Friday, September 14, 2018

Sitecore Symposium 2018 – Get most out of the conference







We’re about a 3 weeks away from Sitecore Symposium 2018 , taking place in Orlando, Florida this October 8-12. The event is expected to gather thousands of Sitecore Peps, along with Sitecore experts, Customers, MVPs, Executives and Developers.

If you’re planning to attend this event, then, there is a lot to do to prepare.
And the  "sessions planning" is one of the important task which you need to plan in advance , selecting the perfect 11 sessions out of 100+ session is not an easy task at all trust me, you may want to attend all , but time slots are limited. 

So you have to plan your sessions in a way to get most out of the conference.

Sitecore spanned 100+ sessions into 5 track -

  • Getting started
  • Development and IT
  • Marketing strategy, innovation,
  • Sitecore optimization
  • E-commerce experience

Now, you need to choose the right track or the combination of track based on your current roles, future aspiration, interest, favorite speaker, topics etc

I am planning to attend the Development/IT and Marketing Strategy track and some of the amazing sessions occurring at the same time, so it’s really very tricky/hard to pick the right session, being considering the time slot.

But after exploring/planning a lot, I made my list of sessions, which I am going  to attend, it’s a combination of both (marketing and IT) along with some good case studies.

Here is my 11 preferred sessions to attend in the conference

1. Topic: Data-driven Sitecore: Getting a unified view of the customer to drive targeted marketing experiences

Speaker: Tim Ward, CEO CluedIn
Date:      Tuesday, October 9th
Time:      11:45 – 12:30 A.M

Data is everywhere – in your back-office tools, in your marketing platforms, and online. Unfortunately many brands are not utilizing data properly, but crave to do so. Let us show you how you can elevate your content management experience by activating the power of your data, resulting in more meaningful and targeted brand experiences. In this session, we’ll show you practical examples of what you can achieve by having a proper data strategy. We will use a bank in Denmark as the use case for demonstrating what can be achieved when data from across the organization is unleashed onto Sitecore. Join us for this session and you’ll be amazed by the amount of signals and knowledge that can be aggregated into the xProfile and how a sales or marketing team could visibly increase value with just a few small tricks.

Justification: I Picked this session because of the Bank case study.


2. Topic: Enabling your marketing team to 'run' with Sitecore

Speaker: Pamela King, Sitecore Strategist, TechSense Solutions
             Christine Toto,Marketing Technology Manager,PMI         
Date:      Tuesday, October 9th
Time:      12:45 – 1:30 P.M

Distributed content management is a critical goal when implementing a new CMS, but how do you do accomplish this in a global organization? How do you empower your teams to use the marketing tools in Sitecore including content management, personalization, optimization, and campaign management? In this session we will present the PMI journey from a traditional IT-led content management approach to a self-service digital marketing model. Embracing the “Crawl, Walk, Run” philosophy, PMI is now utilizing Sitecore’s advanced marketing tools. We will outline the challenges we faced, the decisions we made, the Sitecore implementation approach we took, and our operational model.

Justification: “Crawl, Walk, Run” philosophy - from a traditional IT-led content management approach to a self-service digital marketing model


3. Topic: Driving innovation in the automotive customer experience: Volvo Cars digital transformation

Speaker: Anthony Wickham, Digital Marketing Global Lead,Avanade
              Bobbykin Makwana, Senior Director, Consumer Digital, Volvo      
Date:     Tuesday, October 9th
Time:     2:45 – 3:30 P.M

With well over 100 years of history, the automotive industry is considered one of the “final frontiers” for digital transformation and e-commerce. In this session, learn how Volvo Cars is evolving its core business and brand experience to meet the demands of modern consumers. By partnering with Avanade and building the experience on Sitecore, Volvo Cars is successfully delivering rich, personalized, intuitive experiences that address the needs of its customer base. The integration of strategy, data, content, and customer-centric UX design generate real top- and bottom-line growth; We’ll share how Volvo is connecting these important pieces and taking a new approach to accelerate innovation and sales.

Justification: Volvo Cars case study on successfully delivering rich, personalized, intuitive experiences that address the needs of its customer base.


