Friday, April 6, 2018

Transforming Unicorn files in a release pipeline using YmlTransform

When you use an automated deployment to different environments that also need changes in unicorn files (without having to update the sitecore configuration manually) you can use YmlTransform. This is an easy tool that uses an input Json file to update unicorn files before copying them to the server. Together with the ReplaceTokens task this is a very powerfull solution.

Our deployment process looks like this before we publish the web application to Azure.

First you'll need to create a Json file containing the fields you want to replace, it currently supports shared and language fields. In our case we call it unicorn.ymltransform with the following content:
        "FieldId": "379de7bc-88f2-42ae-8d4a-50dd0b8796ea",
        "Languages": "",
        "Path": "/sitecore/content/Home/Item1",
        "Type": "Shared",
        "Value": "#{ApiUrl1}#"
        "FieldId": "379de7bc-88f2-42ae-8d4a-50dd0b8796ea",
        "Languages": "*",
        "Path": "/sitecore/content/Home/Item2",
        "Type": "Shared",
        "Value": "#{ApiUrl2}#"
        "FieldId": "86ee9731-e7fb-47c9-bab6-5cb282c3a920",
        "Languages": "*",
        "Path": "/sitecore/content/Home/Item3",
        "Type": "Shared",
        "Value": "#{OtherSetting}#"

When you parse this file through the ReplaceTokens and run it over your *.ymltransform files, the unicorn files will be transformed using the actual value from the VSTS variables (which could also be loaded from a keyfault).

In the next step you can run a command with the following settings to transform the actual unicorn files:
ymltransform.exe -p "App_Data/unicorn" -r -t "unicorn.ymltransform" 

The output of this command:
2018-04-06T06:28:47.6709328Z Updating file D:\a\r1\a\TestProject\drop\artifacts\Website\App_Data/unicorn\Project\serialization\Content\Home\Item1.yml section Shared id 379de7bc-88f2-42ae-8d4a-50dd0b8796ea to
2018-04-06T06:28:47.6711423Z Transformed: D:\a\r1\a\TestProject\drop\artifacts\Website\App_Data/unicorn\Project\serialization\Content\Home\Item1.yml
2018-04-06T06:28:47.7732198Z Updating file D:\a\r1\a\TestProject\drop\artifacts\Website\App_Data/unicorn\Project\serialization\Content\Home\Item2.yml section Shared id 379de7bc-88f2-42ae-8d4a-50dd0b8796ea to
2018-04-06T06:28:47.7735015Z Transformed: D:\a\r1\a\TestProject\drop\artifacts\Website\App_Data/unicorn\Project\serialization\Content\Home\Item2.yml
2018-04-06T06:28:47.9817169Z Updating file D:\a\r1\a\TestProject\drop\artifacts\Website\App_Data/unicorn\Project\serialization\Content\Home\Item3.yml section Shared id 86ee9731-e7fb-47c9-bab6-5cb282c3a920 to HelloWorld
2018-04-06T06:28:47.9819775Z Transformed: D:\a\r1\a\TestProject\drop\artifacts\Website\App_Data/unicorn\Project\serialization\Content\Home\Item3.yml

Now the yml files contain the correct information for your environment, you can upload the yml files and run a unicorn sync (automatically).

The full sourcecode is available on Github: 

Happy transforming!

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