The Little Book of Sitecore® Tips volume 2 now available

littlebookofsitecore_newsFollowing volume 1 I’m pleased to announce the launch of volume 2 of The Little Book of Sitecore® Tips.

Just like the first book, these tips were created from my daily workings with the Sitecore experience platform and we now have another instalment in the ongoing series.

The main purpose of The Little Book of Sitecore Tips series is a light-hearted look at some useful Sitecore tips. These tips are targeted at all levels of user but whether you’re recapping or learning, I hope you find the material either useful, or of some entertainment value.

Your can order the next volume from the likes of Amazon or Barnes & Noble – The booklittlebookofsitecore_unicorn is also available as an eBook on the iBooks Store.

Thanks is due to the technical reviewers Michael West and Matthew Dresser – and the usual thanks to Tamas Varga who was as helpful as ever. Thanks is also due to Mr Helix Thomas Eldblom, and Dominic Hurst who supplied some nice reviews:

littlebookofsitecore_man

“Einstein once said: ‘The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.’ – and this book does just that. It makes the complex simple and it is simply genius!”

“A must read from an author that doesn’t stop in his quest for learning, sharing and giving back.”

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The Little Book of Sitecore® Tips volume 1 now available

sitecore_netI’m pleased to announce the launch of volume 1 of The Little Book of Sitecore® Tips

The book was created after converting a rather large amount of notes (that were created during my day to day workings with Sitecore) into an initial book, and what will soon become an ongoing series of books.

The main purpose of The Little Book of Sitecore Tips is a light-hearted look at some useful Sitecore tips. These tips are targeted at all levels of user but whethersitecore_book you’re recapping or learning, I hope you find the material either useful, or at least of some entertainment value.

ALL royalties are donated to worthy causes, so if you take nothing from the book at least you’ll know that your purchase wasn’t in vain. So have some fun, support some charity and order yourself a paperback copy from the likes of Amazon or Barnes & Noble – The book is also available as an eBook on the iBooks Store, and Google Play.

Thanks is due to the technical reviewers Adam Conn and Radosław Kozłowski – and a big thanks to Tamas Varga who also supplied a great deal of help, support, and the following review:

sitecore_rocket

“This is the book I should have written 5 years ago! Having a book with tips is something we haven’t got so far in the Sitecore community. It goes beyond just Sitecore tips, but some of the best practices the community created and collected during the last couple of years. It not only helps your daily work with Sitecore, but also demonstrates the power and flexibility of it. All the tips in this book is really helpful and the nice illustrations helps you remember them.”

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Helix Base now available on GitHub


Hopefully we’re all aware of the brilliant Sitecore Habitat – a demo site based on Helix principles which assists us in creating a modular architecture by following the principles of package design. I believe it’s a solution that everybody should try and become familiar with.

As the purpose of Habitat is a demo site rather than a starting point for Greenfield projects, I decided to follow the example of Habitat and have created a solution to be used as a base for Greenfield projects. It’s called ‘Helix Base’ and you can find it on GitHub.

I started with the Helix PowerShell script – Akshay Sura. Please feel free to contribute towards the project as there are many ways in which it could be improved upon – but please note that the intention of the project is not to contain an expansive demo site, for that you should use Habitat.

The current features include:

  • Glass Mapper v5 – with fluent configuration and automated mapping registration
  • Unicorn – including user and role sync
  • Sitecore 9.1 ready
  • Bootstrap v4
  • Native dependency injection with auto controller registration
  • A sample hero banner feature and sample site project for demonstration
  • Generic content repositories (by Rendering, Item Context, or Glass Content)
  • 301 Redirects
  • Version trimming rules engine – Items limited to 10 versions by default
  • Search Templates computed index field – find all items from an index by any templates they implement
  • Non admin Item Unlock
  • Auto unlocks items when a user is deleted
  • Gulp publish with webroot clean
  • Show Title When Blank patch, the forgotten Sitecore feature!
  • A module just for fun – currently adds logos to the Unicorn console

You can find instructions on how to download and configure the solution in the GitHub readme.

Please feel free to use, share and contribute! Hopefully we can now save some time in setting up a modular Sitecore solution.

The project was influenced by some resources which are due a mention/thanks… Akshay Sura (PowerShell script), Jason Wilkerson/Phil Wicklund (Sitecore 8 book), Thomas Eldblom (Habitat), apologies if I’ve missed anybody out.

Sitecore MVP award 2017

Very pleased to announce I’ve been named a “Most Valuable Professional (MVP)” by Sitecore®, winning the Technologist award and achieving elite distinction. Some info about the program below:

 

Now in its eleventh year, Sitecore’s MVP program recognizes individual technology, digital strategy, commerce, and cloud advocates who share their Sitecore passion and expertise to offer positive customer experiences that drive business results. The Sitecore MVP Award recognizes the most active Sitecore experts from around the world who participate in online and offline communities to share their knowledge with other Sitecore partners and customers.

“The Sitecore MVP awards recognize and honor those who make substantial contributions to our loyal community of partners and customers”

Pieter Brinkman, Director of Developer and Platform Evangelism, Sitecore.

“MVPs consistently set a standard of excellence by delivering technical chops, enthusiasm and a commitment to giving back to the Sitecore community. They truly understand and deliver on the power of the Sitecore Experience Platform to create contextualized brand experiences for their consumers, driving revenue and loyalty for life.”

Sitecore’s experience platform combines web content management, omnichannel digital delivery, customer insight and engagement, and strategic digital marketing tools into a single, unified platform. The platform is incredibly easy to use, capturing every minute interaction-and intention-that customers and prospects have with a brand, both on a website and across other online and offline channels. The end-to-end experience technology works behind the scenes to deliver context marketing to individual customers, so that they engage in relevant brand experiences that earn loyalty and achieve business results.

More information can be found about the MVP Program on the Sitecore MVP site: http://www.sitecore.net/mvp

Habitat solution installer released

I created a module to simplify the setup of the Habitat solution which you can find on the Sitecore marketplace. The installer downloads the latest version of the Habitat solution and automatically configures the following files:

  • z.Habitat.DevSettings.config
  • gulp-config.js
  • publishsettings.targets

The application then performs the npm install. After running the installer you can proceed to step 5 on the Habitat Getting Started guide which involves running the default gulp task – I’ll eventually incorporate this step into the application.

Pre requisites:

Instance of Sitecore 8.2
Install node.js

Step by step guide:

After installing your Sitecore instance and node.js run the installer:

habitatinstaller

Enter a location to install your Habitat solution to, and then configure the variables:

intanceRoot – this is the path to your Habitat instance. Remember to use the double backslash ‘\ \’  as this is the text that will appear in the gulp-config.js file.

publishUrl – the url to your Habitat instance, again follow the example shown as a default value in the field.

rootHostName – this value is used when installing multiple instances of Habitat, see the default text as an example of how to configure this field.

Click Install and the application will begin to download and configure Habitat, it will then run the npm install command in your solution install directory. Once complete you can then open your Habitat solution and run the gulp task.