Sitecore marketing automation provides a way to create automated online campaigns in Sitecore. A marketing automation campaign is a plan that allows you to determine how to interact with contacts based on their interaction behavior with the website. 

The marketing automation is powerful, yet there are some challenges as stated below when you want to leverage for supporting the business.   This article is to share my experience how to extend Sitecore marketing automation to fit your business goals and overcome these challenges.   


Only support MVC applications, unless you purchase JSS license

With the out-of-box Sitecore marketing automation, it supports MVC application natively. However, you may want to leverage marketing automation with your single page app (SPAs)i.e. ReactJS, Angular applications etc. via APIs.

Tracking specific user behaviours

In addition, the out-of-the-box supports events like page view events , what if you want to track specific user actions i.e. tracking whom make quote on your website.

Business requirements

Before discussing the solution, let’s have a look what business wants to achieve.

One day morning, business came to me and ask if there is anyway we can get our customers more engaged than ever before? like sending them a reminder when they made a quote on our website.

Technical requirements

Engagement plan

Based on the business requirements, the first thing on top of my head is Sitecore marketing automation engagement plan. Someone makes a quote can be a goal that a user achieved on the website. Once they triggered a goal, we can send them a reminder email.  Obviously, we need another goal when a user finalized the quote, as we don’t want to keep sending them reminders. 

Sitecore Services API

We have engagement plan, now how are we going to trigger a goal? our site is not MVC application, it’s a single page application.  Thus, tracking is not natively enabled. You can use MVC controller, however, why I decided to implement Sitecore services API is because that it has dependency injection enabled, and security enforced.  

EXM email template and custom token

A company branded email template is required. What else? The ultimate goal of the reminder email is to encourage user to finalize the quote by purchasing the service.  Adding a hyperlink i.e. “click here to complete your purchase” seems a good idea for increasing the conversion rate.  Thus, we will need quote no. which will be a custom token.


Cool, now we know what business wants to achieve and what’s required from technical point of view. 

1. Let’s start with creating goals

  • Make a quote  - when user make a quote on the website.
  • Complete a quote – when user completed the payment

2. I also created custom events

This allows to store custom values i.e. quote Id which can be retrieved with custom token in EXM

  • Make quote event
  • Complete quote event

3. Next, design a user journey

engagement plan

4. Creating Service APIs

There are a few things you will need to consider

  • Session
  • Authentication
  • Dependency Injection


Services API by default doesn’t support session. most likely you will get Analytics.Tracking is null error.  Thus,  you will need to add session handler to your router.



The good news is you can leverage Sitecore built-in Services API authentication for your custom controller.  you can find more details on how to authenticate your user here.  I would suggest to create specific user for your application.

Dependency Injection

Dependency injection allows you to loose coupling your code. Rather than instantiating objects directly in the code, often classes will declare their dependencies through constructor.    Sitecore services API allows you configure your injection in configuration. you can find more details here.

            <register serviceType="IMyService, MyAbstraction.Assembly" implementationType="MyServiceImplementation, MyImplementation.Assembly" />
            <register serviceType="MyServiceBase, MyAbstraction.Assembly" implementationType="MyServiceBaseImplementation, MyImplementation.Assembly" />

Implement Triggering a goal

Cool, by now if you are following the above steps you should have your API up and running with authentication enabled.  next is to create action for triggering the goal.

Identify contact

In my case, I need to identify the contact and update their information. IdentifyAs is the method I’m using. This basically tells sitecore that If it doesn’t exist then creating a new contact, otherwise makes it as known contact.


update contact

After contact is created, next is to update the contact details i.e. addressList,

For updating contact, I’m using xConnect Client API.  Sitecore xConnect client API allows trusted clients to create, read, update, and search contacts and interactions over HTTPs.  you can find more details here.

