Recently I’ve been working on Azure AD B2C SSO. The business requirement is to improve the user experience by personalizing the UI based on user roles.  Personalization will be easily implement in Sitecore with virtual user roles.

One of the challenge with the above user journey we had was that the roles are not included in the claims by default with Azure B2C basic policy. 

So I had a discussion with the team (Simon and Ivan), and come up with two potential solutions:

- Using Azure Identity Experience Framework (custom policy) to include roles

- Using Microsoft Graph API for retrieving user roles

Based on the discussion, I did the POC for option 2.  So, I’m going to walk you through how to I achieved.


Before diving into details, here are the terminologies that will be used in the below article:

Azure AD B2C

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) B2C is a cloud identity management service that enables your applications to authenticate your customers. This white-label service is customizable, scalable, and reliable, and can be used on iOS, Android, and .NET, or any other platform

OpenID Connector

OpenID Connect is a simple identity layer built on top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol. OAuth 2.0 defines mechanisms to obtain and use access tokens to access protected resources, but they do not define standard methods to provide identity information. OpenID Connect implements authentication as an extension to the OAuth 2.0 authorization process. It provides information about the end user in the form of an id_token that verifies the identity of the user and provides basic profile information about the user.

Microsoft Graph API

Microsoft Graph is a RESTful web API that enables you to access Microsoft Cloud service resources. After you register your app and get authentication tokens for a user or service, you can make requests to the Microsoft Graph API.

Solution (options 2)

As mentioned above, option 2 is to make a call with MS Graph API for retrieving group membership information. So we updated the user follow by introducing step 7 and step 8 (shown in the below diagram.)

In order to make a call to MS Graph API, you will have to create an app Azure and assign essential access permission to the app.

Register application  in B2C tenant

Here is the steps for creating an app in Azure:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal using either a work or school account or a personal Microsoft account.

  2. If your account gives you access to more than one tenant, select your account in the top right corner, and set your portal session to the Azure AD tenant that you want.

  3. In the left-hand navigation pane, select the Azure Active Directoryservice, and then select App registrations > New registration.

  4. Once you created, click on “certificates & secrets” for creating client secret which you will be used in your code.

  5. Last step is to assign permissions

    • In the Required permissions menu, click on Windows Azure Active Directory.
    • In the Enable Access menu, select the Read and write directory data permission from Application Permissions and click Save.
    • Finally, back in the Required permissions menu, click on the Grant Permissionsbutton.

Build Application

Add the below configuration to your app

Make HTTP request and add roles into claim

Display Roles

I create a few groups in Azure and assigned them to my profile. After login, I can see which groups have been assigned to me.


Sitecore Virtual User

Since the user are not stored in Sitecore, we will need to create a virtual user for assigning these roles.


Image result for headless cms

Headless CMS enabled architect to  separate the content from the display layer or the front-end user experience. It is rising in popularity in the development world.  This model allows breakthrough user experience by giving developers the great flexibility to innovate, as well as empowering architects to design the most scalable, decoupled solution.  So, as a developer, are you ready for taking the challenge? 

If not, skill up yourself and get ready!  In this article, I’m going to explain some of the essential/popular technologies and tools for you.


Image result for NPM yarn

NPM stands for Node Package Manager. If you are a .net backend developer, it’s similar to Nuget package which keeps track of all the packages and their versions. It allows the developers to easily update/remove them from the solution. Yarn is similar to NPM but with high performance. Yarn install packages in parallel. 


Image result for Babel frontend

Bable is a JavaScript transpiler that converts new JS code into old ones i.e. convert ES6 code into ES5, which allows developers to use latest JS specifications without worrying about the browser’s compatibility


Image result for webpack

Webpack is used to compile JavaScript modules, used for managing assets, styles, and compilation. it supports Sass, postCSS, UglifyJs etc.


Image result for ES6

JavaScript ES6 brings new syntax and new awesome features to make your code more modern and more readable. It allows you to write less code and do more. Learn more ES6 from here http://es6-features.org/

Sitecore JSS

Image result for sitecore jss

Sitecore JavaScript Services (JSS) is a complete SDK for JavaScript developers that enables you to build full-fledged solutions using Sitecore and modern JavaScript UI libraries and frameworks.

