on-page exactly like your website visitors would see it, would that solve your business requirement for eSync?
- If you could preview entire sections of your website as if they were live by simply browsing a “version” of your website, would that solve your business requirement for eSync?
- If you could delete a page but be warned that other pages on your website link to the page you are about to delete, would that solve your business requirement for eSync?
- If you could auto-save your edits and also rollback or undo your changes quickly, would that solve your business requirements for eSync?
If the answer is yes to any of the questions above, we normally will not recommend setting up Episerver mirror.
The reality is that Episerver already offers all of the features above and more. That’s great news. Should the above situation not meet your needs, more good news is that there are certainly Episerver mirror options available for you, and we can help you navigate those options. Interestingly, what we are largely seeing is that our clients are finding that the value of these out-of-the-box Episerver features are sufficient to solve their business needs.
If you are thinking about migrating to Episerver from Ektron and you have questions about how this could work for you, reach out to us today to help you navigate those choices.
Make sure you sign up for our free webinar in March designed to dispel some common myths around the migration process.