Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sitecore Support May or May Not Have a GitHub Repo!

I heard from a little birdie that there may or may not be a repository of the git kind on the internet.

- Michael

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Access Reference Fields in SXA Rendering Variant

As a followup to my post on building a custom tool in SXA, I wanted to share a new discovery which makes greater use of NVelocity.

If you have used Rendering Variants in SXA you may have come across the token $item. With this token you are able to access data on the page item. Rather than have the page contain all of the data, why not make use of a ReferenceField such as a droptree and get the data from that item.

Location Page with Reference to POI

SXA provides a way to store Points of Interest (POI) and link to a page. In the following example, you can see that the My Location POI allows for a link to a page. I personally don't like relying on this direction of reference because I expect the page to either inherit from POI or reference a POI.


In my solution, I create a new field on the page called "POI" and link back to the POI. As you see below, the new field points back to the global data directory so the user can pick from an existing list of POIs.


I would imagine an automated process mapping the POI to a page, but that's a problem to solve for another day.


Build the Tool

Getting back to the item tool, we need to create a new method for accessing a reference field.

Create a tool called $itemFieldTool and then use it in the rendering variant.

Use the Tool

In my use case, I needed to show a Google Static map on the page. Here is the rendering variant I setup.


The Map VariantTemplate contains the data from the gist.



The part that I found really cool was that you can create a new variable called $refItem and it would appear in the same context as $item.

This is where the fun part is in the gist:

#set($refItem = $itemFieldTool.GetItemReferenceItem($item, "POI"))

I hope this helps you build something super awesome. If you use it please share a link in the comments so others can celebrate your success.

- Michael

SXA Fake Navigation Link

If you have worked on any website navigation, you may have encountered a scenario where you need to represent a link in the menu, such as to the Home page. In the following post I'll describe how I created a link to a page, without there actually being a page.

As you can see in the above example, the Home page is represented as a sibling to the About and Locations pages.


I created an item in the tree to represent the Home page, but without all of the overhead of a full page.

Out of the box

Let's have a look at what comes out of the box, and why I decided to do something different.

While working with SXA you'll see that there is a Navigation component which allows you to specify a few properties to simplify the setup.

The option to include the root page should work for you in most scenarios. When the markup is generated, you however do not see the Home page on the same level. Let me show the differences in markup.

Here is an example with the root page included and the structure flattened. Notice that the real Home page is at level0, and my fake Home page is at level0 but nested under a ul li.


As you would expect, if you don't flatten the structure the level classes change but the markup is the same.


By creating the fake Home item you are able to eliminate the level0 and thus simplify the markup. Notice that the levels begin with level1.



Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hamburger Menu In SXA

The following post was typed with one hand while my new born baby sleeps. 

The checklist:
  • Create styles in SXA that will be attached to components.
  • Add Row Splitter to header Partial Design. Add style Navbar.
    • Add Plain HTML component to row 1. Add button snippet and adjust target class.
    • Add Navigation component to row 1. Add style Navbar Collapse.
  • Add bootstrap.js to theme.








Thursday, February 1, 2018

SXA Theme Upgrade Tip using SPE

In some recent conversations on Sitecore Slack Chat I needed to determine why a component script in SXA was not working as desired (broke). I decided to write a short PowerShell script in SPE to speed up the troubleshooting.

The following script is designed to compare two script directories under the specified themes and determines which ones have different file sizes.

Let's have a look at the sample output:


With this information you are hours ahead of where you would have been trying to figure out why the "component-carousel" works on my machine but not in production!

Cheers!

Michael

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Michael West Wins Sitecore "Most Valuable Professional" Award


Michael West Wins Sitecore "Most Valuable Professional" Award

Elite distinction awarded for exceptional contributions to the Sitecore ecosystem

Dallas, TX, USA - January, 31, 2018 - Michael West has been named a "Most Valuable Professional (MVP)" in the Technology category by Sitecore®, the global leader in experience management software. Michael West was one of only 208 Technology MVPs worldwide to be named a Sitecore MVP this year.

Now in its 12th year, Sitecore’s MVP program recognizes individual technology, strategy, and commerce advocates who share their Sitecore passion and expertise to offer positive customer experiences that drive business results. The Sitecore MVP Award recognizes the most active Sitecore experts from around the world who participate in online and offline communities to share their knowledge with other Sitecore partners and customers.

"The Sitecore MVP awards recognize and honor those individuals who make substantial contributions to our loyal community of partners and customers,” said Pieter Brinkman, Sitecore Senior Director of Technical Marketing. “MVPs consistently set a standard of excellence by delivering technical chops, enthusiasm, and a commitment to giving back to the Sitecore community. They truly understand and deliver on the power of the Sitecore Experience Platform to create personalized brand experiences for their consumers, driving revenue and customer loyalty."

The Sitecore Experience Platform™ combines web content management, omnichannel digital delivery, insights into customer activity and engagement, and strategic digital marketing tools into a single, unified platform. Sitecore Experience Commerce™ 9, released in January 2018, is the only cloud-enabled platform that natively integrates content and commerce so brands can fully personalize and individualize the end-to-end shopping experience before, during, and after the transaction. Both platforms capture in real time every minute interaction—and intention—that customers and prospects have with a brand across digital and offline channels. The result is that Sitecore customers are able to use the platform to engage with prospects and customers in a highly personalized manner, earning long-term customer loyalty.

More information can be found about the MVP Program on the Sitecore MVP site: http://www.sitecore.com/mvp