Thursday, April 11, 2013

Back in Blogging Business

Mount Elbrus
Folks, it’s nice to be back writing. I’ve been off the grid for quite some time, primarily because of all of the creative juice was spent working with the team on Sitecore 7 aka Elbrus (hence the image).

I was also thinking about trying different format and migrating off Blogger to Sitecore on Azure. I had to put this project on the back burner, and since they say that content is still the king, I decided to focus on just that, while in the meantime trying to convince myself that changing the theme color from bright red to a less painful one is a good enough facelift.

It was a massive fun to work on the core components for the first time in collaboration with an absolutely brilliant group of professionals. Seeing so much excitement around Sitecore 7 before the official release, and knowing that you had a chance to contribute, well - this simply makes the whole experience surreal.

There is so much in Sitecore 7 to talk about, so we now got a team blog setup at

The post I published yesterday outlines what, I think, the whole team agrees is the most exciting thing about Sitecore 7. We used direct developer feedback, and were able to address almost all of the gripes Sitecore enthusiasts had with Sitecore.Search in in 6.x.

As one of my colleagues noted, we simply addressed the Data Access problem in Sitecore 7. In 6.x there are multiple ways to retrieve data, which is great, but I often witnessed confusion as to when to use Sitecore Query, Fast Query, Link Database, XPath, Data Index or Search facilities, and you need to know when to use what. Now you have a single layer (Linq) to work with the data in Sitecore. Period. Another thing I am super stoked about is that you won’t need Advanced Database Crawler/scSearchContrib in Sitecore 7 anymore. The Linq layer replaces the need for the “searcher” piece of ADC, while the field crawling configurability is there out of the box, moreover, it is brought to a whole new level. As for the “Dynamic fields” feature, we now have the concept of a Computed Field.

Besides all the new stuff, we were also able to address other important issues, for example, the format of the data source on layout details.
It’s now stored as a GUID and tracked by the Link Database, along with the other fields brought in by the Rendering Parameters template.

Links from data source and rendering parameters template are not tracked

Enough of marketing. Here is an outline of what I am planning on blogging about in upcoming weeks:

  • How the SwitchOnRebuildIndex works.
  • Maintenance & Index Update Strategies.
  • ContentSearch configuration breakdown.
  • Index Time Rule Based Boosting.
  • Why the new Search and Crawling Logs are your best friends.
  • Insight in how the new ContentSearch indexing is performing comparing with Sitecore.Search.
  • Some items from the feature list.

Stay tuned for the updates at as well as on this blog.

And one last thing. I am also scheduled to present on Sitecore 7 at the Sitecore Virtual User Group on May 15th. Make sure to register, I am preparing something extremely special for that.



Dan Solovay said...

Great list of future topics, but one thing is missing. Hmmm, I wonder if your webinar will be SOLr-powered...

It's good to have you back blogging, Alex!

Alex Shyba said...

Thanks, Dan! Unfortunately solr is not my area of expertise- Stephen is our solr guy. But I can definitely tell you that the webinar will be powered by a more widespread source of energy ;)

Anonymous said...

Great you to have you back to blogging :)

Looking forward to all future blogs and Sitecore 7 Event in May

Unknown said...

Always look forward to your posts Alex :)

Mariella Scofield said...

Hi Alex,

what happens to the folks that are currently usign ADC and have upgraded to Sitecore 7? Is there any documentation on how to migrate ADC to Search for 7?


Alex Shyba said...

Hi Mariella,

I've responded to your question on GitHub.