Event Queue Trouble shooting


Recently we have got an weird issue reported by our content authors on production. They mentioned the content are not reflected on website after they been publish or even re-publish.

First I wanted to check does the Publishing service doing all right and publishing contents correctly. Checked and it was working absolutely fine. I did switch to web database and validated recently published content. After some initial trouble shoot, discovered on CDs, the cache is not been clearing upon successful publish.

This leads my thought to suspect event queue table may have been flooded with lots of entry and may need a clean.

Did a eventqueue table cleaning as mentioned here and things did not went to normal. Still published changes were not reflecting on the website.

Now, I need to dive into detail to understand what is happening in eventqueue table.

The Properties table holds the last event execution time stamp against all the CDs.

To get that last run timestamp follow below steps:

  1. go to your web app and open the Kudu advance tool.
  2. Navigate to Environment page from menu in header
  3. Get the Machine Name from System Info section
  1. Open SSMS and connect to Database
  2. Open new query window for the database which is configured as your Event Queue database( in our case we have configured dedicated one. By default it is web)
  3. Run below query to get the last run time stamp for that CD instance
SELECT * FROM Properties where Key LIKE '%WEB_EQSTAMP_<<MACHINENAME>>%' ORDER BY Value DESC
  1. Replace<<MACHINENAME>> in above query with machine name from step 3 above

Depending on how may instances your selected CD is running, it will show you that may rows (by default there will be two rows for each CD. one is for Production instance and another for pre-prod instance). The value column holds the Time stamp value of last run.

Now, that we have the last run time stamp for the CD, we can get the list of all pending events for this CD instance by running below query.

  SELECT * FROM EventQueue WHERE Stamp >= CONVERT(VARBINARY, <<TIMESTAMP>>) ORDER BY Created DESC

Replace the <<TIMESTAMP>> with the value from previous query.

By combining all queries together, the final query will look like below

SELECT * FROM EventQueue WHERE Stamp >= 
  (
    SELECT CONVERT(VARBINARY, Value) from [Properties] where [Key] = 'WEB_EQSTAMP_<<MACHINENAME>>'
  )
  ORDER BY [Created] DESC

After all this investigation, it is clear that CD servers are not triggering remote events registered in dedicated event queue table.

Did little more investigation and found out wrong event queue configuration files has been deployed to CDs accidentally and that was causing this behavior. We placed the correct config files for dedicated event queue and the peace has been established on CD role again.

Happy Event queue trouble shooting…!!!

References

Sitecore Unicorn Exclude Fields


While you have a high functional developers team working on multiple Sitecore projects with same code base, it is very vital to keep the local development environment as stable and functional as possible and also keep PR short.

While achieving that stage, we came across one small issue which is intern made me to write a blog in my journal what you are reading now.

The Issue

While reviewing PRs, we observed, there is one Unicorn’s .yml file come as default to quite a few PRs. The change it has got was just few fields updated.

After quick initial investigation, found out that yml file is nothing but one of the Data Exchange Framework(DEF) batch processing item in Sitecore content tree under system node.

After bit more investigation, it turns out the sitecore’s schedule task is triggering that DEF batch process. But that raise another question, why that schduler task item is not coming as changed item list as it is also source controled using Unicorn.

The Resolution

Lets focus on the second question for now, as it has quite a quick and simple answer.

The \App_Config\Include\Unicorn\Unicorn.config has one section called <fieldFilter> which takes care of it. As few frequently value changing fields has already been excluded from being serialized (smart stuff Unicorn Developers).

That section is looking like below

<fieldFilter type="Rainbow.Filtering.ConfigurationFieldFilter, Rainbow" singleInstance="true">
					<exclude fieldID="{B1E16562-F3F9-4DDD-84CA-6E099950ECC0}" note="'Last run' field on Schedule template (used to register tasks)" />
					<exclude fieldID="{52807595-0F8F-4B20-8D2A-CB71D28C6103}" note="'__Owner' field on Standard Template" />
					<exclude fieldID="{8CDC337E-A112-42FB-BBB4-4143751E123F}" note="'__Revision' field on Standard Template" />
					<exclude fieldID="{D9CF14B1-FA16-4BA6-9288-E8A174D4D522}" note="'__Updated' field on Standard Template" />
					<exclude fieldID="{BADD9CF9-53E0-4D0C-BCC0-2D784C282F6A}" note="'__Updated by' field on Standard Template" />
					<exclude fieldID="{001DD393-96C5-490B-924A-B0F25CD9EFD8}" note="'__Lock' field on Standard Template" />
				</fieldFilter>

So now, for my initial issue to fix , I simply have to add a field I wanted to exclude form being serializedin to this fieldFilter section.

