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

It’s never the runtime… (Except when it is)

BugSomething I’ve learned over the course of many years working in IT is that when you hit a difficult to explain problem it’s very easy to say “it’s the runtime’s fault!” or “that’s a compiler bug” to cover for the lack of explanation for your problem. The vast majority of the time, it’s not true though. It’s just a subtler bug in your own work that you can’t see yet.

Every so often, however, it is true. And it turns out the issue I discussed the other week about Sitecore rendering a Razor error when you asked for a media item may well be an example of this. Continue reading

The rise of the machines

I wasn’t at SUGCON this year, but I followed the event on Twitter and have read a few of the write-ups that have been posted since the event. A popular topic this year has been applying machine learning to Sitecore in the quest for ever cleverer personalised experiences. It’s fascinating stuff to read about, and I’m sure it has great potential for the future, but what I didn’t see much discussion of was the possible down-sides of using “AI” for these tasks rather than people making choices. So allow me to put on some comedy horns and play devil’s advocate for a bit… ->

What went wrong with my media?

Edited to add: With help from Sitecore Support, there’s an explanation for what was going on here now.

If you spend your life working with software, you can’t help but collect a few stories of issues that defied your understanding – and I came across a great example with Sitecore recently. I haven’t managed to decide if this is an issue that can happen to others, or whether it was completely specific to the setup of this particular site. But since I got few useful results from Google when I was trying to solve this, I figure it’s worth writing about it just in case someone else sees a similar problem in the future… Continue reading