ZippingSitecoreLogsI’ve decided to 1-up the game from my previous post and zip something that isn’t really a real file but rather a blob in a Sitecore database. The script below is based heavily on the last post but instead of just zipping content of a flat folder traverses the Sitecore item tree and zips all files beneath the current folder.

If you have downloaded the 2.1 version of the Sitecore PowerShell Console from the Sitecore Marketplace you will actually have the script deployed on your system already.

Here’s how it looks like for your user in the Content Editor:

ZipAndDownloadContextMenu

The script that performs the operation looks as follows: Read the rest of this article »

figures_carrying_house_400_clr_12497Last night I needed to reproduce really quickly a site structure we will be moving from another CMS and create a matching item hierarchy in my Sitecore instance… I could face an hour or so of boring clicking and copying and pasting and hoping I’ve not missed anything or… I could write a short PowerShell script to do the work for me… Guess which path I chose?

Before you use the script you should customize the script parameters:

  • $sitemapUrl – url of the sitemap of the site you want to clone
  • $prefix – wither site root or a branch you want to copy
  • $postfix – if a site has postfixes like .php or .aspx you want to get rid of – define it here
  • $itemTemplate – the template that should be used for items the script will create

Or just run the script and enjoy the glorious cognifide.com page structure reproduced in your Sitecore… now how cool is THAT!?

Also… now that I’ve got your attention… Cognifide’s PowerShell Console 2.0 FINAL is now available on Sitecore Marketplace. Get your copy and… Happy Scripting!

# Script configuration
# --------------------

$sitemapUrl = "http://www.cognifide.com/sitemap";

$prefix = "http://www.cognifide.com/";
$postfix = ".aspx$"

$createAt = "master:/content/Home/"
$itemTemplate = "/templates/Sample/Sample Item"

#                    
# Script starts here 
# ------------------                   

# function to create items (creates parent recursively if needed)
function CreateItem ([string]$itemName) {
  $fullPath = "$createAt\$itemName"
  $parentPath = Split-Path $itemName -parent
  if(-not (Test-Path "$createAt\$parentPath")){
    if($parentPath.Length -gt 2){
      CreateItem $parentPath
    }
  }
  if(-not (Test-Path "$fullPath")){
    "Creating $fullPath"
    $item = New-Item -ItemType $itemTemplate -Name $itemName -Path $createAt
    $item."__Display name" = $itemName -split '[\\/]' | `
      Select -last 1 | `
      ForEach-Object { $_ -replace "-", " " }
  }
}

# Get the sitemap
[xml]$w = (new-object net.webclient).DownloadString($sitemapUrl);

# Get the urls frm the xml
$locations = $w.urlset.url | `
             Where-Object {$_.loc -match $prefix} | `
             Select-Object `
               loc, `
               @{Name="Path"; `
                 Expression = {$_.loc -replace $prefix,"" -replace $postfix,""}}

# send url's for creation
$locations | % { 
  $name = $_.Path.Trim('/')
  if(-not (Test-Path "$createAt/$name")){
    CreateItem $name
  }
}


Enjoy!

Posted in Code Samples, Downloadable, PowerShell, Sitecore, Software, Software Development, Solution, Web applications
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Sitecore PowerShell Console cheat sheet – Part 1

I’m realizing time and time again that the learning curve for PowerShell can be steep without a proper guidance. While most people I talk to are very excited about the concept they become discouraged after a having some tries and not realizing its full potential. Therefore I decided it’s worth spending some time introducing some basic principles to help scripting alleviate some of the initial pains.

I have gathered some literature available for free about the topic of PowerShell in general you might want to read, but I also think that a distillation of the basic concepts is really important so you can have some quick wins while you begin your PowerShell journey.

A great deal of this post is a port of my older post for similar console for EPiServer, but since the differences are significant enough to confuse Sitecore developers if I sent them to the original version, I’ve decided to create a proper Sitecore cheat sheet.   Most of this is based on the Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell Quick Reference however despite the sharing scripting runtimes the nature of the both shells are pretty different (although the differences are not as vast as one might think).

Windows PowerShell PowerShell Console for Sitecore
Interactive – command can ask for confirmations and can be aborted. User can be solicited to provide input. Batch – all commands are being executed in one go, the script has no chance to ask questions, go or no-go decisions have to be solved within the script.
Supports command line arguments for running scripts. All arguments are defined directly within the script or derived from context automatically.
Can access any file depending on the rights of the user. Can only access files the web application identity can write to. Cannot access files on user’s machine but rather operates on the server’s file system. Cannot operate with elevated privileges.

That said, I considered that enough of the Reference document is irrelevant in the Sitecore scenario that it’s beneficial for the users of the console to have a bespoke cheat sheet created especially for the purpose of this plugin.

The content & samples of the original cheat sheet has been adjusted to more closely reflect scenarios usable for an Sitecore admin or developer.

