The Amazing World of Razl – Part 1

As a Hedgehog employee I have the pleasure of playing around with all of their tools. I find it strange that many Sitecore developers haven`t realized the potential of Razl. Most of us consider it a DB compare tool which we can only use once or twice in our day-to-day job. While Razl is a DB compare tool, Razl has much more usages than most people think it does, so I decided to put a blog post around a couple of things that can be done with Razl.

Automated Content Synchronization between Production and Staging/QA Environments

Many Sitecore developers face the problem that the Staging/QA environments don’t have fresh content. A quality assurance team working with fake/old data, is not ideal and might cause some issues. For example, imagine a client disapproving a working module because it is hard to show how  it will work once it gets to production. This is a situation in which Razl shines. Razl’s APIs allow us to write which can synchronize the Staging/QA environments with fresh content on a daily/hourly basis. The scripts are fairly simple to write and they are even simpler to execute. The scripts can be run with your favorite scheduling mechanism. For more information about Razl Scripting you can check the following articles:

Introducing Razl Scripting (Follow @me_mikeshaw)
Official Razl Documentation About Scripting 
Razl Script Mode (Follow @mikeedwards83)

Setting Up New Development Environments

When adding new people to the team, setting up their Development Environments might be a long and painful process, especially with complex solutions. Razl makes it easy for the new developer to grab all the content and/or some other necessary pieces (custom modules, things from the core database, etc.) and start working.

On Demand or Automated Synchronization between Production and Development Environments

There are some situations in which bugs are caused by the live content and are hard to reproduce on development workboxes. Razl makes it easy to get the pieces that caused issues, bring it to their local environment and now the developers to properly debug them.

Keeping Track on Content Changes

Razl comes with History View that uses the Sitecore History Engine. The history view provides an amazing option to track what has been changed and who has changed it, so when something goes wrong it is easier to check what the cause is and who caused it. For more information about Razl History View, you can check the following articles:

Official Razl Documentation About History View
Razl History View (Follow @mikeedwards83)

Simple Way to Visually Compare CMS/Master Database and CDS/Web Database

Sometimes there might be problems with content publishing from CMS to CDS Servers. Razl makes it easy to track and resolve these kinds of problems. If anything goes wrong with the publishing process, and republish is not an option, Razl can be used to compare the Master and the Web Database. It allows us to check what was left unpublished and helps us identify the problem.

Simple Way to Migrate Content from QA/Staging Content to Production

Sometimes, especially in tight deadline situations, the content is entered on some of the Pre-Production Environments. Here Razl comes in handy to easily move the content between environments.

In conclusion these are just some of the core functionalities that Razl offers in our day-to-day work. It can also be used in other automation scenarios like automatic content synchronization on deploy, moving content across environments via workflow and etc.

Make sure to check out this places for more invaluable Razl Information:

The official Razl Documentation
Hedgehog Development Razl Posts
Mike Edwards Razl Posts

Happy Razling ! 🙂

The Amazing World of RAZL Part 2 – Script Like A Boss

 

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