About Paul Urban

Experienced Architect with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Strong arts and design professional skilled in technical and strategic advisory, architecture and technical lead, development, business analyses and team management He is specialized in innovative solutions elaboration, agile methodology implementations and process analysis.

Is your DBBrowser.aspx page looping indefinitely ?

We all use Sitecore Admin Pages and DBBrowser is probably not the most frequent one. But  how many times DBBrowser.aspx saved your a.. when you needed?  When I joined my current team I notice that this Admin Page was looping indefinitely.  If that page is not responding for you, maybe you have same issue .

My colleague – Sébastien Boissonneault– found the source of the issue. Here is his blog entry.

DBBrowser is a great tool to investigate and fix content issues that would not be doable through the content editor.

 

On our project, for a while, me and my team were wondering why the DBBrowser would not load. And by not loading, I mean seeing a blank page, the process using all of the CPU cycles and way too much memory, for many hours (if we would let it run that long).

We attached to the process in Visual Studio to see if some code was throwing errors and failing silently, but with no success. We looked at the database and database profiler to see a sign of request taking too long, still no success. And then we looked at the source code for that page in DotPeek.

 

At first, by quickly glancing at the code, it looked fine, but I knew something was wrong. I created a copy of the dbbrowser aspx page, created a copy of the code-behind it was using and then started debugging. After waiting a while, when I finally paused the process, like a beacon of light pointing to the, I found the code issue highlighted: an infinite loop.

 

It is caused by a function that lists and sorts the branch templates by item name (independently of the folder they are located). That code has a loop that renames duplicates in the list, the problem is that if there was more than 2 duplicates, it loops forever.

 

I fixed the bug in my local copy, and it now runs like a charm.

 

I was able to reproduce the issue with a vanilla instance of Sitecore, so I created a support ticket and am now waiting for an official fix.

 

 

Get the most out of Sitecore’s data and analytics beyond out-of-the box dashboard with Sitecore 8.X and MongoDB BI Connector

While waiting for Sitecore 9.X and xConnect  we may want to get the most out of Sitecore MongoDB, to go beyond out-of-the-box dashboards and impress executives wit h deep insights. In some cases, Sitecore xDB Cloud may limit you what you can get from custom reports.

To help marketers ans BI specialists I used  two tools: MongoDB Connector for BI and Tableau . Continue reading

xDB Cloud service REST API explained

How to use REST API reference for the xDB Cloud service is described well here. But for someone it will use it for the first time may not be that obvious. Here is a description “for dummies”.

First we have to obtain valid authentication token to make a call to xDB Cloud API. it must to be included as a HTTP header in all requests. Here are a description of this call.  I use Fiddler as a tool.

Continue reading

Sitecore 9 Initial Release on Windows Server 2012 R2 SIF – part 2

Finally I managed to install Sitecore 9 on a Windows 2012 R2. As you can read in my previous blog post – Sitecore 9 Initial Release on Windows Server 2012 R2 SIF – part 1  – Sitecore Installation Framework have some issues with Certificates creation on OS with IIS 8.5 (Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 8.x).

I will describe my work around Continue reading

Sitecore 9 Initial Release on Windows Server 2012 R2 SIF – part 1

I followed Installation Guide for Sitecore 9 Initial Release and I found out that Sitecore Installation Framework is not working with Windows 2012 R2. Why I am writing about it ? Because Sitecore documentation is not that clear.

It says in section 2.1 Sitecore Hosting Environment Requirement that Sitecore 9 will work with IIS 8.5 and Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit). Later in documentation, section 5.1 Install Prerequisites is says : Important. The Sitecore Fundamentals module does not support IIS 8.0 or 8.5.   The root cause is Power Shell PKI module 1.0.0.0 that reference to IIS dll.

And don’t forget to install Microsoft PoweShell version 5.1 even if documentation says 5.0 or later.

 

PS. Finally I mange to install Sitecore 9 on Windows 2012 R2 – you can check steps here – Sitecore 9 Initial Release on Windows Server 2012 R2 SIF – part 2

Sitecore 9. Do you need to upgrade your Sitecore license ?

Yeah, Sitecore added support to other combined roles than stand alone. My worries are not valid any more.  Please look at my edit on November 22nd

My client licence is XP3 (3+3). We allow to have 3 production servers. It looks like for the moment (or not) the only supported role combination is XP0 (standalone) – which is recommended only for local development and testing. Here is a link to Sitecore documentation.

If you planning a fully featured Sitecore Experience Platform installation you need separated server roles: Content Delivery, Content Management, Processing, xConnect Collection, xConnect Collection Search,  xDB Reference Data, xDB Automation Operations, xDB Automation Reporting.  Is my old Sitecore licence good enough? I has been told on Sitecore slack by Sitecore employee :  ” From a licensing perspective, you probably want to look at transitioning to the subscription licensing model by speaking with your local sales contact.”

I will you keep posted.

Added on November 8th

Based on Webinar – Sitecore Pricing Overview for Partners I can tell that all xDB processing server are PRODUCTION now.

Added on November 22nd

It looks like it was a false alarm. Sitecore yesterday added new  combined roles

How to enable/disable visits tracking from content database.

I has been ask by business to find out a way to not track internal visits – easy stuff – we can add internal IP, public IP into <excludedIPAddresses> node of Sitecore.Analytics.ExcludeRobots.config file.

 

It worked for a while. Then I has been ask to disabled only on CM, but     …sometimes 😉 . Marketers, usually don’t want to see internal traffic to be tracked, but from time to time they would like to test some functionalities and  to track visits.  Deploying each time a config file is not an option.

I thought, it would be nice to add some logic into  the same pipeline (excludeRobots) where we filter already IP to exclude.

Continue reading