JSS is comprised of a series of APIs and services. At a fundamental level JSS extends Sitecore's dynamic, component-based layout model to the frontend. Whereas in a traditional JS application each route tends to host known components, in a JSS app a route's components and their data are defined dynamically by Sitecore (or disconnected data when in disconnected mode).

Driving layout dynamically enables JSS apps to support content editor driven layouts and support data-driven personalization and multivariate testing - all the power of Sitecore with all the flexibility of a headless deployment model.

JSS Sitecore Integration and Data Flow


This article is aiming to provide a comprehensive guideline for whom is interested in upgrading their Sitecore instance (version 8) to Sitecore 9.

Image result for upgrading Sitecore

[Step 1] Preparing to Upgrade from Sitecore XP 8.1 – Sitecore XP 8.2.7

Restore Deleted Marketing Taxonomies and Marketing Definitions

If you are using the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) functionality, (when the Xdb.enabled setting is set to true, and xDB is enabled in the license), before you install the upgrade package, you must restore any of the standard marketing taxonomies and marketing definitions that you have deleted from your Sitecore installation.

To restore deleted marketing taxonomy items:

  1. Unpack the MarketingDefinitionsUpgrade.zip file
  2. Copy the RestoreDeletedMarketingTaxonomies.aspx page to the \sitecore\admin folder of your website
  3. To open the Restore Deleted Marketing Taxonomies page, enter the following URL in your web browser:http:///sitecore/admin/RestoreDeletedMarketingTaxonomies.aspx
    (warning) Important: This page requires direct access to the Reporting database. Ensure that the current Sitecore instance has the appropriate connection string in the \App_Config\ConnectionStrings.config file and that the database is accessible
  4. Click Restore deleted taxonomy items.
    At this point, all the default marketing taxonomy items are restored to the Master database. A file called RestoredTaxonomies_{timestamp}.dat is created in the \App_Data folder. This file lists all of the restored items. When the upgrade is completed, if you want to delete these unwanted marketing taxonomies again, you can use this file to identify them.

To restore deleted marketing definition items:

  1. Unpack the MarketingDefinitionsUpgrade.zip file.
  2. Copy the RestoreDeletedMarketingDefinitions.aspx file to the sitecore/admin folder of your website.
  3. To open the Restore Deleted Marketing Definitions page, enter the following URL in your web browser:http:///sitecore/admin/RestoreDeletedMarketingDefinitions.aspx
    (warning)Important This page uses the Marketing Operations repository in the Reporting database. The current Sitecore instance must therefore have access to the Reporting database.
  4. Click Restore deleted definition items
    At this point, all the default marketing definition items are restored from the Reporting database to the Master database. A file called RestoredDefinitions_{timestamp}.dat is created in the \App_Data folder. This file lists all of the restored items. When the upgrade is completed, if you want to remove these marketing definitions again, you can use this file to identify them.
Validate the Names of the Marketing Definition Items

(warning)If you are using the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) functionality or if you are using the tracking functionality (the Xdb.Tracking.Enabled setting is set to true), you must validate the names of the marketing definition items and address any errors.

To validate the names of the marketing definition items:

  1. Unpack the MarketingDefinitionsUpgrade.zip file
  2. Copy the DefinitionItemsNameValidator.aspx page to the \sitecore\admin folder of your website.
  3. To open the Definition Items Name Validator page, enter the following URL in your web browser:http:///sitecore/admin/DefinitionItemsNameValidator.aspx
  4. Click Validate
    The names of the definition items are validated, and a report called DefinitionItemsNameValidationErrors_{timestamp}.dat is saved in the \App_Data folder. This report lists any validation errors that occurred.
  5. Ensure you manually fix all the issues that were found, and then validate the names again. Repeat this procedure until all the names have been validated.
Disable the Email Experience Manager Module

To disable the Email Experience Manager module:

