Web Development

Advantages of Sitecore from Four Perspectives

When searching for an enterprise content management system, the market can be overwhelming. As one of the leaders in the field, Sitecore stands out among the others, providing advantages for entire organizations. As a Sitecore Gold Partner, Roundedcube has outlined some of the high level advantages to Sitecore from four team perspectives; executives, developers and IT, marketing and content management.

February 03, 2016
Sitecore, Web Development, Digital Marketing, Web Strategy, User Experience Design

Creating A Custom Save Action for Sitecore WFFM

In my last blog post I covered the beginning steps of a Sitecore WFFM and Salesforce integration. In this post I would like to expand on that topic by sharing how to create a custom save action for Salesforce.

Sitecore allowed the Web Forms for Marketers (WFFM) module to let you create simple data collection forms. This WFFM module comes with some prebuilt functions that will act on the data being submitted through the form by a visitor. Two of the most common save actions are “Save to Database” and “Send Email Message”.

January 06, 2016
Sitecore, Web Development

Integrating Salesforce and Sitecore WFFM

Salesforce, a popular Customer Relationship Management (CRM) online application, allows companies to track sales and customer relationships while expanding and managing their business operations. It’s a powerful tool that can become even more powerful when integrated with a company’s website. It's a common practice for Roundedcube to integrate Salesforce and Sitecore. I thought it might be helpful to share a few steps of this process.

November 30, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development

Maximizing Sitecore Engagement Analytics Site Health Reports

Sitecore Engagement Analytics Reports is divided into three areas: Sales, Site Health, and Recent Activity. This post we will focus on the Site Health area of Engagement Analytics. The goal of this post is to understand how to use these reports practically and how marketers can depend on these reports to identify specific pitfalls within their audience’s experience. If you are currently in the developing process of your Sitecore solution, the development team should keep these reports in mind to ensure that marketers can start leveraging these reports to their maximum to identify potential problem areas directly after the launch of the site.

November 17, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development, Digital Marketing

Introducing Sitecore 8.1

To put it simply, Sitecore 8.1 is the latest version of Sitecore that offers quality enhancements since 8.0 and tighter integration of all the features released since 7.5. But even more importantly, it marks the arrival of two new offerings designed to service two distinct types of customers.

November 03, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development, Context Marketing, Digital Marketing

kentico cms

A Partner’s Take on the Future of Kentico

Roundedcube prides itself on our highly focused mission: providing the digital experience our customers need and want. To do this, we focus almost exclusively on three platforms and CMS technology partners – Umbraco, Kentico, and Sitecore. I often speak of these as three flavors: Umbraco is our license free, open-source extensible CMS. Kentico is a proprietary platform that offers fully loaded CXM capabilities for a great value and Sitecore is the unparalleled leader in the enterprise .NET CMS/CXM space. These three options provide a solution for every size, every need, and every budget.

October 27, 2015
Web Development, Web Strategy, Kentico

5 Frequently Overlooked Sitecore Features

Sitecore has been around for a long time. I've been working with the platform since 2005 and I have seen tons of improvements throughout the years. I have noticed that there have been many features that seem to have gotten lost along the way. Here are a few of the features that you may have forgotten about that deserve a second look:

September 09, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development, Web Strategy, Context Marketing

Understanding Sitecore as a Code Less Platform

One of the many reasons why Sitecore remains a leader in the WCM/CMS/CXM space is because of its foundation as a .NET framework. In the development industry, Sitecore is known as a codeless platform, not to be confused with a platform requiring no code, such as Squarespace or other SaaS for website creation. Instead, think of Sitecore as a platform that can be used to standardize your approach, simplify MVC architecture, separate design from content and code-behind from mark-up. It can also provide a single point of application integration and speed-up both development and deployment efforts.

