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Display How Many Bucketed Items Live Within a Sitecore Item Bucket Using a Custom DataView

Over the past few weeks — if you haven’t noticed — I’ve been having a blast experimenting with Sitecore Item Buckets. It seems new ideas on what to build for it keep flooding my thoughts everyday. πŸ˜€

However, the other day an old idea that I wanted to solve a while back bubbled its way up into the forefront of my consciousness: displaying the count of Bucketed Items which live within each Item Bucket in the Content Tree.

I’m sure someone has built something to do this before though I didn’t really do any research on it as I was up for the challenge.

darth-vader-didnt-read

In all honesty, I enjoy spending my nights after work and on weekends building things in Sitecore — even if someone has built something like it before — as it’s a great way to not only discover new treasures hidden within the Sitecore assemblies, but also improve my programming skills — the saying “you lose it if you don’t use it” applies here.

nerds

You might be asking “Mike, we don’t store that many Sitecore Items in our Item Buckets; I can just go count them all by hand”.

Well, if that’s the case for you then you might want to reconsider why you are using the Item Buckets feature.

However, in theory, thousands if not millions of Items can live within an Item Bucket in Sitecore. If counting by hand is your thing — or even writing some sort of “script” (I’m not referring to PowerShell scripts that you would write using Sitecore PowerShell Extensions (SPE) — I definitely recommend harnessing all of the power this module has to offer — but instead to standalone ASP.NET Web Forms which some people erroneously call “scripts”) to generate some kind of report, then by all means go for it.

counting

That’s just not how I roll.

aint-no-time-for-that

So how are we going to display these counts to the user? We are ultimately going to create a custom Sitecore DataView.

If you aren’t familiar with DataViews in Sitecore, they basically allow you to change how Items are displayed in the Sitecore Content Tree.

I’m not going to go too much into details of how these work. I recommend having a read of the following posts by two fellow Sitecore MVPs for more information and to see other examples:

I do want to warn you: there is a lot of code in this post.

arghhhhh

You might want to go get a snack for this as it might take a while to get through all the code that I am showing here. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to get back.

eat-popcorn

Anyways, let’s jump right into it.

partay-meow

For this feature, I want to add a checkbox toggle in the Sitecore Ribbon to give users the ability turn this feature on and off.

bucketed-items-count-view-ribbon

In order to save the state of this checkbox, I defined the following interface:

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registries
{
    public interface IRegistry
    {
        bool GetBool(string key);

        bool GetBool(string key, bool defaultvalue);

        int GetInt(string key);

        int GetInt(string key, int defaultvalue);

        string GetString(string key);

        string GetString(string key, string defaultvalue);

        string GetValue(string key);

        void SetBool(string key, bool val);

        void SetInt(string key, int val);

        void SetString(string key, string value);

        void SetValue(string key, string value);
    }
}

Classes of the above interface will keep track of settings which need to be stored somewhere.

The following class implements the interface above:

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registries
{
    public class Registry : IRegistry
    {
        public virtual bool GetBool(string key)
        {
            return Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.GetBool(key);
        }

        public virtual bool GetBool(string key, bool defaultvalue)
        {
            return Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.GetBool(key, defaultvalue);
        }

        public virtual int GetInt(string key)
        {
            return Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.GetInt(key);
        }

        public virtual int GetInt(string key, int defaultvalue)
        {
            return Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.GetInt(key, defaultvalue);
        }

        public virtual string GetString(string key)
        {
            return Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.GetString(key);
        }

        public virtual string GetString(string key, string defaultvalue)
        {
            return Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.GetString(key, defaultvalue);
        }

        public virtual string GetValue(string key)
        {
            return Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.GetValue(key);
        }

        public virtual void SetBool(string key, bool val)
        {
            Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.SetBool(key, val);
        }

        public virtual void SetInt(string key, int val)
        {
            Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.SetInt(key, val);
        }

        public virtual void SetString(string key, string value)
        {
            Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.SetString(key, value);
        }

        public virtual void SetValue(string key, string value)
        {
            Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry.SetValue(key, value);
        }
    }
}

I’m basically wrapping calls to methods on the static Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registry class which is used for saving state on the checkboxes in the Sitecore ribbon — it might be used for keeping track of other things in the Sitecore Content Editor though that is beyond the scope of this post. Nothing magical going on here.

I then defined the following interface for keeping track of Content Editor settings for things related to Item Buckets:

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Settings
{
    public interface IBucketsContentEditorSettings
    {
        bool ShowBucketedItemsCount { get; set; }

        bool AreItemBucketsEnabled { get; }
    }
}

The ShowBucketedItemsCount boolean property lets the caller know if we are to show the Bucketed Items count, and the AreItemBucketsEnabled boolean property lets the caller know if the Item Buckets feature is enabled in Sitecore.

The following class implements the interface above:

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.Determiners.Features;
using Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registries;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Settings
{
    public class BucketsContentEditorSettings : IBucketsContentEditorSettings
    {
        protected IFeatureDeterminer ItemBucketsFeatureDeterminer { get; set; }
        
        protected IRegistry Registry { get; set; }

        protected string ShowBucketedItemsCountRegistryKey { get; set; }

        public bool ShowBucketedItemsCount
        {
            get
            {
                return ShouldShowBucketedItemsCount();
            }
            set
            {
                ToggleShowBucketedItemsCount(value);
            }
        }

        public bool AreItemBucketsEnabled
        {
            get
            {
                return GetAreItemBucketsEnabled();
            }
        }

        protected virtual bool ShouldShowBucketedItemsCount()
        {
            if (!AreItemBucketsEnabled)
            {
                return false;
            }

            EnsureRegistryDependencies();
            return Registry.GetBool(ShowBucketedItemsCountRegistryKey, false);
        }

        protected virtual void ToggleShowBucketedItemsCount(bool turnOn)
        {
            
            if (!AreItemBucketsEnabled)
            {
                return;
            }

            EnsureRegistryDependencies();
            Registry.SetBool(ShowBucketedItemsCountRegistryKey, turnOn);
        }

        protected virtual void EnsureRegistryDependencies()
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(Registry, "Registry must be defined in configuration!");
            Assert.IsNotNullOrEmpty(ShowBucketedItemsCountRegistryKey, "ShowBucketedItemsCountRegistryKey must be defined in configuration!");
        }

        protected virtual bool GetAreItemBucketsEnabled()
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(ItemBucketsFeatureDeterminer, "ItemBucketsFeatureDeterminer must be defined in configuration!");
            return ItemBucketsFeatureDeterminer.IsEnabled();
        }
    }
}

I’m injecting an IFeatureDeterminer instance into the instance of the class above via the Sitecore Configuration Factory — have a look at the patch configuration file further down in this post — specifically the ItemBucketsFeatureDeterminer which is defined in a previous blog post. The IFeatureDeterminer instance determines whether the Item Buckets feature is turned on/off (I’m not going to repost that code here so if you haven’t seen this code, please go have a look now so you have an understanding of what it’s doing).

Its instance is used in the GetAreItemBucketsEnabled() method which just delegates to its IsEnabled() method and returns the value from that call. The GetAreItemBucketsEnabled() method is used in the get accessor of the AreItemBucketsEnabled property.

I’m also injecting an IRegistry instance into the instance of the class above — this is also defined in the patch configuration file further down — which is used for storing/retrieving the value of the ShowBucketedItemsCount property.

It is leveraged in the ShouldShowBucketedItemsCount() and ToggleShowBucketedItemsCount() methods where a boolean value is saved or retrieved, respectively, in the Sitecore Registry under a certain key — this key is also injected into the ShowBucketedItemsCountRegistryKey property via the Sitecore Configuration Factory.

So, we now have a way to keep track of whether we should display the Bucketed Items count. We just need a way to let the user turn this on/off. To do that, I need to create a custom Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command.

Since Sitecore Commands are instantiated by the CreateObject() method on the MainUtil class (this lives in the Sitecore namespace in Sitecore.Kernel.dll and isn’t as advanced as the Sitecore.Configuration.Factory class as it won’t instantiate nested objects defined in configuration as does the Sitecore Configuration Factory), I built the following Command which will decorate Commands defined in Sitecore configuration:

using System.Xml;

using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;
using Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls;
using Sitecore.Xml;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands
{
    public class ExtendedConfigCommand : Command
    {
        private Command command;
        protected Command Command
        {
            get
            {
                if(command == null)
                {
                    command = GetCommand();
                    EnsureCommand();
                }

                return command;
            }
        }
        
        protected virtual Command GetCommand()
        {
            XmlNode currentCommandNode = Factory.GetConfigNode(string.Format("commands/command[@name='{0}']", Name));
            string configPath = XmlUtil.GetAttribute("extendedCommandPath", currentCommandNode);
            Assert.IsNotNullOrEmpty(configPath, string.Format("The extendedCommandPath attribute must be set {0}!", currentCommandNode));
            Command command = Factory.CreateObject(configPath, false) as Command;
            Assert.IsNotNull(command, string.Format("The command defined at '{0}' was either not properly set or is not an instance of Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command. Double-check it!", configPath));
            return command;
        }

        protected virtual void EnsureCommand()
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(Command, "GetCommand() cannot return a null Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command instance!");
        }

        public override void Execute(CommandContext context)
        {
            Command.Execute(context);
        }

        public override string GetClick(CommandContext context, string click)
        {
            return Command.GetClick(context, click);
        }

        public override string GetHeader(CommandContext context, string header)
        {
            return Command.GetHeader(context, header);
        }

        public override string GetIcon(CommandContext context, string icon)
        {
            return Command.GetIcon(context, icon);
        }

        public override Control[] GetSubmenuItems(CommandContext context)
        {
            return Command.GetSubmenuItems(context);
        }

        public override string GetToolTip(CommandContext context, string tooltip)
        {
            return Command.GetToolTip(context, tooltip);
        }

        public override string GetValue(CommandContext context, string value)
        {
            return Command.GetValue(context, value);
        }

        public override CommandState QueryState(CommandContext context)
        {
            return Command.QueryState(context);
        }
    }
}

The GetCommand() method reads the XmlNode for the current command, and gets the value set on its extendedCommandPath attribute. This value must to be a config path defined under the <sitecore> element in Sitecore configuration.

