How to encode Trademark symbols ™ in C#

Hello Folks, Sorry was away for a while. As was very busy with Project.Challenge:
We were facing one strange issue with encoding Trademark symbol in C#. If you are also facing such similar issue then this post is for you.It was strange for us see that ™ isn’t encoding with HttpUtility.HttpEncode. As google is my best friend [so as yours], I tried to get the answer.Before we dig into the solution, I tried on following websites which help us to get the result live for the Http.HtmlEncode()http://htmlencode.org/
http://www.opinionatedgeek.com/dotnet/tools/htmlencode/encode.aspx

And we see that HTML Encode isn’t encoding ™.
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How to escape line breaks while creating CSV or TSV file using C#

Hello C# friends.

Are you creating a CSV (Comma Separated Value) or TSV (Tab Separated Value) file in CSharp and you don’t know why your CSV file is breaking when you open it into Excel, then this post is for you.

Mr. Brian has written a very nice article on how to generate CSV file which we referred in our project.
http://www.csharptocsharp.com/generate-csv-from-generic-list

It was difficult to identify the problem. Values in object were html based and we were doing Html.Encode, so i thought that we need to do Html.Decode, but was unlucky.
To get better understanding of Html.Decode and Html.Encode refer: http://www.dotnetperls.com/httputility
Then thought that it can be  Encoding issue so tried to pass different encoding formats to StreamWriter but was unlucky in that too. I tried to identify in depth and reached to the problem and then solution.

Problem:
As my values were in Html format it were containing “t” or “n” or “r” which were creating an issue when writing a file using StreamWriter. As it get “t” or “n” or “r” it was breaking the file.

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Migrate Visual Studio Solution from SVN to TFS

I love to work on Microsoft Technologies and while working with them recently we got a challenge to migrate our project from SVN to TFS. So I would be discussing about:
1) How to migrate visual studio solution from SVN to TFS.
2) Different approaches for migration
3) Challenges faced during migrating our solution.
As it is our basic approach to first always search on google and do some analysis and research before doing any such task, similar way we did and found two approaches – Manual and Automated.
SVN2TFS.EXE – (Automated) we didn’t dig much also read few comments by which we got unhappy.

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Sitecore Smart HTML Cache Clearance

Hello, Folks, I hope you are all doing well.

Smart HTML Cache clearance – As the name suggests it clears HTML Cache for a site in a smarter way.

In Sitecore Content tree if you are building a site for two or more different countries/regions and as you publish any content in any of the sites that you can observe via Cache.aspx that HTML Cache for each site gets cleared. Which should not happen.

So in order to achieve this goal, I did analysis and found that we have to override the default implementation of cache clearance when we publish any item in the content tree. But what if we publish any template or media item or anything other than content than at that time whole HTML cache should get clear. Also when we publish the whole site at that time HTML cache for all the sites should get clear. Smart HTML Cache Clearance will handle all the scenarios efficiently and accurately when you publish any item on local or on remote site. Also when it needs to clear the entire HTML Cache for all the sites than the default implementation, as written by Sitecore, will handle our job.

So whenever we face such challenges we google it, so similarly I did and found the blog of Mark Stiles ( https://markstiles.net/Blog/2011/05/26/partial-html-cache-clearing.aspx ), which helped me to achieve the objective but that was for remote publishing, what if Sitecore is enabled on the production server? Or what if we want to test it in local? So for that, I tried to modify the code and got the solution.

Step 1: Create a class called SmartHtmlCacheClearer in your library.

Step 2: Replace publish:end and publish:end:remote handler to refer the SmartHtmlCacheClearer class in web.config

Now we have to add the reference to this class to the events section in web.config file and allow Sitecore to execute this code instead of Sitecore default code.

We just have to modify the handler for publish:end and publish:end:remote.

That’s it.

Note: Please specify the exact method name in handler which should be executed.

Happy Sitecoring.!

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Setup SVN on Local Network

Subversioning plays a very vital role for Developers. It keeps track of changes to a file over time. It maintains the history of all the changes. This way you do not end up with millions of copies of the project that you cannot make heads or tails out of.  With a version control system, every time you commit a set of changes you write a comment describing what you did. Then you can look at the log to see what was changed when and by whom. You can easily look at the differences between versions and easily roll back changes if you need to. You also always have easy remote access to the current version of your project without having to remember which file name you used for it: you simply do an update of your working directory or check out the head version. For more information regarding version control please refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revision_control

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Quick way to deploy web application to multiple environment.

