Creating Hard Bounces for Sitecore Email Experience Manager in code

This week I’ve been working on integrating with a 3rd party API for when Sitecore Email Experience Manager receives a hard bounce from a contact’s email account.

Creating the processor for the <exm.recipientListManagement.add> pipeline is quite easy as per usual but mimicking a hard bounce isn’t as easy as I thought.

Over on Sitecore Slack, Pete Navarra had a good idea of sending an email to a hard bounced account like this stack overflow answer but that wasn’t an option for me as on my dev machine all the EXM emails are getting caught by my local Papercut SMTP server.

Luckily with a few messages to the rest of the team I’m working with, someone had already done this by building up a bounce message, encrypting the details and then passing it into a BouncedMessageHandler.

Here’s a snippet of code to do it:

IStringCipher stringCipher = 
  Factory.CreateObject("exmAuthenticatedCipher", true) as IStringCipher;

if (stringCipher != null)
    BouncedMessageHandler bouncedMessageHandler = 
      new BouncedMessageHandler(
    Factory.CreateObject("exm/bouncedMessagesTaskPool", true) 
       as ShortRunningTaskPool,
    Factory.CreateObject("exm/recipientListManagementTaskPool", true) 
       as ShortRunningTaskPool);

    Random random = new Random();
    string messageId = "5beff565-cccb-4a36-83ba-17f66872d770";
    string contactId = "0a53d8ce-77e1-4c30-a903-9f128535fa99";
    string emailAddress = "";

    List<Bounce> bouncedMessages = new List<Bounce>
        new Bounce
            Id = random.Next().ToString(),
            BounceReason = "reason",
            BounceType = BounceStatus.HardBounce,
            CampaignId = "",
            ContactId = stringCipher.Encrypt(contactId),
            EmailAddress = emailAddress,
            MessageId = stringCipher.Encrypt(messageId)



Creating Hard Bounces for Sitecore Email Experience Manager in code

Moving email campaigns between environments in Sitecore

I’ve been doing a lot of work with Email Experience Manager recently and when I’ve installed a package on the target environment containing the items for the campaign they don’t appear in the EXM interface even though they appear in the Sitecore tree.

One simple question over on the Sitecore Slack Channel and Steve McGill pointed me in the direction to get it fixed.

Once your items have been imported into your target environment you can go to the EXM admin page at {CMURL}/sitecore/admin/messagestatistics.aspx


You then click on the Upgrade button it will find the newly imported emails and create a Sitecore SQL campaign record if it doesn’t exist already.

You will now see your imported campaigns in Email Experience Manager.

For automated messages that I am using, there also seems to be one final link between the Campaign Item and the Email Message Item that also needs to be connected in order for tracking to work. The one way to kick this in to gear is to open the message in EXM, click on the “Full email campaign” link, click on the “Delivery” tab and then click the “Deactivate” button and then once that completes, click on the “Activate Message” button and the link between the two items will be created.


Moving email campaigns between environments in Sitecore

Sitecore Data Provider Resources

I was recently given some work to improve a Sitecore Data Provider that connects into a 3rd party DAM system called WebDAM. My first port of call was the Sitecore documentation which was only slightly helpful in explaining the theory but not really any real world examples to help me. My issue was also being unable to start from scratch as there wasn’t time for that so I headed over to Google. I pretty much spent days trawling the results for help and thought I would post the most useful links that I found as I finished my work by combining code from all of these:

The one project I struggled to get a hold of was BitsOnTheRun by Nick Wesselman. I eventually found it on the old marketplace but thought I would upload it to my Github just in case somebody else was looking for it:

Without the awesome Sitecore community I probably would have never completed the work so thanks to everyone in the links above and hopefully this post will help someone else in the community also.

Sitecore Data Provider Resources

Sitecore PowerShell script to list unused media items with a prompt for folder location

I was recently asked to produce a report of all the unused media items in Sitecore for a specific Region folder and if you have the PowerShell extensions installed then there is a great one in there called “Media items not used by content items”.

Unfortunately this takes a very long time to run if you have a huge amount of media items in your library and didn’t allow the end user to specify a folder which lead me to extend it a little bit.

By extending the original script by Michael West and adding a Read-Variable prompt it gives the end user more flexibility:

$result = Read-Variable -Parameters `
 @{ Name = "item"; Title="Analyse subitems of"; Tooltip="Folder you want to analyse."; Root="/sitecore/media library/"} `
 -Title "Find all media items that are not in use" -Width 600 -Height 200 `
 -OkButtonName "Proceed" -CancelButtonName "Abort"

Which displays like so:

sitecore powershell read item prompt

You then get a brilliant list view of the results once the script has finished which allows the end user to export as CSV, Excel etc

sitecore powershell script dialog report list

The full script can be found here:

Sitecore PowerShell script to list unused media items with a prompt for folder location

Eating Healthy Whilst Working From Home

It’s a proven fact that working from home is bad for your health. OK, that’s a lie but since going freelance I’ve completed a number of remote contracts which means I spend my brew making time raiding the cupboards for biscuits and sweets which isn’t very healthy at all.