If the attribute doesn’t exist or is empty, or a Command instance isn’t properly created, an exception is thrown.

Otherwise, it is set on the Command property on the class.

All methods here delegate to the same methods on the Command stored in the Command property.

I then defined the following Command which will be used by the checkbox we are adding to the Sitecore Ribbon:

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;
using Sitecore.Web.UI.Sheer;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Settings;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Shell.Framework.Commands
{
    public class ToggleBucketedItemsCountCommand : Command
    {
        protected IBucketsContentEditorSettings BucketsContentEditorSettings { get; set; }

        public override void Execute(CommandContext context)
        {
            if (!AreItemBucketsEnabled())
            {
                return;
            }
            
            ToggleShowBucketedItemsCount();
            Reload();
        }

        protected virtual void ToggleShowBucketedItemsCount()
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(BucketsContentEditorSettings, "BucketsContentEditorSettings must be defined in configuration!");
            BucketsContentEditorSettings.ShowBucketedItemsCount = !BucketsContentEditorSettings.ShowBucketedItemsCount;
        }

        protected virtual void Reload()
        {
            SheerResponse.SetLocation(string.Empty);
        }

        public override CommandState QueryState(CommandContext context)
        {
            if(!AreItemBucketsEnabled())
            {
                return CommandState.Hidden;
            }

            if(!ShouldShowBucketedItemsCount())
            {
                return CommandState.Enabled;
            }

            return CommandState.Down;
        }

        protected virtual bool AreItemBucketsEnabled()
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(BucketsContentEditorSettings, "BucketsContentEditorSettings must be defined in configuration!");
            return BucketsContentEditorSettings.AreItemBucketsEnabled;
        }

        protected virtual bool ShouldShowBucketedItemsCount()
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(BucketsContentEditorSettings, "BucketsContentEditorSettings must be defined in configuration!");
            return BucketsContentEditorSettings.ShowBucketedItemsCount;
        }
    }
}

The QueryState() method determines whether we should display the checkbox — it will only be displayed if the Item Buckets feature is on — and what the state of the checkbox should be — if we are currently showing Bucketed Items count, the checkbox will be checked (this is represented by CommandState.Down). Otherwise, it will be unchecked (this is represented by CommandState.Enabled).

The Execute() method encapsulates the logic of what we are to do when the user checks/unchecks the checkbox. It’s basically delegating to the ToggleShowBucketedItemsCount() method to toggle the value of whether we are to display the Bucketed Items count, and then reloads the Content Editor to refresh the display in the Content Tree.

I then had to define this checkbox in the Core database:

bucketed-items-count-checkbox-core

I’m not going to go into details of how the above works as I’ve written over a gazillion posts on the subject. I recommend having a read of one of these older posts.

After going back to my Master database, I saw the new checkbox in the Sitecore Ribbon:

buckted-items-count-new-checkbox

Since we could be dealing with thousands — if not millions — of Bucketed Items for each Item Bucket, we need a performant way to grab the count of these Items. In this solution, I am leveraging the Sitecore.ContentSearch API to get these counts though needed to add some custom
Computed Index Field classes:

using Sitecore.Buckets.Managers;
using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.ComputedFields;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Util.Methods;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.ContentSearch.ComputedFields
{
    public class IsBucketed : AbstractComputedIndexField
    {
        protected IItemBucketsFeatureMethods ItemBucketsFeatureMethods { get; private set; }

        public IsBucketed()
        {
            ItemBucketsFeatureMethods = GetItemBucketsFeatureMethods();
            Assert.IsNotNull(ItemBucketsFeatureMethods, "GetItemBucketsFeatureMethods() cannot return null!");
        }

        protected virtual IItemBucketsFeatureMethods GetItemBucketsFeatureMethods()
        {
            IItemBucketsFeatureMethods methods = Factory.CreateObject("buckets/methods/itemBucketsFeatureMethods", false) as IItemBucketsFeatureMethods;
            Assert.IsNotNull(methods, "the IItemBucketsFeatureMethods instance was not defined properly in /sitecore/buckets/methods/itemBucketsFeatureMethods!");
            return methods;
        }

        public override object ComputeFieldValue(IIndexable indexable)
        {
            Item item = indexable as SitecoreIndexableItem;
            if (item == null)
            {
                return null;
            }

            
            return IsBucketable(item) && IsItemContainedWithinBucket(item);
        }

        protected virtual bool IsBucketable(Item item)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            return BucketManager.IsBucketable(item);
        }

        protected virtual bool IsItemContainedWithinBucket(Item item)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            if(IsItemBucket(item))
            {
                return false;
            }

            return ItemBucketsFeatureMethods.IsItemContainedWithinBucket(item);
        }

        protected virtual bool IsItemBucket(Item item)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            if (!ItemBucketsFeatureMethods.IsItemBucket(item))
            {
                return false;
            }

            return true;
        }
    }
}

An instance of the class above ultimately determines if an Item is bucketed within an Item Bucket, and passes a boolean value to its caller denoting this via its ComputeFieldValue() method.

What determines whether an Item is bucketed? The code above says it’s bucketed only when the Item is bucketable and is contained within an Item Bucket.

The IsBucketable() method above ascertains whether the Item is bucketable by delegating to the IsBucketable() method on the BucketManager class in Sitecore.Buckets.dll.

The IsItemContainedWithinBucket() method determines if the Item is contained within an Item Bucket — you might be laughing as the name on the method is self-documenting — by delegating to the IsItemContainedWithinBucket() method on the IItemBucketsFeatureMethods instance — I’ve defined the code for this in this post so go have a look.

Moreover, the code does not consider Item Buckets to be Bucketed as that just doesn’t make much sense. πŸ˜‰ This would also give us an inaccurate count.

The following Computed Index Field’s ComputeFieldValue() method returns the string representation of the ancestor Item Bucket’s Sitecore.Data.ID for the Item — if it is contained within an Item Bucket:

using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.ComputedFields;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.Utilities;
using Sitecore.Data;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Util.Methods;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.ContentSearch.ComputedFields
{
    public class ItemBucketAncestorId : AbstractComputedIndexField
    {
        protected IItemBucketsFeatureMethods ItemBucketsFeatureMethods { get; private set; }

        public ItemBucketAncestorId()
        {
            ItemBucketsFeatureMethods = GetItemBucketsFeatureMethods();
            Assert.IsNotNull(ItemBucketsFeatureMethods, "GetItemBucketsFeatureMethods() cannot return null!");
        }

        protected virtual IItemBucketsFeatureMethods GetItemBucketsFeatureMethods()
        {
            IItemBucketsFeatureMethods methods = Factory.CreateObject("buckets/methods/itemBucketsFeatureMethods", false) as IItemBucketsFeatureMethods;
            Assert.IsNotNull(methods, "the IItemBucketsFeatureMethods instance was not defined properly in /sitecore/buckets/methods/itemBucketsFeatureMethods!");
            return methods;
        }

        public override object ComputeFieldValue(IIndexable indexable)
        {
            Item item = indexable as SitecoreIndexableItem;
            if (item == null)
            {
                return null;
            }

            Item itemBucketAncestor = GetItemBucketAncestor(item);
            if(itemBucketAncestor == null)
            {

                return null;
            }

            return NormalizeGuid(itemBucketAncestor.ID);
        }

        protected virtual Item GetItemBucketAncestor(Item item)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            if(IsItemBucket(item))
            {
                return null;
            }

            Item itemBucket = ItemBucketsFeatureMethods.GetItemBucket(item);
            if(!IsItemBucket(itemBucket))
            {
                return null;
            }

            return itemBucket;
        }

        protected virtual bool IsItemBucket(Item item)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            if (!ItemBucketsFeatureMethods.IsItemBucket(item))
            {
                return false;
            }

            return true;
        }

        protected virtual string NormalizeGuid(ID id)
        {
            return IdHelper.NormalizeGuid(id);
        }
    }
}

Not to go too much into details of the class above, it will only return an Item Bucket’s Sitecore.Data.ID as a string if the Item lives within an Item Bucket and is not itself an Item Bucket.

If the Item is not within an Item Bucket or is an Item Bucket, null is returned to the caller via the ComputeFieldValue() method.

