Julian Wraith

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SDL Tridion Whiteboarding: Connecting Server Types

Last time I covered SDL Tridion Server Types and this time I have linked them together to make one Content Management and Content Delivery chain. I will expand on this further in the next video where I’ll look at the publishing chain in more detail.

Enjoy!

SDL Tridion Whiteboarding: Server Types

Since April I’ve been meaning to get around to this. Over the years I’ve written a lot of blogs and posts on SDL Tridion, but never really explained the infrastructure of SDL Tridion in allot of detail. Normally I do this via a whiteboard at a customer, but perhaps it transfers to video.

Let me know what you think of my first ever real YouTube video. I tried to get this right about 100 times, even though it is just a few minutes long.

Enjoy!

Thanks for the warning…

innovate2013The first email of the day that I opened contained this:

“WOAH! Thanks for the warning!! Is that one of the subjects? Or are you doing 45 mins on that one?”

Written by my colleague Ian (@IanTruscott) in reply to a discussion on what our Innovate session was on, I was slightly offended at first. Not least because he seemed to question that anyone could talk for 45 minutes on that topic alone… Stepping back from his laptop at the pure geekiness that he saw in our slides, no doubt Ian spilt his coffee and stepped on the cat (if he had one, which I think he does not. He looks more like the dog type).

But, in a moment of defiance (yes, I am talking it up to make myself feel better), I am proud to be a Tridion geek and one that will present on Friday, together with my colleague Nuno Linhares (@nunolinhares). Forming the final presentation of the the day, the session that separates once willing participants from the bar/plane/hotel bed/dinner, we’ll talk about SDL Tridion, Amazon and Mongo DB all in one 45 minute action pack roller coaster of a presentation. You must see this, even if it is just to see our demonstration fail terribly – I must remember to pray to the demo gods on Friday morning!

SDL Tridion User Group Benelux Q2 2013

SDL walks us through the Customer Journey

SDL walks us through the Customer Journey

On Tuesday the SDL Tridion Benelux User Group had it’s first session in Belgium. Historic Leuven, to be exact, is home to Amplexor who where hosting the event for the evening. The group was small but the discussion was lively and interesting. The opening session was by SDL, walking us through the customer journey in a whiteboard session; the picture slowly building to show the touch points, challenges and opportunities in that customer journey for both the visitor and the organization alike.

Following this session, Davy Moortgat from Amplexor presented SDL Tridion and the mobile web. A good presentation highlighting different approaches to mobile with SDL Tridion. You can find the slides at the bottom of this post.

And finally, what meetup would not be complete with some drinks and networking!

Many thanks to Amplexor for hosting the event, I look forward to many lively and interesting user group meetings in Belgium!

Slides:

SDL Tridion User Group Benelux February 2013

Last Wednesday was the second face to face meet up for the SDL Tridion User Group (STUG) for Benelux. The fabulous people at Hinttech  hosted the first meet up of 2013 and provided us all with a great evening.

Our master or ceremonies was Ingmar Umans who did a great job in making sure the group moved between drinks and the next presentation. The evening was opened by HintTech CEO Egbert Hendriks with a view on why HintTech does not do SDL Tridion but still does. Following that Bjorn van Dommelen gave us an overview of how to deploy SDL Tridion onto Azure. A great presentation filled with insight, practical tips and dry humor! With Quirijn Slings (and his DD4T presentation) falling out due to sickness, Bart Koopman stepped in to show the group a new feature of SDL Tridion 2013, External Content Libraries.

All presentations were well received and for those who missed it, you can find links to the presentations at the bottom of the page. Following that lots of drinks and networking made the evening very much worthwhile and I, for one, am looking forward to the next event.
If you’d like to join the user group events in the future or just interact with your peers in the Benelux, you can join the SDL Tridion User Group Benelux on LinkedIn

Slides

 

Multi-Multi SDL Tridion Deployers, solving the race condition

Recently, Chris Morgan of Building Blocks (a UK SDL partner), penned an article about scaling out the deployer. It is a good article and it is good to see more scaled publishing scenarios being implemented with customers.

In SDL Tridion 2009 particularly and 2011 less so, the deployer can be a bottleneck when you are trying to publish large volumes of content to your websites. Since the outset of SDL Tridion, customers have been growing in volume demand for updates to their websites. Moreover, the timeliness of the updates is become more and more important. The major difference between 2009 and 2011 is that 2011 is multi-threading, meaning that a single deployer can deploy more than one item at a time. Does not sound like much, but the multi-threaded change allows an ever larger amount of content to be published. However, it does need to be setup well and more over tested. If you want the best out of your publishing you must test the setup well.

Typically, when you ran up against the deployer bottleneck in 2009 you implemented multiple deployers. This you can still do in 2011 to get yet more throughput (because you add multi-threaded, multi-deployers). However, there are various things you need to take into account in order to ensure that you don’t run into problems.

If you read Chris’ article you get the idea of how you do this. However, I must make some corrections. The overall setup is fine but as Chris notes you can run into race conditions of multiple deployers trying to update the same content at the same time. For this reason, the setup described is not supported; you will get failures. However, there is hope! To avoid the race conditions you need to modify the setup as described in the blog post.

What is described in the post is that you have multiple deployers that are deploying all content from all publications. Instead you must have multiple deployers that are in their own right dedicated to publishing content of given publications. For instance, if you have 10 deployers you must split the publications you are publishing over each of the ten and not have any duplication. For example:

  • deployer 1
    • publication a
    • publication b
  • deployer 2
    • publication c
    • publication d
  • etc…

This configuration you do in your publishing targets on the Content Manager and for simplicity sake  each of your deployers can be configured 100% the same.

