Tag: Sitecore 8
Sitecore - Creating an admin menu item

Sitecore - Creating an admin menu item

If your building a Sitecore admin application, your going to need to link to them from the Sitecore start screen/launch pad.

To create a menu item on Sitecores start screen:

  • Log into Sitecore and switch to the core db
  • Open content editor and navigate to /sitecore/client/Applications/Launch Pad/PageSettings/Buttons
  • You will see groupings for each of the sections that appears on the start screen/launch pad
  • Add a new Launch Pad-Button item to the section you want it to appear in
  • Give it a name, icon and link
  • Your button now appears on the start screen
Sitecore xDB - How to get count of interactions

Sitecore xDB - How to get count of interactions

If you need to rebuild your Path Analyzer maps, Sitecore have a knowledge base article on how to do it here - https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/766858

In the FAQ section it gives some info on how long you should expect it to take

What it doesn't tell you though is how you find out how many interactions your site has to process. The data is stored in analytics collection in your Mongo DB, so go there an then run...


Sitecore: Programmatically adding contacts to a list

From Sitecore 8 the EXM module now uses lists to manage mailing lists rather than roles against a user. The built in Subscription form control that comes with EXM has also been updated to add contacts to this list. However the subscription control remains WebForms only, so if you implementing an MVC solution you're going to need to write your own. There's also many other scenarios where you may want to programmatically create and add a contact to a list.

Under the hood, contact lists aren’t even a list at all. Rather they are actually just a Facet on the Contact record that contains the list id's for all the lists the contact is a part of. You can see this by looking in the contacts collection in the analytics mongo db.

Or in the Contacts table in the Reporting SQL db.

If you wanted to add a contact to a list you could in theory just add the relevant tag to the contact record like this:

1public void AddContactToList(Contact contact, Item list)
3 using (new SecurityDisabler())
4 {
5 contact.Tags.Set("ContactLists", list.ID.ToString());
6 }

But I wouldn't. The problem with this approach is your going to miss out any logic that will handle updating the counts of contacts in contact lists. Best to use one of the provided list api's instead.

Adding a contact to a list

Sitecore has a ContactListManager object that has a method to associate contacts with lists. All you need to do is create an instance of it and pass it a list of contacts.

1public void AddContactToList(ContactData contact, ContactList list)
3 ContactListManager listManager = Sitecore.Configuration.Factory.CreateObject("contactListManager", false) as ContactListManager;
5 List<ContactData> contactList = new List<ContactData>();
6 contactList.Add(contact);
8 listManager.AssociateContacts(list, contactList);

Removing  a contact from a list

Just like adding a contact, there's also a handy method for removing one too.

1public void RemoveContactFromList(ContactData contact, ContactList list)
3 ContactListManager listManager = Sitecore.Configuration.Factory.CreateObject("contactListManager", false) as ContactListManager;
5 List<ContactData> contactList = new List<ContactData>();
6 contactList.Add(contact);
8 listManager.RemoveContactAssociations(list, contactList);

What's that ContactData object?

Chances are you don't have a ContactData object (Sitecore.ListManagement.ContentSearch.Model.ContactData) and instead probably have a tracking contact (Sitecore.Analytics.Tracking.Contact). For the purposes of adding and removing a contact from a list, all your ContactData object really needs is its identifier, which you can do with the following:

1public ContactData ConvertContactToContactData(Sitecore.Analytics.Tracking.Contact contact)
3 return new ContactData()
4 {
5 Identifier = contact.Identifiers.Identifier
6 };

Sitecore: Setting up Mongo with Authentication

One of the new features in Sitecore 7.5 was the xDB, a new analytics database that rather than using SQL Server was Mongo based. If your main job is as a Sitecore dev, like me this may be the first time you've ever had to use Mongo, or a least the first time you've ever had to commercially use it.

Installing Mongo DB is a relatively painless experience, Mongo provide a decent enough guide to installing on Windows. Half way through you may be wondering why its running in a console window, but eventually you get to instructions for setting it up as a service.

However there are a couple of gotchas:

  1. Sitecore doesn't work with the latest version of Mongo. At time of writing the latest version of Sitecore is 8.0 rev. 150427 and Mongo is 3.0. Sitecore however only supports version 2.6.x of Mongo though.
  2. None of the installation instructions include any details on authentication. Which while this is fine for your local dev machine is not so great for a live site.

So here's my guide for getting up and running with Mongo DB and Sitecore.

Installing Mongo

First off get Mongo DB installed as a service on your machine. I'm not going to include instructions here for this bit, just follow the guide on the Mongo DB website.

One thing to note though, the Windows installer for Mongo 2.6 will by default install Mongo to C:\Program Files\MongoDB 2.6 Standard\. However the instructions for setting up Mongo include example commands expecting it to be installed in C:\mongodb\

Setting Up Authentication

Once you've got Mongo up and running you'll need to create a user.

  1. Open a command prompt and connect to MongoDB

    C:\Program Files\MongoDB 2.6 Standard\bin\mongo.exe
  2. Switch to the admin db by doing

    use admin
  3. Create the user using

    db.createUser({user: "admin_mongo",pwd: "your password",roles: [ { role: "userAdminAnyDatabase", db:"admin" }, { role: "root", db:"admin" } ] })
  4. To verify the user has been created you can use the following commands

    db.auth("admin_mongo", "your password")

Next update your config file to require authentication by adding auth=true. You will also need to restart the service for the change to take effect.


Sitecore uses 4 db's in Mongo; Analytics, tracking_live, tracking_history and tracking_contact. We need to create a user in each of them.

Open a mongo shell again, switch to the admin db and connect with your admin login.

Now create each of the users as follows:

use analytics
db.createUser({user: "mongo_user",pwd: "your password",roles: [ { role: "readWrite", db:"analytics" } ]  })

use tracking_live
db.createUser({user: "mongo_user",pwd: "your password",roles: [ { role: "readWrite", db:"tracking_live" } ]  })

use tracking_history
db.createUser({user: "mongo_user",pwd: "your password",roles: [ { role: "readWrite", db:"tracking_history" } ]  })

use tracking_contact
db.createUser({user: "mongo_user",pwd: "your password",roles: [ { role: "readWrite", db:"tracking_contact" } ]  })

Sitecore Connection Strings

All that's left now is to update the connection strings in Sitecore.

The default connection strings Sitecore give you look like this:

The format for a connection string with authentication is