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What’s new in Sitecore 9.1?

Sitecore Host Base

Sitecore is going to extract the services in Sitecore.kernel into individual independent services i.e. caching, logging, messaging etc. and make them single responsibility. 

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Sitecore Host is a console application built with .Net core. It’s a abstracted host base, brings a common platform for developing additional functionality.  It supports both .net core  and full framework.  It is powering apps and services like Sitecore Identity, Horizon, as well as universal tracker.

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Sitecore Identity

Sitecore identity is a plug-in to the open source, it provides single sign on, allows to combine with external AMI system, and old membership.

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Horizon

Horizon is the next generation experience for content management, it reduces time to value significantly with focus on the need of tomorrows user profiles.  out of the box features for easy adoption and utilization of the full Stiecore potential. It also provides a user interface that is just as powerful and innovative as the engine behind.

It provides a personalized hub into the world of Sitecore services, creating experiences powered by insights, as well as controlling and optimizing all marketing activities.

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The architecture o f Horizon as shown below. As mentioned above, Horizon is one of the service built with .net core and hosted on Sitecore host base. It communicates with Sitecore Content Management Sever via message bus.

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Cortex

Sitecore Cortex is a Machine Learning engine for generating real-time insights of customer data. Cortex will become the key of future smart CMS.


Universal Tracker

Universal tracker allows mobile developers for tracking all user interactions, and soon Sitecore mobile SDK will support personalization on mobile native apps.

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Image result for WFFM Sitecore

Have you ever seen “sitecore://web/{358B0E87-893A-45A8-A707-D19A32962DFF}?lang=en&ver=1” this value? If you are using WFFM with attachment field, you are most likely going to see this value in the Excel file downloaded from the form.  This is because WFFM doesn’t manipulate data during exporting data into Excel, which means data formatting will be the same as it’s stored in the database.  


Understand how it works

For solving the issue, let’s get understood how it works.  First of all, what’s the Guid in the URL?  It’s a media library item ID.  If you search the ID in Sitecore, you can find that item in media library.  The attachment will be created in Media Library Once the form is submitted.   By default,  it’s stored in Master database, however you are allowed to change to Web database with below settings.  In my case,  I don’t want to change this to store in web database, as the attachment is not mean to be accessible from public.    

<setting name="WFM.MasterDatabase" value="web" />

The attachment is just a media library item, which you use MediaManager.GetMediaUrl for getting the URL (As shown in screenshot below)

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Solutions

Now, you should understand how it works, and let’s fix the export value together.  First of all, we need to find out which pipeline is for exporting the data into Excel. Luckily, It’s not so hard to find. It’s registered in the exportToExcel pipeline:

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Next is to customize the ExportFormDataToExcel function, here is the code snippets

Finally, if you export data into Excel again, the wired URL is fixed with a valid media item URL!. 

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Sitecore publishing service has been released since Sitecore 8.2.  The publishing service version 3.1 has been released for Sitecore 9 initial and update-1. The main objective for using the publish service is to make the publishing more efficiency and less impact on content editor.  Publishing service allows service resiliency and prevents the Publishing Service from being a single point of failure.


You can also configure the publishing service for high availability where multiple instances of the publishing service can be running and accessed via load balancer. only the active instance will have the publishing schedule enabled to process publish jobs. The inactive instances will be automatically elected as an active instance, if the active instance become unavailable.


There is no incremental license implications for enabling the Publishing service.  Nevertheless, It will increase the infrastructure costs i.e. a new dedicated server.  However, the performance would be improved massively – publishing 100K items can be completed within 10 mins.


Prerequisite

  • .NET Core  (Download from here)
  • Sitecore Publishing Service Package
  • Sitecore Publishing Module Package


Installing Steps

  • Create new site in IIS

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  • Set .NET CLR version as NO Managed Code

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  • Update connection string in sc.global.xml file

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  • Run Sitecore.Framework.Publishing.Host.exe schema upgrade - -force

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  • Run [sitename]/api/publishing/operations/status. If it returns status:0, then it means the publishing service has been installed and running successfully.

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  • Install Publishing service module in Sitecore. After installed the module, you can see the publishing icon in the dashboard.

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Once you published item, you will be able to see the active jobs, and queued jobs in the dashboard as shown in below

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I’m honoured to be invited as #Shehacks2018 mentor by Microsoft for supporting the local woman IT community.  It’s a great community with all talent people from different industries.  It’s my first time join the community as mentor. Not just sharing my experience and giving guidance, but also I learnt a lot from them during the 1.5 day event.   As part of the them, we came up with solution for a real issue by leveraging Machine Learn and cognitive services.  Our machine Learn and AI solution ultimately won the 3rd party integration with Machine Learning and AI Award! . Thanks AWS for the rewards.

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Today I came across a publishing issue in our UAT environment.  After I clicked the publish, the publish popup window doesn’t display and in the console log it is showing an error  “because it set multiple X-Frame-Options” headers with conflicting values (‘SAMEORIGIN, Allow-From’…) Falling back to ‘deny’.” as shown below.

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So, I checked the web.config file and noticed that someone added  “ALLOW-FORM” X-Frame-Option in web.config.

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The error is because from sitecore 8.1 update 3 onwards sitecore introduce default module to add X-FRAME-OPTION Sameorigin using below module

<add type="Sitecore.Web.XFrameOptionsHeaderModule, Sitecore.Kernel" name="SitecoreXFrameOptionsHeaderModule" />