With the introduction of Service Portal in Helsinki, those who had spent the last few years knee-deep in CMS development and wrestling with Jelly/iframes rejoiced! Finally, there was a modern solution for elevating the end-user experience.
Virtually every customer or partner I have chatted with around Service Portal has asked the same question: Is there a migration plan from CMS? With good reason. With checks still being cut for CMS development, how do you not lose out on all that work you did to get to the new portal?
The short and unfortunate answer is: there is no migration path. It’s a completely new technology and runs in a whole different way:
- CMS uses Jelly, Service Portal has AngularJS
- CMS has layouts for HTML, Service Portal uses Bootstrap
- CMS requires iframes for forms, Service Portal has built-in widgets for that to render within the page
So programmatically it’s all different. That dynamic block that you spent days working on will need to have about 90% of it ripped out and replaced. Why 90%? Well, you can take advantage of some of the server side scripting and styling that you put in place for use within your new widget.
Style wise you might be able to salvage some of the work you’ve done if you previously designed for Bootstrap. You can use the same CSS which might save some time.
Translations, messages and system properties can be retained, but need to be adjusted at the code level as to how they are used.
That’s about it, unfortunately.
Menus have to be rebuilt, custom JS or jQuery you have will need to now work within a context of Client Scripts on your new custom widget. Pages are a whole new beast from a layout perspective (no more templated layouts), and even URLs are going to change.
It’s a whole new world!
However, asking how to move from CMS to Service Portal might be the wrong question.
To me, it’s better to think through:
- How do we translate our current functionality (dynamic blocks, lists, etc.) through a lens of Service Portal out-of-box widgets? More than likely you’ll find something that’s close. That will save you some time and will help with future support and upgrades to stay close to OOB.
- Do you have any customer feedback to incorporate so you can approach this as more of a 2.0 release? If you want a straight swap you might be missing out on a great opportunity to make some improvements.
- Will you gain by moving? Sure, the new technology is fun and exciting, but what is wrong with what you have now? Identify that before you make any moves so you know when you’ve been successful. That being said, it’s worth your effort to move towards Service Portal. CMS is going to be retired at some point (there are no plans for any development on it for the near future) so instead of moving when you HAVE to move, start thinking through now how to get from here to there.
With what you have available to you out-of-box, I bet you’re closer than you think.