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Yearly Archives: 2014

2014 Blog Statistics

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Add Additional Item Fields to RSS Feeds Generated by Sitecore

Earlier today a colleague had asked me how to add additional Item fields into RSS feeds generated by Sitecore.

I could have sworn there was an easy way to do this, but when looking at the RSS Feed Design dialog in Sitecore, it appears you are limited to three fields on your Items “out of the box”:

rss-feed-design

After a lot of digging in Sitecore.Kernel.dll, I discovered that one can inject a subclass of Sitecore.Syndication.PublicFeed to override/augment RSS feed functionality:

feed-manager

As a proof-of-concept, I whipped up the following subclass of Sitecore.Syndication.PublicFeed:

using System.ServiceModel.Syndication; // Note: you must reference System.ServiceModel.dll to use this!

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Pipelines;
using Sitecore.Pipelines.RenderField;
using Sitecore.Syndication;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Syndication
{
    public class ImageInContentPublicFeed : PublicFeed
    {
        private static string ImageFieldName { get; set; }

        private static string RenderFieldPipelineName { get; set; }

        static ImageInContentPublicFeed()
        {
            ImageFieldName = Settings.GetSetting("RSS.Fields.ImageFieldName");
            RenderFieldPipelineName = Settings.GetSetting("Pipelines.RenderField");
        }

        protected override SyndicationItem RenderItem(Item item)
        {
            SyndicationItem syndicationItem = base.RenderItem(item);
            AddImageHtmlToContent(syndicationItem, GetImageFieldHtml(item));
            return syndicationItem;
        }

        protected virtual string GetImageFieldHtml(Item item)
        {
            if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(ImageFieldName))
            {
                return string.Empty;
            }

            return GetImageFieldHtml(item, ImageFieldName);
        }

        private static string GetImageFieldHtml(Item item, string imageFieldName)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(imageFieldName, "imageFieldName");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(RenderFieldPipelineName, "RenderFieldPipelineName");
            if (item == null || item.Fields[imageFieldName] == null)
            {
                return string.Empty;
            }

            RenderFieldArgs args = new RenderFieldArgs { Item = item, FieldName = imageFieldName };
            CorePipeline.Run(RenderFieldPipelineName, args);
            if (args.Result.IsEmpty)
            {
                return string.Empty;
            }

            return args.Result.ToString();
        }

        protected virtual void AddImageHtmlToContent(SyndicationItem syndicationItem, string imageHtml)
        {
            if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(imageHtml) || !(syndicationItem.Content is TextSyndicationContent))
            {
                return;
            }

            TextSyndicationContent content = syndicationItem.Content as TextSyndicationContent;
            syndicationItem.Content = new TextSyndicationContent(string.Concat(imageHtml, content.Text), TextSyndicationContentKind.Html);
        }
    }
}

The class above ultimately overrides the RenderItem(Item item) method defined on Sitecore.Syndication.PublicFeed — it is declared virtual. The RenderItem(Item item) method above delegates to the RenderItem(Item item) method of Sitecore.Syndication.PublicFeed; grabs the System.ServiceModel.Syndication.SyndicationContent instance set in the Content property of the returned SyndicationItem object — this happens to be an instance of System.ServiceModel.Syndication.TextSyndicationContent; delegates to the <renderField> pipeline to generate HTML for the image set in the Image Field on the item; creates a new System.ServiceModel.Syndication.TextSyndicationContent instance with the HTML of the image combined with the HTML from the original TextSyndicationContent instance; sets the Content property with this new System.ServiceModel.Syndication.TextSyndicationContent instance; and returns the SyndicationItem instance to the caller.

Since I hate hard-coding things, I put the Image Field’s name and <renderField> pipeline’s name in a patch configuration file:

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <settings>
      <setting name="RSS.Fields.ImageFieldName" value="Image" />
      <setting name="Pipelines.RenderField" value="renderField" />
    </settings>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

I then mapped the above subclass of Sitecore.Syndication.PublicFeed to the RSS Feed Item I created:

RSS-Feed-Item

For testing, I added two Items — one with an image and another without an image:

item-with-image

item-no-image

After publishing everything, I loaded the RSS feed in my browser and saw the following:

RSS-Feed

If you know of other ways to add additional Item fields into Sitecore RSS feeds, please share in a comment.

Bundle CSS and JavaScript Files in Sitecore MVC

The other day I was poking around Sitecore.Forms.Mvc.dll — this assembly ships with Web Forms for Marketers (WFFM), and is used when WFFM is running on Sitecore MVC — and noticed WFFM does some bundling of JavaScript and CSS files:

wffm-bundling

WFFM uses the above class as an <initialize> pipeline processor. You can see this defined in Sitecore.Forms.Mvc.config:

Sitecore-Forms-Mvc-config

This got me thinking: why not build my own class to serve as an <initialize> pipeline processor to bundle my CSS and JavaScript files?

