Sitecore Blog: Getting to Know Sitecore
 

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Introducing Sitecore xDB Ingestion Manager

By Adam Conn, November 07, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

Prior to Sitecore 7.5 we had DMS, which is a useful tool for collecting information about engagement on web sites. Sure, it can be used in non-web scenarios (like email), but in those cases you need to live within the limits of a system designed for the web world.

Sitecore 7.5 introduces the Experience Database (xDB). At first glance it may look a lot like DMS, but a closer look reveals it is very different. It is designed to be flexible and extensible in ways DMS never was. You can extend the default data model to store anything you want.

For people who deal with integration on a daily basis, this is huge. Now we can work with data on its own terms.

Getting data into xDB is not difficult. If you are only interested in connecting one or two specific systems to your xDB, you can integrate the data in a matter of hours.

But if you are a partner who works with many different customers who have many different systems, you probably want some sort of framework to facilitate the process. Or if you're need to integrate external data but you're not a Sitecore expert, you might appreciate some guidance on how to get data into xDB.

That is what the xDB Integration Manager is. It is a framework that allows you to focus on the code to read data from an external data source and to populate xDB with that data.

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Tags: API, Analytics, Integration, Sitecore 8, xDB

Rebuilding the Sitecore Analytics Index

By Adam Conn, November 01, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Comments (1)

My last post ended with a question that you'll probably ask after you understand how the analytics index is populated: how is it rebuilt?

Why would you want to do this? The obvious answer is "if the index gets corrupted". But I think the more useful, everyday answer is "it allows you to add data directly to the analytics database and have that data indexed". 

(You would only want to do for certain types of testing or educational purposes. There are reasons why you shouldn't add production data directly to the analytics database in this way. I will cover bulk data loading into the analytics database at some point in the future.)

This post explains how to rebuild the analytics index manually.

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Introducing the Sitecore Analytics Index

By Adam Conn, October 31, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

To me, one of the most interesting parts of Sitecore 7.5 is that the data in xDB is indexed and available using the Sitecore content search API. The beautiful end-result is that you can write LINQ expressions against xDB (using the LINQPad Driver for Sitecore, for example).

But before you start using the analytics index there are a few things that, if you understand them, will make your life a little easier. That's the main purpose of this post. So this post introduces the analytics index and how it is populated.

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Setting Up a Development Environment for LINQPad Driver for Sitecore

By Adam Conn, October 23, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

LINQPad and Sitecore

This post explains why and how to set up a development environment for building custom components for the LINQPad Driver for Sitecore 1.8 and greater.

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Understanding Drag Text for LINQPad Driver for Sitecore

By Adam Conn, October 23, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

LINQPad and Sitecore

LINQPad Driver for Sitecore 1.8 introduced a smarter "drag text" feature. This is the feature in LINQPad that allows you to drag an item under a connection into the query editor. The result is a LINQ expression being added. This post describes the LINQ expression that is added and how that expression is generated.

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LINQPad Driver for Sitecore Version 1.8

By Adam Conn, October 23, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

LINQPad and Sitecore

I'm happy to announce the release of LINQPad Driver for Sitecore 1.8. Read on for details on what changed and for a download link.

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Sitecore Media Framework 2.0 Released

By Adam Conn, October 15, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

Sitecore Media Framework in Sitecore Media Library

Sitecore Media Framework 2.0 is now available on the Sitecore Developer Network. This blog post announces the new release. This is a bit of an unusual release, so please read on for details.

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Using Saved Search with Personalization

By Adam Conn, October 07, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

At Sitecore Symposium my colleague Ciaran McAuliffe presented a session in the developer track where he explored how to build contextualized shopping experience using Sitecore and Commerce Connect. His example showed how lists of products could be targeted to specific personas.

This is a common requirement, and it's not limited to the commerce world. While there are many different ways you can accomplish this sort of functionality, in this post I will cover one that involves using saved searches.

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LINQPad Driver for Sitecore Version 1.6

By Adam Conn, October 07, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

LINQPad and Sitecore

The LINQPad Driver for Sitecore version 1.6 is now available. This update adds a new connection setting to set the context database. Read on for more information and a download link.

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Using Custom Contact Data Part 3 - Rules

By Adam Conn, September 29, 2014 | Permalink | Rating:  | Leave a comment

Starting with Sitecore 7.5 an individual visitor is represented using a contact. Information that is collected about the contact is stored in contact facets. This part 3 in a 3-part series that explores how data stored in contact facets can be used throughout the Sitecore Experience Platform.

In this post I will cover how data stored in contact facets can be used when configuring personalization, engagement plans and other components that use the Sitecore rules engine.

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