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

Content sync with RAZL script


Hi Sitecore Enthusiastic,

Recently come across very great strategy to sync content between two instances of Sitecore using a very powerful tool called Razl form Hedgehog.

Please read more about Razl here.

I have used this tool before mainly to compare the content between two different databases. For example production CM and Pre-production CM. Today, I came across very new and great features with latest version of Razl offering call tasks and executing task using Razl scripts.

It is offering content sync tasks to be exported in a file(or call script) as xml format and later one can use that to sync data in different environment using Razal script.

For more information about Razl task, read official document here.

The great part of this task is you can cherry pick what you want to sync out of the whole Sitecore content tree. You can go deep up to the field level with your sync task.

once you have a list of tasks ready, you simple can export that as script and execute it with command or create scheduler task to run that script using command and it will do the sync between source and target connections.

Razl.exe /script:Migrate.xml
Razl.exe /script:"c:\Site Migration\Razl.xml"

Even if you want to go one level further you can automate this sync task post publishing(perhaps not ideal, if frequent publishing is happening) or you can hook it post deploy task in you CD script(if your build contains TDS/unicorn content items).

You must be wondering this is great tool and great way to sync, but what if I am trying to sync big chunk of content items!!!???.
You can use another great feature of Razl called Lightening Mode(obviously you can configure this in you script as well). This mode really boost the performance of sync script if your CoplyAll task is configured to do bulk copying of items.

As far as logging concern, Razl Script mode will output actions as they happen to the command prompt, this output can be written to a text file if required using following command sample.

Razl.exe /script:"c:\Site Migration\Razl.xml" >> c:\logs\RazlScriptLogs.txt

Tip: Single arrow > will create the file if missing and if exist, overwrite the content of file.
Double  arrow >> will create the file if missing and if exist, it will append to the file.

If a log folder has been already configured in the Razl GUI than Script mode will also write to the log file under configured log folder.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Content Sync…!!!

Reference
Script – https://hedgehogdevelopment.github.io/razl/script.html
Connections – https://hedgehogdevelopment.github.io/razl/connections.html
Lightning mode – https://hedgehogdevelopment.github.io/razl/comparing.html#lightning-mode