Hello, Folks. It’s really interesting to know about MSBuild. Recently while working on one project we found that deploying Project Files on multiple environments consumes a lot of time. So we thought to take the help of MSBuild and deploy project files on live Server(s) automatically.
What is MSBuild?
MSBuild is Microsoft Build Engine for Visual Studio. MSBuild is completely transparent with regards to how to process and build software developed in Visual Studio.
Why MSBuild?
Initially from Visual studio we do publish via Publish Profile(s). MSBuild uses that publish profile and does deployment without the help of visual studio. It can reduce deployment time up to 70%.
This is the basic Dev environment which I have created to demonstrate you on Automatic Build. Developer can publish files to staging as well production Environments.
How MSBuild?
MSBuild command needs few command line options mainly MSBuild.exe, Visual Studio Project Solution File (.sln), and Publish Profile.
First of all, you need to get the path of MSBuild.exe in my case it is located at C:WindowsMicrosoft.NETFramework64v4.0.30319msbuild.exe
Create a new File and enter the below two MSBuild Commands. (Note: You need to change the path according to your project solution directory.)

/p:DeployOnBuild=true – This will build the solution before deployment and will throw an error if build fails before it deploys the files.
Save this file with any name and provide extension as “.bat”.
Open Command Prompt in Administrator Mode and execute the MSBuild (.bat) file.
Note: If you are using SVN then before deployment you can also write the SVN Command which will update the solution. After that MSBuild.exe will build the code and then publish.
Please download this file for more user-friendly deployment file which will prompt the user for deployment whether to start deployment or not on particular servers. Thanks to Kiran Sir (http://kiranpatils.wordpress.com/) for helping me in creating deployment file.

To know more about Web Deploy: Click HereIf you have a better idea do share with us.

Have a nice Deployment! 🙂
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PHP Mailer script to send Contact Us form email.

If the website is running on PHP Server than it’s just easy to create Form. It will only take fifteen to twenty minutes to build a form on a website. The simple static website can also be customized to have a contact us or any other form.
Let’s begin by writing a simple html code for form.

 
Note: Please remember the name that have been given to textboxes and text area. We have to use same name in PHP script. And the file must be located where our .html file is stored as we have directly specified send_form_email.php in action parameter. If you have placed somewhere else then do specify the proper path. 

Now let’s write the PHP script to send an email.
Create a file send_form_email.php

Copy the below code.

 

We need to change the $to email id to wherever you want to send an email.
As the form is submitted by the user and the form is successfully sent then we have to redirect the user to any page. So for that we have to change the header location as per requirement. Here we have redirected to our actual domain site.
Note: This will only work on PHP Server. If we try to submit the form on our local machine then we will see the php file appearing but on live server the actual mail will be sent.
 
For seeing the Demo of this application CLICK HERE.
If you were looking for something and this helped? Or if you
have any other better idea? Feel free to share with us!

Happy Coding!

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Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide: Part-3

This series is divided into three parts:
Part 1 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-1
Part 2 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-2
Part 3 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-3In Part-2, we saw creating roles and users and assigned workflow states based on our requirement.

When the reviewer clicks the Approve command, Sitecore triggers the Validation Action, which checks that the item has no validation errors. This occurs because the Approve command includes a Validation action. The validation action will cancel the movement of the item from the Awaiting Approval state to the Approve and Publish state if it finds errors.
If the validation action finds no errors, the Approve command moves the item to the Approve and Publish state.
Let’s do practical.
We won’t allow the duplicate workflow item name allowed to be published.
So when sitecoreReviewer try to approve any ProductPublishingWorkflow item with duplicate name then the guy will get an
error and reviewer won’t be allowed to approve that item.
Now where do comments go when Editor/Reviewer/Publisher apply comments to a workflow item?
You can see comments in the History section in Review Tab.
Let me know if you face any challenges or if you have any better idea. Suggestions/Comments/Feedback are most welcome.
I am very much thankful to Brijesh Patel (www.techitpro.com), Nilesh Thakkar (www.nileshthakkar.com) and Kiran Patil (sitecorebasics.wordpress.com) for helping me out in understanding the fundas.
References:
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Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide: Part-2

This series is divided into three parts:

Part 1 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-1
Part 2 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-2
Part 3 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-3

In Part-1 we saw creating workflow in sitecore, Now let’s create roles and users and assign workflow states to appropriate roles.

