It was great to be able to attend the Queen City Sitecore User Group meetup last night (February 6, 2019.)

Mike Reynolds (not pictured) kicks off the meeting. Pizza is enjoyed.

Session 1: Sitecore SXA Capability for Enterprise Implementation

Pradeep Shukla kicked off the first session remotely from United Arab Emirates where it was roughly 3AM local time when he began his presentation. I love Sitecore but you won't catch me presenting anything that early (or late) in the morning. It was very much appreciated that he did though.

One thing I really liked about this presentation is that he began the presentation by asking us our skill level and some of the features we'd like to discuss during his presentation. He used Menti as a way for us to provide answers for these questions and presented the results in real time as they streamed in. Some of the technology topics people voted on seeing included "forms", "content listing", "personalization", "headless", and "commerce." Pradeep took these topics and demonstrated how SXA had built in support for all of them.

Topic Polling. Pizza has been consumed.

These are some of the takeaways I had from the presentation:

  • There are fields for adding Open Graph tags to pages out of the box, as well as adding other meta data tags.
  • Asset bundling is supported out of the box, which controls to enable/disable it existing on Sitecore items.
  • Forms! There's full Sitecore Forms support.
  • Page List's can be used for content listings. Presentation can be customized using variants.
  • Personalization is supported
  • There was a really neat Google Map component demoed where you could customize different properties of the map.
  • There are redirect items in Sitecore that you can add to a central place or as content items in the tree.

There were several other features shown as well. It was really great seeing all of the functionality you get out of the box. I'm planning on exploring some of SXA in a future post.

Session 2: Introducing SitecoreDXG

SitecoreDXG session kicking off.

Everyone loves documentation. Zachary Kniebel gave us an in depth look at the newest member of the SitecoreUML family, named SitecoreDXG. DXG, which stands for Documentation Experience Generator, is an extensible version of SitecoreUML that is designed to be used in CI/CD pipelines.

SitecoreDXG itself can be used to generate template diagrams and HTML documentation from Sitecore instances. There are Helix validations that you can enable as well to examine and validate module dependencies. The use case of SitecoreDXG would be attached to a development CI build of a site so results can be reviewed over time.

Zachary Kniebel Diagram explanation.

Some other things I learned from this presentation:

  • Includes notification support to Slack and Microsoft Teams (called completion handlers), will post link to generated results after it completes.
  • Has a Team City builder that can be imported and configured in Team City
  • Jenkins can be configured using a CLI command: https://sitecoreuml.gitbook.io/sitecoredxg/how-to/cicd/integrating-sitecoredxg-into-your-ci-cd-pipeline
  • Can publish generated documentation to S3 or Azure Blobs
  • Includes a "helloWorld" example completion template to help you build your own custom handlers
  • Out of the box, requires RabbitMQ. Installation is quick and painless.
  • There are a ton of diagrams produced in the generated documentation. Can't do justice to all of them here. More info here: https://sitecoreuml.gitbook.io/sitecoredxg/about-the-generated-documentation/overview
  • Template documentation! Shows detailed information about fields on templates. Great for front end developers--JSS, etc. Shows which fields are available and what they can expect.
  • Setup should take about 15 minutes.

Conclusion

It was a great trip out to Manchester for the User Group. I've wanted to attend previous meetings here but weather wasn't great so I wasn't able to. I'm hoping to continue attending the monthly user group meetings here. Make sure you come visit if you ever find yourself in the Manchester area.

Attribution

Cover Image By User:Magicpiano - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link