As an experiment I whipped up the following class to do just that:

using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web.Optimization;

using Sitecore.Pipelines;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Forms.Mvc.Pipelines
{         
    public class RegisterAdditionalFormBundles
    {
        public RegisterAdditionalFormBundles()
        {
            CssFiles = new List<string>();
            JavaScriptFiles = new List<string>();
        }

        public void Process(PipelineArgs args)
        {
            BundleCollection bundles = GetBundleCollection();
            if (bundles == null)
            {
                return;
            }

            AddBundle(bundles, CreateCssBundle());
            AddBundle(bundles, CreateJavaScriptBundle());
        }

        protected virtual BundleCollection GetBundleCollection()
        {
            return BundleTable.Bundles;
        }

        protected virtual Bundle CreateCssBundle()
        {
            if (!CanBundleAssets(CssVirtualPath, CssFiles))
            {
                return null;
            }

            return new StyleBundle(CssVirtualPath).Include(CssFiles.ToArray());
        }

        protected virtual Bundle CreateJavaScriptBundle()
        {
            if (!CanBundleAssets(JavaScriptVirtualPath, JavaScriptFiles))
            {
                return null;
            }

            return new ScriptBundle(JavaScriptVirtualPath).Include(JavaScriptFiles.ToArray());
        }

        protected virtual bool CanBundleAssets(string virtualPath, IEnumerable<string> filePaths)
        {
            return !string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(virtualPath)
                    && filePaths != null
                    && filePaths.Any();
        }

        private static void AddBundle(BundleCollection bundles, Bundle bundle)
        {
            if(bundle == null)
            {
                return;
            }

            bundles.Add(bundle);
        }

        private string CssVirtualPath { get; set; }

        private List<string> CssFiles { get; set; }

        private string JavaScriptVirtualPath { get; set; }

        private List<string> JavaScriptFiles { get; set; }
    }
}

The class above basically takes in a collection of CSS and JavaScript file paths as well as their virtual bundled paths — these are magically populated by Sitecore’s Configuration Factory using values provided by the configuration file shown below — iterates over both collections, and adds them to the BundleTable — the BundleTable is defined in System.Web.Optimization.dll.

I then glued everything together using a patch configuration file:

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <pipelines>
      <initialize>
        <processor patch:after="processor[@type='Sitecore.Forms.Mvc.Pipelines.RegisterFormBundles, Sitecore.Forms.Mvc']"
          type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Forms.Mvc.Pipelines.RegisterAdditionalFormBundles, Sitecore.Sandbox">
          <CssVirtualPath>~/wffm-bundles/styles.css</CssVirtualPath>
          <CssFiles hint="list">
            <CssFile>~/css/uniform.aristo.css</CssFile>
          </CssFiles>
          <JavaScriptVirtualPath>~/wffm-bundles/scripts.js</JavaScriptVirtualPath>
          <JavaScriptFiles hint="list">
            <JavaScriptFile>~/js/jquery.min.js</JavaScriptFile>
            <JavaScriptFile>~/js/jquery.uniform.min.js</JavaScriptFile>
            <JavaScriptFile>~/js/bind.uniform.js</JavaScriptFile>
          </JavaScriptFiles>
        </processor>
      </initialize>
    </pipelines>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

I’m adding the <initialize> pipeline processor shown above after WFFM’s though theoretically you could add it anywhere within the <initialize> pipeline.

The CSS and JavaScript files defined in the configuration file above are from the Uniform project — this project includes CSS, JavaScript and images to make forms look nice, though I am in no way endorsing this project. I only needed some CSS and JavaScript files to spin up something quickly for testing.

For testing, I built the following View — it uses some helpers to render the <link> and <script> tags for the bundles — and tied it to my Layout in Sitecore:

@using System.Web.Optimization
@using Sitecore.Mvc
@using Sitecore.Mvc.Presentation

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>

<head>
    <title></title>

    @Styles.Render("~/wffm-bundles/styles.css")
    @Scripts.Render("~/wffm-bundles/scripts.js")
    
</head>
<body>
    

    @Html.Sitecore().Placeholder("page content")

</body>
</html>

I then built a “Feedback” form in WFFM; mapped it to the “page content” placeholder defined in the View above; published it; and pulled it up in my browser. As you can see the code from the Uniform project styled the form:

styled-form

For comparison, this is what the form looks like without the <initialize> pipeline processor above:

2014-10-30_2316

If you have any thoughts on this, or have alternative ways of bundling CSS and JavaScript files in your Sitecore MVC solutions, please share in a comment.

Turn Off the Attaching of Files in Emails Sent by Web Forms for Marketers in Sitecore

The other day Michael West pinged me to see if I could help someone in one of the SDN forums via this tweet:

The poster had asked if there were an easy way to disable the attachment of files on emails sent by the Web Forms for Marketers (WFFM) module in Sitecore.

After quickly peeking in the WFFM assemblies, I gave a potential solution — check out the thread to see what it was — though it did not work.