4. Topic: EXM Live! The magic of email automation

Speaker: Pete Navarra, Director, Technical Strategy,Connective DX  
Date:      Tuesday, October 9th
Time:      4:15 – 5:00 P.M

Sitecore XP's introduction of Email Experience Manager (EXM) in Sitecore 9 brings together the power of Marketing Automation and connected experiences to the email inbox. Experience a live, interactive demonstration of email automation using EXM powered by Sitecore's Marketing Automation in a fast-paced, audience-driven exercise. Explore the history of EXM and how to scale out its capabilities to send millions of emails.

Justification: EXM scalability and Pete Navarra :)


5. Topic: .NET Core and 9.1 architecture

Speaker: Kern Nerskind Nightingale, Senior Product Manager,Sitecore
              Stephen Pope,Senior Technical Product Manager,Sitecore         
Date:      Wednesday, October 10th
Time:      8:00 – 8.45 A.M

Underpinning the 9.1 release are a number of platform enhancements that, while not immediately obvious, are driving the future of the Sitecore platform. Embrace the revolution to the .NET world that .NET Core represents and discover Sitecore’s journey from monolith to services and the benefits and challenges encountered along the way.


Justification: What a great combination, one of my personal favorite – Kern and Stephen Pope






6. Topic: Finding value in your data: Using Sitecore's Analytics tools to generate business impact

Speaker: Mike Shaw, Product Marketing Manager,Sitecore
Date:      Wednesday, October 10th
Time:      10:00 – 10.45 A.M

Sitecore xDB captures a wealth of data; however, sifting through the data and making heads or tails of it can be overwhelming. Join this presentation to learn how to use all the tools of Sitecore XP to identify, hunt down, and formulate a plan of attack for opportunities within your customers. Mike will show you how he uses a combination of Experience Analytics, Path/Page Analyzer, xProfile as well as some lesser known nuggets to truly gain a 360° view of your site and your customers.

Justification: Mike will show you how he uses a combination of Experience Analytics, Path/Page Analyzer, xProfile


7.Topic: Catching up with Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon: Leveraging the right data sets to drive personalized experiences

Speaker: Derek Barka,Chief Technology Officer,SilverTech
               Avi Patel,Chief Marketing Officer, Fulton Financial Corporation
Date:      Wednesday, October 10th
Time:      11:45 – 12.30 P.M

In this session, learn how SilverTech and Fulton Financial Corporation utilized customer data and Sitecore to drive targeted product offerings to qualified customer segments and next-best product cross-sell opportunities to their existing customer base. Also learn how Lotame, a third-party data management platform (DMP), was integrated into Sitecore to drive personalized product offerings to anonymous visitors through audience segmenting. SilverTech’s Chief Technology Officer, Derek Barka, will speak to how to leverage your existing data, third-party data, and the power of Sitecore Experience Database to deliver a personalized experience to the majority of your site visitors.

Justification: Financial case study

8. Topic: A practical guide to partnership between IT and marketing

Speaker: Derek Barka,Chief Technology Officer,SilverTech
               Kerrin McGuire,Sr. IT BSA,Sophos
Date:       Wednesday, October 10th
Time:       2:00 – 2.45 P.M

Here at Sophos, we’ve built a world class model for partnership between IT teams and marketers. Our successes started with baby steps. In this session, we’ll share our story. You’ll leave the session with practical guides to help you on your journey to greatness. Don’t just let it happen. Make it happen. If it’s already happening, take steps to make the relationship between IT and marketing even better.

Justification: see the bridge between marketing and IT, and how to make the better relationship..


9. Topic: Unlocking the power of Marketing Automation and Email Experience Manager

Speaker: Ben Burns,Product Manager,Sitecore
              Jacob Nielsen,Software Architect,Sitecore
Date:      Wednesday, October 10th
Time:     3:00 – 3.45 P.M

Modern marketing is increasingly focused on the consumer and their personalized experiences. This is done by delivering timely and engaging content, with campaigns built around the customer lifecycle. In this session we will look at best practice, real world scenarios and provide a technical showcase of how to unlock the powerful functionality of Marketing Automation and EXM. We will also showcase the ease of use, flexibility and versatility of the EXM and Marketing Automation products, along with new features to inspire marketers' own campaign strategies.

