SiteEdit 2012 Overview

I have been very fortunate this week to have had the opportunity to attend the Site Edit 2012 bootcamp at SDL’s offices in NYC. It was a hands-on 2 day workshop where each of us was given an Amazon instance with Tridion and SiteEdit installed. Our goal was to get our hands dirty and solve a wide variety of challenges (including going through the install). Thank you Nuno for making it a great success!

Site Edit 2012, now officially renamed to “SDL Tridion User Interface 2012″, is a very impressive tool. It seems to load into editing mode much faster than its predecessor (at least on the Amazon instance I was playing with), and usability and options available from the toolbar are incredible.  The user experience that can be achieved is mind-blasting!

Here are some rough notes that I took on the new features.  I realize you, the reader, may not have the full context around some of the notes – nevertheless, I think these should  generate some excitement:

  • SiteEdit is now called Tridion UI 2012
  • Not yet ready to go, but if a customer is ready to use it, then they need to talk to SDL on a case-by-case basis.
  • Controlled release. Only a few customers going to implement.
  • The pages are now previewed in an iFrame within the CM interface
  • “Update Preview” 
    • Doesn’t publish in session. Renders the result in the CM and pushes it via web service call.
    • Avoids the publishing queue bottlenecks.
    • i.e. Re-rendering is done “on the fly” rather than the queue
  • “Finish Editing” button commits and publishes
  • In SiteEdit there are no more page templates. They are now called Page Types, which are like a pre-configured page with a template and other defaults. – hole notha level!
  • Functionality is provided to allow previewing the Page Type (just a url to a simple preview page)
  • A page template, associated to a page type can have a custom icon in the ribbon toolbar. This is a great feature to give content editors a better experience
  • Content Types are component templates linked to a page template
  • In Publication settings where you define the Content Types you can specify which folder components get created in via SiteEdit.
    • Can also specify how content is named: user defined or auto-generated (based on a pattern).
  • One ribbon in the toolbar shows all the page templates. Functionality exists allowing to change icons for each template.
  • Ambient Data Framework allows to virtually specify a different environment, e.g. Show how something would display in IE, even though you’re using Chrome; or chane the OS type, etc.
  • Can set blueprint context for pages (e.g. New pages are created and edited in Pub A while content is created/edited in Pub B).

There is another interesting feature called Session Footprint that is designed to help with previewing and testing your page as if the session was created under different environments and conditions.  You can select to show the page as if it ran in a different browser and a different OS, change the session timeout values, pull up specific dynamic component presentations based on search criteria and more.  The Footprint is engineered based on SDL’s Ambient Data Framework, and the whole thing is quite remarkable.

Another cool concept that is provided is called Regions.

  • Allow specifying limits on what kind of component presentations can be dropped in.  For example: only allow dropping components based on a given schema or a component template, or limit the number of components that can be added to a region.
  • This is done by addingsyntax in the design template, just like the regions for SmartTarget.

Last but not least, I’d like to share a very high-level technical architecture of this tool.

Site Edit Architecture

To conclude I’d like to say that the R&D folks have done an outstanding job with this tool and I can’t wait to start developing with this new product!

One thought on “SiteEdit 2012 Overview

  1. Aww, you got to hang out with the NY crew! I guess I saw part of Content Bloom in exchange. :-p

    The desktop equivalent to an SDL Tridion Page Type could be a Word template (.dotx)–you still have page templates (think Office theme), though. In desktop publishing thinking, a “template” includes fixed and dummy text. In SDL Tridion inline editing, the page type defines both components “as-is” (referenced with an associated template) and the dummy-“Lorem ipsum” type (copied) compoments.

    Content (formerly component) types are even cooler because they combine a “templated” component (dummy text) with a template along with a friendly name for that choice, a description, and the auto-naming possibility. Selecting by image beats a drop-down. What’s that about a picture being worth a thousand drop-downs?

    If any Tridion consultant doubts the impact design has on usability, consider much of the implementation-specific features were already available (check your SiteEdit 2009 manual). I’m not talking about the author experience, I mean setting up component types, changing colors, and page types in the _previous_ SiteEdit.

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