So, I created new patch configuration file (as best practice suggests) an try to patch my new exclude fields under the node <fieldFilter>. At first, I did add the config like following

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/" xmlns:role="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/role/" xmlns:environment="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/environment/">
	<sitecore role:require="Standalone or ContentManagement">
		<unicorn>
			<defaults>
				<!--
					The field filter can be used to ignore fields when comparing or serializing (i.e. don't write them to disk).
					Commonly, metadata fields such as Last Updated will be ignored to prevent SCM conflicts.
				-->
				<fieldFilter>
					<exclude patch:after="exclude[@fieldID='{001DD393-96C5-490B-924A-B0F25CD9EFD8}']" fieldID="{985BA535-0F3E-4DA8-A768-A469026DE9DB}" note="'RequestedAt' field of DEF's Pipeline Batch item" />
					<exclude patch:after="exclude[@fieldID='{001DD393-96C5-490B-924A-B0F25CD9EFD8}']" fieldID="{6A2B2CBB-4338-4814-A8A9-9FECBB90456A}" note="'LastRunFinished' field of DEF's Pipeline Batch item" />
					<exclude patch:after="exclude[@fieldID='{001DD393-96C5-490B-924A-B0F25CD9EFD8}']" fieldID="{2AA5C591-FF55-411D-96C0-978BB2C58B94}" note="'Log' field of DEF's Pipeline Batch item" />
				</fieldFilter>
			</defaults>
		</unicorn>
	</sitecore>
</configuration>

But this has weird patching when I see showconfig.appx. It actually replaces first three entries form the original xml…!!!???

I did ask God(google) and found that sitecore sometime does not patch correctly if proper attributes are not used. Someone suggest to use hint attribute to control the patching.

I did replace my patching config attribute note with the hint and eureka….!!!

This is the final configuration patch file looks like.

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/" xmlns:role="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/role/" xmlns:environment="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/environment/">
	<sitecore role:require="Standalone or ContentManagement">
		<unicorn>
			<defaults>
				<!--
					The field filter can be used to ignore fields when comparing or serializing (i.e. don't write them to disk).
					Commonly, metadata fields such as Last Updated will be ignored to prevent SCM conflicts.
				-->
				<fieldFilter>
					<exclude patch:after="exclude[@fieldID='{001DD393-96C5-490B-924A-B0F25CD9EFD8}']" fieldID="{985BA535-0F3E-4DA8-A768-A469026DE9DB}" hint="'RequestedAt' field of DEF's Pipeline Batch item" />
					<exclude patch:after="exclude[@fieldID='{001DD393-96C5-490B-924A-B0F25CD9EFD8}']" fieldID="{6A2B2CBB-4338-4814-A8A9-9FECBB90456A}" hint="'LastRunFinished' field of DEF's Pipeline Batch item" />
					<exclude patch:after="exclude[@fieldID='{001DD393-96C5-490B-924A-B0F25CD9EFD8}']" fieldID="{2AA5C591-FF55-411D-96C0-978BB2C58B94}" hint="'Log' field of DEF's Pipeline Batch item" />
				</fieldFilter>
			</defaults>
		</unicorn>
	</sitecore>
</configuration>

After this, Unicorn re-serialized the DEF pipeline batch items and happy days….!!!!

Note:

There is new feature “fieldTransforms” available in Unicorn 4.1 and later version but I have not able to get that working on my project setup. But, something worth exploring for next time.

References

Sitecore SXA – Way of adding Custom Front End Assets


The Sitecore has change the website development with launch of the SXA with their first release and now they have make their vision very clear about how to quickly ship the website to market via this very powerful tool.

