EPiServer Developer Resources

Posted on May 27, 2010 by Frederik Vig in EPiServer

Last updated 29.12.2011

Table of Contents

  1. Report Center
  2. Mobile
  3. Bugs and where to find help
    1. FAQ
  4. Subscription
  5. Categories
  6. Import / Export
  7. Content Channels
  8. URL rewriting / friendly URL
  9. TinyMCE / Editor
  10. XForms
  11. Globalization / localization
  12. File system / VPP
  13. Security, Membership and roles
  14. Events
  15. Oracle
  16. SEO
  17. Workflows
  18. Errors, Logging and debugging
    1. Logging
    2. Errors and Error handling
    3. Debugging
  19. Configuration
  20. Getting started guides and tutorials
  21. Checklists
  22. SDK and API documentation
  23. Guides
  24. EPiServer Framework
    1. Online Center
      1. Gadgets
    2. Dynamic Data Store
      1. Page Objects
      2. Dynamic Data Store
    3. Initialization System
  25. Modules
    1. Modules and deployment center
    2. Open Source Modules
      1. Templates
      2. Gadgets
      3. Page Providers
      4. Virtual Path Providers
      5. Google Analytics and SEO
      6. Dynamic Content
      7. Images, Image galleries, slideshows and video
      8. Google Map
      9. Properties
      10. Language, Globalization and Localization
      11. Reports
      12. Debugging and diagnostics
      13. Frameworks
      14. Performance and caching
      15. RSS and feeds
      16. Edit mode enhancements
      17. Blog
      18. Various modules
      19. Enhancements for editors
      20. Rich Text Editor enhancements
      21. Visitor groups
      22. Mobile
    3. EPiServer Composer
    4. EPiServer Community
      1. Tech-notes
      2. More resources
    5. EPiServer Commerce
    6. EPiServer Relate+
    7. EPiServer Mail
    8. EPiServer CMO
    9. EPiServer Connect for CRM
    10. EPiServer Connect for SharePoint
    11. EPiServer MobileCenter for iOS
  26. Extending EPiServer
    1. Plugins
    2. Custom Property
    3. Dynamic Content
    4. Scheduled Jobs
  27. EPiServer Enterprise
    1. Load Balancing
    2. Server Architecture
    3. EPiServer Enterprise
    4. Mirroring
    5. Page Providers
  28. Developing with EPiServer
    1. Web Controls
    2. Page Types and PageData
    3. Properties / Dynamic Properties
    4. Code architecture
    5. Searching and filtering
  29. Performance and caching
    1. Caching
    2. Performance
  30. EPiServer Quick Publishing
  31. Visitor groups

Report Center

EPiServer’s Report Center comes with 6 predefined reports.

  • Not Published Pages
  • Published Pages
  • Changed Pages
  • Expired Pages
  • Simple Addresses
  • Link Status

For a short guide to using the existing reports see the guide: EPiServer CMS R2: Report Center.

To get started developing your own reports see: Create Your Own Reports in the Report Center and PageName vs UrlSegment Report.

Mobile

Bugs and where to find help

Often the first thing I do when I’m stuck on a problem is to go to EPiServer’s bug list and do a quick search to see if by problem might be reported in as a bug. Next up after that is Google, if I cannot find an answer there I try to post a clear description of my problem on the forum or create a support ticket.

FAQ

Not sure if it’s still in use but EPiServer World’s FAQ still contains some valuable information.

Subscription

EPiServer Subscription is used for sending email updates to users when new content is published.

These articles should at least give you a little information about EPiServer’s subscription functionality. For some sample code see the Public Templates under Pages and SubscriptionPage.aspx.

Categories

Like with Subscription there is not much documentation and blog posts about EPiServer’s built in category functionality. I’ve started using categories more for tagging pages, which I then use to filter search pages and list pages.

Here are a few resources on categories.

Import / Export

EPiServer has built in functionality for importing and exporting pages, files, categories, page types, and more. This creates an .episerverdata file that you can open up with a program like WinRar and see its content, which consists of a bunch of xml files.