Tonight I looked further into how to accomplish this, and came up with the following solution:

using System;
using System.Net;

using Sitecore.Data;
using Sitecore.Form.Core.Client.Data.Submit;
using Sitecore.Form.Core.Pipelines.ProcessMessage;
using Sitecore.Pipelines;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Form.Submit
{
    public class SendMessage : Sitecore.Form.Submit.SendMessage
    {
        protected override void ExecuteMail(ID form, AdaptedResultList fields)
        {
            ProcessMessageArgs args = new ProcessMessageArgs(form, fields, this.MessageType);
            base.To = base.To.TrimEnd(new char[] { ',', ';' });
            base.LocalFrom = base.From.TrimEnd(new char[] { ',', ';' });
            args.To.Append(base.To.Replace(";", ","));
            args.From = base.From.Replace(";", ",");

            // magically populated by WFFM via XML
            args.IncludeAttachment = IncludeAttachments; 

            args.Mail.Append(base.Mail);
            args.Subject.Append(base.Subject);
            args.Recipient = this.Recipient;
            args.RecipientGateway = this.RecipientGateway;
            args.Host = base.Host;
            args.Port = base.Port;
            args.IsBodyHtml = this.IsBodyHtml;
            args.EnableSsl = this.EnableSsl;
            args.Data.Add("FromPhone", this.FromPhone ?? string.Empty);
            string[] strArray = string.IsNullOrEmpty(base.Login) ? new string[] { string.Empty } : base.Login.Split(new char[] { '\\' });
            if ((strArray.Length > 0) && !string.IsNullOrEmpty(strArray[0]))
            {
                if ((strArray.Length == 2) && !string.IsNullOrEmpty(strArray[1]))
                {
                    args.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(strArray[1], base.Password, strArray[0]);
                }
                else
                {
                    args.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(strArray[0], base.Password);
                }
            }
            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(base.CC))
            {
                base.CC = base.CC.TrimEnd(new char[] { ',', ';' });
                args.CC.Append(base.CC.Replace(";", ","));
            }
            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(base.BCC))
            {
                base.BCC = base.BCC.TrimEnd(new char[] { ',', ';' });
                args.BCC.Append(base.BCC.Replace(";", ","));
            }
            CorePipeline.Run("processMessage", args);
        }

        // magically populated by WFFM via XML
        private bool IncludeAttachments { get; set; }
    }
}

The class above inherits from Sitecore.Form.Submit.SendMessage in Sitecore.Forms.Custom.dll, and overrides the ExecuteMail() method — this method is declared virtual in Sitecore.Form.Submit.SendMail which is the base class of Sitecore.Form.Submit.SendMessage.

Most of the code in ExecuteMail() above is from the ExecuteMail() method on Sitecore.Form.Submit.SendMessage, though with one minor difference: I have added a boolean property named “IncludeAttachments” which is magically populated by WFFM via an XML property declaration for this class:

wffm-no-attachments

I spun up a form quickly with some File Upload fields, and mapped the above Save Action to it:

form-save-action-no-attachment

I then navigated to my form, attached two images, and clicked the submit button:

attached-two-images

As you can see, the images were not attached to the email:

no-attachments-email

I then went back to my Save Action; set the <IncludeAttachments> XML element’s value to be true; saved the form Item; published it; and resubmitted the form:

with-attachments-email

As you can see, the images were attached this time.

If you have any thoughts on this, please drop a comment.

A Fix for the Hard-coded Submit Button Text in Web Forms for Marketers on Sitecore MVC

No doubt you have heard the latest version of Web Forms for Marketers — better known as WFFM — now works on Sitecore MVC — don’t know about you but I am quite excited over this!

Plus, as an added bonus — and this made my day when I installed it 😀 — you can change most of the rendered markup for forms in Views that ship with the module (these are installed into ~\Views\Form\EditorTemplates\ of your Sitecore instance).

However, the other day, I discovered the submit button text is hard-coded in one of the module’s Views:

submit-button-text-hardcoded

As you may know, the module does provide a field on Form Items to change the submit button text:

submit-button-text-form-item

Unfortunately, the value of this field is not being put into the value attribute of the submit button in the View above.

I have alerted Sitecore support of this issue via a ticket though do recommend modifying ~\Views\Form\EditorTemplates\FormModel.cshtml to use the submit button text set on the Form Item if you are using WFFM on Sitecore MVC:

submit-button-text-not-hardcoded

As you can see, the value of the submit button text field is set on a property of the model, and can be easily be put into the value attribute of the submit button.

If you have any thoughts on this, please share in a comment.

Add Scripts to the PowerShell Toolbox in Sitecore PowerShell Extensions

During our ‘Take charge of your Sitecore instance using Sitecore tools’ session at Sitecore Symposium 2014 Las Vegas, Sitecore MVP Sean Holmesby and I shared how easy it is to leverage/extend popular Sitecore development tools out there, and built up a fictitious Sitecore website where we pulled in #SitecoreSelfie Tweets.

The code that pulls in these Tweets is supposed to follow a naming convention where Tweet IDs are appended to Media Library Item names, as you can see here:

sean-profile-image

Sadly, right before our talk, I mistakenly 😉 made a code change which broke our naming convention for some images:

sean-selfie-image

Upon further investigation, we had discovered our issue was much larger than anticipated: all Selfie Media Library Item names do not end with their Tweet IDs:

no-tweet-ids

To fix this, I decided to create a PowerShell Toolbox script in Sitecore PowerShell Extensions using the following script:

<#
    .SYNOPSIS
        Rename selfie image items to include tweet ID where missing.
     
