Having a look at Umbraco 8.12 Release Candidate

Umbraco released the release candidate for version 8.12 on 25th February. The blog post from HQ can be read here. Some of the changes really caught my eye and I want to have a look at them myself. I am only listing the changes I played around with, feel free read the HQ blog post if u want to understand the RC better.

How can you install Umbraco 8.12RC?

  • Start an empty Visual Studio Solution
  • Manage Nuget Packages for solution
  • Search for Umbraco with Include Prerelease checkbox checked. 
  • Install the RC and build the solution once the package has been installed locally.


Customisable Error Page for Boot Errors

One of the features introduced with 8.12 is the ability to have customisable error page for boot errors. The boot errors could happen during install, upgrade, or even lack of correct permissions on folders. I decided to host my local install locally on IIS without the right permissions on the folders and it gave me the default boot error screen from Umbraco.

To change this,

  • Create a folder called errors in the config folder 
  • Add a HTML page called BootFailed.html into the errors folder

I have used a very plain screen but you could use an error page to confirm with your brand guidelines. 

The pretty error page works only if your site is not in debug mode. So if debug="true" is set in web.config, you will get a YSOD on boot error with a detailed stack trace. You can read about the work that went into this change here.

The updated menu items in the back office for Document Type Creation

This is the feature that caught my eye with 8.12RC and I wanted to have a play around. Currently, the options available to create a document type are create a document type, a document type without a template, document type collection, and folder.

If I have to create a composition or an element type I would start with Document Type without a template, for pages on my website I would use Document Types. And if I have to quickly create 2 document types, one being the allowed child to another I would use the Document Type Collection option. It is all great if you are an experienced user of the back office but for a new user knowing what I just spoke about could be bit difficult, trying to click through and figure out the best option for creating the document type. 

This menu has got a great update thanks to Marc Goodson's fantastic work on his package, Super Doc Type Create Menu which will now be a part of the core. So the new options look like this.

It's a lot more clearer for the user to identify the best option suited for the needs with very specific options and the description/help text.

The first option is Document Type with Template which can be used to create pages on the website and has a url. The option can be used for taxonomy nodes, for eg, I want to allocate a category to my blog post with a multi-node tree picker data type or navigation items. I cannot convert them to Element Types as the option is disabled when I use this option. 

The Element Type can be used to create types for Nested Content or Block List editors. One thing that I often forget to do while creating the types for Nested Content is to mark it as an element type. And then I go to the data type to create a data type based on my new type only to remember that I haven't marked it as an element type and so I ditch my work and go back to document types. With this new menu option, I can create an Element Type explicitly and all my options are correctly chosen for me.

The Compositions option helps me create compositions explicitly. And the folder option helps me create a folder!

A thing to note here is that the Document Type Collection option has been completely taken away!

Great work, it really simplifies the options available to the users. I think more than anything it gives the developer the option to take a step back and think about what they wish to do and choose the right option. 

I remember reading this great blog by Marc last year about these options which I believe led to the package and finally, we have it in the core!


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