Sitecore Symposium 2019 – All discounts in one place!

EDIT: removed super early price and groups discount added – 06.06.2019
EDIT: added theme park discounts and swan & dolphin deal – 29.07.2019
EDIT: changed end date of early bird tickets – 05.08.2019
EDIT: removed early bird price – 20.08.2019
EDIT: added discount code – 21.08.2019

Here we go again! Like last year, again this year I have decided to gather all Sitecore Symposium discounts in one place.

So if you do not want to lose your time on searching best deals – stay with me on my blog and just add this page to favorites!

If you want to check how I was updating the post last year – click a link at the end of this post.

Use my discount code

You will receive an additional 100$ discount if you decide to use my unique discount code.

Use this link or just copy&paste code “LSKOWRONSKI” during your registration: https://sitecoresymposium2019.smarteventscloud.com/portal/registration/LSKOWRONSKI

Buy tickets sooner

It is nothing new – if you buy tickets sooner you will get a better price. This year Sitecore has prepared four price levels:

  • Super early: 1195$ (ends 4th June)
  • Early bird: 1295$ (5th June – 16th August)
  • Advanced: 1595$ (16th August – 31 October)
  • Regular: 1795$ (1th November – 4th November)

It means that if you will buy tickets now  you will get 
200$ discount ! In total 300$ with my discount code.

If you are MVP you should have own discount code – check your mailbox for email or community forum in MVP section.

Registration page is here: https://symposium.sitecore.com/registration

Buy tickets in a group

If you are coming with the team or you just want to organize with friends you can buy tickets together in a bigger group.

Currently, there are two levels of discount available:

  • Groups of 5-9 receive $75 off current pricing
  • Groups of 10+ receive $100 off current price

Remember that: Tickets must be purchased together and cannot be combined with additional discounts.

To use that discount you have to start a registration process as for the single person and then select group ticket:

Theme park discounts

This year Sitecore prepared also special theme park discounts for attendees of Sitecore SYM. Check all details here: https://www.mydisneygroup.com/sitecore2019

Tickets with special deals are available in the following prices (you get also few interesting privileges which are usually additionally paid):

If you decided to buy those tickets without Sitecore’s deal – you would pay around 50-60$ more.  I checked that on a standard purchase page (unfortunately because of my location I have different currency – do not have time to play with VPN ;))

Looks like a good deal for someone who wants to visit Disney Theme Parks!

Save time with Disney Resorts benefits

If you are going to stay in Swan or Dolphin you can enjoy special deals which will save your time – if you decide to visit Walt Disney Wolrd.

On the list of benefits you will find:

  • FastPass++ reservation up to 60 days in advance
  • Extra hours benefit – Walt Disney World will be open for you before and after normal working hours
  • Possibility to order Disney tickets in advance
  • and more….

Check all benefits here: https://www.swandolphin.com/aboutus/benefits.html

Swan and Dolphin “deal”

On Sitecore SYM website you can find a link to book hotel: https://www.swandolphin.com/groupres/SI3242/

From what I checked you will not save money on this but at least Sitecore prepared enough space for attendees. So use this link to book your room or choose a different hotel because there is not any other option to reserve a room in Swan and Dolphin resort in other booking systems.

Do not expect that other hotels will be much cheaper – in the time when Sitecore SYM will be held, Orlando will be visited by many different and bigger events.

At the end

Hopefully gathered information from this post will let you save some bucks to spend them in Orlando!

 

If you want to compare deals and prices with last year check my old article here: sitecore symposium 2018 all discounts in one place

Sitecore Helix Training-do you need it?

I wrote an article about my experiences from Sitecore Helix Workshop held in Copenhagen this month (March 2019).  This time as a test I decided to wrote that on LinkedIn as it is not strictly programming related post.

In the article, I am describing topics from the training and my opinion about the target group for this workshop.

Please check this article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sitecore-helix-training-do-you-need-lukasz-skowronski/

Sitecore 9.1 Hardware Requirements – Notes

Easy scenario … Azure PaaS

These days most of the customers decide to use Azure PaaS to host their production and non-production Sitecore environments because they are easy to maintain and cost efficient.   Sitecore provides also own recommendations which define stricly Azure resources which should be used for defined amount of traffic. Check those recommendations here:

https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/043375

Thanks to those recommendations, Solution Architects responsible for architecture of final solution can feel safe – you know … ‘it has been recommended by Sitecore’.

Not so easy scenario … On-Premise

And now … you are Solution Architect and you customer cannot use cloud solution … what to do, where to start?

via GIPHY

The most obvious answer which comes in such case to the head is : “check documentation”.

I did that and below I will share what I found and what can be useful – maybe it will save your time and for sure will let me to remember what I found. In few places I assumed that we can try to use Sitecore’s Azure recommendations to calculate hardware requirements for VMs/Dedicated Servers.

Hardware

What I found also in documentation is following text:

The recommended hardware requirements are for running the software on a single computer. For more information about running Sitecore on different kinds of hardware, consult your Sitecore partner or technical sales representative.

In case when you are working on the architecture for new Sitecore’s customer (or you are in the up-selling process) you can/should contact Sitecore Account Manager to get some help from their side – but remember – do not expect that someone will do your job.