    .NOTES
        Mike Reynolds
#>
$items = Get-ChildItem -Path "master:\sitecore\content\Social-Media\Twitter\Tweets" -Recurse | Where-Object { $_.TemplateName -eq "Tweet" }

$changedItems = @()
foreach($item in $items) {
	$tweetID = $item["TweetID"]
	$selfieImageField = [Sitecore.Data.Fields.ImageField]$item.Fields["SelfieImage"]
	$selfieImage = $selfieImageField.MediaItem
	if($selfieImage -ne $null -and -not $selfieImage.Name.EndsWith($tweetID)) {
		$oldName = $selfieImage.Name
		$newName = $oldName + "_" + $tweetID
		$selfieImage.Editing.BeginEdit()
		$selfieImage.Name = $newName
		$selfieImage.Editing.EndEdit()
		
		$changedItem = New-Object PSObject -Property @{            
		    Icon = $selfieImage.Appearance.Icon
			OldName = $oldName
			NewName = $newName  
			Path = $selfieImage.Paths.Path
			Alt = $selfieImage["Alt"]
			Title = $selfieImage["Title"]
			Width = $selfieImage["Width"]
			Height = $selfieImage["Height"]
			MimeType = $selfieImage["Mime Type"]
			Size = $selfieImage["Size"]           
		}
		
		$changedItems += $changedItem
	}
}

if($changedItems.Count -gt 0) {
    $changedItems |
        Show-ListView -Property @{Label="Icon"; Expression={$_.Icon} },
            @{Label="Old Name"; Expression={$_.OldName} },
    		@{Label="New Name"; Expression={$_.NewName} },
    		@{Label="Path"; Expression={$_.Path} },
            @{Label="Alt"; Expression={$_.Alt} },
    		@{Label="Title"; Expression={$_.Title} },
            @{Label="Width"; Expression={$_.Width} },
            @{Label="Height"; Expression={$_.Height} },
            @{Label="Mime Type"; Expression={$_.MimeType} },
    		@{Label="Size"; Expression={$_.Size} }
} else {
    Show-Alert "There are no selfie image items missing tweet IDs in their name."
}
Close-Window

The above PowerShell script grabs all Tweet Items in Sitecore; ascertains whether referenced Selfie images in the Media Library — these are referenced in the “SelfieImage” field on the Tweet Items — end with the Tweet IDs of their referring Tweet Items (the Tweet ID is stored in a field on the Tweet Item); and renames the Selfie images to include their Tweet IDs if not. The script also launches a dialog showing the images that have changed.

To save the above script in the PowerShell Toolbox, I launched the PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) in Sitecore PowerShell Extensions:

powershell-ise-context-menu

I pasted in the above script, and saved it in the PowerShell Toolbox library:

toolbox-save-as

As you can see, our new script is in the PowerShell Toolbox:

new-script-in-toolbox

I then clicked the new PowerShell Toolbox option, and was presented with the following dialog:

selfie-toolbox-script-results

The above dialog gives information about the images along with their old and new Item names.

I then navigated to where these images live in the Media Library, and see that they were all renamed to include Tweet IDs:

selfie-images-tweet-ids

If you have any thoughts on this, or suggestions for other PowerShell Toolbox scripts, please share in a comment.

Until next time, have a #SitecoreSelfie type of day!

Clone Items using the Sitecore Item Web API

Yesterday, I had the privilege to present with Ben Lipson and Jamie Michalski, both of Velir, on the Sitecore Item Web API at the New England Sitecore User Group — if you want to see us in action, check out the recording of our presentation!

Plus, my slides are available here!

During my presentation, I demonstrated how easy it is to customize the Sitecore Item API by adding a custom <itemWebApiRequest> pipeline processor, and a custom pipeline to handle a cloning request — for another example on adding a custom <itemWebApiRequest> pipeline processor, and another pipeline to execute a different custom operation, have a look at this post where I show how to publish Items using the Sitecore Item Web API.

For any custom pipeline you build for the Sitecore Item Web API, you must define a Parameter Object that inherits from Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.OperationArgs:

using System.Collections.Generic;

using Sitecore.Data.Items;

using Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Pipelines;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Clone
{
    public class CloneArgs : OperationArgs
    {
        public CloneArgs(Item[] scope)
            : base(scope)
        {
        }

        public IEnumerable<Item> Destinations { get; set; }

        public bool IsRecursive { get; set; }

        public IEnumerable<Item> Clones { get; set; }
    }
}

I added three properties to the class above: a property to hold parent destinations for clones; another indicating whether all descendants should be cloned; and a property to hold a collection of the clones.

I then created a base class for processors of my custom pipeline for cloning:

using Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Pipelines;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Clone
{
    public abstract class CloneProcessor : OperationProcessor<CloneArgs>
    {
        protected CloneProcessor()
        {
        }
    }
}

The above class inherits from Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.OperationProcessor which is the base class for most Sitecore Item Web API pipelines.

