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Report from May 7th EPiServer CMS User Conference

Twice a year, EPiServer arranges a conference for end users of EPServer CMS. This is a golden opportunity to come and listen to presentations about different user related topics, as well as to meet with other EPiServer CMS users and perhaps get some inspiration in your daily work with EPiServer CMS.

This time, the conference was held in the Oscar Theatre in the center of Stockholm. Around 150 people was welcomed by EPiServer Product Manager Rikard Ljungman, starting up the day by presenting a sneak preview of the upcoming product packages Create, Relate and Engage. These packages will offer extensive possibilities in building user centric dynamic web sites. The packages will be officially launched on the 2008 Partner Summit.

Next on the stage was Gustav Lagercrantz from EPiServer AB, giving a talk about how communities and social on-line networks have grown and matured from a "teenage fly", to become increasingly important for companies and organizations in knowledge and information sharing. An illustrative example is the community travel site Resdagboken, which is owned and run by the insurance company Europeiska.

The City of Stockholm has launched their new Web site - Stockholm.se, based on EPiServer CMS. The site is an important information source for the citizens of Stockholm, supporting them with a wide range of services. The project team for Stockholm.se gave their presentation of the journey from idea to finalized Web site. Expectations were high and early on end users were involved in the project through a development blog where the ongoing work could be followed and commented.

Have you visited e-köping? Most likely not, since e-köping is a fictive town created by Heimore Group to demonstrate the advantages with electronical ID management. e-Köping is developed in corporation with "Arbetsförmedlingen", the Swedish Employment Agency. The solution is based on federated identities where e-Köping uses the Swedish Employment Agency control of the e-ID.

Is your intranet the lively and well-visited information center you want it to be? If not, you are not alone. Many organizations have great difficulties with "sleepy" unused intranets. Praktikertjänst, the private healthcare provider, has succeeded in making their intranet becoming the "glue" in a large and widely distributed organization. The key has been a conscious strategy in the development of a number of smart functions and services, helping employees in their daily work.

An important part of your Web site is the search function. Many users will go straight for the Search, no matter how much effort you have put into menus and navigation. Energimyndigheten, the Swedish Energy Agency, launched a new Web site in February 2008, where much work was focused on categorization of content and the usage of search statistics to optimize the Web site. The solution is based on EPiServer CMS with SiteSeeker as search engine.

Working with images on your Web site can sometimes be a hassle when you need to both manage image libraries and making adjustments to images. With ImageVault the job can be easily done using one single application, and working directly in your Web browser. ImageVault can be tightly integrated with EPiServer CMS, and will also be part of the product package "Create" which will be launched within shortly.

EPiServer CMS R2 will be available in the fall of 2008, and this release will hold some interesting features also for editors and administrators. Maria Sognefors from EPiServer AB, presented the breaking changes. There will be a new image editor available, not as powerful as ImageVault mentioned above, but with improved functionality compared to the current image editor. Also, the Web form management has been equipped with a more intuitive interface.

The day was coming to an end, and last to enter the Oscar Theatre stage was Ola Oredsson from Cloud Nine with and inspiring talk on how the internet has changed our communication and shopping habits. The internet has provided us as consumers with significant power to influence, and given us new roles such as editors (Twitter), experts (Wikipedia), and photographers (flickr), just to mention a few examples. Good to have in mind when you perhaps sometimes feel that you are about to drown in the information flood wave...

Anything you would like to find out more about? Find presentations from the User Conference here.

May 12, 2008

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