Configure EXM in a scaled environment

Abstract

How to configure EXM to work in a scaled environment including how to configure your Content Delivery and Content Management servers either manually or using scripts.

If you are working with Sitecore in a scaled environment, you must configure the Email Experience Manager (EXM) to work in this environment either manually or using scripts.

A scaled environment usually consists of one Content Management (CM) server and one or more Content Delivery (CD) servers. You can configure servers for a specific purpose (for example, content management, content delivery, or processing) using a rule-based configuration.

In the standard multiserver Sitecore environment, all content management and content delivery instances share the Core and Web databases and all the CM server instances share the Master database. This means that the same connection strings to the databases must be used in the configuration file of each server.

The following diagram illustrates the connections between the servers and the content databases in a standard multiserver Sitecore setup:

The connection types for databeses and servers can be web to database, web to database and publishing target, and web to web connection.

Email campaigns are dispatched from each dedicated dispatch server (DDS) and, optionally, from the primary CM server. 

To configure a content management server:

  1. Install Sitecore Experience Platform and configure it according to the Sitecore scaling recommendations for content management servers.

  2. On the primary CM server, in the \App_Config\ConnectionStrings.config file, add the EXM.DedicatedDispatchService connection string, for example:

    <add name="EXM.DedicatedDispatchService" connectionString="/sitecore%20modules/web/exm/dedicateddispatchservice.asmx" />
    
  3. On all the content management servers in your scaled environment, in the \App_Config\ConnectionStrings.config file, add the EXM.InternalApiKey connection string, for example:

    <add name="EXM.InternalApiKey" connectionString="0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000" />
    

    Warning

    The connection string must be a 64-character hexadecimal. The connection string value in the previous code is just an example, and not intended for use.

    Note

    EXM uses the InternalAPIKey internally to validate requests to DDS servers.

  4. On all of the content management servers in your scaled environment that are not your primary one, create a patch file that disables Scheduled Tasks processing. To do this, use the following code snippet:

    <configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">  <sitecore>    <scheduling>            <agent name="Core_Database_Agent">        <patch:delete />      </agent>            <agent name="Master_Database_Agent">        <patch:delete />      </agent>    </scheduling>  </sitecore></configuration>

In a scaled setup, you must manually copy any HTML files that you want to use as templates for your email campaigns to the Website/sitecore modules/Web/EXM/layouts/Imported folder on all the CM servers and dedicated dispatch servers that you have configured to dispatch email campaigns.

To configure a content delivery server:

  1. Install Sitecore Experience Platform and configure it according to the Sitecore scaling recommendations for content delivery servers.

  2. In the /App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config file, add the EXM.CryptographicKey and EXM.AuthenticationKey connection strings.

    <add name="EXM.CryptographicKey" connectionString=
    "E040C938FC9E4EBC3E93330B0F7837F284207B8180DB64CB5B6ABEB1AFBF6F5B" />
    <add name="EXM.AuthenticationKey" connectionString=
    "9D80B4E56AEE694058567BD89C936FB88F2DB1272A4E88F419B6501919E0BB25" /> 
    

    Note

    Each key must be a hexadecimal 64-character string (with symbols 0-9 and A-F) and must be the same across all servers. The CryptographicKey and AuthenticationKey are used to encrypt/decrypt data. For example:

    Note

    For security reasons, do not use the example key provided in the example.