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Creating Data Entry Templates

Data Entry Templates consist of properties that define the fields available for creating a content item. When you create or edit a content item from a Data Entry Template, these properties appear in the Content Item Editor as editable fields, such as text boxes, selection lists, fields for downloading files, boolean True/False radio buttons, and so forth. When you publish the content item, Publisher uses an associated Presentation Template to define how the property values are displayed to the end user.

Users in the Producer role and above can create and configure Data Entry Templates.

This chapter provides an overview of Data Entry Templates and discusses how to create and edit Data Entry Templates.

 


About Data Entry Templates

This section provides an overview and includes the following topics:

Overview

The pages composing a web site typically fall into just a few categories. Even a large e-commerce site, with hundreds of web pages, typically groups them into a home page and a small number of categories, such as catalog listings, weekly specials, news releases, job postings, and so forth. web pages within each category have identical design and similar content. One job posting, for example, looks like another job posting and contains similar kinds of information.

You can create a Data Entry Template for each category of web page: for example, a Data Entry Template for catalog listings, another for job postings, and so on. In each Data Entry Template, you specify the kinds of information that will appear on all web pages in that category; later, contributors use these Data Entry Templates to create content items and enter content for web pages.

To create Data Entry Templates, you assemble properties—one property for each variable component of a web page. In a Data Entry Template for job postings, for example, you might include properties for job title, hiring manager, responsibilities, qualifications, salary range, and start date.

When you create a property, you assign a property type to specify the kind of information the property should hold: text, long text, integer, date, item (a reference to another content item), image, file, list, selection list, real, and Boolean.

A Data Entry Template for job postings, for example, might include these properties and types:

Table 9-1 Example: Data Entry Template Properties and Types (Job Posting)
Property Name
Property Type
Job Title
Text
Responsibilities
Long Text
Qualifications
Long Text
Hiring Manager
Selection List
Salary Range
Selection List or Text
Start Date
Date

Property Types Available for Data Entry Templates

The following property types are available for creating Data Entry Template properties:

This section describes each property type and its uses.

Text

Enables users to enter plain text. You can limit the entry length to anything below 255 plain-text characters.

The example below also displays the red asterisk associated with a required field. Data Entry Template Editor enables you to configure any property as a required one.

Figure 9-1 Text property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Text property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Long Text

Provides a Rich Text Editor that enables users to enter formatted text, images, tables, numbered or bulleted lists, hyperlinks, and HTML. You can also specify that the text box allow plain text entry only. You can limit the entry length if you use the plain text option.

To insert portal transformer tags, click the Toggle button to switch to the HTML text editor. Type the portal transformer tags into the HTML.

Figure 9-2 Long Text property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Long Text property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Note: In Netscape browsers, this field appears as a simple long text field, into which users can enter text and HTML formatting tags.

Integer

Enables users to enter a whole number (integer). If a user enters text, an “invalid entry” error occurs. You might want to add instructions to help users understand that they must enter a whole number.

Figure 9-3 Integer property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Integer property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Real

Enables users to enter a whole number or fraction in decimal form. If a user enters text, an “invalid entry” error occurs. You might want to add instructions to help users understand that they must enter a number.

Figure 9-4 Real property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Real property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Boolean

Enables users to answer a yes/no or true/false question.

Figure 9-5 Boolean property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Boolean property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Date

Enables users to enter a date or select it from a pop-up calendar control and choose a time from a drop-down list.

Figure 9-6 Date property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Date property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Item

Enables users to create a new content item or select an existing content item that will appear within the content item created from the Data Entry Template. The Item property is a reference to any content item in the Publisher. The Presentation Template can use this property to access the properties of the referenced item, create a link to the referenced item, or insert the referenced item’s published contents into the body of the item being published.

Users can open the content item in a new Content Item Editor window by clicking on it or view the item’s content in the lines immediately below the item name by clicking the + next to the item.

Figure 9-7 Item property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Item property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

List

Enables users to add multiple content items to the content item created from the Data Entry Template. The published content item displays the items in the list in the same order in which you list them in the Content Item Editor; the up and down arrows on the right allow you to rearrange the order of the list. If you create a new item using the Create Item button in the toolbar, you are prompted to select a Data Entry Template first; if you create a new item using the Create Item icon to the right of an item already in the list, the item uses the same Data Entry Template as the listed item.

Figure 9-8 List property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

List property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Image

Enables users to upload an image from a local or shared network drive.

Figure 9-9 Image property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Image property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

File

Enables users to upload a file from a local or shared network drive.

Figure 9-10 File property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

File property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Selection List

Selection lists limit fields to specific entries. You define the list of static entries from which users can choose. A selection list ensures uniformity and eliminates the chance of misspellings. By ensuring uniform data in a contributor's input, a Presentation Template writer can confidently use the value of a property to include content conditionally while publishing.

A selection list must exist before you can add it to a Data Entry Template. You create selection lists using the Selection List page. Selection lists may be shared between Data Entry Templates. In the Data Entry Template Editor, you can specify whether users can select more than one item.

Figure 9-11 Selection List property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Selection List property type field as it appears in Content Item Editor

Figure 9-12 Selection List property type field allowing multiple selections

Selection List property type field allowing multiple selections

Defining Selection Lists

To define a selection list:

  1. Open Publisher Explorer and navigate to the folder in which you want to create a Selection List.
  2. Click New | Selection List to open the Selection List page.
  3. Enter a Name to identify the selection list. Use a name that makes clear the type of data included in the list.
  4. Enter your selection list values. Each entry is limited to 255 characters.
  5. You can change the order of values using the icons to the right of the value name.

