Change context device based on user agent with Sitecore Rule Engine

I pick this up from one of the John West blog post, i want to able to change the Sitecore context device based on the user agent that it detected, so if the device that access my application is a mobile devices then give them the mobile view, if not give them the standard view.

What we’re going to use here are the Sitecore Rule Engine, so we define a certain rule which trigger an action when the condition is fulfilled.In John’s blog he explained that this can be achieved by creating global rules where the rule set the context device if condition is met, or by running rules that is associated with each device.In this post i’m only interested in the global rule approach.

First add this code in the web.config

note: my assembly is Sitecore.RoyalBorough.SharedSource, if you use something else, you need to replace that

Which is used to register the RulesEngineDeviceResolver class below


We need to create a new template for our rule, so in /sitecore/Templates/User Defined/Rules create a new template called SetContextDeviceRule


which has the following structure


Notice that we set the source for “Rule” to /sitecore/System/Settings/Rules/ Then in Sitecore Content Editor create new folder called Determine Context Device under /sitecore/System/Settings/Rules


The rule that we are going to defined works by specifying a condition, and if the condition is passed then run a certain action(s), so under that new folder create folders called Actions,Conditions, and Rules


Next we need to configure the insert options for those folders, do the following :

  • Set the Actions folder insert options to templates/system/rules/Actionsitecore_contextdevice_insertoptions_setaction
  • Do the same for Conditions folder, but instead pointing to Action template point it to Condition Template
  • For the Rules folder, point it to templates/User Defined/Rules/SetContextDeviceRule

Now that we have configured the insert options for those folders, it’s time to add some item to it. Start by adding a new condition under Conditions folder and call it User Agent Is Mobile


Next set the Text and Type field


Note that the Type field refers to UserAgentIsMobile class in Sitecore.RoyalBorough.SharedSource assembly, which is responsible to figure out if the accessing device is a mobile device or not based on the incoming user agent, code below


Next we need to setup the Action, create a new action under the Actions folder and call it “Set Context Device to This Device”


It refer to SetContextDeviceToSpecificDevice class which will be triggered when the condition is true, this class is responsible to change the sitecore context device, code below

Now we need to setup the rule, under the Rules folder create a new item and call it “Set Context Device To Mobile for Mobile Devices”


That’s it, make sure the assembly –for me it’s Sitecore.RoyalBorough.SharedSource.dll-  is in the sitecore bin folder, and you can start test it right away. If all goes well, you should see different view rendered when you access the site through Mobile devices and from PC

update Jan 17, 2012

If we’re to use Sitecore 6.1, we have a problem when we try to change the context device, the layout does not get updated it’s still uses the old layout and not the mobile layout, as a result when the mobile device access our page the rendered layout is all messed up. This is fixed on Sitecore 6.4, for 6.1 here’s the workaround

Create a new LayoutResolver class

Edit the web.config and replace Sitecore LayoutResolver with our own

Now things should work as expected in Sitecore 6.1

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