Since Episerver has adopted the rapid-release cycle for their development process, a lot more beta code is now available. Out of the box, Episerver beta functionality is disabled by default. Unless you specifically enable it, beta features will be unavailable to normal users. This guide will help you to enable beta features within your website.
Adding the ‘EPiBetaUsers’
The first thing you need to do in order to enable beta features in your Episerver website is to create the ‘EPiBetaUsers’ group.
In the website, go to the ‘Admin‘ -> ‘Administer Groups‘, in here add ‘EPiBetaUsers‘ as a group.
The next thing you need to do is decide who you want to have access to the beta code. In most situations, you might want a developer or the admin to have access to the beta code, rather than all content editors. This is the reason there isn’t a magic enable beta button. In the Administer Groups page, after you create the beta group, if you click on it, you can add users into it.
Only the users within that group will see the beta features, as seen above. After your user has been given permissions, they must log out and log back in before they can see the features.
An Alternative Approach
Adding the users to the EpiBetaRole via the Episerver admin should enable the beta features to work in the majority of cases, however, recently when I was trying to get the new Episerver commerce campaign functionality to work I came across an issue where it didn’t allow me to create a campaign correctly.
After a few email exchanges with Episerver it appeared that due to a custom membership and role provider, I also needed to manually register the EPiBetaUsers role in the web.config like so:
If you are having issues with a beta feature or getting a feature to apply and you have a custom role provider, I recommend trying this out. In your ‘web.config‘ goto -> ‘episerver.framework‘ -> ‘virtualRoles‘ -> ‘providers‘.
and add this line
<add name="EPiBetaUsers" type="EPiServer.Security.MappedRole, EPiServer.Framework" roles="Administrators" mode="Any" />
Episerver releases a lot of cool beta features. In my opinion, I would always wait until a feature makes it into the product release before you start using it.
In some scenarios, this isn’t always possible and using beta code is your only option. In these circumstances follow the steps above by creating the ‘EPiBetaUsers‘ group and adding your user account to it.