2016 has been a crazy year – let’s just agree on this and not get into the details!  But, 2016 also did have some positive moments, especially in the Tridion community. Here I hope to highlight some of the positive contributions the community has made this year and hope that next year we will see continued support for these amazing initiatives!

DXA

This year has been the year the DXA framework (formerly known as the SDL Tridion Reference Implementation) has made made some traction and we’ve seen increased usage in projects.   The DXA team recently released version 1.7 and if you’re curious to find out what has been added, fixed and improved in this version then please see the release notes here.

We can see that DXA has been very active from a number of areas, such as their github repository with 1465 commits (https://github.com/sdl/dxa-web-application-dotnet/commits/master) and 360 questions on the Tridion StackExchange forum (http://tridion.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/dxa?sort=newest&pageSize=50)

One of the nice things about using DXA is the modules that play nicely with other SDL products, such as Experience Manager, Audience Manager, Media Manager and Context Expressions. If you’d like to download them for free, then the latest versions can be found here, https://github.com/sdl/dxa-modules/releases

The official documentation has some good content and can be used as a reference, https://docs.sdl.com/LiveContent/content/en-US/SDL%20DXA-v7/GUID-8173623D-D605-4962-AFBD-25D5F6DC6D93

And if you prefer online or classroom training, it’s now available from SDL for DXA too, http://training.sdl.com/services/education-certification/training-product/web-content-management/index-tab4.html

If you would like to build a small microsite with your team in a workshop setting, then you may be interested in the DXA Microsite workshop that I teach. It is a 4 day course where we go over all the basics and walk the team through building a microsite based on your requirements. It is taught both online and remote. If you’re interested, please contact me at robert.curlette@gmail.com and mention the DXA microsite workshop.

Alchemy

Alchemy is the framework that makes your editors and authors happy, and saves time for everyone using the Tridion CMS Editor interface. A full plugin GUI framework created by Alex Klock and supported by Content Bloom, this is the framework you’ll install in 2017 to impress your content authoring team. The only requirement is that you use Tridion 2013 or SDL Web 8.

Installing the framework takes minutes, thanks to the nice MSI install, and it’s a 1 time install on the CMS server. The installer can be downloaded from here, just need to register first,  https://www.alchemywebstore.com/ See how easy it is with this video from John Winter, http://www.tridiondeveloper.com/how-to-install-and-uninstall-alchemy-for-tridion-web

Alex Klock and Tanner Brine  presented Alchemy at the Tridion Developer Summit 2015 and the video can be seen here, http://2015.tridiondevelopersummit.com/2015/home/transmute-tridion-into-the-lean-green-content-management-machine-of-your-dreams-with-alchemy4tridion/

This year the Alchemy Webstore  saw a lot of nice improvements and is a really easy to use one-stop-shop for finding all your Alchemy community plugins. As of now, all plugins are free, and can be used in your project without worries. Several new plugins arrived this year, including ‘CommonKeyboardShortcuts’ (https://www.alchemywebstore.com/plugins/CommonKeyboardShortcuts), Save Close Publish Page, (https://www.alchemywebstore.com/plugins/Save-Close-Publish-Page), and Peek (https://www.alchemywebstore.com/plugins/Peek).

Another reason to use Alchemy is the excellent packaging model, with .A4T files, and easy drag-n-drop deployment of the plugins you write. So, if you haven’t given it a spin, please do so now.

And, if you’d like to watch some video tutorials to help get you started, check out the amazing Alchemy Code Dojo presented by John Winter here, where he builds an Alchemy plugin from scratch in front of a live audience, https://vimeo.com/170368377

In case you can’t get enough of John or videos, check out the excellent series below on creating an Alchemy plugin:

Creating an Alchemy Plugin: Step 1 – The tools, http://www.tridiondeveloper.com/creating-an-alchemy-plugin-step-1-the-tools

Creating an Alchemy Plugin 2: Sample project overview and refactoring, http://www.tridiondeveloper.com/creating-an-alchemy-video-2-sample-project-overview-and-refactoring

Creating an Alchemy Plugin 3: Ribbon Toolbar and Context Menu, http://www.tridiondeveloper.com/creating-an-alchemy-plugin-2-ribbon-toolbar-and-context-menu

Alchemy Training Video 4: Creating a Popup Window, http://www.tridiondeveloper.com/alchemy-training-video-4-creating-a-popup-window

Alchemy Training Video 5: Adding CSS and JavaScript to our Tridion Popup Window, http://www.tridiondeveloper.com/alchemy-training-video-5-adding-css-and-javascript-to-our-tridion-popup-window

If you would like a hands-on workshop or course on Alchemy, I am teaching a 2 day course online or onsite, and if interested please contact me at robert.curlette@gmail.com

Conferences

Finally, this year we saw 3 technical Tridion conference events, recognizing the appreciation of sharing knowledge in the Tridion (SDL Web) community and that meeting and discussing technical solutions in person is priceless.

