Journey Into the Aggregation Process

Pack your bags and get ready for an exhilarating trip through Sitecore Experience Platform’s data aggregation process. This introductory post will help you and your team get on board with the basics of data movement as a site visitor becomes an important data point in understanding customer engagement with your brand. http://www.paragon-inc.com/resources/blogs-posts/journey_into_the_aggregation_process

 

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PowerShell v2 ISE and Windows Server 2008 R2

After I have gotten my SQL Server installed, I decided the next step in building out the environment was to add some local users with different permissions for services and testing.

Instead of going through and manually clicking to add each of these new users, I decided why not learn a little more PowerShell. So the first thing I did was go to the ‘start globe’ (I know it is not the start menu, but the official/proper name escapes me plus I like the sound of ‘start globe’) and entered ‘PowerShell ISE’ in the search bar…..a few second later nothing, no results.

Since I was more concerned with developing, I went out and downloaded PowerGUI (http://powergui.org). Well, I have returned to the issue really wanting to use the built in ISE that is provided, so with some better googling I found an article on TechNet (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd759217.aspx) which provides an overview of the ISE for Window Server 2008 R2.

The article reviews what the PowerShell ISE is and why it is beneficial for both beginners and advance users. One of the last sentences contains the missing information I was looking for…" Windows PowerShell ISE is an optional feature." Now, I know why I couldn’t find it!!

So to get the ISE for use, the steps are simple and straight forward.

1. Open Server Manager

2. In the left-hand navigation tree select Features

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3. Next click Add Features. This will launch the "Add Features Wizard"

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4. Scroll down until you find Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE).

5. Click the check box and then click Next

6. Click Install

7. Now get up and do a few jumping-jacks to keep from getting leg clots, while the progress bar fills…..1…2…3…4…you can do 10, I have confidence in you.

8. Click Close once installation has finished.

9. A search for ISE now gives you two options

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10. Now we can use the PowerShell ISE for development.

Now we can create scripts in a pretty environment, but what about running them. If you have just written a simple or for that matter complex script to perform some task, let’s say to write the all popular "Hello World!" to the screen. Your script might look like the following:

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Now click the little green arrow or click F5. If your system is fresh the following error message most likely came up:

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[For the search engine sake the message reads: File cannot be loaded because the execution of scripts is disabled on this system. Please see "get-help about_signing" for more details.]

Well, now this is a problem all we wanted to do was to greet the world from our machine….My understanding is that by default and for good reason PowerShell no matter what level user you are will not run a script that has not been digitally signed. You can run your PowerShell prompt as administrator and you will still get this message. It is a security feature to make sure you understand and know what you are about to run. This is great if you grandmother is about to run a script called ‘CatInTheCeiling.ps1’ because her friend told her it was the cutest thing in the world.

But for you and I, who actually want to accomplish some work on our development machine, this is a big slow down. We don’t want to spend the time trying to digitally sign a small PowerShell script.

The solution is quite simple, only a few steps:

1. Open a PowerShell command prompt or use the bottom window in the ISE.

2. Run this command: Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

3. Approve the warning

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[For the search engine: The execution policy helps protect you from scripts that you do not trust.]

4. And you are done.

To reverse this setting use the Default option instead of Unrestricted.

For further details on the Set-ExecutionPolicy cmdlt check out its entry on MSDN at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd347628.aspx.

My Shiny Black Laptop

I have recently become the proud parent of a Lenovo ThinkPad T510. I find it to be quite cute and very slick looking, were as my wife has a different opinion, and I quote, “It is soo ugly! And what is with the tacky red dot?” (I feel it must be noted this was within minutes of removing it from the packaging.) I then had to explain it wasn’t bought for its fashionably good looks but rather for the secret power within it, yet I continue to get a small eye roll every time I get it out.

My greatest complaint so far is with the keyboard. The keyboard feels a little on the squished side, but has very nice feeling keys which type soft with just enough click noise and feed back to make you realize there is structure to the whole chassis. What I find most aggravating is that the left Control key is not placed on the outside edge of the keyboard (directly under the Shift) but slid in wards with the emphasis laptop Function key sitting in the normal place.

As a developer I do a lot of copy and paste (write one copy often) which leads to a lot of stop think and readjust the hand to properly copy and past. If you know of a way to change key functions leave a comment, I would love to turn the function key into a control key to save myself a lot of grief.

On a positive note, the non-glare screen is very nice, you still have a little reflection when in bright sunlight but is very ghostly/shadow like and hasn’t hurt my ability to work. Even wearing sunglasses allows the screen to be easily seen in all light conditions.

I have not had a lot heat issues as of yet, but I still haven’t gotten into a lot of heavy processing, I’m still in that love stage of setup…I try to return to this issue in a few weeks after running SASS cubes and SharePoint BI. The 9-cell battery upgrade has added some bulk but as I’ve done setup and install procedures I have gotten in the 7 hour realm of battery life which I think is fantastic.

So now to unveil the specs of this machine:

Processor: Intel Core i5 M540 2.53Ghz
RAM: 4 GB
Screen: 15.6 anti-glare (1600×900)
2 mega-pixel camera
500 GB Hard drive 7200 rpm
Bluetooth Antenna
NVIDIA 3100M 512MB discrete graphics

The Windows Experience Index rated the system at 4.9 with the following scores:

Calculations per second – 6.8
Memory Operations per second – 5.9
Graphics – 4.9
Gaming Graphics – 5.9
Primary Hard Drive – 5.9

I am currently running Windows 7 Professional ( the 64-bit version of course) with all of the 2010 Office Client stack and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate. For virtualization of developer servers I am running the latest version of VMPlayer. So far I have not run into any gotchas involving this stack of software. For virus and malware protection I am relying on Microsoft Security Essentials, as I feel it has a smaller footprint then some of the other free virus protection. The Windows 7 Homegroup feature allowed this new machine to immediately start sharing files and printers with the other machines on my home network, and has made it very easy to move over old files I had on those other machines, someone really thought that feature set out.

As I continue to use the machine I’ll post updates, but so far I would highly recommend the system to anyone looking to purchase a lot of power on a tight budget. (Especially if looks aren’t a priority.)