 

SDL Tridion User Group Benelux November 2012

Sometimes you have a week where you don’t stop. They happen every so often and you don’t really look forward to them. One of mine for 2012 was last week. Whilst I did not look forward to the week in general, the different activities were all expected to be great. It started out with SDL Innovate in London, return to Amsterdam for some office time and the SDL Tridion User Group Benelux and then SDL Innovate Amsterdam later in the week. Both the Innovate events were much of a muchness so I was more taken with the London event, both in terms of the content (I had not seen any of it before) but also in terms of the venue. The London event was held at the Landmark Hotel in London which is just superb.

For the SDL Tridion User Group (STUG <- do we like that?), we held our first user group for the Benelux. There have been two user groups springing up in the last year elsewhere in the world and this is the first for the Benelux. Dominic Cronin, of Indivirtual, and I decided to see if we could start one up for the wider community. Not really with a view to run it ourselves forever but to see if the community would like one and if there was enough enthusiasm to continue to hold events and sessions. Our first event – sponsored by Indivirtual and SDL, went well and around 20-25 people attended which was spot on for our target of attendees. We introduced the session and then let SDL Product Manager, Alexandra Popova, give us an overview of the 2013 release. After that we dived, in groups, into what we want from the user group going forward. Below you will find the results of that session which gives us great input into the future of the user group.

  • Experiences
    • Implementation Experience
    • Presentations real user experience
    • Find out what people are doing
    • Input from users
    • workshops
    • business cases
    • coding conventions/best practices
    • knowledge sharing
    • report ERs and discuss
    • users feedback / ichallenge!
    • Share Roadmap
    • Share Project Information
    • Share Technical/Functional Implementation
  • Motivation
    • Free stuff / goodies!
    • Curiosity
    • Turn listeners into contributor
  • Grow
    • More “real” users
    • Reach out, promote to functional
  • People
    • Who is who
    • interaction
    • networking
    • More functional
  • Event
    • Time of day?
    • Technical sessions
    • Inside info SDL
  • Peers
    • Peer review/advice
  • Product
    • Roadmap
    • hands on workshop
    • pre-configured VMs

Going forward, we plan to hold one evening session per quarter and perhaps additional sessions on other topics (technical deep dives) or social events in-between the quarterly events.

To be involved you just need to turn up to one of the events we hold and you can find out about those by joining our SDL Tridion User Group Benelux LinkedIn group.

MVP Retreat: Day 3 (and 4)

View from the hotel

Day 3 was short as it was the fun, event day for the MVPs. In the morning we continued with our development activities and then wrapped up on the MVP sessions so far as well as the work on the projects.

After lunch we headed to the sea to take a ride on an old Dutch style sail boat. The traditional boats in this area of Portugal, are in fact shared with the Dutch traditional boats that the two used to trade salt in centuries past. The boat trip was a slow cruise, under sail, along the coast which ended in anchoring near the shore for three enthusiastic swimmers to have a dive. It was really nice and super relaxing. Tomorrow, we can relax and continue with the coding.

Via Chris Summers (@UrbanCherry)

MVP Retreat: Day 2

Team Content Bloom and random Spanish MVP

Day 2 has ended… at some point on Day 3. The majority of the MVPs worked a 12 hour shift of coding and creating new and fantastic pieces of code and some spent the same time trying to add a button. It was, I will be honest, not a place where a button normally should go but they were in the end, successful.

The group split into three teams and worked on three separate things; Gamification, Workflow Notification and Extending the dashboard (needed for the first two projects). Progress was good and work will continue into day 3 and 4.

The evening was the highlight, MVP drinks are often fun and this time we spent most of the time inventing SDL Tridion related cocktails. In no particular order I managed to write some of them down but it is not the complete list;

  • The MVP – Vodka (2 parts), a dash of Pims and a dash of Martini Bianco. Review: it’s strong (owing to the fact that it’s mostly vodka) but tasty
  • The Cache Channel Service – Cognac, Coca Cola and a splash of Bourbon (“slightly wild”, bourbon is the “S”) Review; really tasty and most definitely the most popular drink of the evening
  • The TCM – Tequila, Cachaça and Peach Juice. Review: sweet but very tasty
  • The Nude (named after Nuno) – Tia Maria, Baileys and Milk. Review; like a milkshake so one is enough for me
  • The TCDL – Tequila, Drambuie, Coke Cola served Long
  • The TDSE – Tia Maria, Tequila, Sour Domingo (I wrote this, not sure if it is correct) and something else I forgot to write down…

And needed to say there was much frivolity which from time to time turned into a jam session:

MVP Retreat: Day 1

View from the hotel

From yesterday, in a castle somewhere near Lisbon, the SDL Tridion MVPs have come together to discuss the year past and the year to come. The SDL Tridion MVPs are selected by a community panel and they come yearly, from across the global, to mostly Lisbon to attend the meeting. Everyone flew in on Thursday, with some coming a long way and others making a short hop from near by European destinations and I can say everyone was tired from their travels.

The day was started after lunch with a review of 2012 from Nuno Linhares which covered what the community has produced as well as the work done on Stack Overflow and the campaign to have a dedicated Stack Overflow site for Tridion. There was a brief touch on the community webinars and what, if any changes, are needed for 2012-2013.

From a technology perspective Bart Koopman gave us an overview of External Content Libraries (ECL) for SDL Tridion 2013, which is a way of connecting external content into SDL Tridion for use with your regular Tridion content. This is a further development for the Documentum connector that SDL released some time ago.

It does not sound like much but it took a long time for us to cover and was all interesting. From the sessions, I have many questions and changes that I need to think about. High on my mind is how to expand the reach of the community past the size we have right now, a strong community but it is those on the fringe of the community and how we can get them strong as individuals in SDL Tridion. Not an easy question to answer but something to work on in 2013.

 

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