Sitecore FAQs and Inteview Questions

1. Define What is the Sitecore?
Sitecore is a software platform that is good for making and updating full featured and dynamic websites of every possible type(Implemented in various industry domains and vertical). It has the advantages of scaling, flexibility and can very well integrate in third party systems, marketing platforms, overall giving the visitors a very dynamic user experience.

2. What is the purpose to use a CMS?
This is not a hard question, but we don’t have to focus on managing web content as the strength of a CMS because this is not the entire picture. Content Management Systems give us much more than content management, like giving us the possibility to get the content ownership outside of the subject matter experts. This thing is known to have impact on all CMS platforms like Sitecore, Umbraco, Interwoven, Drupal, Ektron, WordPress or others.

3. Why Should we implement Sitecore (Business Driver)?
Sitecore CMS uses the .NET technology, so if our company is a Microsoft shop, Sitecore will fit great. Sitecore is better than many other platforms based on .NET like SharePoint or Opentext. Apart from this CTO kind of reason there could be more business drivers like online marketing approach, personalized experience for you visitor or if you host eCommerce based website etc.,

4. Can you divide phase of Sitecore implementation ?
Implementing Sitecore is an Investment and Strategic move towards being digital. It involves following phases:

Pre-implementation / Analysis
Before we choose Sitecore or any CMS we have to consider our processes and workflows. We must to see where we will put our content and how will we publish it, what strategy and what architecture do we have for our business entities, what needs to be changed, what is down the line marketing policy online, do we need personalization, what kind of engagement you need for your visitors etc. After we get answers to these questions (which were not really easy). You need to figure out the broad objective you want to accomplish from Sitecore.
Time spent on Analysis should be enough and some time more then build.

Implementation
After pre-implementation we have to implement our Sitecore CMS platform. The first phase is gathering our appropriate staff and make some training to get certified them. Being more than a simple paper, the certification helps our team to be more in the know of the Sitecore terminology. If this phase is skipped we will have to do it anyway later at a higher cost so it’s better to save money now. Of course implementation consist build and deploy too.
Sitecore Implementation is not a one step implementation rather it is journey of your corporate towards the Digital platform.

5. What do you know about these three parts of CMS implementation: Development, Content Authoring and Training?
Development: Is the slightly same as other Web Application .NET based development, it is not hard but we must focus on the platform architecture, the IT infrastructure, Team environment and build deployment practices etc.,
Content: Now that we have a Content Management System we can begin the content architecture implementation and putting sample content in the Sitecore content tree. This job has to be done by developers/content team and not by the content owners.
Later onward Sitecore Authors can put the content in separate instance while build team is focused on the building dynamic part of the project.
User Training: Not only that we have to make the website, content and applications, but we must also begin the introduction of the Sitecore CMS to the users of the company. This implies having a lot of meetings, training and talking about the purpose and the advantages of CMS. We also have to see end-user training are very important.

6. What is the difference between these Content Management Systems: Sitecore, Umbraco and EPI server?

  • Episerver has a lot of positive feedback.
  • Sitecore has the enterprise level and the price is also at the enterprise level. Sitecore is developer friendly, extensible and has a big community is case we look for support, it has a content structure as a tree of nodes, it is known to lead the content management market and is there in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WCMS from last 5 years.
  • Umbraco has many similarities with Sitecore being constructed on ASP.NET but is a little cheaper. It also has a great community.

Actually company will choose one of these depending of taste, money and the style that we have when working.

7. Expalin What is page in Sitecore?
There is no physical page in Sitecore or ASPX Web Form page in other words. In Sitecore all are items from business user prospective end result or particular URL in Sitecore may called as Page. To edit this page using WYSIWYG editor sitecore gives interface called Page Editor.

8. When editing a page and publishing it, the modifications are not visible, why?
When the user clicks publish, the program may tell you that the publishing was successful even if the version published is not the same with the version we have worked at.
For this to we must unlock the page version prior to publishing, this practice should be followed when you are not admin in the Sitecore.

