Hindsight 2019 - A Look Back

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    Hourglass and work

    This is always the hard part - seeing how our plans for the year turned out. A glance at my Futurevision 2019 post from January 2019 is a great starting point. There are plans that were completed, some that weren't, and some unplanned initiatives that made it into the mix.

    Completed Plans

    • Improved Filtering. We successfully revised how content is found in Marketpath CMS which has had a dramatic effect on usability. 
    • Entities can only have one folder. This seemed like a huge change at the time but not so much now. It was a sizable effort from a dev standpoint but not so much from a user standpoint. 
    • Stability Improvements. Huge gains here. We implemented a proper quality assurance process to reduce regressions (bugs) and usability issues. We now have manual QA tests for every single task and bug, integration testing for all API methods, and front-end testing with Selenium for browser-based testing.
    • Package manager (partial). This year we laid the foundation for package manager with API level validation for all methods. This was a huge undertaking spanning about six months for one of our dev teams. Final release for the package manager is expected June 2020.
    • Automated Workflow Management. We integrated with Zapier, a workflow automation tool, to handle form submission and publishing events. Learn more about Marketpath CMS workflow automation.
    • All Out Sales & Marketing Mode. Making this claim was a bit premature. We still had a lot of work to do with the platform and a lot of research and planning to do for sales & marketing. We pitched to a number of agencies, ran a lot of tests, made some mistakes, and tried again. With this experience, 2020 will be a much different effort.
    • A New Website. The new website has a focus on Marketpath CMS for various target personas. 

    Incomplete Plans

    • Content Personalization. Although we have content personalization capabilities for developers to use, we do not yet have simple capabilities for content editors or marketers to use. 
    • GDPR Tools. Similar to content personalization, we have GDPR capabilities built-in for developers but not for content editors.
    • A Revised Help Site & Tutorials. This was started and is currently in process but will not be completed in 2019. 


    • Fast Cache. This was a last minute addition in early December that will cache the rendered HTML of each page. It results in huge page speed gains by eliminating the template compilation and object lookups. Read more about Marketpath CMS Fast Cache.
    • Revised Form, Datastore, and Template Builder. This was part of the API level validation improvements that were required for the package manager. In the past, when you added or updated a field it would save to the database. Now, nothing is saved until you actually click the save button.
    • Simplified Exports & Imports. Exporting content has been simplified somewhat and the import process now has a commit feature. You can review the changes and commit one at a time, multiple, or all of them.
    • Onboarding Improvements. We revised our new user onboarding process slightly to reduce the number of required steps to verify and setup a new user account.
    • Page Tracking & Monitoring. We updated and improved our page tracking and monitoring system.
    • Javascript, Stylesheet, and Template Paths. These objects no longer use a folder like other entities do. They instead use a simple path that allows developers to include like named objects (e.g. "main.js") under different paths.
    • Continuous Integration Improvements. We are nearly completed with a full cycle continuous integration process where feature branches are checked in, automatically tested and deployed to staging, and setup for a release deployment.

    You can read more about our product updates by visiting the Marketpath CMS Recent Updates blog.

    This list is mostly product related but there were a ton of operational, sales & marketing, and other business related changes. For example, we installed a new phone system in October. We just signed up for a new project management solution to help us better manage all our marketing objectives for 2020. And we kicked off a new joint venture with college capstone projects and their not-for-profit clients.

    There are far too many things to list them all (and it would be very dull reading). Overall, 2019 has been a great year for advancing our platform and company. And 2020 should catapult us to even greater heights.

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    About the Author

    Matt Zentz

    Matt Zentz launched Marketpath from a small Broad Ripple bungalow in February 2001 with a focus on custom web application development. He built the first, basic version of a hosted CMS called Webtools and shortly afterward expanded his team and created the first version of Marketpath CMS.

    Matt has worked for a national consulting firm, taught computer programming to high school juniors and seniors , and led the information technology arm of the auxiliary business units at Indiana University.

    Matt graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a B.S. in Computer Science and has built custom web applications since 1995. Matt is husband to an amazing & supportive wife, has three beautiful children, supreme master to Archimedes (Archie) the dog, and mostly tolerant victim of 2 flying rats (cockateils).

    He coaches various kid sports, enjoys furniture and home renovation projects, and plays guitar and piano. Matt is also active with his church as a parishioner, technical advisor and board member on the festival committee.

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