How to Disable PhantomJS on Sitecore CD

If you get a requirement to disable PhantomJS on your Content Delivery environments, this trick will do it.

How PhantomJS is implemented with Sitecore:

Content Testing in Sitecore uses the Phantom JS tool for generation of the screenshot image files. In case you didn’t know, Sitecore has had screenshot generation features for quite some time. We use it to generate icons for items that you’ll be listing in the UI like renderings. These icon generation features are based on the System.Windows.Forms.WebBrowser control built into .net. So why did we not use the existing screenshot features for Content Testing? In early testing we found discrepancies with the WebBrowser control. WebBrowser uses Internet Explorer installed on the server where Sitecore is running. But the specific version that it uses isn’t always the latest. There are registry updates one can make to force the appropriate IE version, but this seemed like a big ask of users. This was one of the reasons we chose to use Phantom JS instead.

All you have to do, is create a patch file that will disable getScreenshotForUrl

Copy the above code into the configuration file and name it whatever you want and it into App_Config\Include\zzz


Sitecore Active Directory on Premises and on Azure

It has been quite some time since I have blogged, there is just way too much work, and that is great, I am not even complaining.

I just wanted to take a little break from work and write a blog, and try to illustrate and help with getting started with Active Directory integration. This should be one of the essential components when starting any Sitecore architectural planning.

In this blog I will cover both Active Directory integration on premises as well as Azure Active Directory.

At first this seems to be a very completed to me, but then after reading the official documentation is made much more sense. Obviously after you set it up yourself you will have an understanding, on how to get it accomplished.

Reference for On-Premises integration:

Active Directory on premises integration

So let’s get to it.

First you will need to create yourself or request to have a OU (Organization Unit) created for you and add all the users that you are want to be able to access Sitecore.

While the IT Department is setting that up, in some companies it takes quite some time. Let’s go to Sitecore and install the package.

You can download the latest package from official Sitecore dev web site.

Once you download it, go to Desktop > Development Tools > Installation Wizardsitecore-launchpad.png

and install the Sitecore Package that you have downloaded.

Next Step we will be modifying Configuration files, that will plug it in with your current AD infrastructure.

  • ConnectionStrings.config
  • Domains.config
  • Web.Config

<add name=”ManagersConnString”
connectionString=”LDAP://testsrv/OU=Managers,DC=testdomain,DC=sitecore,DC=net” />

<domain name=”ad” ensureAnonymousUser=”false”/>

<add name=”ad”
connectionUsername=”[put the username here]”
connectionPassword=”[put the password here]”

More details on each available parameter can be found from the official documentation, link provided above in the references.
The only that you need to remember to map your users to specific roles within Sitecore.
Once you map everything to the appropriate roles, you will have no problem logging into the Sitecore.

Azure Active Directory integration

So this is a much easier process IMHO.

For this approach you will need to use Federated Authentication.

Reference from official web site:

I would really recommend to read this blog by Bas Lijten as well, it has a lot of useful information.

So lets proceed:

At this point I imagine that you have Federated Authentication set up and you have read the links provided above and you have AZURE AD, and you are setting this up for a client. So you already have Azure Active Directory set up.

In my case my organization is TONY 🙂


So you will need to access App Registrations and create your own application:


As you can see by the name of my app I am integrating with Sitecore 9.

Once is registered you will go ahead and use the application ID and add it to your configuration file.