The Tridion Developer Summit saw more than 140 Tridion developers and consultants get together in Amsterdam for another 2 days and over 20 great sessions and sharing. If you missed it, or would like to see a talk again, all videos are available online here, http://2016a.tridiondevelopersummit.com/2016/videos-tds/

The next TDS is taking place on 11-12 May 2017 in Amsterdam and promises to be filled with technical Tridion content and lots of sharing opportunities.  Registration will open in early January.  If you would like to attend or present, please contact me at robert.curlette@gmail.com

This year we saw the first India Tridion Developer Summit, and I was honored to present about the Alchemy Framework. It was very well organized and had more than 60 enthusiastic Tridion developers from across India attending. I really enjoyed meeting so many active Tridion implementors and discussing implementations with them over delicious Indian food. I wrote about my experience here, http://www.curlette.com/?p=1492 Great job for the organizers and a nice writeup by Pankaj Gaur here, https://pankajgaur83.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/highlights-sdl-web-8-dev-summit-at-india/

Just last month we had the SDL Connect event in San Francisco and it was filled with an amazing energy and spirit. Days 1 and Day 2 were mostly for the business and marketing professionals.   It was great connecting with former colleagues and meeting new people.  Highlights from day 1 are here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeRe95Q8nAM.  The best was saved for last, and on day 3 we had a day of technical Tridion sessions in the same flavor as TDS, including a great Product Roadmap presentation by Alvin Reyes, DXA session by Bart Koopman, Cache invalidation talk by Mihai, Alchemy talk by Tanner Brine, and I presented a talk about upgrading to Web 8. Overall the event was a lot of fun and I look forward to the next one.

DD4T

This year the DD4T framework continued to mature and we saw a 2.1 version released.  But, most importantly, a decision was made to merge DD4T and DXA into 1 version, and to be named ‘DXA 2.0’.  We expect to see a release of the love child of DXA and DD4T sometime in 2017.   You can read more about it from Nuno and Quirijn here, and from Pankaj about why it’s merging here.

Summary

2016 was a year that we saw the DXA and Alchemy frameworks mature and gain wider acceptance. This should be a bright spot for anyone working with Tridion and investing in improving their implementations. I hope next year will bring more opportunities for sharing, more conferences, more events, and most of all, more fun!

Tridion VBScript Mediator*

April 1st, 2015 | Posted by Robert Curlette in Tridion - (2 Comments)

One of the many things I miss in Tridion 2013 SP1 is the ability to write VBScript code combined with Compound Templates.  Tridion was kind enough to provide the legacy pack for us ‘hardcore hackers’ who have our 10,000 line VBScript functions library perfected over the years in VBScript.  However, when we want to move to Compound Template programming, we’re left out in the cold with our VBScript skills and have to suffer with DWT, Razor, XSLT or C# coding.  Who wants to do that?  If we want to use the OOTB TBBs provided by Tridion to enable XPM or publish to FredHopper (for SmartTarget) the best way is to do this with a Compound Template.  But, Compound Templating and VBScript templates are not compatible – until now.

Using the VBScript Mediator we’ll have the best of both worlds – the fluency of the VBScript language and TOM API with the power of Compound Template modules.

First, if you don’t have it already, you’ll want to download the great VbsEdit program.  They have a really nice walkthrough on their homepage of all the features.

Next, you might want to download the VBScript Reference guide in case you’ve forgotten some of the commands in VBScript, such as setting an array to nothing.

Finally, go grab the code for the VBScript Mediator and start to have fun again with programming templates!

* This is an April Fools Joke!  VBScript in 2015….really?!