The Issue

While working on one of the SXA website build project, I came across one strange finding. Even if you selected Bootstrap 4 as your grid system for website. There are may out of the box bootstrap css classes are missing. This leads to some investigation ad found of the Sitecore SXA has ported just grid related styles(bootstrap-grid.css) to Sitecore SXA but not the full bootstrap main css(bootstrap.css)

Now, I have two concerns, first how can we add this the Sitecore SXA way without touching existing MVC layout or creating new layout? and Secondly, how can you only enable/import this to selective websites?

The Fix

After some googleing and reading few of Sitecore documents, found following steps will help get the answers to both above mentioned concerns.

  1. Create new base theme item of type /sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Theming/Base Theme under path /sitecore/media library/Base Themes (one can use insert options too). In my example I have given name bootstrap 411.
  2. Create a Styles folder item of type /sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Theming/Folders/Styles (one can use insert option) under the newly created base theme item above.
  3. Upload the css file to this styles folder using media upload feature. In my example I have uploaded bootstrap.css
  4. Navigate to the site specific theme item under media library. For example, /sitecore/media library/Themes/Tenant1/Website1
  5. In the Base Themes multi-select link field select the newly created base theme item in step 1 above
  6. Publish all newly created items in step 1 and 2
  7. Publish altered website specific theme item

Verification

New styles should work if the newly added stylesheet render on the page. To verify style link is render on website page or not we need to turn The Asset Optimizer off for the site (by default this is on and if it is already turned off you can skip these steps)

  1. In the Content Editor, navigate to sitecore/content/<Tenant>/<Website>/Presentation/Page Designs.
  1. In the Asset Optimization section, in the Styles Optimizing Enabled and Scripts Optimizing Enabled fields, to override styles and scripts optimization settings, select:
    • Default – to inherit global settings.
    • Yes – to always enable optimization for this site.
    • No – to always disable optimization for this site.

3. Publish the Page Design Item

4. Navigate to the web application in the browser and open the page view source and look for the newly created item path in the head section. In my example, looking for bootstrap-411(don’t mind the hyphen as it is due to link manager options settings)

<link href="/-/media/base-themes/bootstrap-411/styles/bootstrap.css" rel="stylesheet" />

Further to verify, also check other website within the same CMS and check the page source view for absence of newly added stylesheet.

In above example, we have added Style Sheet asset but this same can be done for Scripts assets as well

Happy Sitecore SXA website development…!!!

References

Sitecore Docker – Run CM sites on HTTPS


While working on the integrating Sitecore’s CM’s functionality with third party Digital Asset Management(DAM) system, I came across one interesting issue where I wanted my container applications to run on https.

The Issue

After integrating the third party DAM with Sitecore CMS, it found out that, while using local website on developer machine, the developer is not able to load the SSO login page. While loading that page below error messages logged in browser’s console.

Access to the WebCrypto API is restricted to secure origins. Compact View requires HTTPS when used outside localhost (for development).

As clearly stated I am not using localhost as host to access my cm and seems like CM needs to be securely severed over https where as we, for local development, use non secure protocol http.

The Fix

The solution is simple looking form 35,000 feet. Needs CM urls to be serving content over the secure HTTPS protocol. But when actually started digging in details, it is fun and very learning experience.

Performed following steps to achieve this on our local docker development environment.

  1. Clone or download below repository

https://github.com/michaellwest/docker-https

  1. Open the startup/createcert.ps1 for editing and change following parameter’s default value
  • $certificatepassword – from b to more secured passowrd string
  • $dnsNameList – by default the value is *.dev.local. Change this value to match your host pattern. You can specify individual host comma(,) separated.

Note

Alternatively, you can can pass those two as parameter while firing createcert.ps1 command.

3. Open docker-compose.yml file and navigate to cm service and perform following changes:

  • Add new environment parameter HOST_HEADER and set cm host value to it. If you have multiple host(this is what in my case), specify them semicolon(;) separated list. For example host1.dev.local;host2.dev.local
  • Under the volumes bind the new volume for folder startup to c:\startup path of container.
  • Under the port bind the https’s default secure port 443 with the next available container port

Note

The container host port needs to be new port which is not been use by any other services.
  • Lastly, change the entypoint to the path of startup.ps1 file under the startup folder bound under the volumes in above step for startup folder.

