Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Previewing Sitecore Reports with Windows Report Designer

You probably know that you can edit Sitecore OMS reports outside of the browser with Windows based tools from Stimulsoft available for download here.

Our Report Designer Cookbook on SDN documents the following benefits of the Windows based Designer:

  • Create new reports from scratch
  • Use wizards to quickly create new reports
  • Reports load quickly (the client does not run in a browser window)
  • Use a number of keyboard shortcuts (including Ctrl Z)
  • Preview functionality
  • Create complex SQL queries using the Query Builder
  • Import and export formatting styles

It turns out that the “Preview” functionality does not, you may be seeing the following errors when trying to preview:


What you need is to copy the following DLLs from your Sitecore bin folder into the bin directory where Report Designer is installed on your workstation (C:\Program Files (x86)\Stimulsoft Reports.Net 2010.2 Trial\Bin):

  • Sitecore.Oracle.dll
  • Sitecore.Analytics.dll

After you do that, you will be able to preview the reports just fine:


Happy reporting!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sitecore Searcher and Advanced Database Crawler

Hi there,
Today I am proud to announce a preview release of a component that extends the standard Sitecore Searching mechanisms, specifically, the relatively “new” Sitecore.Search namespace introduced in 6.0 and provides easy search querying APIs. If you are not sure what I am talking about, check out this recently published document on SDN and also Ivan’s blog posts about it.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Resetting Sitecore Staging Module

A quick troubleshooting post on Friday to wrap up the work week Winking smile

This time about our favorite Staging module. This applies to all pre Sitecore 6.3 installations as the latest version does not require this module.

So I have recently witnessed a problem that our customer was facing. The module being stuck during file upload process, giving out a pretty generic error from the Staging log files:

11/2/2010 1:20:29 PM (ER): Could not Execute file upload: Index (zero based) must be greater than or equal to zero and less than the size of the argument list.

It turns out that sometimes the module may not output the most meaningful information to the logs, so the error may not be really helpful here.
For example, this could be caused by missing ACL permissions on the files that the module is synchronizing, etc. By the way, a useful thing to double check – make sure the application pool account has read/write/modify on the folder which are configured to be synchronized.

Here are some quick things you can do fairly to “reset” the module configuration:

1. Delete any files under upload, download and cache sub-folders within the working directory (/sitecore modules/staging/workdir). These are the temp files automatically generated, so it is safe to do this.
2. Clear the value of the “Last updated” field on the appropriate StagingServer item in your master db:

image3. Run any type of publishing to trigger the Staging operation again.
4. Monitor Staging logs which are located within the working directory.

Also, check out this useful troubleshooting resource on Staging module troubleshooting.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Approaching Language Fallback with Sitecore

Today I would like to present to you a prototype I have been working over past couple of weeks. This solution is built around a story about language fallback requirements of a fictitious multinational company. This is just an example of how you can approach similar requirement.
There is a number of alternative solutions that the Sitecore gurus from all over the world came up with, so you could naturally ask me: what is so special about this approach?