September 01, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development, Web Strategy

How to Do a Quick Sitecore Self-Audit

Whatever your reason for a self-audit is, it's prudent to do a review of your Sitecore implementation to make sure it addresses your needs. I know that it can be expensive to do a full review when sometimes you only need to get a temperature check, so here's a quick guide on what to look for. As a disclaimer, this guide is not a replacement to a full audit and evaluation by an experienced Sitecore architect. If you feel a need for such, give us a call and let's see how we can help.

August 24, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development, Web Strategy

Testing Tools: A Look at the QA Arsenal

Testing a website is about more than just intuition. A QA resource must review and test requirement-driven features and often times perform pixel-precise measurements to confirm the site being reviewed is free of errors. This is why it is important that QA resources are properly equipped with an ever-changing array of tools to assist them in these measurements and observations. At Roundedcube, the QA Department uses a number of tools, including bug-tracking resources and browser extensions to fully ensure the quality of our products.

July 22, 2015
Web Development, Web Strategy

Google’s Mobile Imperative: Put Usability First

It’s been called the “Mobilegeddon” by the blogosphere: A Google search algorithm change that threatens to punish sites without mobile capability. Google has long set the bar for website usability, punishing confusing click bait and spam as it indexes and ranks the world’s websites and offering guides to Mobile Best Practices to put usability first, but this feels drastically different. First of all it’s very public and not something that is seeping up slowly over time from the SEO community. Many changes in the past were incremental and done quietly, announced after the fact in some cases -- the loss or gain of website traffic based on algorithm tweaking was likely not felt at all by marketers. This one seems bigger and the reason is that it affects most of your websites traffic.

April 21, 2015
Digital Marketing, Web Development, User Experience Design, Web Strategy

The D.E.B.S.C.I. Bug Reporting Format

As QA, we've all run across it at one time or another - a user enters a bug that is incredibly vague and leaves us clueless as to what the problem is. It's a sentence, or a fragment of a sentence, or a blank bug with the title "Page Got Broke" and an attached screenshot of a seemingly normal page (to you, at least). As a QA Resource who has interacted with outdated bug tracking systems and little guided structure on how to enter a bug, this issue can be persistent and troublesome. The time spent on back and forth between the client and resource, trying to squeeze all the information that is needed out of them could better be spent on resolving or discussing the issue with the development team as necessary.

April 09, 2015
Web Strategy, Web Development

Exploring Sitecore 8: From A Developer’s Perspective

From a developer’s perspective, there are a lot of changes in Sitecore 8. Some of these changes are visible to all users and some are behind the scenes for only developers to experience. 

March 17, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development

Exploring Sitecore 8: The Upgrade Path

Using old software can be a challenge. Upgrading to a more current version of the software and getting used to the “new” ways in which it has been enhanced can also be a challenge. Sitecore 8 is no different but it does have some compelling reasons to make the move.

March 05, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development, Web Strategy

Exploring Sitecore 8: Versioned Layouts

One of the new features of Sitecore 8 that is of interest is the introduction of versioned layouts. First, the term 'versioned layouts' is a bit misleading. Based on discussions with a few users familiar with the tool, it seems the term leads to an expectation of creating actual layout versioning for an item, rather than creating layout instances for an item's language version, which is the basis of this feature. So, for the sake of clarity within this post, I will refer to this feature as 'Language Version Layouts'. With that being said, lets delve more into this feature.

March 04, 2015
Sitecore, Web Development

Inaugural St. Louis Sitecore User Group a Success

We just wrapped up our first official meeting of the St. Louis Sitecore User Group and I couldn't be more pleased with the member turn-out, engaging conversations, and panelist insights! If you missed it, we'll try to catch you up. We hope you'll join us next time.

February 26, 2015
Digital Marketing, Sitecore, Company News, User Experience Design, Web Development, Web Strategy

Sharepoint as Your CMS? Find a CXM Platform to Replace It

As Microsoft moves Sharepoint from on-premise software to a SaaS subscription model, many companies will need to take a good look at their external Sharepoint implementations.

Sharepoint users will need to ask themselves some of the following questions: Will Microsoft continue to support Sharepoint through 2016? Is a Sharepoint upgrade even an option? Shouldn’t my business users get a say in the new direction of our web strategy?

