Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sitecore 9 - Step by Step installation through SIF (Sitecore Installation Framework)

I got a chance to discuss SIF framework with Kieran and core team at Sitecore Office Bristol, UK than at Symposium 2017 in las vegas, USA.

Video series by Kieran -

Here are the steps and details.

SIF is a new installation framework for the Sitecore and has a lot of features, I will first explain the installation process then will discuss the features.

Prerequisites -

1. Solr - It should run on HTTPS.
    Instruction :-
    Required keytool and openssl
    Download Openssl from -
    Download NSSM -
3  Microsoft PowerShell® version 5.0 or later.
4. Web Platform Installer 5.0.
5. Sitecore installation framework .
6.  SQL server 2016
7.  VS2017

Here are the key steps for the installation-

1. Setup Solr on HTTP  - it's very easy to setup the Solr on HTTP,  here are the steps.

Download Solr from the below link.

Download the zip file-

2. Extract this zip file and place on your prefered drive, I have placed this on C drive.
    Make sure you have JAVA JRE Setup Java

     Ref- Linkk

Check your Java version for the confirmation.

3. Generate the certificate - Follow this link -
4. Install Solr as a service.
Download the tool and run the below command.

Installation details-

Verify solr

Note:- I have been working on Solr 6.6.1 , hence did setup for Solr6.6.1,
1. Sitecore site to download the SIF framework and setup.

2. Install SIF Framework.

Download -

Click on this link then a details page will be open.

There are two ways.

1. Install through github.

Open power shell and run bleow command

Register-PSRepository -Name SitecoreGallery -SourceLocation

Install-Module SitecoreInstallFramework

2. download the package and install through command power shell - you can place this module in power shell default module section or any custom location.

Import-Module \SitecoreInstallFramework 

check the installation version.


Get-Module SitecoreInstallFramework –ListAvailable

Setup required framework details in C:\resource folder -

Setup the required permission mentioned in the installation document.
Setup the required Web Platform Installer 5.0 as mentioned in the document

Create a new file install.ps1 ( As mentioned in above screen).

this will look like this.

Run this command and you will be able to install this.

here are the instance details.

Landing page

xConnect -

Key observation and tricks.

1. If you are using different solr version - Make sure to update the install.ps1 file.

2. You can customize the installation files based on the environment.

Video reference:-

If you have any query, Please feel free to ask here.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Google Tag Manager Certification -Take away points - Important.

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system created by Google to manage JavaScript and HTML tags used for tracking and analytics.

Key take away points-

  1. Structure- 
    1. This can be managed at account level.
    2. Ideally one tag manager account per company to manage multiple website.
    3. We can use multiple company account to single account.
    4. One company (Account holder) will create an account and provide the access to other.
    5. Each account manager account will have at least one container.
    6. deally one container for website domain and can be instructed for the behaviour and tracking.
    7. Triggers details-
      1. Variables 
        1. Build in variables
          1. Path Path
          2. Click ID
          3. Triggers details- 
        2. User Defined variables
          1. Custom Variables and can be defined let’s say if purchase completed
          2. Choose Type
            1. st party cookies
            2. Auto event variables
            3. Constant
            4. Variables 
      2. Operators
      3. Values
        1. It could be like contain, equal, doesn’t contain
        2. Values
        3. Example 1,2,3 or a,b,c etc.

Google Analytics for Advance -Take away points - Important.

Advanced Google Analytics will provide details like how data get collected and processed. Below are some key take away points.