After all above changes to CM service of docker-compose.yml file will look something like below

services:
  ...
  cm:
    image: ${REGISTRY}sitecore-xm-cm:${SITECORE_VERSION}-windowsservercore-${WINDOWSSERVERCORE_VERSION}
    entrypoint: powershell.exe -NoLogo -NoProfile -File C:\\startup\\startup.ps1
    volumes:
      - .\src:C:\src
      - .\startup:C:\startup
    ports:
      - "44001:80"
      - "44002:443"
    networks:
      default:
        aliases:
          - cm.dev.local
          ...
    environment:
      HOST_HEADER: cm.dev.local
      ...

4. Copy folder startup and it’s content to same folder where your docker-compose.yml file is.

5. Open the powershell in elevated mode and execute following command

PS> cd <<docker-compose.yml file's folder path>>
PS> ./startup/createcert.ps1

Above powershell script will generate three files cert.cer, cert.pfx and cert.password.text under the startup folder.

This command will also generate the self-signed wildcard certificate and install to your system’s local certificate store under personal.

To verify that run mmc and open local computer certificate store.

Self signed wildcard certificate for *.dev.local

6. Now, is the time to fire up the container for sitecore. To do so run following docker compose command

PS> docker-compose up -d

After successful execution the container services will be up and one can access the host binding with https. For example https://cm.dev.local in this case.

Advance trouble shooting

  1. To check the certificate is exist after the createcert.ps1 script execution. This command can be run on both your local and against cm container as well.
PS> Get-ChildItem -Path cert:\LocalMachine\Root


PS> Get-ChildItem -Path cert:\CurrentUser\Root

  1. To verify the binding under the container’s IIS for the specified hosts use following commands
PS> Get-Website -Name 'Default Web Site'
  1. To get all the bindins and their port details for a website
PS> Get-WebBinding -Name 'Default Web Site'

References

Sitecore Powershell Reports – Export Functionality not working


The QA team, we are working with has raised a very interesting issue while testing newly created data report using Sitecore Poershell Extenstion(SPE).

The Issue

The data report was executing perfectly but while trying to export the data in any of pre-defined formats offered by SPE, it was not working.

The Sitecore Powershell is allowing export of report data in various industrial standard formats out of the box as listed below:

  • CSV
  • HTML
  • XML
  • Excel
  • JSON

These formats have option links in the ribbon above but when clicking, none of those producing any output.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Investigation

First step is to try to reproduce the issue. We tried on all the available environments and it is happening on every environment except for the local environment.

I though the issue may have to do with some missing config or SPE. So, we quickly try to re-install the SPE module on CM with no over-write option for both files and content on Integration Environment. But that does not fix the issue. ☹

So, we started listing what are the major difference from modules and features point of view between local development and other environments on Azure. It turns out that all other environments have exactly the same piece of code, configurations and modules installed except for Federated Authentication using Sitecore Identity Server for CM.

The Fix

We did quick search over the internet and one of my colleague found out that there is one file which is disabled for SPE which needs to be enable if we are using sitecore 9.1 and higher(we are running 9.3) along with identity server.

The file needs to be enabled is Spe.IdentityServer.config file which is part of the SPE package.

Once package is installed, the file is located at path <<website Root>>\App_Config\Include\Spe\Spe.IdentityServer.config.disabled. The content of this disabled file is as below.

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/" xmlns:role="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/role/" xmlns:security="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/security/">
  <sitecore role:require="Standalone or ContentManagement" security:require="Sitecore">
    <pipelines>
      <owin.cookieAuthentication.validateIdentity>
        <processor type="Sitecore.Owin.Authentication.Pipelines.CookieAuthentication.ValidateIdentity.ValidateSiteNeutralPaths, Sitecore.Owin.Authentication">
          <siteNeutralPaths hint="list">
            <!-- This entry corrects the infinite loop of ExecuteCommand in the SPE Console -->
            <path hint="spe">/sitecore%20modules/PowerShell</path>
          </siteNeutralPaths>
        </processor>
      </owin.cookieAuthentication.validateIdentity>
    </pipelines>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

Tip: The best way to get these config enable in Docker container world, is to leave the above mentioned .disabled file as is. Create new configuration file with above content in Visual Studio solution deploying to z folder under app_config\include on your binding volume path which will be taken care by Sitecore config patching.

Enjoy exporting SPE reports data…!!!