  1. Delete the following folders:
    1. \App_Config\Include\EmailExperience
    2. \App_Config\Include\Z.EmailExperience
  2. Delete the following file:
    1. \App_Config\Include\ExperienceProfile\Sitecore.ExperienceProfile.R eporting.Sitecore.EmailExperience.ExperienceProfile.config
  3. In the \bin folder of your website, delete all the files that begin with
    1. Sitecore.EmailCampaign, Sitecore.EDS, or Sitecore.ExM.
Upgrade the Databases

To upgrade the databases:

  1. Execute the CMS9.0_BeforeInstall.sql script for the Core, Master, and Web databases.
  2. Execute the CMS90_db_core_BeforeInstall.sql script for the Core database only.
  3. If you are using the xDB functionality, you must execute the SXP90_BeforeInstall.sql script for the Reporting database.

Deploy the New Databases

To use Email Experience Manager (EXM), you must add the new connection strings

To enable EXM:

In the \App_Config folder, in the ConnectionStrings.config file, add the connection string for the Sitecore.Exm.master database.

For example:

<add name="exm.master" connectionString="user id=user;password=password;Data Source=(server);Database=Sitecore.Exm.master" />

Add the following three connection strings:

  • EXM.InternalApiKey: You only need to add this connection string if you want to add a dedicated email dispatch server.
  • EXM.CryptographicKey
  • EXM.AuthenticationKey

The keys must be represented in hexadecimal format by 64 characters and you can only use the symbols 0-9 and A-F.

<add name="EXM.CryptographicKey" connectionString="E040C938FC9E4EBC3E93330B0F7837F284207B8180DB64CB5B6ABEB1AFBF6F5B" />

(warning) NOTE: The exm.master connection string is only required on content management servers.

[Step 2]Final Preparations for Upgrading from All Versions

Content TestingBefore you upgrade your Sitecore installation, you must stop any content tests that are currently running. This prevents the start date of the tests from being overwritten with the upgrade date
Disable the Web Forms for Marketers Module

To disable the Web Forms for Marketers module:

Disable the following Web Forms for Marketers configuration files by adding .disabled to the file extension.

  • \App_Config\Include\Sitecore.WFFM.Speak.config
  • \App_Config\Include\Sitecore.WFFM.Services.config
  • \App_Config\Include\Sitecore.WFFM.Dependencies.config
  • \App_Config\Include\Sitecore.WFFM.Analytics.config
  • \App_Config\Include\Sitecore.Forms.config
  • \App_Config\Include\Sitecore.MvcForms.config


  • Sitecore.Foundation.Forms.config.disabled
  • Sitecore.XA.Feature.Forms.config.disabled

(warning) Important
After the upgrade of Sitecore Experience Platform is completed, you must also upgrade the modules. For
more information, see the section Upgrade Web Forms for Marketers in this guide.

Enable Email Experience Manager

To use Email Experience Manager (EXM), you must add the new connection strings

To enable EXM:

In the \App_Config folder, in the ConnectionStrings.config file, add the connection string for the Sitecore.Exm.master database.

For example:

<add name="exm.master" connectionString="user id=user;password=password;Data Source=(server);Database=Sitecore.Exm.master" />

Add the following three connection strings:

  • EXM.InternalApiKey: You only need to add this connection string if you want to add a dedicated email dispatch server.
  • EXM.CryptographicKey
  • EXM.AuthenticationKey

The keys must be represented in hexadecimal format by 64 characters and you can only use the symbols 0-9 and A-F.

<add name="EXM.CryptographicKey" connectionString="E040C938FC9E4EBC3E93330B0F7837F284207B8180DB64CB5B6ABEB1AFBF6F5B" />

(warning) NOTE: The exm.master connection string is only required on content management servers.

Indexing and Performance

Indexing is performed during the upgrade. Depending on the version of Sitecore you are upgrading from, a number of items can be changed by the update, and this can cause the upgrade to take a long time.

