Tag Archives: Sitecore 7.5

How to suspend sitecore schedule publishing – aborting the publish pipeline is not enough, it requires an exception!

The customer wanted the ability to suspend scheduled publishing, but could still make manual publishes (i.e. started from the Sitecore client).

Each time a publish is started it runs the publish pipeline. Therefore it is possible to insert a custom pipeline step at the beginning (see below) to do the following:

  1. Identify if it was a scheduled publish
  2. Check if a check-box in Sitecore is ticked
  3. If both conditions are met – abort the publish pipeline to stop the publish

publish pipeline

Unfortunately aborting the publish pipeline is not enough ūüė¶

In the initial code I would abort the pipeline using AbortPipeline() (see below) as I assumed this was enough to stop the publish. The pipeline was aborted and no items were published, but the code that starts the pipeline still updated the properties table indicating that the publish had succeeded:-(

code

Side affect

This had the side effect that when the schedule publishing was enabled again, any items that were modified or created whist the publishing was disabled would not be published as when scheduled publishing was resumed Sitecore believed that they had already been published.

Solution

After checking the code using reflector I determined if I threw an exception, it would ensure that the properties table was not updated. So the publish was completely cancelled, and when scheduled incremental publishing was resumed it will publish all the items that have been modified since the last successful publish, and not since the last aborted publish.

How to identify a scheduled publish

Not the nicest solution but it works! I check the publish context user which can have the following values:

  1. The user logged into sitecore – If publish is started from the Sitecore client
  2. sitecore\Anonymous ‚Äď if the publish is started by the scheduler

If the value is sitecore\Anonymous I know that it is a scheduled publish.

is schedules

 

 

 

Sitecore – property change events flooding the Event Queue in the Core database

I had an issue that the EventQueue table in the Core database which was being flooded with events, which in turn was responsible for causing bad performance.

This was caused by the fact that each time the Lucene indexes are updated Sitecore raises the database:propertychanged event.

event queue core datbase

 

The default implementation subscribes to the event and adds it to the EventQueue table in the core database.¬†I set the ‚ÄúDays To Keep‚ÄĚ events to 1 day – but it still inserts over 100000 events a day ūüė¶

Sitecore have registered this as a bug, but as yet there is no fix for 7.5 or 8.

Solution

This is not very nice at all, but  it was the best we could do as a workaround for this issue. The credit for this solution must go to my colleague Peter Wind (@peterwind) who is created the hack!

Use reflector to get the code for the default Sitecore.Eventing.Remote.RemoteEventMap class (defined in Sitecore.Kernel.dll), and create your own class, see below.

own class

Modify the SetupGlobalEventSubscribers function, so you subscribe to the database:propertychanged event – but do not add the event to the EventQueue, see below.

code change

The last step is to update the configuration in the web.config to use your new and improved class.

config

note: I have the support case number in the namespace & DLL name –¬†so when the bug is fixed, I can remove this code and in addition any other developer at Pentia can see the history related to this support issue and why I have done such a nasty fix.

Anyway I hope this helps somebody out there ūüôā

 

Sitecore SPEAK Insert Link Dialog – missing icons & sitecore tree ‚Äď Don‚Äôt panic, U didn’t break it!!!!

I was upgrading a solution from 6.2 to 7.2 and it had a number of custom fields that no longer worked,  so I started to fix the code.

One of the custom fields showed the SPEAK  Insert link dialog and after making a lot of changes, I noticed that I had broken the SPEAK dialog, see below

Speak dialog....

I reviewed the changes I had made, and could not see what could have caused this issue? But to be on the safe side, I undid all of my changes, did a full build, etc and still I had the issue ūüė¶

So I tried to open the dialog from a sitecore standard field, and it was also broken ūüė¶

Solution

Whist starting to panic, after 5 minutes I noticed that the dialog had fixed itself!!!!

It appears that after a restart of the website the first time you open the¬†“Insert link” dialog you have to wait 5 minutes for it to start working, after that it works straight away.

 

 

 

Sitecore 7.5 SQL Provider (WFFM 2.5) – Download for specific data range

Version 1.4 is now released and is available either as a sitecore package at sitecore marketplace or you can get the source from Github (for more details see the original post for the module)

Firstly I have to say thanks to Paul Martin (@sitecorepm) as he implemented these new features.

It is now possible to specify a date range for exporting the SQL entries (see image).

date range

The following setting  defines the delimiter to be used to separate the columns in the CSV file.
¬† ¬† ¬† <setting name=”WFFM.SQLServer.SaveToDatabase.CsvDelimiter” value=”;” />

 

The following setting  defines the delimiter to be used to separate the columns in the CSV file.
¬† ¬† ¬† <setting name=”WFFM.SQLServer.SaveToDatabase.CsvDelimiter” value=”;” />

 

 

Sitecore Upload Media Dialog Hangs (System.UnauthorizedAccessException)

I have a customer that was experiencing that for some users the SPEAK upload dialog would hang (well was not finished after 30 minutes). It would appear that the image had been uploaded (see below) but it never finished.