Don’t forget to extend the facets you want to update, as by default, sitecore doesn’t return most of the facets. Here is an example of extending facets.


triggering goal

It is a bit misleading about triggering a goal in Sitecore documentation. It states to register a goal for triggering it. Unfortunately, it won’t work with API, as it doesn’t have page context.

var goalId = Guid.NewGuid(); // ID of goal
var goalDefinition = Sitecore.Analytics.Tracker.MarketingDefinitions.Goals[goalId];


Instead, I’ll still need to use xConnect Client API. Goal is specific type of an interaction. so you can add an interaction with a type of xConnect Goal


Once you added the goal, you are able to validate in the experience profile as shown below.


Awesome, by now we have our goal triggered. we can start configure our engagement plan.  based on the business requirements,  I have created 3 reminders as shown below. 

When users trigger “make a quote” goal, they will be engaged into the campaign, during the period, if they never complete their purchase, 3 reminders will be sent to them.


Here is my testing results:

I triggered two goals with different quote Id. Since I never completed the purchase, I have received 3 reminders for each of the quote.



Hooray!  Now, the custom API extends Sitecore tracking capabilities to our SPAs and mobile apps.  As you can seen that Sky is the limit for using Sitecore Marketing Automation to achieve your business goals.   I hope you enjoyed this article.



Sitecore introduced new installation tool (SIA) for installing vanilla package. As part of this post, I will install the Sitecore new release 9.3 with SIA step by step.

Step 1: download 9.3 package

download Sitecore 9.3 from here https://dev.sitecore.net/Downloads/Sitecore_Experience_Platform/93/Sitecore_Experience_Platform_93_Initial_Release.aspx

Step 2:  place Sitecore licence under the root installation folder

i.e. C:\Installation\Sitecore 9.3.0 rev. 003498 (Setup XP0 Developer Workstation rev. 1.1.0-r105)

Step 3:  Update SIA installation configuration(setup.exe.config)

  • SQL Server name
  • SQL Server username/Password
  • SOLR root
  • Solr Serverice
  • Solr Port

Please note the out-of-box configuration doesn’t not support zookeeper. if you are using Solr could with zookeeper, you will need to configure your own.

Step 4:  Install Sitecore

  • Install prerequisites


  • Install Solr

I have multiple versions of Sitecore instances, so I changed the default port to 8986




  • Install Sitecore and database


Once it completed, you should see the success message.



More and more organizations are moving into Headless and Microservice architecture space.  When talking about Headless, what’s the first thing on top of your head?  Yes, that’s right! Single page application (SPA).  The most popular front-end frameworks for a SPA are ReactJS, Angular and Vue etc.  Sitecore saw the trends and introduced JSS when Sitecore 9 is released.  In this article , I’m going to show you how to leverage JSS to build you organization components library that can be reused crossing all projects.

What’s 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.  Use your favourite JavaScript framework. Here is the JSS official documentation, if you want to know more.

Get Started

In order to build a JSS component library that can be reused by other teams, you will need to create npm module. If you don’t know what’s npm module, please read the official document here.

The sample component I’m going to build contains an Image, title and description as shown below


Create component library

Here is the code example of the sample component1.

The component1inherits from JSS components Text, Image, RichText.


To make it simple here, I didn’t customize the styling. In my next JSS post will show you how to create theme.

Once you complete the component1, you can publish into npm.

Follow the below steps for publishing the npm module

  • create package.json in which you will need to add devDependencies and peerDependencies.
  • installing babel and config the babel.config.js
  • npm install --save-dev @babel/core @babel/cli @babel/preset-env @babel/preset-react
  • Last is to include dist folder
  • "files": [

Now, you library is ready to be used for your projects.


Next step I’m going to show you how to use the library in the project.

Using the component library

Install the library you just created in your project with the below commend.

npm i qbe-jss-library

Once it is installed, the component can be used either in a page directly or be used to create a custom variation.  Lets say you want to add a <h2> on top of the sample component1component. 

Noticed instead of importing JSS library. I’m importing the custom library i.e. qbe-jss-library, and passing the value to the component1 .



run mpn start


As you can see here,  the custom library can be easily imported into project and reused by different team. The benefits are obvious

  • High Reusability
  • High maintainability
  • High Consistency

Hope you enjoyed reading my article. Please feel free to leave your message, if you have any questions.


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