To speed up the upgrade process, you can disable indexing by removing the following processor from the Sitecore.ContentSearch.config file:

<handler type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.Events.PackagingEventHandler, Sitecore.ContentSearch"

Disable the Sitecore Experience Database

To disable xDB:

  • Unpack the Sitecore 9.0.2 rev. 180604 (upgrade files).zip file and the Disable xDB.zip file.
  • In the \App_Config\Include folder, create a new \Z.Custom folder and copy the Disable.xDB.config file to the \App_Config\Include\Z.Custom folder.

(warning) Important
When the upgrade is finished, you must re-enable xDB by removing the Disable.xDB.config
file from the \App_Config\Include\Z.Custom folder.

[Step 3] Install the Upgrade Package

Use the Update Installation Wizard to Install the Upgrade Package
  1. On the Sitecore Launchpad, click Control Panel, and in the Administration section, click Install a package.
  2. Install the Sitecore Update Installation Wizard 3.1.2 rev.180406.zip package
  3. On the Sitecore Launchpad, click Control Panel, and in the Administration section, click Install an update.
  4. On the Welcome to Sitecore update installation wizard page, click Select a package.
  5. On the Select a package page, click Choose File and navigate to the folder where you saved the update file forSitecore 9.0.2 rev. 180604. Select the update file for the Sitecore version that you are upgrading from, and then click Open.
  6. Click Package information
    If the Update Installation Wizard cannot detect your current Sitecore version automatically, on the Select an upgrade path page, you must manually select the Sitecore version and revision number that your solution is based on, and then click View package information.
  7. On the Package information page, review the information about the package, and then click Analyze the package.
  8. On the Analyze the package page, click Advanced options, review the installation options, and then click Analyze.
    In the Advanced options section, you must select the Execute post-steps check box, regardless of the other check boxes you may have selected. The post-steps are performed at the end of the upgrade process. These steps can include items or file operations that are executed by the Sitecore API, and can vary according to the Sitecore version that you are upgrading from. During the analysis, the installation wizard identifies any potential conflicts in the configuration files being upgraded and any breaking changes in custom code.
  9. After the analysis process is complete, click Analysis result.
  10. If the Update Installation Wizard does not find any conflicts, click Install the package, and skip to section Configure.
The Upgrade Package Analysis

(warning) While the majority of the actions ensure the best upgrade experience, if the analysis identifies custom code that must be recompiled or configuration file conflicts that must be resolved, you must address these manually

  1. Upgrade Sitecore Powershell to 4.7.2
  2. Disable Sitecore Ppowershell
    1. z.Cognifide.PowerShell.config
    2. Cognifide.PowerShell.config.disabled
    3. Cognifide.PowerShell.VersionSpecific.dll
    4. Cognifide.PowerShell.Package.dll
    5. Cognifide.PowerShell.dll
Resolve Configuration File ConflictsResolve all conflicts in your solution

[Step 4] Configure Sitecore

Review Custom Changes in Configuration Files

The patch files are created and stored in the same folder as the original configuration files. They are saved in the following file format: .patch.config.disabled.

To facilitate traceability and debugging, the wizard also saves the original file with your customizations in the following file format: .custom.config.disabled.

For example, if you customized the Sitecore.Mvc.config file, during the analysis, the Update Installation Wizard creates:

  • Sitecore.Mvc.patch.config.disabled

A patch file with your customizations.

  • Sitecore.Mvc.custom.config.disabled.

A backup of the customized configuration file. Both files are disabled

To enable the patch files with the customizations that were generated by the Update Installation Wizard, remove the .disabled extension from the file name.

Specify the Server Role and the Search Provider

To specify the server role:

  • In the \Website\web.config file, in the section, specify the relevant server role:

    <add key="role:define" value="[server role]"/>

  • The following server roles are supported:
    • ContentDelivery
    • ContentManagement
    • Processing o Reporting
    • Standalone

    The default value is Standalone, which means that one Sitecore instance performs all the Sitecore server roles

To specify the search provider:

  • In the \Website\Web.config file, in the <AppSettings> section, specify the search provider:
    • <add key="search:define" value="Solr" />

The following values are supported:

  • Lucene
  • Solr
  • Azure

The default value is Lucene.
The Azure Search provider is only supported for Azure Cloud PaaS deployments.