Justification: real world scenarios on marketing automation and EXM

10. Topic: Using A/B testing and personalization to increase revenue by 22%

Speaker: Richard Lamb,Digital Director,Red Carnation Hotels
               Paul Stephen,CEO, Sagittarius
Date:       Thursday, October 12th
Time:       9.30 – 10.15 A.M

Red Carnation Hotels (RCH) are a collection of seventeen luxury award-winning, family-owned and run, boutique hotels in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the U.S. Sagittarius developed and delivered an industry-leading digital campaign to increase website conversions, utilizing personalization to ensure great digital experience from browsing to booking.

Justification : Red Carnation Hotel, case study on A/B testing and personalization



11. Faster, faster, faster! A Helix approach to DevOps in the light of the Sitecore micro-service architecture

Speaker: Thomas Eldblom,CTO,Pentia
Date:      Thursday, October 12th
Time:      10.30 – 11.15 A.M

Sitecore is no longer a monolithic Architecture but has recently introduced a number of micro-services which has made deployments more complex. In the spirit of Helix, we want to keep it simple and flexible to reduce cost of maintenance and reduce time to market. The session will introduce a scalable, decoupled, layered and technology independent approach to DevOps which can immediately be implemented in your business. Sitecore micro-service architecture. Configuring prerequisites and infrastructure using Powershell, Docker containers, and/or ARM templates. Packaging techniques in a micro service architecture. Item serialisation and database changes. Deployment strategies, Blue/Green. Reconfiguring SIF or ARM templates.

Justification : Sitecore 9 architecture insights


1.5 Day – MVP Summit

Date: 12th and 13th October

I am Excited for my first MVP summit with lots of good session and group discussion.

See you there..



Happy Sitecoring..




Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sitecore Habitat Project is targeting ".NetFramework,Version=v4.6.2", which is not installed on this machine.




Are you facing the same problem, when we are installing the habitat project with Sitecore 9, however,  you have already installed the .Net framework 4.6.2 in your machine, also the 4.6.2 version is not showing in the visual studio project > target framework.

I was also facing the same problem, as I was installing the fresh new Sitecore9 with habitat in the new machine.

After installing the .net framework 4.6.2 again, it was saying “.NET Framework 4.6.2 or a later update is already installed on this computer



After some research, I found the solution, you need to install the “Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2 Developer Pack”

Here I the link, Just download and install it, hopefully it will work, and install the .net framework 4.6.2, just restart the visual studio again, and re-run the solution again.




I hope, this article will help you to configure the habitat project with Sitecore9

Happy Sitecoring..





Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sitecore 9 Installation Error: Cannot retrieve the dynamic parameters for the cmdlet






Are you facing the below error:

“Install-SitecoreConfiguration : Cannot retrieve the dynamic parameters for the cmdlet. Retrieving the COM class factory for component with CLSID
{688EEEE5-6A7E-422F-B2E1-6AF00DC944A6} failed due to the following error: 80040154 Class not registered (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040154
(REGDB_E_CLASSNOTREG))”

It means you are running the wrong version of PowerShell, Yes, if your machine is 64bit, then we have to launch  the right version of PowerShell 64 bit not 32 bit as below:

Solution: you need to launch the correct version of PowerShell

From the Start Menu
  •       Click Start, type ISE, and then click Windows PowerShell ISE.

  

I hope this article will help you and resolve your current issue.

Happy Sitecoring..

Sitecore 9 Installation Failed: PopulateManagedSchema.aspx?indexes=all, "The remote server returned an error: (500) Internal Server Error"






Are you installing the fresh Sitecore 9 and your script failed in the last step 14 of 14, and saying "The remote server returned an error: (500) Internal Server Error" or facing any of the below issues, then might be this post could be very useful for you.

