The Experience Edge Connector

Abstract

This topic provides a conceptual overview of the Experience Edge Connector.

You use the Experience Edge Connector module to publish JSS sites and content from Sitecore CM (content management) to the highly scalable Sitecore Experience Edge delivery platform. Using the Experience Edge Connector module you can:

  • Create a specific publishing target for Experience Edge publishing, or you can use the default internet target.

  • Use the same publishing user experience in the Content Editor and in Horizon.

  • Publish items and sites using smart publish, incremental publish, and republish.

The key concept of the connector module is that it delivers static content in real time.

The connector module uses the typical Sitecore publishing processes. There is, however, a key difference between this and regular publishing: the content is published to the Experience Edge delivery platform in a static format. This means that all dynamic content structures in Sitecore (standard values, language fall-backs, rendering data source(s), template inheritance, and so on) are flattened at publishing time. This diagram explains the process:

How the connector fits into the publishing process.

This means that when value-provider items (standard values items and content used as rendering data sources) are published, all content that depends on them is published automatically. Therefore, publishing a single item can lead to hundreds of items being published. For example, if you publish a template item, all items based on that template directly or indirectly (through template inheritance) are also published. Another example is that when you publish a content item that is used as a rendering data source by some page, that page is published too.

The connector does not re-implement Sitecore publishing. If Sitecore publishing ignores an item, the connector does not publish it unless it is captured by the connector logic when it identifies the related items to publish.

The connector module uses a custom Solr index to maintain and track the dynamic paths between items.

The following diagram shows a simplified version of the architecture:

The architecture of the Experience Edge Connector.