Remove Deprecated Indexes

You must remove the following deprecated indexes from your search provider:

  • social_messages_master
  • social_messages_web
  • sitecore_list_index
  • sitecore_analytics_index

To remove the indexes in Lucene:

  • Navigate to C:\inetpub\wwwroot\<SitecoreInstanceName>\Data\indexes
  • Delete any folder named after any of the deprecated search indexes listed at the beginning of this

[Step 5] Update Solr

Specify the Solr connecting string

In Sitecore XP 9.0 Update 2, the Solr connection string was moved to the ConnectionStrings.config file.

To continue using Solr after you upgrade to Sitecore XP 9.0 Update-2, you must:

  • Locate the connection string for Solr. 
  • Add following connection string to Website/App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config file:
  • Remove the connection string from the old location.
Configure Managed SchemaSince Sitecore XP 9.0, Sitecore supports the Managed Schema approach. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to set up Solr Server to run the Classic Schema.
Populate the Solr Managed Schema
  1. Rename index name before rebuild index

[Step 6] Install xConnect

Install and Configure Sitecore xConnect
  1. Download Sitecore 9.1.2
  2. Install xConnect
Configure xConnect
  1. Find certificate Thumbprint with powershell script
    Get-ChildItem -path cert:\LocalMachine\My
  2. Find theThumbprint of *_client


   3. Adding the following connections into Sitecore connectionStrings.config


  • (warning) NOTE:These connection strings are for a single instance Sitecore solution only. For a scaled environment, see the Sitecore server role configuration reference documentation

  • Open certificate management
    1. Run certlm.msc
    2. Select the *.certificate_client and set permission
      1. To open the Certificate Management console, in the Windows command prompt, enter certlm.msc and press Enter.

      2. In the left pane, in the tree, expand the Personal node and select Certificates.

      3. In the right pane, right-click the relevant xConnect certificate, select All Tasks, and then select Manage Private Keys.

      4. In the Permissions dialog box, in the Security section, ensure that you grant read permissions to the
        relevant Sitecore instance Application Pool Identity.

        For example: IIS AppPool\<YourSitecoreAppPoolName>.

      5. Restart IIS.

[Step 7] Post-upgrade Steps





General Maintenance

xDB Maintenance

To enable xDB and Experience Analytics:
In the \App_Config\Include\Z.Custom folder, remove the following files:

  • Disable.xDB.config
  • Disable.xAnalytics.config

Redeploy the Marketing Definitions

To redeploy the marketing definitions:

  1. On the Sitecore Launchpad, click Control Panel, Analytics, and then click Deploy Marketing Definitions.
  2. In the Deploy marketing definitions dialog box, select all the definitions and taxonomies and click Deploy.
Upgrading from Sitecore XP 8.1 - Sitecore XP 8.2.7

Delete Unwanted Marketing Definitions and Marketing Taxonomies

Now that the upgrade and installation is complete, you can delete these same marketing definitions and
marketing taxonomies again.

To see a list of the marketing definitions that were previously deleted:

  • In a text editor, in the \App_Data folder, open the

RestoredDefinitions_{timestamp}.dat file.

To see a list of the marketing taxonomies that were previously deleted:

  • In a text editor, in the \App_Data folder, open the

RestoredTaxonomies_{timestamp}.dat file.

To delete the unwanted marketing definition items from the Master database:

  1. 1. To open the Restore Deleted Marketing Definitions page, enter the following URL in your web browser:
  2. http://<hostname>/sitecore/admin/RestoreDeletedMarketingDefinitions.aspx
  3. At the bottom of the page, next to the name of the file that contains data about the restored items,
  4. click Remove restored definition items.

To delete unwanted marketing taxonomy items from the Master database

  1. To open the Restore Deleted Marketing Taxonomies page, enter the following URL in your web browser: http://<hostname>/sitecore/admin/RestoreDeletedMarketingTaxonomies.aspx

Update Customizations for Reporting

In Sitecore XP 9.0, the rule set has been redesigned. If you are upgrading to
the latest version of Sitecore from any Sitecore XP 8.x version, you must therefore update all of your custom
filters and custom maps by setting and configuringnew rules in the Rule Set Editor.

