EPiImage is moving to the cloud in EPiServer CMS 7.5
5 years ago, when the first lines of code for EPiImage was written, the online world was very different from now, and so was EPiServer CMS. A lot has changed since version 5 including a radically new editor UI, and in the next release (7.5) we will also see files becoming pieces of content just like pages and blocks.
The time has come to start fresh and look at what EPiImage would have been if it was created from scratch today:
One of the big changes since 2008 is speed. We are expected to deliver more data to the end user in less time than ever, and more and more often we are suppose to do so over a slow, unreliable radio link aka a mobile network. (3G network request latency can be 1000+ms)
Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) has just in the last year become a must even for smaller sites, and is a cheap and efficient way to increase the speed of your site.
Another change is the growth of the cloud and cloud based services. One such service that we have used with great success is Cloudinary.com, a service that provides image scaling and manipulation on the fly. It also has cool features like face detection based cropping!
It is a paid service, but they also offer a free version(500MB storage, 1GB monthly bandwidth).
New Editor UI
One of the main features of EPiImage for CMS 5 was the ability for editors to preview images without having to click publish first. In version 7 this functionality comes out of the box in the new UI and is no longer needed. But how do you best handle a image gallery property in the new UI? As a fly out?
Files as IContent
In the upcoming version of EPiServer CMS files gets some much needed love and are crowned IContent on the same level as pages and blocks. This means files now can have properties opening up many new exiting possibilities!
The way forward
I have started work on a brand new module that will leverage Cloudinary.com both for image transformations and CDN, and use the new file system that will come in EPiServer CMS 7.5. I will share more information as the project progresses.
If you want to contribute or have ideas on what this new module could do, please leave a comment below.