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Sitecore Bootcamp for Developers: Part 1

Introduction to Sitecore

Welcome back to Sitecore Bootcamp for Developers! In this part and the accompanying video, we’ll do a brief introduction to Sitecore 8.x including some of the main features and terminology. We’ll use the Habitat demo site provided by Sitecore. You’ll see how to navigate the Sitecore UI and quickly jump into many technical concepts and details about Sitecore that are relevant to you as a developer. Watch the video and follow along with the outline below.
If you are just joining us, please go back and read the introduction where you’ll also find links to each other part of the bootcamp.

    1. What  is Sitecore
      1. Content management system
      2. Content personalization
      3. Analytics
      4. Marketing
        1. A/B testing
    2. Pages
      1. A page has a layout
        1. Main design wrapper
          1. Header
          2. Navigation
          3. Content regions
          4. Footer
      2. A layout has placeholders
        1. Named regions where content can be placed
        2. Can be nested inside other placeholders
        3. Can restrict what kind of content is allowed
      3. Renderings go in placeholders
        1. Call an MVC Controller/Action Method
        2. Link  to a datasource template
          1. An instance of an item template with actual content
          2. Can be reused as a backing datasource for multiple renderings
        3. Are displayed via a controller rendering
        4. Have an MVC Model interface that matches the item template
    3. Login -> Dashboard
      1. http://sitecorebootcamp.localhost/sitecore
        1. Default username:password = admin:b
    4. Analytics
      1. Campaigns and Goals
      2. User paths through site
    5. Media Library
      1. Upload images and files
    6. Control Panel
      1. Background system settings
    7. User Management
Using the Desktop is a good habit to get into when you first start with Sitecore.
  1. Desktop -> Sitecore Start Menu
    1. Access all the tools from the dashboard
    2. Access developer tools not available on the dashboard
    3. Open multiple tools at the same time in tabs
    4. Switch between databases
  2. Experience Editor
    1. Not always supported by the template or renderings
    2. Edit Mode
    3. Preview Mode
    4. Inline editing
    5. Content Frame
    6. Save Changes
    7. Publish
  3. Content Editor
    1. Content Tree
      1. “Pages”
        1. /sitecore/content
        2. Url determined by path in the content tree
      2. Layouts
        1. /sitecore/Layout/Layouts
      3. Placeholders
        1. /sitecore/Layout/Placeholder Settings
      4. Renderings
        1. /sitecore/Layout/Renderings
      5. Media Library
        1. /sitecore/Media Library
        2. Upload images and files
      6. Templates
        1. /sitecore/Templates
    2. Form editing
    3. Save Changes
    4. Publish Item
  4. Items
    1. Everything in Sitecore is an item
      1. An abstract object that can be used to model any type of data or entity
    2. Some items (ie. content pages ) have presentation and can be displayed in a browser by going to their url
      1. Some items like structured content (ie. blog posts, products) have presentation and can be displayed on their own as a page in a browser by going to their url
      2. Some content items are used behind the scenes and not displayed (ie. settings, metadata)
    3. Content items
      1. Get added to pages
    4. Non content items
      1. Other items (ie. renderings, templates) exist outside of the content tree and do not have their own presentation and can not be directly displayed in a page.
  5. 3 Databases
    1. Master
      1. Version History
      2. Changes saved not published to web
        1. Not visible to site visitors
    2. Web
      1. Published content
      2. Can be scaled across multiple content delivery servers
      3. You can switch to the web database and browse the content editor if you notice expected content is missing from the site
    3. Core
      1. Sitecore settings
  6. Publish Changes
    1. Moves content from Master to Web
      1. Publishes the most recent version for every language
    2. 3 types
      1. Item
        1. Publish the current item
      2. Smart
        1. Publish the differences between master and web
      3. Full (AKA Republish)
        1. Publish the most recent versions from the master database
        2. Very time consuming, especially on a large site
  7. Versioning
    1. Not automatic by default
    2. You have to click new version button
  8. Workflow
    1. Sitecore has built-in, definable workflow capabilities
    2. You can set who can publish, content approval flow, delayed publishing, automatic publishing, automatic versioning, etc
  9. Languages
    1. Sitecore supports multiple languages
    2. You can define which languages are available for your site
    3. You can edit content and create versions for each language

Food for thought

  1. Sitecore is like a box of building blocks. You can build whatever you can imagine.
  2. It does not come with pieces pre-built for you. You have to build everything.
    1. Maintain a library of components
    2. Use a Sitecore framework
      1. Ignition
  3. You can develop for Sitecore using Webforms or MVC.
    1. Sitecore MVC is NOT the same as .NET MVC.
      1. The idea is the similar, but Sitecore becomes a controller that actually manages calling your controllers.
      2. Not all .NET MVC concepts work in Sitecore MVC.

Be sure to follow me through the entire month of November 2017 and follow along with each part as they become available. Thanks for reading, and be sure to leave me comments or questions, I would love to chat with you about Sitecore.
Created by: Eric Sanner, Brandon Bruno, Alan Tibbs

Thoughts on “Sitecore Bootcamp for Developers: Part 1”

  1. Do you have this bootcamp for Sitecore developer Certification? Please let me know. Thanks

  2. Eric Sanner Post author

    Hi Vasantha. I do not have a bootcamp for Sitecore Developer Certification. The information in blog might not directly help you pass a Sitecore 10 or XM Cloud certification.


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Eric Sanner, Solutions Architect

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