It was a cold January day and the Sitecore Milwaukee User Group was hosting its first meeting of the year. This time, the meetup was hosted by none other than Milwaukee Tools. Being a bit of a tool geek, I was very excited to see the Milwaukee campus, the place where some of the best hand tools in the world are designed.
The food at these user groups is usually pretty good, but the pizza this time was some of the best that I've ever had. I went for seconds and even thirds before I absolutely couldn't eat any more.
As usual, there was some swag to be handed out, this time from Milwaukee tools.
Sitecore and Docker
The first presenter was none other than Derek Dysart, one of the organizers of the Sitecore Milwaukee User Group. His presentation was on Sitecore and Docker, something that was very interesting and will likely be the future of Sitecore environments.
For those unfamiliar with Docker, it is similar to a virtual machine, but removes a lot of the bloat that comes with using a virtual machine. Virtual machines are basically a whole copy of an operating system running in a virtual environement in isolation. Because of this, they incorporate a lot of unnecessary services and resources. Docker, however, maintains isolation within the docker container, while sharing the system resources that exist outside of the container. So, the Sitecore app can run within a Docker container and be isolated, while sharing resources such as the Windows OS, IIS, SQL, etc.
Derek shared some of the things that he learned at Sitecore Symposium 2019, namely that Sitecore will begin supporting instances that run within a Docker container. A goal of Sitecore 9.3+ is to run on containers more easily, which itself shows the direction that he believes Sitecore is headed.
Derek then showed an example of a Sitecore instance running in a Docker container within an Azure server environment. He went over a few of the gotchas that he came across as he was setting up. With the growing Sitecore Docker community, using Docker for Sitecore has never been easier.
The second half of the meetup had several 5-10 minute quick presentations on various small topics that were meant for quick tips or interesting things that the presenters wanted to share with the group. I really liked this format, since the topics were more basic, and honestly more relevant to the day to day Sitecore development that I do.
Joe Oimet, one of the organizers of the Milwaukee User Group, gave the first presentation in this new, quick format. He talked about Sitecore workflows and how they can be customized. In it, he explained what some of the lesser-known fields within Sitecore workflow mean. It was a nice, quick and relevant presentation.
Custom Button to Content Editor
The next talk was presented by Phil Busch, and it was about adding a custom button to the ribbon in the Sitecore Content Editor. This is a topic that I learned while doing Sitecore certification training, but it was a good refresher.
Sitecore Chrome Extension
The next presentation was extremely relevant and useful. Geoff presented one of the most useful Sitecore tools that he found, the Sitecore Chrome extension. He demoed the extension and explained just how useful it is. I've never used this before, and after hearing his talk, I will definitely be installing it on my workstation.
Rick gave the final presentation of the night. This was more directed towards marketers, but still very interested. In it, he went over Sitecore Personalization and showed a way in which these personalization rules can be similar as predefined conditions, which is a good way to make these rules simpler for marketers who may not be as familiar with Sitecore.
This Milwaukee User group was one of the better meetings that I've been to. Thank you to Derek and Joe for putting it together and for Milwaukee tool for hosting us. I'm looking forward to the next one!