DCP Etiquette – Why would you make a Component Template ‘Dynamic’?

Think first before making a component template dynamic

I have often come in on projects where a lot of the component templates are ‘dynamic’. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but when I have asked the question Why? the answers start to give me the feeling that the Dynamic Component Presentation (DCP) is a bit of a misunderstood animal.

In this post I don’t intend to teach you what a DCP is, or talk about any technical details of using them. Rather I explore the reasons that are often given for using DCPs, debunk some myths, and hopefully make you think a bit more carefully when making that decision to select the “Published as a Dynamic Component” option.

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A Custom Resolver in practice

Back in February I posted an article about Custom Resolvers. Yesterday I rolled my first Custom Resolver into a production environment, so I figured it was time to share my findings.

Background

To set the scene, it probably helps to explain the business requirements first. We have a large implementation with over 300 publications. Many of these share content, some of which needs to be secured, and links to binaries that also need to be secured. We have a third party security solution, which is implemented as a proxy on top of our published site. The proxy looks for a security.xml in the folder of any request, and then prompts for login etc depending what is contained in the XML file. This works very well for pages, but the pages often link to binaries (which were all contained in the “/images” directory for each publication). In order to secure binaries with different sets of restrictions we needed to bind the binaries in different Structure Groups. To simplify the concept, we decided to publish a variant of each binary linked from a page to the same Structure Group as the page. This has the desired effect of securing all binaries that are linked from secured pages with the same restrictions.  When a binary is linked from multiple secured pages, multiple variants of the binary are published. Continue reading

The story of SDL Tridion 2011 Custom Resolver and the allowWriteOperationsInTemplates attribute

Before I start with this blog, let me thank all those who have helped me find my way whilst stumbling around in the forest on this one, you know who you are. Had I read the release note properly over a year ago, I am sure I would never have made this journey, however I have learned a lot and figured I would share what I found.

A long, long time ago, in an office somewhere in the Netherlands I decided to make a VBScript Component Template for Tridion R5.0 which created the HTML for an article, and then published a summary DCP (Dynamic Component Presentation) for inclusion in a broker driven index page. I was a happy man.

Sometime later, I was at a client in Norway, and I only had rights to make templates and pages etc. My client needed me to create a new user in the CMS. The Tridion Administrator was on vacation, so I made a template that created a new user in the system. Again, I was a happy man. Continue reading