We want to take you on a journey through our project of consolidating a scattered landscape of dozens of Umbraco websites with different Umbraco versions, with each it's own customization to one multilingual Corporate Marketing platform.
To set up such a holy grail is not easy, due to the many stakeholders within the company such as marketing, several business units, IT operations, design agencies, with each their our opinion, concerns and requirements. Keeping all those parties happy requires a lot of deliberations.
Our main goal was organizing a long term development process that fully supports html-unfamiliar content editors who can quickly setup new websites according the needs of their business unit. Websites that all have a personal look and feel while sharing a corporate branding.
Creating a generic Umbraco platform meant we designed a (pre-grid) widget system to facillitate a flexible page setup while being consistent with the corporate UX guidelines. On a broader level we introduced content classification, instead of many content types, in combination with a Solr integration. This way each website can organize it's own page types (without any IT dependency) supported by an advanced faceted search.
With this platform in place screaming to reap all its possibilities we're now looking at a roadmap that will quickly introduce new features like usage of The Grid, a corporate wide search,...