Verify a connection to the collection database

Last updated Friday, February 26, 2016 in Sitecore Experience Platform for Developer, Administrator

When you install the Sitecore Experience Database for the first time, you do not have a pre-defined website. To test that you have a connection to MongoDB, you need to generate some local visits to your blank website. Any visits you make should appear as new interactions in the collection database.

To test your Sitecore CMS connection strings, first open your website in a web browser and check that you can log in to the Sitecore Desktop.

To verify that you have successfully made a connection to your MongoDB collection database you have to:

  • Open MongoDB and make a local visit to your website
  • Change the session end default timeout setting
  • Check MongoDB for interaction documents
  • Verify that fact and dimension tables contain data

Open MongoDB and make a local visit to your website

To check that interactions appear correctly in the collection database:

  1. Start your MongoDB database, open your MongoDB client, for example MongoVUE, and connect to the appropriate database.
  2. In MongoVUE, you can see that before any contacts visit your website, only some collections are visible.

    For example, in the following screenshot, the Analytics database appears but it does not contain any collections.

    MongoVUE tree

    The Contacts and Interactions collections are missing until your website has visits.

  3. Make a visit to your website test page and then refresh MongoDB.

    Expand the analytics database and then expand the Collections node.

    MongoVUE tree collections

In the example, you can see four new collections relating to browser and system information but there are no interaction or contact collections.

Change the session end default timeout setting

After making a test visit, you need to wait 20 minutes before the session times out and MongoDB updates with the latest changes. For testing purposes, you may want to change this default timeout setting to make data appear more quickly.

To change the default timeout setting:

  1. In the Website folder, open the web.config file.
  2. Navigate to the <sessionState node.
  3. Change the session end default timeout setting from 20 to 1 minute.
    <sessionState mode="InProc" cookieless="false" timeout="1">.

Note

It is important that you only change the default timeout setting for testing purposes. For optimum performance restore the default session end timeout setting as soon as possible.

Check MongoDB for interaction documents

After changing the default session end timeout setting, make a visit to your website and then refresh MongoDB. Interaction data should now appear in your MongoDB documents after one minute.

  1. Refresh the MongoDB database again. After a short time, you should see the Contacts, Devices, and Interactions collections added to MongoDB.

    MongoVUE tree contacts and devices

  2. Right click Interactions and then click View to see all the interactions on your website.

    In the following example, five interactions are stored in the collection. Expand one of these interactions to view data relating to the pages visited. The visit in the following screenshot consists of two page views.

    Picture 1

Verify that fact and dimension tables contain data

Before you can verify that fact and dimension tables contain pre-aggregated data, ensure that you have data stored in the collection database and have configured your processing server correctly.

  • Query one of the SQL Server fact tables, such as Fact_PageViews, and view all rows to check that it contains data. If the table contains analytics data, the processing layer is working correctly.

    Picture 3

Note

If you do not see any data in the Fact_ tables, check the ConnectionStrings.config on the processing server to see if the analytics connection string to MongoDB is configured correctly and that you have data in the collection database.

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