February 24, 2015
Web Strategy, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

8 Tips for a Smooth Sitecore Upgrade

Like any software company, Sitecore is constantly updating their product to improve features, create better security and provide faster performance. Upgrading is inevitable. Although it is best to have someone with experience and Sitecore specific expertise to do the upgrade, it’s not always possible, and you may find yourself facing the upgrade. These tips can help make your upgrade process go smoother than it might otherwise.

June 25, 2014
Sitecore, Web Development

honey pot trap captcha

Stop Bots from Spamming Your Client's CAPTCHA

As a web developer, taking measures to prevent spammers from flooding form requests on a website is definitely a best practice that should be kept in mind. As with technology, spamming software has expanded and improved over time. Hackers are getting smarter day by day, modernizing the way bots react to spam prevention to keep above the curve. I learned this when one of our clients reported that their contact us forms were being spammed. After some research, I found a way to prevent this.

May 14, 2014
Web Development, Web Strategy

Web Development

Extending a Sitecore Field with a Custom Class

Have you ever wanted to dynamically set the source for a Sitecore field, such as a Treelist or a Droplist, but didn't quite get the results you wanted? The best solution is to extend the Sitecore field, by creating a custom class that inherits from the desired field type. Here is how it is done.

March 18, 2014
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Building the Sitecore PNG Optimizer Module

One of the Cubers, Jason, mentioned to me that it would be great if there was a way to easily optimize images within Sitecore. He was using a free online service but it was cumbersome. So, I set out to do a quick solution and this module is the result. Check it out and download it from the Sitecore Marketplace. The Visual Studio 2010 solution is available for download at the end of this post.

November 25, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development

Kentico Certified Partner

Development Team Keeps Up with Kentico

As a Kentico Certified Partner, Roundedcube provides Kentico CMS implementation, customization, integration and training services. Kentico CMS for ASP.NET is a full-featured web content management system providing a complete set of features for building web sites, intranets, extranets, on-line stores and community sites on the Microsoft ASP.NET platform.

November 15, 2013
Web Development

Sitecore Blog

10 Ways to Make Your Sitecore Implementation More User-Friendly

In one of my previous posts, I discussed what you should look for to determine if your Sitecore project is in trouble. I mentioned specific signs to gauge whether the project is going to be a success or not in terms of implementation. However, it doesn't address one of the biggest success factors in CMS implementation: the intended users should be able to manage the content easily and intuitively.

November 08, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Sitecore Tidbits: Link Provider/Resolver and Placeholder/Settings

Link Provider and Resolver go hand in hand. If you create one, you need to create the other. Sitecore comes with a default provider that gives you a nice, SEO-friendly URL. The Resolver reads those same URLs and translates them to find the content item in the CMS. When Item Buckets came along (which is now standard in Sitecore 7), they used a provider that may have been used for news items. Because bucket items, by default, are stored based on the date/time they were created (it creates a hierarchy of folders from year all the way down to seconds), the default provider within Sitecore will show you those date-based folders. So, to make the URL a bit friendlier, item buckets used the news link provider that essentially removes the date-based folders. The Resolver, on the other hand, finds the appropriate item by traversing the date-based folders

March 27, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Installing a .NET 4.5 Web App: Type Mismatch Error

This post is actually not Sitecore specific; however, I encountered the following situation while I was installing Sitecore 7. I received a Lucene.Net.Util.Version error saying that it could not be loaded, as there was a type mismatch.

March 22, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Common Sitecore Mistakes for New Developers

For those who have experience implementing Sitecore, this post is not for you. Sitecore has been very busy evangelizing and "selling" Sitecore and we now have a vast community of new Sitecore developers and users. For those new to Sitecore, I’ve written out a list of some common mistakes to avoid. Just like riding a bike, once you learn these, they will come naturally.

