All posts by Quirijn Slings

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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A new approach for serving images from a broker database

A picture says more than a thousand words, right? That’s why a web site needs images. In the old days before DD4T, the approach was very simple: out of the box, Tridion would publish your images to the file system, where the web server could pick them up and serve them out to the world.

But in the era of dynamic publishing, who wants to deploy to a file system anymore? One of the advantages of DD4T (or DXA, or any other dynamic framework) is that you publish everything to one central delivery store: the broker database. It makes sense to use this approach for images (and other binary file types) as well. But how?

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Using the Thymeleaf view language

On a recent project of ours (Java/SDL Web 8/DD4T 2), the customer’s architect suggested to use a view language that I had – quite frankly – never heard of: Thymeleaf. I had always wondered why the Java world had never settled on a view technology to replace JSP. The way I see it, JSP has had a great run (it’s been around since 1999) but it belongs in the same category as ASP – a moloch from times of old. Although you can use JSP as the ‘V’ in ‘MVC’, it has never been a true view language. The support of inline java code means that developers can easily run amok, which can lead to messy and hard to maintain code bases. Also, JSP writes it output directly to the response, making it less flexible than more modern view technologies.

I have been waiting for a Java equivalent to .NET’s Razor: neat, clean syntax, intuitive switching between code and markup, and very well integrated into the framework. So when Thymeleaf was suggested, I thought – perhaps – this could be it!

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