Content Channels

Content Channels are used for pushing external data into EPiServer. This is for instance used by the SharePoint connector for pushing data into EPiServer from SharePoint.

For a nice introduction see:  Pushing Data into EPiServer CMS 5 via Content Channels, there is also the video: Content Channel and Custom Page Store in EPiServer CMS 5.

Methods

URL rewriting / friendly URL

Both for users and search engines it helps to use friendly urls. Since EPiServer’s URL rewriter is provider based, it is easy to replace it with your own implementation.

Below are a couple of resources for changing the built in functionality of EPiServer’s URL rewriter. I recommend using Reflector to learn more about the inner workings of the URL rewriter (in EPiServer.dll and the EPiServer.Web namespace).

TinyMCE / Editor

With the rich text editor we want to add custom styles to the content and add new functionality and plugins, below are a couple of links that should help you with this.

The default editor for EPiServer CMS 6 is TinyMCE, if you upgrade from EPiServer CMS 5 or use EPiServer CMS 5, EPiServer’s built in editor is used. You can change which editor you wish to use in your web.config file, see: XHTML Editor – PropertyXHTMLString and PropertyLongString for more information.

XForms

EPiServer XForm is used for creating user forms. EPiServer uses an editor for letting the editors of the site build the forms. As developers we can easily extend and attach our self to various events that get triggered when the forms is sent (as an email, stored in the database or both).

A trick to note when using the XForm editor is that ctrl + shift + c and ctrl + shift + v copies/pastes the markup generated by the XForm editor, allowing you to easily change it without needing to attach yourself to various events and change the markup there.

For some sample code on rendering the XForm on your site see the Public Templates and XForm.ascx and the XForm page type.

Globalization / localization

EPiServer has some powerful globalization and localization support, built on ASP.NET’s globalization and localization functionality. I recommend starting out with the Globalization tech-note. EPiServer uses xml files to store the language information inside the lang folder. When installing a new EPiServer site there are quite a few default language files that get installed with it, I recommend deleting all the files you do not use.

Also be sure to check out Manage Languages for keeping language files up to date and TranslateX for sending EPiServer CMS pages to/from a translation service.

File system / VPP

EPiServer uses Microsoft’s Virtual Path Provider for their file system. Each file has a version history and supports meta data properties for storing information like author, copyright and other information, see my post:  EPiServer File Manager and File Summary for information on how to add more meta data properties.

There has also been developed a module for storing the files in the database instead of on a file share or on the web server.

Security, Membership and roles

EPiServer uses ASP.NET’s membership and role provider model for their membership and roles. By default these providers ship with EPiServer:

  • OracleMembershipProvider
  • WindowsMembershipProvider
  • SqlServerMembershipProvider
  • ActiveDirectoryMembershipProvider
  • MultiplexingMembershipProvider

MultiplexingMembershipProvider forwards requests to the Windows- and SqlServerMembershipProvider, allowing for creating and storing users and roles in EPiServer’s database and using the Windows users and roles (this is the mostly used provider).

Events

Oracle

EPiServer supports Oracle databases and even comes with sample configuration settings in their config files.

SEO

Here are a few blog posts and modules with tips on making EPiServer even more SEO friendly.

Workflows

EPiServer uses Windows Workflow Foundation for their Workflows and even ship with 4 workflows:

  • Sequential Approval
  • Parallel Approval
  • Request for feedback
  • Ready for translation

See Enabling the EPiServer CMS Workflows for information on how to activate them.

Errors, Logging and debugging

Logging

Errors and Error handling

Debugging

Configuration

EPiServer stores a lot of its configuration settings in various .config files. Below are a few resources that’ll help you navigate through most of what you can configure.

Overview of the default config files that come with EPiServer (containing both ASP.NET and EPiServer settings).

  • web.config – The main configuration file for the application. Contains configuration for the ASP.NET API and some parts of the EPiServer CMS API.
  • episerver.config – The main configuration file for the EPiServer CMS API. Contains the basic settings for the EPiServer CMS site (or sites – in an enterprise installation).
  • episerverFramework.config – Contains mapping information describing which host addresses leads to a particular EPiServer CMS site.
  • connectionStrings.config – Contains a list of database connection strings

There are two further configuration files located in the application’s root folder. These two configuration files are separate and not related to the files listed above or each other.

