The curious case of what happened to my Indexing Manager

I’ve spent the last week or so working on the config changes necessary to migrate a client site running Sitecore v8.1 from using Lucene to Solr for its search infrastructure. I’ve not worked much with Solr before, so this has been a good opportunity for me to learn about how it works and how it gets configured. But when I deployed my changes from my local development environment to a central testing server I discovered some odd behavior which Google didn’t help with. So, for the good of search indexes everywhere, here’s what happened… Continue reading


Measure if you want to go faster!

I got the chance to speak at the Manchester Sitecore user group recently, introducing some tools and tricks that can be used to measure site performance while you’re developing your Sitecore code.

For anyone who wasn’t there (and those who were but, want to refer back to what I said) here’s a summary of the important bits of content from that talk…
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An experiment with automatic tests

I spent some time working with some code recently, which had some annoying habits of failing oddly in scenarios where nulls got passed into constructors. While I was trying to work around some of these issues, it struck me that tests for parameter handling for constructors are one of those annoying things that tend to make unit testing frustrating. They’re annoying boiler-plate to write if you need them, and then a constructor signature changes, you end up with a lot of make-work test changes to do.

So as an exercise in “learning something new”, wondered whether I could automate them in a reasonable way… Continue reading

Fun with broken SQL Replication

Recently I’ve spent some time debugging some issues with a client site. One problem that came up during this work (which, sadly wasn’t actually the problem I was looking for) was a set of errors from SQL Replication appearing in the Sitecore logs. In keeping with my previous ranting about keeping your Sitecore logs as error free as possible I spent some time working out how to solve this.

Since I’d not looked at databases at this sort of level for some considerable time, I’m writing down some notes for my future self, next time I have to worry about this sort of thing… Continue reading

So you’re thinking about an upgrade?

I’ve been involved in a few discussions about the scope of projects to upgrade existing Sitecore instances in the last few weeks, and quite a lot of that discussion has focused around the “development environment” aspects of the upgrade work. So I thought I would write down some of the things that have come up in my conversations. This isn’t supposed to be a “how-to” guide, or a complete list of everything you need to worry about. But hopefully this post will provoke thought and discussions on some important topics around what might need to change – especially if you’ve not done an upgrade before… Continue reading