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.

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Setting up a Tridion 2011 GUI extension in 8 steps

The new 2011 Tridion GUI framework is a major overhaul to the way extensions have been previously developed. The framework now is far more robust and well designed. Building new and exciting extensions has never been easier. However, configuring your extension may not be the easiest thing in the world to do…

The following tutorial steps show how to configure an extension for the Tridion 2011 GUI from start to finish.

The example configuration and code is based on my extension: The Item XML Display.

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Using jQuery for Tridion GUI Extensions

A relatively unknown feature of the Tridion CMS product is the GUI extensibility framework.

This is actually a fantastic feature which allows us to create and supplement the user interface with just about any type of addition we can think of.

It is pretty unknown because of the lack of documentation but with a little bit of investigation work it is possible to find all sorts of treasures we can use to extend the current GUI.

Here’s one example that is already available on the SDLTridionWorld website’s Community eXtensions section: “Republish from publish queue”, this nifty extension gives users the ability to republish items directly from the queue instead of the normal way of locating the item within the folder or structuregroup hierarchy.

The extension framework is quite robust (not without limitations of course) and allows us to add toolbar items, context menu options, tree nodes or simply run scripts that can do just about anything.

In this article I’m focusing on the latter, adding a scripted extension to do different tasks.

If you’ve done any kind of javascript development you know how difficult and complex it can get, that’s where jQuery comes in, jQuery being a javascript library created to ease the development of client side code.

jQuery’s CSS selectors and methods for DOM manipulation are exactly the tools to help us create Tridion GUI extensions quickly and with relative ease.

The way the extension framework is built allows us to create a jQuery extension that can be reused by other extensions.

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Creating a Gravatar client with jQuery and WCF


A couple of weeks ago I announced the release of the first .NET implementation of the Gravatar API.

Gravatar.NET is available for download on Codeplex.

What I’d like to show in this article is how to make use of the library using jQuery and WCF to create your own Gravatar client ( style).

This article will demonstrate how to show a user their Gravatar account images, allow the user to activate a different image or delete it.

I will build upon many of the concepts I described in an earlier article I wrote called: “Creating a Webservice Proxy with jQuery”. So if you like, check it out first as I won’t go into the basics in this article.

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IE Caching Ajax Results – How to fix

Updated (25/06/2010): Fixed typos in code example
Updated (16/11/2012): Fixed missing comma. 

I have been working on a website recently and one of the pages on the site has a  main functionality of showing dynamic results returned from a AJAX
call to a WCF service.

As I was developing and continuously testing with Firefox I was happy to see that my code was working well; based on the URL the results on the page will differ as expected.
However, When it came to test the page with Internet Explorer the results were dramatically different… No matter what the URL was the same content from my initial request kept appearing on the screen! Quickly enough I realized that it wasn’t something wrong with my code but with IE, after all in Firefox and Chrome it was working just fine.

So naturally, I googled for a solution and found this StackOverflow thread that confirmed to me that this was indeed an issue with IE. Unfortunately, the good answers there were only helpful to those who use jQuery to initiate the AJAX requests but I was using the proxy generated automatically by ASP.NET, so I had to find my own solution as I was unable to find anything useful online.

Below are ways you can use to fix the problem. First, I’ll show how to fix it when using the MS Service Proxy and then how to fix it when using jQuery.

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LINQ to Tridion



Its Friday evening, a good time to share a little something I’ve been working on.

.NET 3.0 brought with it a fantastic new language (VB, C#) extension called LINQ which stands for Language-Integrated Query.

Microsoft describes it as “a set of extensions to the .NET Framework that encompass language-integrated query, set, and transform operations. It extends C# and Visual Basic with native language syntax for queries and provides class libraries to take advantage of these capabilities.”

In short it gives the developer a more general syntax for querying sets or collections of data.

The beautiful thing about LINQ is that it can be used over any collection whether its XML, Database or even objects so long as they support the IEnumerable<T> interface.

For more information see the resources section of this article or simply google/bing it.

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