9. What is the best place for our Word and PDF documents?
Word, PDF, Excel, Power Point documents will have their place where the images are which is in the media library, so they don’t have a particular folder provided by Sitecore, they must be placed wherever we place the pictures. Though standard practice suggest that we should create appropriate directory structure within media library before storing any media there.

10. What is the meaning of the sea watchtower image that appears at after Sitecore log in?
This image appears because you are not logged in to the Content Editor, but to the desktop mode. The button from the bottom left corner of the display must be pushed (it has the “Sitecore” label on it), then we must click the “Log off” button for returning to the login page. From here the login procedure will be normal: we must hit “Content Editor” before entering credential, insert the user and password then “Login”.

11. When we make cloned items in Sitecore 6.4, modify the template to an edited copy is it true that the parent of the clone’s inheritance will be damaged?
Since we can think that clones are not fully fledged items so modifying a template is not damaging the construction of the clone.

12. Define How can we access pages in the way that they behave like folders?
First we must make sure that add AspxExtension is set to false in LinkManager and then we have to map the wildcard extension into IIS. According to what version of IIS we do have there are many ways of doing this.

13. In what way is the use of XSL better than C# in Sitecore?
XSLT has advantages over other programming languages in the way that it gives you the possibility to customize or reuse a large variety of pages or various structures for source documents or other structure. For doing this a rule-based processing model will be used, a thing not liked by most people because of the apparent difficulty that is has on first use. Even if this seems hard at first, it can be viewed like a long term investment. XLST has less performance issues until we use wrong querying like using descendants XPath query, if a website appears to have performance problems, it must be from other reason.

14. How do we manage errors in the case we use multiple Sitecore websites?

  • When we make a multiple-site project in Sitecore we have to use webconfig’ ErrorPage, LayoutNotFoundUrl, LinkItemNotFoundUrl, ItemNotFoundUrl, this is for a single site.
  • If we want to show a different error page for every site we can store the error page URL’s of every site like attributes for the elements of /configuration/sitecore/sites/site from web.config with the extending of the Sitecore.Sites.SiteContext class. For ItemNotFoundUrl we can use a file or item as a 404 page.
  • When 404 is managed with items we can add a processor for the pipeline httpRequestBegin and the context item will become th 404 item if we have a null context item.In the case of files overriding
  • Sitecore.Pipelines.HttpRequest.ExecuteRequest.HandleItemNotFound(), also
  • Sitecore.Resources.Media.MediaRequestHandler.DoProcessRequest(), after that we will update the references of the file web.config.
  • For ErrorPage we sould do the overriding of Sitecore.Pipelines.RenderLayout.SecurityCheck.Process and after that update the web.config reference. For LayoutNotFoundUrl the overriding must be done to Sitecore.Pipelines.HttpRequest.ExecuteRequest.HandleLayoutNotFound and update the web.config reference.For LinkItemNotFoundUrl we can add a processor for the piepeline renderField to replace the initial value of the setting with the corresponding value of the context site.

15. What is the purpose of the “shared” check box that we find if we add a field to the template?
When checking this box, the field has a single value regardless of the parent item version. When setting the shared property, if we modify the value of the field it would be seen also in all the versions or languages. Using shared fields is not a recommended option because they don’t relate to workflow.

16. Define How can create only one form for many pages in Sitecore (WFFM)?
Usually Sitecore makes one new form for every new page. For doing one form for multiple pages we must access “Presentation/Layout” where we will hit “Form Interpreter”. Now everything depends on the WFFM versions use (1 or 2). If we use 2 we can find the “FormID” field for our selected form. We have to add the same rendering for each page in which we want to see the form. When using version 1 there is this “FormID” parameter along with Sitecore ID, this ID has to be copied along with the similar renderings for the other pages.

17. Which is the usual maintenance process that we must make on a Sitecore server?
The steps of maintenance for a Sitecore server are:

  • The IIS, the System logs and Sitecore must be checked for errors.
  • We must test the response times regarding the capacity problems within IIS logs.

There are other procedures that have to be done monthly to assure that Sitecore functions properly. Here are some of them:

  1. The links database has to be reconstructed if we update the content constantly.
  2. The search indexes have to be rebuild in the case we use Lucene search and update content constantly.
  3. When moving or deleting much content we must be aware of the fragmentation.

