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Posts by author Stein-Viggo Grenersen

New module - Multi-page Property Plus

A new new multi-page property with an improved GUI. Gone are reloads for every addition of a new page and for every sort event. Gone are headaches for the programmers such as allowed sub-page tests and ways to set the maximum number of sub-pages. Now the look and feel of the multi-page property can be controlled with a single line of code.

Features:

  • JQuery-based UI that handles all changes in a single postback event.
  • Easy installation.
  • Easy customization using attributes.
  • Based on PageTypeBuilder.

See screenshots and download the code

The module is created by Peder Ydalus.

Module bonanza at Epicode

The activity level the last few weeks has been nothing but impressive. New and updated modules are flying in contributing to the ever growing EPiServer Open Source Community.

Some of the new modules

We hope the activity level will keep up, bringing value to all that are interested in EPiServer!

Epicode CrossPublish had been released

Many RFI´s (Request For Information) asks for the ability to make one page available to multiple locations (eg. a local news article should be available in the central news article structure). Epicode CrossPublish lets you publish one article to multiple structures using the built in feature of "Fetch data from..." in EPiServer.

See the Module Frontpage for more information and screenshots

EasySearch demo site with faceted search controls is available

I have set up a demo site with faceted controls for EPiServer "Categories, Page Types, Documents and Author. Try it out on http://easysearch.demo.bvn.no/en/Search/ (the controls are developed by Mari Jørgensen).

As the site is sort of limted in regards to content try to search for "episerver" and you will see alle the different facets and perform "drill down".

If you want to try it out from an editor point of view you can contact me and I will give you a username and passord.

Great news - the *.zip installation for EPiServer is back!

With the release of EPiServer CMS R2 (version 5.2.375.7) the installation of modules and plug-ins via *.zip files was interrupted. However, through the power of the people EPiServer decided to re-introduce the *.zip installation, which is really good news for the modules here on EPiCode (for more information read Paul Smith's blog at labs.

For information on how to package a module as a *.zip file, please read Mari Jørgensen's post at labs.

If you have a module on EPiCode today (or are planning to submit one) please make a R2 *.zip installation file of it!

A screencast has been added for the ManageLanguages module

As I promised in my last post I have now created a screencast for the ManageLanguages module. This time I have included speech so if you want a laugh watch it here.

As a side note I have to add that I also created a screencast for the EPiServer Google Translate code created by Ruwen Jin. It is an amazing module and will rock the socks out of any competitor in a demo! I only wish the code was available from EPiCode :-( (in the mean time you can download a Manager *.zip install from his blog post on labs.episerver.com

Making EPiServer Translations Easy

Manage Languages (created by the same guy that created the Picasa2EPiServermodule and who is still to shy to have his own blog) is available on EPiCode. The module will not substitute the language files for something else, but it will make it a lot easier for you to translate and maintain the EPiServer CMS language files.

The basic for the module is that you will have an Admin plug-in that will read all language XML files and load them into the GUI. From here you can set the master language and the languages that you want to translate or change. With a bit of magic (or two weeks of coding as it took) you will have a neat overview of all language specific entries and compare them side by side. But it wouldn't be enough just to be able to translate them (because how good is your french, Dutch or German?) The module has an built-in Google Translate feature that will do all of this for you (inspiration taken from Ruwen Jin and Dan Matthews).

Downloadthe module today and get the editors to do the translating themselves!

As always the module is available as an EPiServer Manager *.zip installation and comes with full source (of course).

PS. EPiCode has gotten a few more new modules lately as well; FacetedNavigation from Cognifide Limited, Steves CacheFramework (which actually have been ported to CMS 5 by Nick Urry from Intergen New Zealand) and EasySearch from Networked Planet (that I will have a separate post about a bit later).

Module presentation has changed

Blog posts are normally scribbling about something, but on EPiCode we use it for news announcements as well (if we had a separate news section it would be kind of empty :-D)

We have done some small adjustments to the table showing all the modules, we have actually sorted them alphabetically! (as oppose to last added first).I am not sure this is the best way, but it will stay like that for a while. The concern I got is that since the naming convention for modules is somewhat "non-inventive" and "non-intuitive" I have looked for a way to present them in a mannerly fashion. Maybe there should be a date for when a module was released, updated, changed.. or maybe it should be an icon (perhaps a light bulb) of some sort say I have been created less than 3 weeks ago???