How to get help

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Read the rest of this article »

Posted in Code Samples, Downloadable, PowerShell, Sitecore, Software Development, Solution, Web applications
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Extending Sitecore ribbon with PowerShell scripts

Sitecore is built from the grounds up with extendibility in mind. Be that plugging into any place in its internal pipelines or any aspect of its User eXperience, therefore when I’ve managed to extend it’s context menu, I expected to have no problems whatsoever doing the same to its ribbon. Mind you I was right…

Using the PowerShell Console Module it took me less than 10 minutes total to add a nice piece of functionality that I thought was missing – Publish items I have modified.

ContextScriptsRibbon

Similarly to extending context menu – first I’ve created the script I wanted to execute that will take the current item and it’s sub-items and publish them by adding a new script item using the /sitecore/templates/Cognifide/PowerShell Script template in the core database. I’ve put it in the same place I store all my my scripts – in the /sitecore/content/Applications/PowerShell Console/Scripts branch but feel free to store them anywhere in the tree.

  • Filled in the Script body part with my script.
  • I decided I want to see the publishing results as I want to verify if the items I expected got published.

ContextScriptRibbonBody

Now the UI integration bits…

Since I wanted it nicely integrated with the publish button – I’ve created a Publish My Items item of template /sitecore/templates/System/Menus/Menu item within the /sitecore/content/Applications/Content Editor/Menues/Publish/ branch in the core database, set it’s icon and reference the script item in the Message field using the following pattern:

item:executescript(id=$Target,script={0937769B-998D-4580-B9FE-730C4CDABECD},scriptDb=core)

where the script guid is the ID of your script and the scriptDb is the database the script is located in.

ContextScriptsRibbonBinding

That’s it really. You can download the solution but I would strongly recommend you try the manual approach – it’s really exciting to see the puzzles click in.

The solution requires the Sitecore PowerShell Console from Cognifide, available for free from Sitecore Shared Source site.

We had a situation in the company this week which required us to deliver the whole EPiServer virtual path provider file structure to the client – zipped. Easy enough… go to the EpiServer VPP directory and… well… ok… hmm… so the path provider is versioning and as a consequence the physical organization of files on the disk does not make any sense for a human trying to browse it.

Fine! So let’s create a native provider and do a copy and paste within the file manager…. hmm an exception complaining about the provider incompatibility…

Naturally, my knee-jerk reaction is – let’s do it with the PowerShell… which I recall was doing something like this in it’s previous version… The example I’ve tested and placed in the “Samples” tab was:

cd VPP:\
cd \Documents\
get-childitem -recurse |
    copy-item -destination \DocumentsNonVersioningVPP\

This worked well but flattened the directory structure – in other words useless for our client.

I’ve tried what should work in a plain PowerShell:

cd VPP:\
copy-item -path vpp:\Documents\*
          -destination vpp:\DocumentsNonVersioningVPP\
          -recurse -force

Now that didn’t work at all, and turned out to be a bug in my PowerShell plugin’s PSDrive provider. Unfortunately when I attempted to fix it by implementing the copy in the naive way – using UnifiedDirectory’s  Copy method I’ve run into the same exception about incompatibility between the classes that I’ve seen when trying to copy the files form the file manager.

Mmmkay… I’ll just implement the recursion myself… Read the rest of this article »

 

Most of this post is also based on the Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell Quick Reference however despite the sharing scripting runtimes the nature of the both shells differ considerably as described in the previous post: PowerShell for EPiServer – cheat sheet – Part 1. In all cases where it made sense I’ve converted the samples to establish them in EPiServer scenarios.

How to Write Conditional Statements

To write an If statement use code similar to this:

$page = Get-CurrentPage;
$changedBy = $page.ChangedBy;
$me = [EPiServer.Security.PrincipalInfo]::Current;
$myName = $me.Name;

if ($changedBy -eq "")
  { "Unspecified author - a system page?" }
elseif ($changedBy -eq $myName)
  { "The page has been last edited by me!" }
else
  { "The page has been last edited by "+ $changedBy }

Instead of writing a series of If statements you can use a Switch statement, which is equivalent to VBScript’s Select Case statement:

$page = Get-CurrentPage;
switch ($page.PageChildOrderRule) {
    0 {"Undefined sort order. "}
    1 {"Most recently created page will be first in list"}
    2 {"Oldest created page will be first in list"}
    3 {"Sorted alphabetical on name"}
    4 {"Sorted on page index"}
    5 {"Most recently changed page will be first in list"}
    6 {"Sort on ranking, only supported by special controls"}
    7 {"Oldest published page will be first in list"}
    8 {"Most recently published page will be first in list"}
    default {"No idea what that means!"}
  }

How to Write For and For Each Loops

Read the rest of this article »

EPiServer Admin Mode PowerShell scripts

The PowerShell plugin gets an update once again to support Admin mode script collections in addition to the context scripts.

How to write an Admin mode script collections?

