Episerver Labs

Episerver Labs are add-ons developed by Episerver as experimental product trials. The intention is to get market input quickly by allowing customers to try out functionality before deciding on committing to a full release with full support and compatibility with other parts of the Episerver platform or not.

Developing new functionality is a complex task which takes time to plan, implement, and test; and therefore, it is important that we are working on the right features that will be useful for users. The main aim with these Labs are to quickly get input from users on which features are being used and which are not.

In this topic

Support and verification

When starting on a Labs add-on, Episerver decides on some main user scenarios that we think will be the most commonly used scenarios. These scenarios are tested before the Labs add-on is made available. They will also be supported by Episerver, meaning that as long as the Labs add-on is not discontinued, these scenarios will continue to work. Other scenarios are not tested or supported.

Developing this way means that not all functionality of a Labs add-on is guaranteed to make it into the core product. A Labs add-on, or just a part of it, may be integrated with the core platform at some point in the future, or it may be released as a proper and fully supported add-on. Or it may be discontinued all together. There are no promises that any of the functionality in a Labs add-on will survive in the long run.

The Labs add-ons are found on the Episerver NuGet feed and some of them are also open-sourced on Episerver's GitHub account. Discontinued add-ons may still be available on the NuGet feed and GitHub for community contributions.

Supported scenarios, platform requirements, and information on discontinuation are found in the Lab's readme file.

Currently available Labs add-ons

The following Labs add-ons are currently available:

Block Enhancements (open source)

Block Enhancements is the Labs add-on for everyone working with blocks. With this add-on, you can edit blocks inline (so you do not have to switch context between the page and the block anymore), you can publish a block from the block's context menu, and publish multiple blocks together with a page. You can also preview blocks as they will look on the page when they have been published. For documentation, see the Block Enhancements GitHub repository.
BlockEnhancement.png

Content Manager

Content Manager is a simplified version of edit view. It displays content items in a mobile-friendly card-like fashion where editors can edit each item inline. The documentation is found here.
editing-cars.gif

Grid View

Grid View helps editors to manage large volumes of data inside edit view. You can turn off the entire page tree or just one node of the page tree, and instead get a flat structure with content items that renders quickly in the user interface and where you can search for items.

It is dependent on Content Manager, so to be able to use it you have to install Content Manager as well. The documentation is found here.
GridView.png

Configuration Manager

Configuration Manager is an add-on that lets administrators change simple properties in the admin view, that otherwise would have to be changed and deployed by a developer. For more information, see Configuring Options from Admin Mode.

Telemetry

To avoid having to rely on explicit feedback only, Episerver has added telemetry functionality in some of the Labs add-on. This functionality measures how customers are using features and sends data back to Episerver for analyzing. The data is aggregated and anonymized, and it is not possible for Episerver to match data with specific customers or users. The telemetry functionality is enabled by default on Episerver DXP environments. For self-hosted environments, you can enable telemetry like this:

public void ConfigureContainer(ServiceConfigurationContext context)
{
    context.Services.Configure<TelemetryOptions>(options => options.OptedIn = true);
}

Feedback

We do encourage you to use these add-ons and send us your feedback by creating an issue or pull request in the Lab's GitHub repository. The life of a Labs add-on is dependent on the usage and feedback. If it does not seem like customers are using it, there is a great probability that it will be discontinued. So if you like something, be sure to let us know!

You can also sign up to participate in future usability tests, and help us improve both new and existing features.

Documentation

Documentation for the Labs is found on GitHub. Open-sourced Labs have their documentation in their source code repository. Other Labs have separate documentation repositories on GitHub. See Currently available Labs add-ons for links to the documentation.

Legal notice

By using or interacting with these Labs in any way you agree to these terms.

  • Functionality
    • Functionality may be added, removed, or changed without prior notice.
    • The software may not work on all environments.
  • QA and verification
    • Labs projects have not been through the same quality assurance process as the versioned products and, in some cases, may show unexpected behavior.
    • Labs add-ons are not tested with other intra-product functionality (such as projects, languages, or content approvals) or with other parts of the Episerver platform (such as Commerce or Search & Navigation), unless otherwise stated in the readme file. 
  • Support
    • Tested and supported scenarios, if any, are found in the readme file found in the GitHub repository for each Labs add-on. (If the source code is not found on GitHub, the readme file is found in the documentation repository on GitHub.)
    • There is no support through the standard Episerver Support channels. Issues and suggestions will be handled directly by the development teams and should be added to the GitHub repositories.

Existing packages using the Labs name

There are some packages that have been previously released with the Labs name, such as Episerver Languages with the package name EPiServer.Labs.LanguageManager. These packages will continue to use their old names, but the information in this topic does not apply to those package.

Related information

Blog posts

Last updated: Jun 25, 2020