References

https://github.com/SitecorePowerShell/Console/releases
https://doc.sitecorepowershell.com/troubleshooting

Sitecore Docker -Coveo Diagnosis Page Search Rest Endpoint Issue


While configuring Coveo search on my local development environment using Docker, something got my attention on Coveo’s diagnosis page(<<Sitecore CM Host>>/sitecore modules/Web/Coveo/Admin/CoveoDiagnosticPage.aspx).

This page has all the green ticks except for the one. This is Coveo Search REST Endpoint. See image below for more details.

Coveo Diagnostic Page REST API Error
Coveo Diagnostic Page REST API Error on Docker

As usually, I copied the API end point URL and hit in the Browser and it serve the request with no error. It is HTTP-200 response with valid JSON result.

The error in the log file also not giving any lead either.

Coveo.SearchProvider.Applications.BaseVerifier.VerifyComponent(:0) ERROR StateVerifier has encountered an error while verifying the component "Coveo Search REST Endpoint".<br>Exception: Coveo.SearchProvider.Applications.StateVerifierException<br>Message: Failed to obtain resource located at 'http://sicore930.dev.local/coveo/rest/'. See inner exception for details.<br>Source: Coveo.SearchProvider.Applications<br>at Coveo.SearchProvider.Applications.CommonStateVerifier.TryPingRestEndpoint(String p_Endpoint)<br>at Coveo.SearchProvider.Applications.CommonStateVerifier.<>c__DisplayClass11_0.b__0()<br>at Coveo.SearchProvider.Applications.BaseVerifier.VerifyComponent(Func`1 p_VerifyMethod, String p_ComponentName)

I opened docker powershell command for the cm container and tried to request the host from within container.

PS> Docker container ls

Grab the name or container id

PS> Docker exec -it <<container name/id>> powershell

This will open a powershell window connected to the container specified.

PS> Invoke-RestMethod -Uri "http://sitecore930.dev.local/coveo/rest" | ConvertTo-Json

It has given me following error

Now things are little clear to me. The Coveo diagnosis page is using current host to make REST API request from IIS server running on the container. The container does not have host file entry to reseolve the host url.

So now, I started searching how to make entry in container’s host file??? I was sure, I am not the first person who wanted this kind of stuff.

Following command has does the trick. but for that we need to first fire up the command prompt of the cm container.



PS> Docker exec -it <<container name/id>> powershell

Once the CM’s command prompt is ready execute below command to add the host file entry.



C:> echo 127.0.0.1 sitecore930.dev.local >> "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts"

After executing above command on Container’s command prompt, now my Coveo Diagnosis page is Happy…!!!

Please do let me know, is there any better solution you guys have in place for this issue.

Till that time happy Coveo searching…!!!

Additional powershell command to check the content of the file:



PS> Get-Content -Path <<fully qualified file path>>

Sitecore Docker – SQL Databse connection issue


Psssss… This is more as a note to myself..!!!

While setting my local environment for development on Sitecore 9.3 using docker, I came across below issue.

Docker - The network path was not found
Docker SQL Connection Issue
[Win32Exception (0x80004005): The network path was not found]

