A Sitecore Customer’s Guide to Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) 10.3

Matthew McQueeny - Relationships & Community Lead

6 Jan 2023

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Sitecore XP 10.3

The newest version of Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) – 10.3 – has been released, and many Sitecore customers are looking at how the release fits into their own operations and roadmaps.   

The release of Sitecore XP 10.3 comes amidst Sitecore’s shift towards what is called “composable DXP,” or composable digital experience platform.  In this framework, best-of-breed solutions can be selected for all layers of the technology and marketing stack and are connected via APIs and microservices – in the cloud! – to the specifications of each organization’s needs and goals.  Sitecore has developed its own next generation composable DXP across products ranging from content management, engagement, and commerce.  The most recent group of its headless products - Sitecore Content Hub One, Sitecore Search, Sitecore Connect - were announced at Sitecore Symposium 2022 in Chicago in October. 

Sitecore XP 10.3 represents the pre-composable product line, which has also been called “all-in-one” or Platform DXP.  These solutions are hosted on premise, sometimes referred in the marketing materials as “on your cloud” or the “private cloud.”  Pieter Brinkman, Vice President Technical Marketing at Sitecore, has likened this platform to a Swiss army knife. That is, the constituent products within the platform might not be the best in any one single category but can suit many needs and enable organizations to do many things across the marketing and technology sphere.  There are also industries (think banking, healthcare) or regions in the world which cannot be in a public cloud and must be privately hosted.  

 If you are a customer currently on Sitecore’s Experience Platform, there are still strong reasons, both internal and external to your enterprise, to stay the course. 

“These releases for existing customers and their existing projects are extremely important,” said Kamruz Jaman, Partner at Konabos and ten-time Sitecore MVP. “The transition away from the existing platforms and existing solutions will not happen overnight.”  

While Sitecore 9.x ends mainstream support on December 31, 2022, this does not mean that the self-hosted product is ending soon.  

Jaman continued, “the other announcement Sitecore did make was that Sitecore 10.4 is slated to be released next year (2023). So again, this just shows that there is a commitment to the on-premise solution. For the organizations who want to continue to self-host, people who have made investment in in this product, you will get that extended support.” 

See existing Sitecore support schedule below. 

Sitecore XP 10.3, as mentioned, is more a gradual upgrade for those looking to stay the on-premise course.  You can read about all the new features and fixes released in 10.3; here are some of the topline items:

  • Headless SXA
  • Headless services 21
  • Sitecore embeddable forms
  • EXM enhancements
  • Webhooks
  • Management & admin apis
  • Developer focused enhancements
  • Other system updates
  • Over 160 bug fixes 

As a Sitecore customer, what should I do?  

Each Sitecore customer journey is unique, as are the needs and expectations of your enterprise team and industry.  There are, however, some general guideposts to consider in your Sitecore decision.

You could stay on Sitecore XM/XP if you are

  • a new XP customer – ie 10.x – or are still in maintenance periods
  • using more of the all-in-one XP functionality, beyond the content management system (CMS)
  • an organization with requirements to self-host or be on-premise
  • an organization with longer-term commitments and seeks to optimize Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

You could stay on Sitecore XM/XP and add Personalize (and CDP, or Customer Data Platform), if you are

  • an organization that is seeking to expand customer data use across channels (omichannel)
  • an organization looking to expand/improve personalization and testing efforts

You could migrate to XM Cloud (add Personalize/CDP if needed), if you are

  • an organization on older versions of XM/XP (pre-10) or out of maintenance
  • an organization that is not managing your current XM/XP investment
  • planning to redesign, relaunch, and modernize your digital and customer experience

Sitecore XP 10.3 can be seen as a stepping-stone, a toe in the water, on the way to composable, or as a strategy to maximize the total cost of ownership of your Sitecore investment and stay within maintenance for a few more years.  Or both.  

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Matthew McQueeny

Matt is a digital marketing professional and web project manager with over 15 years of experience.  He has worked with clients ranging from Fortune 500 to startups. Industries of digital project experience include healthcare, publishing, technology, telecommunications, education, retail, entertainment, manufacturing, and transportation. In 2023, Matt was awarded his first Sitecore MVP, in recognition for his work in the Sitecore community. 

He loves the intersection of technology, marketing, and communications.  Throughout his career, he worked with many licensed and open-source content management systems, in editorial, social media strategy and advertising, search engine marketing, lead generation, analytics, and podcasting.

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