Empowered Ideas

We believe that education is power. That's why it's our priority to keep you informed and educated so your technology can work for you. Luckily, we have some of the industry's leaders in design and technologies, who are passionate about what they do and eager to share it with you. Don't forget to fill out the email form, if you have subjects you'd like to learn about from our experts.

Sitecore 8.2 Get mailing list from MailChimp API

Posted by Xing Liu on 3/20/2017

Recently, there was a project requirement that needed to get a list of email addresses from a MailChimp account’s existing list.  


Fostering a strong company culture with weekly team discussions

Posted by Miranda Singler on 2/16/2017

Here at Symsoft, we have weekly team discussions to talk about what kind of work we’re doing, and swap stories about our lives.


Sitecore Search API Boost by Date Range

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 2/9/2017

With Sitecore’s Search API, boosting by date range may seem like a simple a straightforward thing to do.


Field Editor Customization in Sitecore 8

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 12/28/2016

I’m sure that many of you have worked with Experience Editor and have used Sitecore’s built-in functionality to spawn a “Field Editor” modal window.


GlassMapper and Remote Events

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 12/27/2016

As I was working on a project recently, I realized that when using GlassMapper in events that are triggered remotely, I was getting a fairly odd error.


Web design brainstorming through a Google Design Sprint

Posted by Miranda Singler on 12/1/2016

Earlier this month we did a five day design sprint with Marko Dugonjic, a visiting User Experience designer from Creative Nights.


Multilist with Search Field in Experience Editor

Posted by Xing Liu on 11/8/2016

In one of our Sitecore implementations using Sitecore version 8.1 Update-3, we have created a multilist with search field for one of my data templates and it worked fine in the Content Editor. 


A Sprint Retrospective: Creating a quick prototype with agile

Posted by Miranda Singler on 10/3/2016

We recently built a web prototype in two short weeks by following an agile


Sitecore Databases in Amazon RDS

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 9/1/2016

UPDATE: As of July 2016, Amazon RDS fully supports backup and restoration of MS SQL Server backup files. This is a very welcome new feature!


Add Workbox Button to Sitecore Minimal Experience Editor

Posted by Xing Liu on 8/26/2016

Sometimes we want to restrict content authors’ access to the Experience Editor ribbon because we don’t want to create too much distraction for the authors.


Web Project Communication: Take the time to explain why

Posted by Miranda Singler on 7/18/2016

How do you build trust and communications with your web development team? 


Lucene Search Content Field

Posted by Xing Liu on 6/8/2016

Sitecore provides content search API for developers to create their custom search interface in their Sitecore websites.  


Outlining for Web Design - A Piece of Cake

Posted by Miranda Singler on 6/2/2016

Here at Symsoft we design some fairly complicated websites. We have to consider factors like personalization, interaction points, user-generated content, and scalability.


Sitecore Max Lucene Query Clause Count

Posted by Xing Liu on 4/14/2016

If you have encountered this following error: TooManyClausesException.  It’s probably because your lucene query exceeded the max class count setting.


Turning Off Analytics in Sitecore 8.1

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 4/8/2016

How do you turn off analytics in Sitecore 8.1? I’ve been asked this question many times now, so I’ll write a quick post about it.


Lucene Sitecore Fields with Spaces

Posted by Xing Liu on 4/1/2016

While working with the Lucene content search API, we encountered an issue trying to search the field content that set storage type to YES. 


Using the Sitecore Links Database

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 3/25/2016

Sitecore’s Links database is actually a very useful tool when you are dealing with a lot of data and have to come up with creative ways to get information from Sitecore quickly.


Sitecore Custom Index Computed Field

Posted by Xing Liu on 2/19/2016

In our previous Sitecore application, we sometimes need to have a custom computed index field based on the business requirements.


Choose The Right Chart

Posted by Miranda Singler on 12/14/2015

When building out data visualizations, choosing and sorting through data can be a big task. But once that’s done, how do you decide the most appropriate visualization for your data?


Sitecore 8 Dev and SPEAK Pre-Compilation

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 11/23/2015

If you’re an avid Sitecore developer, you’ll quickly realize that the initial load times for Sitecore 8 are a bit longer than in previous versions of Sitecore.


