21 Dec 2015
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FXM Part 2 — Content on Non-Sitecore Sites
In addition to providing intelligence on what our site visitors are doing on sites external to our Sitecore site the Federated Experience Manager also allows us to serve content on other sites. Online banking, as an example, falls well outside of Sitecore’s wheelhouse, but the calls to action as you pay your bills is Sitecore’s sweet spot, and now we can do it without gutting our banking system.
The “Hello World” of external content
So if we start with a simple external site setup within FXM, how do we put Sitecore managed content on it? For our example we’ll replace the last Bio line on the Advanced Glass Mapper Tricks blog post page. If you’re unfamiliar with the basic setup, you’ll find some helpful hints on dev.sitecore.net and in my previous post here:
Into to Federated Experience Manager
Start by opening your external site via the Experience Editor. Navigate to a page to which you wish to add content, and create a page filter for it if one doesn’t exist already. The from the toolbar click “Add Placeholder”. Next click on the element you wish to replace and click the replace option. This will bring up the placeholder dialog. The dialog will ask for a name and a parent node for the placeholder item. Be sure to create the placeholder under the page filter. This placement will become important later.
Once we add the placeholder the experience editor shows us the placeholder on our page. From here we can interact with it in much the same manner as a placeholder in the Experience Editor on a Sitecore page.
Now that we’ve the placeholder, we add the Sample Rendering to it, and give it a Data Source of the default home item, save, publish the site, and viola!
How it Works
If we open up the Federated Experience Manger node under the Marketing Center we can see how Sitecore has persisted what we’ve done in the Experience Editor.
Note the placeholder under the Page Filter node. This hierarchy is how associates a placeholder with a particular rendering. In our example we used a “match this page only” filter. By using a Page Filter with a wider net this allows us to add content to multiple pages yet only needing to define it once.
Another important facet to be aware of it where and how the presentation manifests. If we open the Presentation Details of the placeholder item above, under the final layout we’ll find the presentation components that we’ve created.
This component both is and behaves just like any other rendering on a Sitecore page. As such can be personalized by any and all information that you have regarding a customer.
So that’s Sitecore content on external sites via FXM. It’s quite straight-forward and the use cases are countless. Want to control the sidebar CTA’s in Sitecore? Want to A-B test a new bio picture? (my parrot’s lobbying for one of just him) All available without having to re-implement your platform in Sitecore.
Like what you see? Something I missed? Have an even cooler way to do the same thing?!?! Let me know in the comments below.