Project Lifecycle

Sitecore Dictionary Redux

March 15, 2015

I always knew Sitecore provided Dictionary support for a long time but I also knew there were, shall we say, scalability problems. Like, let's say, general user access (it was located under the system node) and the inability to create individual dictionaries for individual sites. Because of that, I, and apparently others, have been inanely custom rolling dictionaries. That is, until I came upon Scott Mulligan's article highlighting the latest changes in Sitecore 6.6 (yesss, it's been a while, I know [sighs, rolls eyes]) that convinced me to finally stop reinventing the wheel and adopt the Site


An Old Trope

February 27, 2015

Not a very long time ago, in a repository not particularly far away....

It is a period of automation and obsolescence. Sitecore developers committing code, day and night, globally. Spiraling like the arms of a galaxy sharing tasks, techniques and trade-craft.

During the past few months I've been developing my  ultimate tool, the TestStar A sitecore module with enough power to test an entire platform.

In pursuit of stability whose breadth and depth I've not yet known. To restore freedom for productivity to all.

Far Out On The Outer Rim of the Galaxy...

I've reached the end of a long road. I've



February 11, 2015

Why: adverb; for what reason or purpose. 

It may come as a surprise to some of you that I'm not an Automata. Surprise! I'm a human being. Unlike a robot or even a cyborg, I can't instantaneously learn Kung-Fu by downloading it. It takes time to accumulate knowledge and experience. I have to read, try and sometimes fail before I learn about something but eventually with persistence, I get there. 

For those readers who are not human, this process of learning begins with why. The pursuit of why something happens is what leads to understanding, not the other way around. I often find the why conspicu


Adventures in Unit Testing

December 5, 2014

Watch transcription.

I'm quite literally, so furiously, thinking of ways to explain the funky stuff inside my brain. I couldn't explain! You might understand though. In fact, I'd wager you will. 

So I manage a modest multi-site Sitecore solution. There's a lot of shared code. There's also a lot more overrides. At a certain size, a system must be tested so that I know I'm in control and not my old nemesis, EEENTROOPYYYYY !!! ... ; * ' , . (ahem) The only way to know for sure if some piece of code is working properly, is to test it. 

Test coverage, of course, comes with costs. Time to design it, ti


Symposium 2014: Rise of the Machines

September 13, 2014

Viva Las Vegas!

I'm now watching mountains drift beneath the wing of my plane (sunglasses on). I'm leaving Las Vegas richer not poorer. You could say, I've just had quite an amazing Sitecore Experience (wink). 

The symposium held a palpable tension as the collective agreement was that we were participating in something much greater than what we could have expected. Each talk contributed to increasing awareness that Sitecore is no longer just visionary but enablers of everyone else's visions. 

Sitecore 8

Sitecore is now about experience management not just content management. They've expended a lot


I, Sitecore: Integrating machine learning

August 26, 2014

I've more recently released a video recap of the presentation I gave to the New England Sitecore User Group.


You've unlocked a door with a key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of clouds. A dimension of sites. A dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into, the Sitecore zone. (shocking music)

On a rather nice day in November, at a bar in Cambridge, after an event known as the Laidlaw Classic (annual birthday football game), an Oasis employee mentioned to me that he was taking a class


Sitecore Extranet Module

May 30, 2014


Friends, romans, countrymen... et al, the Setting Up a Sitecore Extranet article I wrote in 2011 is one of my most trafficked. It occurred that many of you could benefit from the additional changes that I've made since then, so that those who are setting up your own system by hand could now benefit from a module that manages most of the process for you. For visual reference, I've made a video for a quick intro to the module.

There already exists an extranet module on the Sitecore Marketplace but I'm not the developer of it. Sitecore is. The documentation says it was created in 2007 fo


Data Importer Updated

May 12, 2014

For those of you unfamiliar with it, the Data Importer is a Sitecore module on the Sitecore Marketplace. It's a tool that allows you to import data into Sitecore. It was originally built to import sites from existing websites by pulling from databases and into content items. It allows you the flexibility to handle each individual field in a row of data using a number of built-in conversion types but also allows you to extend the system by creating your own providers for data sources and adding your own field conversion types

I just wanted to write a quick post about the latest release. It's n


Musings of a Sitecore Developing Man

April 25, 2014


This article is about the theory of template development. A topic, which at its best, is dry and wonkish. My goal is to provoke thought and discussion but mostly to prevent others from having to continuously wander through this hedge maze until they invariably come to the same end. Besides that, there may be a better solution still that someone else has come up with.

Act I

Recently, on a particularly frigid night in Boston, while milling around after the New England Sitecore User Group, I was speaking to Rick Cabral about his ORM Diamond. I mentioned that I thought he was right to c


TestStar - A Web and Unit Testing SDK

April 5, 2014


I began working with web testing years ago with the MS Test framework when I got a version of Visual Studio that allowed it's use. I started small and began building simple ping tests. Over time it developed into a tool would run sets of tests daily and fed the results into a blog that I could read every morning. It tought me a lot but eventually I hit too many limitations. License cost being the most obvious but also I couldn't create a custom interface for it. I had to work within Visual Studio and the UI was too blunt. This forced me to finally bite the bullet and start converting