TagSitecore

Different approaches to assign Sitecore SXA theme to a site

Once a tenant and site are created and/or a theme is manually created you may want to assign a theme to a site. A theme is automatically assigned when during a site creation but what if you want to assign a theme to already created site.

See this blog to create a tenant and site and different approaches of creating a theme.

Experience Editor

Select any Partial design and open experience editor select Experience Accelerator option.

Select Theme option. Change the theme.

This will also the change the theme in the selected site – /sitecore/content/<<tenant folder>>/<<tenant>>/<<site folder>>/<<site>>/Presentation/Page Designs

Content Editor

To change the theme for a specific site. Navigate to the site/Presentation/Page Designs

for e.g.:- /sitecore/content/<<tenant folder>>/<<tenant>>/<<site folder>>/<<site>>/Presentation/Page Designs

In the Styling section change the Theme field

Hope this helps.

Different approaches of creating Sitecore SXA themes

Themes define the look and feel of a site and makes it flexible to change the layout and design of the website.

Themes help to customize the appearance of the site which includes layout, typography, color and other design elements.

SXA come with two types of themes- Site and Base themes. To add own/custom classes and assets, such as styles, scripts, images and fonts use Site theme.

There are multiple ways site theme cane be created-

Option 1 – Add custom theme when creating a Site

Check out this blog post for adding a theme when creating a site

Option 2 – Add theme to existing Site (create theme manually)

Right click on your site- click Scripts and click New Site Theme option

Provide the theme name and location.

Click OK and a theme should be created on specified location

Option 3 – Add a theme using SXA CLI

Will add the details shortly.

Hope this helps!

Sitecore 10 SXA Site Structure

Previous blog shows how to create Tenant and SXA Site.

In this blog lets see what does the installation script adds to the SXA site.

Following is the site content structure-

1. Site

SXA site is a container to the content that will be used as a output of the site. Site contains the settings to select the Site Media Library, Theme Folder and Modules.

2. Home Page

This is the home page of the site. All other pages in the site must be stored under the Home item.

3. Media Folder

Media Folder helps scope the part of media library is available to content editors on the images selection dialog.

You can change the scope by adding or removing the folder in “Virtual” section “Additional Children” field.

Media Folder “Additional Children” field
Scoped item in media folder from Media Library
Scoped to the selected folders configured in “Additional Children” field

Best Practice – Do not put media items directly under the Media folder. Form SXA 1.7 and higher uploading items to media folder in the Site is not allowed.

4. Data Folder

Data Folder is the repository for storing all the data sources. These data sources can be reused across many pages scoped inside the Site. Data folder had component type folder and can be created manually or when the module is installed.

Data for each component can be created manually from the content tree or from experience editor by using the “Associated Content” option. Data folder is used as a source configured in rendering’s Data Source field in a form of query or directly mapped to the component folder.

Best Practice – Clean up unused data sources

Best Practice – Give Site data sources meaningful names

Best Practice – Organize site data sources in folders

Best Practice –Run source field reports to help set the data source context

5. Presentation

The presentation folder contains all the presentation related details and settings for the components selected while creating the site.

Presentation folder has list of components based on the modules selected while creating the site.

Presentation folder contains Page and Partial Designs, Layout Service , Available Renderings, Rendering Variants and Styles.

Rendering variant contains list of components on the site and can be customized using Variant Definition and Variant Fields. Also can use template based Variant like Scriban and Template

6. Settings

Settings folder contains site specific configuration. Site Grouping contains the Site Settings like site name, host name, database etc.

Settings also contains the Redirects, HTML snippets and Item Queries. Settings Folder contains options to select the Fav icon, error handling and other SEO related settings.

Sitecore 10 SXA-Create a tenant and Site

Tenant Folder

Sitecore supports multitenancy, which means you can have multiple sites running on a single Sitecore instance.