  • http://xp0.sc/sitecore/admin/PopulateManagedSchema.aspx?indexes=all: The remote server returned an error: (500) 
  • Sitecore 9 installation 503 error while requesting http://sc9u2.sc/sitecore/admin/PopulateManagedSchema.aspx?indexes=all
  • Sitecore 9 Installation Fails on Step 14 of 14: "Error requesting http://sc9u2.sc/sitecore/admin/PopulateManagedSchema.aspx?indexes=all"
  • "Handler "AutowiredPageHandlerFactory" has a bad module "ManagedPipelineHandler" in its module list"
  • Error on UpdateSolrSchema step while calling PopulatedManagedSchema.aspx



We faced the similar error while installing Sitecore 9 Update 2, because I was configuring on the new machine with first time .Net/Sitecore installation. 

The problem was due to missing ASP component (ASP, ASP.net 3.5 and ASP.net 4.7) on the IIS.

To install the missing component, follow the below steps:

Go to > Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features
Click > Turn Window Features on or off
Navigate To > Internet Information Services > World Wide Web Services > Application development features

o   ASP
o   Asp.net 3.5
o   Asp.net 4.7




And make sure, all three above option should be checked, if not checked it and click OK.

Hope, it will resolve the issue.



Friday, August 10, 2018

Sitecore 9 installation: .ps1 is not digitally signed?








Are you installation Sitecore 9, Solr or Solr with SSL with PowerShell scripts but facing the below errors:

"script.ps1 :File path\script.ps1 cannot be loaded. The file path\script.ps1 is not digitally signed. You cannot run this script on the current system."


This is because the script you are running is not signed, means scripts is not trusted to be run on the system.

Solution: Need to change the execution policy setting, based on your server policy and requirement, try  to run the below command, it will bypass or run the unsigned scripts for the current session.

Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass

Or

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Or

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

Windows PowerShell has below different execution policies:


  • Restricted - No scripts can be run. Windows PowerShell can be used only in interactive mode.
  • AllSigned - Only scripts signed by a trusted publisher can be run.
  • RemoteSigned - Downloaded scripts must be signed by a trusted publisher before they can be run.
  • Unrestricted - No restrictions; all Windows PowerShell scripts can be run.
  • Bypass-  means nothing is blocked and no warnings, prompts, or messages will be displayed



I hope this blog will help you.

Happy Sitecoring







Sunday, July 15, 2018

Useful Sitecore modules for your project






During the time of new development, we always focus on the new functionality of the website, Go-live date, content population, UAT, production.. etc etc..

But sometime we forget to consider some common non-functional requirement of the project which could be very painful during the maintainability phase of the project , for example – how to implement 301 redirection rules through Sitecore only? What happens if we have unused media items over the period of time – it could be in GBs? And many more.

If your site is content heavy and business is very dynamic to upload the heavy content in day to day operation, then we might come up with the below issues:

  • Too many media library items which is not in used, historical and unreferenced items  
  • Too many version of the Sitecore content Items, which is not using and cause the performance issue.
  • Stale Content
  • URL redirection – you must have some URL which needs to redirect to some new Sitecore pages
  • Analysis the log, you must have some error logs on production, that needs to analyze through Sitecore logs


Today I am discussing some very useful Sitecore modules which we can easily add into our solution to increase the performance and efficiency of the system, also these module will help us to resolve the above issues.

Why we reinventing the wheel, when Sitecore community is here




Use the power of Sitecore community – multiple Sitecore enthusiasms have already invested their time, knowledge, experience to build these common module and it’s available on Sitecore market place without any cost – Yes its free..

I would like to thanks to the Sitecore community members who develop these ready made/deployable module for the other developer’s and placed on the marketplace where developers can easily download and embed these modules into the exiting solution.

No code development required, no addition cost required, No additional time, it’s all free of cost.

This is the power of Sitecore community.

Below are the 5 most useful Sitecore modules which you could consider for your projects:

Sitecore Version Pruner:
The module is pretty simple. Basically, it is just a scheduled task that you can configure to remove old/unused versions from your content tree. Additionally, if you choose, you can preserve removed item versions in 2 ways:
  • Archiving Versions
  • Item Serialization



Stale content
The Stale Content module alerts content editors that it's time to review their content to make sure it says relevant.


301 redirect:
This could be one of the best tool for any web site marketer, this module provides the flexibly to the marketer to configure 301 redirect urls on the fly using wildcard pattern as well
With the 301 Redirect module you can set up rules to manage redirects.  By default, the module sends 301 responses, but you can send other response codes as well.