The following class serves as one processor of my custom cloning pipeline:

using System.Collections.Generic;

using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Clone
{
    public class CloneItems : CloneProcessor
    {
        public override void Process(CloneArgs args)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args, "args");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args.Scope, "args.Scope");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args.Destinations, "args.Destinations");
            IList<Item> clones = new List<Item>();
            foreach (Item itemToClone in args.Scope)
            {
                foreach (Item destination in args.Destinations)
                {
                    clones.Add(CloneItem(itemToClone, destination, args.IsRecursive));
                }   
            }

            args.Clones = clones;
        }

        private Item CloneItem(Item item, Item destination, bool isRecursive)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(destination, "destination");
            return item.CloneTo(destination, isRecursive);
        }
    }
}

The class above iterates over all Items in scope — these are the Items being cloned — and clones all to the specified destinations (parent Items of the clones).

I then spun up the following class to serve as another processor in my custom cloning pipeline:

using System.Linq;

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Pipelines;

using Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Read;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Clone
{
    public class SetResult : CloneProcessor
    {
        public override void Process(CloneArgs args)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args, "args");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args.Clones, "args.Clones");
            if (args.Result == null)
            {
                ReadArgs readArgs = new ReadArgs(args.Clones.ToArray());
                CorePipeline.Run("itemWebApiRead", readArgs);
                args.Result = readArgs.Result;
            }
        }
    }
}

The above class delegates to the <itemWebApiRead> pipeline which retrieves the clones from Sitecore, and stores these in the Parameter Object instance for the custom cloning pipeline.

In order to handle custom requests in the Sitecore Item Web API, you must create a custom <itemWebApiRequest> pipeline processor. I put together the following class to handle my cloning operation:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;

using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.ItemWebApi;
using Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Request;
using Sitecore.Pipelines;
using Sitecore.Text;
using Sitecore.Web;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Clone;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Request
{
    public class ResolveCloneAction : RequestProcessor
    {
        public override void Process(RequestArgs args)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args, "args");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(RequestMethod, "RequestMethod");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(MultipleItemsDelimiter, "MultipleItemsDelimiter");
            if (!ShouldProcessRequest(args))
            {
                return;
            }

            IEnumerable<Item> destinations = GetDestinationItems();
            if (!destinations.Any())
            {
                Logger.Warn("Cannot process clone action: there are no destination items!");
                return;
            }
            
            CloneArgs cloneArgs = new CloneArgs(args.Scope) 
            { 
                Destinations = destinations,
                IsRecursive = DoRecursiveCloning() 
            };
            CorePipeline.Run("itemWebApiClone", cloneArgs);
            args.Result = cloneArgs.Result;
        }

        private bool ShouldProcessRequest(RequestArgs args)
        {
            // Is this the request method we care about?
            if (!AreEqualIgnoreCase(args.Context.HttpContext.Request.HttpMethod, RequestMethod))
            {
                return false;
            }

            // are multiple axes supplied?
            if (WebUtil.GetQueryString("scope").Contains(MultipleItemsDelimiter))
            {
                Logger.Warn("Cannot process clone action: multiple axes detected!");
                return false;
            }

            // are there any items in scope?
            if (!args.Scope.Any())
            {
                Logger.Warn("Cannot process clone action: there are no items in Scope!");
                return false;
            }

            return true;
        }

        private static bool AreEqualIgnoreCase(string one, string two)
        {
            return string.Equals(one, two, StringComparison.CurrentCultureIgnoreCase);
        }
        
        private IEnumerable<Item> GetDestinationItems()
        {
            char delimiter;
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(char.TryParse(MultipleItemsDelimiter, out delimiter), "MultipleItemsDelimiter", "MultipleItemsDelimiter must be a single character!");
            ListString destinations = new ListString(WebUtil.GetQueryString("destinations"), delimiter);
            return (from destination in destinations
                    let destinationItem = GetItem(destination)
                    where destinationItem != null
                    select destinationItem).ToList();
        }

        private Item GetItem(string path)
        {
            try
            {
                return Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Context.Current.Database.Items[path];
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                Logger.Error(ex);
            }

            return null;
        }

        private bool DoRecursiveCloning()
        {
            bool recursive;
            if (bool.TryParse(WebUtil.GetQueryString("recursive"), out recursive))
            {
                return recursive;
            }
            
            return false;
        }

        private string RequestMethod { get; set; }

        private string MultipleItemsDelimiter { get; set; }
    }
}

The above class ascertains whether it should handle the request: is the RequestMethod passed via configuration equal to the request method detected, and are there any Items in scope? I also built this processor to handle only one axe in order to keep the code simple.

Once the class determines it should handle the request, it grabs all destination Items from the context database — this is Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Context.Current.Database which is populated via the sc_database query string parameter passed via the request.

Further, the class above detects whether the cloning operation is recursive: should we clone all descendants of the Items in scope? This is also passed by a query string parameter.

