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September 25, 2016 / kiranpatils

MongoSessionStateProvider might slow down your application


Since couple of weeks, Have noticed some performance issues with couple of projects, I was involved. Basically their page load was taking 20 seconds to load and when you look at other things like:

  1. Sitecore log
  2. PublishQueue
  3. History
  4. EventQueue
  5. and so on

Everything seems normal. Then we figured out that we are using MongoSessionStateProvider for these clients and after doing some steps we have been able to load pages in normal load time! So, what we did to tackle the situation? What we learnt during this challenge? Curious to know? We are also curious to share. Here you go:


First of all, If Session, SharedSession etc. Confuses you or scares you. Then don’t worry. You are not the only one in this Sitecore world. There are a lot of folks like you. And the best thing is someone already wrote simplified version of it for you – Thanks to Martina! Please read these awesome articles:

Let’s Talk About Session State

What’s in a session: What exactly happens during a session, and how does the xDB know who you are?

Enough Basics. Let’s get back to main point. Live site pages were loading in 20 seconds and as it was slow LB was saying you guys [CD servers] are not healthy. I am not giving you any requests to serve. After doing basic check we thought we should take memory dump and analyze it. Dump revealed that Sitecore is waiting for Mongo to respond. So, we though to look in to Mongo DB and after clearing session collection from session and sharedSession Mongo DB. Things came back to normal.

You can do it using RoboMongo you can do it using UI.


But If you don’t have RoboMongo connection. Then you can do it using Mongo Shell Commands :

  • show dbs
  • use <db>
  • show collections
  • db.sessions.drop()

Do it for both session and sharedSession database. That’s it!

Then thought to get views on this issue with Sitecore support ticket and during discussion found one BUG and some learnings which says it is good to use SQL Session State Provider instead of Mongo

Support discussion:

Support Team : If you use two different database, the Shared Session State provider might not create a required index on the session collection. As a results, a MongoDB instance can be high overloaded and start producing symptoms like in your case.

Using Robomongo tool, can you please check if there is the e_1__id.s_1__id.a_1 index in the session collection?

The index definition must look like below:

Name: e_1__id.s_1__id.a_1
    “e” : 1,
    “_id.s” : 1,
    “_id.a” : 1
We : We found this index only on session database. It is there in Session and Not Shared Session DB. Do you want us to create it manually?
Support Team :

Yes, you must create the  e_1__id.s_1__id.a_1 index to avoid overloads of your MongoDB server. Otherwise, the Sitecore.SessionProvider.MongoDB.MongoSessionStateProvider might put down the server when retrieving contact’s sessions for your web site visitors.

Using Robomongo tool, please add manually the index:

  • Name: e_1__id.s_1__id.a_1
  • Keys:
    “e” : 1,
    “_id.s” : 1,
    “_id.a” : 1
I have registered this issue as a bug in the current version of Sitecore. To track the future status of this bug report, please use the reference number 114604.
Support Team :  Sitecore Azure modules has been designed to work with xDB Cloud only. Technically, you can bring your own MongoDB server, Processing/Aggregation, Reporting Services and Search server and plug them in, but you have to do it manually, and then reconfigure Editing Farm as Content Management (CM) role and Delivery Farm as Content Delivery (CD) role. Otherwise, the module deploy configuration from a deployment center as is and a farm will behave as CM/CD/Processing/Aggregation, Reporting Services, which cause many collisions and unpredictable behavior.

If you bring your own Sitecore xDB, you must:

    Disable Sitecore xDB Cloud for both Delivery and Editing Farms. Select the /sitecore/system/Modules/Azure/{Environment}/{Location}/{Farm}/Role01/{Staging | Production}/Options/xDB Cloud Edition item and release/uncheck the Enabled check box in the Data section.
    Update the Deployment Type Exclude Files [Applied to specific Deployment types only (CD/CE)] field in the /sitecore/system/Modules/Azure/{Environment}/{Location}/{Farm}/Role01/{Staging | Production} item with a list of disabled *.config files, which you can find in the following article:
        For Delivery Farm – Configure a content delivery server.
        For Editing Farm – Configure a content management server.
    Bring your own:
        Sitecore installation that is configured as the Processing/Aggregation role according to the Configure a processing server article.
        Sitecore installation that is configured as the Reporting Services role according to the Configure a Reporting Service server article.
        Solr server for hosting a distributed sitecore_analytics_index.
        Collection MongoDB Server that is configured according to  Configure a collection database server to the article.
        Reporting SQL Server that is configured according to the Configure a reporting database server article.
        Session database servers that is configured according to the Configuring session database servers article.

