Configure a Sitecore xDB Cloud connection

Last updated Monday, August 7, 2017 in xDB Cloud for Developer

Sitecore xDB Cloud comes with open tenancy improvements for increased privacy in the Cloud. You connect to xDB Cloud by following the standard Sitecore configuration guidelines.

Note

Before configuring Sitecore for xDB Cloud 2.0, you must ensure that you are running Sitecore 8.0 or later and you must upgrade to the latest supported update for the Sitecore version that you are running. See the xDB Cloud service compatibility tables for the list of versions that are supported by the xDB Cloud service for new xDB Cloud customer sets.

This topic describes how to:

Request the xDB Cloud 2.0 customer set

To request an xDB Cloud 2.0 customer set, register a support ticket through the Sitecore Support portal. If you do not have a valid Sitecore certification you must contact your Sitecore Implementation Partner to register the support ticket for you. If this is not possible, contact your Sitecore representative to access the Sitecore Support portal. Ensure that you include:

  • Your License ID.
  • Your deployment ID.
  • The version of Sitecore that you are running.
  • The preferred location for your xDB Cloud environment. See the xDB Cloud Service compatibility tables for compatible data center locations. You will receive the following from Sitecore Support:
  • MongoDB connection strings: analytics, tracking.live, tracking.history, tracking.contact.
  • A Search index connection string (applicable to Sitecore 8.2.1 and later): cloud.search.
  • Reporting service settings, including the address of the service and the thumbprint of the SSL certificate.

    Important

    Save these details because you will need them when you configure xDB on your Sitecore instances.

Prepare a scaled on-premise Sitecore environment

Note

This procedure describes how to prepare a local Sitecore environment. To prepare a standalone Sitecore instance, skip to the next section.

The Sitecore xDB Cloud service for 2.0 supports scaled Content Management (CM) and Content Delivery (CD) servers. You do not need to set the database connection strings at this stage because you do it later when you configure the xDB Cloud client and connection to the xDB Cloud service.

To prepare a local scaled on-premise Sitecore environment:

  1. Download the spreadsheet that lists all of the configuration files that you must enable or disable for each server type.:

    Download the spreadsheet that lists of all the configuration files that you must enable or disable for each server type.

  2. Configure the CD servers, by following the instructions in the Configure a content delivery server topic. However, you must also:
    • Go to the Configure a content delivery server section and follow the instructions. Skip the steps that require you to set the database connection strings for MongoDB.
    • In the Config enable disable spreadsheet, consult the Content Delivery (CD) column and ensure that the relevant configuration files are enabled and disabled.
    • Refer to the Changes to configuration file settings table and update the parameter values of your configuration files accordingly.
  3. Configure the CM servers, by following the instructions in the Configure a content management server topic. However, you must also:
    • Go to the Configure a content management server section and follow the instructions. Skip the steps that require you to set the database connection strings for MongoDB.
    • In the Config enable disable spreadsheet, consult the Content Management (CM) column and ensure that the relevant configuration files are enabled and disabled.

Prepare a standalone Sitecore instance

Note

This procedure describes how to prepare a standalone Sitecore environment. To prepare a scaled on premise Sitecore environment see the previous section.

For development and demonstrations purposes, you can configure a standalone instance of Sitecore to use with xDB Cloud 2.0. Ensure that you use dedicated CD and CM instances in your production environment.

To use a Sitecore standalone instance with xDB Cloud 2.0:

  1. Ensure that the following configuration files are disabled or removed from your local installation by adding .disabled to the end of the file name.

    File path (relative to the website root)

    Configuration file name

    /App_Config/Include

    Sitecore.Analytics.Processing.Aggregation.Services.config

    /App_Config/Include

    Sitecore.Analytics.Processing.Services.config

    /App_Config/Include

    Sitecore.Analytics.Tracking.Database.ScaledCM.config

    /App_Config/Include

    Sitecore.MarketingProcessingRole.config

    /App_Config/Include

    Sitecore.PathAnalyzer.Processing.config

    /App_Config/Include/CES

    Sitecore.CES.DeviceDetection.CheckInitialization.config

    /App_Config/Include/ContentTesting

    Sitecore.ContentTesting.Processing.Aggregation.config

    /App_Config/Include/ExperienceAnalytics

    Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.Aggregation.config

    /App_Config/Include/ExperienceAnalytics

    Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.ReAggregation.config

    /App_Config/Include/ExperienceAnalytics

    Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.StorageProviders.config

    /App_Config/Include/ExperienceAnalytics

    Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.Reduce.config

  2. Follow the instructions in In Configure a content management server to use a remote Reporting Service server, to enable and disable your configuration files according to the table in the Configure Path Analyzer section: Configure Path Analyzer.