Tenant folder is just a container to hold multiple tenants you may have as a part of site structure. Inherited from _Base Tenant Folder. You may create a tenant folder to hold the multiple tenants of a Company.

A folder with provide tenant folder name is create here – /sitecore/templates/Project/<Tenant Folder Name>

Template Path – /sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Multisite/Tenant Folder

Tenant

Tenant is a top-level container for the Sites underneath. Site in same tenant are related, that means they are able to share data and layouts. Creation of tenants comes with optional modules.

Template/sitecore/templates/Project/<<Tenant Folder>>/<<Tenant>>/Tenant

Tenant been created successfully.

Creating Site

Site is a collection of content and output with a common overall business objective sharing a common set of assets

To create site right click on Tenant and select an option to create Site or Site Folder

Site Folder –

Site folder is a container for multiple sites.

Template – /sitecore/templates/Foundation/Experience Accelerator/Multisite/Site Folder

Site

General tab- Provide Site name, host name and Virtual folder. You may keep this as default and change later based on the requirements.

Select the required modules as a part of Site creation.

Create a new theme or select existing. This will e your site theme and can be changed from Page Design –

Template – /sitecore/content/<<tenant folder>>/<<tenant>>/<<site folder>>/<<site>>/Presentation/Page Designs

Select a grid mainly Bootstrap 4

At this point we have SXA site been created-

Remove Site

To remove Site, right click on site, select scripts and Remove Site option.

Sitecore Commerce 10 Create a custom plugin project

If you want to get started and create a custom plugin for XC 9.3 here is the post for same First Steps | Sitecore Commerce Development | Create a Custom Plugin

There are few updates on how the plugins are created in XC 10.

Sitecore Commerce 10 SDK does not include Visual Studio Extension (VSIX) package for creating a plugin project.

Let’s get started and look into the steps to create a new plugin in Sitecore Commerce 10. If you have already set up your commerce development environment, please skip to step 2

Step 1 – Setup developer environment

Create a developer environment for Sitecore Commerce to run the engine from Visual Studio, can be either VS 2017 or 2019. Follow this blog post for same Setup development environment for Sitecore Commerce 10 Engine

Step 2: Download Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.Template from Nuget Feed

  • Navigate to Official Sitecore Commerce Nuget Feed
  • Search for Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.Template
  • Download the package for Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.Template 6.0.4. Copy to file Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.Template.6.0.4.nupkg desired folder.

3. Install Sitecore Commerce Plugin Template Nuget Package

  • Open Powershell in admin mode and navigate to the folder nupkg file is copied and execute following command to install package
dotnet new -i .\Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.Template.6.0.4.nupkg
  • Run the dotnet new command and should be able to see Sitecore Commerce Sample Plugin template

4. Create a new Sitecore Commerce Plugin Project

As we have a plugin project template we should be able create a new plugin project.

Execute following command in Powershell. Navigate to the solution src folder-

dotnet new pluginsample -o Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.SampleTest

New plugin project is created with the project name specified in command.

Include the project in Customer.Sample.Solution and compile.

Notice even though the command has project name “Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.SampleTest” the actual project is created as “Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.Sample”. You will have to rename this unfortunately as per your requirement.

Sharding Custom Entity in Sitecore Commerce 10

Sharding is horizontal partitioning of data in database. It is the process of breaking up large tables into smaller chunks.

Storing rows of the same table in multiple database nodes

In this blog post will see how to split the Commerce Entities table having same structure but store custom entity data in a separate table that helps to split the load that a CommerceEntities table might take if the horizontal partition is not done.

Why partioning of tables is required?

Sitecore Commerce entity data are store in following tables-

  • CommerceEntities
  • CommerceEntity
  • CommerceLists

Any custom entity been created without sharding will store data by default in tables mentioned above.

What if that data increases, there might be a performance hit once the data start expanding over months and years.

Also it wont be good idea to put the multiple custom entity data into a single table. As this might give a performance hit whilst indexing table. So, if you know data might increase over the time it is better to have it saved in a separate table as it can be a boon to high-volume data.

