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June 30, 2019 / kiranpatils

Sitecore Geolocation Basics

Challenge:

Sitecore Geolocation service is OOTB and available for free with unlimited lookups. And lot of great community folks have shared in-depth articles to get started. But still have seen people facing challenges with Geolocation. So, wanted to consolidate all good resources and real-world challenges in this post. So, it helps you have a smooth process of getting started with Sitecore Geolocation service.

Solution:

If you are new to Sitecore Geolocation and would like to know more about it. e.g. Why? What and How? As I mentioned earlier, few community folks have done great job blogging about it. I will share few of those here:

How can I activate Geolocation?

With Sitecore 9, Geolocation is available OOTB. You just need to activate it from App Center. For that you have to login to App Center. To login and activate, you need to either use same email address which you used for purchasing your Sitecore license or contact your Sitecore contact, and s(he) will give you one Form (PDF) using which you can allow other user to access App Center.

Once you login and activate Geolocation from Appcenter. You should be all set. If your environment is scaled, you just need to get this activated from CM only.

You need to do this one-time activity for all your environments e.g. INT/QA/UAT/STAGE/PROD.

No Geolocation data on first request

Sitecore Geolocation works asynchronously, due to that at times you might not see geolocation data on first request/for new IP, Which is not in cache.

Sitecore GeoIP logic
Geolocation flow (Image Courtesy : https://www.brimit.com/blog/sitecore-geoip-geolocation-module-how-it-works )

Sitecore community has few solutions for this challenge:

  1. https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/320734 : Here solution1 uses delay logic — Which personally, I would like to avoid for heavy traffic website. Solution2 suggests using Custom provider.
  2. https://www.brimit.com/blog/sitecore-geoip-geolocation-module-how-it-works : Brimit team, has done a great job and created Fallback module. Which seems derived from Solution2 suggested in last article. We’ve used this for one of our client — And it’s working fine!
  3. https://www.redmoon.london/sitecore-ip-geolocation-service-resolving-geoip-information-on-the-first-request-using-circuit-breaker-design-pattern/ : Recently came to know about this approach — Which is using Circuit breaker approach. I haven’t personally tried this. But good to explore.

How to troubleshoot?

Sitecore geolocation works fine in lower environments. But as soon as you go on higher environments, you start noticing that it doesn’t work. Few of the reasons behind that are:

  1. Application Gateway
  2. Load balancer
  3. Reverse proxy
  4. Corporate Proxy
  5. Firewall

Your Production environment will have either/all of the above things and they might cause trouble in overall working mechanism of Geolocation.

For any troubleshooting you need right tools. Let me share few of those:

  • https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/798498 : Sitecore has done good job documenting all the steps. Especially TestIP.aspx page. Use this to do quick test of geolocation configuration.
  • https://gist.github.com/klpatil/d4c5d242b715ac8c6213366e85be585c : I have also created GeoLocation Test page, which prints Geolocation information, all request headers. Here, you need to closely observe — X-Forwarded-For header. It should have Client’s IP address. How to check that?
    • Open https://www.whatismyip.com/ and take a note of IPV4 address.
    • Now. Open GeolocationTest page and IPV4 address should be value for X-Forwarded-For header. If it’s not – Then something is not rightly configured.

Let’s understand about each possibility and solution:

This image depicts this challenge nicely (Image Courtesy : https://mikael.com/2018/09/sitecore-x-forwarded-for-handling/)

Hope this helped, Have I missed scenario which you faced? Please share, I will amend it in this post.

Happy Geo-locating! 🙂

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June 23, 2019 / kiranpatils

SolrCloud with Sitecore troubleshooting

Challenge:

Recently we launched highly scalable Sitecore Projects for few of our Enterprise level Sitecore clients. And during that faced some challenges with SolrCloud. Which I again faced in last week and thought to share it pen down. So, I can share with you and I can also refer, When I face it again.