18. Can we copy value of fields if we make new version in Sitecore?
The Shared and Un-versioned checkboxe from Sitecore permit us to spread the value of fields to languages or versions.

19. But can we copy the fields from the initial language into a new one if we put a new version of the language?
By default, no but there are some methods:

  • If we use “Translate” we can obtain the view of two item versions in two sides, being able to makes changes between them, we can’t do the copying automatically but there is the advantage of not having to modify the versions all the time.
  • There is another method like writing some event handlers to communicate with the Sitecore API. Then the old version values have to be copied to the new version.

20. What is the way to get access of settings values of Sitecore programmatically?
There is a good way by accessing the code for example we can find the setting using which we can know the location of data folder.
//DataFolder:
string dataFloder=Sitecore.Configuration.Settings.DataFloder;

21. In case of fast query, is it possible to have relative path beginning with the item that the query is running from?
There isn’t any way of operating fast query from the item context.

22. Elaborate on the different ways in which you can support a multi lingual site within Sitecore

  • You expect the candidate to illustrate how important the setup of the content tree is pre-development.
  • Using Sitecore’s built in language versioning.

23. How can you grab the specific version of an item programmatically?
Sitecore.Context.Database.GetItem(id/path, language);

24. How do you publish an item programmatically?

  1. You will need to refer the parent/source database and the target database, e.g
  2. You will need a reference to the target/fall back language
  3. Use Sitecore.Publishing.PublishManager.PublishIncremental or any appropriate publishing type within the Publishing manager class

25. What are workflows, how do you set an instance up within Sitecore

  • The allow you to attach a sequence of events and states to a Sitecore item.
  • The general purpose of workflow is to get item reviewed and approved before publishing but not limited to it.
  • They can be setup within the Sitecore system folder

26. How do you pass parameters to a workflow action and how can you call a type within your code once a workflow state has been triggered.

  • Use an auto publish action template for the state
  • Pass in the Parameters as key/value pairs in the parameters field.
  • To call a type, provide the fully qualified path of the type in the type string field eg. CompanyName.TS.BusinessLogic.Workflow.Actions.CustomAutoPublishAction, CompanyName.TS

27. Explain What are Aliases and how can they be useful?

  • It is useful when you are required to point to an item nested deeply within the content tree, i.e. point “/sitename/News/2013/In Brief/Man on the moon” to www.sitename.com/manonmoon. The newly setup alias acts as a proxy to the real item.
  • Very experienced Sitecore developers would touch base on how you can extend the functionality for multiple sites.

28. I need to perform an operation of an Item within code, I am running into some security issues, and how can I potentially fix this.
Wrap the code around the Sitecore.SecurityModel.SecurityDisabler() context.

29. What is Database in context of Sitecore?

  • Sitecore store its all content / information in relational database available in market. By default Sitecore comes with Microsoft SQL based data base in form of .mdf and .ldf files which you may attach with you MS-SQL Instance. Sitecore also supports Oracle, MySQL, IBM DB2.
  • By default Sitecore have three database Core, Master and Web. Each have its own purpose and role to play.

30. Explain What is Data Template / Template? Why we need to create Data template ?
Data Template in Sitecore have two purpose, first is they define the Data Structure for an Item. Second they also define how data is going to be edited and shown to business users in Sitecore Shell / Sitecore Content editor.
To do comparative study Data Template in Sitecore are similar to SQL Table in traditional programming world of programming where we create SQL Table Structure to store information. So it also means that as many information(Business Entities) we need to store we generally create those many SQL tables in traditional world. So same logic applies in case of Sitecore where we need to create those many data templates as many information we want to store and use in Sitecore.
Generally in Sitecore we don’t create SQL Tables.

31. Define What is Fields ?
Fields are equivalent to the ColumnsTuples we create in SQL tables in traditional programming world. So collection of Fields are called Data Templates. Field is the smallest entity which define type of single value stored within the data template.

