Mark's Sitecore Blog

Debugging xConnect with xConnectHelper

Setting up and testing xConnect can be a challenge – especially in on premise setups. Are all the certificates set up? Are all databases up and connection strings correct?

Initiially, tracking, processing and reporting can be somewhat of a black box because to see it working correctly i.E. to test experience profile functionality, you’ll have to first write code to identify a contact through a form submit, start a session with interactions, trigger identification and wait for your session to expire and wait for processing / reporting in order for your contact to show up in the expirence profile manager.

To aid with this, I have ported my trusted little xDB Helper over to Sitecore 9+ / xConnect. Because of the many API and conceptual changes, this was a re-write from scratch. The source code is available on Github.

How does the helper help?

After installing, you can access the page through

/sitecore%20modules/Web/xConnectHelper/xConnectHelper.aspx?key=<yourkey>

On this page you can…

  • View status information on the current Tracker config and collection service connection
  • View basic contact facets
  • Set one or multiple identifiers for the current contact
  • Set basic contact facets
  • Flush current session which immediately triggers processing

xconnect-helper-2

Some possible use cases:

I want to check the xConnect connection:
If there is a connection problem, this will be immediately shown on the xConnectHelper page. Also, if the tracker is not active becaues of config or license issues.

xconnect-helper-1

I want to check if data is written to the collection and reporting db:
Interact with your website and then hit flush current session. Processing of your contact and interactions will immediately start and data should be visible in the databases within seconds.

I want to test contact search / experience profile:
The experience profile manager only lists identified contacts. You can set an identifier for your contact, then flush session. Your contact should show in the list within a few seconds.

How to install

  1. Clone Repo
  2. Build and publish to your site.
  3. Set a hard-to guess key in App_Config/Modules/xConnectHelper/xConnectHelper.config
  4. Access your page through /sitecore%20modules/Web/xConnectHelper/xConnectHelper.aspx?key=yourkey

Important Note: Because this tool is made to debug current contacts and interactions in-session, it can not be used as a regular Sitecore admin page and is therefore publicly accessible (ony restricted by your access key). You are responsible for setting appropriate measures to regulate access to this page.

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