March 06, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Sitecore UI vs New Windows Look

This post is not so much about Sitecore, but rather focuses on how Microsoft has gone back to a very utilitarian look with their most recent set of applications. Sitecore has traditionally followed Microsoft's lead on "user-experience" and ease-of-use, which leads me to wonder, will Sitecore again follow suit?

February 28, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Signs that Your Sitecore Implementation Project is in Trouble

I have to warn you now that this first part is going to be a bit "salesy" and self-indulgent. The thought is that if the signs I mention below exist within your Sitecore implementation, you may want to call us. There, I'm done with my plug and on to the real story. Remember, this post is really meant for implementation teams to catch issues early and mitigate them before they get worse.

February 22, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Sitecore Tidbits: Rules, Traffic Types, Item Buckets Search, and Refresh WFFM Action

Today I am introducing a new blog series called Sitecore Tidbits. Every post will be a collection of various topics from simple UI enhancements to complex architectures. There won't be a specific topic per post but mostly a channel for me to share specific experiences with Sitecore development. Once in a while, you'll see other Roundedcube "Cubers" contribute or even have their own post under this umbrella. So, I hope you enjoy it and let us know if there are any specific tidbits you want us to discuss. Also, since I won’t get too deep in any of these, just post a question in the comment section and I'll reply as soon as I can.

February 21, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development, Digital Marketing

Sitecore Blog

First Impression: Telligent Starter Kit

It's amazing when best-of-breed applications come together to form a solution. The Telligent platform and Sitecore are a perfect match to provide a holistic solution for certain organizations.

January 25, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development, Web Strategy

Sitecore Blog

10 Resolutions for Sitecore Developers

Happy New Year! It is time for resolutions and here are ten that I think Sitecore developers should consider for 2013. If you have your own Sitecore developer resolutions for 2013, please share them with us in the comments below.

January 02, 2013
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

3 Tips for New Sitecore Architects

As more web developers come into the Sitecore community, I have seen a conceptualization gap from a .NET developer who is not use to building websites within a CMS such as Sitecore. The realization that the web solution of a CMS is not the same as building an application from the ground up takes a couple of failed implementation to convince.

December 19, 2012
Sitecore, Web Development

Conducting Successful UAT as a team- Bridging the Last Mile in your project

In the Telecommunications industry, there's a saying, "the last mile is the longest mile."  It is used to denote the so-called Information "bottleneck" when data traveling over high-speed fiber for example hits the bandwidth limitations on the last link of the journey before reaching the customer. The phrase is evocative and from its original connotation in the world of bits and bytes and  fiber and copper  it is now used to describe a phenomena that can affect any human endeavor, from bridge building to film making to website design and development.

November 12, 2012
User Experience Design, Web Development, Web Strategy

Sitecore Blog

Rendering Data Source Saved as Path Can Cause Trouble in Sitecore

As the number of Sitecore 6.5 implementations ramp up and we transition more users into the use of Page Editor, we've recently uncovered a problem with the default handling of how a data source is saved that can cause alot of problems for content authors if not addressed.

June 22, 2012
Sitecore, Web Development

Web Development

Umbraco v5 Development is Now Dead

Watching Niel Hartvig's CodeGarden keynote speech:

-- Flawed!

-- Biz Layer... needs to go away... Ben laughs!!!

-- Too complicated...

-- Wow.

June 13, 2012
Web Development

Quality Assurance is a Crucial Step in the Web Development Process

There are a number of factors to consider during a web project. We frequently discuss user experience, manageability, marketing and web content management systems, but what about quality assurance?

May 31, 2012
Web Strategy, Web Development

Web Development

Devblog: Searching Sitecore Content using Lucene

When you need to search content within Sitecore, you have a few options available. You can use Google Custom Search, or the more involved Search Appliance (a.k.a. Google Mini). The later is an actual rack-mountable server that you must configure outside of any programming code. Another option, and the title of this blog, is to use the search feature within Sitecore itself.

August 30, 2011
Web Development, Sitecore

Web Development

Support Service is not "Just Fix It!"