For more information what servers Sitecore XP requires please see the Configuring Servers article.

Please note Sitecore xDB Cloud it not only MongoDB server. There are many other components with dedicated servers and services. For more information about xDB Cloud please see the xDB Cloud overview article.

We :  We’ve already done these steps
Support Team : Sitecore XP product is shipped with Sitecore.SessionProvider.MongoDB.MongoSessionStateProvider and Sitecore.SessionProvider.Sql.SqlSessionStateProvider session state providers. Where first uses MongoDB as session storage and the second one uses SQL Server. You can use either one and there isn’t not specific recommendation, but SqlSessionStateProvider provider might be a bit faster, and most of the customers typically prefer using SQL one in combination of Sitecore Azure + Sitecore xDB Cloud.
We : The article presented here . 
says: “These performance enhancements move the session state store to SQL Server tempDB which is the standard practice recommended by Microsoft. However, this is not supported on Windows Azure.
For more information see Session-State Modes on MSDN.”

Support Team : There is one think you have to do before deploying Sitecore Sessions SQL database to Azure SQL Databases service.

Run the following scrip to drop the CreateTables stored procedure that is not used.
USE [Sitecore_sessions]
/****** Object:  StoredProcedure [dbo].[CreateTables] ******/
DROP PROCEDURE [dbo].[CreateTables]

For more information on how to deploy Sitecore databases to Azure SQL Database see the following article:

> Why does the Sitecore document states that performance enhancements are not supported in Windows Azure, can you elaborate and help us understand why?
The performance optimization that the Performance Boost.sql scrip brings is based on the tempdb, which is not supported by Azure SQL Databases. Therefore, you can’t apply the script and have to remove the CreateTables stored procedure, which relates to the script.

Web Analysis:

  1. During MVP Summit, lot of people said. Good to use SQL Provider instead of Mongo
  2. Good thread : “Currently (in SC8), the Session state provider on Mongo is a bit slower than SQL Server (~20%). Apparently this is a thing on the side of the implementation of the session provider itself and it shall be fixed in the upcoming version of Sitecore. The reason for chosing Mongo over SQL is mainly because of simplicity and the characteristic of the session data. You could still use SQL Server with Mongo though.”

    ” At the moment, I would recommend the sql session provider. I have laerned about some performance issues on certain circumstances with the mongo session provider – so right now, I will recommend sql in any situation.”

  3. Wait for Sitecore to come up with Redis Provider — Which is happening soon. Redis is a winner for Out Proc session storage — Refer Martina‘s article.

Quick summary:

  1. If you can switch to SQL Session State provider do it!
  2. If not, then make sure you add Index manually to sharedSession DB
September 25, 2016 / kiranpatils

Sitecore Content Testing not working?


We use Content Testing, A/B Testing a lot for all our clients. And you need to do that. Correct? Because that’s why they invested heavily in Sitecore license.

We were trying to enable it for one of our client as per this article :

But it was not working. I got involved in this project later on. So, had no idea what’s going on. Spent sometime figuring out to make it work. And I think it will be good for you as well to know this. In case, you also face similar issues.


We started looking at Solution and found one thing.  In past due to Performance issues in experience editor Sitecore folks asked us to disable Sitecore.ContentTesting.Requests.ExperienceEditor.SuggestedTestsCountRequest class to prevent excessive calls to database  [Sitecore.ContentTesting.Requests.ExperienceEditor.SuggestedTestsCountRequest class to return 0]. As we were on Sitecore 8.0 Update-2 we had to write our custom code. But it has been fixed in Sitecore 8.0 Update-3 (“The Experience Editor slowed down when there was a large number of Suggested Tests. This has been fixed. (434105)”) after analyzing a bit and having a Sitecore support discussion we thought this seems not be main reason for A/B Testing. But that was theory. Wanted to prove it.