Partitioning data using sharding policy

I assume you know how extend Sitecore Commerce entities. Consider we have a “Organization” entity. Business Tools helps in capturing details of Organization i.e. CRUD operations. When the entity is been saved it has to be saved in different table.

This driven by the sharding policies in Commerce.

Follow these steps to enable sharding of custom entity-

Sharding Policies

The Commerce Engine implements database sharding for Commerce entity and list tables, and provides 2 types of sharding policies. One is for the operation against Commerce entities i.e. EntityShardingPolicy, and other on the Commerce lists i.e. ListShardingPolicy.

Configuration for sharding policy is kept in PlugIn.SQL.Sharding.PolicySet-1.0.0.json file and can be found in data\Environments folder of the Authoring and Shops instance.

As per Sitecore documentation sharding policies has expressions and multiple expression values can be configured based on this the table of the entity is identified to read and perform write operations. This is a bit contrary statement as the table name defined in policies are passed to the stored procedure based on this the data in table is written and read.

Below sharding policy mentions 2 tables-

OrganizationsLists for managing and reading lists of Organizations

OrganizationsEntities for managing and reading Organization entities

{
"$type": "Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.SQL.ListShardingPolicy, Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.SQL",
"Expressions": {
"$type": "System.Collections.Generic.List1[[System.String, mscorlib]], mscorlib",
"$values":
[
"^List-Organization.*?$"
]
},
"TableName": "OrganizationsLists"
},
{ 
"$type": "Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.SQL.EntityShardingPolicy, Sitecore.Commerce.Plugin.SQL",
"Expressions": {
"$type": "System.Collections.Generic.List1[[System.String, mscorlib]], mscorlib",
"$values":
[
"^Entity-Organization.?$",
"^Organization-.?$"
]
},
"TableName": "OrganizationsEntities"
}

Database

To save data in different tables create Entities, Entity and Lists table prefixed with entity name in SitecoreCommerce_SharedEnvironments database

  1. Right click CommerceEntities table select Script Table as option, Create to and then New Query Editor Window. Create script for CommerceEntities table will be generated.
  2. Change the name of table to e.g.:- OrganizationsEntities. Also change the table name to set Default value to EntityVersion and Published fields
  3. Pasrse and check if you are creating a table in correct Database
  4. Execute the script. New table will be created.

Follow same for CommerceEntity table to create OrganizationsEntity and CommerceLists to create OrganizationsLists

So there are 3 tables created so far-

  • OrganizationsEntities
  • OrganizationsEntity
  • OrganizationsLists

Once you have your plugin to perform CRUD operations on Organizations entity you should be able to see the data been inserted in OrganizationEntities, OrganizationLists and OrganizationsEntity table instead of CommerceEntities and there related tables.

Sitecore Commerce 10- Setup Development Environment for Business Tools – Part 1

Business Tools is extensible using pluggable framework and can extend a UI using Entity Views. Although Business Tools offers a rich set of controls you might want to create your own custom control for the best business experience.

For this you need to first setup the development environment for business tools. Once the environment is setup you should be ready to develop custom control/customize the business tools.

Prerequisites

  1. Instance of Commerce Engine deployed in development environment
  2. Install Node.js Javascript runtime
  3. Install Angular CLI tool – npm install -g @angular/cli

NPM configuration to have NPM Packages from Sitecore public feed

Sitecore BizFx SDK relies on NPM packages available on the Sitecore official public feed for NPM packages.

Open Poswershell as Administrator

Execute these 2 commands in powershell

npm config set @speak:registry=https://sitecore.myget.org/F/sc-npm-packages/npm/

npm config set @sitecore:registry=https://sitecore.myget.org/F/sc-npm-packages/npm/

This will add following line to–

C:\Users\[your user]\.npmrc

[Optional] – you may check if this lines are added

@speak:registry=https://sitecore.myget.org/F/sc-npm-packages/npm/
@sitecore:registry=https://sitecore.myget.org/F/sc-npm-packages/npm/

Setup and Install SPEAK and BizFx packages for development solution

Copy Sitecore.BizFX.SDK.4.0.8 folder to your development folder and extract the SDK zip file to folder e.g. c:\BizFXDevelopment\SitecoreBizFx

Copy below files to the folder SDK was extracted. You should find this files from the Sitecore XC release package.

