Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Automated Publishing in Sitecore

In the time I have been working with Sitecore I have noticed that a lot of content editors are using the "Publish" button in the U.I. to publish their work, when there is a much easier way of running the publishing process.

In my mind the ideal process is that anything that is ready to be published (either in the final state of a workflow or not in a workflow) should be published automatically without the user having to do anything.

The majority of the time that I have seen this concept implemented is through the use of a workflow action, which works but it means:
  • That for each workflow you have in your site you need to associate the "publish action"
  • Out of the box your related media assets will not be published (unless you use the publishing spider module or a similar concept)
There is a simpler way. In the Sitecore configuration section of your application there is a scheduler, this scheduler can run publish jobs for you. Take a look at the configuration snippet below:

  <!-- Time between checking for scheduled tasks waiting to execute -->
  <!-- Agent to publish database periodically -->
  <agent type="Sitecore.Tasks.PublishAgent" method="Run" interval="00:02:00">
   <param desc="source database">master</param>
   <param desc="target database">web</param>
   <param desc="mode (full or smart or incremental)">
   <param desc="languages">en, da</param>
This piece of configuration (no code required) will look for new scheduled jobs every 30 seconds. It will then run an incremental publish of the English and Danish languages from master to web every 2 minutes. 

What this means for your users is that they will never need to click "publish" ever again, they will never need to worry about whether or not an image gets published or not and as a developer you get fine grained control over when and what type of publishes occur.