Solution:

So, If you are new to Sitecore or haven’t worked with Solr or SolrCloud and need some basic knowledge. I will share few great articles already posted by our community members:

Above articles are good to get basic knowledge, Once you have that and If you are keen to set it up in ensemble (Dictionary : a group of musicians, actors, or dancers who perform together.)mode. Ensemble mode means — Imagine your Sitecore application is your concert happening on the web and to make sure you have great concert. Three Solr nodes are performing together! For Setup there are few links. But I found following links super helpful:

Once your setup is done, It will look like this:

sitecore solrcloud
Solr cloud setup – Image courtesy : https://github.com/ivanbuzyka/Sitecore.SolrCloudConfiguration/wiki

So far so good. And lot of folks can get setup done. But as soon as you connect with Sitecore. You might come across some challenges in your day to day life working with SolrCloud. If they come they are hard to troubleshoot as they are in JAVA Tech Stack, Which will be tough for any Sitecore Developer – As they are different Tech Stack. Also, at times those errors are hard to decrypt and at times hard to locate as well. Here are my learnings which might help you, When you face challenges with SolrCloud and Sitecore.

Scenario#1

After few days of connecting to SolrCloud and couple of weeks before go-live. Our Sitecore log files were busy with follwoing errors:

2019-03-26T15:58:40 PID[4988] Error ManagedPoolThread #5 15:58:40 ERROR Exception
Exception: System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException
Message: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.
Source: mscorlib
at System.RuntimeMethodHandle.InvokeMethod(Object target, Object[] arguments, Signature sig, Boolean constructor)
at System.Reflection.RuntimeMethodInfo.UnsafeInvokeInternal(Object obj, Object[] parameters, Object[] arguments)
at System.Reflection.RuntimeMethodInfo.Invoke(Object obj, BindingFlags invokeAttr, Binder binder, Object[] parameters, CultureInfo culture)
at Sitecore.Reflection.ReflectionUtil.InvokeMethod(MethodInfo method, Object[] parameters, Object obj)
at Sitecore.Jobs.JobRunner.RunMethod(JobArgs args)
at (Object , Object )
at Sitecore.Pipelines.CorePipeline.Run(PipelineArgs args)
at Sitecore.Pipelines.DefaultCorePipelineManager.Run(String pipelineName, PipelineArgs args, String pipelineDomain, Boolean failIfNotExists)
at Sitecore.Pipelines.DefaultCorePipelineManager.Run(String pipelineName, PipelineArgs args, String pipelineDomain)
at Sitecore.Jobs.Job.DoExecute()
at Sitecore.Jobs.Job.ThreadEntry(Object state)

Nested Exception

Exception: SolrNet.Exceptions.SolrConnectionException
Message: The underlying connection was closed: The connection was closed unexpectedly.
Source: SolrNet
at SolrNet.Impl.SolrConnection.PostStream(String relativeUrl, String contentType, Stream content, IEnumerable1 parameters) at SolrNet.Impl.SolrConnection.Post(String relativeUrl, String s) at SolrNet.Impl.SolrBasicServer1.SendAndParseHeader(ISolrCommand cmd)
at Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrProvider.SolrBatchUpdateContext.AddRange(IEnumerable1 group, Int32 groupSize) at Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrProvider.SolrBatchUpdateContext.Commit() at Sitecore.ContentSearch.AbstractSearchIndex.PerformUpdate(IEnumerable1 indexableInfo, IndexingOptions indexingOptions)

Nested Exception

Exception: System.Net.WebException
Message: The underlying connection was closed: The connection was closed unexpectedly.
Source: System
at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse()
at HttpWebAdapters.Adapters.HttpWebRequestAdapter.GetResponse()
at SolrNet.Impl.SolrConnection.GetResponse(IHttpWebRequest request)

This was happening on each CRUD operation — Which is logical. As you know Sitecore triggers partial index rebuild on each CRUD operation. We invested huge amount of hours on this and then finally, we learnt that Solr and ZK servers were not running on HTTPS. How to find and fix that? Here we go:

  1. You go to each of your ZK files and make sure your ZK Configurations are correct – Especially hostnames, and respective entries should be there in host files and make sure ZK is registered to run on HTTPS (See Step #7 – zkcli -zkhost “10.100.1.10:2181,10.100.1.11:2181,10.100.1.12:2181” -cmd clusterprop -name urlScheme -val https) : https://github.com/ivanbuzyka/Sitecore.SolrCloudConfiguration/wiki/3.-Install-Zookeeper-as-a-service
  2. Make sure your Solr is configured to run on HTTPS — Two things to check Solr hostname (SOLR_HOST – They should be different for each Solr) and Certificate entries.
  3. Make sure ports and firewalls are open : https://github.com/ivanbuzyka/Sitecore.SolrCloudConfiguration/wiki/Ports-and-firewalls-etc
  4. Few troubleshooting tips : it is hard to pin point SolrCloud challenges. Following tips might help you in that.
    1. Run each SolrCloud and ZK Instance separately — Which means don’t do ensemble mode. Just have one Solr and ZK entry and run it. Start ZK and Solr using Command prompt. So, you can see what’s going on behind the scenes – Few commands:
      1. solr start -cloud -p 8983 -z “10.100.1.11:2181” -f – To run Single Solr with ZK. Make sure your ZK has only single entry and is up and running. Open individual Solr URL and ensure it works in isolated mode.Do this for each instance and if all good, then and only then run it in isolated mode. When you run in ensemble mode. Look for Leader and follower values in command prompt : http://amrutbudihal.blogspot.com/2012/07/zookeeper-leader-election-and-group.htmlCommon problem – Which I have seen is – ZK is not registered to run in HTTPS mode — (Which happens from this command : zkcli -zkhost “10.100.1.10:2181,10.100.1.11:2181,10.100.1.12:2181” -cmd clusterprop -name urlScheme -val https). How to check ZK is running in HTTPS mode or not?: (Good reference : https://www.searchstax.com/docs/hc/zkcli-zookeeper-searchstax.html)
        1. Execute “zkcli.bat -z “ZKIP:ZKPORT” -cmd list from one of the server – As shown below and look for “urlScheme” value. if your ZK is on HTTPS. Then you should see HTTPS here. Do it for all other ZK. This command also ensures your network and firewall is allowing communication between each ZK nodes.†

Scenario #2

After fixing above error, noticed following error in log file:

2019-03-30T15:16:37 PID[7596] Error 18068 15:16:37 ERROR The remote name could not be resolved: ‘uat1-solrcloud.scbasics.com’
Exception: SolrNet.Exceptions.SolrConnectionException
Message: The remote name could not be resolved: ‘uat1-solrcloud.scbasics.com’
Source: SolrNet
at SolrNet.Impl.SolrConnection.Get(String relativeUrl, IEnumerable1 parameters) at SolrNet.Impl.SolrCoreAdmin.Status(String coreName) at Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrNetExtension.Cloud.DefaultReplicaStatusProvider.GetReplicaStatus(Replica replica) at Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrProvider.SolrCloudIndexSummary.GetReplicaIndex(Replica replica) at System.Linq.Enumerable.<>c__DisplayClass7_03.b__0(TSource x)
at System.Linq.Enumerable.WhereSelectEnumerableIterator2.MoveNext() at System.Linq.Enumerable.Sum(IEnumerable1 source)
at Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrProvider.SolrCloudIndexSummary.get_NumberOfDocuments()
at Sitecore.ContentSearch.Client.Forms.IndexingManagerWizard.BuildIndexCheckbox(String name, String header, ListString selected, ListString indexMap)

Nested Exception

Exception: System.Net.WebException
Message: The remote name could not be resolved: ‘uat1-solrcloud.scbasics.com’

Luckily this one was easy, This is known issue and don’t have any functional impact, It will not show you document count etc. Information in Sitecore indexing manager : https://sitecore.stackexchange.com/questions/8263/object-reference-error-in-sitecore-contentsearch-solrprovider-solrindexsummary-g

In Summary, As all other things ZK and SolrCloud are not rocket science. You just need to know right tools, right commands, right mindset and above all great patience to troubleshoot this. Hope this post helps you go home on time!