I then created the following subclass of Sitecore.ContentSearch.SearchTypes.SearchResultItem — this lives in Sitecore.ContentSearch.dll — in order to use the values in the index that the previous Computed Field Index classes returned for their storage in the search index:

using System.ComponentModel;

using Sitecore.ContentSearch;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.Converters;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.SearchTypes;
using Sitecore.Data;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.ContentSearch.SearchTypes
{
    public class BucketedSearchResultItem : SearchResultItem
    {
        [IndexField("item_bucket_ancestor_id")]
        [TypeConverter(typeof(IndexFieldIDValueConverter))]
        public ID ItemBucketAncestorId { get; set; }

        [IndexField("is_bucketed")]
        public bool IsBucketed { get; set; }
    }
}

Now, we need a class to get the Bucketed Item count for an Item Bucket. I defined the following interface for class implementations that do just that:

using Sitecore.Data.Items;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Providers.Items
{
    public interface IBucketedItemsCountProvider
    {
        int GetBucketedItemsCount(Item itemBucket);
    }
}

I then created the following class that implements the interface above:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Linq.Expressions;
using System.Xml;

using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.Linq;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.Linq.Utilities;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.SearchTypes;
using Sitecore.ContentSearch.Utilities;
using Sitecore.Data;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Xml;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.ContentSearch.SearchTypes;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Providers.Items
{
    public class BucketedItemsCountProvider : IBucketedItemsCountProvider
    {
        protected IDictionary<string, ISearchIndex> SearchIndexMap { get; private set; }

        public BucketedItemsCountProvider()
        {
            SearchIndexMap = CreateNewSearchIndexMap();
        }

        protected virtual IDictionary<string, ISearchIndex> CreateNewSearchIndexMap()
        {
            return new Dictionary<string, ISearchIndex>();
        }

        protected virtual void AddSearchIndexMap(XmlNode configNode)
        {
            if(configNode == null)
            {
                return;
            }

            string databaseName = XmlUtil.GetAttribute("database", configNode, null);
            Assert.IsNotNullOrEmpty(databaseName, "The database attribute on the searchIndexMap configuration element cannot be null or the empty string!");
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(!SearchIndexMap.ContainsKey(databaseName), "database", "The searchIndexMap configuration element's database attribute values must be unique!");

            Database database = Factory.GetDatabase(databaseName);
            Assert.IsNotNull(database, string.Format("No database exists with the name of '{0}'! Make sure the database attribute on your searchIndexMap configuration element is set correctly!", databaseName));
            
            string searchIndexName = XmlUtil.GetAttribute("searchIndex", configNode, null);
            Assert.IsNotNullOrEmpty(searchIndexName, "The searchIndex attribute on the searchIndexMap configuration element cannot be null or the empty string!");

            ISearchIndex searchIndex = GetSearchIndex(searchIndexName);
            Assert.IsNotNull(searchIndex, string.Format("No search index exists with the name of '{0}'! Make sure the searchIndex attribute on your searchIndexMap configuration element is set correctly", searchIndexName));

            SearchIndexMap.Add(databaseName, searchIndex);
        }

        public virtual int GetBucketedItemsCount(Item bucketItem)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(bucketItem, "bucketItem");

            ISearchIndex searchIndex = GetSearchIndex();
            using (IProviderSearchContext searchContext = searchIndex.CreateSearchContext())
            {
                var predicate = GetSearchPredicate<BucketedSearchResultItem>(bucketItem.ID);
                IQueryable<SearchResultItem> query = searchContext.GetQueryable<BucketedSearchResultItem>().Filter(predicate);
                SearchResults<SearchResultItem> results = query.GetResults();
                return results.Count();
            }
        }

        protected virtual ISearchIndex GetSearchIndex()
        {
            string databaseName = GetContentDatabaseName();
            Assert.IsNotNullOrEmpty(databaseName, "The GetContentDatabaseName() method cannot return null or the empty string!");
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(SearchIndexMap.ContainsKey(databaseName), "databaseName", string.Format("There is no ISearchIndex instance mapped to the database: '{0}'!", databaseName));
            return SearchIndexMap[databaseName];
        }

        protected virtual string GetContentDatabaseName()
        {
            Database database = Context.ContentDatabase ?? Context.Database;
            Assert.IsNotNull(database, "Argggggh! There's no content database! Houston, we have a problem!");
            return database.Name;
        }

        protected virtual ISearchIndex GetSearchIndex(string searchIndexName)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(searchIndexName, "searchIndexName");
            return ContentSearchManager.GetIndex(searchIndexName);
        }

        protected virtual Expression<Func<TSearchResultItem, bool>> GetSearchPredicate<TSearchResultItem>(ID itemBucketId) where TSearchResultItem : BucketedSearchResultItem
        {
            Assert.ArgumentCondition(!ID.IsNullOrEmpty(itemBucketId), "itemBucketId", "itemBucketId cannot be null or empty!");
            var predicate = PredicateBuilder.True<TSearchResultItem>();
            predicate = predicate.And(item => item.ItemBucketAncestorId == itemBucketId);
            predicate = predicate.And(item => item.IsBucketed);
            return predicate;
        }
    }
}

Ok, so what’s going on in the class above? The AddSearchIndexMap() method is called by the Sitecore Configuration Factory to add database-to-search-index mappings — have a look at the patch configuration file further below. The code is looking up the appropriate search index for the content/context database.

The GetBucketedItemsCount() method gets the “predicate” from the GetSearchPredicate() method which basically says “Hey, I want an Item that has an ancestor Item Bucket Sitecore.Data.ID which is the same as the Sitecore.Data.ID passed to the method, and also this Item should be bucketed”.

The GetBucketedItemsCount() method then employs the Sitecore.ContentSearch API to get the result-set of the Items for the query, and returns the count of those Items.

Just as Commands, DataViews in Sitecore are instantiated by the CreateObject() method on MainUtil. I want to utilize the Sitecore Configuration Factory instead so that my nested configuration elements are instantiated and injected into my custom DataView. I built the following interface to make that possible:

using System.Collections;

using Sitecore.Collections;
using Sitecore.Data;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Globalization;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.DataViews
{
    public interface IDataViewBaseExtender
    {
        void FilterItems(ref ArrayList children, string filter);

        void GetChildItems(ItemCollection items, Item item);

        Database GetDatabase();

        Item GetItemFromID(string id, Language language, Version version);

        Item GetParentItem(Item item);

        bool HasChildren(Item item, string filter);

        void Initialize(string parameters);

        bool IsAncestorOf(Item ancestor, Item item);

        void SortItems(ArrayList children, string sortBy, bool sortAscending);
    }
}

All of the methods in the above interface correspond to virtual methods defined on the Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControl.DataViewBase class in Sitecore.Kernel.dll.

I then built the following abstract class which inherits from any DataView class that inherits from Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControl.DataViewBase:

using System.Collections;

using Sitecore.Collections;
using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Data;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Globalization;
using Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.DataViews
{
    public abstract class ExtendedDataView<TDataView> : DataViewBase where TDataView : DataViewBase
    {
        protected IDataViewBaseExtender DataViewBaseExtender { get; private set; }

        protected ExtendedDataView()
        {
            DataViewBaseExtender = GetDataViewBaseExtender();
            EnsureDataViewBaseExtender();
        }

        protected virtual IDataViewBaseExtender GetDataViewBaseExtender()
        {
            string configPath = GetDataViewBaseExtenderConfigPath();
            Assert.IsNotNullOrEmpty(configPath, "GetDataViewBaseExtenderConfigPath() cannot return null or the empty string!");
            IDataViewBaseExtender dataViewBaseExtender = Factory.CreateObject(configPath, false) as IDataViewBaseExtender;
            Assert.IsNotNull(dataViewBaseExtender, string.Format("the IDataViewBaseExtender instance was not defined properly in '{0}'!", configPath));
            return dataViewBaseExtender;
        }

        protected abstract string GetDataViewBaseExtenderConfigPath();

        protected virtual void EnsureDataViewBaseExtender()
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(DataViewBaseExtender, "GetDataViewBaseExtender() cannot return a null IDataViewBaseExtender instance!");
        }

        protected override void FilterItems(ref ArrayList children, string filter)
        {
            DataViewBaseExtender.FilterItems(ref children, filter);
        }

        protected override void GetChildItems(ItemCollection items, Item item)
        {
            DataViewBaseExtender.GetChildItems(items, item);
        }

        public override Database GetDatabase()
        {
            return DataViewBaseExtender.GetDatabase();
        }

        protected override Item GetItemFromID(string id, Language language, Version version)
        {
            return DataViewBaseExtender.GetItemFromID(id, language, version);
        }

        protected override Item GetParentItem(Item item)
        {
            return DataViewBaseExtender.GetParentItem(item);
        }

        public override bool HasChildren(Item item, string filter)
        {
            return DataViewBaseExtender.HasChildren(item, filter);
        }

        public override void Initialize(string parameters)
        {
            DataViewBaseExtender.Initialize(parameters);
        }

        public override bool IsAncestorOf(Item ancestor, Item item)
        {
            return DataViewBaseExtender.IsAncestorOf(ancestor, item);
        }

        protected override void SortItems(ArrayList children, string sortBy, bool sortAscending)
        {
            DataViewBaseExtender.SortItems(children, sortBy, sortAscending);
        }
    }
}

The GetDataViewBaseExtender() method gets the config path for the configuration-defined IDataViewBaseExtender — these IDataViewBaseExtender configuration definitions may or may not have nested configuration elements which will also be instantiated by the Sitecore Configuration Factory — from the abstract GetDataViewBaseExtenderConfigPath() method (subclasses must define this method).

