Mark Everard

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

Archive for May, 2014

Configurable Content Feeds for EPiServer 7.5

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AKA – another (and better!) RSS/ATOM feed for EPiServer. Developing an RSS feed for an EPiServer CMS system is actually quite a simple task and there is already a good amount of information and community options that you can download and use.

However, the particular problem I was presented with required something a little more than what was already out there, so I took the opportunity to build a fuller solution based on CMS 7.5. This may be the last RSS feed module for EPiServer that you’ll ever need!

This effort started out with a requirement to integrate content from EPiServer CMS to an IBM WebSphere Commerce system (WCS). WCS contains out-of-the-box functionality to consume external content from a publishing feed presented in an ATOM format so this seemed like a suitable integration method.

The design of the pages and content area to be shared required that we shared only specifc HTML snippets from the CMS to the WCS system. This fitted in perfectly with the new Content Blocks in EPiServer 7; meaning we needed a content feed that could share not only pages but also content blocks. This additionally  meant that content blocks needed to be routed so the individual output could be consumed by the external WCS solution.

Also the new Media system in EPiServer 7.5 allows the content feeds to handle and output media items in a simpler way. Its all IContent man!

Editor functionality

  • Editors can create multiple feeds (a feed is a Page Type)
  • Feeds contain a date ordered (most recently published first) list of content items
  • Editors can specify whether a feed is delivered in RSS or ATOM format
  • Editors can specify how many items appear in the feed.
  • Editors have granular control over what content items are shared. They can include any of the following in a single feed.
    1. Descendents of a specified page in the page tree
    2. Child blocks contained within a specified content folder
    3. Child media items within a specified media folder
    4. Any number of individually selected pages, blocks or media items, via a ContentArea property
  • Blocks included in a feed are externally routed so their HTML output can be consumed by external systems.
  • Feed pages have a partial renderer meaning they can be dragged into Content Areas to display an RSS feed logo and link.



Extending and modifying

There isn’t much to do as a developer beyond installing the package. Note. I’ve only tested this against an MVC Alloy solution. It should play nicely with WebForms but I’ve not tested!

  • You may want to change the partial renderer view for a Feed Page. This can be found in /modules/Chief2moro.SyndicationFeeds/Views/Partial.cshtml


  • You can override the description that is shown along with each item in the feed by providing a method for the SetItemDescription delegate. By default this is of the form ‘An src link to content with id = {content.ContentLink.ID} and name = {content.Name}’

Other integration considerations

There is one item not included in the solution which you may need to consider . Whilst the feed presents absolute urls from the feed to pages, blocks and media.  Any content within a page or block that contains editor set hyperlinks, such as an XHtml property will most likely contain relative urls. If these are consumed and presented on an external website you’ll get a serious case of the 404’s.

You can get around this by rewriting any outbound urls in the content to be absolute. The solution I used was to set up a rule in my favourite tool IIS UrlRewrite. This intecepted all outbound html from a particular path and rewrites all links to be absolute. This isn’t the most flexible solution as it relies on outbound scanning on specific paths. It may be better to add something into this solution, but this isn’t something I’ve looked at yet.

It’s on Nuget

The source code is available at – I’m happy to accept Pull requests

A package (currently v1.0.0.1)  is (soon to be – when its approved) available in the EPiServer Nuget Feed – – search for CHIEF2MORO.SyndicationFeeds

Happy Feeding!

Written by mark

May 30th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Posted in ASP.NET,C#,EPiServer

London EPiServer Developer Meetup Summer 2014

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Many of you have been asking when the next London EPiServer Developer Meetup would be…… If you keep reading then you’ll find out (spoiler – its Tuesday 10th June)

It’s been a year since we last met and there is much to catch up on. As we were all getting to grips with version 7, EPiServer released 7.5, including a new way to handle media files. There has been further large feature enhancements and consolidation and integration of the Commerce product, and a move to near continuous delivery; with new features for all products being delivered direct to our doorsteps (aka Nuget feeds) every few weeks.

To help us find out all of the latest news, EPiServer have sent some of their top techys across from Sweden to tell us all about it – (thanks to all who made this possible).

We’ve got a very full programme of talks, networking and refreshements so we’re planning on starting a little earlier at 6pm at our friends Nansen.

1. Chris Sharp, Nansen – Commerce 7.5 Markets
Configuration, customization, development, usages, and purposes of the Commerce 7.5 market system.​

2. Magnus Stråle, EPiServer
Commerce & MVC – some simple patterns. Also, Frequent EPiServer releases – how & why.

3. Shahram Shahinzadeh – Visual Studio integration and Azure
Intro to the new Visual Studio integration based on NuGet and installing EPiServer CMS sites with one click. Also, highlighting which EPiServer modules changed because of Cloud considerations (DB, Event provider, blob provider, cloud license, etc.).

Those details for your diaries.

  • Tues 10th June 2014, 18.00– 20.30ish
  • Nansen – 109-111 Farringdon Road, London – (directions)

Looking forward to seeing you there. Please RSVP on our Meetup page

Written by mark

May 19th, 2014 at 8:38 am

Posted in Community,EPiServer