Using Coveo Sitecore connector with Sitecore 8

Since the release of “Coveo for Sitecore” Coveo started phasing out its good old “Sitecore Connector”. Most people are confused by those names and I used to do that myself, but they represent totally different things. “Coveo for Sitecore” is taking advantage of the new Sitecore Content Search API and it introduces Coveo as a search provider similar to Lucene and Solr. While the “Sitecore Connector” is a web service that Coveo uses in crawling your Sitecore pages and indexing them for use with Coveo’s interfaces, this has been the way to integrate Coveo and Sitecore for some time now.

If you’re doing a Sitecore upgrade from an older version, you are probably using “Sitecore Connector” already. Coveo doesn’t support using that Sitecore Connector for Sitecore 8.

I went to Coveo support with this question: Can I use Sitecore Connector with Sitecore 8?

Their answer was as follows: “Unfortunately, the Sitecore connector supports Sitecore version 6.0 to 6.6, and 7.0 to 7.2. There are no plans for the Sitecore connector to support newer versions, so, to index Sitecore 7.5 and up, you will need to install Coveo for Sitecore, which is compatible with version 8”

I also posted the question to the Coveo community, you can take a look here.

I really wanted a better answer, because it meant that I’m forced to redo all the Coveo work, front end and back end; while all I want to do is just to upgrade Sitecore!

So here’s what I did to make Sitecore Connector 2 work with Sitecore 8, it’s really simple. I didn’t test that thoroughly so if you decide to do the same you may see a different behavior and I’m not sure if you will be able to get help from Coveo  :

  1. I installed the “Sitecore6.0CoveoWebService2” package from my CES bin folder. This is the same package that you would use for Sitecore 7+
  2. I created a collection in the CES backend and configured it as normal using Sitecore Connector 2 (not the legacy one) I also had to change the mapping file as described here to work with this connector.
  3. I rebuilt the index as normal
  4. Exclusion Filters and Top Results don’t work (since the introduction of Sitecore Connector 2) I created a custom converter for the exclusion filters that I can share with you in a later post.

Voila! My interfaces worked perfectly with the new collection and I didn’t have to change anything neither with the business logic or the front end. The only changes were in the mapping file and the custom conversion script to do the exclusions that Coveo used to.

I don’t think it’s a great idea to use “Sitecore Connector” for any new development; it’s at the end of its life cycle. Using a search provider would be the most viable option, which search provider to use is a discussion of its own.

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