DXA Modules Settings Interface

Recently I had the pleasure of traveling to Portugal for the SDL Web Most Valued Professional (MVP) retreat. While this was my first opportunity to participate in one of these events, I have seen the results of having some of the brightest and most willing-to-share minds in the SDL Web community brought together for the opportunity to collaborate. Often times in the past this event has helped to shape the future of SDL Web development, and this year was no exception. Continue reading

Getting Creative With Tridion


When most people think of SDL Tridion/Web 8 they think of a kick-ass content management system to run their website. And they’re right! But, the thing about Web 8 is that you aren’t constrained to just providing content to websites. Content is needed on any number of devices these days, from native mobile apps to video game systems to billboards to fancy appliances. Continue reading

Demystifying Tridion’s Checkout Behaviour

“Tridion seems to choose random times to not check in my items and I don’t notice it until I’m well into my debugging.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard this, or thought it silently to myself. Of course, everyone knows that software doesn’t often do “random”, and if you pay enough attention and get a little lucky you can usually find a pattern to when an unexpected behaviour is happening. In this case I’ve spoken to a number of experienced Tridion users and gotten some good ideas on why items might stay open.

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When Virus Scanning Goes Wrong

Recently I’ve been working with a client that has fairly heavy publishing requirements. The blueprint contains over 300 publications, each containing a couple hundred pages. This means a release with widespread impacts can easily lead to 10-20 thousand published items. Luckily, we’ve scaled out publishing to the point where this ordinarily isn’t a problem. However, we were still noticing intermittent problems with our deployer. These came up in two main ways:

  • Publishing getting stuck in a “throttled state”, even when all other tasks in the queue were either successfully published or waiting for publish
  • The publishing queue showing all publishes stuck on a “ready for transfer state”, even though the files on the file system were being updated

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Using Alchemy’s Built In Libraries

One of the features of Alchemy that I think will end up being the most helpful in the future is the way it lets you build a plugin and never have to worry about whether it’ll stop working with future versions of Tridion. This is because Alchemy provides helpful wrappers for the Anguilla framework used to interact with the CMS. If Tridion ever moves on from Anguilla (as has long been rumoured) Alchemy will update the wrappers to support the new technology and if your plugin is using these wrappers you shouldn’t even have to think about it. Continue reading

Setting Alchemy Plugin Permissions

alchemySo you came to Tridion Developer Summit and heard about this hip new Tridion framework called Alchemy. Or maybe you’d already heard of Alchemy and have been anxiously awaiting the chance to try building your own plugin. The problem is, you can’t build and test a plugin on your Tridion environment because you can’t let just any user play with your plugin as you develop. Fortunately, we at Alchemy recognize that security is a huge concern for many users and we are working hard to address this as comprehensively as we can. Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet. However, if you are really anxious to start building I’m going to show you how to lock down your plugin so that only certain users have access to your ribbon bar or context menu extension, using just the Alchemy API and some JavaScript. Continue reading

John Oates’ Moustache

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 17.29.59Recently one of my coworkers was saying she didn’t know who Hall & Oates were. This got me thinking, what better way to preserve the legacy of the great rock and soul duo than adding John Oates’ moustache to some Tridion icons. So, for anyone interested in Oatesifying your CME, follow these steps.

  1. Download the image at the end of this post
  2. Go to %TRIDION_HOME%\web\WebUI\Editors\CME\Themes\Carbon2\Sprites
  3. Rename cme_Sprites.32px.png to cme_Sprites.32px_old.png
  4. Copy the downloaded image to this location
  5. Open %TRIDION_HOME%\web\WebUI\WebRoot\Configuration\System.config
  6. Increment the modification attribute of the server version
  7. Clear your cache and reload Tridion
  8. Enjoy the Oates!

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Alchemy Plugin Configuration

As a general rule, installing an Alchemy plugin is a simple one click process, outlined at the Alchemy Webstore. This opens up Tridion to all kinds of configuration by people who would have found the DLLs, XMLs and config files ordinarily associated with Tridion customization off-putting.

But wait! What if you really like configuration and don’t feel like you’ve accomplished anything until you’ve had to update an XML or two? Well, it turns out that Alchemy will still meet your needs, weirdo. You see, some plugins still require configuration, even if it is quite simple. Take DXA Page Preview or Where Used Plus for example. Both plugins include references to settings in their a4t.xml file. This file will always contain a plugin’s configuration settings and will always be found at


So, if you ever find a reference to a plugin’s settings and want to know just what you can configure for a given plugin, check out it’s a4t.xml. Most often it won’t have anything you need to think about, but sometimes you’ll find some important settings there. If you’re developing a plugin and want to know more about using the a4t.xml file, check out the Alchemy documentation for details.