  1. speak-icon-fonts-1.1.0.tgz
  2. speak-ng-bcl-2.0.0-r00116.tgz
  3. speak-styling-1.0.0-r00110.tgz

Execute the following commands where the above files were copied

​​​​​​​npm install speak-icon-fonts-1.1.0.tgz
​​​​​​​npm install speak-ng-bcl-2.0.0-r00116.tgz
npm install speak-styling-1.0.0-r00110.tgz
npm install @sitecore/bizfx

Run npm install. This should install required npm modules and add a folder node_modules

npm install

Setup the business tools config.json with your deployment configuration

Once the npm installed successfully open config.json file located in src\assets folder

Update the config to the same as the BizFx site instance except for BizFxUri. Note BizFxUri points to http in below config

{
  "EnvironmentName": "HabitatAuthoring",
  "EngineUri": "https://localhost:5000",
  "IdentityServerUri": "https://xp10.IdentityServer",
  "BizFxUri": "http://localhost:4200",
  "Language": "en",
  "ContentLanguage": "en",
  "Currency": "USD",
  "ShopName": "CommerceEngineDefaultStorefront",
  "LanguageCookieName": "selectedLanguage",
  "ContentLanguageCookieName": "selectedContentLanguage",
  "EnvironmentCookieName": "selectedEnvironment",
  "AutoCompleteTimeout_ms": 300,
  "AccessTokenUpdateInterval_ms": 300000
}

Run the development environment

Important!

Stop the SitecoreBizFx site as the site listens to 4200 port. Next step will help listen the site from the extracted SDK folder.

Execute following Powershell command –

ng server

Open browser on http://localhost:4200/ this should ask to enter the Sitecore client credentials, once provided it will throw an error

This site can’t provide a secure connection

The reason this error occurs the identity server is not configure to server BizFx site on http

Update the Sitecore Identity Server Configuration

Open the Sitecore.Commerce.Identity ServiceHost.xml from the installed Identity Server instance \wwwroot\Config\production

Add http://localhost:4200 to AllowedCorsOriginGroup1

<AllowedCorsOrigins>
<AllowedCorsOriginsGroup1>http://localhost:4200</AllowedCorsOriginsGroup1>
</AllowedCorsOrigins>

Update Commerce Engine configuration

  • Open config.json from wwwroot folder in CommerceAuthoring site
  • Update AllowedOrigins in AppSettings to have http://localhost:4200
  • Since the config is changed need to bootstrap so the changes are applied to authoring site
  • Restart IIS. Optionally you may just restart Commerce Authoring site

Run Business tool from development environment

Open browser on http://localhost:4200/

Business tools running on http and in developer mode.

References –

step-by-step instructions on how to setup and compile the Business Tools (BizFX) application using the ​Sitecore.BizFX.SDK

Stay tuned next blog will walk through on how to create a new custom control/component in Business Tools

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Setup development environment for Sitecore Commerce Engine 10

Sitecore Experience Commerce 10 has come up with great new features like Dynamic Bundles, Free gift with Purchase promotion and a sample Sitecore DAM to Commerce connector.

Before you start looking into this, it is important to setup the development environment to debug and test the changes you are making to engine.

Main changes I could see compared to previous versions are integration with Content Hub and Configuring the Commerce Engine using environment variables which not only helps for on-premise installation of Commerce Instance but also helps setup the Docker technology where XC solution is running in containers.

