1. Start of Journey
While the temperature was on the upper node and I was enjoying my pseudo bachelorhood as my family went to India. I got a clue my next engagement would be to build, design, develop and deploy the very first Sitecore SXA implementation in the Gulf region.
As I am the co-founder of Sitecore User Group Dubai http://suguae.net and we had already arranged the "Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) for Sitecore Developers" Session from KERN HERSKIND I was familiar with SXA and Super excited at the same time.
So this is where my SXA journey Started.
2. Groundwork started
I started my ground work with Sitecore SXA version 1.5; I have installed the same and started exploring the SXA Capability; Unfortunately apart from official Sitecore SXA documentation more or less all my google result was resulting similar kind of results talking all SXA buzzword and not much detailed information on an individual topic.
This is where I planned and started writing my SXA learning via my blog post and came with a couple of quick blog posts.
Sitecore Experience Accelerator:: Restrict the Search Result only for Given Template:: Search Result Component
Sitecore Experience Accelerator :: SXA :: Using Page list Component to Display :: Articles Sorted by Custom Date
3. "Show Case" Helps a lot
I wanted to explore the way we have Habitat for Helix we definitely must of some solid implementation which acts as a demo site and reveals the hidden gems of Sitecore SXA in real life implementation.
Many thanks for Adam Najmanowicz who has already done the "Showcase" the sample Sitecore SXA Site.
I have found a couple of initial hiccups; However, with Adam Najmanowicz support I was able to get it up and running. A Detailed blog post is available @
4. "Resourcing was Challange"
While exploring the Market where I could not find a suitable candidate who has the potential to lead the overall Sitecore SXA engagement; Tried Offshore engagement however within few sprints we came to know until and unless and Sitecore Dev team and Front-End Dev Team are not co-located delivering the SXA implementation will be a nightmare.
During this tough time one fine night, I got a call from one my previous team member eyeing an opportunity in Dubai and within a day it was a deal with Mr. Tahir Ali one of finest Sitecore lead I have worked with.
We further Ramped up our and done all the Developers onboarding and crus is all of them are co-located.
5. "Zero Code Approach"
While installing "Showcase" I could not find any code base so from Day 1 I was very much clear and keen to build this enterprise level website using "Zero Code Apporch" and we followed the same we wrote very minimal code base.
5. "Over Kill of Page Content and Promo Component"
During our initial implementation, we observed that we just need only page content and promo component and by creating its rendering variant we can develop any markup and get the desired functionality.
But we reliased this soon and we learned our lessons.
6. "SXA 1.6 came as relief"
We were almost half on our milestone when Sitecore SXA 1.6 was launched. You can create customized versions of existing SXA components and it has a number of other advantages as compared to 1.5 so we have migrated to SXA version 1.6 More Details can be found here.
Always keep a milestone in your SXA project to migrate to latest version.
7. "Adam Supports are appreciated "
During this entire engagement, we were in constant connect with Adam Najmanowicz who has done review and lead and monitored this engagement.
His support is really appreciated and many thanks to him.
8. "IAAS vs PAAS "
The initial requirement was to deploy the solution on IAAS however at the time of delivery business wanted to explore the PAAS option. I will say apart form config tweak from Solr to Azure search this migration went smooth.
Now the journey has a break to get charged and and as the foundation is already done we will be rolliong out many more SXA sites in upcoming months .
Happy Sitecore SXA Journey.