File, New Template

February 27th, 2015 | Posted by Robert Curlette in Tridion - (0 Comments)

Going back in time, year 2000, Active Server Pages was all the rage, performing server-side magic and integrating with databases with ADO. Tridion had just released version 4.0 and adopted the MS Scripting Host, supporting VBScript and JScript as the de-facto standard scripting languages. We had DTD Schemas, XML, Blueprinting, and re-usable content. Content Delivery was 1 ISAPI filter to render the dynamic links. Life was good.

Today the landscape is very different and complex, with lots of the magic happening on the front-end Content Delivery tier, Context aware web applications serving mobile and desktop devices, running the latest SDL Content Delivery stack.

Today the standard supported template languages from the CMS is almost the same as it was in 2000 – we publish content – .aspx or .jsp files, from the CMS to the Content Delivery tier. We can still use the good old deprectated VBScript language, or the SDL-created DWT scripting tags, or the recent XSLT mediator, if XSLT is your thing. So, you want to stay within the ‘supported SDL technologies and products’ arena – this is it. Not cool.

But, look around and see what the SDL community has been up to, and hang on to your hat! It’s been a very busy last few years in the SDL community and today this is where all the cool kids hang out. .NET MVC – got it, with DD4T, created by Quirijn Slings – with great Forum support (185 questions answered) on StackExchange, classroom training from Trivident, and even a ‘Reference Implementation‘ built BY SDL on top of DD4T, called DXA (as of Feb 2015). Yes, the Reference Implementation is built on top of open-source SDL community software, by SDL, and yet DD4T is community software and not officially licensed or supported by SDL.

Maybe DD4T and a dynamic MVC runtime is not your thing. Your content or design is not changing too often, and your development team is happy with the static publishing model from years past.

If this is the case then the best option today is the Razor Mediator, created by Alexander Klock – again an open-source project, and again the most cool and often used technology on new SDL Tridion projects requiring static template programming, and again not officially supported by SDL. It also has good forum support (50 answers), great documentation with plenty of examples, and is widely used. With this mediator you might publish to a .NET Web Forms site or JSP files to a Web Application.

The good news is both of these solutions play well with the _really_ cool technology SDL has been creating and supporting in the Content Delivery tier. Yes, I’m referring to the pieces that make up SDL Mobile, including the Ambient Data Framework, Context Engine and Contextual Image Delivery. In addition, all of these open source frameworks also play well with other SDL supported software including SmartTarget, FredHopper, and Media Manager.

The community has grown by leaps and bounds in the past 15 years, and today this is where all the cool stuff is happening. It’s great to see so many active members in the community. If you have written your own framework, or built on top of the existing great frameworks out there, please share your solutions so we can together build the great frameworks of tomorrow.  If you’re thinking about using one of the frameworks above, go ahead and embrace these open source frameworks and be part of the community that created them.

These frameworks and solutions would not be where they are today without the time and support of developers at these organizations:  Trivident, Indivirtual, HintTech, Building Blocks, Cap Gemini, SDL and Yabolka.  Also, a big thanks to Nuno Linhares for his continued support of the SDL Community and organizing of the SDL Tridion MVP program.

After my first entry to the Tridion Bookmarklet Challenge, to count items in the Dashboard, here is my second entry: View the Schema ID and Title for a selected Component. Drag the below box to your Bookmarks toolbar. Warning: The first time you use it the Schema Title will not load. However, from the 2nd time it will show. This has to do with the .load() argument and my lack of callbacks. It could probably be improved.

Frank Taylor implemented the same idea as an Alchemy Plugin:  What’s the Schema? It works from the Context Menu, so we can use it in more places than the Bookmarklet, and in his blog post he also explains how he made it.  Excellent!

View Schema Info

Big thanks to Peter Kjaer’s StackExchange answer about getting the $models object.

Have you ever wondered how many items are in this folder or Structure Group and wanted an easy way to count them? In the good bad old days of IE6 and Tridion 5.x we could see the amount of items selected in the status bar at the bottom of our browser. Today I don’t know if they removed that feature or it’s disabled, but in Chrome and Firefox I don’t have a way to see how many items are in a Folder or Structure Group. I often want to know because I am writing Core Service scripts to process all items in a folder and it is helpful knowing how big it is. Otherwise, it is sometimes interesting to see how many images, templates, schemas, etc are located in the system and having a simple ‘count’ of the items would be helpful.
Tridion Item Count
Install: Drag the box above to your Bookmarks Toolbar. When the Tridion GUI is open, select the bookmark to see the item count.