In this post I will walk you through on how to setup the development environment. This post assumes you have Sitecore Commerce Engine along with Visual Studio 2019 installed on developer workstation. If Commerce not installed no worries see this post on how to install Sitecore XC 10 step-by-step.

Step-by-step install Sitecore Commerce (XC) 10

For previous version of XC you may follow this blog post

Step-by-step – Setup development environment for Sitecore Commerce 9.3 Engine

Step 1- Extract Commerce Engine SDK

  • Copy the downloaded SDK Sitecore.Commerce.Engine.SDK.6.0.130.zip on your development folder. e.g: c:\development. Note– there is an update on 19th August where the external dependencies are removed. Download the package again if you have a version before this date.
  • If not available you may download Packages for On Premise WDP 2020.08-6.0.238. Login before you download the file.
  • Extract the commerce package and then extract Sitecore.Commerce.Engine.SDK.6.0.130.zip in your development folder

Step 2 – Setup Visual Studio Solution

  • Open the Solution, by default this is Customer.Sample.Solution.sln
  • Ensure Package Source is configured for Commerce- https://sitecore.myget.org/F/sc-commerce-packages/api/v3/index.json
  • Whilst opening solution login from slpartners.myget.org will be prompted
  • Create an account on https://slpartner.myget.org/ and login here. You may unload Plugin.Sample.ContentHub project if you dont want to integrate ContentHub and the login should not require. Also note myget account has a trial for 14 days.
  • Build the Solution. It should restore the package and build successfully.
  • (optional)Rename the Solution name. In this case I have renamed to Retail.Commerce
  • (Optional) Create Foundation and Feature projects. Build the solution again.

Step 3- Important – Commerce Engine configuration

Sitecore.Commerce.Engine project should have a config.json file in wwwroot folder. Open this file you will see the placeholders that needs to be filled in.

Instead updating config file, you should update the launchSettings.json and the placeholders in config.json will be updated on launch on commerce engine.

Similarly Global.json you can find this in wwwroot/bootstrap folder of your Sitecore.Commerce.Engine project. Again this file has the Placeholders that will be populated from launchSettings.json,

You need to update mainly following variables in launchSettings.json file for both config and global json. There are other variables apart from listed below, you may need to update those based on your site instance name etc.-

  1. COMMERCEENGINE_Caching__Redis__Options__Configuration
  2. COMMERCEENGINE_GlobalDatabaseServer
  3. COMMERCEENGINE_GlobalDatabaseUserName
  4. COMMERCEENGINE_GlobalDatabasePassword
  5. COMMERCEENGINE_SharedDatabaseServer
  6. COMMERCEENGINE_SharedDatabaseUserName
  7. COMMERCEENGINE_SharedDatabasePassword
  8. COMMERCEENGINE_AppSettings__SitecoreIdentityServerUrl
  9. COMMERCEENGINE_EngineAuthoringUrl
  10. COMMERCEENGINE_EngineShopsUrl
  11. COMMERCEENGINE_EngineMinionsUrl
  12. COMMERCEENGINE_EngineHealthCheckUrl
  13. COMMERCEENGINE_AppSettings__AllowedOrigins

Step 4 – Generate Development Certificate

Generate development certificate using script “New-DevelopmentCertificate”, so the localhost runs on SSL(https)

  1. Create a folder named “dev” in the root directory of SDK
  2. Create a folder named “Sitecore.Commerce.Engine_Dev” under “dev” folder
  3. Create a folder named “wwwroot” under “Sitecore.Commerce.Engine_Dev” folder
  4. Open powershell script and navigate to scripts folder.
  5. Change the Path($certificateOutputDirectory) if required. Certificate should be copied to \src\Project\Engine\code\wwwroot
  6. Execute New-DevelopmentCertificate script. This script should be available in script folder in SDK folder.