Key points
  1. How to use Multi-Channel Funnel report for analysis
  2. How sales and conversation linked to track the performance of markeing campaigns.
  3. The goal of attribution modeling is to provider better understanding different marketing campaigns and different marketing channels all work together to produce conversions
  4. MCF will describe the pre-requestics.
  5. Goal needs to be setup first.
  6. Overview report will provide details for store total conversations.
  7. Audience in Analytics meets the requirement for search remarketing, Ads must have attleast 1000 users before it can be used.
  8. Tpics covered.
High level Topics
  1. How to Organize  Analytics account
  2. Data Collection and Processing
  3. Google Analytics data collection
  4. Categorizing into users and sessions
  5. Applying configuration settings
  6. Storing data and generating reports
  7. Creating a measurement plan
  8. Setting Up Data Collection and Configuration
  9. Set up advanced filters on views
  10. Create your own Custom Dimensions
  11. Create your own Custom Metrics
  12. Understand user behavior with Event Tracking
  13. More useful configurations
  14. Advanced Analysis Tools and Techniques
  15. Segment data for insight
  16. Analyze data by channel
  17. Analyze data by audience
  18. Analyze data with Custom Reports
  19. Advanced Marketing Tools
  20. Introduction to remarketing
  21. Better targeting with Dynamic Remarketing

Friday, August 25, 2017

Google Analytics for Beginners -Take away points - Important.

Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic

For the offline world it’s hard to major the conversation but in online we have a lot of option/funnel to major it.
Topics covered-
  1. Google Analytics data collection
  2. Analytics account set-up
  3. Data filters on views
  4. Google Analytics navigation
  5. Dashboards and shortcuts
  6. Audience reports
  7. Acquisition reports
  8. Behavior reports
  9. Custom campaign tracking
  10. Analytics Goals
  11. AdWords reports in Analytics
  12. User Journey. Goal Tracking, Custom tracking, Business strategy plan against the analytics etc.

Take away points-

1. How to setup Goal and campaign tracking.
            Three steps.
1.      Acquisition
2.      Behaviour
3.      Conversation

2. Performance view will help to compare side by side.
3. Comparison View – to view each entry is performing above and below
4. Pivot view – Different row and values for the comparison, the filter can be added to bounce rate.
5. It collects data from the various source, compiles it, creates a report for the conversation and right audience.
6. It tracks all data like GEO, language, browser OS, and traffic source etc.
7. Every time this analytics code will be executed/updated and maintain a session. Default session for
30 mins.
8. Each account can have multiple properties and each property can have multiple views. This should be well defined because we can’t change data once it processes in google analytics databases.
9. Filter can be applied at the view level.
10. To exclude internal data, external traffic can be added based on particular IP.
11. The view will not include past data.
12. Only setup 25 views per property
13.If you deleted a view the only administrator can restore this within 35 days.
14. Access can be setup at Account, Property and view level and it will inherit the base.
15. Analytics show only first 10 Records of data.
16. Analytics by default short report by users.
17. Data table view is default report view
18. Performance view will help to compare side by side
19.Comparison View – to view each entry is performing above and below
20. Pivot view – Different row and values for the comparison, the filter can be added to bounce rate for particular device etc.
21.Customize report by adding metrics group.
Filters or additional views.
It will create new report under the custom report.
Email can be sent and can be scheduled on a regular basis.

22. Export report options.

23. You can also define a Dashboard.

24. Pull down menu right top
25. Slower response greater processor - Option will capture maximum data.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sitecore - How to fix could not found configuration node -watcher/media/folder

Hi All,

Here are the details for the root cause of this issue and fix.

This error will occur when we added custom configuration in the siteocre root like pipelines and other events and not added the right format.


Below is the sample configuration which will work fine.

For this configuration - It will work perfectly,

If we change the configuation let's add any unexpected/wrong format tag then it will create this issue

Example below-

Please check all your configuration there must be some issue where sitecore will not be able to merge in the configuration - Sitecore/admin/Showconfig.aspx

Hope this will help.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sitecore YASCA - Code review, inbuild plugin (FindBugs,FxCo and PMD)-Recommendation by OWASP

Sitecore code Review and Security (Automation and Engineering)
Part-1 YASCA Integration


1.1     Context

This document is intended to provide the understanding about Sitecore Security, automation, Performace.static and dynamic code analyzer.

1.1  Security

Security thread in an important place to be taken care for the application, considering this OWASP provided complete guidelines.