Make sure to specify the reply-url:
<setting name=”ClientId” value=”application ID when you register your application into Azure through APP registration” />
<setting name=”AADInstance” value=”{0}” />
<setting name=”Tenant” value=”your azure active directory e.g.” />
<setting name=”PostLogoutRedirectURI” value=”https://sc9.local/sitecore/login&#8221; />
<setting name=”RedirectURI” value=”https://sc9.local/sitecore&#8221; />

Also you will need to edit the Manifest and change the groupMembershipClaims
"groupMembershipClaims": "SecurityGroup",
Once you plug it all in you will be able to access Sitecore and you login window would look like this:
You might have a question how to map AD groups to Sitecore groups, here is a configuration for it:
<transformation name="devRole" type="Sitecore.Owin.Authentication.Services.DefaultTransformation, Sitecore.Owin.Authentication">
<sources hint="raw:AddSource">
<claim name="groups" value="AZURE AD GROUP ID" />
<targets hint="raw:AddTarget">
<claim name="" value="sitecore\{ROLE}" />
If you have any question comment here, or reach out to me on twitter @tmamedbekov
You can also ask a question on Sitecore Slack, we have the best community.

How to Install Sitecore 9

It has been a while since I blogged, I would like with you guys the process of installing Sitecore 9. It is a different process there is no SIM, most of the steps are manual.

So what have I installed prior to proceeding with the installation process:

  • Windows 10 machine
  • IIS
  • .NET
  • .NET Core 2.0
  • SQL
  • SQL Management Studio

Also you need to adjust some security settings on your Windows Machine

net user administrator /active:yes
net user guest /active:yes
net user administrator *

Before we jump into the next step, lets download the source files. So what you will need:

Also you will need to add some stuff to the IIS, if you dont have it already:

  • Web Deploy 3.6 for Hosting Servers
  • URL Rewrite

We are going to run all of this in the Windows Power Shell.

First step will be to register the repository:

Register-PSRepository -Name SitecoreGallery -SourceLocation

Next we will install the Sitecore Installation Framework

Install-Module SitecoreInstallFramework

Next we will install Fundamentals

Install-Module SitecoreFundamentals

After that we will move onto installing Solr

From your Power-shell run the files that you have downloaded Lazy-Solr.

Make all your configuration changes, as needed. Pay attention to the JAVA_HOME path, make sure everything is reflected correctly.

Solr should run automatically once installation is completed. https://solr.8983/solr/#/

image001 (1).png

Once that is completed and everything looks good, lets move on to the next step, the Sif-less step.

Extract and run as administrator the SIFLess.exe

Fill out all the necessary parameters: Should look something like this.


After you click on to the Generate Files, it will generate Powershell scripts in the same directory where SIFLess.exe is. You will go ahead and run that ps1 script. Once you run the script and installation is successful, you should be to access it, from the browser at the following URL:

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment below.

There are lots of different tutorials out there, how to get started with Sitecore 9. This tutorial is really fast and easy to follow.

This is very similar to Chris Auer’s video, if you don’t like to read, and you like videos more. Here’s the link to the video.

What is Sitecore JSS and how do I start with it?

Sitecore JSS was announced last year at the Sitecore Symposium in Las Vegas.


What is JSS and why do you even need it?

Sitecore introduced JSS (JavaScript Services) last year, and not a lot of people are understanding or knowing what it is for and why it is needed, or some don’t even know that it exists. I waited till there is an updated, and all the bugs will be covered, to write a blog post.

Well what is JSS, and how can you utilize it in your project? First great thing about JSS that I really like is that you do not need to have a Sitecore instance installed on your local machine. There are few way that you can implement JSS.

JSS is a complete SDK for JavaScript developers allowing to build full-fledged modern solutions using Sitecore and JavaScript and being completely disconnected during development and deploy to any platform in a headless configuration with full Experience Platform capability preserved.

read more at the official web site

If you have any questions, ask them on Slack

Enough of introduction, lets get to the development, to some interesting stuff.

First you need to go to and familiarize yourself with the the SDK.

Pre-requisites are the following:

  • Sitecore XP 9.0
  • Node.JS 6.9 and above
  • NPM 5 and above

Once you have all of this installed, then we can proceed.

First you need to make sure you have Layout Service enabled. What does Layout Service give you? Well Layout Service is a Presentation layer via API (JSON). It give you Personalization, MV Texting, tracking and analytics. It is included in JSS and SXA.

How do you test Layout Service on your instance?



