Sitecore FXM – Manchester Sitecore User Group

28th July 2015

Sitecore FxM, Commerce Connect and SOLR explained

An in depth look at Sitecore FxM was top of the bill for the third instalment of the Manchester Sitecore User Group. The gathering was held at the Old Monkey, a stone’s throw away from the Kagool offices. This was a great opportunity to rub shoulders with other Sitecore partners, developers and customers.

Sitecore were generous hosts with food and beers perfectly setting scene for technical talks from Sitecore staff on the subjects of Sitecore FxM, Commerce Connect and SOLR.

More about Sitecore FxM

Tingting Zhu kicked everything off with an introduction to Sitecore FxM.

Sitecore’s Federated Experience Manager (Sitewcore FxM) helps marketers get a single view of each customer by allowing them to manage all digital and data from a single platform.

Sitecore FxM provides:

  • A single view of your customers and contacts across digital properties. These can include WordPress websites, complex Drupal and even ecommerce platforms such as Magneto.
  • Data collection from non-Sitecore sites which is then stored in Sitecore’s Experience Data Base (xDB).
  • Sitecore Analytics on all of these new sites
  • Sitecore Personalisation on non-Sitecore sites

All of this is possible with an incredibly lightweight set up. You simply reference a JavaScript file in the header of the non-Sitecore site and away you go.

Sitecore and Commerce Connect

Next up, Mark Demeny gave a brief overview of how Sitecore and Commerce Connect work so well together. Commerce Connect is a powerful and modifiable framework to complete common commerce development tasks such as stock check, product import, price check, delivery and promo codes.

It uses the Pipeline architecture Sitecore is known for. Everything can be customised and swapped out for something bespoke to meet unique business needs. Its key features are:

  • Works across UCommerce, Commerce server and even Magento.
  • Allows seamless integration between Sitecore and other Ecommerce products
  • Aims to give the customer engagement power of Sitecore in ecommerce products.
  • Ability to track, act and follow up on customer behaviour.


To wrap things up Julian Bagdahn presented on “SOLR everything you’ve ever wanted to know.”

This was exactly what it what it said on the tin. He covered:

  • Solr installation and setup
  • A detailed view of the benefits of Solr Vs Lucene.
  • Best practices for setting up Solr, single Solr core for each index
  • the inner workings with Zookeeper, Jetty, TomCat – Solr doesn’t need to have TomCat or Jetty installed to work anymore with Solr 5.1
  • A simple software for three-click set up of Solr cores – Bitnami

By the end I was certainly suitably Solred up!

All in all a great event – thanks Sitecore! We can’t wait for the next Manchester Sitecore User Group meeting.

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