So this is my official entry into Dominic Cronin’s ‘Bookmarklet Challenge’. Although my Bookmarklet is simple, I believe it contains the essence of a Bookmarklet, something small and provide a useful value to those who use it.

Bookmarklet

Special thanks to Alexander Orlov, aka UI Beardcore, for the much needed help in getting access to the Dashboard in a nice, clean way without hardcoding the array position of it.

Before developing the Bookmarklet I had to consider what kind of feature to build with a Bookmarklet. The first thing to consider is the ‘context’ in which the Bookmarklet will be run. For example, when I have the Tridion GUI loaded, the context is what I can see in my view: Publications, dashboard items, and the ribbon menu bar. Another example could be the selected item, and this would then be our context and we could call WhereUsed, get Blueprint children, or access other private details of the selected item that are useful for our users. Finally, we can also perform actions with the Anguilla GUI, so if our context is a selected item, we could then do something to it.

A previous Bookmarklet created by Dominic Cronin, with code from Alex Klock, and inspired by my Stack Overflow question, allowed us to clear the MessageCenter warnings and notices in the Dashboard. Recently Roel van Rozendaal wrapped up this functionality into a pretty Chrome Extension, added it to the Chrome Webstore, and made a nice blog post of how he did it.

Only a few days left in Dom’s Bookmarklet Challenge. Good luck and may the browser be with you!

DD4T Training

December 15th, 2014 | Posted by Robert Curlette in Tridion - (1 Comments)

Want to have a DD4T Application running within 1 hour? Not possible? Today I did that at the first Tridion DD4T training taught by Quirijn Slings and hosted at the Trivident office in Amsterdam. In this course we start at the very beginning and throughout 2 days go very deep inside DD4T and learn not only how to do many things, but why they were created that way in the first place!

The atmosphere of the course is similar to other SDL Tridion courses I have attended or taught, informal and focussed on the participant. Quirijn was kind enough to entertain all of our questions and comments, providing real-time coding examples or on several occassions diving deep into the DD4T Source code to show us how it was built and why it behaves in a certain way. This is priceless and the information is not found anyplace else.

On the first morning Quirijn gave us an overview of the DD4T concepts and why the framework was created. Shortly after this he led to us create a DD4T project from scratch, and it felt effortless. I’ve spent a lot of time previously creating DD4T projects from scratch, and nothing compares to how easy it was in the class. Small tips from Quirijn saved us many hours if we were to do this alone.

Later in the day we created Page views and Component views and the exercises were very easy to get into and the environment supported us very well. The exercise content of the course is really nice, with animals imported from a BBC website, making it feel like a nice training environment. Our new views looked great on the screen with the nice content. We used Visual Studio 2013 and MVC 5 to create our solutions.

Day 2 was more in depth than day 1 and we looked into the link level logic and were given some best practices and real-life examples of when to use what link level and the implications of it. We also went over publishing sitemaps, resource files (resx), and also hints about what is coming up in DD4T 2.0. We had a long discussion on caching with DD4T and the different approaches to be used for caching.  Finally we learned how easy it is to make Preview work in DD4T (it really is easy) and see this article from Quirijn on the Trivident blog.  He also showed us how to read a configuration file from a Compound Template and wrote another nice post here.

We were also given many tips that will save us hours of time during real projects. Below I will outline some of the tips he shared, but for the full experience I highly recommend to attend this training.

Minimize XML in DD4T

– Removes Publication, Folders (saves 30%)
– JSON publishing coming in DD4T 2.0, using compressed JSON

Template Builder Popup- to select Folder or Structure Group

– Using Template Builder, when creating Template Metadata fields, starting the XML fieldname with ‘sg_’ or ‘folder_’ allows us to select the items from the Template Builder!

RenderedContent in DD4T

– RenderedContent property contains the output if it is not DD4T XMl. The DD4T TBB examines the output of the Component Presentation, if not DD4T XML, puts in RenderedContent

Resources

– Resx is published to DB
– In web.config, tell it to use the DD4T Resources provider
– Resource page path defined in the web.config
– Need to create our own TBB to publish the resx file. Reason is that DD4T does not want to imply the structure of the Key/Value Schema you need to use in Tridion. There are many different aproaches to store key/value fields.

Index Pages with DD4T

Index pages with DD4T using custom controller and action method. This allows us to easily query the Broker directly or another external system and the Component on the page is a ‘placeholder’ that says directs the Page to output the results of the Query where the Author places it.

