SI4T-Solr 1.2 for Web 8

Looking at code you wrote three years ago can sometimes be a confronting experience. In case of the code I wrote for SI4T, this was no different. After you go through the six stages of debugging and cringe at the aestestics of the code base, the only thing you can do is rewrite the stuff with the knowledge of today and be solaced by the fact that your code is actually used in production environments and not breaking too much.

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Web 8, SI4T and Storage Extensions

The release of SDL Web 8 has seen the biggest overhaul of the Content Delivery stack since Tridion 2011 and much of it has been applauded much, as the new Micro Services architecture and with it the ability to scale, deploy and be distributed in general, gives many more architectural options than just having an API in your web application connecting you to a database.

Building this while guaranteeing backward compatibility with the Tridion 2011/2013 CD stack is more than a major task and I for one am happy to see that that feat was pulled off really well. That is, unless you have overridden the default DAOFactory classes in your Deployer Storage Extensions, as is the case with the SI4T Storage Extensions. When testing SI4T with Web 8, it turned out that loading of the SI4T Storage Extension did not work in every scenario. This has to do with the subtler points of Spring Bean Class loading.

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Creating a Simple SDL Web 8 DXA Environment

I set out to create a basic SDL Web 8 DXA machine with default everything installed and configured, following SDL’s installation documentation as closely as possible. I wanted to find the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get up and running from scratch. Although it didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, the end result was indeed a fully functional SDL Web 8 development environment with the sample DXA site up and running, Topology Manager, a working Experience Manager, the ability to create new schemas and map them to application-side View Models, etc. In this post, I specify the key portions of SDL documentation used, some common issues encountered and some advice for getting set up quickly and easily.

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DXA Modules Settings Interface

Recently I had the pleasure of traveling to Portugal for the SDL Web Most Valued Professional (MVP) retreat. While this was my first opportunity to participate in one of these events, I have seen the results of having some of the brightest and most willing-to-share minds in the SDL Web community brought together for the opportunity to collaborate. Often times in the past this event has helped to shape the future of SDL Web development, and this year was no exception. Continue reading

Quick Tip: Getting Audience Manager working in an MVC site for Web 8

I recently implemented an Audience Manager integration in a Web 8 DD4T (.NET) project. I was scratching my head for a long time about an error message that didn’t seem to make sense:

Unable to determine the current Publication. Please make sure the Ambient Data Framework is running, or configure a DefaultPublicationId in the cd_audience_manager_conf.xml configuration file

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DXA Model Mapping Cheatsheet

I recently started working on a new project using the DXA. One of the site types was a rebuild; using an existing content model rather than creating schemas from scratch. Part of the DXA philosophy is to enable MVC developers to use simple view models which hide the complexity of the underlying domain (CM) model. This article shows some tricks you can use to do help take this approach. Its based on the .NET implementation but the same concepts should apply to the Java version.

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What, Why Can’t I Publish My Stuff?

You’ve set up your content delivery environment and have your topologies all ready to go. Your publication has a Business Process Type, so you go to publish your first bit of content…

What? Where are my targets?

Huh? Where’s the target? You try a CME refresh, service restarts, even a server reboot with no luck.

This is a little gotcha that Dom Cronin pointed out at TDS 2016 and which I missed. As well as creating a business process type (BPT), that BPT also needs to be specified in a publication’s properties before you can publish items to it from that publication.

So, add your BPT to your publication’s properties

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and you will have your target available when publishing items from your publication. All is now good with the world.

yay