SDL Web 8 has been around for a little over a year now. Its successor (SDL Web 8.5) was recently introduced. You’d think that to an old Tridion hand like me, by now Web 8.x would be as familiar as any of the earlier (Tridion) versions. The sobering fact is that today I ran into an issue caused by a poor understanding on my side of SDL’s new microservices architecture. Fortunately it proved easy to fix.
SDL Web 8.5 (formerly known as SDL Tridion) is just around the corner. This release introduces a number of new features in Content Manager and functional changes in Content Manager Explorer, Content Delivery, Audience Manager and Translation Manager. Experience Optimization, formerly called SmartTarget, is part of SDL Web as of this release.
On a recent project of ours (Java/SDL Web 8/DD4T 2), the customer’s architect suggested to use a view language that I had – quite frankly – never heard of: Thymeleaf. I had always wondered why the Java world had never settled on a view technology to replace JSP. The way I see it, JSP has had a great run (it’s been around since 1999) but it belongs in the same category as ASP – a moloch from times of old. Although you can use JSP as the ‘V’ in ‘MVC’, it has never been a true view language. The support of inline java code means that developers can easily run amok, which can lead to messy and hard to maintain code bases. Also, JSP writes it output directly to the response, making it less flexible than more modern view technologies.
I have been waiting for a Java equivalent to .NET’s Razor: neat, clean syntax, intuitive switching between code and markup, and very well integrated into the framework. So when Thymeleaf was suggested, I thought – perhaps – this could be it!
In one of our current projects, we are using two-tiered web delivery approach:
- Static files (images, js, css, etc) are served by Apache Httpd, a simple web server
- Pages and dynamic component presentations are served by Tomcat
Our technology stack includes Web 8, DD4T 2, Spring MVC and Java 8.