Sitecore log analyzer
is a powerful tool for parsing Sitecore log files. It provides the interface to explore and navigate through large amount of log data.


Media library analyzer:
Analyze your media library through this module, and you will get to know how much data is not using and can easily achieved or deleted for better performance and storage.


I hope this blog will help you.

Happy Sitecoring

Friday, June 15, 2018

40 Sitecore Abbreviations and Acronyms That Everyone Should Know






If you are working with sitecore technology with any role like developer, architect, marketer, CMS manager, Devops etc, then you must know some common Sitecore acronyms which are heavily used in day to day life conversation.

Sometime we heard “FXM” in the conversation, but we didn't know the meaning of the term and we are afraid to ask, which could through us out of the game of complete conversation.

And FXM is just one example, there are some other common Acronyms in sitecore which gets confusing even for the experienced Sitecore person  for example  FXM, EXM, Speak, xfile, SXA, JSS, SBOS, ML etc





So, I've  complied most common 40+ sitecore acronyms which we can study and build our vocabulary and can help us to navigate with more sitecore topics.  


A/B Testing
Also known as split testing, this is the process of comparing two variations of a single variable to determine which one performs better to improve your marketing efforts. Some popular examples: Email marketing (with variations in the subject line or copy), Landing Pages (with variations in content), and with Search Engine Marketing (testing two ads against one another to see which receives a higher click through rate).

API - Application program interface
(API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Basically, an API specifies how software components should interact

CD - Content delivery
Content delivery servers make your web content available to your website visitors.

CM - Content Management (CM)
Content management (CM) servers enable content editors to create and publish content to a website

CMS
– Content Management Symtem
CMS manages the creation and modification of digital content. It typically supports multiple users in a collaborative environment. CMS features vary widely. Most CMSs include Web-based publishing, format management, history editing and version control, indexing, search, and retrieval. By their nature, content management systems support the separation of content and preparation

CRM - Customer relation management
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and it refers to a set of software programs or apps that let companies keep track of (that's the “management” part) everything they do (the “relationship” part) with their existing and potential customers.

CTA - Call To Action
CTA’s allow you to create a clear and prominent link to other relevant sections within Sitecore, PDFs, and other useful sources of information

CXM - customer experience management
Customer experience management is all about: getting better results by adapting to changes in how your customers are interacting, and where they are interacting with you.

DevOps -  "development" and "operations"
DevOps  is a software engineering culture and practice that aims at unifying software development (Dev) and software operation (Ops)

DEF - Data Exchange Framework

Sitecore Data Exchange Framework is designed to facilitate the transfer of data between systems. It allows you to define the logic needed to read data from a source system, transform that data into a format that is compatible with a target system, and write the transformed data into a target system. 


DMS - Sitecore’s Digital Marketing System
Sitecore DMS is a module within Sitecore CMS which is designed to improve digital marketing strategies and boost website conversions

EP - Engagement Plan (EP)
An engagement plan is a predefined plan that lets you control how your website interacts with some contacts. You use engagement plans to nurture relationships with your contacts by adapting communication to use the content, channels, and media that are appropriate for each individual interaction

EXM - Email Experience Manager
Email Experience Manager (EXM) to create highly customizable email campaigns and make them both personal and relevant to your customers.

FXM - Federated Experience Manager
Federated Experience Manager (FXM) is a module that you use with the Sitecore® Experience Platform™ (XP) to both serve web content as well as capture visitor behavior on non-Sitecore sites

GDPR - The General Data Protection Regulation

GDPR is a European Union (EU) law taking effect on May 25, 2018. GDPR is designed to give greater protection to an individual’s personal information and how it’s collected, stored, and used. There are strict requirements placed on companies that possess the personal data of people located in the EU.

GUID - Globally Unique Identifier
It is a 128-bit integer number used to identify resources

IaaS Infrastructure as a service

IaaS is an instant computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the Internet. Quickly scale up and down with demand, and pay only for what you use.


