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Troubleshooting Sitecore Item Buckets Installation

I recently installed the Item Buckets packages to my Sitecore 6.6 installation so that I could play around with it and determine if it could be used for a particular business need of one of my clients.  After having seen Tim Ward’s presentation at Sitecore Symposium on Item Buckets, I have to say I was looking forward to getting a chance to see it in action.  The “100 Items or less in any given Sitecore node” rule can certainly be an IA architecture challenge, and I think the concept of Item Buckets is a proper solution to just that challenge.  After looking around the GitHub site, I was initially excited to see that the Developers Guide was so fleshed out.  I followed the installation instructions  from the guide, first installing the Sitecore.ItemBuckets.Kernel package, and a funny thing happened…I got a runtime error in my Sitecore Desktop when it refreshed after the installation!  Uh oh…

Thankfully, I found the answer to this problem right on the GitHub site. Turns out you have to install the BigData package first, then the Kernel package, then the UI package, then the 3 “.update” file updates.  To anyone currently in this situation (installed the Kernel package first) that is staring at an error screen stating “Could not resolve type name: Sitecore.ItemBucket.Kernel.Crawlers.CustomCrawler,Sitecore.ItemBucket.Kernel (method: Sitecore.Configuration.Factory.CreateType(XmlNode configNode, String[] parameters, Boolean assert)).“, here’s an easy fix.  First, go into your app_config/include directory, look for 2 config entries with “ItemBucket” in the name, and change the file extension to “.old”.  That will clear out your runtime error so that you can install your BigData package.  Once the BigData package is installed, you can go back to your app_config/include directory and put your “.old” files back to “.config” files and continue your installation.

Great, crisis averted, Item Buckets here I come!  Except…wait, the documentation tells me to lock an item and then go to the configure screen…but I’m not seeing anything about Item Buckets there like the documentation shows.  Hmm…what’s up?  Is it that the 6.6 Packages don’t quite work the way they should?  (That was my first thought.)  Nope, that’s not it, because I installed the 6.5 packages on a 6.5 installation to the same issue.  Don’t worry though – I have the answer to this one too, thanks to a quick SDN forum post and a timely answer from Dan Cozine.  Turns out that you can’t install the “.update” files through the regular Sitecore Desktop/Development Tools/Installation Wizard like the first three packages.  (Even though the Installation Wizard appears to work and doesn’t throw any errors if you try installing the “.update” files that way.)  Instead, you have to go to [web root]/sitecore/admin/UpdateInstallationWizard.aspx and install the 3 “.update” files through that UI.  I have to say…this is completely new to me.  I’ve never seen a .update file before, nor have I ever gone to this UpdateInstallationWizard page before.  Goes to show how much of Sitecore is out there that you may not even be aware of!

For those going through this process right now – when I did the UpdateInstallationWizard, I got some reported conflicts with each .update file, but the end result seemed to work for me and I am now playing around with my Item Buckets!  Hopefully this post will help you get through a troublesome install and onto some fun coding without any aggrevation.

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