Mike Skutta Blog

Site Context, Computed Fields and Live Mode in Sitecore 8.1

Mike Skutta


We ran into an issue with code that worked in Sitecore 8.0 but not in Sitecore 8.1. It took us a while to determine the root cause of the issue and how to fix it, so I thought I would share what we found to help anyone else that might run into this issue.


Rebuilding indexes either though the control panel or on Azure role startup will hang at random locations. This will prevent the role from starting up properly, and the index is stuck in an invalid state.

This hang only occurs when you have the parallel indexing enabled and you have live mode enabled on Sitecore 8.1.


We started to add ** Sitecore.Context.SetActiveSite(“website”); ** to our computed fields due to null exception when generating links during index rebuild on CM in Azure. This was done because the site context changed in 8.1 when you rebuild the index. The issue with this fix was that it would create an additional null condition when an item was marked as “never publish.” When an item was marked as “never publish,” it would cause the exception within Sitecore indexing process to hang indefinitely.


The solution was to use the SiteContextSwitcher that implements the IDisposable interface.

using (new SiteContextSwitcher(SiteContext.GetSite("website")))
    // do something on the new site context

For computed fields, this code should be used to wrap logic that requires a site context.

In our case, we were using the link manager that required a site context within computed fields.


Here is a good article that explains the proper way to switch Sitecore’s SiteContext: http://rajchel.pl/2014/12/switching-sitecore-sitecontext/

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