I then glued everything together using the following Sitecore configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <pipelines>
      <itemWebApiClone>
        <processor type="Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Clone.CloneItems, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
        <processor type="Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Clone.SetResult, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
      </itemWebApiClone>
      <itemWebApiRequest>
        <processor patch:before="*[@type='Sitecore.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Request.ResolveAction, Sitecore.ItemWebApi']"
                   type="Sitecore.Sandbox.ItemWebApi.Pipelines.Request.ResolveCloneAction, Sitecore.Sandbox">
          <RequestMethod>clone</RequestMethod>
          <MultipleItemsDelimiter>|</MultipleItemsDelimiter>
        </processor>
      </itemWebApiRequest>
    </pipelines>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

Let’s clone the following Sitecore Item with descendants to two folders:

item-to-clone-destinations

In order to make this happen, I spun up the following HTML page using jQuery — no doubt the front-end gurus reading this are cringing when seeing the following code, but I am not much of a front-end developer:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
	<head>
		<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
		<script src="//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/json3/3.3.2/json3.min.js"></script>
		<script src="//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/prettify/r224/prettify.js"></script>
		<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/prettify/r224/prettify.css" />
	</head>
	<body>
		<img width="400" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto" src="/assets/img/clone-all-the-things.jpg" />
		<input type="button" id="button" value="Clone" style="width:100px;height:50px;font-size: 24px;" />
		<h2 id="confirmation" style="display: none;">Whoa! Something happened!</h2>
		<div id="working" style="display: none;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto" src="/assets/img/arrow-working.gif" /></div>
		<pre id="responseContainer" class="prettyprint" style="display: none;"><code id="response" class="language-javascript"></code></pre>
		<script type="text/javascript">
		$('#button').click(function() {
			$('#confirmation').hide();
			$('#responseContainer').hide();
			$('#working').show();
			$.ajax({
					type:'clone',
					url: "http://sandbox7/-/item/v1/sitecore/content/Home/Landing Page One?scope=s&destinations=/sitecore/content/Home/Clones|/sitecore/content/Home/Some More Clones&recursive=true&sc_database=master",
					headers:{
						"X-Scitemwebapi-Username":"extranet\\ItemWebAPI",
						"X-Scitemwebapi-Password":"1t3mW3bAP1"}
				}).done(function(response) {
					$('#confirmation').show();
					$('#response').html(JSON.stringify(response, null, 4));
					$('#working').hide();
					$('#responseContainer').show();
				});
		});
		</script>
	</body>
</html>

Plus, please pardon the hard-coded Sitecore credentials — I know you would never store a username and password in front-end code, right? 😉

The above HTML page looks like this on initial load:

clone-items-html-page-no-data

I then clicked the ‘Clone’ button, and saw the following:

cloned-items-html-page

As you can see, the target Item with descendants were cloned to the destination folders set in the jQuery above:

items-cloned-sitecore

If you have any thoughts on this, or have other ideas around customizing the Sitecore Item Web API, please share in a comment.

Restart the Sitecore Server Using a Custom FileWatcher

For a few months now, I’ve been contemplating potential uses for a custom Sitecore.IO.FileWatcher — this lives in Sitecore.Kernel.dll, and defines abstract methods to handle changes to files on the file system within your Sitecore web application — and finally came up with something: how about a FileWatcher that restarts the Sitecore server when a certain file is uploaded to a specific directory?

You might be thinking “why would I ever want use such a thing?” Well, suppose you need to restart the Sitecore server on one of your Content Delivery Servers immediately, but you do not have direct access to it, and the person who does has left for the week. What do you do?

The following FileWatcher might be one option for the scenario above (another option might be to make frantic phone calls to get the server restarted):

using System;

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Install;
using Sitecore.IO;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.IO
{
    public class RestartServerWatcher : FileWatcher
    {
        public RestartServerWatcher()
            : base("watchers/restartServer")
        {
        }

        protected override void Created(string fullPath)
        {
            try
            {
                Log.Info(string.Format("Restart server file detected: {0}. Restarting the server.", fullPath), this);
                FileUtil.Delete(fullPath);
                Installer.RestartServer();
            }
            catch (Exception exception)
            {
                Log.Error("Error in RestartServerWatcher", exception, typeof(RestartServerWatcher));
            }
        }
        
        protected override void Deleted(string filePath)
        {
            return;
        }

        protected override void Renamed(string filePath, string oldFilePath)
        {
            return;
        }
    }
}

All of the magic occurs in the Created() method above — we do not care if the file is renamed or deleted. If the file is detected, the code in the Created() method logs information to the Sitecore log, deletes the file, and then initiates a Sitecore server restart.

I created the following patch configuration file for the RestartServerWatcher class above:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <watchers>
      <restartServer>
        <folder>/restart</folder>
        <filter>restart-server.txt</filter>
      </restartServer>
    </watchers>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

Since FileWatchers are HttpModules, I had to register the RestartServerWatcher in the <system.webServer> section of my Web.config (this configuration element lives outside of the <sitecore> configuration element, and cannot be mapped via a Sitecore patch configuration file):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration>
<!-- Lots of stuff up here -->
<system.webServer>
	<!-- Some stuff here -->
	<add type="Sitecore.Sandbox.IO.RestartServerWatcher, Sitecore.Sandbox" name="SitecoreRestartServerWatcher"/>
</system.webServer>
<!-- More stuff down here -->
</configuration>

For testing, I uploaded my target file into the target location via the Sitecore File Explorer to trigger a Sitecore server restart:

file-explorer-wizard-upload

I then opened up my Sitecore log, and saw the following entries:

restart-server-log-file

If you have any thoughts on this, or have other ideas for custom FileWatchers, please share in a comment.