Sitecore 8 Upgrade Image Size Issue

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 11/16/2015

In versions of Sitecore prior to 7.5, many of us have used parameters in Sitecore’s controls (i.e. sc:image) to alter the size of an image. All works well if you use this strategy for image resizing.


Sitecore MVC Controller Rendering

Posted by Xing Liu on 11/13/2015

This blog post will describe the steps on how to create controller rendering in Sitecore MVC.  One of the benefits of using controller rendering is to set aside the complex logic in the MVC controller.


Sitecore 8 Experience Editor with jQuery

Posted by Xing Liu on 10/16/2015

In the Sitecore 8 development, often times we encounter jQuery error such as “$ is not defined” when the page is in the Preview or Editor mode.


Index Rebuild Stops Abruptly in Sitecore

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 9/15/2015

While performing a large Sitecore upgrade, we ran across an issue during the step that required us to rebuild the search indexes. It seemed that after a few minutes of working as it should, the index rebuilding process would stop abruptly.


SymCal Event Calendar Module for Sitecore 8

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 9/8/2015

For those of you who have been using our SymCal Event Calendar Module for Sitecore 6 and 7, we have recently uploaded a new version of the module that supports Sitecore 8.


Sitecore Items Publishing Order

Posted by Xing Liu on 9/8/2015

When you publish Sitecore content tree items, you need to make sure that you publish the items in a certain order.  


Tips for rapid UX prototyping

Posted by Miranda Singler on 8/13/2015

Here at Symsoft, we do a lot of brainstorming on whiteboards and even paper. It gets us to literally “think outside the box” of our own computer screens to quickly figure things out together.


Sitecore Media Upload Permissions Issue

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 8/7/2015

If you’re using Sitecore 7.2 (or 7.5), you’ll notice that the traditional interface for browsing through media items has been improved. What was once the traditional SHEER version of the media browse/upload user interface has now become a more attractive SPEAK version.


Using Creative Cloud with AEM assets

Posted by Mark Aplet on 7/16/2015

My role at SymSoft primarily revolves around user interface design and the implementation of that design into useable front-end code. I get excited when there are new tools or processes that allow me to create and develop projects quicker or more efficiently.


Sitecore Render Image with Glass Mapper

Posted by Xing Liu on 7/3/2015

In Sitecore, since it handles the media items through media url, there are query string parameters to control the media item’s properties.


Sitecore Workflow Auto Publish Media Items

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 7/3/2015

When you install a default Sitecore 7 instance, you will notice that there is a “Sample Workflow” already configured for you. The final step of this workflow has an “Auto Publish” action, which automatically publishes an item once it reaches the final step of workflow.


Reveal the Meaning within Your Data

Posted by Miranda Singler on 5/27/2015

When paired with data visualizations, storytelling can reveal meaningful messages within your data to provide better understanding and incentive for positive transformations within your organization.


Sitecore 8 Experience Platform Upgrade

Posted by Xing Liu on 5/15/2015

Sitecore 8 Experience Platform provides a completely new user interface and whole new set of features.  In order to upgrade to Sitecore 8, there are some major steps you need to consider.


Custom Sitecore Rich Text Editor Styles

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 5/11/2015

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a WYSIWYG editing experience is to make sure that the CSS that is used for your website is the same CSS that is used for your rich text editor. In Sitecore, this is pretty easy to accomplish through configuration.


Sitecore WFFM Permissions for Page Editor

Posted by Xing Liu on 4/24/2015

If you have ever encountered a permission error in page editor while inserting form or MVC form, it is probably because you are missing a WFFM role.


SymSoft ready for Mobilegeddon

Posted by Mark Aplet on 4/22/2015

April 21st is a pretty big day for most organizations because it kicks off a major shift in Google's search algorithm.


Relocate Links from Sitecore Branch

Posted by Xing Liu on 3/6/2015

Sitecore branches are great when it comes to creating default content.  You can create a default content structure based on different user scenarios.


Introduction To Microdata

Posted by Mark Aplet on 1/5/2015

It’s a good idea to optimize your website for search engines. For most people, search engines provide the primary entry point for website content.


Dynamic Placeholders for Sitecore MVC

Posted by Xing Liu on 1/5/2015

We all know that placeholders are an integral part of Sitecore, allowing us to add various components on a page that we have developed.