[SqlException (0x80131904): A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server)]
   System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionPool.TryGetConnection(DbConnection owningObject, UInt32 waitForMultipleObjectsTimeout, Boolean allowCreate, Boolean onlyOneCheckConnection, DbConnectionOptions userOptions, DbConnectionInternal& connection) +1341
   System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionPool.TryGetConnection(DbConnection owningObject, TaskCompletionSource`1 retry, DbConnectionOptions userOptions, DbConnectionInternal& connection) +159
   System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionFactory.TryGetConnection(DbConnection owningConnection, TaskCompletionSource`1 retry, DbConnectionOptions userOptions, DbConnectionInternal oldConnection, DbConnectionInternal& connection) +382
   System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionInternal.TryOpenConnectionInternal(DbConnection outerConnection, DbConnectionFactory connectionFactory, TaskCompletionSource`1 retry, DbConnectionOptions userOptions) +307
   System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.TryOpenInner(TaskCompletionSource`1 retry) +198
   System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.TryOpen(TaskCompletionSource`1 retry) +422
   System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.Open() +199
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.DataProviderCommand..ctor(IDbCommand command, DataProviderTransaction transaction, Boolean openConnection) +113
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.<>c__DisplayClass26_0.<CreateCommand>b__0() +48
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.NullRetryer.Execute(Func`1 action, Action recover) +293
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.<>c__DisplayClass29_0.<CreateReader>b__0() +30
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.NullRetryer.Execute(Func`1 action, Action recover) +293
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.SqlDataApi.CreateReader(String sql, Object[] parameters) +281
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.SqlDataProvider.GetContentLanguages() +169
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.SqlDataProvider.LoadLanguages() +133
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.SqlDataProvider.GetLanguages() +49
   Sitecore.Data.SqlServer.SqlServerDataProvider.ExecutePreLoadItemDefinitionSql(String sql, Object[] parameters, SafeDictionary`2 prefetchData) +52
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Retryer.ExecuteNoResult(Action action, Action recover) +539
   Sitecore.Data.SqlServer.SqlServerDataProvider.LoadInitialItemDefinitions(String condition, Object[] parameters, SafeDictionary`2 prefetchData) +237
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.SqlDataProvider.EnsureInitialPrefetch() +333
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.Sql.SqlDataProvider.GetPrefetchData(ID itemId) +62
   Unicorn.Data.DataProvider.UnicornSqlServerDataProvider.GetItemDefinition(ID itemId, CallContext context) +242
   Sitecore.Data.DataProviders.DataProvider.GetItemDefinition(ID itemID, CallContext context, DataProviderCollection providers) +156
   Sitecore.Data.DataSource.GetItemInformation(ID itemID) +88
   Sitecore.Data.DataSource.GetItemData(ID itemID, Language language, Version version) +32
   Sitecore.Data.Engines.TemplateEngine.GetdefaultSectionOrder() +118
   Sitecore.Data.Engines.TemplateEngine.InternalGetTemplates() +486
   Sitecore.Data.Engines.TemplateEngine.GetTemplate(ID templateId) +184
   Sitecore.XA.Foundation.SitecoreExtensions.Extensions.DatabaseExtensions.GetContentItemsOfTemplate(Database database, ID templateId) +126
   Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Multisite.SiteResolvers.EnvironmentSitesResolver.ResolveAllSites(Database database) +63
   Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Multisite.Providers.SxaSiteProvider.GetSiteList() +162
   Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Multisite.Providers.SxaSiteProvider.InitializeSites() +105
   Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Multisite.Providers.SxaSiteProvider.GetSites() +18
   System.Linq.<SelectManyIterator>d__17`2.MoveNext() +265
   Sitecore.Sites.SiteCollection.AddRange(IEnumerable`1 sites) +221
   Sitecore.Sites.SitecoreSiteProvider.GetSites() +258
   Sitecore.Sites.DefaultSiteContextFactory.GetSites() +253
   Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Multisite.SiteInfoResolver.get_Sites() +60
   Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Multisite.Pipelines.Initialize.InitSiteManager.Process(PipelineArgs args) +85
   (Object , Object ) +9
   Sitecore.Pipelines.CorePipeline.Run(PipelineArgs args) +490
   Sitecore.Pipelines.DefaultCorePipelineManager.Run(String pipelineName, PipelineArgs args, String pipelineDomain, Boolean failIfNotExists) +236
   Sitecore.Pipelines.DefaultCorePipelineManager.Run(String pipelineName, PipelineArgs args, String pipelineDomain) +22
   Sitecore.Nexus.Web.HttpModule.Application_Start() +220
   Sitecore.Nexus.Web.HttpModule.Init(HttpApplication app) +1165
   System.Web.HttpApplication.RegisterEventSubscriptionsWithIIS(IntPtr appContext, HttpContext context, MethodInfo[] handlers) +584
   System.Web.HttpApplication.InitSpecial(HttpApplicationState state, MethodInfo[] handlers, IntPtr appContext, HttpContext context) +168
   System.Web.HttpApplicationFactory.GetSpecialApplicationInstance(IntPtr appContext, HttpContext context) +277
   System.Web.Hosting.PipelineRuntime.InitializeApplication(IntPtr appContext) +369

[HttpException (0x80004005): A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server)]
   System.Web.HttpRuntime.FirstRequestInit(HttpContext context) +532
   System.Web.HttpRuntime.EnsureFirstRequestInit(HttpContext context) +111
   System.Web.HttpRuntime.ProcessRequestNotificationPrivate(IIS7WorkerRequest wr, HttpContext context) +724

The error speaks itself, that the CM and/or CD was not able to connect to underlying SQL server. SO, I immediately opens the SSMS and try to connect to my SQL server running as container on my local and I am successfully able to connect both using IP address as well as using alias(in my case it’s sql).