1.1.1  YASCA Code Review, Open source and recommended by OWASP.

Security thread in an important place to be taken care for the application, considering this OWASP provided complete guidelines.
As per Sitecore consideration – Here we will use the YASCA tool to verify the thread and compliance for the security, below are the details and all steps.
security, below are the details and all steps.

1.1.1  What is YASCA

1.      Yasca is an open source program which looks for security vulnerabilities, code-quality, performance, and conformance to best practices in program source code. It leverages external open source programs, such as FindBugsPMDJLintJavaScript LintPHPLintCppcheckClamAVRATS, and Pixy to scan specific file types, and also contains many custom scanners developed just for Yasca. It is a command-line tool that generates reports in HTML, CSV, XML, SQLite, and other formats. Yasca is easily extensible via a plugin-based architecture, so scanning any particular file is as simple as coming up with the rules or integrating external tools.
2.      Yasca also features a simple regular-expression plugin that allows new rules to be written in less than a minute.

Reference taken from below link- Please visit for more details.:-
  2. Yasca is hosted on Github and has the main project website at
  3. Download Link:-
  4. Github code:-

Complete security and vulnerability guidelines: -
After download, the file structure will look like below

1.1.2  How to run YASCA and to generate a report.

Go to command prompt and go the root folder of downloaded YASCA folder.
Open command prompt-
Go to the root path: -
Example: - D:\YASCO Folder (Space) YSACA and Path of your source code.
It will generate report in below folder

1.1.3  YASCA – Understanding the report structure.

Default report will be generated in the HTML format and can be easily browsed.

This is shorted by Severity

Click on details button it will provide all details about the Severity and why it’s falling with reference to the OWASP and CWE etc.
Supported plugin through YASCA those can be extended.
1.      CppCheck
2.      FindBugs
3.      FxCop
4.      Pixy
5.      PMD

Happy coding - Will share next details in part2

Saturday, May 13, 2017

How to choose the right CMS and CXM?

Well, I am not going to write a definition of any tools or software, these can be easily found on Google and wiki.
There are a lot of options available but the first user should do a homework, write down their actual needs, future plan and requirement and consider below inputs.
let's start now-
Key Agenda:- What type of categories available in the digital world and what all are the key consideration while choosing these platforms.
Ok, So let's cover the first point here.
CMS is a very small entity in the digital world but it's the key entity, here are some high level of categories.

Free:- Totally free of cost.

There are some free CMS available in the market and that can be easily used to fulfill the requirements.
Go for it if you are:-
  1. A small company set up having 1-15 people.
  2. Personal profile.
  3. Personal Blogs.
  4. Local store or business.
  5. No global presence.
  6. Limited editorial team.
  7. Not required continuous engagement.
  8. Security and performance are not a key consideration.
  9. Not required international standard compliance.
  10. Not required multilingual or digitalization.
Advantage of using free CMS or CXM
  1. It’s generally free.
  2. Limited free plugins.
  3. Limited or Larger community to help.
  4. Free basic themes and designs.
  5. limited Security and standards followed.
  6. Large Communities
Disadvantage of using free CMS or CXM

  1. Free is not always free, there may be some hidden charges for the support.
  2. Not authentic plugin or support.
  3. Not made for large business or global presence.
  4. No custom functionality.
  5. Limited scope for customization.
  6. Limited extendibility as a platform.
  7. No digitalization.
  8. You may be in trouble if not found the latest update or end up with the support and tool itself.
  9. Risk of abandonment
  10. No Guaranteed Support
  11. Inconsistent Updates
Note- Some of the CMS and CXM looks like totally free but when going for a deep dive you will find a premium or executive version.
This is one of the fastest growing sectors, All big company has launched their platform and software as an Open source, A big example is Microsoft, they have recently announced visual studio 2017 as open source and launched core2.0
There are very good examples very big companies and community adopted free CMS and completely working for their success.
Above details are high level but these Free CMS and CXM now days using for big reasons.
If you are a good architecture team and can understand the big picture like headless architecture then this could be your good choice for the backend.

Freemium:- Totally free of cost but may have some hidden charges.

