Navigation History Tridion GUI Extension

Ah! its Friday! And what better way to celebrate this day than with a nice GUI extension?

So here is my latest extension available for you to enjoy…

With 2011, the GUI received a new breadcrumb control which is a very useful way to quickly orient yourself of where you are in the system and making it easy to climb up the specific hierarchy you’re currently drilling through.

Of course, those of us who use Tridion know that we usually jump from one location to another, spanning over different publications and sections within publications. For those cases, if we want to go back to a location we were working on before we need to locate it again in the tree, which can be quite a hassle. Especially in large environments.

So my extension will hopefully make it even simpler to work within the GUI in the manner I just specified.

This extension adds 2 new buttons to the GUI right next to the breadcrumb. The buttons mimic the behavior of the browser keeping track of the places(folders, structure-groups, etc.) a user visits.

Tridion GUI Navigation buttons Continue reading “Navigation History Tridion GUI Extension”

Programming with the Extensions Manager

About a week ago I published my Extensions Manager, a Tridion 2011 extension that allows extensions’ creators define customizations for their users in a few lines of code. The customizations are exposed as fields to the users in a graphical interface that is easy to use and also takes care of the persistence of the values the users enter.

In my previous post I focused on the functional side of the Manager, the different features it has and the visual interaction.
In this post I’d like to focus on the programmatic side – how should an extension creator use it.

Continue reading “Programming with the Extensions Manager”

One Extension to Rule them All

Since Tridion 2011 has been released with its shiny new GUI framework everyone and their sister have either been creating or thinking about creating extensions. I myself have been heavily involved in creating some.

Traditionally, extensions for the most part are islands of functionality; code is typically hardly ever reused. This is something I’d like to improve. With the advancement of the Tridion framework and by following OO practices, it’s possible to create reusable code, frameworks and more, the sky it the limit really.

A few weeks ago I thought about customizing GUI extensions. As extensions mature it will make sense to allow Tridion users, whether administrators or business, the ability to make changes to extensions’ behavior, to turn functionalities on and off and more, without having to change the underlying code. This led to… *drumroll* … The Extensions Manager.

Extensions Manager - Full view

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Calling all Tridion Developers

With SDL Tridion (R)5.3 and the introduction of Modular/Compound Templates, the way of doing templates as radically changed, no longer we had to use an  old and obsolete technology such as VBScript. We could finally use .NET and Visual Studio to write template code as well as introduce “new” technologies such as XSLT with the help of Mediators (see XSLT Mediator).

One of the biggest advantages of this change is the ability to reuse existing code in a structured and clear way. Logic can be placed in dedicated classes, OO concepts can be leveraged for inheritance, encapsulation and more.

This led to the TemplateBase class which I and many others have been using for several years now. Around it I have also grouped additional classes to support reuse of common functionality that can be carried from one implementation project to another. This is known as the Templating Base Project.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Templatebase class and the Templating Base Project I suggest you hurry and get yourself over to SDLTridionWorld.com and download the code now – Template Base Project

Templating Base Project on SDL Tridion World Continue reading “Calling all Tridion Developers”

Not Just Another Tridion GUI Extension

For the past few weeks I’ve been working (whenever I could find the time) on a GUI extension for the new 2011 Tridion platform.

Unlike previous extensions I’ve built, this one is much more complex and spans over more functionality than the more specific ones I worked on before.

I call it the “List Quick Helper“. Where the main idea was to create a useful tool to supplement the information exposed by the GUI’s list view. The theme of this extension is to boost productivity by exposing data quickly and providing small tools to get common tasks done faster.

If you’ve worked with the Content Manager Explorer you’re familiar with having to open an item to view its properties, say to tell the schema of a component you have to open the component’s editing form or to know the file name of page, again need to open the edit form. Even on a fast system it takes at least a few seconds to load up the form. For a shared item you need to select one of the options in the modal dialog (open parent, localize or read-only). After several clicks and at least a few seconds (if not more) you finally can find that little piece of information you were seeking.

What if that information was exposed in the list view immediately? Well, now it can be:

Tridion GUI List Quick Helper View

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The Read-Only Fields Tridion GUI Extension

A much requested feature we at Tridion have always heard customers asking for is to be able to make component fields disabled for the end user when they are entering content.

This could be due to several reasons, one example could be that the content shouldn’t be manually typed into the field but rather be chosen from a 3rd party source (like a CRM database), for this a custom URL can be used.
A custom URL window is a neat feature in Tridion allowing the developers of the solution to build an external form/app/html page that will help the editors enter the right information into a field.

You can also think of a scenario where fields will become disabled or enabled based on the content being entered into other fields, giving the component edit form a more wizard-like feel.

The extension I created doesn’t have any such specific business logic but it does give a good basis to achieve it if needed.

The extension itself covers all types of fields; text, rich text, numeric, date, links and embedded.
Continue reading “The Read-Only Fields Tridion GUI Extension”