– On the CT Metadata, add 2 fields for the name of controller and name of action. XML Names are:
– controller
– action

Summary

This training will help those without DD4T knowledge get up and running very quickly. It also will provide information and tips for seasoned DD4T experts including in-depth caching explanations, using Broker queries with DD4T, link-level philosophy, and ideas where DD4T will improve in the future. Finally, SDL is showing increased support of the DD4T framework, with the inclusion of it in the Tridion Reference Implementation, using it on SDL.com, and also recommending it for current and future customers. It’s here to stay and now we have a great place to learn more about it in person.

What’s a Tridion Circular Reference and why worry about it? As it’s name suggests, it’s a link that results in a circle of endless self-referencing. This normally isn’t a problem…unless you have a template that does a loop through all the fields, and all the fields it contains, and the ones that the linked one contains, etc. You get the point…it’s possible to have a never-ending loop of links to ourselves. This happened recently on a project where we had a Multimedia Schema, with a Metadata field allowing the same Mutlimedia Schema (relatively sane, right?) for a mobile variant of the image. Then someone linked to itself (I guess they didn’t have a special Mobile version, and felt they must put something in the field) and then our looping template did its best to find all the linked items, and well, it died every time we published a page with this special scenario.

The error message we got was:
Faulting application name: TcmPublisher.exe, version: 7.1.0.1290, time stamp: 0x527d103f
Faulting module name: System.Xml.ni.dll, version: 4.0.30319.18033, time stamp: 0x50b5aabe
Exception code: 0xc00000fd
Fault offset: 0x0000000000178ab2
Faulting process id: 0x8d4
Faulting application start time: 0x01cfc009cc4fea09
Faulting application path: D:\Tridion\bin\TcmPublisher.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\assembly\NativeImages_v4.0.30319_64\System.Xml\4334f45efbe62a6415f2cb7393c59f74\System.Xml.ni.dll
Report Id: d1521031-2c31-11e4-9507-0a7ec577d18d
Faulting package full name: 
Faulting package-relative application ID:

The fix I am using involves creating an Event System solution to detect OnComponentSave, in the initiated phase, if the Multimedia Component’s MobileImage field links to itself.

And if so, throws an exception, not allowing the content to be saved. And in the process, we save the Publishing Renderer from exhausting itself with endless links.

Code:

Uploading images and PDF files into Tridion is easy, but sometimes we want to restrict the size allowed for these uploads. For example, it’s not cool to upload a 5MB image to the homepage of our website. In this article I will present an approach using the Event System to give a warning message to users when the filesize is too big. The filesize is configured in the Publication Metadata and also a default one is set in the code.

Solution Overview

1. Capture the Save Event for a Component
2. If it is a Multimedia Component and an ‘Interesting Mime Type’ then continue
3. Try to get the Allowed Filesize for the items from the Publication Metadata. If not found, then use the defaults defined in the MaxFilesizeDef.cs file
4. If the file is too big, then throw a new WrongFileSizeException. For example, “Sorry, file exceeds the allowed size for PDF files. The allowed size is 10MB.”

The Code: https://github.com/rcurlette/MMFileSizeValidator#tridionimagesizechecker

Setting up the Publication Metadata Configuration

Create a new Metadata Schema or add the following fields to your existing Metadata Schema. This is not mandatory, but if you want to change the default filesize values, then it is recommended to do this. It also allows you to set very high values (or low values) for 1 Publication.

1. Create a new Schema, Configuration.
Fields:
– maxImageSize, Text
– maxPdfSize, Text
– maxMovieSize, Text
*These fields must be named like this

2. Create a Metadata Schema with 1 ComponentLink field, ‘Configuration’, linking to the Configuration Schema we created above in step 1

3. Add Configuration Schema to Publication and fill in values.

Configuring the Default Filesizes

The valdiation is enabled for all Publications. If the Metadata is set, it uses those values. However, if no Metadata configuration setting is found on the Publication then the defaults from the code are used. Here are the defaults:

  • Image: long _maxImageSize = 4194304; (4 MB)
  • PDF: long _maxPdfSize = 20971520; (20 MB)
  • Movie: long _maxMovieSize = 41943040; (40 MB)

Configuring the Cache Settings and Configuration Manager

The Configuration Manager class from Mihai comes with a nice XML configuration. See below for it. The filename I have is EventSystemComponentSave.dll.config. This must be the same as your Event System DLL.