The GetDataViewBaseExtender() then employs the Sitecore Configuration Factory to create this IDataViewBaseExtender instance, and return it to the caller (it’s being called in the class’ constructor).

If the instance is null, an exception is thrown.

All other methods in the above class delegate to methods with the same name and parameters on the IDataViewBaseExtender instance.

I then built the following subclass of the abstract class above:

using Sitecore.Web.UI.HtmlControls;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.DataViews
{
    public class ExtendedMasterDataView : ExtendedDataView<MasterDataView>
    {
        protected override string GetDataViewBaseExtenderConfigPath()
        {
            return "extendedDataViews/extendedMasterDataView";
        }
    }
}

The above class is used for extending the MasterDataView in Sitecore.

It’s now time for the “real deal” DataView that does what we want: show the Bucketed Item counts for Item Buckets. The instance of the following class does just that:

using System.Collections;

using Sitecore.Buckets.Forms;
using Sitecore.Collections;
using Sitecore.Data;
using Sitecore.Data.Fields;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Globalization;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Providers.Items;
using Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Settings;
using Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Util.Methods;
using Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.DataViews;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Forms
{
    public class BucketedItemsCountDataView : BucketDataView, IDataViewBaseExtender
    {
        protected IBucketsContentEditorSettings BucketsContentEditorSettings { get; set; }

        protected IItemBucketsFeatureMethods ItemBucketsFeatureMethods { get; set; }

        protected IBucketedItemsCountProvider BucketedItemsCountProvider { get; set; }

        protected string SingularBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat { get; set; }

        protected string PluralBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat { get; set; }

        void IDataViewBaseExtender.FilterItems(ref ArrayList children, string filter)
        {
            FilterItems(ref children, filter);
        }

        void IDataViewBaseExtender.GetChildItems(ItemCollection children, Item parent)
        {
            GetChildItems(children, parent);
        }

        protected override void GetChildItems(ItemCollection children, Item parent)
        {
            
            base.GetChildItems(children, parent);
            if(!ShouldShowBucketedItemsCount())
            {
                return;
            }

            for (int i = children.Count - 1; i >= 0; i--)
            {
                Item child = children[i];
                if (IsItemBucket(child))
                {
                    int count = GetBucketedItemsCount(child);
                    Item alteredItem = GetCountDisplayNameItem(child, count);
                    children.RemoveAt(i);
                    children.Insert(i, alteredItem);
                }
            }
        }

        protected virtual bool ShouldShowBucketedItemsCount()
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(BucketsContentEditorSettings, "BucketsContentEditorSettings must be defined in configuration!");
            return BucketsContentEditorSettings.ShowBucketedItemsCount;
        }

        protected virtual bool IsItemBucket(Item item)
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(ItemBucketsFeatureMethods, "ItemBucketsFeatureMethods must be set in configuration!");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            return ItemBucketsFeatureMethods.IsItemBucket(item);
        }

        protected virtual int GetBucketedItemsCount(Item itemBucket)
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(BucketedItemsCountProvider, "BucketedItemsCountProvider must be set in configuration!");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(itemBucket, "itemBucket");
            return BucketedItemsCountProvider.GetBucketedItemsCount(itemBucket);
        }

        protected virtual Item GetCountDisplayNameItem(Item item, int count)
        {
            FieldList fields = new FieldList();
            item.Fields.ReadAll();
            
            foreach (Field field in item.Fields)
            {
                fields.Add(field.ID, field.Value);
            }

            int bucketedCount = GetBucketedItemsCount(item);
            string displayName = GetItemNameWithBucketedCount(item, bucketedCount);
            ItemDefinition itemDefinition = new ItemDefinition(item.ID, displayName, item.TemplateID, ID.Null);
            return new Item(item.ID, new ItemData(itemDefinition, item.Language, item.Version, fields), item.Database) { RuntimeSettings = { Temporary = true } };
        }

        protected virtual string GetItemNameWithBucketedCount(Item item, int bucketedCount)
        {
            Assert.IsNotNull(SingularBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat, "SingularBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat must be set in configuration!");
            Assert.IsNotNull(PluralBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat, "PluralBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat must be set in configuration!");

            if (bucketedCount == 1)
            {
                return ReplaceTokens(SingularBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat, item, bucketedCount);
            }

            return ReplaceTokens(PluralBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat, item, bucketedCount);
        }

        protected virtual string ReplaceTokens(string format, Item item, int bucketedCount)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(format, "format");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            string replaced = format;
            replaced = replaced.Replace("$displayName", item.DisplayName);
            replaced = replaced.Replace("$bucketedCount", bucketedCount.ToString());
            return replaced;
        }

        Database IDataViewBaseExtender.GetDatabase()
        {
            return GetDatabase();
        }

        Item IDataViewBaseExtender.GetItemFromID(string id, Language language, Version version)
        {
            return GetItemFromID(id, language, version);
        }

        Item IDataViewBaseExtender.GetParentItem(Item item)
        {
            return GetParentItem(item);
        }

        bool IDataViewBaseExtender.HasChildren(Item item, string filter)
        {
            return HasChildren(item, filter);
        }

        void IDataViewBaseExtender.Initialize(string parameters)
        {
            Initialize(parameters);
        }

        bool IDataViewBaseExtender.IsAncestorOf(Item ancestor, Item item)
        {
            return IsAncestorOf(ancestor, item);
        }

        void IDataViewBaseExtender.SortItems(ArrayList children, string sortBy, bool sortAscending)
        {
            SortItems(children, sortBy, sortAscending);
        }
    }
}

You might be saying to yourself “Mike, what in the world is going on here?” πŸ˜‰ Let me explain by starting with the GetChildItems() method.

The GetChildItems() method is used to build up the collection of child Items that display in the Content Tree when you expand a parent node. It does this by populating the ItemCollection instance passed to it.

The particular implementation above is delegating to the base class’ implementation to get the list of child Items for display in the Content Tree.

If we should not show the Bucketed Items count — this is determined by the ShouldShowBucketedItemsCount() method which just returns the boolean value set on the ShowBucketedItemsCount property of the injected IBucketsContentEditorSettings instance — the code just exits.

If we are to show the Bucketed Items count, we iterate over the ItemCollection collection and see if any of these child Items are Item Buckets — this is determined by the IsItemBucket() method.

If we find an Item Bucket, we get its count of Bucketed Items via the GetBucketedItemsCount() method which delegates to the GetBucketedItemsCount() method on the injected IBucketedItemsCountProvider instance.

Once we have the count, we call the GetCountDisplayNameItem() method which populates a FieldList collection with all of the fields defined on the Item Bucket; call the GetItemNameWithBucketedCount() method to get the new display name to show in the Content Tree — this method determines which display name format to use depending on whether we should use singular or pluralized messaging, and expands value on tokens via the ReplaceTokens() method — these tokens are defined in the patch configuration file below; creates an ItemDefinition instance so we can set the new display name; and returns a new Sitecore.Data.Items.Item instance to the caller.

No, don’t worry, we aren’t adding a new Item in the content tree but creating a fake “wrapper” of the real one, and replacing this in the ItemCollection.

We also have to fully implement the IDataViewBaseExtender interface. For most methods, I just delegate to the corresponding methods defined on the base class except for the IDataViewBaseExtender.GetChildItems() method which uses the GetChildItems() method defined above.

I then bridged everything above together via the following patch configuration file:

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <buckets>
      <extendedCommands>
        <toggleBucketedItemsCountCommand type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Shell.Framework.Commands.ToggleBucketedItemsCountCommand, Sitecore.Sandbox" singleInstance="on">
          <BucketsContentEditorSettings ref="buckets/settings/bucketsContentEditorSettings" />
        </toggleBucketedItemsCountCommand>
      </extendedCommands>
      <providers>
        <items>
          <bucketedItemsCountProvider type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Providers.Items.BucketedItemsCountProvider, Sitecore.Sandbox" singleInstance="true">
            <searchIndexMaps hint="raw:AddSearchIndexMap">
              <searchIndexMap database="master" searchIndex="sitecore_master_index" />
              <searchIndexMap database="web" searchIndex="sitecore_web_index" />
            </searchIndexMaps>
          </bucketedItemsCountProvider>
        </items>
      </providers>
      <settings>
        <bucketsContentEditorSettings type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Settings.BucketsContentEditorSettings, Sitecore.Sandbox" singleInstance="true">
          <ItemBucketsFeatureDeterminer ref="determiners/features/itemBucketsFeatureDeterminer"/>
          <Registry ref="registries/registry" />
          <ShowBucketedItemsCountRegistryKey>/Current_User/UserOptions.View.ShowBucketedItemsCount</ShowBucketedItemsCountRegistryKey>
        </bucketsContentEditorSettings>
      </settings>
    </buckets>
    <commands>
      <command name="contenteditor:togglebucketeditemscount" type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands.ExtendedConfigCommand, Sitecore.Sandbox" extendedCommandPath="buckets/extendedCommands/toggleBucketedItemsCountCommand" />
    </commands>
    <contentSearch>
      <indexConfigurations>
        <defaultLuceneIndexConfiguration>
          <fieldMap>
            <fieldNames>
              <field fieldName="item_bucket_ancestor_id" storageType="YES" indexType="TOKENIZED" vectorType="NO" boost="1f" type="System.String" settingType="Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.LuceneSearchFieldConfiguration, Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider">
                <analyzer type="Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.Analyzers.LowerCaseKeywordAnalyzer, Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider" />
              </field>
              <field fieldName="is_bucketed" storageType="YES" indexType="TOKENIZED" vectorType="NO" boost="1f" type="System.Boolean" settingType="Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.LuceneSearchFieldConfiguration, Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider" />
            </fieldNames>
          </fieldMap>
          <documentOptions>
            <fields hint="raw:AddComputedIndexField">
              <field fieldName="item_bucket_ancestor_id">Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.ContentSearch.ComputedFields.ItemBucketAncestorId, Sitecore.Sandbox</field>
              <field fieldName="is_bucketed">Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.ContentSearch.ComputedFields.IsBucketed, Sitecore.Sandbox</field>
            </fields>
          </documentOptions>
        </defaultLuceneIndexConfiguration>
      </indexConfigurations>
    </contentSearch>
    <dataviews>
      <dataview name="Master">
        <patch:attribute name="assembly">Sitecore.Sandbox</patch:attribute>
        <patch:attribute name="type">Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.DataViews.ExtendedMasterDataView</patch:attribute>
      </dataview>
    </dataviews>
    <extendedDataViews>
      <extendedMasterDataView type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Buckets.Forms.BucketedItemsCountDataView, Sitecore.Sandbox" singleInstance="true">
        <BucketsContentEditorSettings ref="buckets/settings/bucketsContentEditorSettings" />
        <ItemBucketsFeatureMethods ref="buckets/methods/itemBucketsFeatureMethods" />
        <BucketedItemsCountProvider ref="buckets/providers/items/bucketedItemsCountProvider" />
        <SingularBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat>$displayName &lt;span style="font-style: italic; color: blue;"&gt;($bucketedCount bucketed item)&lt;span&gt;</SingularBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat>
        <PluralBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat>$displayName &lt;span style="font-style: italic; color: blue;"&gt;($bucketedCount bucketed items)&lt;span&gt;</PluralBucketedItemsDisplayNameFormat>
      </extendedMasterDataView>
    </extendedDataViews>
    <registries>
      <registry type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Web.UI.HtmlControls.Registries.Registry, Sitecore.Sandbox" singleInstance="true" />
    </registries>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

bridge-collapse

Let’s see this in action:

bucketed-items-count-testing

As you can see, it is working as intended.

partay-hard

Magical, right?

magic

Well, not really — it just appears that way. πŸ˜‰

magic-not-really

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

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Restrict Object Instantiation via the Singleton Pattern in Sitecore

This post is a continuation of a series of posts I’m putting together around using design patterns in Sitecore, and will show a “proof of concept” around using the Singleton pattern — a creational pattern which restricts the creation of a class to only one instance, and also provides a global reference to it.

In this “proof of concept”, I am using a Singleton which contains a method that will “un-parent” an Item — all of the Item’s children will become its siblings in the Sitecore content tree — and will utilize this in a command which will be wired-up to the Sitecore Ribbon. I honestly don’t see much utility in having such functionality in Sitecore — you just might πŸ™‚ — but the functionality itself is not the purpose of this post.

I first started out by creating the following class which serves as the Singleton:

using System.Linq;

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

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Items
{
    public class ItemOperations
    {
        private static volatile ItemOperations current;
        
        private static object locker = new object();

        private ItemOperations() 
        { 
        }

        public static ItemOperations Current
        {
            get 
            {
                if (current == null) 
                {
                    lock (locker) 
                    {
                        if (current == null)
                        {
                            current = new ItemOperations();
                        }
                    }
                }

                return current;
            }
        }

        public void Unparent(Item item)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            if(!item.Children.Any())
            {
                return;
            }

            foreach(Item child in item.Children)
            {
                child.MoveTo(item.Parent);
            }
        }
    }
}

Before going into the details of why the class above is a Singleton, I want to point out that it contains one method — the Unparent() method — which iterates over all child Items of the Item passed to it, and moves them under the passed Item’s parent — this will move these child Items to the same level as their former parent.

You might be asking “what makes this a Singleton”? The first clue is the private constructor — this class cannot be instantiated by other classes. It can only be instantiated from within itself.

This instantiation is being done in the logic of its Current property. If the static private variable “current” is null, we “lock” an arbitrary object — this is done to make this multithreading “friendly” so that we can avoid collisions in the case when two different threads invoke the Current property at about the exact same time — and then create an instance of the ItemOperations class. This instance is then saved in the static variable “current”.

When the next call to the Current property is made on this class’ type, the “current” variable is already set, so the instance stored in it is returned to the caller.

The reason why the variable “current” and its associated property “Current” are static is to ensure these aren’t bound to an instance of the class but instead are bound to the class’ type, and the “Current” property can be accessed directly on the class’ name.

I then created the following subclass of Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command which is needed for integration into the Sitecore Ribbon:

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

using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.Items;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands
{
    public class Unparent : Command
    {
        public Unparent()
        {
        }

        public override void Execute(CommandContext context)
        {
            Item item = GetItem(context);
            ItemOperations.Current.Unparent(item);
        }

        public override CommandState QueryState(CommandContext context)
        {
            Item item = GetItem(context);
            if (item == null || !item.Children.Any())
            {
                return CommandState.Hidden;
            }

            return CommandState.Enabled;
        }

        protected virtual Item GetItem(CommandContext context)
        {
            if(!context.Items.Any())
            {
                return null;
            }

            return context.Items.First();
        }
    }
}

The QueryState() method checks to see whether the selected Item in the Sitecore content tree has any children and returns the Hidden value on the Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.CommandState enum — this lets the Sitecore Client code know that the button associated with this command should be hidden. If the Item does have children, the Enabled value on the Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.CommandState enum is returned.

The Execute() method just passes the selected Item in the Sitecore content tree to the Unparent() method on the ItemOperations Singleton above — the Unparent() method is where the child Items are moved up a level.

I then had to register the command above with Sitecore via the following patch configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <commands>
      <command name="item:Unparent" type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands.Unparent, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
    </commands>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

Now that the above command is registered in Sitecore, we must bind it to Sitecore ribbon. I did that in the core database:

unparent-ribbon

I won’t go into details of the above as I’ve already covered how to do so in many of my previous posts — do have a look!

Let’s take this for a spin!

Let’s choose an Item with some child Items:

unparent-1

After clicking the “Unparent” button in the Ribbon, I saw the following:

unparent-2

As you can see, this Item was “un-parented”.

Ok, now that we had some fun with this, let’s have a serious discussion about the Singleton pattern — yeah, I know serious discussions aren’t always pleasant but what I have to say is pretty important regarding this pattern.

Although the Singleton pattern does make it easy to implement things quite fast, and does allow for less memory usage due to having less object instances floating around in memory, it unfortunately promotes tight coupling in your classes.

If you have to change something on the Singleton class itself — perhaps a method signature on it — you will have to also update every single class that references it. This can be quite costly from a development effort and painful — especially if the Singleton is being referenced in a gazillion places ( is gazillion a word? πŸ˜‰ ).

So, please do think twice before using this pattern — sure, it might be alright to use a Singleton in a pinch but do be sure it won’t lead to a maintenance nightmare for future development in your Sitecore solutions.

Chain Together Sitecore Functionality Using the Chain-of-responsibility Design Pattern

This post is a continuation of a series of posts I’m putting together around using design patterns in Sitecore solutions, and will show a “proof of concept” around using the chain-of-responsibility pattern — a pattern where objects are linked together and are invoked in a cascading manner.

I decided to revisit a post I wrote over two years ago on chaining together client commands — these are invoked via the Sheer UI framework which drives how the ribbon, item context menu and other things work in Sitecore.

Earlier today — or yesterday depending on where you are — I began my code journey by building the following interface:

using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Invokers.Commands
{
    public interface ICommandInvoker
    {
        bool HasCommand();

        void SetCommand(string commandName);

        void SetNextInvoker(ICommandInvoker nextInvoker);

        bool CanInvoke(CommandContext commandContext);

        void Invoke(CommandContext commandContext);
    }
}

The idea here is instances of classes that implement the interface above — let’s call them processing objects — will encapsulate instances of subclasses of Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command — this is defined in Sitecore.Kernel.dll.

Each processing object will be linked to another processing object — I’m calling this other processing object the NextInvoker in code — which is invoked after the previous one.

Since the NextInvoker implements the interface above, it can also have its own NextInvoker thus chaining together a series of classes that implement the ICommandInvoker interface above.

