The 5th edition of the Inspiring Conference was the first edition after the split of the Neos Project from TYPO3 community last year and again a great and well organized conference with a good balance of technical talks, best practices and case studies. The Neos community has proven to be still very enthusiastic & really dedicated. In the last 12 months the Neos team has made it’s way into independence with great success.
But despite the great number of product visions the Neos project still lacks a resilient roadmap and timetable for the future and efforts to onboard new integrators to get a broader user base.
The Neos CMS Award could have been a great showcase but unfortunately wasted it’s possibilities due to the poorly chosen presentation environment.
Note: I’ve linked all currently available slides and will update this article when more links become available.
Keynote – Inspiringnote
The conference started with an Inspiringnote by Stefan Willkommer, CEO of the host company TechDivision. Being an experienced mountaineer he compared Neos with his ice axe, the all-in-one tool which is most important for him when climbing in the ice.
Afterwards Robert Lemke talked about the Past, Present and Future of Neos. Last year was marked by the split from the TYPO3 project, the build of an own infrastructure, the move to GitHub and the efforts to create a funding platform to attract new sponsors. A lot of new releases of Flow and Neos have been made, particularly noteworthy is the release of Neos 2.0 and 2.1.
The Neos team is proud that 1und1, a big german hosting provider, uses Neos CMS for managing content of their very own website. And Volkswagen created the After Sales Fleet Tool with Neos. Flow is used for example by DE-CIX and t3n.
Currently the Neos team works hard on establishing the new brand together with a completely new website and a brand-new package repository. Furthermore the launch of an own legal entity like a Neos Foundation, most probably as a community interest company (CIC) is on the agenda.
On the technical side, a rewrite of the Neos user interface with React is in the making. In the future Neos will receive quarterly releases. Flow will continue developing as a standalone product.
For a glimpse into the future of Neos Robert presented the vision of Neos as a content hub and a decoupled Neos to support a headless approach. Regarding new features, the Neos team is heavily dependent on monetary sponsoring.
Neos Product Vision
[Slides] In their talk, Christopher Hlubek and Tobias Gruber first pointed out that Neos was always about User Experience for both, developers and editors. Then they looked back, what Neos already has archived and what topics are currently important to the CMS business like Static Site Generators, Content APIs, a lot of APIs in general, Multi Channel, Content Integrations and Content Streams.
The target market for Neos are still ambitious web content project of all sizes. The vision hasn’t changed and UX still matters. For the future, Neos wants to refactor the UI with React and improve on inline editing, the content repository and content dimensions. The challenges Neos would like to take on are structured editing (e.g. bulk editing), CQRS and event sourcing, a content API and to decouple the components more.
The Flow framework should get improved DDD concepts and CQRS & event sourcing. It will stay independent and a part of the Neos project.
A clear roadmap and timeline for both projects is missing nevertheless.
Neos CMS Award
On the evening of the first conference day, the Neos CMS Award took place for the first time to award the best websites made with Flow and Neos:
Neos CMS Gold Award
H-Hotels – Sitegeist
Neos CMS Silber Award
Explorer Fernreisen – mindscreen / HiMedia
Neos CMS Bronze Award
EIZO – Dotpulse
Corporate Website – Gesagt-Getan
Core Kites – networkteam
günderberater.de – Creativestyle
Unfortunately the event and the prize winners didn’t get the attention they deserved. The location and scope of the event were unsuitable. I would have wished for a much better presentation of the projects, some screenshots and more information about why they were chosen as winners.
[Slides] Sebastian Kurfürst and Christian Müller gave an overview about all the possibilities for planned and unplanned extension points in Flow and Neos.
Why monolith? Go headless! Using Neos as content API provider
[Slides] Dimitri Pisarev and Wilhelm Behncke presented multiple ways to decouple the website, application or any other consumer from the CMS.
Automation and External service Integration in Neos
[Slides] Dominique Feyer explained how to integrate external services in Neos and Flow and what challenges these news dependencies create regarding downtimes and budgets. His hints are very useful for any kind of web project.
Tasty Neos Recipes for every day
[Slides] Sebastian Helzle picked up on the talk of Aske Ertmann from last year and pointed out that the majority of the recipes from last year are still valid. Afterwards he presented a bunch of new useful recipes.
Long-Pager with Neos – so simple even your clients can do it
[Slides] Jonathan Uhlmann showed an approach how to create a long-pager and handle page sections, links, SEO and what the benefit of his approach are.
[Slides] In his recap Christian Müller outlined a lot of stories about quotes and failed development attempts out of the history of the Flow and Neos project.
The Neos Brand
[Slides] Florian Heinze & Robert Lemke presented the long awaited new logo for Neos and described the process that lead to the new brand guide. At the end of the talk, they officially launched the new version of the Neos website.
Designing Content Types
Karsten Dambekalns described how a content-driven approach to building a website can be put into practice by creating a content strategy first and then implement it in Neos.
Emerging best practices about TypoScript / Content Rendering
[Slides] Sebastian Kurfürst described based of his experience in several projects how to structure TypoScript and to get the most out of the content cache.
This type of talk was introduced this year and gave seven speakers the possibility to quickly present a topic in not more than five minutes. This new talk concept was well received by the audience and will be continued next year.
- Form Validation (Bastian Heist)
- Google Page Speed Test loves Neos CMS (Mario Rimann)
- Styleguide and atomic design in TypoScript2 (Martin Ficzel)
- GraphQL API prototype (Bastian Waidelich) Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2, Experimental Package
- Misconceptions about Scrum and Kanban (Sacha Storz)
- Function Templates (Christoph Dähne)
- Local external services integration – Magento / Flow integration (Bernhard Schmitt)
Case Study: architectes.ch
[Slides] Dominique Feyer impressed with his show case about the website architectes.ch that contains more than 2000 reports, 12000 enterprises profiles, 30000 pictures and more than 12 years of archives. The main challenge was the clearing up of the content and then migrating it to Neos.
Pac-Man – Best practices for building Neos and Flow packages
[Slides] Florian Weiss & Dimitri Pisarev presented their approach to build Neos and Flow packages. There is no way to create the perfect package, but here are a lot of possibilities to optimize them.
One more thing
As established last year the „One more thing“ session is a panel discussion about ideas on the Neos team. This year Robert Lemke, Sebastian Kurfürst, Bastian Waidelich and Christopher Hlubek discussed on stage about CQRS & Event-Sourcing.