Leverage the Sitecore Configuration Factory: Inject Value Types as Dependencies

In a previous post, I had mentioned primitive types cannot be injected into classes via Sitecore’s Configuration Factory, and further learned through exploring and experimentation that this applies to all value types in C#.

However, after some digging in Sitecore.Configuration.Factory — this lives in Sitecore.Kernel.dll — I discovered the CreateFromFactoryMethod() method which calls a static method — this method is defined in an XML attribute named “factoryMethod” — on a class defined in the “type” attribute on the XML configuration element being processed, and felt I could take advantage of this hidden gem for injecting value types into my configuration-defined classes.

Despite the fact the method defined in the “factoryMethod” attribute must be static, I decided to define an interface for classes that do value type conversions from strings, and created the following interface (don’t worry, I haven’t completely lost my mind — yes, I did say it requires a static method — but do bear with me until we get further down in this post 😉 ):

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration
{
    public interface IValueTypesConverter
    {
        bool ConvertToBoolean(string argument);

        char ConvertToCharacter(string argument);

        decimal ConvertToDecimal(string argument);

        double ConvertToDouble(string argument);

        float ConvertToFloat(string argument);

        int ConvertToInteger(string argument);
    }
}

I then created the following class to implement the interface above:

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration
{
    public class ValueTypesConverter : IValueTypesConverter
    {
        public bool ConvertToBoolean(string argument)
        {
            bool value;
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(bool.TryParse(argument, out value), "argument", "argument is not a boolean!");
            return value;
        }

        public char ConvertToCharacter(string argument)
        {
            char value;
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(char.TryParse(argument, out value), "argument", "argument is not a character!");
            return value;
        }

        public decimal ConvertToDecimal(string argument)
        {
            decimal value;
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(decimal.TryParse(argument, out value), "argument", "argument is not a decimal!");
            return value;
        }

        public double ConvertToDouble(string argument)
        {
            double value;
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(double.TryParse(argument, out value), "argument", "argument is not a double!");
            return value;
        }

        public float ConvertToFloat(string argument)
        {
            float value;
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(float.TryParse(argument, out value), "argument", "argument is not a float!");
            return value;
        }

        public int ConvertToInteger(string argument)
        {
            int value;
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(int.TryParse(argument, out value), "argument", "argument is not an integer!");
            return value;
        }
    }
}

Each method in the class above calls its specific value type’s TryParse() method to convert the passed string to the value type. We ensure the argument was in the correct format: an assertion is done to check if the argument was of the type the method was expecting.

I then created the following adapter which wraps an instance of a class that implements the interface defined above:

using Sitecore.Configuration;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration
{
    public class TypesConverter
    {
        static TypesConverter()
        {
            ValueTypesConverter = Factory.CreateObject("valueTypesConverter", true) as IValueTypesConverter;
        }

        public static bool ConvertToBoolean(string argument)
        {
            return ValueTypesConverter.ConvertToBoolean(argument);
        }

        public static char ConvertToCharacter(string argument)
        {
            return ValueTypesConverter.ConvertToCharacter(argument);
        }

        public static decimal ConvertToDecimal(string argument)
        {
            return ValueTypesConverter.ConvertToDecimal(argument);
        }

        public static double ConvertToDouble(string argument)
        {
            return ValueTypesConverter.ConvertToDouble(argument);
        }

        public static float ConvertToFloat(string argument)
        {
            return ValueTypesConverter.ConvertToFloat(argument);
        }

        public static int ConvertToInteger(string argument)
        {
            return ValueTypesConverter.ConvertToInteger(argument);
        }

        private static IValueTypesConverter ValueTypesConverter { get; set; }
    }
}

The class above creates an instance of the ValueTypesConverter class via the Sitecore.Configuration.Factory.CreateObject() method. I felt defining the class that implements the IValueTypesConverter interface in Sitecore configuration would allow for customization if one would ever need to do so.

Further, all methods in the class above just delegate calls to the ValueTypesConverter instance.

For testing, I created the following class to serve as a <renderField> pipeline processor:

using System.Text;

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Pipelines.RenderField;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.RenderField
{
    public class ValueTypesTest
    {
        public void Process(RenderFieldArgs args)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args, "args");
            StringBuilder htmlBuilder = new StringBuilder();
            htmlBuilder.AppendFormat("SomeBoolean ==> {0} <br />", SomeBoolean);
            htmlBuilder.AppendFormat("SomeCharacter ==> {0} <br />", SomeCharacter);
            htmlBuilder.AppendFormat("SomeDecimal ==> {0} <br />", SomeDecimal);
            htmlBuilder.AppendFormat("SomeDouble ==> {0} <br />", SomeDouble);
            htmlBuilder.AppendFormat("SomeFloat ==> {0} <br />", SomeFloat);
            htmlBuilder.AppendFormat("SomeInteger ==> {0}", SomeInteger);
            args.Result.FirstPart = htmlBuilder.ToString();
        }

        private bool SomeBoolean { get; set; }

        private char SomeCharacter { get; set; }

        private decimal SomeDecimal { get; set; }

        private double SomeDouble { get; set; }

        private float SomeFloat { get; set; }

        private int SomeInteger { get; set; }
    }
}

The class above defines properties that will be populated magically by Sitecore’s Configuration Factory, and builds a string of HTML to be rendered on the front-end.