I decided employ another design pattern in this solution — the Null Object pattern — and defined the following class whose instances will serve as a Null Object — I did this to reduce the amount of null checks in code (I should probably devote an entire post on this pattern):

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Invokers.Commands
{
    public class NullCommandInvoker : ICommandInvoker
    {
        public NullCommandInvoker()
        {
        }

        public bool HasCommand()
        {
            return false;
        }

        public void SetCommand(string commandName)
        {
        }

        public void SetNextInvoker(ICommandInvoker nextInvoker)
        {
        }

        public bool CanInvoke(CommandContext commandContext)
        {
            return true;
        }

        public void Invoke(CommandContext commandContext)
        {
        }
    }
}

Basically, instances of the class above do nothing and can be invoked — why not? They don’t do actually do anything so no harm done, right? πŸ˜‰ — as can be seen in the CanInvoke() method.

I then created the following class whose instances will serve as the default processing objects:

using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Invokers.Commands
{
    public class CommandInvoker : ICommandInvoker
    {
        private static ICommandInvoker NullCommandInvoker { get; set; }

        private Command Command { get; set; }

        private ICommandInvoker nextInvoker;
        private ICommandInvoker NextInvoker 
        { 
            get
            {
                return nextInvoker ?? NullCommandInvoker;
            }
            set
            {
                nextInvoker = value;
            }
        }

        static CommandInvoker()
        {
            NullCommandInvoker = CreateNullCommandInvoker();
        }

        public CommandInvoker()
        {
        }

        public bool HasCommand()
        {
            return Command != null;
        }

        public void SetCommand(string commandName)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(commandName, "commandName");
            Command = GetCommand(commandName);
            Assert.IsNotNull(Command, "commandName", "commandName is not a valid command!");
        }

        public void SetNextInvoker(ICommandInvoker nextInvoker)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(nextInvoker, "nextInvoker");
            NextInvoker = nextInvoker;
        }

        public bool CanInvoke(CommandContext commandContext)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(commandContext, "commandContext");
            if(!HasCommand())
            {
                return false;
            }
            
            return Command.QueryState(commandContext) == CommandState.Enabled && NextInvoker.CanInvoke(commandContext);
        }

        public void Invoke(CommandContext commandContext)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(commandContext, "commandContext");
            if(!HasCommand())
            {
                return;
            }

            Command.Execute(commandContext);
            NextInvoker.Invoke(commandContext);
        }

        protected virtual Command GetCommand(string commandName)
        {
            return CommandManager.GetCommand(commandName);
        }

        private static ICommandInvoker CreateNullCommandInvoker()
        {
            ICommandInvoker nullCommandInvoker = Factory.CreateObject("commandInvokers/nullCommandInvoker", true) as ICommandInvoker;
            Assert.IsNotNull(nullCommandInvoker, "nullCommandInvoker", "nullCommandInvoker must be set correctly in configuration!");
            return nullCommandInvoker;
        }
    }
}

There is a lot going on in the class above, so let me try to briefly capture the main things.

The SetCommand() method in the class above takes in the name of the command and delegates to the GetCommand() method which looks it up using the GetCommand() method on Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.CommandManager in Sitecore.Kernel.dll.

The SetNextInvoker() method will chain the current CommandInvoker instance with another class instance that implements the ICommandInvoker interface — this is the NextInvoker.

The CanInvoke() method basically checks to see if the current CommandInvoker instance has a non-null Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command instance set within it; ascertains whether the Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command instance is enabled; and determines if the NextInvoker can be invoked.

The Invoke() method calls the Execute() method on the Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command instance, and then calls the Invoke() method on the class instance’s NextInvoker.

One thing I’d like to point out is an instance of the Null Object class that was defined above is used when the NextInvoker is not set — this is why a null check is not done in the CanInvoke() and Invoke() methods on the NextInvoker instance.

I then built the following Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands.Command subclass which is to be wired-up to a menu option of some type in the Core database:

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

using Sitecore.Collections;
using Sitecore.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;
using Sitecore.Web;

using Sitecore.Sandbox.Invokers.Commands;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands
{
    public class ChainOfResponsibilityCommand : Command
    {
        private ICommandInvoker commandInvoker;
        private ICommandInvoker CommandInvoker 
        { 
            get
            {
                if(commandInvoker == null)
                {
                    commandInvoker = GetCommandInvoker();
                }

                return commandInvoker;
            }
        }

        public override void Execute(CommandContext context)
        {
            if (!CommandInvoker.CanInvoke(context))
            {
                return;
            }

            CommandInvoker.Invoke(context);
        }

        public override CommandState QueryState(CommandContext context)
        {
            if(!CommandInvoker.CanInvoke(context))
            {
                return CommandState.Hidden;
            }

            return CommandState.Enabled;
        }

        private ICommandInvoker GetCommandInvoker()
        {
            ICommandInvoker firstInvoker = CreateNewCommandInvoker();
            IEnumerable<string> commandNames = GetCommandNames(GetParameters());
            if(commandNames == null || !commandNames.Any())
            {
                return firstInvoker;
            }
            
            ICommandInvoker invoker = firstInvoker;
            invoker.SetCommand(commandNames.First());
            commandNames = commandNames.Skip(1).ToList();
            if (!commandNames.Any())
            {
                return firstInvoker;
            }

            foreach(string commandName in commandNames)
            {
                ICommandInvoker nextInvoker = CreateNewCommandInvoker();
                nextInvoker.SetCommand(commandName);
                invoker.SetNextInvoker(nextInvoker);
                invoker = nextInvoker;
            }

            return firstInvoker;
        }

        private IEnumerable<string> GetCommandNames(SafeDictionary<string> parameters)
        {
            string commands = GetCommandsString(parameters);
            char[] delimiters = GetCommandsDelimiters(parameters);

            if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(commands) || delimiters == null || !delimiters.Any())
            {
                return new List<string>();
            }

            return commands.Split(delimiters, StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries);
        }

        protected virtual string GetCommandsString(SafeDictionary<string> parameters)
        {
            return parameters["commands"];
        }

        private char[] GetCommandsDelimiters(SafeDictionary<string> parameters)
        {
            string delimiters = GetDelimitersString(parameters);
            if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(delimiters))
            {
                return new char[] { };
            }

            return GetDelimitersString(parameters).ToCharArray();
        }

        protected virtual string GetDelimitersString(SafeDictionary<string> parameters)
        {
            return parameters["delimiters"];
        }

        protected virtual SafeDictionary<string> GetParameters()
        {
            XmlNode xmlNode = Factory.GetConfigNode(string.Format("commands/command[@name='{0}']", Name));
            string parametersValue = GetAttributeValue(xmlNode, "parameters");
            if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(parametersValue))
            {
                return new SafeDictionary<string>();
            }
           
            return WebUtil.ParseQueryString(xmlNode.Attributes["parameters"].Value);
        }

        private string GetAttributeValue(XmlNode xmlNode, string attributeName)
        {
            if (xmlNode == null || xmlNode.Attributes[attributeName] == null || string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(xmlNode.Attributes[attributeName].Value))
            {
                return string.Empty;
            }

            return xmlNode.Attributes[attributeName].Value;
        }

        protected static ICommandInvoker CreateNewCommandInvoker()
        {
            ICommandInvoker commandInvoker = Factory.CreateObject("commandInvokers/defaultCommandInvoker", true) as ICommandInvoker;
            Assert.IsNotNull(commandInvoker, "commandInvoker", "commandInvoker must be set correctly in configuration!");
            return commandInvoker;
        }
    }
}

The Command above reads the list of commands to chain together from Sitecore configuration — this is coming from an attribute on the Command’s configuration element which you will see in the configuration file below — and builds up a linked list of ICommandInvoker instances via the GetCommandInvoker() method.

The QueryState() method simply checks to see if the linked list of ICommandInvoker instances can be invoked, and the Execute() — which also performs the same check as is done in the QueryState() method — ultimately calls the Invoke() method on the first ICommandInvoker instance — this will cascade throughout the entire linked list.

I then wired everything up in the following Sitecore configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <commands>
      <command name="item:MoveRenamePublish" parameters="commands=item:moveto|item:rename|item:publish&amp;delimiters=|"  type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands.ChainOfResponsibilityCommand, Sitecore.Sandbox"/>
      <command name="item:MoveLastPublish" parameters="commands=item:movelast|item:publish&amp;delimiters=|"  type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands.ChainOfResponsibilityCommand, Sitecore.Sandbox"/>
    </commands>
    <commandInvokers>
      <defaultCommandInvoker type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Invokers.Commands.CommandInvoker, Sitecore.Sandbox" singleInstance="false" />
      <nullCommandInvoker type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Invokers.Commands.NullCommandInvoker, Sitecore.Sandbox" singleInstance="false" />
    </commandInvokers>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

I defined two different commands in the above configuration file to test whether the ChainOfResponsibilityCommand class can be reused for multiple Sheer UI commands.

I then set up two different buttons in the ribbon for the two command elements in the configuration file above:

item:MoveRenamePublish:

move-rename-publish-ribbon-core

item:MoveLastPublish:

move-last-publish-ribbon-core

Let’s take this for a spin.

Let’s move, rename and publish the following Sitecore Item:

cat-page-one-move-rename-publish-1

I clicked the button, and was presented with this dialog:

cat-page-one-move-rename-publish-2

I was then prompted with this dialog after the Item was moved to the selected destination:

cat-page-one-move-rename-publish-3

I renamed the Item, and was prompted with the publishing dialog:

cat-page-one-move-rename-publish-4

Ok, that appears to be working. Let’s try out the other Ribbon button. Let’s try it on this Item:

sub-page-one-move-last-publish-1

After the Item was moved, I was prompted with the publishing dialog:

sub-page-one-move-last-publish-2

As you can see, this worked as well.

