The buzz surrounding the new version of Sitecore–8.2–has not died down yet. Having upgraded from last year’s 8.1 version, the new version has many added features. Among the changes that has been brought about, Sitecore Publishing Service is one of them. The new features included in this service will improve publishing performance for enterprise customers.
In Sitecore 8.2, one can publish large volume (think 100,000 or more items) across various data centers and locations. This is also the very first step in using the new ASP.NET Core 1.0 framework with Sitecore.
But before we go any further, here’s a look at the enhancements that this version of Sitecore brings with it:
- With its new Publishing Jobs feature, Sitecore is completely doing away with the publishing dialog. Now one can do away with keeping the dialog open to track the progress. All current, recent and queued posts can be seen on the Publishing Dashboard.
- Each publishing target will have its own Manifest that lists out the tasks that the Publishing Service completes.
- Instead of processing one item at a time, the new version of Sitecore processes items in batches. The process of moving items in the Manifest from its source to target databases is called Promotion.
- If there are changes made to promote the Manifest, they are called Manifest Results.
- After every publishing job, a pipeline called publishEndResultBatch pipeline is initiated.
What are the benefits of this new version?
The new Sitecore Publishing Service has features like a separated publishing system developed using the ASP.Net CORE 1.0 framework, REST API to control the service and SPEAK UI to show queued publishing tasks, complete with their current status, it offers many added benefits to users. Here are some of them:
- The publishing throughput is increased.
- The time needed for publishing a large amount of items is greatly reduced.
- The user experience is improved by better visual feedback.
- As publishing service is a separate entity, this gives the user the ability to move it to a different server, thereby improving the performance of the servers as well.
- The publish window is now highly simplified. Editors don’t need to make a choice between smart publish, re-publish or incremental publish. And, once the publish button is hit, they don’t have to wait like before. The command is automatically set to a service that can handle items in bulk.
How to setup Sitecore Publishing Service?
The new Sitecore Publishing Service is an add-on feature. This means that the existing version still remains enabled by default and one would have to manually install service to get it going. Once installed and activated, it cannot be used in parallel with the older version, but it is possible to switch back to the previous version when required.
Sitecore Publishing Service is made up of two components:
- The Sitecore Publishing Host, which runs independently and makes sure that items to be published are processed.
- The Sitecore Publishing Service Module, which is the package that helps configure a connection to the Host and contains the new UI elements.
- First, we need to download .NET Core (download link). Find the download suitable for your OS and install it.
- Sitecore recommends running it under IIS, which means, we would have to install the Windows Server Handling package too.
- Following this, download the Sitecore Publishing Host (download link). This can be donr by extracting the zip file to a folder, let’s say to C:\inetpub\wwwroot\.
- Open the IIS Manager, create a new site pointing to this directory, update the hosts file and change the Sitecore application pool .NET CLR to “No Managed Code”.
- In the Sitecore Publishing website folder (for instance, C:\inetpub\wwwroot\sitecorepublishing) go to the location \config\global and create a new file with name sc.connectionstrings.xml.
- Finally, to configure the Publishing Service to use it with Sitecore Instance, run the schematool.exe to create a new publishing table in the specified databases. Find tips on this here.
Once the Publishing Service is installed, Sitecore Package needs to be installed. If you already have the previous version of Sitecore, just update the PublishingServiceUrlRoot to the URL of the new Sitecore Publishing Service. A number of online tests have been run to check the efficiency of Sitecore Publishing Service 1.1. Default publishing of 100,000 items took 90 minutes, parallel publishing took 25 minutes, and parallel publishing with optimizations took 15 minutes against the Publishing Service 1.1 that took just four minutes to complete the same task.
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