<ContextScriptCollection>
  <Title>Statistics Scripts</Title>
  <Description>This script collection ... </Description>
  <Area>Administration</Area>
  <Scripts>
    <ContextScript>
      <Title>Restart Application</Title>
      <Description>The script restarts this instance of EPiServer...</Warning>
      <Script>Restart-Application</Script>
      <Icon>/App_Themes/Default/Images/Tools/Refresh.gif</Icon>
      <Groups>
      </Groups>
    </ContextScript>
  </Scripts>
</ContextScriptCollection>

Where can I access that?

image

Read the rest of this article »

It’s been a while since I had a chance to do any coding… turns out leading a development division tends to not have much to do with development… who knew?!

But I’ve finally got a moment to sit down and refresh the EPiServer PowerShell console and make it compatible with both CMS versions 5 & 6. You could technically use it before on CMS 6 but the looks of it was broken. (previous version available here)

What triggered it was a talk with Michael Sadler earlier this week. Michael is a technical consultant by day (and a musician by night) in our solutions team in London. We talked  how he was doing a content audit for a client in one of the other CMS’es we’re supporting. Which really sounded like a daunting task… The content got exported as XML and then he had to write a bunch of C# code to parse it and create statistics for e.g. how many people edit the content, who created the majority of the content etc… well I couldn’t resist but to brag…

get-childitem -recurse | Group-Object ChangedBy | 
Sort count -descending | format-table -property count, name

looks through all the pages, and counts how many articles by each author there are in the CMS. Naturally you can also do it on a sub-branch of content as well.

I’m sorry Michael you had to go through this without PowerShell…Winking smile

Deployment

The plugin will detect the version of EPiServer it’s running under and will skin itself appropriately to match the CMS style.

PowerShell_CMS5  PowerShell_CMS6

As far as I can tell, your PowerShell scripts will be interchangeable between the versions, as far as they themselves don’t touch any API that’s undergone a breaking change.

Again…

Read the rest of this article »

Easy Enum property for EPiServer

One of the most frequently and eagerly used programming constructs of the Microsoft.Net Framework is Enum. There are several interesting features that make it very compelling to use to for all kinds of dropdowns and checklists:

  • The bounds factor – proper use of Enum type guarantee that the selected value will fall within the constraints of the allowed value set.
  • The ability to treat Enums as flags (and compound them into flag sets) as well as a one-of selector.
  • The ease of use and potentially complete separation of the “Enum value” from the underlying machine type representation that ensures the most efficient memory usage.

Surprisingly enough EPiServer as it stands right now does not have an easy facility to turn Enums into properties. To give credit where credit is due, the EPiServer framework provides a nice surrogate that mimic that behaviour to a degree. The relevant property types are:

  • PropertyAppSettingsMultiple  – which “creates check boxes with options that are defined in the AppSettings section in web.config. The name of the property should match the key for the app setting.”
  • PropertyAppSettings  – which “creates a drop down list with options that are defined in the AppSettings section in web.config. The name of the property should match the key for the app setting.”

You quickly realize though that the properties have some limitations that makes their use a bit less compelling:

  • The properties are not strongly typed
  • The property entry in AppSettings section has to have the name that matches the property name on the page.
  • It’s rather poorly documented, Other than relating to this blog entry or Erik’s post documenting it I could not find any other examples on how to use them. (but then again, who needs docs really when we have Reflector)
  • You cannot have the very same property duplicated on the page since you can only have a single property of a given name per page. So you need to have multiple entries in AppSettings that match the name of each of those properties on your pages. I know… semantics but still…
  • You are working on strings rather than enums (Did i mention it’s not type safe?)
  • The values in the AppSettings are stored in a somewhat DLS-y manner (consecutive options are separated from each other with the ‘|’ character, the name and the value are separated with a ‘;’, for example: <add key = "RegionId" value="First Option;Option1|Default Option;Option2|Disabled Option;Option3" /> ) and I have had on an occasion entered a string there that caused the server to crash.
  • The values are not translatable, or at least I could not find how to do it and any Reflector digging rendered no results either.

Read the rest of this article »

SoakIE – a Web Server Stress Tool with a twist

Last week or so ago a couple of friends in another project in Cognifide has run into a wall while trying to load test their website. the problem was as follows: The website is highly AJAX based – the page merely loads a stub in the initial request but then loads the rest of its data in a dynamic matter therefore a traditional web testing tools are fairly useless. What they tried was to setup a number of Selenium clients to pound the server, but that turned out to be fairly challenging to the machine doing the testing. It was not possible to set up more than 10 clients on a fairly strong machine.

Also there are other limitations like time to wait for the server to timeout and time between clicks, which I am not sure the tool allowed them to adjust. Talking to them I recalled a tool for grabbing website thumbnails long time ago. one way for them would be to to make a batch file with it. The tool would grab the sites’ thumbnail and stress it, but they would still have to setup a number of clients. Also it creates and tears down an instance of IE every time, making it’s not optimal for that task.

So a couple of evenings later (and a few back-s and forth-s during the testing sessions) out comes SoakIE:

SoakIETest

Read the rest of this article »