Category: Headless Development

Create a Asp.Net simple rendering using data source in Helix Examples Solution

In this blog will create a simple rendering uing Asp.Net Rendering SDK in Helix Examples Solution

Please refer the blog to create a rendering folder and configure the SCS before proceeding this blog.

So lets create a new module or rendering feature named “Articles”.

1. Create a Feature project using Razor Class Library

Project Name – BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering

Notice the project path

Choose .Net Core 3.1 Framework-

Delete any exisitng files and folders under this project-

Edit the project to use netcoreapp3.1 and AddRazorSupportForMvc to true

Rename helix-basic-aspnetcore\src\Feature\Articles\BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering to rendering. Just to follow other feature fodler structure.

2. Install Sitecore packages

Sitecore.AspNet.RenderingEngine

Sitecore.LayoutService.Client

I have installed verions 16 just to be in sync with other projects. You may install the latest.

New rendering project should have these packages installed-

Remove these packages as this may be not required at thi point of time or downgrade this to 3.1.1

Refer the new created rendering project to BasicCompany.Project.BasicCompany.Rendering

When the solution is build you may see this error-

Severity Code Description Project File Line Suppression State
Error The package reference ‘Sitecore.AspNet.RenderingEngine’ should not specify a version. Please specify the version in ‘C:\projects\Helix.Examples\examples\helix-basic-aspnetcore\Packages.props’ or set VersionOverride to override the centrally defined version. BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering C:\projects\Helix.Examples\examples\helix-basic-aspnetcore\src\Feature\Articles\rendering\BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering.csproj

Solution– Remove the version for the plugin fropm project file

Edit the project file and remove version from the PackageReference-

Solution should build successully.

3. Ensure Articles.modules.json file in Feature folder

Please see this blog <<Enter blog url here>> how to create a module.json file to serliaze the Sitecore items for new Feature.

4. Create required Sitecore Templates, content, renderings and Placeholder Settings

Template – Article in following path- /sitecore/templates/Feature/Articles

Page Type Template – Create 2 page type templates “Articles” and “Article” page as below.

Add any required Insert Options where necessary.

IMP- inherit from _NavigationItem to display the Articles as Navigation option

Enter Navigation Title for Articles page-

Content

Create content in Home page based on the Article templates created.

Rendering

Create a new Json Rendering Article. See previous post

Set Datasource Location- ./Page Components|query:./ancestor-or-self::*[@@templatename=’Site’]/Shared Content/Articles

Datasource Template- /sitecore/templates/Feature/Articles/Article

Add rendering to Template

Add Header, Article and Footer Controls to the Presentation

Select appropriate datasource for the Article component-

You can also add the component from experience editor. For simplicity purpose I am adding this from the presentation details manually.

Publish the changes and see https://www.basic-company-aspnetcore.localhost

Note:- If you get bad gateway error the resolution is in this blog <<blog for resolution>>

you should see the Articles option in Navigation-

Note- We wont be configuring “Articles” page in this blog. Will see that in next blog when uing Content Resolver.

See thie Article page-

https://www.basic-company-aspnetcore.localhost/Articles/Sitecore%20Content%20Serialization%20structural%20overview

There is a error – “Unknown component ‘Article'”. This is because we havent yet created view for this component.

Create Model in BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering project for rendering Article component

Note the propeties are using Sitecore.LayoutService.Client.Response.Model.Fields

using Sitecore.LayoutService.Client.Response.Model.Fields;
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;

namespace BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering.Models
{
    public class Article
    {
        public TextField Title { get; set; }

        public RichTextField Description { get; set; }

        public TextField ShortDescription { get; set; }
    }
}

Create View in BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering project for rendering Article component

Create Article.cshtml file under Views/Shared/Components/SitecoreComponent

Add following markup-


@model Article

<div class="container">
    <section class="hero is-small product-detail-hero">
        <div class="hero-body">
             <h3  class="title" asp-for="Title"></h3>
            <sc-text class="subtitle is-one-quarter" asp-for="Description"></sc-text>
        </div>
    </section>
</div>

InViews Folder create _ViewImports.cshtml file and put the following in file-

@using Sitecore.LayoutService.Client.Response.Model
@using Sitecore.LayoutService.Client.Response.Model.Fields
@using Sitecore.AspNet.RenderingEngine.Extensions
@using BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering.Models

@addTagHelper *, Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.TagHelpers
@addTagHelper *, Sitecore.AspNet.RenderingEngine

Add Extensions for registering the ModelBoundView. This is a static class and will be used in Project Rendering on application startup (BasicCompany.Project.BasicCompany.Rendering).

using BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Rendering.Models;
using Sitecore.AspNet.RenderingEngine.Configuration;
using Sitecore.AspNet.RenderingEngine.Extensions;

namespace BasicCompany.Feature.Articles.Extensions
{
    public  static class RenderingEngineOptionsExtensions
    {
        public static RenderingEngineOptions AddFeatureArticle(this RenderingEngineOptions options)
        {
            options
                .AddModelBoundView<Article>("Article");            
            return options;
        }
    }
}

