Tuesday, July 13, 2021
At Codegarden 2021, he was named MVP for the eighth time. His e-commerce solution Vendr received the Umbraco Package Award for Best Editing Expansion Package. In this interview, Matt Brailsford shares insights on Vendr, planned developments, and his enthusiasm for working in the community.
Since the release of Vendr V2 was just around the corner, Matt answered our questions in written form.
For everyone who does not know Vendr: can you explain in a view words what Vendr is?
Vendr is an e-commerce add-on for Umbraco v8+ with simplicity at heart. Our main goal with Vendr is to use as much of Umbraco as possible so that developers can use the skills they already have and then extend this just enough to give a clean, simple and flexible e-commerce experience. Vendr isn't just for developers though, by following the same design patterns as the Umbraco back office we've also created a seamless back office retailer experience meaning users don't know where Umbraco ends and Vendr begins, thus providing a smooth and frictionless transition with minimal additional training.
What benefits provides Vendr to its users?
Vendr provides many great benefits to both developers and retailers. As mentioned, a key cornerstone is familiarity, allowing developers to reuse skills and retailers to reuse editor experience. In addition to this, Vendr is extremely flexible and can be integrated into a site exactly how you want the site to work, rather than requiring you to build your site in a specific way. And if Vendr doesn't do something you need it to do, it has many extension points to allow you to extend its behaviour exactly how you need.
© Douglas Robar
Vendr was released in spring 2020. What is your interim summary after more than one year since the release?
Vendr's first year has been incredible! We've built some strong partnerships with a number of agencies, which led us to launch our Vendr Partner Program, and have made constant improvements month on month, with new features and updates. We've had such great support from the community and have had amazing feedback from our customers, which we're so grateful for. We do our absolute best to support every single one of them, with our speedy support request response times. We can't thank our customers and the community enough for getting behind us and making Vendr the success that it has become. We're very excited for the future of Vendr.
With the results of your Roadmap Survey you already gave some insights in new features and enhancements. What can the users expect in 2021?
We have a few more things left on the 2021 roadmap which is based heavily around editor experience. We strongly believe in not just making something great for developers, but that the editor experience must be considered with every update. We've already managed to add order printing and exporting, and we are hoping to bring more features including back office cart editing, discount templates and advanced order search too. There is so much we want to bring to Vendr, and we are still excited for every update. We can't wait to get all these new features into customers' hands.
One main topic at Codegarden 2021 was Umbraco 9. What do you think about the new release and how will it affect Vendr?
Moving to .NET Core is such a huge undertaking for Umbraco but at the same time, it's a massive opportunity which will hopefully bring a whole new wave of developers to the platform. With that opportunity, it's a no-brainer that Vendr would need to be ready to take advantage and be there for customers crossing that bridge. We've already made some great headway on getting Vendr ready for .NET Core and just last week we released our Alpha release for developers to try. We've still got some testing to do and expect that we'll get plenty of great feedback, but we'll be pushing hard to get Vendr v9 ready as close to the official Umbraco release as we possibly can.
Vendr was awarded an Umbraco Package Award for best Editing Expansion Package, and you were named MVP for the 8th time. The Jury particularly praised Vendr’s extensive documentation. What motivates you to be such an active part of the Umbraco Community?
I've always loved being part of the Umbraco community. I've had many roles over the years and been part of many different communities but there is none that have come close to the friendliness as that of Umbraco's. I've made lifelong friends because of this community so much so that my best man at our wedding was someone I met in the Umbraco community (Hi Pete 👋). When we (Lucy Brailsford, Lee Kelleher and myself) created CODECABIN, it came from the love of the community, we wanted to provide a space for knowledge sharing and working with the thing that connects us, Umbraco, but equally to provide another way for the community to create those friendships we think are so important. Ultimately, just being part of such a great community makes you want to do your best. When you know the community is behind you and has your back, it makes you less afraid to fail and drives you to keep pushing the boundaries of what you think you are capable of. Vendr is a culmination of that support, which spurs us on to make it even better.
Dear Matt, thank you for the interview and the interesting insights into Vendr!
We at byte5 also use Vendr in our projects. More information will follow soon in a new case story.