Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Convincing IT to adopt MongoDb

Jason Carter of Nonlinear Creations and I had an interesting conversation at the Toronto Sitecore User Group about a commonly asked question by IT implementing Sitecore 7.5 and xDB.  Through some quick brainstorming we worked through some of the answers. Below is the results of our discussion.

Issues Raised:
  1. Issue: As a .NET shop, our IT staff do not have the know-how to secure, maintain and support this new technology what are our options?

    • Sitecore offers xDB in the cloud.  This hides the MongoDb implementation from you.  They handle licensing, its easy to set up with their wizard and you just pay a subscription.
    • Think about your PVR.  It probably runs linux or some other open source OS but you dont have to worry how it works you plug it in and it saves your shows and you can access them through an API or in most cases a cable that connects to your tv.
  2. Issue: As an open source product, is MongoDb secure?  Look what happened with OpenSSL.

    •  MongoDb is storing analytics collection information.  It is NOT storing creditcards or raw transations.  You are probably already using Google Analytics or other web based analytics.and MongoDb is just as secure.  Any collaborative metrics from CRM or financial transations are summarized in the SQL Server database NOT MongoDb which is only for collection.
    • jQuery/javascript is an open source technology that you use for front end.
    • Html is open source.

If you have other issues with or without reasoning let us know and we can see if we can help.

Thanks Jason for the awesome discussion, we hope to see more of these from you in the future.

If you have any tips, tricks or resources please email them to

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Open Letter to Microsoft on why Microsoft Store should run on Sitecore

Interesting story, I went to the Microsoft Store in the United States to buy a Windows 8.1 Pack to upgrade my standard edition of Windows to Support installing Coveo.  As a Canadian, it would not let me purchase.  I spoke to a rep on the site and they said the easiest way was to purchase right through Windows and it would update the product key and install and everything.

I followed these instruction and got the product installed.  4 hours later Microsoft detects my abandoned cart on the site and having my email address from login email me offering me free shipping if I buy it.  How many ways did they get it wrong?

1) When I first arrived on the US site it should have detected my location and opted to switch me to the Canadian store.
2) When they sent the email I already bought the product.
3) I could not buy it from the Microsoft Store in the United States so sending me an email with the link to the United States cart would have frustrated me if I had not already bought.
4) It was 4 hours later after I had already attempted other means.

So what if Microsoft had Sitecore:

1) Sitecore supports IP detection that could then be used to redirect them to the proper site or provide them with an option of going to the Canadian store.
2) As the user is in an engagement plan, when I bought the product it could have bumped the engagement plan to show that state.
3) Using the engagement plan it would have detected the state change from buying it and would NOT have sent me the email offering me a better deal it would have thanked me for purchasing.
4) I guess in this case the Microsoft Marketing people set the delay on it so they could still mess it up.

Ironically, even though it had entered the key and installed the features, almost exactly after I got the email from Microsoft, Windows decided I needed to activate the key.  Not during my install but 4 hours later.  It provided no option to ignore and all I had to do was click the activate link as the product key was already automatically entered during install.

So if Microsoft is interested, Sitecore can do wonders for your store.  Simply implement Sitecore 7.5 with ActiveCommerce or Commerce Server and you are good to go.  Email us at if interested in discussing more.