So, Installed plain Sitecore on my local machine and configured Automated Test which was working! Then gradually started adding all configurations and custom code related to A/B testing in plain Sitecore and finally, Have been able to find out root cause. Eager to know? What it is? Let me share

Basically, When we did upgrade we were not using ContentTesting. So, we disabled it using our custom patch file:

<configuration xmlns:patch="">
      <setting name="ContentTesting.AutomaticContentTesting.Enabled">
        <patch:attribute name="value">false</patch:attribute>
      <setting name="ContentTesting.GenerateScreenshots">
        <patch:attribute name="value">none</patch:attribute>
      <setting name="ContentTesting.PhantomJS.EnableJavaScript">
        <patch:attribute name="value">false</patch:attribute>

After reverting those attributes to Original it started working. Then we did some reading on those attributes and here’s what we learnt:

  1. ContentTesting.AutomaticContentTesting.Enabled : Determines whether automatic content testing features should be enabled.Default value: true
  2. ContentTesting.GenerateScreenshots : Determines when screenshots should be generated.Must be one of ( all | limited | none ) Default value: all. Basically, It takes screenshot of all possible variations
  3. ContentTesting.PhantomJS.EnableJavaScript : Determines whether the PhantomJS tool should allow JavaScript on pages. Default value: true

Here is the working config:

<configuration xmlns:patch="">
      <setting name="ContentTesting.AutomaticContentTesting.Enabled">
        <patch:attribute name="value">true</patch:attribute>
      <setting name="ContentTesting.GenerateScreenshots">
        <patch:attribute name="value">all</patch:attribute>
      <setting name="ContentTesting.PhantomJS.EnableJavaScript">
        <patch:attribute name="value">true</patch:attribute>

P.S. Thanks to Eric. Who worked on this issue along with me and Thanks to Sitecore support team as well!

Happy Content Testing!🙂

September 19, 2016 / kiranpatils

Sitecore MVP Summit and Symposium basics from the field

Hey Sitecorian, I’m sure you must have been seeing lot of Buzz about Sitecore MVP Summit and Sitecore Symposium which was happening at NOLA.

This was my second Sitecore event. First one was at Dreamcore Europe in 2011. This one was lot different than last one. Especially, Because of two things:

  1. Sitecore community has grown a lot!
  2. Sitecore is taking this event at a bigger scale – Thanks to their event committee!

So, luckily I was part of this event. Thanks to Horizontal Integration for sponsoring us. 30 people from HI were there. As THIS IS OUR DOMAIN:

It was a great event. Full of information, which will take sometime for me to digest. I took a lot of notes. And I thought to blog and share with you as well. So, If you might have missed this event. Because of any reason – No Visa, Lack of finance, Other plans, Family reasons, or anything else. Then this post is for you.

Again, event was full of experience. And I won’t be able to share same experience with you e.g. We did Go-Karting, Been on boat etc. — That thing I can’t share. But i can surely share knowledge and I am sure you will feel that experience via  this article:

Media images

  • Sitecore MVP Summit : MVP Summit happens every year to appreciate all MVP efforts. Sitecore demonstrates new things first hand to MVPs/VIPs🙂 Lot of MVPs and Sitecore employees reached here on Sunday night and they were chatting till early morning Monday — That’s what happens when passionate people gets connected. Monday — It started with registration and Keynote. Followed by lot of sessions. And in evening we went on boat — Awesome experience! Second day we went to NOLA Motorsports — We had sessions there, Round table discussions and finally we did Go-Karting. Few pictures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Inspired? Want to become MVP? Start learning and start sharing. This article might help you

  • Sitecore Symposium : MVP Summit is only for MVPs. But Symposium is for everyone. For Partners – To show their potential and connect with future clients, Developers and Marketing folks to connect with each other, And everyone presents their learnings. This event also started by Welcome reception and registration first day then second day a Keynote from Michael Seifert with a new experience and demand more theme. Followed by back to back sessions and big party at House of Blues. Second day was also full of learnings. Few pictures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Topic Basic How it affects you? Remark
Developer Marketing/


Future of Form  Something new coming up in Forms You should be aware of this  This will way you work with Forms


 Unfortunately, can’t share lot on this as it is under MVP NDA
Commerce Future It will be known as Sitecore



Engine is built on .NET Core

If you are looking for E-Commerce with Sitecore then you must need to check this

Same as last column

Very configurable – Commerce engine on .NET Core
Idea Management If you have any idea to improve Sitecore. Post it here: Sitecore Product team will funnel it using Prod Pad If your wish list/idea gets voted – It has higher chance to get it done You can also post One more example of Sitecore listens!
Nuget Sitecore assemblies are available on Sitecore Nuget : Better to use nuget.config and commit in repository along with .sln file