Media Upload dialog hangs

After some investigation I found that the users did not have access (create, write or delete) to the media root folder, but the strange thing is that the item was created, but the blob field was empty?

item created in the root

With a lot editors around the world soon the root folder was full of items without images, when I checked the log I could see that in fact a System.UnauthorizedAccessException was being cast (see complete exception below) but not because the item could not be created, but because it was not possible to write to the item?

The user did not have the create permission, so why was the item created? And why does the upload dialog not warn about the user they can not create and or write to an item? so I reported this to Sitecore and they have registered it as a bug and the following hot fix is available:

Sitecore CMS 7.5 rev. 141003 Hotfix 431794-1

If you don’t want to install a support DLL and JavaScript an alternative workaround is to  switch to the non-SPEAK version of the Select Media dialog by performing the following steps:

  1. Edit the /App_Config/Include/Sitecore.Speak.Applications.config file;
  2. Comment out the following lines:
   <overrideXmlControls>
      <override xmlControl="Sitecore.Shell.Applications.Media.MediaBrowser" with="/sitecore/client/applications/Dialogs/SelectMediaDialog" />
   </overrideXmlControls>

Complete Exception

Exception: System.Web.HttpUnhandledException
Message: An unhandled exception occurred.
Source: Sitecore.Mvc
   at Sitecore.Mvc.Pipelines.MvcEvents.Exception.ShowAspNetErrorMessage.ShowErrorMessage(ExceptionContext exceptionContext, ExceptionArgs args)
   at Sitecore.Mvc.Pipelines.MvcEvents.Exception.ShowAspNetErrorMessage.Process(ExceptionArgs args)
   at (Object , Object[] )
   at Sitecore.Pipelines.CorePipeline.Run(PipelineArgs args)
   at Sitecore.Mvc.Pipelines.PipelineService.RunPipeline[TArgs](String pipelineName, TArgs args)
   at Sitecore.Mvc.Filters.PipelineBasedRequestFilter.OnException(ExceptionContext exceptionContext)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeExceptionFilters(ControllerContext controllerContext, IList`1 filters, Exception exception)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeAction(ControllerContext controllerContext, String actionName)
   at Sitecore.Mvc.Controllers.SitecoreActionInvoker.InvokeAction(ControllerContext controllerContext, String actionName)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Controller.<>c__DisplayClass22.<BeginExecuteCore>b__1e()
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.<.cctor>b__0(IAsyncResult asyncResult, Action action)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Controller.EndExecuteCore(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncVoid`1.CallEndDelegate(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Controller.EndExecute(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.MvcHandler.<BeginProcessRequest>b__5(IAsyncResult asyncResult, ProcessRequestState innerState)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncVoid`1.CallEndDelegate(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at Sitecore.Mvc.Routing.RouteHttpHandler.EndProcessRequest(IAsyncResult result)
   at System.Web.HttpApplication.CallHandlerExecutionStep.System.Web.HttpApplication.IExecutionStep.Execute()
   at System.Web.HttpApplication.ExecuteStep(IExecutionStep step, Boolean& completedSynchronously)
Nested Exception
Exception: System.UnauthorizedAccessException
Message: The current user does not have write access to this item. User: XXX\yyy, Item: Desert ({B1793B35-A61D-40AC-869F-4AD66A752234})
Source: Sitecore.Kernel
   at Sitecore.Data.Items.ItemEditing.BeginEdit()
   at Sitecore.Resources.Media.MediaData.SetBlobStream(MediaStream mediaStream)
   at Sitecore.Resources.Media.Media.SetStream(MediaStream mediaStream)
   at Sitecore.Resources.Media.MediaCreator.AttachStreamToMediaItem(Stream stream, String itemPath, String fileName, MediaCreatorOptions options)
   at Sitecore.Resources.Media.MediaCreator.CreateFromStream(Stream stream, String filePath, MediaCreatorOptions options)
   at Sitecore.Controllers.MediaController.Upload(String database, String destinationUrl)
   at lambda_method(Closure , ControllerBase , Object[] )
   at System.Web.Mvc.ReflectedActionDescriptor.Execute(ControllerContext controllerContext, IDictionary`2 parameters)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionMethod(ControllerContext controllerContext, ActionDescriptor actionDescriptor, IDictionary`2 parameters)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.<>c__DisplayClass15.<InvokeActionMethodWithFilters>b__12()
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionMethodFilter(IActionFilter filter, ActionExecutingContext preContext, Func`1 continuation)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionMethodFilter(IActionFilter filter, ActionExecutingContext preContext, Func`1 continuation)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionMethodWithFilters(ControllerContext controllerContext, IList`1 filters, ActionDescriptor actionDescriptor, IDictionary`2 parameters)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeAction(ControllerContext controllerContext, String actionName)

Missing dialog’s after upgrading to Sitecore 7.5

After upgrading to Sitecore 7.5 there where a number of SPEAK dialog’s (select media dialog, insert item link, etc) that would open and show the front page of the website?