Upgrade the xDB Cloud components

To connect to xDB Cloud 2.0 you must first upgrade the cloud components on your Sitecore installation

To install the Cloud components package:

  1. In the XdbCloud folder (Website/App_Config/Include), delete the following files. If they already have the .disabled extension, it is a good idea to delete them at this point.
    • Sitecore.Cloud.Xdb.config
    • Sitecore.ContentSearch.Cloud.Index.Analytics.config
    • Sitecore.ContentSearch.Cloud.Default.IndexConfiguration.config
  2. Use the Sitecore Installation Wizard to install the package.

Configure the xDB Cloud client and connection to the xDB Cloud service

When the CD and CM instances are installed and configured, the next stage is to configure them to communicate with dedicated Azure services of Sitecore xDB Cloud.

  1. In the ConnectionStrings.config file (Website/App_Config), configure the MongoDB database connection strings by using the connection strings from the response that you received from Sitecore Support.

    Note

    For a CD instance, you do not require the tracking.history connection string. After completing step 1, you can skip to step 4.

    The MongoDB connection strings:

    • analytics
    • tracking.live
    • tracking.history
    • tracking.contact
  2. In the ConnectionStrings.config file (Website/App_Config), add the following type of connection string from the response that you received from Sitecore Support, for example:

    <add name="analytics.cloud.index" connectionString="[analytics.cloud.index connection string]"/>

    Note

    You must use the actual connection strings from the response you received from Sitecore Support.

  3. In the ConnectionStrings.config file (Website/App_Config), ensure the following connection string is removed:

    <add name="reporting" connectionString="Data Source=…"/>

  4. For versions 8.2 Update-1 and later, go to the Xdb Cloud folder (Website/App_Config/Include/), enable the following configuration files:
    • Website/App_Config/Include/XdbCloud/Sitecore.Cloud.Xdb.config
    • Website/App_Config/Include/Sitecore.ContentSearch.Azure.Index.Analytics.config
    • Website/App_Config/Include/Sitecore.ContentSearch.Azure.DefaultIndexConfiguration.config

    For versions prior to 8.2 Update-1:

    • Website/App_Config/Include/XdbCloud/Sitecore.Cloud.Xdb.config
    • Website/App_Config/Include/XdbCloud/Sitecore.ContentSearch.Cloud.DefaultIndexConfiguration.config
    • Website/App_Config/Include/XdbCloud/Sitecore.ContentSearch.Cloud.Index.Analytics.config
  5. Website/App_Config/Include/XdbCloud/Sitecore.ContentSearch.Cloud.Index.Analytics.configIn the Xdb Cloud folder (Website/App_Config/Include/), disable the following configuration files:
    • Sitecore.ContentSearch.Lucene.Index.Analytics.config
    • Social\Sitecore.Social.Lucene.Index.Analytics.Facebook.config
  6. In the Sitecore.Cloud.Xdb.config file (Website/App_Config/Include/Xdb Cloud), configure the reporting service by using the actual Service URL and SSL certificate thumbprint from the response that you received from Sitecore Support, for example:
           <httpTransportFactory patch:instead="httpTransportFactory" type="Sitecore.Cloud.Xdb.CloudBasedTransportFactory, Sitecore.Cloud.Xdb" singleInstance="true">
                <param desc="serviceUrl">[reporting service URL]</param>
                <param desc="certificateThumbprint">[SSL certificate thumbprint]</param>
            </httpTransportFactory>

Deploy marketing definitions

To complete the xDB Cloud client configuration and connection to the xDB Cloud service, you must deploy marketing definitions.

Important

If you are using the Sitecore Experience Database (xDB) functionality, you must first set the Xdb.Enabled and Xdb.Tracking.Enabled parameters to true. If you do not do this, you cannot deploy marketing definitions.

To deploy marketing definitions:

  1. On the Sitecore Launchpad, click Control Panel, Analytics, Deploy marketing definitions.
  2. In the Deploy marketing definitions dialog box, select all of the definitions and taxonomies and click Deploy.

If you do not do this, the binary data stored in the Data column in the definition tables (CampaignActivityDefinitions, GoalDefinitions), might not be compatible with Sitecore XP 8.2 rev. 170407 (Update-3).