There are some free CMS available in the market and that can be easily used to fulfill the requirements but may require some cost for the plugin or support.
Go for it if you are:-
  1. A Midsize company set up having 15-50 people.
  2. A good presence in a country or growing globally.
  3. Country-level store or business.
  4. Limited global presence.
  5. An advance editorial team of size 5-100.
  6. Required continuous engagement at lower level
  7. Security and performance are considerable but not the main focus.
  8. Retention of existing customer.
  9. Limited budget.
Advantage of using freemium CMS or CXM
  1. It’s free but may charge for additional services, customization or support.
  2. A lot of free and paid plugins
  3. Limited or Larger community to help.
  4. Free basic themes and designs.
  5. Security is considerable like Vulnerable to malicious users.
  6. Support for the key modules and features.
  7. Limited support.
  8. Increased Business Risk
Disadvantage of using freemium CMS or CXM
  1. Free is not always free, there may be some hidden charges for the support.
  2. Steep learning curve 
  3. Not 100% completely tried & Tested
  4. Not made for large business or global presence.
  5. The code is only as good as the developer.
  6. Limited support.
  7. Not advance user-friendly as commercial versions.
  8. Semi-restrictive Licenses

Premium:- Basic key features at minimum cost and list of advanced features to offer you.

Well-funded organizations are the backbone of these CMS and CXM, Authenticated and well-managed strategy and future planning for launch and up-gradation.
Go for it if you are:-
  1. A Big company set up having more than 100 people.
  2. A global presence and store or business.
  3. An advance editorial team of size more than 10.
  4. Required continuous engagement and customer focus.
  5. Security and performance are the key consideration
  6. Retention of existing customer is key consideration
  7. A good amount of budget for current and future engagement.
Advantage of using premium CMS or CXM
  1. Authentic and well tested.
  2. Lot of features and latest updates
  3. Larger community to help.
  4. Security and performance are a top consideration.
  5. Support for the key modules and features.
  6. Advanced Flexibility.
  7. Specialist Support Team and flexible help.
  8. Involved by skillful and talented people. 
  9. Highly reliable.
Disadvantage of using premium CMS or CXM
  1. Average ROI.
  2. Don’t come with tailored support.
  3. Cost may be high

Executive:- A complete ownership, Stability, User Experience, and Tailored Support

Well-funded organizations are the backbone of these CMS and CXM, Authenticated and well-managed strategy and future planning for launch and up-gradation.
Go for it if you are:-
  1. A Big global company.
  2. Planned for a good investment on digitalization and a complete journey.
  3. Required continuous engagement and customer focus.
  4. A better customer experience.
  5. Need some key features like Multisite, Multilingual etc.
  6. Add-On Functionality like commerce, personalization, email campaign etc.
  7. Vast modules and connector to integrate with all platforms.
  8. Very user-friendly and easy to use.
  9. integration with analytics and 360 views of the customer.
  10. Automatic testing and premium content recommendation.
  11. Competition with better customer engagement.
  12. Increase your digital strategy.
  13. Stable and full proof Scalability. 
  14. A team of marketers to manage your solution, without additional development.
Advantage of using premium CMS or CXM
  1. High ROI.
  2. Authentic and well tested.
  3. Lot of features and latest updates
  4. Larger community to help
  5. Security and performance are a top consideration.
  6. Support for the key modules and features.
  7. Advanced Flexibility.
  8. Specialist Support Team and flexible help.
  9. Involved by skillful and talented people. Ticket based system with SLA.
  10. Highly reliable.
  11. Measurable 
Disadvantage of using premium CMS or CXM
  1. Expensive- It could be dangerous if not used correctly and may affect your budget
  2. Required right talent to understand and execute the system.
  3. Costs can quickly add up.

When considering all the pros and cons, there are clear advantages of free, fermium, premium and executive.
In the end analysis, it depends on what you want, what is the goal of your business/personal and what is your strategy for ROI. However, it is always worth discussing it with an expert who can advise you, based on your need.