Avoid using references

Sitecore on Azure Lot of great things coming up. Removing Azure module. Support for ArmViz Templates, Support for Redis,


Just a note: MS is sun setting Cache extensions soon. So, if you have Cache worker role and using session. You need to upgrade or find alternative

You will not need Azure Module. You can directly publish on Cloud Services from Visual Studio


You will be able to CM/CD/AG/Processing server on cloud with few clicks and few minutes

If you are setting up new servers. You should check this Coming in Sitecore 8.2 Update1
Sitecore DI Microsoft DI is support is available out of the Box with Sitecore 8.2 Look for some configurations and attributes like resolve=”true”


There is also an Admin page to look at DI : ShowServicesConfig.aspx

For bigger projects – Ask for DI for highly loosely coupled and easy to maintain projects NA
.NET Core Sitecore is adopting .NET Core a lot. And so as community. It is time for you to learn .NET Core


They did it using Publishing Service in Sitecore 8.2


They have plans for lot of other things

Habitat/Helix One thing you need to carve in your mind “Habitat is a demo site, and Helix is Sitecore standards way to do things”


Another way :

Helix is a specification and Habitat is an implementation

Finally, Sitecore came up with documentation which talks about Standards. Because Sitecore is like Weapon. You can use it for your safety or you can harm other using it. It’s how you use it. Ask your developers to read Helix Standards You can also contribute – It’s on Github!
Path Analyzer Alex and Adam did a great job! Now, you don’t need Silverlight to view Path Analyzer – They ditched Silverlight – Sitecore 8.2


Awesome way to analyzer user’s path


New UI

It’s 100% on JS – Using React, Redux, Modular JS,  D3.JS,  Web Pack Must use Path Analyzer to understand your customers NA
Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) New way to Create Sitecore websites


Built on Helix principles


80% Faster Sites


Understands Tenants, Sites

You should surely know about this. Mainly it is for FED and Content authors Good to check If your Site design is simple and you would like to get things done faster. Just make sure you do maths on Licensing Not sure about licensing model. Does it make sense to get it done from Partner of from this module. Is not clear to me yet
Developer Keynote Sitecore is going in Cloud First, SOA and Stateless direction



Data Exchange Framework is coming up


OData will be standard Protocol for Sitecore – REST API and OData


Micro Services using ASP.NET Core


Express Migration Tool – Launched in 8.2 – It only does content – It is possible from 7.2 to 8.2

Keep watching these tools NA
xConnect Collect data Cross Channel


xDB will be central

Client API will be used You can use this data with Power BI as well Will come in 8.3 – Initial release


8.4 – Full version

Sitecore Publishing Service After 10 years – These are some of the biggest improvements happened in Publishing logic


Improves Publishing performance heavily. It uses Smart logic


New UX

Built on .NET Core


Needs to install module and configure few things

No new license required Launched in Sitecore 8.2

That’s it. These were my learnings from my views. If I missed any points. Feel free to let me know. Will be more than happy to add it. Read more:

So, now I’m back to my work with lot of things to learn, implement and share! This was my experience! – If you are customer DEMAND MORE and If you are a partner DELIVER MORE!

See you next year at Las Vegas!

August 29, 2016 / kiranpatils

New Module : Sitecore Mongo Shell


For few projects, I noticed that me and few of my colleagues/friends had issue validating weather Mongo connection is right or not, and if yes whether data is going through or not. Mongo Client tools (e.g. Mongo Management Studio) are there. But what If you can’t install Mongo Client Tool on server and Firewall is blocked to open Mongo connection out of network?

This tool will help you for that!

Basically, this tool is inspired from. SQL Shell – Sitecore tool to query SQL Data,

BIG Thanks to them.


This is how it looks :

2- 2016-08-28 18_29_23-Mongo Shell Tester - BETA 3 - 2016-08-28 18_29_50-Mongo Shell Tester - BETA 2016-08-28 18_28_27-Mongo Shell Tester - BETA-1

This is how it works :


Have submitted to Marketplace for review. So, will share link once it is available. But I was eager to share [and I am sure you are eager to use] this with you. Package/Source code/Documentation everything is here :

Happy Mongo Troubleshooting!🙂

August 22, 2016 / kiranpatils

Inheriting Sitecore Site Properties with Sitecore Patching and Transformation


Sitecore is such a huge platform that every day you find something new and interesting. Happens with you as well? It is happening with me since last 7+ years!😉 But I am enjoying learning it and then sharing it with you.

