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.
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.
If you’ve still not given Alchemy a shot, I’ve created a couple of videos to show how easy it is install (and un-install) the framework within your SDL Tridion / SDL Web Environment.
In this second video, I perform a quick review of the Alchemy Starter Project (SP). The SP provides a basic hello world project. It’s recommended to go through the project and rename some items and add your own icons this, this is all covered.
I’m going to be presenting a session at the Tridion Developer Summit next month that walks everyone through the creation of an Alchemy Plugin, so I thought I better get some practice! I also thought it would be useful to record this practice into a series of mini videos, so here goes with the first video of the series.
When most people think of SDL Tridion/Web 8 they think of a kick-ass content management system to run their website. And they’re right! But, the thing about Web 8 is that you aren’t constrained to just providing content to websites. Content is needed on any number of devices these days, from native mobile apps to video game systems to billboards to fancy appliances. Continue reading
One of the features of Alchemy that I think will end up being the most helpful in the future is the way it lets you build a plugin and never have to worry about whether it’ll stop working with future versions of Tridion. This is because Alchemy provides helpful wrappers for the Anguilla framework used to interact with the CMS. If Tridion ever moves on from Anguilla (as has long been rumoured) Alchemy will update the wrappers to support the new technology and if your plugin is using these wrappers you shouldn’t even have to think about it. Continue reading
I found out how to use a new CM-side extension point today; Renderers. I had been struggling for a while with the fact that SmartTarget does not index the Keyword key – which was precisely what I wanted to set up some promotion content selection filters on. It turns out to be quite easy, and indeed gives a generic method for messing with the content that SmartTarget indexes without having to fiddle about on the Delivery side with Java or Kettle.