32. Explain What is Field Types ?
When we create / add fields in the Data Template then we need to select the field type which basically define the type of value going to store in that particular field. In case of Sitecore we don’t primitive data types like var char, int, float etc., But here we have field type like ‘Single Line TextBox’, ‘Rich Text Box’, ‘Image’, ‘DropDownList’ etc.,
As you notice these field types not only define what kind of data is allowed in field but how that field is going to render on the content editor.

33. Can you have custom field types ?
For most of the general requirement Sitecore has already provided enough field types. Still you for your own custom requirement you may create your own field types also.

34. What are the types of Data Template is available ?

  1. Sitecore users create items using one of three template types: data templates, branch
    templates, and command templates.
  2. Data Templates form the framework around which items are built. They define fields used to control how data is entered and can inherit from other templates to enable reuse.
  3. Branch templates—allow you to create a set of items rather than a single item at a time.
  4. Command Templates—allow you to insert of items according to logic rather than predefined structures.

35. In Sitecore Multiple Inheritance of Data Template is possible, can you explain with example ?
A data template inherits the sections and fields defined on its base templates. You can see the base templates associated with a data template in the Inheritance tab in the Template Manager or Content Editor.
A data template can be based on any number of data templates, not just one. Occasionally more than one inherited template will contain the same field or field section. In this case, the UI will merge these fields or field sections to prevent duplication.

36. What is Standard Values in Sitecore ?
Standard values are a way of having default or fallback values for fields in Sitecore, meaning that when items are created, you can specify a field value that should be used by default. This does not only account for custom fields you build, but also standard fields in Sitecore such as presentations and insert options. This means that you can specify a value on the standard values, and when you create a new item which inherits from this template, it will by default use the values specified on the standard values.

37. How Data / means Items or other information related to it is exposed by Sitecore to you as Developer?
Sitecore use good things from two different world of Data Sources. Sitecore end of the day store all its information in relational world which is MS-SQL, oracle etc., But at time of exposing the same data it exposes and represent in Sitecore Shell as Hierarchical Data Source. Because of this Developer can use XSL to render the same data or use other XML based technology to navigate the data. Developer can also use the .net based InMemory Object collection of Data which is based on generics in .NET, which you may write normal foreach loop also or modern Linq to get you data.

38. What are the top 8 Concept of the Sitecore ?
We have divided top 8 concept of Sitecore into two subset first is Data and second is presentation. Sitecore is based on MVP patterns and here we separate Data Concepts and Presentation concepts clearly which give advantage of Re-use and better control over the content. This way of programing is contradiction to traditional ASP.NET based programming.

Data                        Presentation
Data Base                    Layout
Data Template           SubLayout
Fields                           Rendering
Item                              PlaceHolder
In following question we discussed the Data Part only.

39. What’s the difference among these content material control systems: Sitecore, Umbraco and Episerver?
Episerver has a whole lot of superb comments. Sitecore has the enterprise degree and the price is likewise at the employer degree. Sitecore is developer friendly, extensible and has a large community is case we look for aid, it has a content shape as a tree of nodes, it’s miles acknowledged to steer the content control marketplace and is rather rated by many agencies. Umbraco has many similarities with Sitecore being constructed on ASP.net however is a bit inexpensive. It additionally has a tremendous network. virtually we are able to pick this kind of depending on flavor, cash and the fashion that we’ve got when running.

40. What are the commonplace capabilities of CMS?

  1. Seo-friendly URLs
  2. incorporated and online assist
  3. Modularity and extensibility
  4. consumer and organization functionality
  5. Templating guide for converting designs
  6. installation and improve wizards
  7. integrated audit logs
  8. Compliancy with diverse accessibility frameworks and requirements, such as WAI-ARIA

41. Explain What is Sitecore enjoy Platform?
Whilst you login to Sitecore the primary display you see is Sitecore enjoy Platform. it is a launchpad display screen which includes the whole thing you require.

Some of the objects you discover in experience Platform are listed underneath.

  • Enjoy Analytics
  • Expereince Profile
  • Content Editor
  • Revel in Editor
  • Manipulate Panel
  • Media Library
  • Computing device Mode
  • App middle

42. What are the exclusive forms of Databases to be had in Sitecore?

  • core
  • master
  • web

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