Sunday, April 20, 2014

Reasons for Sitecore IIS App Pool Crash

In past few months, there were two separate instance where IIS application pool of Sitecore website was crashing intermittently. In both of these cases, stack overflow resulted in IIS application pool crash. This article lists some of the reasons for stack overflow scenarios in Sitecore:

1. Infinite control load using Presentation Inversion of Control:

The websites which were built on Sitecore instance uses Presentation Inversion of Control. In simple terms, there were some custom Sitecore sublayouts built which renders the controls added to its DataSource item.

In one of the website's home page (startItem), the content author added one such control. The data source item for that control also had the same control, mistakenly, added as part of it presentation details. Whenever a request was made for the home page, the controls were loaded infinitely which led to application pool crash.

2. Sitecore Custom Security Providers:

Whenever an item is requested, sitecore checks if the user has access rights to the item or not. To get the user details for access rights, Sitecore checks with the security providers which are configured in web.config file. In one such custom security provider, to get user details, a sitecore item was being accessed. Since this custom security provider was trying to access sitecore item, Sitecore again checks for user access and invokes GetUser() for security providers. This resulted in an infinite recursive loop and led to application pool crash. So, if you are creating any custom security providers in Sitecore, ensure that those security providers in turn do not access any sitecore item.