From last couple of months, I was analyzing Helix principles and its implementation sample site Habitat. And recently i heard another terms called Sitecore Ignition. I started looking into it and after some research, there were couple of questions came into my mind. In this blog, i will be trying to give answers to those questions.

But before going into that discussion, let me brief you all (who are new to this buzz) about few basics of these keywords.

What is Habitat?
Habitat is a real Sitecore project implemented on the Sitecore Experience Platform using Helix. It is an example that allows developers to see how Helix is applied and lets developers experience a project based on these principles. It also provides an excellent basis on which to develop additional modules and extend existing ones. In addition, it saves the developer from having to create these modules from scratch.

The Habitat example provides you with a pre-built and tested set of common modules that you can use as an inspiration to your project. Both improve the efficiency of your projects, reduce costs and time to market.

What is Ignition?
Ignition is an open source development accelerator designed by the team at Perficient and released to the Sitecore community as a quick-start tool for beginning Sitecore projects. It has two primary components: the Sitecore Information Architecture piece and the .NET MVC solution. All along the way, the team has set things up so that we’re using best practices for Sitecore development as well as good development practices and patterns. It embrace SOLID, and the code is designed to enable you, the consumer, to quickly extend, add onto, and test your own code.

In other words, we can say, Ignition is a set of best practices for rapidly developing Sitecore sites. It enables easy support of the Experience Editor, and all of the marketing automation features that are so important to a modern website such as Personalization and A/B/N testing.

Here the question is, if Helix and Ignition both are design principles than when to use Habitat and when to use Ignition?

How Sitecore Habitat is different from Sitecore Ignition?
Habitat can give you a great start for building a demo website or perhaps a small campaign landing page to be used for a short time but likely isn’t something you’re going to build your new website on. That’s just not what it’s designed to be. Whereas Ignition provides some tools to help developers enhance their productivity in things like the Experience Editor, Ignition is NOT an Experience Accelerator. It is a development accelerator.

Conclusion
Many developers will choose to use both Helix and Ignition as both are design principles and best practices conventions. It is advantageous to use Ignition even with these and other tools simply because what it provide is simple to use, very easy to learn, and easy to extend and maintain. Sure, you can bake a cake from scratch, but a cake mix will taste every bit as good and save you a LOT of time! You’re likely to make use of many of the same tools team have compiled as part of Ignition and will likely find things they’ve created are just as useful!

On the other hand, Habitat is developed and managed by Sitecore Product Marketing team and completely design and implemented by following Helix principles (which is the official guidelines and recommended practices for developing in Sitecore), and all up coming Sitecore modules (i.e. SXA) may follow the same principles thus it would make more sense to follow Helix principle based applications. 🙂

My analysis is still on and will update you all when i find more interesting facts about these terminologies.

References

http://helix.sitecore.net/introduction/index.html

http://blogs.perficient.com/microsoft/2016/06/sitecore-developers-start-your-ignition/

http://blogs.perficient.com/microsoft/2016/06/sitecore-ignition-getting-started/