  6. When you are finished, click Save and Close.

Sample Data Entry Templates

Publisher provides sample content portlet templates that you can use to create published content portlets or branding portlets using the Portlet Editor and the Configure Portlet Wizard. These portlet templates include Data Entry Templates that the system automatically copies when you create a new published content or branding portlet. You can use these Data Entry Templates as they are or customize them to fit your organization’s particular terminology or content collection needs. The table below lists the Data Entry Templates provided with each sample portlet template, along with their property fields:

Table 9-2 Sample Data Entry Templates by Portlet Type
Portlet Type
Data Entry Templates: Property fields
Announcement
Announcement: announcement (long text)
Community Directory
Howto Article: title (text), summary (long text), info (long text), hidden (boolean)
Index: hidden (boolean)
Info Article: title (text), summary (long text), info (long text), hidden (boolean)
Main Page: edit (boolean), create (boolean), delete (boolean), search (boolean)
Problem Article: title (text), summary (long text), cause (long text), resolution (long text), problem (long text), info (long text), hidden (boolean)
News
Index: items (list)
Main Page: edit (boolean), create (boolean), delete (boolean), search (boolean), maxitems (integer)
News Article: headline (text), abstract (text), body (long text), hidden (boolean)
Content Canvas
Content Canvas: text (long text)
Header
Header: text (long text)
Footer
Footer: text (long text)

All of the above also include the Name property.

 


Creating and Editing Data Entry Templates

To create new Data Entry Templates and configure the sample Data Entry Templates, you use the Data Entry Template Editor. This section discusses how to:

Launching the Data Entry Template Editor

You can open the Data Entry Template Editor from Publisher Explorer, the Configure Portlet Wizard, and the Presentation Template Editor. Only Publisher Explorer enables you to open the Data Entry Template Editor both to create a new template and to edit an existing template; the others enable you only to edit existing templates.

To open the Data Entry Template Editor from Publisher Explorer, perform one of the following actions:

To open the Data Entry Template Editor from the Configure Portlet Wizard on any Edit Objects page for an object category that includes a Data Entry Template, click Edit next to the template name.

To open the Data Entry Template Editor from the Presentation Template Editor, click the Data Entry Template name in the Data Entry Template field.

Using the Data Entry Template Editor

To create or edit a Data Entry Template in the Data Entry Template Editor:

Note: The Data Entry Template must be attached to a Presentation Template before you can publish any content items created from it. To attach a Data Entry Template, use the Presentation Template Editor.

Adding Properties

In the Data Entry Template Editor, under Properties, create a property for each type of content you want captured by the content items that use the Data Entry Template. You can also enter default values for each property. While these defaults are not required, the example they provide can help users who are creating content items from the template.

To add a property:

  1. Click Add Property to access the Configure Property page.
  2. On the General tab, do the following:
    • Enter a Name for the property. All properties must have a name.
    • Caution: If you change a property name in the Data Entry Template, you must also change any references to the property name in the associated Presentation Template.
    • If you want the property name that is displayed in Content Item Editor to differ from the name you entered above, enter a Display Name.
    • Select the property type from the Type list.
    • For information on each property type, see Property Types Available for Data Entry Templates.

    • If you select a Text property type, you can use the Maximum Length field to set a maximum number of characters enterable in the text box. The limit is 255 characters.
    • If you select a Long Text property type, select whether you want users to edit text with a Rich Text editor or with a Plain Text editor.
    • If you select a Selection List property type, you must choose an existing Selection List. The Select Selection List dialog box opens when you select Selection List from the Type list.
    • If you want the property to be required for checking in a content item, select Require value to check in. Publisher displays an error in the Content Item Editor if a user tries to check the item in without entering a value in the field.
    • If you want the property to be required for publishing in a content item, select Require value to publish. Publisher displays an error in the Content Item Editor if a user tries to publish the item without entering a value in the field.
    • If you want the Content Item Editor to display instructions for using the property, enter the instructions in the Instructions text box. You can format your instructions using a rich text editor.
  3. You can set the default value for a property, set the property as a document property, and map it to a portal property on the Advanced tab.
    • You can define the default value of the data item. This value appears in the data entry field and can be seen by Contributors (or users with higher roles) when they create or edit content items derived from this Data Entry Template.
    • You can map a content item property to a portal property, and by associating the properties defined in the Data Entry Template with portal properties, those properties are indexed in the Search Server when content items created from the Data Entry Template are published (if associated with a portlet). This allows users to use Advanced Search to query for content items by specifying the portal property in the search criteria.
      To select the Portal Property used by Search Server to index the property, do the following:
    • a. Click Select.
      b. In the dialog, choose a portal property or search and find a property.
      c. Click OK.

    • You can choose Set as Document Property if you want this property to be set as a document property when content items created from the Data Entry Template are published to or crawled into the Knowledge Directory. The Publisher attempts to find an attribute with the same name as this property in the portal's Global Document Property Map or in the document type identifier specified in this Data Entry Template.
  4. When you are finished configuring a property, click Finish to return to the main page of the Data Entry Template Editor.
  5. Each added property is listed in the Properties grid, including the property name, display name, property type, and required status. To move a property up or down in the list, use the Actions arrows at the right of each row. The list order in the Data Entry Template determines the display order in the Content Item Editor.

Copying, Moving, Renaming, and Deleting Data Entry Templates

You can copy, move, rename, and delete Data Entry Templates in Publisher Explorer, just as you do with any Publisher component. Note the following considerations, however, when performing these functions on Data Entry Templates:

Caution: Deleting a Data Entry Template deletes all content items created from it. There is no undo.

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