Okay if everything looks good at this time, we can move on and start exploring JSS.

Now we can see how it looks in the Content Editor.


And the site looks good, we can now move on and go to JSS


At this point we have proved that Layout Service is enabled and we can continue with JSS implementation.

What is a Layout Service?

Provides nested JSON rendering of item layout, including serialized datasource contents and reflecting any configured personalization rules and content testing.

These are the commands that we will be using on the package that you can find on JSS official web site

  • Npm run prod:build
  • Npm run manifest:generate
  • Npm run package:generate
  • Npm run package:deploy

We will start with the basic JSS App that runs React.Js


First open scjssconfig.json and modify it to your needs, see screenshot above.

Or you can just run the setup by typing npm run setup

To Deploy we will be using Sitecore Ship. Sitecore Ship – an open source web service that can be used to remotely install Sitecore update packages. (

Once code is deployed you will be able to see content of the JssBasicApp in the Content Editor.


In the next tutorial, we will be adding a component and modifying content from JSS, without accessing Sitecore.

If you have any question, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, comment here or connect with me on Twitter @tmamedbekov

Sitecore Trial License

Try developing on Sitecore for free

Request access to the Developer Trial Program and receive a 60-day trial license, access to our software, and information on how to get started. Learn about:

  • Working with Sitecore APIs and the Helix framework
  • Sitecore development recommended practices
  • Implementation and extensibility of the Sitecore platform

Follow the link here, scroll to the bottom of the page and request a free trial.

Day 1 Sitecore Symposium 2017 Las Vegas

What have we learned in the first day of attendance the Sitecore Symposium. Well first of all the main and the most interesting announcement is the Sitecore Experience Platform 9.


Well what does it offer us:

IMG_1657 (1)

  • JSS – Headless Javascript services
  • Purpose-build Forms for digital marketers
  • Federated Automation
  • Sitecore xConnect
  • Expanded xDB database support for Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and Azure SQL
  • New Marketing Automation build on xConnect with specific support for Personalization Commerce
  • Greater privacy measures around PII data and GDPR
  • Security features, with support for encryption at ret and in motion
  • Streamlined Upgrades, Migration & Conversion tools
  • Machine Learning algorithms “Sitecore Cortex”

Big Announcement was about the machine-learning. When Sitecore introduced Cortex


The next great thing was related to the xConnect. Now you will be able to import any data into Sitecore.


Of Course the Headless, something that I was very excited about. But unfortunately it supports react.js. It should support all the other frameworks soon. But the demo with react.js was simply great.


And of course there was information about the Agile and development and plugin approach.



Sitecore Experience Cloud was also discussed.


How about Sitecore and .NET core. It is all about the freedom.


I would like to say that overall I am very excited about Sitecore 9.0. It is already available on the ( Go get your copy.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask or reach out to me on slack @tmam and twitter @tmamedbekov.

Sitecore HTML Helper Methods – Part 1

Here is my cheat-sheet for all the html helper methods that I use all the time, and there are some that I find every day, and I just get excited about what Sitecore can give us.

Current Item


Current Field


Field with different source

@Html.Sitecore().Field("Title", Sitecore.Context.Database.GetItem("{858FAD09-070A-45BA-BA29-446940A3EC4F}"));

Create a image with a url that can be edited in Experience Editor

@Html.Sitecore().Field("link", new { text = @Html.Sitecore().Field("Image") })



Image Field with class

@Html.Sitecore().Field("Image", new { @class = "img-responsive" })

Field that will allow you disable the web editing feature in Experience Editor

@Html.Sitecore().Field("Heading", new { DisableWebEdit = true })
This will list the Children of the Current Item you are in.
@foreach (Sitecore.Data.Items.Item item in Html.Sitecore().CurrentItem.GetChildren())
@Html.Sitecore().Field("Heading", item)
@Html.Sitecore().Field("Preview", item)
Visitor Identification

More stuff coming soon…