As the manager of our newly formed Support Services department at Roundedcube, I was thinking about what “support” means to our clients. Sure we work on Sitecore, Elcom, Umbraco, .NET applications and the like, but many companies can do those things. In Support Services we also have many different types of clients; we specialize in warranty work on projects that we have completed (yes, Roundedcube provides a warranty on our work) to “ad hoc” time & material projects with our clients and retainer work.

August 26, 2011
Web Development

Web Development

Your Markup: Don’t Remove It, Improve It With HTML5

The web development and design world has been abuzz about HTML5, kind of like how “Web 2.0” was all the rage waaaay back in 2007.

April 20, 2011
Web Development

microcontrollers

Microcontrollers: Where the Real World Meets the Digital

Over the past few years, the ability, usability, availability, and lower cost of electronics have increased tremendously. Specifically, the use of what is called “Microcontrollers” (MCU) has allowed amazing things to happen. These are also referred to as Programmable Logic Controllers, and Embedded Processors. I like to compare the use of MCU’s today with such initiatives as the “mobile” web. Both of these technologies have been around for a while now and are not only coming of age, but their future is beyond being merely “promising.” The cost of these MCU devices can be extremely affordable and their uses seem limitless.

March 16, 2011
Web Development

Responsive Design

Apps are the Future of Web Content, and not just with Phones

I am usually not one to get out my crystal ball and predict things. Not seriously, anyway. But very rarely something will hit me (“very rarely” here meaning “once”) that make so much profound sense that it’s like an epiphany. It’s like I’m given an actual vision of the future.

December 08, 2010
Web Development, Web Strategy, User Experience Design

Windows Live Spaces Moving to Wordpress

Windows Live Spaces Moving to WordPress?

You may have heard this already, especially if you’re a Windows Live blogger, Windows Live is “upgrading” it’s blog service using WordPress. How convenient?

October 26, 2010
Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Tackling Fallback Fields and Values in Sitecore

I recently had the opportunity to fight with …. Err … learn about globalization within Sitecore. If you don’t know what Globalization is within Sitecore, then you are reading the right article, because your knowledge on the subject is the same as mine was when I first started working with it. I almost viewed it as the scary monster under my bed, about to tear my feet off the moment the light goes out.

August 12, 2010
Sitecore, Web Development

Sitecore Blog

Developing with Sitecore Foundry 3 - Tips for Success

Let me preface this post by saying that Roundedcube has a lot of Sitecore CMS implementations under our belt (we've actually lost count I think), but in the last year and a half we've been involved with a couple Sitecore Foundry implementations. We quickly realized that while the two products share a common foundation, developing a solution with Sitecore Foundry is a different beast than with Sitecore CMS. My hope is to share some of the most significant differences we've encountered to help you overcome the same issues in your solution development.

June 24, 2010
Sitecore, Web Development

Selecting a Web Content Management

Key Features to Evaluate When Selecting a Web Content Management System

In the last 8+ years of designing and developing WCM (or CMS, choose your favorite acronym) -based websites, we at Roundedcube have seen an evolving theme of key features to evaluate to make the best choice for your organization.

May 27, 2010
Web Strategy, Web Development

Web Development

Roundedcube is Second in U.S. to Become an Umbraco Certified Solution Provider

We're proud to announce that Roundedcube is officially a "Certified Solution Provider" for Umbraco - an open source CMS based on Microsoft's ASP.NET.

January 29, 2010
Web Development, Company News

Web Development

CSS: Separating Presentation and Content

In the old days of the web a site's presentation was entirely hard-coded in the HTML. It had handy things like font tags which is what one used to say what face the text was in, what color, size, and so forth.

May 05, 2008
Web Development

Open ID Web Application

Open ID is Becoming More Common in Web Application Development

Here is an interview with Simon Willison who is an Open ID advocate at the Future of Web Apps 2007 Conference in London, UK. Has some good information on Open ID and how it's becoming more common in web applications today.

March 26, 2008
Web Development, Web Strategy

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