In BasicCompany.Project.BasicCompany.Rendering project, Startup.cs register the component-

Build the Project

Output– https://www.basic-company-aspnetcore.localhost/Articles/Sitecore%20Content%20Serialization%20structural%20overview

Issues

Bad gateway error while accessing – https://www.basic-company-aspnetcore.localhost/

Solution-

Restart the rendering container

docker ps
docker restart <<rebdering container>>

Debug Helix Examples solution using Asp.Net Rendering hosted in Docker Containers

See this blog to setup the development environment for Helix Examlpes using Docker

Open the solution from following location – \examples\helix-basic-aspnetcore

Open the containers tab and should list all the containsers with its status-

You may also use following command to check the status of contrianers-

docker ps

Lets debug the Navigation which has content resolver-

Right click the CD container and Attach to Process

Select Managed(.Net 4.x) debug type. Select w3wp.exe and click Attach.

Helix Examples Solution should now run in debug mode.

Build the solution, add a breakpoint to any of the resolvers (Header or Footer)

Refresh or visit the site – https://www.basic-company-aspnetcore.localhost/ and should be able to see the debugger-

Issues debuging or just building the solution-

Bad Gateway-

Solution- You may see the errors with command-

docker-compose logs -f rendering

Following log appears- binary is being used by another process. This is the issues with the dotnet watch with the docker

Solution- Restart the rendering container

This should bring up the site.

You can also watch the changes outside the docker. See here for more details-

https://sitecore.stackexchange.com/questions/29566/asp-net-core-rendering-sdk-every-time-i-have-to-run-docker-compose-restart-ren

Sitecore Headless Development with ASP.NET Rendering SDK – Helix Examples Solution – The Docker Way

This blog will give a quick overview of setting development environment for Headless Development with ASP.Net Rendering SDK using the Helix Examples and the docker.

Although there are videos and blogs around same I will do a quick walk through on setting Helix Examples and any errors I faced whilst setting up the environment.

Refer the following for same – https://github.com/Sitecore/Helix.Examples/tree/master/examples/helix-basic-aspnetcore

Install .Net Core 3.1

https://dotnet.microsoft.com/en-us/download/dotnet/3.1

Install .Net core 3.1 on your machine and this is required to create any rendering or platform projects later to extend the Helix Examples Solution or compiling the existing code.

Install Docker Desktop on Windows

https://docs.docker.com/desktop/windows/install/

Run this on Hyper-V mode and Switch to Windows Containers

Install Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio 2022 Community Edition

https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/vs/community/

https://code.visualstudio.com/download

Whilst installing Visual Studio 2022 select the .Net Framework project and templates option as the platform projects uses .Net Framework 4.8 version. This will also help further if you want to extend the solution.

Install and Configure Windows Terminal (optional)

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/terminal/install

https://dev.to/shahinalam02/customize-your-terminal-using-oh-my-posh-theme-38if

https://www.hanselman.com/blog/my-ultimate-powershell-prompt-with-oh-my-posh-and-the-windows-terminal

Install Windows Terminal, refer above link and if you fancy applying the themes, although this is optional.

Install git

https://git-scm.com/download/win

Clone Helix Examples Solution

https://github.com/Sitecore/Helix.Examples

https://github.com/Sitecore/Helix.Examples.git

Initialise the config

Navigate to \examples\helix-basic-aspnetcore and run following-

.\init.ps1 -LicenseXmlPath C:\<<path to license>>\license.xml -SitecoreAdminPassword "b"

This should initalise teh .env file and fill in the values of the variables for License and Admin Password. Also it will populate other variables.

Build Images

Once the config are initialised run folowing command-

up.ps1

Once all the images are downloaded and built along with solution login to CM should will be asked.

Login to the CM and Allow access to Sitecore API and Offline Access

Once this done the CD and CM app should be ready along with the data been synched.

Check the logs for any errors in rendering with following command-

docker-compose logs -f rendering

Access Application

Site can be accessed with the following url –

Sitecore Content Management: https://cm.basic-company-aspnetcore.localhost/sitecore/

Sitecore Identity Server: https://id.basic-company-aspnetcore.localhost

Basic Company site: https://www.basic-company-aspnetcore.localhost

Use following to stop/remove containers-

docker compose down

Issues while building the images

Error response from daemon: Unrecognised volume spec: file ‘\\.\pipe\docker_engine’ cannot be mapped. Only directories can be mapped on this platform

Solution-

Disable Docker Compose V2 using command or in Docker Desktop-

docker-compose disable-v2

or Uncheck the “Use Docker Compose V2” option

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/68010612/error-response-from-daemon-unrecognised-volume-spec-file-pipe-docker-engi