I will say that although I had fun implementing this solution, it is way more complex than the solution I had built over two years ago in my older post.

This brings up an important point I want to make regarding design patterns: don’t use a design pattern because it may seem like a cool thing to do, or because your crazy developer cousin who always carries around a copy of the Gang Of Four book on design patterns says all solutions should implement them always.

Use them wisely.

if you see an opportunity to use one where it will save time when introducing new features moving forward, or it makes it easy to swap-in/out features, then by all means go for it. Otherwise, the KISS principle is a better “rule of thumb” to follow.

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

Bucket Items in Sitecore using a Custom Commandlet in Sitecore PowerShell Extensions

Last Wednesday I had the privilege to present Sitecore PowerShell Extensions (SPE) at the Milwaukee Sitecore Meetup. During my presentation, I demonstrated how easy it is to add, execute and reuse PowerShell scripts in SPE, and I showcased version 3.0 of SPE on Sitecore XP 8.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time before showing how one can go about creating a custom commandlet in SPE, and hope to make it up to everyone by sharing the commandlet I wrote for the presentation in this post.

I wrote the following commandlet to convert an Item into an Item Bucket in Sitecore:

using System;
using System.Management.Automation;

using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;

using Cognifide.PowerShell.Commandlets;
using Cognifide.PowerShell.Commandlets.Interactive.Messages;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.SPE.Commandlets.Buckets
{
    [Cmdlet(VerbsData.ConvertTo, "Bucket"), OutputType(new Type[] { typeof(Item) })]
    public class ConvertToBucketCommand : BaseItemCommand
    {
        protected override void ProcessItem(Item item)
        {
            try
            {
                PutMessage(new ShellCommandInItemContextMessage(item, "item:bucket"));   
            }
            catch (Exception exception)
            {
                WriteError(new ErrorRecord(exception, "sitecore_new_bucket_error", ErrorCategory.NotSpecified, Item));
            }

            WriteItem(Item);
        }
    }
}

The above commandlet implements the ProcessItem() method — this method is declared abstract in one of the ancestor classes of the class above — and leverages the framework of SPE to invoke a Sheer UI command to bucket the Item passed to the method — one of the ancestor classes of this class passes the Item to be processed.

The above highlights how in SPE we are employing the Template method pattern for many “out of the box” commandlets. This involves inheriting from an abstract base class — Cognifide.PowerShell.Commandlets.BaseItemCommand in Cognifide.PowerShell.dll (this assembly comes with the SPE module) is an example of one of these base classes — and implementing methods that are defined as abstract. The parent or an ancestor class will do the brunt of the work behind the scenes, and use your method implementation for specifics.

As a side note, we also provide method hooks as well — these are virtual methods defined on a base or ancestor class — which you can override to change how they work to meet your particular needs.

I then wired the above up using a Sitecore include configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <powershell>
      <commandlets>
        <add Name="Custom Bucket Commandlets" type="*, Sitecore.Sandbox.SPE" />
      </commandlets>
    </powershell>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

I deployed the above to my Sitecore instance; loaded up the Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) in SPE; and saw that my commandlet was registered using the Control-Space shortcut key:

convert-to-bucket-ise-control-space

Let’s take this for a spin. Let’s convert the Home Item into an Item Bucket:

home-before-bucket

Here’s my script to do that:

ise-convert-home-bucket

I clicked the execute button, and then got this confirmation dialog:

ise-convert-home-bucket-confirm

I then clicked the “Ok” button and was immediately presented with this dialog:

ise-convert-home-bucket-processing

As you can see it worked! The Home Item in my content tree is now an Item Bucket:

home-after-bucket

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

If you would like to watch the Milwaukee Sitecore Meetup presentation where I showcased Sitecore PowerShell Extensions — and as a bonus you’ll also get to see some real-life application of SPE from Adam Brauer, Senior Product Engineer at Active Commerce, in this presentation as well — it has been recorded for posterity, and you can watch it here:

Until next time, stay curious, keep experimenting, and let’s keep on sharing all the Sitecore things!

Accept All Notifications on Clones of an Item using a Custom Command in Sitecore

As I was walking along a beach near my apartment tonight, I thought “wouldn’t it be nifty to have a button in the Sitecore ribbon to accept all notifications on clones of an Item instead of having to accept these manually on each clone?”

I immediately returned home, and whipped up the following command class:

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

using Sitecore.Data.Clones;
using Sitecore.Data.Items;
using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands
{
    public class AcceptAllNotificationsOnClones : Command
    {
        public override CommandState QueryState(CommandContext context)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(context, "context");
            IEnumerable<Item> clones = GetClonesWithNotifications(GetItem(context));
            if(!clones.Any())
            {
                return CommandState.Hidden;
            }

            return CommandState.Enabled;
        }

        public override void Execute(CommandContext context)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(context, "context");
            Item item = GetItem(context);
            IEnumerable<Item> clones = GetClonesWithNotifications(item);
            if(!clones.Any())
            {
                return;
            }

            foreach (Item clone in clones)
            {
                AcceptAllNotifications(item.Database.NotificationProvider, clone);
            }
        }

        protected virtual Item GetItem(CommandContext context)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(context, "context");
            return context.Items.FirstOrDefault();
        }

        protected virtual IEnumerable<Item> GetClonesWithNotifications(Item item)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(item, "item");
            IEnumerable<Item> clones = item.GetClones();
            if(!clones.Any())
            {
                return new List<Item>();
            }
            
            IEnumerable<Item> clonesWithNotifications = GetClonesWithNotifications(item.Database.NotificationProvider, clones);
            if(!clonesWithNotifications.Any())
            {
                return new List<Item>();
            }

            return clonesWithNotifications;
        }

        protected virtual IEnumerable<Item> GetClonesWithNotifications(NotificationProvider notificationProvider, IEnumerable<Item> clones)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(notificationProvider, "notificationProvider");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(clones, "clones");
            return (from clone in clones
                    let notifications = notificationProvider.GetNotifications(clone)
                    where notifications.Any()
                    select clone).ToList();
        }

        protected virtual void AcceptAllNotifications(NotificationProvider notificationProvider, Item clone)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(notificationProvider, "notificationProvider");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(clone, "clone");
            foreach (Notification notification in notificationProvider.GetNotifications(clone))
            {
                notification.Accept(clone);
            }
        }
    }
}

The code in the command above ensures the command is only visible when the selected Item in the Sitecore content tree has clones, and those clones have notifications — this visibility logic is contained in the QueryState() method.

When the command is invoked — this happens through the Execute() method — all clones with notifications of the selected Item are retrieved, and iterated over — each are passed to the AcceptAllNotifications() method which contains logic to accept all notifications on them via the Accept() method on a NotificationProvider instance: this NotificationProvider instance comes from the source Item’s Database property.

I then registered the above command class in Sitecore using the following configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <commands>
      <command name="item:AcceptAllNotificationsOnClones" type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Shell.Framework.Commands.AcceptAllNotificationsOnClones, Sitecore.Sandbox"/>
    </commands>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

We need a way to invoke this command. I created a new button to go into the ‘Item Clones’ chunk in the ribbon:

accept-notifications-on-clones-button-core

Let’s take this for a test drive!

I first created some clones:

created-clones

I then changed a field value on one of those clones:

changed-field-value-on-clone

On the clone’s source Item, I changed the same field’s value with something completely different, and added a new child item — the new button appeared after saving the Item:

new-child-item-field-value-change

Now, the clone has notifications on it:

notifications-on-clone

I went back to the source Item, clicked the ‘Accept Notifications On Clones’ button in the ribbon, and navigated back to the clone:

notifications-accepted

As you can see, the notifications were accepted.

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

Build a Custom Command in Sitecore PowerShell Extensions

In my Sitecore PowerShell Extensions presentation at the Sitecore User Group Conference 2014, I showed the audience how easy it is to build custom commands for Sitecore PowerShell Extensions, and thought it would be a good idea to distill what I had shown into a blog post for future reference. This blog post embodies that endeavor.

During my presentation, I shared an example of using the template method pattern for two commands using the following base class:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Management.Automation;

using Sitecore.Data.Items;

using Cognifide.PowerShell.PowerShellIntegrations.Commandlets;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.SPE.Commandlets.Data
{
    public abstract class EditItemCommand : BaseCommand
    {
        protected override void ProcessRecord()
        {
            ProcessItem(Item);
            if (!Recurse.IsPresent)
            {
                return;
            }
            
            ProcessItems(Item.Children, true);
        }

        private void ProcessItems(IEnumerable<Item> items, bool recursive)
        {
            foreach (Item item in items)
            {
                ProcessItem(item);
                if (recursive && item.Children.Any())
                {
                    ProcessItems(item.Children, recursive);
                }
            }
        }

        private void ProcessItem(Item item)
        {
            item.Editing.BeginEdit();
            try
            {
                EditItem(item);
                item.Editing.EndEdit();
            }
            catch (Exception exception)
            {
                item.Editing.CancelEdit();
                throw exception;
            }

            WriteItem(item);
        }

        protected abstract void EditItem(Item item);

        [Parameter(ValueFromPipeline = true, ValueFromPipelineByPropertyName = true)]
        public Item Item { get; set; }

        [Parameter]
        public SwitchParameter Recurse { get; set; }
    }
}

The class above defines the basic algorithm for editing an Item — the editing part occurs in the EditItem() method which must be defined by subclasses — and all of its descendants when the Recurse switch is supplied to the command. When the Recursive switch is supplied, recursion is employed to process all descendants of the Item once editing of the supplied Item is complete.