<configuration>
  <appSettings>
    <!-- Amount of minutes to keep a loaded Configuration dictionary in the cache -->
    <add key="SystemComponentCacheMinutes" value="1"/>

    <!-- Where to read the System Component from (Publication, Current, TcmUri or WebDavUrl). Multiple values are comma separated -->
    <add key="SystemComponentLocation" value="Publication"/>

    <!-- Which metadata field contains a Component Link to the SystemComponent. Multiple fields separated by commas -->
    <add key="SystemComponentField" value="Configuration"/>

    <!-- Search for System Component recursively (going up into the parent Folder/SG)? -->
    <add key="SystemComponentRecursive" value="false"/>

    <!-- When merging several System Components, should it override values for the same key? -->
    <add key="SystemComponentOverride" value="false"/>
  </appSettings>
</configuration>

Installing

This is the same to install any Event System DLL on your Tridion 2009 / 2011 instance.
1. Compile the assembly (Add References to the Tridion\bin\client\Tridion.ContentManager.dll and Tridion\bin\client\Tridion.Common.dll )
2. Copy EventSystemComponentSave.dll to the Tridion\bin folder (or another folder of your choice).
3.  Copy the  EventSystemComponentSave.dll.config to the Tridion\bin folder (or another folder of your choice).

4. Register it in the Tridion.ContentManager.config

<add assemblyFileName="C:\Program Files (x86)\Tridion\bin\EventSystemComponentSave.dll" />

5. Open the Services.msc and restart the ‘Tridion Content Manager Service Host’ service.
6. Test by trying to upload a large Multimedia file

Credits and Thanks

I used Dominic Cronin’s excellent ‘Image Size Checker’ (height/width) Event System code for a starting point. https://code.google.com/p/tridion-practice/source/browse/#git%2FImageSizeChecker

I used Mihai’s great ConfigurationManager code to store and retrieve the Publication Metadata settings. https://code.google.com/p/yet-another-tridion-blog/source/browse/trunk/Yet+Another+Event+System/

Summary

Adding content validation rules to the Event System is easy and also provides a better QA for the quality of content being uploaded to our website. In this example we saw how we can easily restrict the filesizes of Multimedia items being uploaded into Tridion. We also saw how easy it is to use a Configuration schema in our code and use the Configuration Manager to cache these settings. I hope this article gives you some new ideas and helps you keep the file sizes under reasonable limits in your Tridion system.

Are you manually setting up a Tridion Deployer and using a guide such as Nuno’s excellent post titled Manually configuring a Tridion 2011 .NET Content Deployer Instance? Is it working? If so, move on, this article is not for you. If not, or you would like to learn how to troubleshoot a Deployer to publish to the Broker Database – read on.

Deployer debugging overview

The Deployer can run as a Windows service or a Website. In this article I discuss the option to run it as a website. I prefer this option as it allows me to run multiple Deployers on 1 machine and I also feel I have more control over it. Read Nuno’s post above for details about how to setup a manual Deployer. I’m going to highlight a way to debug the Deployer and describe one tiny issue that costs me hours of frustration.

I’m using IIS and in the end of the article I have my file setup. Notice I have a logs folder in there. The location of this folder is configured in the logback.xml file. Snippet from logback.xml:

  <property name="log.pattern" value="%date %-5level %logger{0} - %message%n"/>
    <property name="log.history" value="7"/>
    <property name="log.folder" value="c:/tridion/deployer-Broker/log"/>
    <property name="log.level" value="Info"/>
    <property name="log.encoding" value="UTF-8"/>

This tells my Deployer to put the logs for it (and not for anything else) in the log folder. This is not the default setting and I do suggest you change it to a specific folder per Deployer. After changing any config file we need to restart the Deployer. This can be done by recycling the App Pool or simply doing an ‘iisreset’ if you’re on your own local dev machine.

The other thing to notice is my license file is in the config folder. And here was my fatal mistake – my license file was called ‘cd_license.xml’ and Tridion assumes it is called ‘cd_licenses.xml’ or I can manually put the name in on the bottom of the cd_storage_conf.xml config file. Big thanks to Mihai Cădariu for Yet Another Tridion answer that saved me time and my sanity.

