Tag Archives: sitecore rule engine

Sitecore 8 – Create a custom personalization rule

Sitecore OOTB comes with tons of personalization rules that we can use, however there might be times where we need to create a custom rule condition that fits to the client business requirements.

Luckily with Sitecore framework that’s known easy to extend, we can easily achieve this.

Here’s the steps to create a custom personalization rule:

1.Register the tag

First of all we need to create a new tag item under /sitecore/system/Settings/Rules/Definitions/Tags


2. Register a new rule element

Create a new element folder in /sitecore/system/Settings/Rules/Definitions/Elements


3. Create a new personalization condition rule


Here I’m creating a new rule and calling it “Specific Template Name” which will do what exactly that, checking if the current context item is based on a specific template name – not really useful in real world scenario but this post is about how to setup a custom personalization rule 🙂

In the newly created rule we need to set the Text and Type fields

Text field contains the text that we’re going to present to the content author, here’s the following text that I use

the [TemplateName, StringOperator,,compares to] represents the format of input that we want to get from the content author. It follows the following format

  • OperatorId, defines the public property of the class where we want to assign the value coming from the content author input
  • StringOperator, the built-in macro that we want to use to get the input from the user. In this case this will be a string comparation operation
  • blank, this parameter will depend on the type of macro that we use, this could be a default text value if we are using the default macro,  it could be a default start path if we’re using the Tree macro  – think of it like setting a field source when we’re building a template in Sitecore. A full list of macros can be found in /sitecore/system/Settings/Rules/Definitions/Macros
  • compares to, the last parameter is the text representation that we want to show to the content author, this value is clickable and when clicked Sitecore will display the appropriate input control based on the macro that we set on the second parameter

The Type field is the full assembly name of the custom class that we want to use to perform the logic behind this personalization rule

4. Assign our custom element default tag definition to our custom tag


Of course we  can assign our custom element tag definition to one of the existing tag under /sitecore/system/Settings/Rules/Definitions/Tags so that it will automatically appear on the content author personalization rule window however if you want to make it obvious which one is your custom ones then I recommend creating your own custom tag and assign it to that

5. Assign the tag to Conditional Rendering

The last step to make the rule visible for the content author to choose from is to assign our custom tag to one of default Rules Context folder


From the picture we’re setting the tag to the Conditional Rendering rules context which will appear when the user want to personalize a certain component, but you can also some other Rules Context folders such as FXM ones.

After we assign the tag, we can verify that the custom personalization rule is available for the content author to choose from


Here’s the class that’s responsible to evaluate the custom rule condition

The class logic is simple and not doing much for the purposes of the tutorial. In a real world scenario you can make a rule that reads from a custom database, read a configuration file, call an external API (be careful with this as it will increase page load time).

This may sound like a lot of work at first compared to just creating a custom code in the rendering or similar approach. But when we consider that we’re enabling the content author/marketers to do it by themselves and removing/minimizing the dependency towards IT, it would lessen time to market and open up more possibilities for the marketers of what they can do using the platform.


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