If someone from the EPiCode community have any opinions please use the comment section on this post.

PS. I am currently working on a screencast and blog entry for new free module that will help all of you in the language XML hell of EPiServer CMS.

New and updated modules on EPiCode

The EPiCode project is stronger than ever and 3 new modules have found its way to "Community source code heaven". The latest addition is a module from Henrik Nyström called PageTreeIcons. I have written a blog post on EPiCode about the feature list for the module. PageTreeIcons is not only a cool module, it also manifest that sharing modules and code through EPiCode is an easy thing to do. Henrik uploaded the source code himself, he created the wiki pages for documentation himself as well as created a EPiServer Manager *.zip install - The EPiCode team hereby give our vote for Henrik as EMVP!

The second module is PageContainer donated by Logica. It resembles the MultiPageProperty in functionality but supports Drag&Drop of pages from the EPiServer tree structure in order to create a set of links. At the moment it does not support external links but as always you can download the module with full source and add it yourself!

The third module added to EPiCode is ImageListProperty. As the name indicates this is the same type of property as the MultiPageProperty, but handles images and flash. The module has been around for some time, but is now updated with documentation, screenshots and an EPiServer Manager *.zip install.

Several of the modules have been updated, either with bug fixes or new functionality. In order to see what happens on EPiCode I recommend that you subscribe to the RSS feed for the EPiCode Timeline.

Picasa2EPiServer(a module that was declared as a "Staff pick" by Mikael Runhem) has now gone from being a hack to "supported code". When the modules was released on EPiCode it was built using various hacks as Google had no official API for the Picasa Windows Client. That is all changed now as Google have released a set of Picasa APIs. The funny part is that the APIs are exactly the same as the hacks the module is based on! Picasa2EPiServer is updated with a CMS icon for the Picasa button.

Other modules that is worth mentioning is Flexigrid. The module could be described as having EPiServer on steroids and viagra (not sure of the actual result from combining the two but it sounds strong)! Flexigrid is one of 3 modules that actually cost money, but the price compared to value is nothing (1,5 days of consulting!) Check out the Screencast.

CloudCuckoo came onto EPiCode as fresh summer breeze and brings the popular feature of Tag Clouding into EPiServer. Tag Clouding is a standard part of the Blog module found in CMS5 but CloudCuckoo enables the feature for any page in EPiServer.

EPiCode still have more disk space available - keep the modules coming!

PageTreeIcons - so natural that it feels like EPiServer

I have just downloaded and installed the module and I must say I am impressed! Not just the module it self, but the fact that documentation, source code and a EPiServer Manager installation *zip file have been added to EPiCode without us in BV Network being involved - big up to Henrik Nyström.

Now, back to the module... I have held a lot of editor and admin courses and one of the FAQ's are; "how do I know if a page fetch its data from another page?". "Well, go to edit, switch to "shortcut/external link" and check..."

Not any more! The idea behind PageTreeIcons feels so natural that you wonder why this isn't a part of standard EPiServer? Luckily the module has found it's way to EPiCode and I can now tell the course participants; "if you wonder if a page fetches its data from another page - just look at the icon!".

As for improvements I would like to get information about what page it is fetching its data from with an option to navigate to that page.

Keep the modules coming!

Screencast of the Flexigrid module has been added

We always try to make a screencasts of the modules on EPiCode but the work is hard and the time is scares so we often fall behind.

However a screencast of the Flexigrid module has been created and is available at https://www.coderesort.com/p/epicode/wiki/Flexigrid/Screencast#Screencast.

If you have any comments on the quality, length or content of the screencasts please let me know!

Manage your Newsletters in EPiServer

The Newsletter module lets you create pages in EPiServer and send pages as emails to many recipients. In contrast to the built-in subscription feature this module is push based, as you define the content, and control the sending.

