Sitecore Wildcard Pages with Item Buckets & Azure Search

I've used the Wildcard Page concept within Sitecore in a couple of solutions for clients in the past and have always enjoyed the clever piece of design that they are each time I've done so. I recently proposed using a Wildcard page solution in our Sitecore 8.2 Azure PaaS solution using Azure Search and decided to share some of my initial thoughts and learnings here. What is a Wildcard page?Essentially a Wildcard page is a special page within your solution which is often denoted by having the item name "*" or a specific page template. The idea being that…

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Sitecore on Azure PaaS File I/O errors

During the move to Azure PaaS there have been a few instances where we've noticed a series of errors being logged about file I/O issues which often result in instances dying within a PaaS "load balancer". The error will look something like this: Sitecore on Azure PaaS File I/O errors "Too many changes at once in directory:D:\home\site\wwwroot\" Each time I've had to trawl through the Azure Kudo powershell file system view looking for where on earth some files are being written to so I thought I'd share a couple of (seemingly obvious upon reflection)…

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Sitecore Development Tools | Test your Sitecore Queries

Sitecore Development Tools | Test your Sitecore Queries

As a 'back in the day' Sitecore developer I used to do more with Sitecore Queries than I'd care to admit. Recently I was looking for a 'good' way to set up a rendering with a default location which worked in a multi-site solution and was playing with Sitecore Queries once again. It occurred to me that the tooling that used to be available is no longer accessible through the Sitecore back end. I did a bit of digging and I located a whole host of useful tooling which I'd known about at some point in the past but which…

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Sitecore Helix modular & three-tier architecture patterns - why not both?

I have discussed the Helix design patterns before and I really love their modular approach to code architecture however whilst trying to discuss this with some colleagues and working out the cleanest way to work with Helix and a Multi-site Sitecore solution it occurred to me that if you are familiar with the "Enterprisey" Three-tier design architecture principles, well the same principles can be applied to your Helix development at a modular level. Let's take a look at a super simple example.. Let's say your website has a Feature layer project for "Navigation". In a multisite scenario, you'll likely find…

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Sitecore Build & Release with VSTS & Azure PaaS

It's been quite some time since we started our journey using Sitecore 8.2 and Azure PaaS. There has been no small amount of experimentation, failings and most importantly, learnings as we worked towards an automated build and release pipeline using VSTS so I thought I would take the opportunity at long last to share some of my experiences. This was the first time I'd tried using Azure PaaS and to be fair, it was very early days for Sitecore supporting PaaS as well. While using the bleeding edge technologies is fun and exciting, it can result in a lot…

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Sitecore 8.X and Helix - Initial thoughts

Last month was the start of an exciting new website development project to bring my company's Sitecore website into the current era. I'd been aware of the Sitecore Helix design approach for quite some time and was interested in the idea however this finally afforded me the opportunity to really explore what it was all about while I was shopping around for the right approach to building the new site. Pros of the Helix Design Approach Although there are many design approaches out there in the wild, it's the first time in my memory that Sitecore themselves have released a…

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