If you customized Experience Analytics or created any custom segments, reports, or dashboards, you must update these. If you have created any custom maps in the Path Analyzer, you must also update them

Upgrade Experience Analytics

In Sitecore 9.0 or later, some subsystems that affect Experience Analytics have been changed. If you are
upgrading from Sitecore XP 8.x and have customized Experience Analytics, you must update these
customizations to support the updated subsystems

  1. Custom Segments
    The Rule Set Editor has been updated and the rules that it contains have also been changed.
      1. Reconfigure any filters that use these custom segments and then redeploy the custom segments.
      2. Rebuild any custom filters that you have created so that they are compatible with the new subsystems.
  2. Custom Reports
    In Sitecore XP 9.0 or later, you can collect specific metrics for each dimension. If you created any custom reports or dashboards, you must update these manually, change the dimension/segment that it uses, and select the new version of the metrics that you want to use in the reports or dashboards.

Upgrade Path Analyzer

In the Path Analyzer, you must reconfigure any custom maps that you have created and redeploy all the Path Analyzer maps.

  1. Update Custom Maps

    The filter rules have changed. As a result, if you have created any custom maps, you must map these to the
    new filter rules

  2. Redeploy the Path Analyzer Maps

    In Sitecore XP 9.0 or later, the deployed Path Analyzer maps are stored in a different format. You must therefore redeploy the Path Analyzer maps.

    1. In SQL Server Management Studio, in the Reporting database, to remove all the data from the TreeDefinitions table, execute the following command: Delete from TreeDefinitions.

    2. In Sitecore, open the admin page of the Path Analyzer – /sitecore/admin/pathanalyzer.aspx.

    3. In the Maps Manager section, click Deploy all maps that are not deployed.

[Step 8] Upgrade Multiple Instances

Upgrade a Scaled Environment With Multiple Instances

  • Content Delivery, Processing, and Reporting
  • Session State Provider
  • Scaled XConnect Environment

[Step 9] Migrate xDB data

To use the xDB Data Migration Tool to Migrate xDB data.

NOTE: Before you run the xDB Data Migration tool, you must deploy the new Reporting database to SQL Server.

To deploy the new Reporting database:

  1. Deploy the Sitecore.Analytics.dacpac. This file is located in the Sitecore 9.0.2 rev. 180604 (upgrade files).zip package, in the \Databases folder.
  2. In the ConnectionStrings.config file of your Sitecore instance, replace the name of old reporting database with the name of the new one. For example:

    <add name="reporting" connectionString="user id=user;password=password;Data
    Source=(server);Database=Sitecore.Reporting.New" />

[Step 10] Breaking Changes from EXM 3.5

If you are currently using EXM previous version and willing to upgrade, you will have to be aware of the breaking changes in EXM 3.5.

Factories Replaced

The following factories have been removed:

  • Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Factories.BusinessLogicFactory
  • Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Factories.EcmFactory
  • Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Factories.IoFactory
  • Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Factories.GateWayFactory
  • Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Factory

They have been replaced with smaller factories that are responsible for creating only a single type. You can find most of the new factories in:

  • Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Factories
  • Sitecore.EmailCampaign.Cm.Factories

These factories are registered in the IoC container. You can customize most of the factories by patching the relevant configuration element.

Breaking Changes

There are over 1,000 breaking changes, including:

  • Approximately 600 changed public methods
  • Over 400 removed types
  • Approximately 50 public field changes
  • Approximately 20 interface changes
Client API and Messaging Bus

The following files have been removed:

  • Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.Core.ClientApiBase
  • Sitecore.Modules.EmailCampaign.ClientApi and ECMClientService.asmx

The new messaging bus, shipped with 9.0.1, eliminates the need for an http endpoint (ECMClientService.asmx) on the content management server.

