About Harald Hoffelinck

Harald is hardcore SDL Tridion coding machine. He works for Content Bloom as a senior SDL Tridion consultant. He lives in Belgium with his family and drinks a lot of Belgian Beer.

Using a configuration file for your custom Tridion Content Delivery code

Tridion (or SDL Web as it’s called nowadays) allows many extension points. You can extend the content editor GUI, you can extend events, and you can also extend a lot of things on the content delivery side, for example Ambient data claimprocessors, TCDL tag handlers, storage extensions, …

These content delivery extension points are usually written in Java.
This blog post will show you how you can easily add your own configuration files for your code.

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Installing DXA in an existing Tridion publication structure

I’ve been using the DXA framework for a couple of months now, and it’s very easy to use it to quickly set up a new publication structure and create a new website.
The installation is very well documented and doesn’t take that much time.

But what if you want to integrate the DXA framework in an existing set of publications ?

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Alchemy plugin : Google Analytics reporting

Adding Google analytics to your website is fairly easy. You need a google analytics account, some javascript, add that to your website html, et voila, you can track your visitors.

Off course, someone needs to analyse this data, see how many visitors your site gets, see where they come from, …

Google provides a website where you can see all this, but it might not always be easy for users to work with that tool.

This Alchemy plugin allows you to see Google analytics data for your website, right from your Tridion CM GUI. It adds a Google Analytics dashboard in the publication dialog.

SiteAnalytics

To get this working, you need to perform the following tasks

  • Install the plugin from the Alchemy webstore
  • Create a new Google API key (for this, you need a google account).
    • Go to https://console.developers.google.com/, log in with your google account, and create a new project
    • In the project, open the API page, find the Analytics API and enable it.API console
    • Once it’s enabled, you should see a usage report for this API. As it’s only just created, you won’t see much here
      Enabled Analytics API
    • Next, open the credentials window. Here, you need to create a new service credential, to let Tridion access your Analytics API account. To do this, click the ‘Create new client ID’ button. In the popup, choose a ‘service account’.Create new Credential
    • When it’s created, you should see a new service account Client ID, email address etc.
      New client IDYou will need the Email address and you should also click the ‘Generate new P12 key’ button. This will download a file to your local machine.
    • Now, open your google analytics dashboard, and add a new user. Here, you should add the email address you received with your new service account. The account only needs read rights.
    • With this data, go back to your Tridion machine.
      Create a new metadata schema with the following fields (you can also add these fields to an existing metadata schema). The metadata schema should be applied to a publication.

      • gaServiceAccount (text field)
      • keyPath (text field)
      • gaProfile (text field)
    • Now, open a publication, and apply this metadata schema to it. You have to fill in the fields as follows :
      • The service account field should contain the e-mail address you got earlier.
      • The keyPath field should point to the p12 file you downloaded earlier. This file should be copied on your Tridion server. The field should contain the full path (c:\my-key-folder\my-service-key-file.p12).
      • The gaProfile should contain your google analytics profile ID. You can get this by logging in to the google analytics site (where you added that service account email earlier), and get the profile ID from the url.
        GoogleProfileID
        The number after the p in the url is your profile ID
      • Once you have this set up, save and close your publication, and reopen it.
        When your alchemy plugin is active, you should see a new tab in your publication dialog “Google Analytics”, and when opening it, you should see a number of graphs for your website usage

 

Tips :

If you have multiple publications for different websites, you could configure each publication separately to show analytics for one specific website.

Future improvements

Currently, the dashboard is only showing a couple of graphs. A next version should allow you to  configure this dashboard, so you can select which data you want to show in the page.

Tridion publishing : httpupload settings for publishing a large page or component

We all have encountered a publish failure caused by the Tridion http deployer website throwing errors like ‘request entity too large’. Basically, it means that IIS does not accept the uploaded publish package because it’s simply too large.

Luckily, the solution is quite simple, but we recently discovered a small gotcha.

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Quick DD4T tip : combine ‘static’ images and images handled with the BinaryDistributionModule

In a DD4T website, you can serve images from the broker using the BinaryDistributionModule. This is a module that intercepts requests for any images, and then queries the broker for published images, and serves them (I will talk about this more in-depth in a future post).

However, this might give some problems if you also have static images.

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Unit-testing your DD4T code with Mock objects

Unit testing your code is a great way to make sure your code works as expected, now, and in the future, after loads of changes to your project.

Writing tests can be pretty simple, if you have functionality that only relies on logic, but what if your code relies on ‘external’ data. How would you test that?

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Using a GUI extension for RTF fields with regular Text fields

This is a follow up post on my previous post about a tree-view item picker. Right now, this Tridion GUI extension works well for rich text fields : when you click a button in the ribbon toolbar, you get a popup with a number of keywords, and when the user selects a keyword, some property of that keyword is inserted in the rich text field.

Now, the same functionality had to be achieved for regular text fields. Tridion has a lot functionality available for dealing with RTF fields, but extending this to regular text fields requires some extra custom coding

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Use a treeview item picker in your GUI extensions

Recently, I was asked to build a Tridion GUI extension that would let users insert a key of a Keyword in a rich text field. Users would have to click a button in the ribbon toolbar, get a list of keywords, pick one, and the GUI extension would work it’s magic.

There are some nice examples of this to be found here, so i managed to wrap up a solution pretty quick, and life was good.

After some testing, it turned out that the amount of items in the dropdown would grow to large – if you have only 10 or 20 items to pick from, that’s fine, but what if there are hundreds…

So, a new requirement was added : “can we not have a dropdown of keywords, but a tree view, so users would be able to drill-down to find the keyword they want”. 

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