Thanks to my colleague Abhishek from whom I learnt few of these things and Thanks to Google as well!

June 10, 2019 / kiranpatils

Cache Tuner V2

Hello Everyone, Sorry for being away for a while. I got busy due to personal and professional commitments. But I’m back with lot of new learnings which I’ve planned to share with you.

Cache Tuner is one of my favorite modules [Widely accepted and appreciated by Sitecore community – Thanks for your appreciation, It motivates me to work on weekend to update this module instead of watching India-Australia match 😉], and thought to update it to handle few of the following use cases:

  1. Sitecore 9.1 Compatible : As you know, Sitecore made big architectural changes in Version 8.2 to make Sitecore caching much more better and extensible. But it broke few tools like CacheTuner and so others. In December, updated Cache Tuner to use new API : https://sitecorebasics.wordpress.com/2018/12/25/sitecore-9-compatible-cache-tuner/ While I was working on Cache Tuner V2, Thought to validate it on my Sitecore 9.1 Instance to make sure it works — And it indeed works! So, I have done all my validation on Sitecore 9.1. So, you can try with your new 9.1 instance with confidence. But please remember – If you find something new, Please report it on github or create PR with fix 🙂
  2. Drill down cache and clear specific cache : Since childhood, I’ve been always curious to know – How stuff works? (I’m sure for most of you as well, that’s why you are in this field). Same has been true for Sitecore Caching as well. As you know Sitecore caching uses same structure like HashTable. Where you have Key – Value pair. Along with that, Sitecore also has nested Hashtable. Which means one Key’s Value will also have another hashtable with Key – Value. At times when you are troubleshooting caching challenges, You must have thought of this. Is this caching issue or not? And to do that, Usually, what you do is, Use Sitecore Admin cache page to clear all cache and if it fixes the issue. Then it’s caching issue else it is something else. Sounds similar? You can do this on lower environment. But what if you must do same thing on production environment? During that you must be thinking. What If:
    1. I can see what’s inside each cache entry e.g. Click on YOURSITE[HTML] and see whether component which you are trying to troubleshoot exists or not in that list. I can clear specific Cache instead of FULL Cache e.g. You can just clear YOURSITE[HTML] cache and see whether it fixes your issues or not, Without affecting other caches. If you got excited and say — I know there’s module in marketplace which does exactly same thing – Then I would say cool down, as I also had same excitement, with this module : https://marketplace.sitecore.net/en/Modules/S/Sitecore_Cache_Admin.aspx Which I used a lot, And would like to Thanks this Module Admin. As this feature of Cache Tuner V2 is inspired from this module. But this module is not updated to support new Caching API Changes. Now, All above things are possible with CacheTunerV2 — I believe, This feature will be super helpful to community. And I’m excited to know your feedback on this.
  3. Clear all cache : Instead of relying on Cache Admin page, you can do it using CacheTuner page [Note : Please make sure you delete your cache tuner page, as soon as you are done with your Caching Tuning and troubleshooting. As CacheTuner page is not yet secure page]

Sounds exciting? And curios to know more about this. Let’s do it:

Screenshots:

Clear all Button
If Cache key has value, Then it will be clickable. If you would like to drill down and see what’s inside — please click desired cache key. Which will open Cache Detail page in new window with details of clicked cache key.
Cache detail page for website[html] cache key looks like this. #1 – Shows total number of cache entries stored in clicked cache, #2 – Cache details – In this example it is showing you how HTML Cache is getting stored for each component. #3 – Using “Clear Me!” button you can click particular cache. In this example website[html]

How to use it?