JSS - Sitecore JavaScript Services
JSS is a complete SDK for JavaScript developers allowing to build full-fledged solutions using Sitecore and modern JavaScript UI libraries and frameworks (React.js and Angular)

ML - machine learning
This is one of the most exciting areas of development in Sitecore 9

ODG's - Online Document Generator

PaaS - Platform as a Service
PaaS, is a category of cloud computing that provides a platform and environment to allow developers to build applications and services over the internet

PCL - Portable Class Library (PCL)
The Portable Class Library project enables you to write and build managed assemblies that work on more than one .NET Framework platform.

PXM – Print experience manager
PXM is a platform that provides a bridge (various bridges, in fact) between Adobe InDesign and Sitecore. It can be used for various use cases such as;

RTE - Rich text Editor
A special box that allows you to enter or modify text and links without having to use programming code

SBOS - Sitecore Business Optimization Strategies.
Supports Sitecore customers and implementation partners through their transformation from marketing with a brand-centric, static web presence to marketing with a personalized, contextual, omnichannel digital platform that creates great customer experiences and builds loyal customers

SDN - Sitecore Developer Network
Developer Network website

SIF - Sitecore Installation Framework
The Sitecore Installation Framework is a Microsoft PowerShell module that supports local and remote installations of Sitecore, and it is fully extensible

SIM - (Sitecore Instance Manager)

SIM is an open source tool for managing the local park of Sitecore instances. You can install, locate, maintain, reinstall or delete Sitecore products. It has API and plugin engine so you can extend it for any your need

Solid - In object-oriented computer programming, the term SOLID is a mnemonic acronym for five design principles intended to make software designs more understandable, flexible and maintainable. The principles are a subset of many principles promoted by Robert C. Martin
S stands for SRP (Single responsibility principle
O stands for OCP (Open closed principle)
L stands for LSP (Liskov substitution principle)
I stands for ISP ( Interface segregation principle)
D stands for DIP ( Dependency inversion principle)"   

SPE - Sitecore PowerShell Extensions     
SPE Module is a Sitecore development accelerator which can drastically increase your productivity and curtail the amount of time it takes to deliver a Sitecore solution.

Speak - Sitecore Process Enablement & Accelerator Kit
Speak  is a framework for developing Sitecore applications with a consistent interface quickly and easily.

SPN - Sitecore Partner Network
Sitecore partner website

SSC - Sitecore.Services.Client
Sitecore.Services.Client provides a service layer on both the server and the client side of Sitecore applications that you use to develop data-driven applications.

SXA - Sitecore Experience Accelerator
SXA separates structure from design, so front-end designers, creative designers, content authors, and developers can work in parallel and you can deploy and maintain multiple sites quickly and cost effectively

TDS - Team Development for Sitecore
TDS Reduce deployment time, ensure team integration, and create an environment in which you can easily and quickly move code from your local environment all the way through your development workflowTFS                   

UTC - Universal Time Coordinated

UX - User Experience
User experience encompasses the overall experience a customer has with a business, from their discovery and awareness of the brand all the way through their interaction, purchase, use of a service or product, and even the advocacy of the brand. To deliver great customer experience, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Think about what would appeal to them in terms of your product or service           

WCM - Web content management         

WDP - Web Deploy Packages    

WFFM - Web Forms for Marketers
Sitecore's free module that allows marketers to create and publish simple forms

WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get        

xConnect
xConnect is the service layer that sits in between the xDB and any trusted client, device, or interface that wants to read, write, or search xDB data

XC - Sitecore Experience Commerce

XC deliver personalized shopping experiences by integrating commerce and digital marketing

xDB - Experience Database
The Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) is a big data marketing repository that collects and connects customer interactions to create a comprehensive, unified view of each individual customer

xFile - Sitecore Experience Profile
The Experience Profile lets you monitor the behavior of contacts that have interacted with your company or with your website

XM - Sitecore Experience Manager         
the Sitecore Experience Manager (XM) empowers you to deliver the right content, to the right person, exactly at the right time

XP – Sitecore Experience platform
World-class content management combined with deep data insights deliver omnichannel, personalized interactions in real time                      

XSLT - Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations
Xslt is a language for transforming XML documents into other XML documents, or other formats such as HTML for web pages,

I have missed out a few obvious one, please add in the comment, I will update accordingly.

I hope this blog will help you.

Happy Sitecoring