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Implement a new Sitecore solution in Azure leveraging new cloud‐based technologies, improve user engagement and search, integrate with Azure B2C and provide on‐going solution improvement and support.
The client wanted to re‐develop their existing Sitecore public website by updating to Sitecore 9 and Azure with a phased approach. The new Sitecore solution needed to integrate into various back‐end endpoints, as well as Azure Cognitive Search and Azure B2C. Bayleaf was selected for its experience with Sitecore and Azure, as well as its expertise with government security needs. As part of this multi‐phase project, Bayleaf provides Azure and Sitecore expertise and custom integration, configuration, and development services to the TransLink web development team.
Key to the project: deployment of the latest Sitecore CMS within the Azure cloud, harnessing Azure Front Door technology to provide fast, safe and secure web services to the end user, implementing a combination of Azure search and custom taxonomy for flexible and powerful search capabilities and integration with Azure B2C for secure subscription services.
Sitecore in Azure Cloud – improved performance & flexibility
Bayleaf worked with the client to develop and deploy the new Sitecore solution in the Azure Cloud using various Azure technologies, such as:
• Azure DevOps
• Azure App Services
• Azure Function Apps
• Azure Front Door
• Azure Application Insights
• Azure B2C
Deploying Sitecore in the cloud negates the need for on‐premise web hosting infrastructure, and the additional maintenance and management overhead it involves. Additionally, Azure‐hosted Sitecore allows for more flexibility in the design and implementation of the hosting infrastructure, specifically around multiple environments (Dev/QA/UAT/Production). It also allows for leveraging additional Azure capabilities such as Content Delivery Network and Web Application Firewall services, which improve overall performance and reliability.
Integration with Azure B2C – increased security
The client provides user subscription capabilities for Transit alerts and notifications. To support these subscription capabilities in the cloud and minimize the need to create and maintain user registration functionality, the client decided to use Azure B2C integration into Sitecore.
Azure B2C is a cloud‐based directory, like Azure Active Directory, which supports external users, through standalone accounts, or integrated into external identity providers that support SAML or OIDC. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft Accounts. Bayleaf’s solution was to integrate their Azure B2C tenant into the Sitecore public website solution using OWIN and OpenID Connect. This would allow Azure B2C to retain control of various user registration functionality, security, and credential data, including:
• New Registration
• Forgot Password
• Reset Password
• Account deletion
The move towards Azure B2C also minimized the amount of re‐development required to implement a new version of the client’s subscription services in Sitecore.
Search and System Integration
The client’s existing website provided very basic and minimalistic search capabilities. Modern search interfaces are more capable and provide users with more powerful search features, ultimately providing a much more friendly user experience.
Bayleaf’s solution was to leverage the power of Azure Search with Sitecore. The configuration and development of a custom content tagging taxonomy gives TransLink the ability to tag their content and associate meta data with it.
Another benefit to the addition of Azure Search integration is to support faceted search capabilities. The implementation of facets and other UI‐based search elements allow users to locate content more quickly and easily through the search interface.
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