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

[code language=”xml”]
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

[code language=”xml”]
<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.

[code language=”xml”]
<!– 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….. 🙂