Use GUI Extension to Solve for Content Re-Ordering

GUI Extension: Components Re-Ordering Dialog

  • SDL Best Practices recommend not localizing pages.
  • We originally used Container Components so that Editors can re-order components without needing page localization.
    • The use of Container Components introduced other issues as explained in this blog about Container Components.
    • The solution outlined below does not rely on containers.
  • SDL can store additional data on each component using Application Data. Application Data is applied to items across the blueprint and don’t require items localization.

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Problems with Container Based Content Model

Containers are a common approach when designing CMS content models. They allow Authors and Content Editors to organize content hierarchically. While containers allow contributors to group, reorder, and organize content easily, they also add a lot of dependencies to the content across the system.

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All I want for Christmas is an SDL Web 8 Developer Course (DXA)

Earlier in December, I had the opportunity to travel to Boston for the two-day SDL Web 8 System Administration Course in Wakefield, MA. It’s an excellent course, especially for those transitioning from Tridion 2013 to Web 8 and for people like myself who are traditionally weak in the area of sysadmin. I would highly recommend it.

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SI4T-Solr 1.2 for Web 8

Looking at code you wrote three years ago can sometimes be a confronting experience. In case of the code I wrote for SI4T, this was no different. After you go through the six stages of debugging and cringe at the aestestics of the code base, the only thing you can do is rewrite the stuff with the knowledge of today and be solaced by the fact that your code is actually used in production environments and not breaking too much.

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Web 8, SI4T and Storage Extensions

The release of SDL Web 8 has seen the biggest overhaul of the Content Delivery stack since Tridion 2011 and much of it has been applauded much, as the new Micro Services architecture and with it the ability to scale, deploy and be distributed in general, gives many more architectural options than just having an API in your web application connecting you to a database.

Building this while guaranteeing backward compatibility with the Tridion 2011/2013 CD stack is more than a major task and I for one am happy to see that that feat was pulled off really well. That is, unless you have overridden the default DAOFactory classes in your Deployer Storage Extensions, as is the case with the SI4T Storage Extensions. When testing SI4T with Web 8, it turned out that loading of the SI4T Storage Extension did not work in every scenario. This has to do with the subtler points of Spring Bean Class loading.

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Creating a Simple SDL Web 8 DXA Environment

I set out to create a basic SDL Web 8 DXA machine with default everything installed and configured, following SDL’s installation documentation as closely as possible. I wanted to find the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get up and running from scratch. Although it didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, the end result was indeed a fully functional SDL Web 8 development environment with the sample DXA site up and running, Topology Manager, a working Experience Manager, the ability to create new schemas and map them to application-side View Models, etc. In this post, I specify the key portions of SDL documentation used, some common issues encountered and some advice for getting set up quickly and easily.

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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