Saturday, August 24, 2013

WebCenter Portal new features - Composer

I'm quite impressed by the entirely new design of the composer, the edit mode of a page.
Instead of a popup containing the resource catalog, it is now an integral part of the design mode.

The basics are the same. You can create your own resource catalogs and can browse and search in the same way as in earlier releases.
But since it is now an integral part of the design view, you can easily drag and drop resources on any region of the page. As you remember, earlier you would select Add Content in a region and select resources for that specific region. Added specific resources to different region was always 'a lot of work'
You now also have a preview mode in which you can see your changes without saving them.

I don't see a lot of use for the Select mode. In this mode you can 'select' a component and edit it's properties. You can do that from the design view as well...

The structure view looks a lot like the old source view. What I miss however, is the option to edit a task flow that is on the page

A nice feature is the preview mode available only to moderators. When you are in edit mode, you get a preview icon with which you can get  a preview of the page when viewed with a specific mobile device (assuming the device groups are enabled, see previous post)

I noticed that the moderator has a lot of additional features available to maintain pages (add, remove) even though my participator account has manage all pages privileges.
What we see when we edit a page as moderator is that you can add pages with a hierarchy. It looks like you do not just add a page, but add it to the default navigation model at the same time, enabling you to create a hierarchy. On the Assets tab under Structure | Navigations you are still able to create multiple navigation models.

Another significant improvement is that you can navigate to the documents page from the edit mode. This enables you to add content while editing a page, again without saving your changes or navigating to the documents page inside a new incognito window.

All in all the interface has improved significantly and is a lot more intuitive.
I think it's a bit weird you do not see the list of pages if you have all the privileges to edit / delete pages, but I'll dive into that when I'm back from holiday. I must be doing something wrong... (the alternative is a bug?!?!?)

BTW: If you are hooked on the Add Content buttons... You can hide the catalog which will remove the docked resource catalog and will give you back your Add Content buttons. I think I'll forget the buttons within the next few weeks though :)

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