Sitecore Symposium 2018 Takeaways


Sitecore acquired Stylelabs

The Big surprise of the Symposium – Sitecore acquired  Innovative Content Marketing Software Vendor Stylelabs. The new platform centralizes the ability to define content strategy and easily create, manage, and publish marketing content across channels. Adding Stylelabs’ platform to Sitecore allows marketing teams to own the entire content lifecycle and understand the impact of specific content assets on individual customers’ behavior, empowering them to deliver transformative experiences throughout the customer journey.

NET Core based Service Architecture

Sitecore in on a journey from Monolith to NET Core based Service Architecture. They want to leave the safety of the monolith but because of tight coupling we have to live with large instances, slow start up and all or nothing upgrades. This old approach is hard to scale, bug in one feature can affect the whole platform. It always slowed down the adoption of new technologies.  Now, Sitecore is going into direction where they creating  a new building blocks on the same Sitecore Host (hOS+). First blocks: Sitecore Identity, Universal Tracker and soon Horizon.

Sitecore Identity

Support for Federated Authentication- – maybe some people who worked with Commerce already know a little about it. Based on Identity Server 4 default login mechanism across the platform (Experience Manager, Experience Platform, Experience Commerce) Provides Single Sign On using standard authentication protocols combine with external AIM systems, but still compatible with old Membership

Universal Tracker

Headless API for xDB collection. You asking your self isn’t that xConnect? It is not. xConnect only accepts immutable history and it designed for trusted service communication – Authentication only, no authorization. We need Universal Tracker to not expose xConnect. I has been told that in the future, Sitecore will use Universal Tracker instead of Sitecore.Analytics.Tracker. BTW, with Sitecore 9.1 Xamarin API has been updated. Link to my post about Universal Tracker


Next generation experience manager. it will reduce time to value significantly with focus on the need of tomorrow user profiles. Out of the box features for easy adoption and utilization of the full Sitecore potential. Providing a user interface that is just as powerful and innovative as the engine behind.

Sitecore Headless

  • Sitecore SSC Web API
  • Sitecore Experience Accelerator Data Modelling and JSON Rendering
  • Sitecore JavaScript Services
  • Commerce services are supported through an API and accessed through JSS

Sitecore Headless for Agencies and JavaScript Developers

Sitecore Cortex machine learning

Content tagging, automated personalization recommendation and flexible integration with other ML engines and algorithms.


Sitecore Cortex automates the task of content tagging for bout internal and external search and creates information taxonomies used to provide better SEO rankings, content experience and search results on your website. Sitecore Cortex uses a configurable provider framework for content tagging which allows to bring your own Natural Language Provider.

Sitecore Experience Accelerator

New wire-framing for rapid page design and layout

  • Creation of WCAG 2.0 compatible websites
  • Wireframe and graysacle Modes
  • Cross-site linking
  • Per-site views
  • Rendering variant component embedding

I remember Adam Najmanowicz commitment to fix existing bugs submitted by Sitecore user over new features. A lot of people confirmed that SXA team responsiveness is impressive.


Sitecore Forms

Forms has some existing new features such as conditional and pre-filling of fields. Pre-filling allows to set a data-provider for a field and pre-fill that field with data. Conditions allows to build forms that respond to user input and only show relevant questions.

EXM and Marketing Automation

Commerce focused email improvements

Simplified Deployment

XM Only Web Deploy Packages (WDPs) and a single machine setup template

SIF 2.0

Driven by requirement of 9.0 multi-role capable/ scaled deployment. On premises equivalent to cloud standardized on WebDeploy. What is new in 9.1? You need new Sitecore Installation Framework 2.0 to install 9.1. You have to keep the old module version to be able to install previous Sitecore version. At top of that here are few new features:

  • Developer workstation templates
  • Prerequisites install templates
  • Uninstall Support
  • Remote distributed deployment

XP Single Topology: Identity Server, xConnect, Sitecore

XM Scaled Topology: Identity Server, Content Management, Content Delivery

XP Scaled Topology: Content Management, Content Delivery, Processing, Reporting, Collection, Search, RefData, Automation, Automation Reporting, Cortex Processing, Cortex Reporting

Few of you will notice more server compared to 9.0. My suggestion. Start it like this, then delete what you don’t need or combine.

Enhancing the existing- Core platform

9.0.2 XM 9.1 XM only
Cold Start of CM to Launch Pad 31.63 16.63
Number of files in bin 529 296
Content Editor opened first time 24.01 4.21
Experience Editor open first time 4.82 3.01


Expanded Global Cloud Support

Azure Data Center support in US Gov, Korea, France and Germany

Sitecore compliance with GDPR- Part II

In my previous blog, I wrote about GDPR compliance at large. Let’s look more closely how should be done and how in Sitecore.

There are a lot of customization to do whatever which Sitecore version you are using.  Starting starting with Sitecore 8.2 Update 7  Sitecore provides few useful  tools.  Since this version has been release few weeks before May 25th deadline you may implement all by you own.


  • Upgrade to Sitecore 9
  • Upgrade to Sitecore 8.2 Update 2 released April 26th
  • Customize current implementation

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Sitecore 8.2 Initial Version Shared Layouts Issue

From the Sitecore 8 training, I remember that it said that when you edit you the shared layout of a page, it is the layout delta that is saved.
Before the 8.2 version, you could only modify the shared layout through the presentation details interface. You could modify the final layout in the Experience Editor.
Sitecore 8.2 introduced the possibility to edit both the final and shared layout in the Experience Editor. Great stuff! But there is a small issue, when editing the shared layout in Experience Editor, it saves the raw layout, not the delta.
What does that mean? If you edit the templates standard value, the changes will be seen in the pages who don’t have a shared layout value, or a delta. Why? Because the raw shared layout data takes overrides the value from the template standard value.

We brought this to the attention of the Sitecore Support, and got this patch that fixes the issue nicely: Sitecore.Support.144214.

Sitecore Training Recap

Assembling Presentation Information


  • Shared Layout option uses __Rendering field
  • Final Layout option use __Final Rendering Field
  • Going from right to left, if a field has a layout delta, it goes to the field to its left to gather more presentation information.


Sitecore compliance with GDPR- Part I

Part II 

AS you may know already, the European Union General Data protection Regulation (GDPR)  will reform, modernize and it replaced the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive. The objective is to harmonize data protection rules across 20 EU member states by creating a single, comprehensive EU data protection framework for the processing of and free flow of data with a one=stop shop mechanism for enforcement.   The reform aims to give control to EU citizens and strengthen consumer trust in digital economy.


The new law has been voted and published in 2016 and will be effective on May 25th 2018. However, according to Gartner, more than 50% of companies affected by GDPR will not be in full compliance with its requirements.

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How quickly find selected item from Treelist field

How many times you wanted to find one of the selected values in the treelist ?  Sometimes is easy because you know source of selected item, sometime is harder because you don;t know the system or there are hundreds of item to chose from.

For years I’m using inspect command from my browser. It happened to me used it when I was sharing my screen with coworkers or colleagues and they ware always surprised.  I decided to share it with you.

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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.

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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