All posts by Quirijn Slings

Switching to the DXA 2 model service in your DD4T application

On February 12th, SDL released DXA 2.0, the shiny new version of the Digital Experience Accelerator. Part of this new version is a new REST service called the model service, which is able to return content quicker, and in a leaner format. Not only that, the model service is also able to resolve links in the content on the fly. This is an important improvement, because link resolving is one of the most expensive operations in DXA as well as DD4T.

A full migration of your application from DD4T to DXA is far from trivial, at least not with the DXA 2.0 release that is currently out. But there is good news: it is very easy to start using the DXA model service in your DD4T .NET application (it is also possible with a Java DD4T application, but we’ll discuss that some other time). Your application is likely to become faster because of it.

There is one important condition: you have to use SDL Web 8.1 or higher, and DD4T 2.0 or higher, in order to upgrade to the model service.

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The template builder is (sort of) portable

The Tridion template builder is a great tool, but it can sometimes be tricky to install. SDL have chosen to distribute it through the ClickOnce mechanism (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ClickOnce). This does not work with Chrome out of the box, and I haven’t always had good results with the various ClickOnce Chrome extensions out there. Instead, I normally start up IE and point it to the CM site, click on the Tools ribbon and install the Template Builder from there.

There are times when even this approach does not work, for example if I’m working on some locked down machine. For these occasions it is good to know that the Template Builder is portable – or rather portable-ish.

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Customizing binary paths in DD4T

Tridion has a rather particular way to deal with so-called binary files (images, PDFs, Word documents etc). When published, these files are placed in one folder (typically called ‘images’). To avoid conflicts between different binaries with the same file name, a unique ID is appended to the name of the file. A typical URL of a published binary file would be something like http://mysite.com/images/my-image_tcm3-123.png.

But what if you want to make your own rules for binary paths? And what if you are using the DD4T framework as well? In this post I will explain how to customize the paths to your binaries in DD4T.

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Using SDL’s microservices in a web farm

SDL Web 8 has been around for a little over a year now. Its successor (SDL Web 8.5) was recently introduced. You’d think that to an old Tridion hand like me, by now Web 8.x would be as familiar as any of the earlier (Tridion) versions. The sobering fact is that today I ran into an issue caused by a poor understanding on my side of SDL’s new microservices architecture. Fortunately it proved easy to fix.

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