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As you might imagine everybody here at EPiServer are very excited about the upcoming launch of CMS 6 R2 Beta. Especially the new personalization featureset called Visitor Groups is a lot of fun to play around with – and since we made it fairly easy to create your own criteria the only real limit on what parameters you can personalize around is your own imagination. Last November we ran an internal coding competition based on a pre-beta version of CMS6R2 and invited everybody inside the company to participate. The goal – make some crazy criteria – and win fun prizes. This resulted in more than 15 awesome criteria that was submitted into the competition. Unfortunately we had at that time already closed the coding scope for which criteria we would “productize” and put into the finished product – and in order to keep our deadlines we didn’t extend the scope. Later, after we launched the public beta version I’ve started to also see interested from developers outside EPiServer in building their own criteria.
I think that is great! The more criteria we can get out there, the more fun we can have with personalization. But – It can be a pain to find a number of different small plugins like criteria in all the blog posts and open-source locations. And since their quality vary, it’s an even bigger challenge to figure out how to install / include them in your project. So, I have taken the liberty of starting an open source project at codeplex called “Criteria Pack for EPiServer CMS”. It fits right in line with similar projects in the past like the Virtual Roles project (that was the inspiration for Visitor Groups), the Property Pack, the dynamic content pack, and so on. Initially it contains 4 criteria: RoleCriterion (by Magnus Paulsson - http://world.episerver.com/Blogs/Magnus-Paulsson/Dates/2011/1/More-custom-Visitor-Group-criteria-Role/), DownloadCriterion, EventTimeCriterion and BrowserOSCriterion. I’ll add more from our competition as soon as I have the time to update them so they work with the Beta release.
They are all available for download as a zip-module right from the codeplex project: http://criteriapack.codeplex.com/
The criteria in the project are also prepared to deliver NuGet packages individually, but those are not yet tested – nor do we have a NuGet feed yet for EPiServer yet. It is, however, on it’s way
I hope a lot of people will join me in these efforts and make a really cool collection of criteria – easy to install and use – and free for all to use. And remember that we’ll do our best to learn from the usage and experiences of open source criteria like this – so we in the end can use the knowledge to improve the product.