The Reference's Peanuts and Bulk Operations enter the 2019 Sitecore Hackathon

The Sitecore Hackathon is a community organized event that allows for teams around the world to evaluate on and explore new features and possibilities of the Sitecore platform while competing for the best realization inside one of the provided categories. The Reference participated for the fourth time, but for the first time with two teams. Both of them as  the only participating team in their respective countries: 

“No Weekend 4 Us” – The Reference Belgium
“Null TheReference Exception” – The Reference Turkey

This year’s Hackathon

Every year, the actual categories in which the various teams compete are announced only an hour before the start of the Hackathon. Meaning that all 97 teams from 25 countries have the same information to start with. 

Here you can find more information on the Sitecore Hackathon 

These were the categories offered to the participating teams:

  • Enhancement to the Sitecore Admin (XP) UI for Content Editors & Marketers
  • Enhancement to Sitecore Commerce Business Tools UI
  • Extension of the editing experience for SXA in Experience Editor
  • Use of SPE to help Content authors and Marketers
  • Enhancement to JSS to change a component rendering behavior based on session data
  • Use of xConnect and/or Universal Tracker

Teams are then given 24 hours after which they need to upload and share their code, create documentations on the module as a manual and installation guide and provide the needed Sitecore packages. 

sitecore hackathon 2019

Team “No Weekend 4 Us”

Using our trademark name, the team consisted of Gert Gullentops @Gatagordo, Kris Verheire @Kverheire and Sam De Bock @SamDeBock .

Our concept focussed on simplifying how you can navigate and manage component in the Experience Editor while using SXA. The idea was to make the tooling even more transparent, resulting in the content editor perceiving the editing work in Sitecore to be ‘Peanuts’. 
“Sitecore Peanuts” introduces a toggle-able toolbox next to the SXA toolbox. This additional toolbar helps bring information regarding your SXA page structure and amount of components closer to the content editor, providing human readable data source information, quick component navigation as well as displaying information on component personalization. 

Below you can see the additional tab in closed and opened mode, displaying information on a selected component. Clicking the specific named component allows you to instantly navigate to that component and view detailed information.

sitecore peanuts

This approach required a good understanding of of the Experience Editor as well as a lot of front-end work to plug into the existing toolbox based on our backend logic that processes the layout information of a specific page.

Team “Null TheReference Exception”

Participating into the Hackathon for the first time, the team that creates no exceptions, Ilker Ünal @thatisbushido , Ozkan Sayin @ozkan_sayin and Tutku Can.

Having built up quite some knowledge on Sitecore PowerShell over a number of projects, going with the SPE option felt like a natural match. So we decided to work around that concept and improve on the editor experience by using PowerShell.

What we notice a lot is that content editors often need to create and modify content across different sections of the Sitecore content tree resulting in repetitive and tedious tasks. This is why we decided to create the “BulkOperationsManager”-module in Sitecore.

The “BulkOperationsManager”-module allows users to select the items they wish to modify (pieces of content, pages or assets) either manually or through a wizard (children or other). Also, once a selection was made, the Sitecore rules engine can be used to filter down on the resulting items.

Once the items that need to be modified have been selected we provided a bunch of actions that allow us to process the selected data items.

bulk operations manager

On a click of a button, editors can view, rename, publish and delete selected items as well as edit fields values or manage item (language) versions. And, to top it off, we also provided the flexibility to open up a PowerShell command editor that allows you to run any type of commands on your current selection.

This module provides enormous flexibility to add new requirements since it focuses on grouping Sitecore items and performing specific actions that are relevant to all these items.


Thanks to the Hackathon and the provided topics, we are now able to focus more on specific areas that are worth exploring within the Sitecore ecosystem.
You can expect more blogposts based on what we learned here throughout the entire year, where we will be exploring new possibilities and will be musing on new ideas.
Sitecore Hackathon 2020, here we come!


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The Reference is nothing without its customers. Melexis is the stock market-listed global player in the semi-conductor and sensors industry for whom we facilitated future company growth by updating the brand, building the completely new corporate website and giving shape to the use of online channels. Read more about this client.