Automating Sitecore Builds using Jenkins

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 12/23/2014

It is often an expensive task to manually publish both code and content for a Sitecore site manually to an integration environment.


SymSoft New Logo Release

Posted by Xing Liu on 12/10/2014

SymSoft has released a revised logo, a mark that reflects, perhaps a little more closely, who we are as a company and partner.


Using GlassCast for Sitecore Items

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 11/28/2014

One very useful Glass Mapper method is called GlassCast. This method is essentially used to convert a regular Sitecore.Data.Items.Item into an Glass Mapper object that you have created.


Add Custom Classes to Sitecore WFFM

Posted by Xing Liu on 11/21/2014

In the Form Designer property panel, there is an option “CSS Class ” for you to choose which css class to apply.


Disable Language Embed in Sitecore Links

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 11/14/2014

Because Sitecore is a CMS that supports multiple languages, you may often notice that links generated from code have the language specified in the link (for example, 'en').


Installing Glass Mapper for Sitecore

Posted by Xing Liu on 11/7/2014

In order to use Glass Mapper in Visual Studio, make sure you install the following packages in the NuGet manager.


Sitecore WFFM Analytics

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 11/7/2014

Sitecore’s Web Form for Marketers module comes with its own analytics, in addition to those provided by Sitecore. You can access those analytics by highlighting a particular form and clicking the ‘Form Reports’ button in the Content Editor ribbon.


Permissions For Sitecore Page Editor

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 10/31/2014

We are strong proponents of allowing content authors to perform all of their authoring tasks using nothing but the Page Editor. However, you have to be familiar with the permissions required to perform certain actions in the Page Editor. Here are some quick points on the permissions that some of Sitecore roles provide.


Customize The Sitecore Ribbon Buttons

Posted by Xing Liu on 10/24/2014

You can customize the ribbon buttons by modifying some Sitecore items in the Core database.


Workflow Permissions In Sitecore

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 10/24/2014

I ran across an issue last week while working on a project. I had set up role based access to certain content items in the Sitecore tree, with inheritance for child items. However, I noticed that users that were members of that role did not have permissions to change the item while that item was in workflow.


Get Media Url From Sitecore Image Field

Posted by Xing Liu on 10/17/2014

If you have a sublayout that needs to get the URL of a media item, such as an image (item[“Image”]), here is a quick tip on how you can get that media URL.


Using Glass Mapper With Sitecore 7 MVC

Posted by Bhavik Patel on 10/17/2014

Before we begin, the first question you may ask is: what is Glass Mapper? Simply put, it is an ORM tool. Traditional ORM tools (like NHibernate, or Entity Framework) connect to databases, and model classes in your Visual Studio project around objects that exist in your database. Glass Mapper works similarly, except that you model CMS objects in your Visual Studio project.


Symsoft Event Calendar Module For Sitecore

Posted by Xing Liu on 10/10/2014

A calendar module for Sitecore is one of the most requested features in our projects nowadays. Especially in the government sector, government websites usually have an event calendar for community events or townhall meeting schedules.


Blog Posts


Xing Liu

Xing has 6 years of experience with developing web solutions using ASP.NET and SQL Server. For the past 4 years, he has been actively engaged in website development projects using Sitecore CMS. He enjoys creating web solutions for clients using Sitecore CMS and, using its flexibility, provides cohesive and integrated solutions. Xing is a Sitecore Technology MVP, 2016 and 2017.

Miranda Singler

Miranda is a designer with 5 years of experience in facilitating business communications through clear design solutions partnered with engaging visuals. She loves brainstorming and iterating to develop intelligent visual storytelling that enhance and humanize technical communications.

Bhavik Patel

Bhavik is a .NET developer with over 10 years of experience, focusing on Sitecore CMS for the last 4 years. He has worked on many Sitecore CMS projects in both single-site and multi-site scenarios, and truly enjoys how extensible it is. He has a passion for problem solving and using technology to create engaging websites and applications. Bhavik is a Sitecore Technology MVP, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Mark Aplet

Mark Aplet is a front-end web developer and designer with experience in that area for over 12 years. Mark loves pushing the limits of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript while remaining a strong advocate for semantics, usability, and accessibility.


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