Sunday, May 27, 2007

Introducing the Small Business Starter Kit

I had hoped to be the first blogger to talk about the Sitecore Small Business Starter Kit, but, alas, Peter Johansson beat me to it with this very kind review.

Peter is correct that, on Friday, May 25th, 2007, we released the starter kit. The starter kit gives a head start to organizations developing information web sites for small to medium sized organizations. For more information, please read the product description.

I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank and congratulate the following people:

  • Michael Seifert - Sitecore CEO: For his clear vision of what the starter kit should and should not be.
  • Alexander Tsvirchkov - Sitecore Developer: For contributing to the development of the Side Menu XSLT renderings (both tree style and slide out DHTML).
  • Kim Hornung - Sitecore Solution Architect: For his help in troubleshooting the site's CSS styles and discussing architectural design issues.
  • Lars Nielsen - Sitecore Solution Architect: For his laser-like ability to find potential deficiencies and offer simple solutions when reviewing early versions of the site.
  • Nataly Kushka - Freelance Designer: For her help on the site design.
  • and Dmitry Vasilinenko and the Sitecore Release team: For patiently building and rebuilding the installation wizard for the starter kit as needed to meet the release date.

I'll be posting more about the starter kit in the coming weeks and months, but please don't wait for what I have to say.

Download it, try it, review it, use it, and let us know how we can improve it to make it more useful for you and you customers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Like Keyboard Shortcuts?

Sitecore CMS 5.3.1 has a cool feature that not too many people know about. At least, I couldn't find it described on anyone's blog, so I figured it would be a good choice for my first useful blog post.

If you like using keyboard shortcuts, you might want to know what shortcuts are available in the Sitecore Content Editor. You can find a list on SDN, but I never want to take the time to find the right article myself and I often forget which shortcuts are available.

The solution?

Use ALT+F1!

If you press ALT+F1 while in the Content Editor, it displays the keyboard shortcuts associated with each of the commands in the ribbon.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Welcome to my initial post!

My name is Kerry Bellerose. I am a Solution Architect at Sitecore Corporation with overall responsibility for our worldwide Training and Documentation efforts.

So what took you so long?

I joined Sitecore in March, 2005. The insightful reader will notice that over two years have gone by without a peep from me on the blogosphere.

So what gives?

Well, given my role as responsible for documentation and training materials, I’ve been doing plenty of writing about Sitecore. When I joined Sitecore we were just about to release V5 and we desperately needed documentation and training materials. I made a conscious decision that anything I wrote regarding Sitecore should be available to everyone interested via official channels.

So why are you wasting your time now?

Right, good question!

Actually, we’ve made great strides since I started. Thanks to the tireless dedication and ceaseless hard work of many people (including Alexander Kokoshyn, Maria Metova, John West, Jesper Jørgensen, Kim Hornung, and many more), we actually have a staggering amount of documentation dedicated to Sitecore V5 available on the Sitecore Developer Network.

Just how much, you ask?

Well, we use Sitecore to manage the site, of course. A quick scan of the site reveals the following, as of May 21, 2007:

Site SectionStatistics
Product Documentation776 items
End User399 items
Developer225 items
Reference49 items
Articles584 items
FAQ170 items
Snippets216 items
Downloads731 items
Support Scrapbook77 items

As most of you know, each item may be more or less than a printed page, but if printed out this would amount to well over 3000 pages of documentation. And this doesn’t count the API reference materials!

On the training side we have four standard courses taught by 16 certified instructors worldwide. As of May 21, 2007 we have certified the following number of students worldwide:

Certified Developer Level 1823 certifications
(available since June 2005)
Certified Developer Level 2240 certifications
(available since Nov 2005)
Certified Administrator82 certifications
(available since Jan 2006)
Certified User25 certifications
(available since Jan 2007)

Each course has its own set of standard materials with 100s of pages of slides, lab notes, and other reference materials.

Of course, we’re not done yet. Sitecore as a product continues to evolve and improve at an incredible pace. It’s hard to keep up.

We are very lucky, however, to have an impressive network of Sitecore Forum users (over 900 as of May 21, 2007) and Sitecore bloggers who do an incredible job of answering questions, providing examples, and posting interesting articles.

I decided to join the pack now because I can see that I will have some interesting behind the scenes information to provide in the coming months; things that won’t fit as well in our standard channels. So stay tuned Sitecore enthusiasts!

My Background

I started life as a core developer for Digital Equipment Corporation after graduating from Northeastern University in Boston (College of Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Class of 1988).

After 8 years working on development environments such as DEC Rally and Forté, I left the US to live in Denmark. Since then I’ve been a developer and consultant working with various technologies including security and web-based applications.

I joined Sitecore in March 2005.