Mark Everard

Hello, I'm Mark – a PhD physicist turned developer / architect.

Content Icons for EPiServer

with 3 comments

One of the nice features that came along with the new CMS editing interface from EPiServer 7 is the ability to define icons for Pages and Blocks. These icons are used within the new editing interface and give editors a more visual way of deciding which is the right content element to use and create in their site.

Alloy examples

The Alloy Templates starter pack contains a selection of purpose designed images, and demonstrates how useful this can be.

Page icons in EPiServer 7 Alloy templates starter pack

The reality

The horrible reality that I’ve found is that often designing these icons becomes a low priority task for designers and that the below is an example end result! Which lets be honest, doesn’t really help editors too much.

reality-icons

A solution

As part of the project we’re working on at the minute at Marie Curie, we’ve designed a suite of 55 icons for our own implementation. However, being the nice kind-hearted souls that we are (it comes from working in a charity), we’re sharing our work in the hope that fellow CMS implementors will them useful.

CMS-icon-index

The icons can be downloaded here, or are available on a GitHub repository in case you want to contribute some additional icons to the set!

If you use them, why not return some kindness by donating some money to our cause.

* The icons are a derivative of an icon set by Michael Reimer from http://www.bestpsdfreebies.com. If you’re in need of any other icons, you should check out his site.

Written by Mark

November 17th, 2014 at 10:00 am

Posted in Community,EPiServer

Find(ing) missing dependencies when installing New EPiServer Find

with 2 comments

Recently we installed the New EPiServer Find so our editors could benefit from the sleek new interface from which they could view and optimise our user’s search journeys.

Installation on our DEV machines was simple and performed through Nuget. However, after deployment we noticed that our upstream environments were broken (obviously we didn’t deploy as far as production!)

The environments were throwing the following exception on Initialisation.

The system cannot find the file specified.
at EPiServer.Find.UI.FindInitializationModule.Initialize(InitializationEngine context)

The cause

The EPiServer Find.UI is dependent on the following libraries

  • Newtonsoft.Json.dll
  • System.Net.Http.dll
  • System.Net.Http.Formatting.dll
  • System.Net.Http.WebRequest.dll
  • System.Web.Http.dll
  • System.Web.Http.WebHost.dll

These libraries are a part of MVC4 / WebAPI.  I’m guessing that the Find UI uses WebAPI for delivering some of its goodness.

A solution is detailed here, but in summary you have two choices:

  1. The wrong way- Install MVC4 on your build server / target environments. The MVC4 installer will add these libraries to the GAC, so your application will be able to resolve them.
  2. The right wayInclude these dependencies as part of your application using Nuget. Install the Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.WebHost package.

The right way means that your application is portable and is not dependent on system components being deployed on each server environment. Additionally the EPiServer.Find.Nuget package should explicitly list Microsoft.AspNet.WebApi.WebHost as a dependency. Put it on the backlog please Find team :)

Happy Finding!

Written by Mark

June 26th, 2014 at 9:54 am

Posted in ASP.NET,EPiServer

PageStructureBuilder for EPiServer 7.5

without comments

If there was an award for the best EPiServer extension produced by a member of the World community; that didn’t gain the recognition it deserved. Of course, my own Personalisation Engine would win hands down ;)

Coming in a very close second would be one of Joel Abrahamsson’s masterpieces. This one lesser known than PageTypeBuilder, Truffler or PowerSlice, but one that solves a common CMS challenge equally as elegantly.

PageStructureBuilder was a solution Joel put together to automatically organise EPiServer pages, meaning you could define areas of your site that would ensure its content was arranged into a predefined structure. The obviously use-case here being ‘news’ type pages that would be stored in a date hierarchy (Year > Month > Day > News Article).

The solution was originally built against CMS6 and PageTypeBuilder, so I’ve forked Joel’s original solution and upgraded it to work against EPiServer 7.5 and the native strongly typed page implementation.

Available on EPiServer Nuget now.

 

Written by Mark

June 10th, 2014 at 10:00 am

Posted in Community,EPiServer