I wired everything together in the following Sitecore configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <pipelines>
      <renderField>
        <processor type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.RenderField.ValueTypesTest, Sitecore.Sandbox">
          <SomeBoolean type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration.TypesConverter, Sitecore.Sandbox" factoryMethod="ConvertToBoolean" arg0="true" />
          <SomeCharacter type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration.TypesConverter, Sitecore.Sandbox" factoryMethod="ConvertToCharacter" arg0="b" />
          <SomeDecimal type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration.TypesConverter, Sitecore.Sandbox" factoryMethod="ConvertToDecimal" arg0="0.1" />
          <SomeDouble type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration.TypesConverter, Sitecore.Sandbox" factoryMethod="ConvertToDouble" arg0="1234.5678" />
          <SomeFloat type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration.TypesConverter, Sitecore.Sandbox" factoryMethod="ConvertToFloat" arg0=".98765" />
          <SomeInteger type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration.TypesConverter, Sitecore.Sandbox" factoryMethod="ConvertToInteger" arg0="2" />
        </processor>  
      </renderField>
    </pipelines>
    <valueTypesConverter type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Configuration.ValueTypesConverter, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

When I loaded my home page, I saw that all value types defined in configuration were accounted for:

value-types-test-rendered

If you have any thoughts on this, or ideas around implementing this in a different way, please share in a comment.

Leverage the Sitecore Configuration Factory: Inject Dependencies Through Class Constructors

In my previous post, I showed how you can leverage Sitecore’s Configuration Factory to inject dependencies into properties of class instances — this is known as Setter injection in the Dependency injection world — and thought I would share another way you can inject dependencies into instances of classes defined in configuration: through class constructors (this is known as Constructor injection).

Suppose we have the following interface for objects that perform some kind of operation on parameters passed to their DoSomeOtherStuff() method:

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.SomePipeline
{
    public interface ISomeOtherThing
    {
        void DoSomeOtherStuff(SomeProcessorArgs args, string someString);
    }
}

The following dummy class implements the interface above — sadly, it does not do anything:

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.SomePipeline
{
    public class SomeOtherThing : ISomeOtherThing
    {
        public void DoSomeOtherStuff(SomeProcessorArgs args, string someString)
        {
            // TODO: add code to do some other stuff
        }
    }
}

In my previous post, I defined the following interface for objects that “do stuff”, and will reuse it here:

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.SomePipeline
{
    public interface ISomeThing
    {
        void DoStuff(SomeProcessorArgs args);
    }
}

I have modified the SomeThing class from my previous post to consume an instance of a class that implements the ISomeOtherThing interface above along with a string instance:

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.SomePipeline
{
    public class SomeThing : ISomeThing
    {
        public SomeThing(ISomeOtherThing someOtherThing, string someString)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(someOtherThing, "someOtherThing");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(someString, "someString");
            SomeOtherThing = someOtherThing;
            SomeString = someString;
        }

        public void DoStuff(SomeProcessorArgs args)
        {
            SomeOtherThing.DoSomeOtherStuff(args, SomeString);
        }

        private ISomeOtherThing SomeOtherThing { get; set; }

        private string SomeString { get; set; }
    }
}

The Sitecore Configuration Factory will magically create instances of the types passed to the constructor of the SomeThing class defined above, and you can then assign these instances to members defined in your class.

As far as I know — I did a lot of digging in Sitecore.Kernel.dll for answers, and some code experimentation — the Sitecore Configuration Factory will only magically inject instances of class types and strings: it will not inject .NET primitive types (if I am incorrect on this, please share in a comment).

I have reused the SomeProcessor class from my previous post — I did not change any code in it:

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.SomePipeline
{
    public class SomeProcessor
    {
        public void Process(SomeProcessorArgs args)
        {
            DoSomethingWithArgs(args);
        }

        private void DoSomethingWithArgs(SomeProcessorArgs args)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(SomeThing, "SomeThing");
            SomeThing.DoStuff(args);
        }

        private ISomeThing SomeThing { get; set; } // is populated magically via Setter injection!
    }
}

We can then piece everything together using a Sitecore patch configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <pipelines>
      <somePipeline>
        <processor type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.SomePipeline.SomeProcessor, Sitecore.Sandbox">
          <SomeThing type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.SomePipeline.SomeThing, Sitecore.Sandbox">
            <param hint="1" type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Pipelines.SomePipeline.SomeOtherThing, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
            <param hint="2">just some string</param>
          </SomeThing>  
        </processor>  
      </somePipeline>
    </pipelines>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

You must define <param> elements in order to pass arguments to constructors. The “hint” attribute determines the order of the parameters passed to the class constructor, though I believe using this attribute is optional (if I am wrong on this assumption, please share in a comment below).

If you have any thoughts on this, please drop a comment.