So what’s the issue??? When I am able to connect to SQL server running in container using outside of the Docker created network than why my CM and/or CD instance is not able to connect to it within the same network???

I check inward and outward binding ports setting in docker-compose.yml file for SQL service. Double check connection strings for server name, user name and password and that all looks correct.

Thanks to one of my colleague, who points out my docker-compose file was missing hostname for SQL server service.

I have added them to my docker-compose.yml for SQL, SOLR and XCONNECT and happy days.

The sample docker-compose.yml is as below.

version: '2.4'

networks:
  dev.local:

services:

  sql:
    hostname: sql
    image: ${REGISTRY}sitecore-xp-sxa-coveo-def-sqldev:${SITECORE_VERSION}-windowsservercore-${WINDOWSSERVERCORE_VERSION}
    networks:
      dev.local:   
    volumes:
      - .\data\sql:C:\Data
    mem_limit: 2GB
   
    ports:
      - "44010:1433"
    environment:
      SA_PASSWORD: ${SQL_SA_PASSWORD}
      ACCEPT_EULA: "Y"

  solr:
    hostname: solr
    image: ${REGISTRY}sitecore-xp-sxa-solr:${SITECORE_VERSION}-nanoserver-${NANOSERVER_VERSION}
    networks:
      dev.local:
    volumes:
      - .\data\solr:C:\Data
    mem_limit: 1GB
    networks:
      dev.local:
    ports:
      - "44011:8983"

  xconnect:
    hostname: xconnect
    image: ${REGISTRY}sitecore-xp-xconnect:${SITECORE_VERSION}-windowsservercore-${WINDOWSSERVERCORE_VERSION}
    volumes:
      - .\data\xconnect\logs:C:\inetpub\wwwroot\App_Data\logs
      - .\data\xconnect-appdata\models:C:\inetpub\wwwroot\App_Data\Models
    networks:
      dev.local:
    ports:
        - "44012:80"
    mem_limit: 1GB
    environment:
      SITECORE_LICENSE: ${SITECORE_LICENSE}
      SITECORE_SITECORE:XCONNECT:COLLECTIONSEARCH:SERVICES:SOLR.SOLRREADERSETTINGS:OPTIONS:REQUIREHTTPS: 'false'
      SITECORE_SITECORE:XCONNECT:SEARCHINDEXER:SERVICES:SOLR.SOLRWRITERSETTINGS:OPTIONS:REQUIREHTTPS: 'false'
      SITECORE_CONNECTIONSTRINGS_MESSAGING: Data Source=sql;Database=Sitecore.Messaging;User ID=sa;Password=${SQL_SA_PASSWORD}
      SITECORE_CONNECTIONSTRINGS_PROCESSING.ENGINE.STORAGE: Data Source=sql;Database=Sitecore.ProcessingEngineStorage;User ID=sa;Password=${SQL_SA_PASSWORD}
      SITECORE_CONNECTIONSTRINGS_REPORTING: Data Source=sql;Database=Sitecore.Reporting;User ID=sa;Password=${SQL_SA_PASSWORD}
      SITECORE_CONNECTIONSTRINGS_XDB.MARKETINGAUTOMATION: Data Source=sql;Database=Sitecore.MarketingAutomation;User ID=sa;Password=${SQL_SA_PASSWORD}
      SITECORE_CONNECTIONSTRINGS_XDB.PROCESSING.POOLS: Data Source=sql;Database=Sitecore.Processing.Pools;User ID=sa;Password=${SQL_SA_PASSWORD}
      SITECORE_CONNECTIONSTRINGS_XDB.REFERENCEDATA: Data Source=sql;Database=Sitecore.ReferenceData;User ID=sa;Password=${SQL_SA_PASSWORD}
      SITECORE_CONNECTIONSTRINGS_COLLECTION: Data Source=sql;Database=Sitecore.Xdb.Collection.ShardMapManager;User ID=sa;Password=${SQL_SA_PASSWORD}
      SITECORE_CONNECTIONSTRINGS_SOLRCORE: http://solr:8983/solr/sitecore_xdb
    depends_on:
      - sql
      - solr

DEF – Pipeline batch ribbon button issue


This is going to be a short blog for fixing issue I came across while working on custom pipeline creation and execution for Sitecore’s Data Exchange Framework(DEF or DxF).