Software requirements and configuration

When I was reading the documentation to find information about hardware requirements I found many important texts about software requirements and configuration. Please check them below:

  • All the servers must have set the same time – it is critical because, in case of different time set on the servers, aggregation results and stats will display incorrect data
  • If you plan to use one or more processing, dedicated publishing, and/or indexing servers that do not handle requests, you must use Application Initialization (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/iis/configuration/system.webServer/applicationInitialization/) to successfully start Sitecore after you recycle the application pool. If you do not do this, Sitecore will not launch and its application pool can shut down due to inactivity.
  • You must enable the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol version 1.2 on all of your Sitecore XP CM and Dedicated Dispatch servers (DDS) (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=55266)
  • You must apply any available updates to the .NET Framework on every Sitecore installation
  • Sitecore XP 9.1.0 does not currently support Oracle databases for the Experience Database (xDB)
  • Sitecore XP 9.1.0 does not support the MMAPv1 storage engine because it does not support retryable writes. = replication for Mongo is not available.
  • Lucene only supports Content Search and does not support xConnect
  • IIS 10.0 is a must
  • Server with Identity Server must have installed .NET Core 2.1.3 Windows Hosting Module
  • .NET Framework 4.7.1 or later installed
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017, 2016 SP2 (Minimum for XP), Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP2 (Minimum for XM)

Client’s device requirements

From time to time someone can ask you also about the setup of client’s devices. So here you are:

  • Browsers compatibility : https://kb.sitecore.net/articles/087164
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4, 2GHz or faster processor
  • RAM: 512 MB minimum, 1GB – recommended
  • TCP/IP connection at 512Kbps or faster to the Sitecore XP host
  • 1024 x 768 or greater screen resolution required for advanced operations
  • You do not have to install any additional software on the Sitecore XP clients that access Sitecore XP servers

Diagrams of architecture – examples

Alright, you know already what I found. I hope you found something interesting for you.

The question is – how to build architecture based on data from previous paragraphs? That is hard – you probably still  may have a feeling that we do not know enough to do that.

The first thing which I had checked before I started diagram with the servers was the diagram of database connections to check relations. Result of that check is available in my previous blog post: “All (almost) connections to databases in Sitecore 9.1“.

I recommend also to download and checked packages prepared by Sitecore in the “Download options for On Premise deployment” on download page https://dev.sitecore.net/Downloads/Sitecore_Experience_Platform/91/Sitecore_Experience_Platform_91_Initial_Release.aspx

When you unzip the packages you will find the smaller packages with configuration for all available nodes in the downloaded file.

After all that I was able to draw the diagrams which I also share with you – as maybe they will help someone.

WARNING: I am sharing that as an example – your final architecture can be different because of the different requirements of your customer – do not treat those diagrams as ‘the one and only correct’ architecture.

The first one is a diagram for standard Sitecore XP environment (click the image to open it in new tab – bigger size):

The second one is a diagram for Sitecore XP with JSS environment (click the image to open it in new tab – bigger size):


Summary

Basically that is all what I wanted to write today. If you would like to add something – please use comments section or find me on slack/twitter.

If you seek for tool to build own diagrams similar to those prepared by me – I recommend to check ‘draw.io’ tool available via Google Drive.

All (almost) connections to databases in Sitecore 9.1

That will be a really quick and short blog post. I would like to share with you a graph which I made when I was checking which services/roles connect to SQL Server and which databases are utilized by particular items.

Click the image if you want to open it in an original/bigger size.

I hope that it will be helpful for you because I believe that one image is worth thousands of words. 

Here you have got also mindomo’s file which you can import and edit on www.mindomo.com (works perfectly with google drive): Sitecore 9.1 XP Scaled.mom

How to add https/ssl support to Sitecore 9.1 local instance?

I noticed that accidentally that by default CM application uses http not https – at least when we use installation scripts for on-premise XP0 topology.

Because I wanted to add https to my website I asked myself – “how can I do that EASILY?” I do not know how about you – but I hate to play with certificates on my local machine – very often it means many lost hours which I could spend on development of new features.

To achieve that I checked how Sitecore create and install certificates inside their scripts and I found the following task:

 Invoke-AddWebFeatureSSLTask

It took me few minutes to find final list of attributes which should be set to add certificate acceptable by services like identity server or xconnect. Final version is here:

Invoke-AddWebFeatureSSLTask -Hostname sc910.sc -SiteName sc910.sc -Port 443 -ClientCertLocation LocalMachine -OutputDirectory "C:\certificates" -RootDnsName "DO_NOT_TRUST_SitecoreRootCert" -RootCertName "root-authority"

HostName and SiteName should be values used by your website (check it in IIS configuration if you are not sure). Output directory is a place where you store your certificates. The rest of the parameters I would leave unchanged because they use default values from Sitecore’s installation scripts.

As a result of this task you should see:

  • new certificate file
  • new certificate registered in IIS
  • new binding added to your website

Because Identity Server uses http by default – please remember to update its configuration. If you do not do that – you will not be able to log in into Sitecore instance.
More details about that you will find here.