Thursday, April 9, 2020

RIP Sitecore App Center: Remove and Re-purpose Sitecore App Center Shortcuts with PowerShell

Last week, while we were all preoccupied with COVID-19, Sitecore did something nobody could have predicted. Between the chaos, our beloved Sitecore App Center was discontinued.

Not many people seemed to care about my PSA, though:

This probably would have generally slipped past me until months after the update, but this happens to come to my attention because a client wanted to start using GeoIP functionality in Sitecore in the middle of their transition to retiring the aged feature. The stars aligned, and I was fortunate enough to watch it all unfold before my very eyes. 

Until now, Geo IP Service activation had always been a two-part process:

     1) Guide the client to sign up for the Geo IP Service in the Sitecore App Center - which happened to be baked into the CMS, sourced out to an external endpoint, and required customer login (partners typically didn't have access to log in and activate anything).

     2) Make the necessary configuration and firewall updates.

The options were endless. 

The client immediately reported an issue loading the Sitecore App Center.

Lo and behold; a broken App Center (all environments, including local):

Sitecore's Cloud Status page happened to indicate that the App Center UI was "under maintenance" at the time.

This was on March 30th, a couple days after their maintenance window had closed.
Wow - month-long maintenance windows. 
Must be nice.  

Two days later - after much anticipation - an update was posted:

In addition to this status page update, the Sitecore documentation was updated to reflect the updated Sitecore Support Portal approach for activating the Geo IP Service:
Gotta love that freshly updated documentation scent.

Okay, cool.  I think that makes things a bit easier going forward.

But what about the Sitecore App Center Applications shortcuts in the Launchpad and Start Menu?  

A quick search targeting the Core DB revealed those item definitions.

The specific items that control the shortcuts are:

Name: AppCenter 
ID: {F7F3379C-A034-4CE4-B2F7-9BDFC3F05A2B} 
Template: LaunchPad-Button 
Path: /sitecore/client/Applications/Launchpad/PageSettings/Buttons/Tools/AppCenter

For this shortcut, you have a few options:
   1) Delete it
   2) Move it outside of the Tools folder and into the PageSettings folder
   3) Edit the Link field to point to the permanent Sitecore Cloud Status Page related to this event

I prefer option 3 because it could at least potentially help guide future devs or marketers in the right direction when activating the GeoIP service - specifically if it had always remained off.

Start Menu
Name: Sitecore App Center 
ID: {A59E3738-08E1-49EA-9199-E0140F56C67D} 
Template: Application shortcut 
Path: /sitecore/content/Documents and settings/All users/Start menu/Left/Sitecore App Center

This Application Shortcut item is better off removed or disabled, rather than repurposed.  Attempting to load an external link won't work with this template type (or any of the other applicable template types for this location).

To disable the shortcut, clear out the Application field.



If you don't want to do this manually - or you're strapped for time - you can, you know..just run this PowerShell script 😉:

The script disables the Start Menu shortcut, then gives the option to repurpose or disable the Launchpad shortcut:

⚰ RIP Sitecore App Center


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