The issue

While the Pipeline Batch item is selected, buttons on DATA EXCHANGE toolbar at top does not behave how they should.

Immediately after selecting pipeline item, I noticed all buttons in ribbon is visible and clickable. Secondly, clicking on Run Pipeline Batch Button does not works. I was neither starting execution of pipeline nor displaying any visible error messages. See below image for more details:

The fix

I started investigation and collecting events what could have done the damage. Found that before last deployment it was behaving the way it should be. Huuummm… that’s good hint, isn’t it? The last release just deployed files to CMS server. This is soothing to my ears as investment scope is drastically reduced to files. The content automatically gone out of equation.

To fix this, I tried install DEF SDK package first with just deploying file artifacts and skipping any content installation.

Unfortunately, that does not work ….!!! 😦

Next best bet is obvious and try to re-install the DEF framework package with deploying files only.

And that does the trick ….!!!! (Dance)

Update:

The file \App_Config\Sitecore\DataExchange\Sitecore.DataExchange.Local.config was missing. Placing this file from Package has actually fixed the issue.

Happy Data Sync and import using Sitecore Data Exchange Framework. 🙂

Sitecore CMS not showing graph on Launch pad


This morning when I login to one of none production environment I found that the graph was not loading on Sitecore CMS launch pad.

When I did into more details and found out the ajax request to get the data are failing with server error(HTTP-500). As shown in below image the response of the API call does not providing any information or clue.

Immediately, I jumped onto logs and found following entry in there.

 The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.

The full exception looks like below.

50616 09:48:50 ERROR [Experience Analytics]: System.Net.WebException: The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.
   at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse()
   at Sitecore.Xdb.Reporting.Datasources.Remote.RemoteReportDataSourceProxy.GetData(ReportDataQuery query)
   at Sitecore.Xdb.Reporting.ReportDataProvider.c__DisplayClass18_0.b__1()
   at Sitecore.Xdb.Reporting.ReportDataProvider.GetCachedDataForQuery(ReportDataQuery query, Func`1 ifNotAvailableInCache, Nullable`1 ifModifiedSince)
   at Sitecore.Xdb.Reporting.ReportDataProvider.ExecuteQueryWithCache(ReportDataQuery query, ReportDataSource dataSource, CachingPolicy cachingPolicy)
   at Sitecore.Xdb.Reporting.ReportDataProvider.GetData(String dataSourceName, ReportDataQuery query, CachingPolicy cachingPolicy)
   at Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.Api.ReportDataService.ExecuteQuery(IReportQueryData queryData, CachingPolicy cachingPolicy)
   at Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.Api.ReportingService.RunQuery(ReportQuery reportQuery)
   at Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.Api.Http.AnalyticsDataController.Get(ReportQuery reportQuery)

Fix

After further investigation found out the Reporting keys were not aligned between CM and Reporting server in the ConnectionStrings.config file.

<add name="reporting.apikey" connectionString="84090dc97055b10532a054da067df368" />

Further reading

Razl Service Timeout Issue


While using Razl syncing couple of large content sub-trees under Sitecore this morning, it has prompted for below error after progressing for while.

Error 'The HTTP request to 'http://xxx.xxx/_CMP/RazlService.asmx' has exceeded the allotted timeout of 00:04:59.9990000. The time allotted to this operation may have been a portion of a longer timeout.' getting Sitecore items.

The fix for above issue is to increase timeout period for the http request to classic web service. After applying following fix, it has started working as expected.

  • Navigate to the root folder of the website mentioned in above error message
  • navigate to _CMP folder and open web.config file for editing
  • Add following line to the web.config file under <system.web> node
<httpRuntime targetFramework="4.6.2" maxRequestLength="512000" executionTimeout="600" />
  • Save the web.config file
  • Close all running instances of Razl
  • Re-run Razl

Happy Content Sync, folks…!!!