Schemas out of sync between environments? Panic!

Content Porter got you down, friend? You’ve got components from a lower environment that need to be migrated to a staging or production environment, but the schema they’re based on has changes that aren’t ready for prime time yet. It’s 1 am, and if you don’t get this solved by the start of business the sky will fall. Panic! Don’t panic. This has a very simple solution.

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Website Optimisation using SmartTarget

target_audienceLast week I had the pleasure of attending the SDL Innovate conference in San Francisco. This years event was the best yet, for three (and possibly more) very good reasons:

  • There was an extra day deep diving into SDL technology, looking at what happens under the hood of the suite and ask questions to SDL implementation experts
  • There was a Hackathon day which brought a huge amount of developers out of the woodwork to collaborate on some cool open source SDL modules
  • I was there to present ‘Website optimisation using SDL SmartTarget’

OK maybe that’s not truly a valid reason to claim innovate was better, but if you are interested in SmartTarget and couldn’t make the event, you can find my presentation slides after the jump.

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Who’s got that bugger checked out?

So that latest update of Chrome has broken some of the Tridion GUI :( … one consequence of this has been that a number of users have been checking out Components and not quite realizing.

Whilst checking who had a some of the items check-out I realised that one of my colleagues was giving out the wrong person – in disbelief, astonishment and sheer anger I had them show me just how they were retrieving the information… and it turned out to be a perfectly easy mistak.

So, this colleague… he was using a method that I suspect a lot of people do and thus thought I’d write this wee observation. On checking the History of the Component you’re presented with a list of … well a list of stuff.

list of stuff about Component history

As you can see Item [2] would appear to be showing me just who has this bugger checked out… but does it?

On closer observation I see that the last two versions [1] are the same – meaning a minor version hasn’t been added (i.e. the person with this checked out has just checked it out … that’s it… checked out and gone home / on holiday / another place of employment – how rude).

Now note item [3] … this shows me the person that really has this checked-out. And you can see that the user ID x43 is not the same as Damian’s x77 as [2] lead us to rashly believe! It seems that the ‘user’ is actually ‘last user to save this item’ whilst the comment is the important one!

Is there an easier way…

You betchya… open the offending Component and look at the ‘Info’ tab. Here we can see the item is locked as it’s checked out and Tridion is telling us which user this is [1].

Straight-up Component info

There’s no confusion here and I was probably in the Component anyway – additionally I can copy the username form here to enter directly into the email system…

Regards the user IDs … Tridion isn’t obfuscating the user for some crazy-ass security reason but this is the info it gets from the client systems – I can live with this and more importantly I can easily hunt down and get the person to check the item back in (or undo-checkout).

 

Increasing Load Performance with Content Delivery

In the past decade we’ve experienced a steady increase in the average page’s total resource size. It should come as no surprise to us that the resources that have grown the most belong in the media category; specifically images. While other resources have experienced a similar shift, images remain to be the bottleneck on an initial page load – and in a world that is constantly transitioning to mobile, with providers offering limited mobile bandwidth and data improvements, it is crucial that we prioritize its importance. In this post I will detail how we can minimize the resource payload on the initial load and detail considerations that should be made to accommodate low bandwidth visitors.

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Edit AJAX loaded content with Experience Manager… really?

To be honest I had been a bit lazy. In all the conversations I had had on the subject of editing AJAX loaded content with Experience Manager I had been told it could not be done, so I didn’t even try. Until Jaime told me it was possible and I found out that its not even difficult. Continue reading

Developer? You should go to SDL Innovate!

sdl innovateSDL Innovate is a global customer experience event that takes place in Amsterdam, London, San Francisco, Tokyo and Sydney. Each event features industry experts and top brands sharing information about some of the work they’ve done and some of the best practices. You’ll also have access to SDL management and experts.

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Pushing the limits on Template Builder’s estimates

­­­Lately I’ve been working with a client using Tridion in an interesting way. This client manages websites for hundreds of customers, each site being virtually identical. Of course, information such as the customer name, contact info and store hours, along with dozens of other bits has to be customized for each site. One of the ways they manage this unique information led me to a useful discovery on how Template Builder handles large packages. Hopefully by sharing here I can save someone else going on the same wild goose chase I did. Continue reading