Sitecore Host part two

Sitecore Horizon 9.3

In this four part series of blog posts, we will examine in detail the Sitecore Host platform and what benefits this brings to Sitecore Experience Platform. We will also have a closer look at Sitecore Host Applications as well as the Sitecore Host plugins. I will encourage you to please read through these blog posts starting with part one, through part four. I have also provided links below if you would like to jump and have a peek on the other parts as well. All code snippets referenced in the blog posts can also be found on my public Github repo using the link provided below.

  1. Sitecore Host part one – Introduction to Sitecore Host, Sitecore Host applications and Sitecore Plugins
  2. Sitecore Host part two – Sitecore Horizon 9.3 (this post)
  3. Sitecore Host part three – Sitecore Identity Server
  4. Sitecore Host part four – Creating and extending Sitecore Host Plugins
  5. Code samples in my Github Repository

What is Sitecore Horizon?

Sitecore Horizon 9.3 is a new alternative approach to editing Sitecore content, that is now available in Sitecore XP 9.3 and later. It is a light-weight Angular-based application which features a Page Editor, Page Insights and a Simulator.

The screenshot below shows the icons for Page Editor, Page Insights and Device Simulator.

Horizon-main-features
Sitecore Horizon – main features

Sitecore Horizon is a Sitecore Host application that  is installed separately from the main Sitecore instance

Horizon architecture

  • Horizon deploys an integration module to every CM instance
  • Horizon client app is built with Angular 7.2 utilizing Node.js for server-side rendering
  • Horizon client app uses GraphQL-based backend API to communicate with backend
  • Sitecore Content Management instance must use HTTPS to communicate with Horizon host application
  • User authentication is by Sitecore Identity Server

Horizon client app is built with Angular 7.2 utilizing Node.js for server-side rendering. It uses GraphQL-based backend API to communicate with backend

What you can do with Sitecore Horizon 9.3

At the time of writing this blog, with the Sitecore Horizon Page Editor, you can do the following

  • Create a page or folder. Can only create a page if Insert Options have been defined at that level
  • Edit text and image fields only
  • Image dialog features a cool dynamic image search
  • Build simple layouts – without complex rendering properties
  • A facility to use drag and drop when adding renderings to a page
  • You can move items through workflow if configured
  • You can publish content, this will use current language version plus all related items (NOT sub-items)
  • Uses smart publish meaning will only publish if their has been changes since last publish
  • Rename page or folders – which will update the item Display Name (not item name)

With Sitecore Horizon Page Insights, you can do the following

  • view page analytics and insights
  • Use Sitecore Host Plugins to extend the page insights

With Sitecore Horizon Device Simulator, you can do the following

  • It allows page previews with different device types
  • Can rotate the device in portrait and landscape modes

What you can NOT do with Sitecore Horizon 9.3

As of the time of writing this blog, Sitecore Horizon 9.3 has some compatibility issues with some of the Sitecore features and service as follows:

  • Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) supports basic page editing with Horizon
  • Sitecore Horizon does not support editing of rendering parameters
  • You can not change layout and composition of page within Horizon, use Experience Editor instead
  • Sitecore Horizon has limited support for JavaScript Services (JSS) sites such as you can open JSS site but cannot edit fields on pages
  • Sitecore Horizon is not compatible with Sitecore Publishing Service
  • You will get error trying to publish content via Horizon on an instance with Publishing Module enabled
  • Horizon does not support Internet Explorer or Safari on MacOs

Extending Sitecore Horizon using Host Plugins

Sitecore Horizon Page Insights is one area that can be extended to have more page analytics displayed on the Page Insights. Out of the box, Sitecore have provided the Sitecore.Horizon.Insights.Plugin which comes with five insights as shown below.

Horizon-page-insights
Horizon-page-insights

Conclusion

In this blog post, we examined what is Sitecore Horizon 9.3 in detail and explored what you can and can not do with it. This being the initial release, I would encourage you to download your copy and play with it further so we can give feedback to Sitecore. I expect Sitecore to enhance this Module in coming releases as well as seeing cool Sitecore Host Plugins  created by the community to enhance it.

In the third part of this four-part series, we will examine Sitecore Identity Server in detail.

Please feel free to leave us your feedback and/or comments below.

5 thoughts on “Sitecore Host part two

  1. Pingback: Sitecore Host part one | 360AgileWeb
  2. Pingback: Sitecore Host part three | 360AgileWeb
  3. Pingback: Sitecore Host part four | 360AgileWeb
  4. Pingback: Doing my first Sitecore User Group UK Talk | 360AgileWeb
  5. Pingback: Doing my first Sitecore User Group talk | 360AgileWeb

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