Track Sitecore Configuration File Changes

Greetings Readers,

This post applies to Sitecore Version 8.0 Update 3 (150427) and higher.

Did you ever feel a need to track your sitecore config changes ?

Did you want to know what were the configuration at a certain time ?

Did you want to know how your caches were performing or the rendering statistics at a certain time ?

If the answer is yes, then this post is for you, Sitecore out of the box from version 8.0 Update 3 has a Sitecore Configuration dumping feature which creates and dumps  a zip file of the configuration in your data folder.

Here is the processor which does the magic

        Dumps the specified configuration files and allows you to monitor all the changes that are made to the configuration files.
          Supported child nodes:
            DumpFolder: The path to the root folder where the config file dump is stored. Each config file dump is stored in a folder or
                        a zip archive. The name of the folder or zip archive has the following format: {date}.{time}.
                        Default value: $(dataFolder)/diagnostics/configuration_history
            Zip:        Boolean value that determines whether each dump should be zipped. Default value: true
            files:      Contains <file> nodes where the "path" attribute value is the path to the configuration file or the folder that
                        should be dumped.
      <processor type="Sitecore.Pipelines.Loader.DumpConfigurationFiles, Sitecore.Kernel" patch:source="Sitecore.Diagnostics.config">
        <files hint="raw:AddPath">
          <file path="/App_Config" />
          <file path="/Web.config" />
          <file path="/Global.asax" />
          <file path="/sitecore/shell/sitecore.version.xml" />

The above processor is defined in the Sitecore.Diagnostics.config configuration include file and supports various configuration settings such as

  • Add custom files which needs to be tracked (This is great where you can track almost any file which you want)
  • Modify the location for storing configuration files (Default : $(dataFolder)/diagnostics/configuration_history)
  • Support for Zip compression

Note : Sitecore cleans up the above folder with items which are older than 30 days, you can increase of remove the automatic clean up from the Sitecore.Diagnostics.config file

      <agent type="Sitecore.Tasks.CleanupAgent">
          <remove folder="$(dataFolder)/diagnostics/configuration_history" pattern="*" maxAge="30.00:00:00" recursive="false" />
          <remove folder="$(dataFolder)/diagnostics/health_monitor" pattern="*.*" maxAge="07.00:00:00" recursive="false" />

Additionally Sitecore also does periodic dumping data from /sitecore/admin/stats.aspx and /sitecore/admin/cache.aspx pages to the file system The location and format of the log file can be configured as part of the processor configuration. By default, dump files are stored in /diagnostics/health_monitor in the Data folder.

        <!-- Dumps the information that the /sitecore/admin/cache.aspx page contains -->
        <processor type="Sitecore.Pipelines.HealthMonitor.HealthMonitor, Sitecore.Kernel" method="DumpAllCacheStatus">
        <!-- Dumps the information that the /sitecore/admin/stats.aspx page contains -->
        <processor type="Sitecore.Pipelines.HealthMonitor.HealthMonitor, Sitecore.Kernel" method="DumpRenderingsStatistics">

This gives us a chance to travel back in time and look at our site configuration files, rendering statistics, cache status etc…

Here is a snapshot of the folder structure as the data is dumped

Configuration Files Dump

Cache and Stats Dump



There you go, hopefully I gave us all developers one more reason to LOVE SITECORE….. 🙂


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