The following subclass of the EditItemCommand class above protects a supplied Item in its implementation of the EditItem() method:

using System;
using System.Management.Automation;

using Sitecore.Data.Items;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.SPE.Commandlets.Data
{
    [OutputType(new Type[] { typeof(Sitecore.Data.Items.Item) }), Cmdlet("Protect", "Item")]
    public class ProtectItemCommand : EditItemCommand
    {
        protected override void EditItem(Item item)
        {
            item.Appearance.ReadOnly = true;
        }
    }
}

Conversely, the following subclass of the EditItemCommand class unprotects the passed Item in its EditItem() method implementation:

using System;
using System.Management.Automation;

using Sitecore.Data.Items;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.SPE.Commandlets.Data
{
    [OutputType(new Type[] { typeof(Sitecore.Data.Items.Item) }), Cmdlet("Unprotect", "Item")]
    public class UnprotectItemCommand : EditItemCommand
    {
        protected override void EditItem(Item item)
        {
            item.Appearance.ReadOnly = false;
        }
    }
}

The verb and noun for each command is defined in the Cmdlet class attribute set on each command class declaration.

I then registered all of the above in Sitecore using the following configuration file:

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <powershell>
      <commandlets>
            <add Name="Sitecore Sandbox Commandlets" type="*, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
      </commandlets>
    </powershell>
  </sitecore>                                                                                    
</configuration>

Since everything looks copacetic — you got to love a developer’s optimism πŸ˜‰ — I built and deployed all of the above to my Sitecore instance.

Let’s take this for a spin!

I selected my home Item knowing it is not protected:

not-protected-home

I then looked to see if it had an unprotected descendant, and found the following item:

not-protected-page-three

I then ran a script on the home Item using our new command to protect an item, and supplied the Recurse switch to protect all descendants:

protect-item-command-powershell-ise

As you can see, the home Item is now protected:

protected-home

Its descendant is also protected:

protected-page-three

Let’s now unprotect them. I ran a script on the home Item using our new command to unprotect an item, and supplied the Recurse switch to process all descendants:

unprotect-item-command-powershell-ise

As you can see, the home Item is now unprotected again:

not-protected-again-home

Its descendant is also unprotected:

not-protected-again-page-three

If you have any thoughts or ideas around improving anything you’ve seen in this post, or have other ideas for commands that should be included in Sitecore PowerShell Extensions, please drop a comment.

I would also like to point out that I had written a previous blog post on creating a custom command in Sitecore PowerShell Extensions. You might want to go check that out as well.

Until next time, have a scriptastic day! πŸ™‚

Export to CSV in the Form Reports of Sitecore’s Web Forms for Marketers

The other day I was poking around Sitecore.Forms.Core.dll — this is one of the assemblies that comes with Web Forms for Marketers (what, you don’t randomly look at code in the Sitecore assemblies? πŸ˜‰ ) — and decided to check out how the export functionality of the Form Reports work.

Once I felt I understood how the export code functions, I decided to take a stab at building my own custom export: functionality to export to CSV, and built the following class to serve as a pipeline processor to wedge Form Reports data into CSV format:

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

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Form.Core.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Form.Core.Pipelines.Export;
using Sitecore.Forms.Data;
using Sitecore.Jobs;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Form.Core.Pipelines.Export.Csv
{
    public class ExportToCsv
    {
        public void Process(ExportArgs args)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(args, "args");
            LogInfo();
            args.Result = GenerateCsv(args.Packet.Entries);
        }

        protected virtual void LogInfo()
        {
            Job job = Context.Job;
            if (job != null)
            {
                job.Status.LogInfo(ResourceManager.Localize("EXPORTING_DATA"));
            }
        }

        private string GenerateCsv(IEnumerable<IForm> forms)
        {
            return string.Join(Environment.NewLine, GenerateAllCsvRows(forms));
        }

        protected virtual IEnumerable<string> GenerateAllCsvRows(IEnumerable<IForm> forms)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(forms, "forms");
            IList<string> rows = new List<string>();
            rows.Add(GenerateCsvHeader(forms.FirstOrDefault()));
            foreach (IForm form in forms)
            {
                string row = GenerateCsvRow(form);
                if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(row))
                {
                    rows.Add(row);
                }
            }

            return rows;
        }

        protected virtual string GenerateCsvHeader(IForm form)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(form, "form");
            return string.Join(",", form.Field.Select(field => field.FieldName));
        }

        protected virtual string GenerateCsvRow(IForm form)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(form, "form");
            return string.Join(",", form.Field.Select(field => field.Value));
        }
    }
}

There really isn’t anything magical happening in the code above. The code creates a string of comma-separated values for each row of entries in args.Packet.Entries, and puts these plus a CSV header into a collection of strings.

Once all rows have been placed into a collection of strings, they are munged together on the newline character ultimately creating a multi-row CSV string. This CSV string is then set on the Result property of the ExportArgs instance.

Now we need a way to invoke a pipeline that contains the above class as a processor, and the following command does just that:

using System.Collections.Specialized;

using Sitecore.Diagnostics;
using Sitecore.Forms.Core.Commands.Export;
using Sitecore.Form.Core.Configuration;
using Sitecore.Shell.Framework.Commands;

namespace Sitecore.Sandbox.Forms.Core.Commands.Export
{
    public class Export : ExportToXml
    {
        protected override void AddParameters(NameValueCollection parameters)
        {
            parameters["filename"] = FileName;
            parameters["contentType"] = MimeType;
        }

        public override void Execute(CommandContext context)
        {
            SetProperties(context);
            base.Execute(context);
        }

        private void SetProperties(CommandContext context)
        {
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(context, "context");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNull(context.Parameters, "context.Parameters");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(context.Parameters["fileName"], "context.Parameters[\"fileName\"]");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(context.Parameters["mimeType"], "context.Parameters[\"mimeType\"]");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(context.Parameters["exportPipeline"], "context.Parameters[\"exportPipeline\"]");
            Assert.ArgumentNotNullOrEmpty(context.Parameters["progressDialogTitle"], "context.Parameters[\"progressDialogTitle\"]");
            FileName = context.Parameters["fileName"];
            MimeType = context.Parameters["mimeType"];
            ExportPipeline = context.Parameters["exportPipeline"];
            ProgressDialogTitle = context.Parameters["progressDialogTitle"];
        }

        protected override string GetName()
        {
            return ProgressDialogTitle;
        }

        protected override string GetProcessorName()
        {
            return ExportPipeline;
        }

        private string FileName { get; set; }

        private string MimeType { get; set; }

        private string ExportPipeline { get; set; }

        private string ProgressDialogTitle { get; set; }
    }
}

I modeled the above command after Sitecore.Forms.Core.Commands.Export.ExportToExcel in Sitecore.Forms.Core.dll: this command inherits some useful logic of Sitecore.Forms.Core.Commands.Export.ExportToXml but differs along the pipeline being invoked, the name of the export file, and content type of the file being created.

I decided to make the above command be generic: the name of the file, pipeline, progress dialog title — this is a heading that is displayed in a modal dialog that is launched when the data is being exported from the Form Reports — and content type of the file are passed to it from Sitecore via Sheer UI buttons (see below).

I then registered all of the above in Sitecore via the following patch configuration file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
  <sitecore>
    <commands>
      <command name="forms:export" type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Forms.Core.Commands.Export.Export, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
    </commands>
    <pipelines>
      <exportToCsv>
        <processor type="Sitecore.Sandbox.Form.Core.Pipelines.Export.Csv.ExportToCsv, Sitecore.Sandbox" />
        <processor type="Sitecore.Form.Core.Pipelines.Export.SaveContent, Sitecore.Forms.Core" />
      </exportToCsv>
    </pipelines>
  </sitecore>
</configuration>

Now we must wire the command to Sheer UI buttons. This is how I wired up the export ‘All’ button (this button is available in a dropdown of the main export button in the Form Reports):

to-csv-all-core-db

I then created another export button which is used when exporting selected rows in the Form Reports:

to-csv-core-db

Let’s see this in action!

I opened up the Form Reports for a test form I had built for a previous blog post, and selected some rows (notice the ‘To CSV’ button in the ribbon):

form-reports-selected-export-csv

I clicked the ‘To CSV’ button — doing this launched a progress dialog (I wasn’t fast enough to grab a screenshot of it) — and was prompted to download the following file:

export-csv-txt

As you can see, the file looks beautiful in Excel πŸ˜‰ :

export-csv-excel

If you have any thoughts on this, or ideas for other export data formats that could be incorporated into the Form Reports of Web Forms for Marketers, please share in a comment.

Until next time, have a Sitecoretastic day!