  • episerverLog.config – Contains the log4net settings for the application, please see the log4net homepage for full information on configuration options.
  • fileSummary.config – An XForm defining the meta data properties attached to files that are uploaded to EPiServer CMS.

Getting started guides and tutorials

Checklists

SDK and API documentation

Guides

EPiServer Framework

EPiServer Framework consists of:

  • EPiServer OnlineCenter
  • Dynamic Data Store
  • Initialization System

For a good introduction see: Introducing EPiServer Framework.

Online Center

Gadgets

Dynamic Data Store

The Dynamic Data Store is a new feature that came with EPiServer CMS 6 and is essentially a place to store data that might not be best stored in a page property. XForms for instance are stored in the Dynamic Data Store.

Page Objects

Page Objects are .Net objects and collections that are associated with an EPiServer CMS page.

Dynamic Data Store

There are two things you need to read to understand most of the Dynamic Data Store. First the tech-note: Dynamic Data Store, and second the examples referred to in the tech-note: Dynamic Data Store Examples.

More resources

Initialization System

Modules

This section contains how to create module packages for the deployment center, open source modules, and other EPiServer modules. Many of these modules can be installed through EPiServer’s NuGet feed.

Modules and deployment center

The deployment center allows us to easily install new packages on existing sites. A package is a zip file with the necessary files that the modules needs along with configuration settings that need to be added to the various configuration files.

Open Source Modules

Most of the open source modules out there are hosted on either EPiCode or CodePlex. Here is a list of the various open source modules that I know about.

Templates

Gadgets

Page Providers

Virtual Path Providers

Google Analytics and SEO

Dynamic Content

Images, Image galleries, slideshows and video

Google Map

Properties

Language, Globalization and Localization

Reports

Debugging and diagnostics

Frameworks

Performance and caching

RSS and feeds

Edit mode enhancements

Blog

Various modules

Enhancements for editors

Rich Text Editor enhancements

Visitor groups

Mobile

EPiServer Composer

EPiServer’s Composer module is used to add extra functionality to EPiServer CMS pages, allowing editors to drag and drop functionality on predefined placeholders.

EPiServer Community

EPiServer Community is a framework for building online communities and consists of modules for user management, video galleries, chat, blogs etc.

The EPiServer Community SDK has a great howto section that covers a lot of the topics you as a developer will come across when working with EPiServer Community.

Joel Abrahamsson has also written a great series on creating new modules for EPiServer Community:

Tech-notes

More resources

EPiServer Commerce

Before trying to install EPiServer Commerce read the release notes and the section “Known Limitations”.

EPiServer Relate+

EPiServer Relate+ consists of a set of templates that builds on EPiServer Community and EPiServer CMS, and gets you started with a sample site.

EPiServer Mail

EPiServer Mail is used for sending emails and newsletters and is used by EPiServer Community and EPiServer Relate+.

EPiServer CMO

EPiServer CMO is used for monitoring and optimizing pages on your website by learning about your users’ behavior and helping your editors easily create A/B tests.

EPiServer Connect for CRM

EPiServer Connect for SharePoint

EPiServer MobileCenter for iOS

Extending EPiServer

One of EPiServer’s biggest strengths in my humble opinion is how easy EPiServer is to extend. Take a look at this picture by Deane Barker for a great overview of what is possible.

Plugins

Custom Property

Dynamic Content

Scheduled Jobs

EPiServer Enterprise

Load Balancing

Server Architecture

EPiServer Enterprise

Mirroring

Page Providers

Developing with EPiServer

Web Controls

Page Types and PageData

Properties / Dynamic Properties

Code architecture

Searching and filtering

Performance and caching

EPiServer has some great performance and caching out of the box (usually 90-95% of pages are served from the cache!). Below are some resources for improving it even more. For client side performance I recommend checking out YSlow as well.

Caching

Performance

EPiServer Quick Publishing

Visitor groups

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