I eventually tracked it down to they fact that their where a number of duplicated SPEAK items in the core database see the image below and the fact that the solution had some custom code which showed the front page if an item has no renderings defined (not a good idea).

items

 

I believe that whist upgrading a update package failed and or did not remove the unused items.

Solution

Delete all the items that have the folder icon, and then all the dialog should work again, of course take a backup of the items before deleting them.

SQL Provider (SaveToDatabase Action) for Web Forms For Marketers (WFFM 2.5 ‚Äď Sitecore 7.5)

With the release for WFFM 2.5 for Sitecore 7.5; SQL server is no longer supported (see release notes) as each time a form is submitted it automatically saves the form data in the xDB (MongoDB) and associates it with the current contact (used to be called visitor).

I believe MongoDB is a much better choice than SQL for storing non-structured data that is generated by WFFM and in addition it can also be used to tailor the experience to the current contact (visitor) i.e. don’t show them the form if they have already filled it out, etc.

Problem

Unfortunately I have a number of customers that want to upgrade to Sitecore 7.5, but due to a number of business and operational reasons are not ready to migrate MongoDB. Therefore they wish to continue storing their form data in the existing SQL database.

Solution

I decided to create a simple SQL provider for WFFM 2.5, that would allow customers to continue saving/retrieving data frm the existing SQL database.

The shared source module¬†WEB FORMS FOR MARKETERS 2.5 – SQL PROVIDER (SAVETODATABASE)¬†is available at Sitecore’s marketplace¬†and the source code is available at GitHub.

This initial version is very simple and provides the following functionality:

  • Save data to a WFFM SQL database (SaveToDatabase Action).
  • Retrieve all submitted data for a given form.
  • Download the data as a CSV file (see separate blog post)
  • Specify a date range to be exported¬†(see¬†article)
  • Define the CSV¬†Delimiter¬†(see¬†article)

It was my intention to port the forms report viewer from a previous version, but the architecture has changed considerably to accommodate xDB and it would have required me to re-code and override a lot of classes. In addition there were a number of UI control libraries that the forms report viewer relies upon which are no longer used/bundled with Sitecore 7.5.

Therefore I intended to implement the ability to down load the data for a given form as an CSV file. So the data can be analysed and sorted using Excel, which in my experience is how the majority of customers used WFFM data.

Installation

Install the WFFM.SQLServer.SaveToDatabase-1.4.zip package, note you prompted that the Save to database item already exists, select overwrite and aply, see below

overwrite

Ensure the WFM.ConnectionString settingin /app_config/include/Sitecore.Forms.config is set to the name of the connection string for the WFFM SQL database i.e.

<setting name="WFM.ConnectionString" value="wfm" />

where the “wfm” connection is defined as follows:

<add name="wfm" connectionString="user id=[USER ID];password=[password];Data Source=[Server];Database=[WFM DATABASE];Connect Timeout=30" />

How To Save Data

Like previous version of WFFM you use the “Save To Database” action to save the submitted form data to the SQL database.¬†The SaveToDatabase action is still¬†/sitecore/system/Modules/Web Forms for Marketers/Settings/Actions/Save Actions/Save to Database.¬†In fact it is the same item from previous versions, so all existing forms that use the SaveToDatabase action will¬†continue to work without making any changes.

save to database item

The only change is that class is WFFM.SQLServer.SaveToDatabase.Infrastructure.Actions.SaveToDatabase, from the WFFM.SQLServer.SaveToDatabase assembly.

Retrieve data for a given Form

To Insert new form data and retrieve data there is a FormReposiotry class which has a Get function to retrieve a list of form data for a given form id, seee below

public IEnumerable<IForm> Get(ID formId)

I have added a button to download data as CSV see this article.

And it is now possible to specify a date range to export and the delimiter used to separate the columns in the CSV file (see article)

Links

marketplace.sitecore.net/Modules/Web_Forms_for_Marketers_SQL_SaveToDatabase.aspx

github.com/TakeitEasyAlan/WFFM-SQL-Server-SaveToDatabase