Umbraco Cloud is it any good?

Recently, I completed a project using 'Umbraco Cloud', which is Umbraco hosted in the er... well.. Cloud..  
'Azure'.... 
Everything seems to be in the 'Cloud' these days... so it's not surprising that Umbraco projects should be migrating to the Azure was well.  Question is.... is it any good?

I think the answer is yes... but with caveats.

The flexibility, scaleability and workflow that comes with an 'Azure' solution is great, but there are a few 'gotcha's' to be aware of.

With Umbraco Cloud, you sign up to a 'Cloud Solution', setup an 'Azure' Umbraco build, then create a local version on your dev machine. To do this I recommend you follow the official Umbrco - Visual Studio build guideline.

https://our.umbraco.org/documentation/Umbraco-Cloud/Set-Up/Working-With-Visual-Studio/

Once you have followed the build instructions, you should have a local version of your Umbraco Cloud site working within Visual Studio, but connect to the live Umbraco Cloud site.

Now here's where things get interesting....

The 'code' you create in Visual Studio needs to be 'pushed' to Umbraco Cloud via 'Git'. I used 'Team Explorer' in Visual Studio to achieve this.

The 'content' you write on your local version of your Umbraco site needs to be 'pushed' to the Umbraco cloud live site separately. This is done with the Umbraco admin area, using the version of 'Courier' built into your local version of Umbraco Cloud.

So, code- Git.... content - Courier.

Which means Umbraco Cloud is basically Git and Courier.... hmm...

All of which is fine until you have multiple developers working on the same Umbraco Cloud build. By default, your local version of Umbraco is using a flat-file Umbraco.SDF, rather than SQlServer or Auzure DB. When you change the docTypes on your local build, you have to 'push' the Umbraco.SDF file via Git for your docType changes to appear on the live Umbraco Cloud site.

So, your colleague also makes some docType changes, and pushes their code and the Umbraco.SDF file to the Umbraco Cloud. Which neatly overwrites your changes... hmmm...

Then you 'pull' their changes via Git to your local Visual Studio solution, which includes the Umbraco.SDF file and guess what? All your local docType changes disappear as well.... hmmm....

No problem, you can download the entire Umbraco Cloud site including all the docType changes via the Umbraco admin area, right? In theory....

In practice, we could never get this to work. The content and media files would be downloaded, but not the docTypes.

In the end I had to back up my local build on my local machine, before 'pushing' or 'pulling' anything to the live server via Git. And we had to exclude pushing the local Umbraco.SDF file.  Not ideal....

Maybe there's a better way, but we couldn't find it.

It seems this bunch had a similar experince.
https://24days.in/umbraco-cms/2016/first-time-with-umbraco-cloud/

 

=============== News Update! ==================

I've received an email from Mark - an Umbraco developer with lots of Umbraco Cloud experience.  It looks like the issues I had with the .SDF file is due to the way I had '.git' setup.   Mark says:

"We've been working with Umbraco Cloud for over a year now and do not have the issue you describe. You do not (by default) upload the SDF as the default .ignore excludes this. When you edit a doctype courier generates a .courier file with the changes, which when you push it, cloud works out what's changed and merges it."

Thanks for the info Mark!

 

I've also received an email from another Umbraco team who had exactly the same issues with multiple developers working on Umbraco Cloud. So, six of one... half-a-dozen of the other.

=============== News Update! ==================

 So, Umbraco Cloud is a great idea, but you can get caught out,  which you need to be aware of. If you have similar issues to me, take a look at your 'git.ignore' setup. Hopefully, adjusting that will resolve any issues. It's great to know that other Umbraco teams are loving Umbraco Cloud!

And finally, you can't import or export docTypes with Umbraco Cloud - as you can with a non-cloud Umbraco build.

Why? I have no idea...

 

 

Website content that is easy to modify and update!

About Us

WJP Media concentrates on creating responsive, high functionality websites using the 'friendly' op…

Umbraco Development

In today's online environment the ability to easily modify and update your website is crucial. Umbra…

Projects

WJP Media and it's founder Warren Palmer has been creating web applications for household names sinc…

Fees

'Pay as you go', or 'Contract'?  You choose.....

 £35 per hour - no contract. Just 'get on with it'…