The solution

Tridion uses Filesystem bindings (and not the DB ones in the config file you specified) as a fallback and default when it cannot find or load the cd_licenses.xml file. It logs this in the cd_core.log file and not the cd_deployer.log file. In fact, the cd_deployer.log file looks normal and doesn’t give us any clues it’s using the fallback Filesystem Deployer due to a license issue.

Summary

Tridion deployment is at the heart of every Tridion implementation. Setting up and configuring a Deployer is a task often done by Developers on a new system, such as my Azure Tridion 2013 SP1 instance (Medium instance, SQL Server 2012 instance type, runs great!). Following Nuno’s guide we can quickly get one setup. However, debugging it and finding small problems is sometimes not so easy. I hope this small tip helps show some insight into one potential issue and how to solve it.

Directory: C:\tridion\deployer-Broker

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----         3/17/2014   3:12 PM            bin
d----         3/17/2014  10:20 AM            log
-a---         3/17/2014   3:13 PM          0 dir.txt
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM        121 HTTPUpload.aspx                                                           

    Directory: C:\tridion\deployer-Broker\bin

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----         3/17/2014   8:55 AM            config
d----         3/17/2014   3:12 PM            lib
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     172032 netrtsn.dll
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      22528 Tridion.ContentDelivery.Configuration.dll
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     114688 Tridion.ContentDelivery.dll
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM    1323008 Tridion.ContentDelivery.Interop.dll
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM    1149952 xmogrt.dll                                                                

    Directory: C:\tridion\deployer-Broker\bin\config

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM       8057 cd_deployer_conf.xml
-a---          3/6/2014   4:57 PM       3896 cd_license.xml
-a---         3/17/2014   3:00 PM      18233 cd_storage_conf.xml
-a---         3/17/2014   8:58 AM       4552 logback.xml                                                               

    Directory: C:\tridion\deployer-Broker\bin\lib

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      62983 activation.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     445288 antlr.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM       4467 aopalliance.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      68851 cd_ambient.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     261870 cd_broker.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      71286 cd_cache.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     288893 cd_core.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     577390 cd_datalayer.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     153291 cd_deployer.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     125330 cd_dynamic.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      30301 cd_linking.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     231515 cd_model.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     115099 cd_tcdl.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     154957 cd_undo.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      82881 cd_wai.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      16130 cd_wrapper.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     575389 commons-collections.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     160519 commons-dbcp.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      96203 commons-pool.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     313898 dom4j.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      38643 easylicense.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM    2189117 guava.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      81271 hibernate-commons-annotations.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM    4253629 hibernate-core.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     475305 hibernate-entitymanager.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     102661 hibernate-jpa-2.0-api.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     648253 javassist.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      89967 jaxb-api.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     867801 jaxb-impl.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      60768 jboss-logging.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      11209 jboss-transaction-api_1.1_spec.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      17308 jcl-over-slf4j.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      19146 jdbcpool.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      51484 json-smart.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     246709 logback-classic.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     327911 logback-core.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     278281 serializer.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      25962 slf4j-api.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     331474 spring-aop.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      53079 spring-asm.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     589253 spring-beans.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     106819 spring-context-support.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     829601 spring-context.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     442400 spring-core.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     176283 spring-expression.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     401762 spring-jdbc.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     378235 spring-orm.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM     246036 spring-tx.jar
-a---         2/17/2012  11:45 AM     584207 sqljdbc4.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM      23346 stax-api.jar
-a---        11/10/2013   9:29 PM    3176148 xalan.jar                                                                 

    Directory: C:\tridion\deployer-Broker\log

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
-a---         3/17/2014   2:56 PM    1284686 cd_core.2014-03-17.log
-a---         3/17/2014   2:56 PM     394916 cd_deployer.2014-03-17.log
-a---         3/17/2014   2:56 PM       3442 cd_monitor.2014-03-17.log
-a---         3/17/2014  10:20 AM          0 cd_preview.2014-03-17.log
-a---         3/17/2014   2:56 PM      14790 cd_transport.2014-03-17.log

I changed the port # my Tridion CMS uses for the backend GUI then received the following error:

Unable to connect to remote server error

at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetRequestStream(TransportContext&amp; context) at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetRequestStream() at System.ServiceModel.Channels.HttpOutput.WebRequestHttpOutput.GetOutputStream()

&nbsp;

Tridion uses the WCF-based Core Service to retrieve items from the GUI. To solve the issue follow the steps in this post which describes how to change the WCF port number in the web.config