Step 5 – Update EngineUri in BizFx Site

  • Open config.json file. Should be in assets folder of your BizFx instance
  • Change EngineUri to https://localhost:5000
  • Change BizFxUri to https://localhost:4200
  • Restart BizFx site

Step 6- Run the Commerce Engine from Visual Studio

  • Set the Sitecore.Commerce.Engine project as Startup Project
  • Change the emulator to Engine
  • Stop the CommerceAuthoring_SC site hosted in IIS
  • Run the solution

Hope there should be nothing that should block to run the Business Tools requesting a call to Engine running from Visual Studio

Note: some places you may have to restart IIS also clear the browser cache before you start checking Business Tools is highly recommended.

Hope this post helps you setting your XC 10 development environment.

ISSUES

Request origin https://bizfx.sc.com does not have permission to access the resource

Resolution- Follow Step 5

Options to Install Sitecore (XP) and Commerce (XC) 10

If you are looking for upgrade to Sitecore 10, below are the various options you are able to install Sitecore 10.

Sitecore XP 10

Sitecore Installation Assistant (SIA)

Sitecore Installation Assistant helps guides you through the Sitecore XP Developer Workstation installation. Use this option to review system requirements, install prerequisites and complete the entire installation process. With Sitecore 10 you have a option to also install SXA with SIA.

To install Sitecore 10 using SIA follow this post- Step-by-step how to install Sitecore 10 using SIA

Sitecore Installation Framework On-Premises (SIF)

Sitecore Install Framework (SIF) is a Microsoft PowerShell module that supports local and remote installations of Sitecore Experience Platform.

SIF deploys Web Deploy Packages (WDP) by passing parameters to SIF configuration through a Microsoft PowerShell module and is fully extensible.
The Sitecore Experience Platform is designed to be secure-by-default. For developer environments all the required self-signed certificates are created automatically if you do not provide any.
In a production environment, you can provide your own certificates In a non-production environment, you can choose to have the module generate the certificates for you.

You must set up SIF before you can install Sitecore Experience Platform

To install Sitecore XP 10 using SIF follow this post – Step-by-step install Sitecore XP 10 using Sitecore Installation Framework (SIF)

Sitecore Containers

Sitecore Containers support rapid deployment and more efficient solution and team onboarding with modern Docker and Kubernetes technology.

Sitecore Experience Platform 10.0.0 uses Docker Compose as the container
orchestrator on developer workstations. Docker Compose is a simple containerdeployment tool that is bundled with Docker for Windows. Sitecore container images can be deployed with other tools but we recommend that you use Docker Compose to deploy the containers that form the Sitecore Experience Platform.

To install Sitecore XP 10 using Sitecore Containers with Docker Compose- Step-by-step install Sitecore XP 10 to developer workstation using Sitecore Containers with Docker Compose

Sitecore XC 10

Sitecore Installation Framework (SIF)

Sitecore Install Framework (SIF) is a Microsoft PowerShell module that supports local and remote installations of Sitecore Experience Platform.

The SIF.Sitecore.Commerce package contains Sitecore Installation Framework scripts and Web Deployment Packages (WDP).

To install Step-by-step install Sitecore Commerce (XC) 10

Install Sitecore XP 10 using Sitecore Installation Assistant(SIA) in easy steps to development machine

Installing Sitecore 10 with Sitecore Installation Assistant (SIA) is quick and easy. Only manual prerequisite is to install SQL Server 2017

Please see through screens to install Sitecore 10-

Step 1- Install SQL Server 2017 and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

Step 2- Download Sitecore 10 Graphical setup package for XP Single

Step 3- Extract the zip and start setup

Step 4-

Step 5- Install prerequisite. This should install SIF and Windows Server prerequisites including IIS and modules etc.

Step 6 – Once prerequisites are installed successfully yo may have to restart machine. Install Solr search service. Sitecore 10 needs SOLR 8.4

Step 7- After SOLR is installed enter the Sitecore settings along with SQL server details and SOLR details

Step 8 – Optionally select Sitecore modules (SXA)

That’s it and everything is managed by SIA to sucessfuly install Sitecore 10 on machine

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