The new Sitecore.EmailCampaign.Cd.Services.ClientApiService class replaces the old ClientApi class and lets you send automated messages (with custom tokens and/or target languages), subscribing and unsubscribing. When the ClientApiService receives a request, a message is submitted to the messaging bus, and then picked up by a registered handler.

[Step 11] Upgrade Solution

Upgrade .net Framework to 4.6.2.

  1. Update framework to 4.6.2
  2. Update all nugget packages to Sitecore 9 update 2
  3. Update Newtonsoft.Json 9.0,0
  4. Configure Solr by following the steps here
    1. Enable Solr search provider
      1. <add key="search:define" value="Solr" />
    2. Copy the Solr provided configuration example from the configsets folder into [SOLR_DIR]/server/solr and rename it to the appropriate index name
  5. Rebuild index


Related image

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. 


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.


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.



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.


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.



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.



Finally Sitecore commerce 9 (SXC9) is released! Like everyone else, I’m getting excited about the new release.



It’s not a secret that the previous Sitecore commerce is super hard to use, as it relies on a legacy system – the RIP commerce server.No more Commerce Server!Thisis one of the most exciting news for Sitecore commerce. I believe everyone is happy that we no longer needs to deal with the commerce server. Secondly, it supports SXA, which should really speed up the implementation of the commerce site from the ground up.


Getting started

Now, let’s start to spin up a Sitecore 9 commerce site together.

Before starting to install SXC 9, please make sure you have Sitecore 9(XP0) update-1 installed. If you don’t know how to install Sitecore 9, you can read my previous post here.


Once Sitecore XP0 installed, the next step is to check the environments includes system requirements, framework requirements etc. I wrote PowerShell script for checking all the required bits and pieces that listed in the Sitecore commerce 9 installation guideline.  you can just simply follow the official documentation.


Installing commerce 9

In this section, I’m going to explain the steps for installing Commerce 9 as well as the issues you may encounter during this process.

Ready? Okay, let’s get stared.

[Step One]

Download package from Here.  The package I'm using for this demo is the On Premises  version.  Please feel free to use the azure version, if you are more comfortable with Azure environment.

Once you downloaded the package, unzip the package.


[Step Two]

Create a deploy Folder, and copy the above files into the “deploy” folder you just created.  Then unzip the the zip files as listed below:

  • SIF.Sitecore.Commerce.1.0.1748
  • Sitecore.BizFX.1.0.572
  • Sitecore.Commerce.Engine.2.0.1922
  • Sitecore.Commerce.Engine.SDK.2.0.1922
  • Sitecore.IdentityServer.1.0.65

If you read the Stiecore official installation guideline, you will probably notice that Sitecore.Commerce.Engine.2.0.1922  and Sitecore.IdentityServer.1.0.65are not listed in the list, why here I’m asking you to unzip those two?


This is because the default connection string for both Sitecore Identity Server and Commerce Engine are using “.”. Therefore, If your SQL server instance name is different from the default value, you most likely get these errors.



Update the server in the connection string in both the “appsettings.json” and the environments *.json files as well as global.json.

The global.json connection string is used to tell that engine role how to access the Global database that contains the environment information.
All of the environment data is declared in json files on disk, which are then read into the Global DB when you execute the BootStrap command.

Once you’ve done above, replace the vanilla zip files with the ones you updated.

[Step Three]

Open “Deploy-Sitecore-Commerce.ps1” in “SIF.Sitecore.Commerce.1.0.1748” Folder, and update the configuration as per your environment.

Here is an example


There are a few issues in the default script, for avoiding the runtime error, please change the value as highlighted in the screenshot below.


Otherwise, you may encounter an error as below


[Step Four]

Finally, let’s run the script.  The whole installation takes about 30-40 mins.



[Step Five]

After it is successfully installed. you will need to follow the post installation steps in Chapter 4 of the installation guide.  

Finish? Congas! your Sitecore commerce SXA site is successfully installed.


Thanks to Rob Earlam for explaining the concept, so that I’m able to troubleshoot the issues.  I hope this post can ultimately help you as well with the installation.