Alchemy and TDS 2017
By Damian Jewett
It was May, 2017 and I found myself in a most perculiar and interesting place: the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam for the 2017 Tridion Developer Summit. It was my first time in Amsterdam and my first time at TDS, so I was excited and a little nervous. And this on the heels of Content Bloom’s Global Summit shenanigans in Greece.
This year there were many intriguing presentations – particularly on proprietary modules and supplementary add-ons for Tridion. One of the first presentations I saw demonstrated a security module that aims to consolidate security controls into a single, intuitive interface (which may eventually be released as an Alchemy plugin). Next up was a much-anticipated and sleek-looking UI for Topology Manager. Other products and topics included tools for deleting orphaned broker entries, load balancing, a roadmap for DXA, DXA layouts, new features of Web 8 and much more.
This year, Content Bloom sent a whopping 8 consultants, including representatives from our US, Canadian and Indian offices. Our very own Nicholas Wetmore gave a very in-depth presentation on theming DXA using the theme zip file functionaily. Senior Consultant Paul Russel spoke at length about release management best practices with a nice case study. Somewhere between, I had the pleasure of speaking about the new Alchemy version 1.0 release, looking at the future of Alchemy and demoing some nifty programming techniques. In case you missed it, have a look at my slides.
Alchemy at the TDS:
I was happy to see an incredibly positive reception to Alchemy and I was able to have several meaningful discussions about how people are using the framework, what they like, what they don’t like and what changes they would like to see. It was a great opportunity to elicit some feedback about our product. One common misconception is that there is a increased risk associated with installing Alchemy plugins. People often ask if an Alchemy plugin can be converted to a regular GUI extension. My response is always the same – that it’s entirely unnecessary, since Alchemy is available as a single, self-contained extension, regardless of how many plugins are installed. Alchemy has a trivial installation process that is, under the hood, very similar to a traditional GUI extension. By converting an Alchemy plugin, you would be spending a lot of effort for the same functionality with no decrease in overall risk.
It was great to see so many familiar faces from all over the world at the amazing TDS venues and afterparties. Tridion has a vibrant community full of extremely bright and creative minds. It was quite the trip. Oh, and there was also a double rainbow!
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