  1. Download from Cache Tuner V2 release : https://github.com/klpatil/CacheTuner/tree/CacheTunerV2 (Take a note of CacheTunerV2 branch and you can refer Release section : https://github.com/klpatil/CacheTuner/releases/tag/CTV2.0)
  2. Copy it under your desired folder. I recommend to have everything under CTV2 folder e.g. Webroot/MyTools/CTV2/* (All Cache Tuner v2 files in same folder)
  3. Access Cache Tuner V2 as per your copied folder e.g. https://<mysite>/mytools/ctv2/cachetuner.aspx
  4. That’s it – Fix you Caching issue and go home, your loved ones are waiting for you!

Hope you found this useful, There are few useful features in my roadmap. Thought to share with you. In case, you want to contribute to module.

Future release:

  1. Add Authorization
  2. Drill down cache details for all types, as of now it only supports few caching types only. And it should handle most of the use cases.
  3. Clear specific cache entry – As of now you can’t clear specific cache entry. You can clear specific cache container. e.g Instead of clearing website[html] would like to have a feature to clear cache entry which is inside website[html]
  4. Anything I missed? I’m all ears!

Old links:

https://sitecorebasics.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/cache-tuner-user-guide/

Thank you so much for reading!

December 25, 2018 / kiranpatils

Troubleshoot and fix crashing Sitecore 902 Application on Azure App

Challenge:

Currently we are working for one of our client application, Which is on Sitecore 9.0.2 and deployed on Azure App. It was working fine for sometime and one fine day, post deployment application was not coming up. This was client’s QA environment and in lot of developers and QA team members were keenly looking up to us to resolve this ASAP. So, we can hit our sprint goal.

We tried the lot of options to make it up and running. But we could only see following page (503):

We tried to check logs. But nothing fruitful was found. DevOps team already had Azure ARM Template. So, we thought to install new environment from scratch and redeployed and that worked for a while. But after few days, Same issue happened on QA Environment.

Now, This was the time for us to generate a crash dump and analyze it [You also thought so?]. But then we realized that this is Azure App and DebugDiag won’t work here. Sounds interesting right? [Life is not as easy, as it seems to be]. But each challenge has solution in this world. And that’s true for this challenge as well. If you are also facing similar challenge or you are keen to know how we solved this, then this post is for you!

Solution:

UPDATE : 17-Jan-2019 : Sitecore has official KB article and patch on it :https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/910936 [Thanks Matt for your comment]

  1. Quick google search suggested this post : https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/983839 we checked those things. But with no luck.
  2. Application insights also didn’t help : https://doc.sitecore.com/developers/90/sitecore-experience-management/en/analyze-sitecore-logs-with-application-insights.html
  3. Then we came across, Sitecore’s KB article for Advanced Troubleshooting on Azure App (Was not able to generate dump using it, It might be due to my overlook and few information seems not up-to-date [Azure Portal is always changing]) : https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/111669
  4. Then found this great article, Which gave me some hints : https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/azure-docs/blob/master/articles/app-service/troubleshoot-http-502-http-503.md

I decided to delve in to Azure Portal and based on what I learnt try something out (I will quickly remind you this is QA environment and roughly ~12 folks are affected by this and overall sprint plan/project plan.)

  • Selected Diagnose and Solve Problems, Which has a lot of interesting options as shown below (Diagnostic Tools is an option, Which I was looking for) – a.k.a. DaaS:
Diagnose and Solve Problems
  • When I clicked on “Memory Dump” [One of the sub option of Diagnostic tools]. It brought few more options:
  • Selected “Collect Memory Dump” option [Make sure you have selected ASP.NET in top]. As soon as you click on that Azure checks whether your tier has this service support or not? [Microsoft — One more opportunity to make money :). But they deserve with what they have done. And when your application is business critical and has impact on revenue, Then no harm in investing in this – it’s all business!]. Based on your tier you will see next screen. This is what I see:

Finally, We have Dump analysis report and this is what we found:

