SI4T 2.0 : Call to Arms

resized imagesIts just over a year since Raimond and I launched SI4T – an open source search integration framework for Tridion published content. In that time the uptake has been good – I heard many stories of it being put into action after my TDS talk in May, and a trickle of questions has started appearing on stack exchange. As such, we feel its time to plan a new release, so this post is a call to arms to give anyone who has benefited from the framework the opportunity to give something back and create an even better solution.

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Tridion Dynamic Component Linking – Authors can’t be expected to understand this, can they?

Just recently a client had asked me an interesting question about Tridion’s Dynamic Component Linking.  They understood the concepts, but didn’t know how to manage this “feature” across multiple novice authors/editors within their organization.  So here is what I think the answer is.

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Custom Url Coordinate Picker

In a previous post, I shared an SDL Tridion Custom Url Color Picker (pop-up) extension that read and set values from a single Component field.

This X & Y Coordinate Picker extends the concept to read and set values from multiple fields. Use these patterns in combination with your favorite JQuery or server-side controls to quickly create author-friendly interfaces for nearly any pop-up interface you could design. For other examples see:

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Oh no, my Flickr ECL just stopped working!

Just a quick blog note on the ‘recent’ update by Flickr. Essentially they’ve removed support for http:// and only support https:// requests to the Flickr API – see the note from Flickr Code.

We utilised the excellent ECL Flickr Provider posted by Bart Koopman on SDL Tridion World and after making a tiny tweak all was at peace in the ECL Flickr world!

Simply update the http:// reference to https:// in the api\flickr.cs class, rebuild, deploy and view until your heart is content!

Special thanks to Harald Hoffelinck for working through this!

Adding content to the Side Panel navigation

side-panel-content-bloomSDL Tridion 2013 SP1 comes with a lovely new interface (Carbon 2.0) which features a Side Panel navigation that allows users to jump through to other SDL products and remain within the same interface.  What’s also cool is that you can also add your own items and tools to the side panel, and with this simple example, I hope to show you how easy it is.

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ECL and BluePrinting

BluePrint structure
Many have asked me, “Does ECL support BluePrinting”? My reply is always a solid yes, but (yes there is a but), I should really reply with a question: “Does your external system support BluePrinting”?

Since it is nice that ECL supports BluePrinting, but ECL just exposes items from your external system in SDL Tridion. So for them to be BluePrinted, you should have your ECL Provider make the connection between an SDL Tridion Publication and the specific items you want to show in that context. An ECL item URI contains a Publication URI, so to implement BluePrinting correctly in your provider, you will need to give the child item, the same ECL Item ID as its parent item. The only thing that is tricky there is localization, an ECL item doesn’t really have a localized state, the ECL stub Component can have that state though.

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Responsive Images – an approach using SDL Mobile

resized imagesI have been busy for the last few months working on a new SDL Web ‘product’ – the Tridion Standard Implementation, which is an out-of-the box Tridion CMS and web application framework to learn from/build on top of. One of the things we are focusing on is having a single site to serve all devices with optimizations driven by SDL Mobile. Part of this is ensuring that we are smart about serving images to a device, while still making life easy for editors and (MVC) view developers. There turned out to be quite a lot of factors to consider, but I think we came up with a pretty good solution. Continue reading

Using SmartTarget 2011 with the SDL Tridion 2013 SP1

smart target logoThe latest version of SDL Tridion (2013 SP1) is built to work with the latest version of SDL SmartTarget 2014.  2014 does away with the Business Manager interface as it’s now integrated with the CME, so whilst it’s hard to believe anyone wouldn’t wish to upgrade, if there’s some reason you simply cannot and still need to use ST 2011 with Tridion 2013 SP1, here’s how.

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SDL Tridion Custom Url Color Picker

I was preparing for my SDL Innovate workshop when I was reminded that Google updated its Maps API from version 2 to 3. We have a Custom Url example in the training environment based on a Google Maps GUI extension that use the older API.

While getting that to work, I thought a Custom Url example would be a nice touch to support one of my points on Contextual Experiences for Content Authors. Here’s a Color Picker extension based on Spectrum, “The No Hassle jQuery Colorpicker.”

Before using something like this, first read Robert Curlette’s views on a color selector and be sure you have the right use case, which might include:

  • Self-service configuration for a website, section, or templates where authors don’t set colors directly, but by choosing an option (that may have some color settings). Avoid using this at the component level if possible.
  • When templates or other semantic options won’t work (e.g. authors would have to choose from hundreds of color options out-of-context).
  • The color isn’t inline (otherwise rich text could work, though I’d recommend styles over inline colors)
  • Promotional content types–everything seems to go for promos, especially if they make money

Follow CMS “best practices” and avoid color selectors for well-structured content like articles or biographies.

Custom Url Markup

The pop-up’s markup just includes references and an input field:


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "">
<html xmlns="">
	<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="spectrum.css" />
	<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="ColorPicker.css" />

	<script type="text/javascript" src="docs/jquery-1.9.1.js"></script>
	<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="/WebUI/Core/Controls/Popup/PopupInit.js"></script>
	<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="spectrum.js"></script>
	<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="ColorPicker.js"></script>
	<title>SDL Tridion ColorPicker</title>	

	<h2>Choose a color</h2>
		<div class="full">
			<input type="text" id="full"/>
			<p>Thanks to for the color picker.</p>
Powered by Spectrum Color Picker

Powered by Spectrum Color Picker

The CSS (ColorPicker.css) is simply a width setting.

