Author Archives: Bas Lijten

How to query xConnect using the tracker ContactID in Sitecore

There are situations where not all custom facets have been loaded into your session, or where you want to explicitly check for updates on a custom facet in xConnect, for example when external systems might have been making changes to this facet. This blogpost explains how to use the trackerContactID to query xconnect, which can be used to get these custom facets.

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Increase your (Sitecore) performance by enabling the local cache on Azure App Services

Although this blog focuses primarily on Sitecore, this blogpost is applicable for any application which is hosted on an Windows Azure App Service.

The file system,which is used by Azure App Services, always points to D:\home, but it is in fact a link to a (slow) performing share. Sitecore can greatly benefit from enabling a local cache, this blogpost describes how to enable this cache.

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Warmup your application on Azure App service when scaling up and swapping slots using “Application Initialization”

A common problem on Azure web apps when scaling up or swapping slots is “stuttering”. At the moment an instance is added to the pool (scale out) or your swap is swapped (reload the app on the slot), your application is “cold , which means that your application on that instance needs to be reloaded. In the case of Sitecore (or other large applications), this may take a while. In this period, visitors may face a long loading time, which may take up to a few minutes.

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Azure DevOps parallel deployment

Speed up your deployments – parallel app service deployments in Azure DevOps

Note: Although this blogpost series is focused towards deploying Sitecore with the speed of light, all the information in this blogpost regular web applications and app service deployments

Deploying multiple web deployment packages to multiple app services may take some time. Where parallel jobs in the Build are possible, this is not possbile (yet) in Azure. ARM templates could be used (but I am not 100% sure), but we chose to use app service deployments, as it gives us much more flexibility.

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Automate your pipeline part 1: World’s fastest delivery pipeline for Sitecore on Azure

On October 9th I presented for the 3rd time at the Sitecore Symposium. In my previous blogpost I described shared how I felt during the creation of this presentation and on the day itself. In this series of blogposts I’ll describe every subject I discussed during my presentation, which will, in the end, enable you to setup your own fully automatic deployment pipeline using standard Microsoft technologie such as msbuild, msdeploy, nuget and Azure DevOps. This blogpost is just a container for all the upcoming blogposts (which is subject to change). When you are missing a subject, feel free to get in touch with me.

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Private Sitecore nuget feeds using VSTS – why we don’t use Sitecore myget and how we work with package management

First of all: hands down to Sitecore when they created the nuget feed a while back: it’s really, really convenient to be able to use a nuget feed for all those Sitecore packages, including their dependencies. But we had some issues with the way Sitecore versions it’s packages, the fact that we use multiple versions of Sitecore and the way we wanted to provision our own reusable sitecore-specific nuget packages. Aside from that; our existing nuget-feed was a NAS which had many, many performance issues. In the end we came up with a private nuget feed per Sitecore version which contains all the Sitecore assemblies for that specific version, its dependencies and our own reusable nuget packages for that specific Sitecore version.

Source can be found on github

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Federated Authentication in Sitecore – Error: Unsuccessful login with external provider

I faced this error quite a few times now and I always forget what the root cause of this error was. To keep me away from debugging and reflecting code again I wrote this blogpost 😉When the claim http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/nameidentifier is not present, Sitecore will throw this exception, although a successful login may happen! This blogpost explains the root cause and how to solve the issue

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How to update the default hashing algorithm for Sitecore 9 to SHA512 using msdeploy

A few years ago I already blogged on updating the default hashing algorithm that Sitecore used. It’s ancient, unsafe and it’s for a change! Luckily, with the introduction of msdeploy packages and the Sitecore on Azure templates, this becomes easy, without having to (manually) change the password after the hashing upgrade and manually changing the hashAlgorithm in the web.config. This can be done by using msdeploy the tool to install and create msdeploy packages.In my previous blogpost I already showed how to add parameters to the web deploy packages, in this approach I am going to show how contents can be changed using this technique. The benefit of this approach is that it can be used with the out of the box Sitecore packages, and, when used as a source for the initial deployment, the right algorithm will be used deploy time and everything will be automated. This method might look a little bit cumbersome, because a manual change might work, but with tens to hundreds of environments, you just want to have everything automated as much as possible.

Source can be found here:

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