v10.1’s new database update strategy

One of the interesting things that’s arrived with Sitecore v10.1 is a new approach to how items get updated when you change versions. This change is aimed at containerised deployments, and I’m in the middle of a containerised project. So I figured I should take a look… Continue reading

Peeking into search queries

An issue I’ve bumped into a number of times over the years, is that sometimes developers want to be able to look at the query that got generated when they did something with Sitecore’s ContentSearch APIs. The traditional answer of “go look in the logs” is one way to deal with this, but some recent project work got me wondering if there were alternatives… Continue reading

Broken Unicorn synchronisation

Ever had a tool that works reliably suddenly not work? I had a problem like that recently, and it lead to some experimentation that I think I may need to come back to later. So this is mostly so I can remember what I was doing when I get back to this. But as we move toward a more “platform agnostic” with more use of .Net Core on Linux, maybe there’s something here that might help you too… Continue reading

Experimenting with Content Hub integration

I’ve got a project on the cards where I need to connect both Sitecore and a third-party image capture system to Content Hub. While I’ve done the official admin & developer training for Content Hub, I thought it would be worth a quick proof-of-concept so that I could verify the plan I had would actually work – and it turned out that there was an interesting issue hiding under this… Continue reading

An interesting diversion into procedural generation…

Outside of work I’ve been looking for non-Sitecore things to experiement with recently, and my eye was caught by a bit of interesting game development technology. I came across a discussion of using code to generate game data with a technique called “Wavefunction Collapse”. It’s a simple concept, but it has some interesting results, so I thought I’d have a go at an implementation myself. Continue reading

Reformatting config XML so it’s easier to diff

Every so often pretty much every developer ends up in a situation where they’re looking at a bug that manifests on one platform, but not on another. The sort of bug where you end up spending hours looking through log and config files for a subtle difference. I found myself looking into just this sort of bug recently, but on a site where (to my frustration) the config files were full of comments and whitespace differences across platforms that made diffing really hard**. Spotting that subtle bug-causing difference is pretty much impossible when your diff is full of noise… So how can we fix that? Continue reading

A little PowerShell hack for sending files to a remote machine

I was asked to do some configuration on a remote computer recently, and discovered that the security-concious network admins had locked down the ability for me to share my local computer’s files with the server via RDP and the ability to get to services like OneDrive. I had a collection of config files I had been asked to deploy, and manually creating each file on the server and copying over its contents seemed like a lot of hassle. So I tried a trick with PowerShell to make my life easier… Continue reading

Dealing with .tar.gz files on Windows Server

A couple of times recently, I’ve found myself needing to deploy files that come wrapped in a .tar.gz archive onto servers. On your desktop that’s not too much of a problem – you just run the installer for your preferred 3rd party tool, or maybe use the new Unixy shell and you get on with it. But on client servers security can be higher and you don’t always get the option to run any old installer. So I needed an alternative… Continue reading