[[HelperMethodFrame_1OBJ] (System.Threading.Monitor.Enter)] System.Threading.Monitor.Enter(System.Object) Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.DependencyInjection.LazyResetable`1[[System.__Canon, mscorlib]].get_Value()+5e Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Security.AccessControl.AccessRight.FromName(System.String)+34
Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Security.AccessControl.ItemAccess.CanRead()+1c Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Data.Managers.ItemProvider.ApplySecurity(Sitecore.Data.Items.Item, Sitecore.SecurityModel.SecurityCheck)+51 Sitecore_ContentTesting!Sitecore.ContentTesting.Pipelines.ItemProvider.GetItem.GetItemUnderTestProcessor.Process(Sitecore.Pipelines.ItemProvider.GetItem.GetItemArgs)+b3
Sitecore_ContentTesting!DynamicClass.(System.Object, System.Object)+f Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Pipelines.CorePipeline.Run(Sitecore.Pipelines.PipelineArgs)+1e4 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Data.Managers.DefaultItemManager.GetItem(Sitecore.Data.ID, Sitecore.Globalization.Language, Sitecore.Data.Version, Sitecore.Data.Database, Sitecore.SecurityModel.SecurityCheck)+131 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Data.Managers.DefaultItemManager.GetItem(Sitecore.Data.ID, Sitecore.Globalization.Language, Sitecore.Data.Version, Sitecore.Data.Database)+93 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Data.Managers.ItemManager.GetItem(Sitecore.Data.ID, Sitecore.Globalization.Language, Sitecore.Data.Version, Sitecore.Data.Database)+9a Sitecore_Marketing_xMgmt!Sitecore.Marketing.Definitions.Outcomes.Data.ItemDb.ItemOutcomeDefinitionRepository..ctor(Microsoft.Extensions.Logging.ILogger`1, System.String, Boolean, Sitecore.Marketing.Definitions.Repository.IDefinitionRecordMapper`1)+345 Sitecore_Marketing_xMgmt!Sitecore.Marketing.Definitions.Outcomes.Data.ItemDb.ItemOutcomeDefinitionRepository..ctor(Microsoft.Extensions.Logging.ILogger`1, Sitecore.Marketing.IItemRepositoriesSettings, Sitecore.Marketing.Definitions.Repository.IDefinitionRecordMapper`1)+e4
[[DebuggerU2MCatchHandlerFrame]]


Other threads:
** Microsoft_Extensions_DependencyInjection_Abstractions!Microsoft.Extensions.Internal.ActivatorUtilities.GetServiceOrCreateInstance(System.IServiceProvider, System.Type)+21 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateFromServiceProvider(System.Xml.XmlNode, Boolean)+1ae Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean, Sitecore.Configuration.IFactoryHelper)+8a Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+48 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.String, System.String[], Boolean)+27c Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateFromReference(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+a6 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean, Sitecore.Configuration.IFactoryHelper)+74 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+48 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.GetInnerObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+6d Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.GetConstructorParameters(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+a1 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateFromTypeName(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+5e Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean, Sitecore.Configuration.IFactoryHelper)+a3 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+48 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.String, System.String[], Boolean)+27c Sitecore_PathAnalyzer!Sitecore.PathAnalyzer.ApplicationContainer.CreateObject[[System.__Canon, mscorlib]](System.String)+de Sitecore_PathAnalyzer!Sitecore.PathAnalyzer.ApplicationContainer.GetOrCreateProcessingPool(System.Guid ByRef)+29
**
Microsoft_Extensions_DependencyInjection_Abstractions!Microsoft.Extensions.Internal.ActivatorUtilities.GetServiceOrCreateInstance(System.IServiceProvider, System.Type)+21 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateFromServiceProvider(System.Xml.XmlNode, Boolean)+1ae Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean, Sitecore.Configuration.IFactoryHelper)+8a Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+48 Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(System.String, System.String[], Boolean)+27c Sitecore_Kernel!Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateFromReference(System.Xml.XmlNode, System.String[], Boolean)+a6

After analyzing all stacktraces we concluded that, it is mainly in Sitecore Stack, and then we raised a Sitecore support ticket and shared all relevant information with them.