My fix for this was to spend a silly amount of money on Nakd Bars which are just raw fruit and nuts. This was a lot healthier but it wasn’t healthy for my wallet.

If you look on the back of the packet the ingredients couldn’t be any simpler. They’re all made from Dates, Cashews and Raisins.

Ingredients of a Nakd bar

As I’m a web developer my first thought was to Google “How to make your own Nakd bars” which turns out it’s really easy and this is how you do it:

Take one cup of cashew nuts:

Cup of cashew nuts

Put them in a food processor and blend until they turn into crumbs:

Cashew nuts in blender

Take one cup of any dried berries. This time I used cranberries:

Cup of cranberries

Place them in the food processor:

Cranberries in blender

Take one cup of dried dates without the stones aka pitted dates:

Cup of dates

Put them in the food processor with the cranberries:

Dates in blender

Blend them all together for a minute or two or until all the ingredients start to clump together:

Ingredients Combined

Line a small baking sheet with some cling film:

Baking sheet lined with cling film

Put all the ingredients on the sheet and compact it all together:

Ingredients pressed onto sheet

Place it in the fridge for 3-4 hours and then take it out and cut it up into whatever size you like:

Cut into pieces

I then put them in a plastic container to store in the fridge and snack on whenever I want:

Placed in container

I’ve tried all kinds of dried fruit and nut combinations but always keep the dates. You could also add protein powder, cacao powder and chia seeds if you like too.

Your food processor needs to be pretty robust to break down the nuts and then the dates so don’t try doing this in a Nutribullet. Also, even though your dates say they are pitted there could be a rogue stone in there which will get stuck on your blade so if things are going a bit crazy in your food processor it could be that.

To get these as cheap as possible I’ve found that Aldi do the cheapest nuts and dried berries and Asda do the cheapest dates. Aldi also do a great cheap range of Spirulina, Maca and Cacao Powder.

Eating Healthy Whilst Working From Home

Join the SDL Web Community Slack

Tom Simm recently posted on the SDL Community about the possibility of an SDL Slack and it turns out there isn’t one out there yet (other than the MVP Slack). I thought this was a great idea as I know a lot of useful conversations go on in the MVP Slack (it’s not just about secret MVP things).

I also know that there are a lot of knowledgeable people out there in the SDL Web community that aren’t MVP’s and it would be great to gather all these like minded people together. So after a quick discussion with RobChris and Tom we are pleased to announce the grand opening of the SDL Web Slack team!

We’ve added channels for all the different products (#tridion, #smarttarget, #dxa) as well as #tds2017 which is for chatting about the up and coming Tridion Developer Summit.

In order to join we just need you to fill in this quick Google form which explains the guidelines of the community and then one of us will send you the link.

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to reach out to myself, RobChris or Tom.

Join the SDL Web Community Slack

SDL Web UK Meetup April 2017

This April saw the return of the UK SDL Web Meetup in Manchester which seems to be a hotbed of Tridion talent. It had only been 3 years since the last one…

First up to speak was Rob Stevenson-Legget from Building Blocks who spoke about how to set up your DD4T or DXA web application in docker containers.

Rob Stevenson-Legget from Building Blocks

It was a really interesting talk especially as using docker containers seem to be the in thing at the moment. Using it for 2013 SP1 seems to be working well and I look forward to his next talk where he has it working perfectly for SDL Web 8.5.

Second up was Jonathan Williams from Stage Two who spoke about his experience scaling SDL Web 8 in Production. It was great to hear some real world issues and see some people watching nod along as they had the same issues.

Last up was Bart Koopman, one of the Product Managers for SDL Web, and he presented a roadmap of DXA.

Bart Koopman from SDL

This talk was the one with the most audience participation which was great to see. The roadmap looks good but the key to the success has to be it’s community involvement, taking feedback from those people who have implemented DD4T and DXA many times before.

You can watch at listen to the whole meetup here (including the beer and pizza breaks):

Thanks to Stage Two for providing the refreshments and to SpaceportX for providing the free space to us.

If you would like to attend the next Meetup then make sure you get signed up. If you would like to talk then please connect with me on LinkedIn.

SDL Web UK Meetup April 2017