.full-spectrum .sp-palette { max-width: 200px; }

Play with the options in this fiddle.

Tridion Setup

The Tridion-specific parts should be familiar to anyone who’s used Tridion’s Customer Url script and includes three parts:

  1. Field-parsing check using window.dialogArguments
  2. The “custom” JavaScript, in this case a nearly out-of-the-box Spectrum Color picker setup
  3. Wiring up the event handling parts for “choose” and “cancel.” The cancel link and choose button are added by the picker, so you won’t find these in the markup.


// for SDL Tridion field and to store the color
var args =  window.dialogArguments;
var pickedcolor;

$(document).ready(function() {

// get and check field value
	if (args)
		var fields = args.getFields();	
		if (fields && fields.length > 0)
			var values = fields[0].getValues();
			if (values && values.length > 0)
				pickedcolor = values[0];

// see Spectrum jQuery Colorpicker documentation at:

    color: pickedcolor,
	flat: true,showInput: true, className: "full-spectrum",
    showInitial: true, showPalette: true, showSelectionPalette: true,
    maxPaletteSize: 10, preferredFormat: "hex", localStorageKey: "spectrum.demo",
    move: function (color) { },
    show: function () {},
    beforeShow: function () {  },
    hide: function () { },
    change: function(c) {
	    var labelfull = $("#colorfull");
		color = c.toHexString();
    palette: [
        ["rgb(0, 0, 0)", "rgb(67, 67, 67)", "rgb(102, 102, 102)",
        "rgb(204, 204, 204)", "rgb(217, 217, 217)","rgb(255, 255, 255)"],
        ["rgb(152, 0, 0)", "rgb(255, 0, 0)", "rgb(255, 153, 0)", "rgb(255, 255, 0)", "rgb(0, 255, 0)",
        "rgb(0, 255, 255)", "rgb(74, 134, 232)", "rgb(0, 0, 255)", "rgb(153, 0, 255)", "rgb(255, 0, 255)"], 
        ["rgb(230, 184, 175)", "rgb(244, 204, 204)", "rgb(252, 229, 205)", "rgb(255, 242, 204)", "rgb(217, 234, 211)", 
        "rgb(208, 224, 227)", "rgb(201, 218, 248)", "rgb(207, 226, 243)", "rgb(217, 210, 233)", "rgb(234, 209, 220)", 
        "rgb(221, 126, 107)", "rgb(234, 153, 153)", "rgb(249, 203, 156)", "rgb(255, 229, 153)", "rgb(182, 215, 168)", 
        "rgb(162, 196, 201)", "rgb(164, 194, 244)", "rgb(159, 197, 232)", "rgb(180, 167, 214)", "rgb(213, 166, 189)", 
        "rgb(204, 65, 37)", "rgb(224, 102, 102)", "rgb(246, 178, 107)", "rgb(255, 217, 102)", "rgb(147, 196, 125)", 
        "rgb(118, 165, 175)", "rgb(109, 158, 235)", "rgb(111, 168, 220)", "rgb(142, 124, 195)", "rgb(194, 123, 160)",
        "rgb(166, 28, 0)", "rgb(204, 0, 0)", "rgb(230, 145, 56)", "rgb(241, 194, 50)", "rgb(106, 168, 79)",
        "rgb(69, 129, 142)", "rgb(60, 120, 216)", "rgb(61, 133, 198)", "rgb(103, 78, 167)", "rgb(166, 77, 121)",
        "rgb(91, 15, 0)", "rgb(102, 0, 0)", "rgb(120, 63, 4)", "rgb(127, 96, 0)", "rgb(39, 78, 19)", 
        "rgb(12, 52, 61)", "rgb(28, 69, 135)", "rgb(7, 55, 99)", "rgb(32, 18, 77)", "rgb(76, 17, 48)"]

// listen for choose button -- no extra button needed
$(":button.sp-choose").click(function() {
		var args = window.dialogArguments;
		// set field value
		if (args) {
			//alert(" :button.sp-choose");
			var fields = args.getFields();
			if (fields && fields.length > 0) {

// listen for cancel anchor -- no extra link needed
$("a.sp-cancel").click(function(e) {


Just be sure to include the above files along with the spectrum JavaScript and stylesheet. Then set a text field’s Custom Url to the HTML page (e.g. “/CustomUrls/ColorPicker/ColorPicker.html” for “%TRIDION_HOME%\web\CustomUrls\ColorPicker\ColorPicker.html“) and you’re, well, set. This could make nice compliment to your install of John Winter’s Image Map Extension.

Schema Setting

Custom Url

In this case, the problematic part isn’t Tridion, but potentially picking the color picker you prefer and configuring it correctly.

Learn more about Brian Grinstead’s Spectrum Color Picker.

Introducing ‘SDL Web’

SDL Web - Part of the Customer Experience CloudToday SDL hosted an excellent webinar to introduce ‘SDL Web’, a sub-set of the Customer Experience Cloud (CXC) tool suite that was introduced earlier in the year.

With this blog post I aim to provide a high-level overview of the presentation as it showcased some amazing elements that I’m sure as Tridion developers we’ll all be using in our future projects.

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