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Sitecore Media Framework Changes

For several years, Sitecore has provided connectors for two leading streaming video services: Brightcove and Ooyala. The connectors allow you to incorporate streaming video into Sitecore-delivered digital experiences, and track engagement with those videos in the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB).

In August 2016, Sitecore made some changes to these products. The purpose of this post is to answer some frequently asked questions about these changes.

What has Sitecore done?

Sitecore has made two changes:

  1. The source code for each connector was released on GitHub.
  2. Sitecore will not offer support or maintenance for versions of Sitecore XP after version 8.1.

What does it mean that support and maintenance aren't being offered?

To be more specific:

  • Sitecore will not test the connectors with new versions of Sitecore.
  • Sitecore will not fix bugs or add new features to the connectors.
  • Sitecore will not update the connectors to handle changes made by the video service providers that may break the connectors.
  • Sitecore will not update the connectors to support new versions of Media Framework.

Which versions of Sitecore XP are affected?

Sitecore XP 8.2 is the first version that is affected. If you are running XP 8.2 or later, or are planning to upgrade to XP 8.2 or later, these changes affect you.

Versions of Sitecore XP prior to 8.2 are unaffected. Sitecore will continue to support both connectors for XP 8.1 and earlier, per Sitecore's standard product support policy.

Why was support and maintenance terminated?

This decision was made in order to focus on maintaining Media Framework. The time we were spending maintaining and testing the connectors was time taken away from adding capabilities to the framework itself. Capabilities added to the framework are available to any connector, regardless of whether Sitecore built the connector or not.

I'm currently using one of these connectors. Is Sitecore not going to support me?

Sitecore will continue to support the connectors for Sitecore XP 8.1 and earlier. If you are using a version of XP prior to 8.2, you will notice no change.

However, when you upgrade to Sitecore XP 8.2, Sitecore will no longer offer support for the connector.

Brightcove is providing support for their connector, and is committed to keeping the connector working with the latest version of Sitecore. Details are available Brightcove's web site.

So if I want to use one of these connectors with Sitecore XP 8.2, Sitecore is not going to support me?

Not exactly. Sitecore will support the underlying Media Framework, but Sitecore will not support the connectors. The source of a problem is not always obvious. Sitecore will help diagnose problems in order to determine whether the problem is due to Media Framework or the connector.

Another way to think about it is the situation you have with television service. If you're using a cable or satellite provider and you can't get a picture on your television, you call your cable or satellite provider. They will help you diagnose the problem. If they determine the problem is with the cable or satellite service, they help fix the problem. But if they determine the problem is with your television, they cannot help you with that problem.

In this analogy, Media Framework is the cable or satellite provider. The connector is the television.

Is any support available?

Brightcove is providing support for their connector, and is committed to keeping the connector working with the latest version of Sitecore. Details are available Brightcove's web site.

Why release these products as open source?

We want customers and partners who find value in these connectors to be able to continue using them. By making the source code for the connectors publically available, it is possible for the Sitecore community to keep these connectors up to date - as well as to be able to support and even enhance them.

Does this mean Sitecore is moving beyond video?

Not at all. Sitecore still believes that streaming video is an essential part of engaging digital experiences. We will continue to support and enhance Media Framework. If anything, this change enables us to provide even more valuable integration features involving video.

Where can I find the source code?

The source code for both connectors is available under Sitecore's account on GitHub:

What if I need help using the source code?

The Sitecore Community site is a great place to go for help. Sitecore developers who were involved in building the connectors participate in these forums.