SDL Web UK Meetup April 2017

This April saw the return of the UK SDL Web Meetup in Manchester which seems to be a hotbed of Tridion talent. It had only been 3 years since the last one…

First up to speak was Rob Stevenson-Legget from Building Blocks who spoke about how to set up your DD4T or DXA web application in docker containers.

Rob Stevenson-Legget from Building Blocks

It was a really interesting talk especially as using docker containers seem to be the in thing at the moment. Using it for 2013 SP1 seems to be working well and I look forward to his next talk where he has it working perfectly for SDL Web 8.5.

Second up was Jonathan Williams from Stage Two who spoke about his experience scaling SDL Web 8 in Production. It was great to hear some real world issues and see some people watching nod along as they had the same issues.

Last up was Bart Koopman, one of the Product Managers for SDL Web, and he presented a roadmap of DXA.

Bart Koopman from SDL

This talk was the one with the most audience participation which was great to see. The roadmap looks good but the key to the success has to be it’s community involvement, taking feedback from those people who have implemented DD4T and DXA many times before.

You can watch at listen to the whole meetup here (including the beer and pizza breaks): https://recordings.join.me/TPTrIZjwZUmKhfvq7nEtBg

Thanks to Stage Two for providing the refreshments and to SpaceportX for providing the free space to us.

If you would like to attend the next Meetup then make sure you get signed up. If you would like to talk then please connect with me on LinkedIn.

SDL Web UK Meetup April 2017

Getting the YouTube ECL Connector to work with DXA

I successfully hooked up the YouTube ECL Connector into Tridion 2013 SP1 a while ago without any problems but it’s taken up until now for me to build the functionality to render out the YouTube videos in DXA.

I thought this was going to be easy but once again I couldn’t find any steps in the documentation on how to do this so I thought I would show you how I did it.

My first thought was to temporarily extend the Item List schema to add in a Multimedia field called eclTest that allowed my ExternalContentLibraryStubSchema-youtube Multimedia Schema.

I then extended the ItemList Model with a new property mapping to my new field and used created as a type of EclItem (which is built in to DXA 1.2)

[SemanticProperty("s:eclTest")]
 public EclItem EclTest { get; set; }

I opened the Component and updated the Ecl Test field to point towards a YouTube ECL video.

I then published the Publish Settings Page which contains the schema field definitions as well as publishing the Home Page which contains this updated Component.

I then updated my view to render out the new field: @Model.EclTest.Url

I then ran my local DXA web application but it unfortunately blew up:

ERROR - Unable to map field 'eclTest' to property of type 'Sdl.Web.Common.Models.EclItem'.
 Sdl.Web.Common.DxaException: Unable to map field 'eclTest' to property of type 'Sdl.Web.Common.Models.EclItem'. ---> System.MissingMethodException: Cannot create an abstract class.

What I didn’t realise is that the EclItem class is an abstract class and what I needed to do is to create a new class that Inherited from ECLItem and update my ItemList Model to use that type. Rick explained this over on Stack Exchange.

So I created a public class called YouTubeEclItem and then mapped the entity to the stub schema that is created in the CME

[SemanticEntity(CoreVocabulary, "ExternalContentLibraryStubSchema-youtube")]
 public class YouTubeEclItem : EclItem
 {
 }

I can then update the field in the ItemList Model to be a YouTubeEclItem instead:

[SemanticProperty("s:eclTest")]
 public YouTubeEclItem EclTest { get; set; }

I then ran the application and it worked! I had a YouTube URL rendered out!

I hope this helps anyone else out that go stuck with this too.

Getting the YouTube ECL Connector to work with DXA

SDL DXA Component Links In Page Metadata

In my DXA solution I was trying to change the Page Metadata to come from a Component rather but unfortunately it didn’t work out of the box.

tridion-page-metadata

Taking a look inside the ProcessMetadataField method in the DefaultModelBuilder class the code is written to work with an Embedded Schema:

if (field.FieldType==FieldType.Embedded)

But when it drops into the else statement to resolve the Component Link then it doesn’t get any content back as that Page Metadata Component is not published.

With a quick tweak to the method you can add an extra else if for a Component Link type and this is now working:

else if (field.FieldType == FieldType.ComponentLink)
{
    foreach (IComponent component in field.LinkedComponentValues)
    {
       foreach (IField subfield in component.Fields.Values)
       {
         ProcessMetadataField(subfield, meta, localization);
       }
    }
}

I also needed to change the link level value to 2 in the Generate dynamic page TBB on the Render Page Content Modular Template in order to get the Metadata Component values in the published JSON:

link-level-getpagecontent

SDL DXA Component Links In Page Metadata

DXA Preview Plugin for DXA 1.2 and SDL Tridion 2013 SP1

Mark Williams has created a really useful Alchemy Plugin to preview DXA websites in Tridion. Unfortunately for me this was only for the DD4T Tridion 2013 Provider and I needed it for 2013 SP1 as I am building a DXA 1.2 website.

Away I went to get the source from Github to modify the 2013 SP1 Provider that DXA 1.2 uses but I soon realised I was modifying the wrong version. One Stack Exchange question later, Bart had hooked me up with the exact version that I needed to modify which was 2.0.5-beta.

So I have modified the Page Provider to bring over the same code that Mark wrote and voila! I have a working DXA Preview Alchemy Plugin for DXA 1.2 and the DD4T 2013 SP1 Provider.

Only the TridionPageProvider.GetContentByURL() method is modified and here is the code: https://gist.github.com/RyanDurkin/daeb5cfbe0f8a7170e88c9e83c71fe98

Hopefully this will help somebody in the same situation.

DXA Preview Plugin for DXA 1.2 and SDL Tridion 2013 SP1