Author Archives: Bas Lijten

Sitecore on Azure – design considerations to be more cost efficient and have more performance

After working for quite a while with a lot of Sitecore workloads on Azure, we have built up quite some experience with regards to scale and costs management. Although Sitecore has some predefined topologies, there may be various reasons why they will work or won’t work for you. From what we have seem, those topologies are not the most costs effective ones and having different requirements might lead to different choices in terms of what tier is right for you. This series of blogposts gives an overview of choices that could be made and a small indication of the costs estimation for two of the Sitecore of Azure workloads (the Single and Large setup). Please note that some choices might only be valuable for XP or only for XM, or even not be beneficial at all, as there is not cookie-cutter solution for everything. Continue reading

JSS beginner issues: Placeholder ‘xxx’ was not found in the current rendering data

Currently, I am researching JSS and I must say: it’s great. So far, I ran into a few issues and although the documentation is great (I would recommend everyone to checkout the styleguide in the default app!), I am sure that people will run into the same issues as I did. I’ll share short blogpost on these issues. Today number 1:
‘Placeholder ‘xxx’ was not found in the current rendering data’
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Using Application Insights Annotations and how to trigger them within your application

Recently I discovered the possibility of adding notes to specific point s in time on the application insights classic metrics. This is a very interesting way of marking specific, important events in your application lifecycle, for example, deployments. It turns out, that an Azure DevOps extension exists to mark application deployments, This might be a point in time where your applications starts to behave differently, due to a bug or new functionality. These events may arise from your application as well. An interesting event could be the time of publishing content in a Content Management System, as it might influence the behaviour of your web application. This blogpost explains how to use annotations in application insights and the things that don’t work (yet)

Source code can be found here

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Enabling the application map in Application Insights for Sitecore to monitor your Sitecore infrastructure and webclients

In the out of the box configuration for Sitecore on Azure, application insights has been enabled by default. However, this configuration is optimally configured. In normal situations, it’s very valuable to have insights in your infrastructure: what connections provide a lot of errors, latency or other issues. This blogpost explains on how to get these insights with for Sitecore.

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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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