Jan 31

Kentico MVC Quick Tip - Deployment to Azure Gone Wrong

Recently I was asked to help out with a strange issue that my team had with deploying a Kentico MVC site to an Azure App Service. At first glance everything appeared to have been deployed correctly using the documented process for deploying Kentico MVC sites to Azure. The first request brought up the normal invalid license screen that most new deployments start out with. Clicking on the add license button correctly routed us to the Kentico admin screen, and we were able to login using the administrator credentials. But that's when things got weird.

Instead of being brought to the normal Kentico Licenses application to enter the new license, we were presented with an empty dashboard and 20+ console errors in the browser. Keep reading to find out my quick tip on how we solved this issue and brought order back into the world. 

 

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Sep 26

Generate Realistic Test Data in Kentico

Recently I wanted to play around with some user specific scenarios in my Kentico instance for a presentation that I was working on. To do that I needed a Kentico 9 instance with a lot of various users, user settings, and role associations already setup. After firing up a few instances of Visual Studio and running locally, I realized that I didn't have any good sandboxes to play in. So I bit the bullet, and started down the path of automating the creation of a few hundred users.

I figured that there was no way it would take more than just a few minutes to do this task. It’s just creating a few users in Kentico which is like 4 or 5 lines of code in a for loop, right? As it turns out, there is a good way to do this, and then an even better way to do it using some freely available NuGet packages.

Keep reading after the jump to see some sample code that will make generating realistic test data in Kentico a breeze.

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Aug 14

How To Search by PO Number in Kentico E-Commerce

One of the primary strengths of the Kentico e-commerce platform is that it can be customized with relative ease. Honestly, this one of the main reasons that my team and I decided to go with Kentico in the first place. The Kentico API and provider object model is top notch, and it can be extended to do just about anything. This is especially true in the e-commerce pillar of the all-in-one solution. Do you need to integrate your Kentico e-commerce site with an ERP system, roll your own custom payment gateway implementation, or sync up with a shipping carrier's API? Have no fear, all of these tasks are totally accomplishable in Kentico.

With that being said, one of the most common requests that we get at BizStream when building a custom e-commerce site in Kentico is the ability for B2B users to make purchases via the use of a Purchase Order Number (PO Number) instead of a standard credit card payment method. That's one feature that isn't totally 100% out of the box when you have a custom checkout process. Again this task is not a tough issue, and there are many helpful links to get you started in this area if you need to.

Funny enough, we are actually currently working on a project that has this requirement in Kentico 9 (yes this is actually a Kentico MVC site too). And after demoing the working functionality to the client, we received a question of how to then look up orders in the administrative interface by a PO Number. And that is something that I didn't have an immediate answer for. After doing some quick research, it turns out that this customization is not that hard to do.

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Jul 21

Kentico Rocks Podcast Episode 17

In this episode of Kentico Rocks, Brian McKeiver and Bryan Soltis review the state of using ASP.NET MVC in Kentico 9. The discussion includes why MVC matters for Kentico developers and Kentico partners, some tips and real world experience with using MVC in Kentico, and use cases for where MVC makes sense over the venerable Kentico portal engine. Listen on to find out if you should be using MVC in your own Kentico website development process.

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Jul 02

Kentico Ask the Experts 2016 #2 Recap

A few of my fellow Kentico MVPs and I fielded questions and answers this past week in the latest edition of the Kentico Ask the Experts live webinar series. For those of you that missed it, you can watch the recorded version below via YouTube (there is a larger version after the jump too). There were some great questions around Kentico optimization, solution architecture, and best practices. Enjoy.

 

 

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Jun 30

How Search For Kentico Works

In the second quarter of 2016 BizStream launched Compare for Kentico, part of the BizStream Toolkit, a suite of add-ons for Kentico developers. Today I'm proud to review the second tool of the toolkit, Search for Kentico.

The goal for Search for Kentico is to be able to easily search across every object in your Kentico instance. If you search for a term like "console.log", our tool will look through every peice of code you have in your website, on the filesystem, as well as every database object that Kentico knows about (and doesn't know about) and return you intelligent results. 

This is a very useful feature in case you want to check for debug statements, look out for dev URLs in content or email templates, or rename a column or SQL View name in the database. Now instead of waiting for some dependant object to possibly error, you can move on with confidence that your rename worked. Keep reading after the jump to find out how this free tool works.

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May 26

8 Things Developers Should Know about Kentico MVC

For a few years now the great debate around the ASP.NET community has been around how ASP.NET MVC is the only framework of the future. The general point of this debate is that MVC is the winning framework that is finally ready to obsolete the ASP.NET Webforms technology. While I could write an entire blog post on my full opinions of this debate, today I am not going to do that. Instead, today I am going to focus on how Kentico 9.0 has come to fully embrace ASP.NET MVC.

In the latest release of the CMS, MVC is getting very close to being a first class citizen in the choice of Kentico development models, with the other leading candidate being the Kentico Portal Engine model (which has always been based on ASP.NET Webforms). I say first class citizen because the MVC improvements in version 9.0 have been considerable enough for my team and I to start building out client projects in this model, and we are quite happy with the results.

In fact in the last 6 or 7 months of using Kentico 9.0 MVC we have learned a few things that I feel are worth sharing with the Kentico developer community. So without further ado, keep reading after the jump to find out about 8 Things Developers Should Know about Kentico MVC

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Apr 21

Application Insights for Kentico

At the recent Build 2016 conference Microsoft really wowed developers with all sorts of new bells and whistles for Visual Studio, Azure, Bots, and Windows 10.  Included in some of the new enhancements for ASP.Net and Visual Studio was a pretty cool new feature called Visual Studio Application Insights. According to Microsoft, Application Insights allow developers to detect issues, solve problems and continuously improve their applications. The technology is intended to help quickly diagnose any problems in a live application.

Since my team and I are in charge of monitoring quite a few web applications, I found the topic of Application Insights particularly interesting as it relates to Kentico based applications. I immediately thought of questions like would this technology work for web applications only hosted in Azure, or would it also work for existing applications that were on-premise. I was also curious if how easy it was to install and use the technology, how much overhead that it introduces, and exactly how the heck does it actually work. 

Keep reading to find out how easy it is to add Visual Studio Application Insights to a Kentico based web application and what value, if any, this technology can add to your every day job as a web developer or architect.

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Apr 09

How Compare For Kentico Works - Part 3

This is the third part of the How Compare For Kentico Works blog post series. Make sure that read part 2 first before reading this post. In this third post I show you how to use the final output of the comparison and give you examples of how my team at BizStream uses the tool.

Keep reading to find out how you can cut your deployment time, be more confident that the deployment actually worked, and keep some of your own sanity intact when it comes to moving changes from one environment to the next.

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Apr 06

How Compare For Kentico Works - Part 2

This is the second part of the How Compare For Kentico Works blog post series. Make sure that you read part 1 first befor reading this post. In this second post we skip by the how and why, and move right in to guts of using Compare for Kentico. We will also walk through how to use the tool to focus in on the differences that really matter.

Keep reading to find out how you can cut your deployment time, be more confident that the deployment actually worked, and keep some of your own sanity intact when it comes to moving changes from one environment to the next.

 

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