So, let’s say you have one site node defined with all basic things e.g. enablePreview, enableWebEdit, hostName, startItem, database etc. It has hostName as “”. Now you would like to have one more site where you would like to use base attributes as earlier defined and you would like to modify few attributes only:

  <site name="site1" virtualFolder="/sitecore/admin" physicalFolder="/sitecore/admin" enableAnalytics="false" domain="sitecore" loginPage="/sitecore/admin/login.aspx"/>

  <site name="site2" inherits="site1" />
  <site name="site3" inherits="site1" domain="extranet" />
  <site name="site4" inherits="site1" enableAnalytics="true" />

Source :

I also did the same and it worked in local. But when I deployed it on QA/Dev server. It was not working. After spending sometime learnt something which I would like to share with you as well. You might see it in future or might be already facing it and reading this blog to find a way!🙂 Let’s go!


As you would have done, I also did showconfig.aspx on server and then noticed that my site2 was getting added before site1 and that was causing this issue and it was happening because I was using SlowCheetah Transformation and inserting site2 based on environment. To fix it — I used patch:after=”site[@name=’site1′]” which fixed this issue. Here is how it looks new with transformation

  <site name="site2" inherits="site1" patch:after="site[@name='site1']" xdt:Transform="Insert" hostName="" domain="extranet" enableAnalytics="true"/>
  <site name="site3" inherits="site1" domain="extranet" /> 

Good read :

Happy Patching!🙂

August 22, 2016 / kiranpatils

Configuring Web Deploy on your Sitecore server


Last week one of my mates was trying to configure Web deploy with Build server and CM/CD Server and they were facing some challenges to get it done. We have done it so many times in the past. But as we haven’t had it documented we set together and fixed it. But then I promised to blog it and here you go!


Microsoft folks have already written nice documentation here :

This document is quite huge I know and in this fast paced world. Who has time to read through all that document. So, you are looking for important steps? Here are those:

  1. To install : Refer section :”Using the Web Platform Installer to install Web Deploy Separately”
  2. To configure : Refer section : “Configuring a Site for Delegated Non-Administrator Deployment”

That’s it!

You are facing challenge with your Web deploy configuration? Feel free to get in touch with me. Because I have spent good amount of time troubleshooting it (and before that understanding it) and this post is proof of it.

Happy Deployment!🙂


June 3, 2016 / kiranpatils

Unable to see components on Stats.aspx page for your Sitecore 8 MVC site?


We are near to launch one of our new site. Built on Sitecore 8.1 U1 and MVC, GlassMapper, TDS etc. As per our practice we applied HTML caching on all possible components. Which we were verifying whether it is working as per expectation or not. One of the way to do is using stats.aspx page. But when we opened it. It was displaying only one component — VisitorIdentification — Which is more of a Sitecore control. Then what happened to all our renderings? Same with you? Or you would like to be proactive? And eager to know what it was. Then this post is for you. Let’s delve in to it.


As expected. We did a quick Google search and came across of this blog :

Two things came out from this blog post:

  1. This guy was unable to see his sites, where I was able to see site. But not renderings
  2. Required files were not attached.

Again, as expected. Raised Sitecore support ticket and they accepted it as BUG and provided Hot fix:

To fix the issue, please consider deploying the following patch:
1. Copy the attached Sitecore.Support.398176.dll assembly to the ‘\bin’ folder.
2. Copy the attached Sitecore.Support.Mvc.Statistics.config file to the ‘\App_Config\Include’ folder.

If there are any issues with this patch, please let us know. More information about Sitecore patches can be found here:

To track the future status of this bug report, please use the reference number 94421. More information about public reference numbers can be found here:

Files can be downloaded from here :

It worked? Awesome!

So, what was the issue? I am glad you are still reading. Lot of folks might have closed for the day. But I appreciate yo being curious to ask basic question “Why?”. Let me share what I understood:

  1. It looks recording stats information was not done for MVC pipeline or it might have been done at wrong place which was not working – Sitecore guys know it better. I am just assuming it here
  2. There are two IMP. pipeline in MVC <mvc.renderPlaceholder> and <mvc.renderRendering> where this guys have hooked code for recording that information e.g.    Statistics.AddRenderingData(…)

Special thanks to Pushpraj Ruhal (Sitecore support) guy who worked on this issue

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