1)      Creating Roles
Its best practice to assign workflow rules to the roles and not to the users, so we will first create the roles and then assign it to users. We will create three roles.
     1)      sitecoreEditor
     2)      sitecoreReviewer
     3)      sitecorePublisher

Now as we have created roles we have to assign roles to a role for authoring a user with this particular role to login into sitecore and do some actions.
We will assign Sitecore Client Authoring to all the three roles.
Open Role Manager and follow the steps given in screenshot.
     1)      Click on sitecore\SitecoreEditor
     2)      Click on Member Of
     3)      Click on Add
     4)      Click on sitecore\Sitecore Client Authoring
     5)      Click OK
Similarly apply Sitecore Client Authoring to sitecoreReviewer and sitecorePublisher.

Additionally we need to assign Sitecore Client Publishing role to sitecorePublisher. sitecorePublisher should be able to publish items so this guy needs Sitecore Client Publishing role. sitecoreEditor and sitecoreReviewer won’t be able to publish any item of ProductPublishingWokflow workflow.

Now for each particular role we have to assign what items that particular user having these roles should be able to access or perform actions.
It’s good to assign access on roles rather than on user because in future if you need to create multiple user who must be able to perform similar actions than it would be easy to create by just assigning the role.
By default Read access is assigned to all the roles.
In my case MySearch is the root item and child items are in workflow. Child item’s template is MyItem template as shown in figure above to whom we have assigned the workflow in standard values items.
Here we are assigning Read and Create access to MySearch Item and Read, Write, Rename, Create and Delete access to Descendants (Sub Items / Child Items).
Similarly we assign Read, Write access to sitecoreReviewer role.
Publisher can approve/reject and publish the items, once publisher approves the item, it will be moved to Done state and it will be automatically published. So similarly provide read/write access as in sitecoreReviewer role to sitecorePublisher role.  We already have given an additional role to publisher for publishing the items so publisher can publish the items that are moved Done state incase if the item is in workflow.
Now the very important thing is we have to give proper access of workflow States to these three roles.
Let’s do step by step. First assign it to sitecoreEditor
Ok now sitecoreEditor should only be able to create, edit and submit item to reviewer so we have to assign workflow states accordingly. sitecoreEditor should not be able to Approve or Publish Items. We have already assigned security settings to ProductsPublishingWorkflow and its Descendants. So Draft State is by default applied to the sitecoreEditor. Now we have to deny read access to Awaiting Approval, Approve and Publish and Done states from sitecoreEditor roles
Similarly sitecoreReviewer should not be able to create or submit item. It should only be able to approve or reject items.
sitecoreReviewer needs Awaiting Approval State access so we already have assigned it to Workflow and its descendants so it is by default applied to Awaiting Approval state. No need to assign or deny anything to Awaiting Approval state for sitecoreReviewer.
Remove Draft, Done, Approve and Publish states access from sitecoreReviewer as reviewer is not allowed to so.
And similarly for sitecorePublisher. Sitecore Publisher won’t be able to create item. It can only approve item for publish or reject item. So we have to deny read access for Awaiting Approval and Draft State.
2)      Creating Users
Now we will create three users and assign these three roles respectively.
     1)      WebsiteEditor
     2)      WebsiteReviewer
     3)      WebsitePublisher
 
Refer this link to know how to create new roles [pg. 29] and how to create new users [pg. 15].
While creating user you will get an option to assign the roles to each user so assign the appropriate roles i.e. WebsiteEditor user will have sitecoreEditor role, WebsiteReviewer user will have sitecoreReviewer role and WebsitePublisher user will have sitecorePublisher role respectively.
Refer below screen to create a user and assigning roles.
That’s it. We are done.
You can now test it with different users.
Continued in Part-3.
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Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide: Part-1

This series is divided into three parts:
Part 1 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-1
Part 2 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-2
Part 3 : Sitecore Workflow QuickStart Guide : Part-3

Workflow in sitecore ensures that items move through a predefined set of states ­­­­before they are publishable, usually, it’s to ensure that content is reviewed appropriately before publishing on the live website.
Important things to consider in workflow are

1)      State
2)      Command
3)      Action

  • States are building blocks of the workflow. It represents steps in the workflow.
  • Commands allows users to transition content items from one state to another.
  • Actions automate functions in the workflow.

We will assign workflow to item template’s standard values so all the items that are published based on that template enters into the workflow which has to be followed.

