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.

Cache

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/cache.aspx

This page displays details about the Sitecore cache for the instance. There you can find useful information  about the prefetch cache, the item cache and all the other enabled caches (if you are interested in cache optimizations, you can take a look at some of the modules in the Sitecore Marketplace). More information about cache could be found by the following article: Sitecore caching.

DB Browser

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/dbbrowser.aspx

A quick way to browse through the separate Sitecore database. It is pretty lightweight and supports previewing of item’s fields, versions, languages etc. The DB Browser also allows preview of the file system. The most amazing thing about it is the option to delete all of the item’s children – something which is not available from the content editor itself without writing custom code. Another useful usage of the DB Browser could be found by the following article: How to remove Template Language Version.

Login

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/login.aspx

The default admin login form. If you are not authorized to access any of the admin pages you will be redirected here. The good thing about the form is that it supports returnUrl query string parameter which comes in handy when you want to protect some custom sections on the front-end.

Restore

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/restore.aspx

I personally never used this, but from the code of the page (or at least the one I got from decompilation of the sitecore.client.dll) it is not doing much 🙂

protected void ButtonGo_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
 using (new SecurityDisabler())
 MainUtil.Out("Done.");
}

Serialization

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/serialization.aspx

The Sitecore serialization page provides an interface to serialize database content into text files. This tool can be used to backup database content for version control or to compare different versions. The serialized data will be dropped to the Data folder of the website.

Official documentation of Sitecore serialization could be found by the following link: Sitecore Serialization Guide.

Show config

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/showconfig.aspx

The Show Config tool displays the final rendered version of all included configs. This is useful for debugging settings if you’re not sure if your config files are being read.

Keep in mind it just shows the <sitecore> node and its descendants. An amazing way to check how the config replacements worked out.

Stats

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/stats.aspx

This page is similar to the cache page as it shows what presentation components have been loaded for each site and how long they take to load. It also identifies how many times these components have been loaded from the cache. This page is a vital tool for fine tuning and tweaking caching settings.

Unlock admin

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/unlock_admin.aspx

This page is useful to unlock a locked admin login. When a certain number of login attempts are made without success, a user may be locked out. If this happens with the admin user, using this page can allow you to unlock the admin so you can re-gain access to attempt to log in. This feature requires you to modify a line of code to ensure security of the system.

Update Installation Wizard

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/updateinstallationwizard.aspx

This is the page which is used when upgrading the Sitecore instance, so most of the people might be familiar with it. It allows the users to upload .update packages and execute them over the Sitecore instance. It is also leveraged by some external tools (for example TDS generates .update packages for files and items).

All the pages covered are available in Sitecore 6.4+. The other admin pages are available only for the listed version and higher.


Starting from Sitecore 6.6

Set Application Center Endpoint

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/SetSACEndpoint.aspx

Used to change the Sitecore App Center endpoint. It is useful when playing whit Email Campaign Manager.


Starting from Sitecore 7.0

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/FillDB.aspx

Fill Database

The page was introduced in Sitecore 7.0. It allows the developers to create huge amount of test data. The page needs to be enabled via setting EnableFillDB in /App_Config/Include/Sitecore.Buckets.config.

<setting name=”EnableFillDB” value=”true” />

A quick walkthrough on how to use this page will be covered in a separate blog post, as the specifics are not so easy to explain. Meanwhile here is an article from the Sitecore Development Team which explains how to use the page with Sitecore 7.2 –  FillDB Updates.

LINQ Scratchpad

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/LINQScratchpad.aspx

A good place to test your Sitecore queries over the current context. Pretty good testing tool when executing queries over indexes or when you are not using any ORM. For more information about the LINQ Scratchpad you can check this article from the Sitecore Development Team –  Sitecore 7 LinqScratchPad.

Pipeline Profiler

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/Pipelines.aspx

The pipeline profiler allows the developers to profile the performance of the Sitecore Pipelines. You can check the number of executions, execution times, etc. Keep in mind that the Pipeline Profiling is not enabled by default and it needs to be enabled by renaming /App_Config/Include/Sitecore.PipelineProfiling.config.disabled to  /App_Config/Include/Sitecore.PipelineProfiling.config. Remember to ensure that the Pipelines.Profiling.Enabled setting in the file is set to true:

<setting name=”Pipelines.Profiling.Enabled” value=”true” />

There is also an option to measure the CPU usage of the pipelines by setting Pipelines.Profiling.MeasureCpuTime to true in the config file.

Here is an awesome article by John West which explains how to use the Pipeline Profiler – Sitecore 7 Pipeline Profiling

Remove Broken Links

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/RemoveBrokenLinks.aspx

Used to remove all broken links in a database. Nothing quite special about this page, but comes in handy after content reorganizations, content imports and content clean-ups. Comes with an option to auto-serialize the modified items, so they can be easily restored across instances.


Starting From Sitecore 7.5

Media Hash

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/MediaHash.aspx

As most of you know starting from Sitecore 7.5 the process for the server image resizing was changed, as this process is well described by Sean Holmesby on his blog. I will not get into much detail. This page allows to generate the hash values required by Sitecore to return the resized image.

Rebuild Reporting Database

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/RebuildReportingDB.aspx

Starting from Sitecore 7.5 Sitecore now uses MongoDB for storing analytics data, but most of the aggregated data is stored in the SQL Reporting Database. In the rare cases of inconsistencies or problems with the processed data – this page can be used for rebuilding the reporting database. Keep in mind that this process requires your instance to have secondary reporting database attached in order to transfer the data. You can find more information about rebuilding the reporting database on the official documentation.


Starting From Sitecore 8.0

Path Analyzer

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/PathAnalyzer.aspx

The Path Analyzer page is an application introduced in Sitecore 8 under the Sitecore Experience Platform. It lets you to create a map that shows the sequential paths that contacts take as they navigate through your website. It allows  you to see paths that contacts take while interacting with campaigns, and on their way to converting on business critical activities such as goals and events.

You can read more about how to create and configure the path analyzer here:
Path Analyzer
Path Analyzer Maps
Create and configure a new path analyzer map

Redeploy Marketing Data

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/RedeployMarketingData.aspx

Used to redeploy the default Experience Analytics segments. Also has an option to redeploy the Path Analyzer Mappings.


Starting From Sitecore 8.1

Install Language

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/InstallLanguage.aspx

Used to install a new language for the Sitecore content. Also has an option to run the Sitecore UI in the selected language, so be careful when using this feature!

Rebuild Key Behavior Cache

URL: http://your-site-domain/sitecore/admin/RebuildKeyBehaviorCache.aspx

Used to rebuild the Key Behavior Cache. You can find more information on the Key Behavior Cache on the official documentation.

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