Sitecore support team were able to rectify the issue in a day and get back to us with following information:

Please use the following hotfix to resolve the issue:
https://dl.sitecore.net/hotfix/SC Hotfix 235278-2 CMS.Core 11.1.2 ContentSearch 3.1.2.zip
To install the hotfix open the archive and follow instructions in the readme.txt file.

The issue is scheduled to be fixed in next Sitecore release.
To track the future status of the issue please use reference numbers 228602, 218852, 208222, 209972

Sitecore has accepted that 9.0.2 has this BUG and it is in Core architecture. That’s why Sitecore.Kernel and Sitecore.ContentSearch DLLs has been updated and shared with us.

Support package has steps to install hotfix using Sitecore Installation Wizard. But as our application was down and we couldn’t see any screen. We extracted Hotfix package and copied files in relevant directory.

It has a step to do Config changes manually. But was able to create patch file out of those steps [It was not straightforward, And I think that’s why SC Support team gave us manual steps]. Sharing Patch file with you.

Hope you found this post helpful!

 

 

December 25, 2018 / kiranpatils

Sitecore 9 Compatible Cache Tuner

Challenge:

In ~9 years of Sitecore experience have been happy to contribute 8 modules on Sitecore Marketplace (If you are new to Sitecore world and not aware of this, then let me explain you — It is Sitecore’s Play Store [Android]/App Store [iOs] where anyone (Including you) can contribute any Sitecore module ):

Contributed modules

Out of these modules, Which modules I really feel proud of and Cache Tuner is one of that. The reason behind it is — It is still widely used by community and lot of community members have already recommended it in community. Thank you folks!

This was my first shared module : https://sitecorebasics.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/cache-tuner-my-first-shared-source-module/ As you can see it was on old platform trac and If you tried tuning Sitecore cache then you must have come across Cache Tuning guide which has some rules based on which you tune Sitecore caches. CacheTuner helps you automate that, Sounds interesting? Read Cache Tuner guide : https://sitecorebasics.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/cache-tuner-user-guide/

Recently, I was trying to use it for my current project which is on Sitecore 9.0.2 and as soon as I ran it I got error due to Sitecore’s changes in Caching API (Sitecore 8.2).

Changes are mainly done to support DI and that’s why none of the methods are returning concrete classes.

https://briancaos.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/sitecore-9-caching-sitecore-caching-cachemanager-getallcaches-changed-from-sitecore-8/

Solution:

I thought to spend time today to make it Sitecore 9 compatible, and you will be happy to know that now CacheTuner supports >=8.2 version. Needless to say, you have to rely on old CacheTuner for earlier versions. [You are still on older version? It’s time to upgrade :-)]

Have also created git repo for updated CacheTuner module : https://github.com/klpatil/CacheTuner

This is my Christmas gift for all of you, Have a Happy Holidays!

 

December 1, 2018 / kiranpatils

Custom language for Sitecore Azure PaaS Web Apps

Challenge:

We are porting one of our client’s App from Older Sitecore version and infrastructure (IaaS) to Sitecore 9 and Azure Paas Web App.

They have 20+ languages and we learnt that they have few custom languages as well (en-TH, en-VN, en-ae). You might get excited and say, You can use : https://marketplace.sitecore.net/en/Modules/Custom_Language_Registration.aspx

But If you said so, Then you must’ve missed last line, App is on Azure PaaS web App. And Custom Language Tool is Windows desktop application. Which you can’t run on Azure web App. Interesting?

Wondering, How we resolved it? And you are also facing similar challenges? Then this post is for you.

Solution:

First of all, we did quick search and found following links:

This link found from first link is really nice read and confirms one thing THAT IT’S NOT POSSIBLE to do and then provokes some really good questions : https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/benjaminperkins/2018/06/11/implementing-custom-cultures-cultureinfo-localize-azure-app-service/

You cannot, at this moment, create a custom culture on an Azure App Service.  Cultures are part of the standard operating system and require changes to the registry to modify or add them.  An Azure App Service runs in a sandbox which does not allow code or script to modify the registry.  I do not work on the team responsible for this Windows feature, but I have confidence the team puts lots of diligence into providing the fundamental capabilities to match the requirements of most global cultures.