In real scenario content item is created by one user it is then submitted and reviewed by another user, who will approve which will change the state to Approved then finally the publisher will approve and publish the item.
Workflow_1
Workflow Item follows ERP Formula.
Editor Reviewer Publisher
Editor creates item. Reviewer Approves item or Reject item.
If Item is rejected by reviewer then it will go back to Editor. If reviewer approves item it will then be in Approve and Publish state and can be approved and published by Publisher.
At the end we should have the following workflow implementation in sitecore:
1)      Creating workflow
Create a workflow using /sitecore/System/Workflows/ and enter the name
Before assigning the initial state to this workflow, we first have to create the state.
2)      Creating Workflow States
For that select workflow definition item and the select Insert from Template command and create the new workflow state using the /System/Workflow/State template.
Call the first state “Draft”.
 
Creating_Workflow_2_1
Similarly create three more workflow states –Awaiting Approval, Approve and Publish, Done.
It’s up to the requirement whether you have to create two levels or three of workflow. Here we will look at three levels of workflow where in as sitecore item reaches its final state i.e. Done then it will Auto Publish to Web Database.
At the end of this step you should have the following:
Sitecore_Workflow_2_2
Now let’s set the Initial State as a Draft.
3)      Creating Workflow Commands
To add command to a workflow
state:
Creating_Workflow_Commands_3_1

 

Creating_Workflow_Commands_3_2
Create commands as shown in below diagram.
Creating_Workflow_Commands_3_3




 

 

 

Note: You can give any valid name to commands. Commands will appear to user. For example here publisher will have access to Approve and Publish State where we have provided Approve and Reject options, instead you can provide Approve and Publish or Reject.

Now let’s set the transition from one state to another with the help of commands.
Click on Submit Command in Draft State and set the Next State to Awaiting Approval State.

 

Creating_Workflow_Commands_3_4

Similarly select Approve in Awaiting Approval and set the Next State to Approve and Publish.

Creating_Workflow_Commands_3_5
Select – Reject in Awaiting Approval State and set the Next State to Draft.
Creating_Workflow_Commands_3_6
Similarly from Approve and Publish state Approve Command will point the Next state as Done and Reject Command will point the Next State to Awaiting Approval State.
 
Note: Suppress Comment: This checkbox defines whether or not users are prompted to enter a comment when a workflow command is executed. If the checkbox is cleared, users are prompted. If the checkbox is selected, users are not prompted.
4)      Creating Workflow Actions
a.       Validation Actions
Select Approve Workflow Command, Right click and select Insert from Template Command and create the new workflow action using /System/Workflow/Validation Action template. Call the new command “Validation Action”.
Creating_Workflow_Actions_4_1
Creating_Workflow_Actions_4_2
You will get the below screen. Enter the following information in Fields.
Type Field: Sitecore.Workflows.Simple.ValidatorsAction,Sitecore.Kernel.
Max Result Allowed: Warning
The maximum response from the validator.
The possible values are:
Unknown
Valid
Suggestion
Warning
Error
CriticalError
FatalError
If the value of this field is “Error”, then items which have errors will pass, but the items which have critical errors will not pass.
Fill the error results with proper error messages that you want a user to see in case of validation errors.
Similarly add Validation Action at Approve in Approve and Publish State.
 
b.       Auto Publish Action
 
 
The data section of this workflow action contains the following fields:
Type:
The namespace.class, assembly name of the implementation class.
            For Example: Sitecore.Workflows.Simple.PublishAction, Sitecore.Kernel
Parameters:
The deep parameter that specifies whether or not the child items should be
published.
                deep=1
— publish children
                deep=0
— do not publish children
                related=1
— publish children (Sitecore 7.2 onwards)
 
 
5)      Defining Workflow Final State
Select the state which is supposed to be the final state in workflow and select the Final Checkbox in the Data field:
Only those items which are approved by publisher in Approve and Publish state will move on to Done State of workflow and it will be published automatically.
6)      Assigning workflow to a Template
It is always the best practice to assign the workflow to the standard values item of a template.
Select the Standard Fields Checkbox.
Leave the Workflow and the State field’s blank, as they will be filled automatically upon the item creation basing on the workflow settings. Leave the Lock field as it is.
Save the template and now it is ready to use with workflow support. First phase of creating a workflow is complete.
Now let’s see how to use workflow for creating-reviewing-publishing items in Part-2
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