Month: May 2017

Sitecore Custom Tokens

Out of the box, Sitecore comes with the following expand standard values tokens:

  • $name – Name of the item
  • $date – Current server date
  • $time – Current server time
  • $now – Current server date time
  • $id – Item ID
  • $parentid – Item’s Parent ID
  • $parentname – Item’s Parent Name

Sometimes the already existing tokens are not enough. There are cases in which the Content Editors won`t be able to access the value that needs to be populated (ex. – webservice call) or it will be hard for them to do it (ex. – the value of the item varies on many other items). In the current example, the $next token will be implemented. It will automatically replace the token with the current siblings’ count plus one  – this token is usually used in cases where there is a requirement for auto-incrementing sort order of items.

When it comes down to creating your own custom tokens, there are basically two options to choose from:

  1. Extend the MasterVariablesReplacer class
  2. Extend the ExpandInitialFieldValueProcessor class

The first option involves extending and overriding default functionality of the class, that provides the replacement mechanism for all the standard Sitecore tokens. This approach is explained in John West’s blogpost on how to add custom standard value tokens to Sitecore. It should be noted, that extending from the MasterVariablesReplacer class requires some method overriding. Be aware, that since the class is not really meant for extending in the first place you’ll have to duplicate a great amount of the private members into your own custom implementation.

The other option is the inheritance from the ExpandInitialFieldValueProcessor class, which is my preferred way to create replacement mechanisms for custom tokens in Sitecore. Using the ExpandInitialFieldValueProcessor is really easy, as it only requires you to extend from the base class and implement the void Process(ExpandInitialFieldValueArgs args) method:

namespace AndreyVinda.Processors
    using Sitecore.Pipelines.ExpandInitialFieldValue;

    public class TokenNextProcessor : ExpandInitialFieldValueProcessor
        public override void Process(ExpandInitialFieldValueArgs args)
            if (args.SourceField.Value.Contains("$next"))
                if (args.TargetItem != null && args.TargetItem.Parent != null && args.TargetItem.Children != null)
                    args.Result = args.Result.Replace("$next", args.TargetItem.Parent.Children.Count.ToString());
                    args.Result = args.Result.Replace("$next", "0");

The code is pretty straightforward. It checks if the value of the field contains the $next token. If it does it checks if the parent is not null and the parent has children. If the parent is not null and there are children the value is set to the children`s count (the processor is executed after the child is added so the index will be 1 based), otherwise it sets the value to 0.

Once the token replacer is implemented, all that is left to do is to patch in the processor into the Sitecore pipeline config section for the expandInitialFieldValue pipeline:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration xmlns:patch="">
        <processor type="AndreyVinda.Processors.TokenNextProcessor , AndreyVinda.Processors" patch:after="processor[@type='type=Sitecore.Pipelines.ExpandInitialFieldValue.ReplaceVariables, Sitecore.Kernel']"/>


Sitecore: Excursion though Admin pages

It is doubtful that there is a Sitecore Developer who never opened /sitecore/admin/showconfig.aspx at least once in his life to check what went wrong with the amazing configuration patch that hadn`t worked. Showconfig is just one of the many admin pages that Sitecore provided by default. Other admin pages are not so popular, so I decided to talk about them in more detail.

Continue reading “Sitecore: Excursion though Admin pages”

Sitecore Adaptive Images – Huge Crawling Logs Problem

Some time ago I have noticed that on our production environment the Crawling Log files were abnormally big – between 500 MB and 1 GB. After some digging was found out that they were just filling up with exceptions while crawling the media library. The exceptions look like this:

WARN Could not compute value for ComputedIndexField: urllink for indexable: sitecore://master/{8EA15044-EE2C-41DB-81D6-0A9C42062814}?lang=en&amp;ver=1
Exception: System.NullReferenceException
Message: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Source: Sitecore.Kernel
at Sitecore.Context.PageMode.get_IsNormal()
at adaptiveImages.AdaptiveImagesMediaProvider.GetMediaUrl(MediaItem item)
at Sitecore.ContentSearch.ComputedFields.UrlLink.ComputeFieldValue(IIndexable indexable)
at Sitecore.ContentSearch.LuceneProvider.LuceneDocumentBuilder.AddComputedIndexFields()

Considering the case that there are a tons of media (over 2000 items) and languages (there is a separate exception for each language) we had some pretty serious index time performance issues and hard disk space problems.

Continue reading “Sitecore Adaptive Images – Huge Crawling Logs Problem”