The feature list include:

  • Sample Newsletter template
  • Subscribe/ unsubscribe templates
  • HTML and text formatted content
  • Import e-mail addresses with duplicate handling
  • And as with all modules on EPiCode, full source code for you to change, improve and adjust to your needs.

We have just created a new screencast of the module in use. Check it out today.

Download the module (or check out the code)

Note: This is one of two modules on EPiCode that actually cost money to use in a customer project. We simply ask you to send an e-mail with the billing information and you are ready to go.

As always we are looking to expand the offering on EPiCode. We ask that if you have a module or piece of code that you are proud of or you think someone else could benefit from - please post it on EPiCode!

Happy spamming!

Page Mockup - easy creation of page structure

One of the things I like the most in my work is to hold customer presentations. In order to make EPiServer look gooood I rely on some small tools and Plug-ins that give me the upper hand and sets the customer in the right mood. Many of these tools are found on EPiCode.

One of these tools is a small, but indispensable one, and it's called Page Mockup (anyone in for a naming contest?). It allows me to create one or several page structures based on the customers existing site map (or whatever format you have the page names in). Imagine the recognition the customer feels when you open the demo site with the complete navigation structure from his existing site!

Another useful area for the PageMockUp plug-in is when doing prototyping of design and information architecture in a customer project. Instead of looking at the information structure in Excel you could visualize the complete structure in EPiServer while at the same time verify that your fly-out menus handles 100 + sub pages. Together with the inbuilt functions of EPiServer, like Drag & Drop of page structures, working with information architecture is dead easy . Add the Manage Children module and your EPiServer development days just got even better!

Watch a screencast of the plug-in in use

EPiServer + Picasa = TRUE

Norsk Rikstoto donated the Picture Gallery template to EPiCode some time ago. This very cool template creates thumbnail size, preview size and the possibility to download the full resolution picture. It even handles search in metadata of pictures through the inbuilt search of EPiServer! Norsk Rikstoto use the template in order to provide high resolution pictures to the press and media.

As a side project Sveinung (too shy to have his blog listed on Labs) started working on a hack that would enable us to use Picasa as an "image vault". Having seem similar functionality for Picasa to Flickr and Picasa to Facebook we got some new ideas for features.

Small screenshot of Picasa2EPiServerYesterday the Picasa2EPiServer module was launched on EPiCode! It enables you to create new picture galleries directly from Picasa by choosing you favorite pictures and publish the to EPiServer. If you want to edit some of the pictures later on you can do that and publish them again to the same gallery (or a new one).

Watch a screencast of the module in use

The module comes with an EPiServer Admin plug-in for installing the button in Picasa and a sample Picture Gallery template. The rest of the fun is up to you.

As the module comes with full source you can easily adopt it into being an Image Vault for the File manager in EPiServer - having Picasa as your supplier of high quality pictures.

Web Part Framework

A template driven CMS with properties for editors to fill in makes wonders for the usability but sets boundaries for the creative mind. The result is often that you got to have templates with multiple properties in order to compensate for the "rigid" way templates work. Well - not any more, introducing an easy to use Web Part Framework - (WPF)! Originally developed for the biggest EPiServer site in Norway, www.regjeringen.no (the Norwegian Government - with 300 000 + pages at launch with 2 000 + pages created every week) the WPF introduces new ways of working with content in EPiServer.

One of the most important aspects when the WPF was developed was to have a high usability level and at the same time give the editors enough freedom to work with content. Many systems have failed this task giving us flexible interfaces but with no thought of the actual usage - so combining a standard template approach with Web Parts seems a good idea. However, introducing this in your first customer meeting will (unless it is a demand) make EPiServer look complicated and hard to use and give the same editorial feeling as other other CMS's (it has nothing to do with the implementation).

The different web parts included with the framework are page list, page, link, banners (pictures) and the WYSIWYG editor! Go to EPiCode and check it out with full source for free.

Want to see what it looks like? Watch the screencast

PS. With the new way of installing modules in CMS 5 you can actually get the Web Part Framework installed without compiling or editing web.config. Get the *.zip