Second blog gave some good alternative solution using URL Rewrite.

But before we do that, We thought to see what all cultures and languages are available on Azure Web App  and was able to get that list. You can also download it from here : https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lmNoZPJRyvkTaAPo8dTMaEaM0VVidhdE

We couldn’t find exact language. But we found alternative languages, Which we could use for our Sitecore solution and after consulting with our client we used it! Reference list is as below:

  • en-TH -> th-TH
  • en-VN -> vi-VN
  • en-ae->ar-ae

Hope you found this helpful!


December 1, 2018 / kiranpatils

How to reference and deploy Sitecore hotfix DLLs?

Challenge

Recently we were facing 503 error on our Sitecore 9.0.2 version Sitecore App deployed on Azure App (Blog on that topic soon)

We reached out to our common friends — Sitecore Support team and they gave me Two Hotfix DLLs :

  • Sitecore.Kernel
  • Sitecore.ContentSearch

Til this point of time, I got DLLs like Sitecoe.Support.SOMNUMBER.DLL and it was easy to deploy. I can copy in Assemblies/Lib folder in your directory, and reference it from your Project. And it will be deployed on higher environments.

But If you are wondering how to do it for these two DLLs? As they are coming from Sitecore’s Nuget feed in your current solution. Are you? Then this post is for you.

Solution

As you do, I also did a quick search and foud this from Sitecore’s official doc : https://doc.sitecore.com/developers/82/sitecore-experience-platform/en/sitecore-public-nuget-feed-faq.html

That was disappointing 😦 Then thought to reach out to our internal Sitecore experts and following great ideas came up:

  1. Private Nuget server : This makes sense. But have to reach out to client and ask them to spin up new nuget server and deploy DLL there. But was unable to figure out, how it will resolve from nuget references [Sitecore] and Custom nuget having same DLLs with same name.  As I was not clear and had client team’s dependencies thought to look for other solution.
  2. Local Reference : Another plan was to use old school approach, Where you created Assemblies/Libraries/Libs folder under your Project directory and instead of nuget use local reference in all your projects. But it had two challenges:
    1. We are using Helix and we have lot of projects, where we need to do these updates ~20. Which I was not sold.
    2. In future, If we have to do version upgrade. We have to again do these changes manually for all projects. Lot of work Now and in future – not efficient. So, thought to think of another approach
  3. Post build step : Another idea was to provide post build steps in last project, which copies hotfix’d DLLs. That could have fixed local development environment challenges. But we use Teamcity, Octopack and Octopus deployment and this idea would need additional steps from DevOps team. Which is fine for now. But in future — Same efforts needs to be done to undo it. So, this was also not a good idea.

Then I applied my 99 things learning, Step away from keyboard : https://github.com/97-things/97-things-every-programmer-should-know/blob/master/en/thing_69/README.md

And got a new idea:

By default nugget looks for DLL file from Packages folder and if exist, it doesn’t download and uses it as a reference DLL. For example : Sitecore.Kernel.DLL can be found under <YOURPROJDIR>\packages\Sitecore.Kernel.NoReferences.9.0.180604\lib\NET462

This was Eureka moment. Where I thought to do this:

  1. Copy new DLL from Sitecore hotfix package and pasted it under
    <YOURPROJDIR>\packages\Sitecore.Kernel.NoReferences.9.0.180604\lib\NET462
  2. Committed : Packages folder and
    Sitecore.Kernel.NoReferences.9.0.180604\lib\NET462 folders
  3. That’s it!
  4. it worked on Local – Teamcity and Octopus!

This helped? You found better approach than this? I’m all ears!

Happy Coding! 🙂

Update:

Somehow, I haven’t done good job sharing context of this blog post. Got some comments and thought to share it here. So, this post’s information is relevant:


The best solution (In the best case scenario) is to have Filesystem based/Private Nugget server : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/nuget/reference/nuget-config-file

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