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Setting up Dossier templates in Content Station 9

 

Setting up Dossier templates in Content Station 9

In a multi-channel environment, the use of templates is essential. It ensures that:

  • All files that are needed for creating the story are already bundled in a Dossier.
  • Articles and layouts contain the correct components and styling, specifically set up for the Publication Channel in which they will be used.
  • The files have the correct properties assigned such as Publication Channels, Workflow Statuses, and so on.
  • The user does not have to spend time searching for the correct files but can start working straight away by using the Dossier template.

The process of setting up Dossier templates for a Content Station user consists of the following steps:

Step 1. Preparing layout templates, articles or article templates

Step 2. Creating a Dossier template

Step 3. Adding files to the Dossier template

Step 4. (Optional) Setting up Publish Forms

Step 5. (Optional) Setting up Dossier Labels

Step 6. Optional) Adding a Dossier template to the Home screen

Step 7. (Optional) Removing the Create New Article icon from the Home screen

1. Preparing layout templates, articles or article templates

The Dossier template will contain a variety of files which form the basis for creating the story.

These will typically include one or more articles or article templates (one for each Publication Channel) and — when the Dossier template is used in a Publication Channel of type 'print' — one or more layout templates.

Task: Use the following applications to create these files and make sure that they include the design and/or styles for formatting the text that is applicable to the Publication Channel in which the file is going to be used:

  • Article: Content Station, Smart Connection for InDesign or Smart Connection for InCopy
  • Article template: Smart Connection for InDesign or Smart Connection for InCopy
  • Layout template: Smart Connection for InDesign

Note: Layouts, Layout Modules, and Layout Module templates do not have to be prepared because these will be ignored when a new Dossier is created from a Dossier template. The reason for this is that the correct workflow for creating a new layout is to base it on a layout template.

2. Creating a Dossier template

Dossier templates are created by using the Planning Application of Content Station.

Step 1. In Content Station, access the Planning Application.

Step 2. Do one of the following:

  • Click the Create Dossier Template icon.

The Create Dossier Template icon

  • Choose File > New > Dossier Template....

The Create Dossier Template dialog box appears.

The Create Dossier Template dialog box in the Planning Application

Step 3. Enter a name, set the properties as needed and click OK.

Tip: Set the Issue to 'Current Issue' to make sure that the Issue that is currently assigned as the current Issue is used.

Example: The current issue is the issue that is next up for publication: tomorrow's newspaper, next month's magazine, and so on. It is typically used in Publication Channels of type 'print'.

The Dossier template is created and added to the list in the Dossier Templates pane.

A Dossier Template added in the Plannings Application

3. Adding files to the Dossier template

In this step, the files are added that form the basis for creating the story.

These files will typically include one or more articles or article templates (one for each Publication Channel) and — when the Dossier template is used in a Publication Channel of type 'print' — one or more layout templates. Additional files such as a Task, images, or any other type of file can also be included.

Step 1. Open the Dossier template in Content Station by doing one of the following:

  • Right-click the Dossier template and choose Open.
  • Double-click the Dossier template while holding down the Alt key.
  • Select the Dossier template and choose File > Open > Open.
  • Select the Dossier template and press Cmd+E (Mac OS) or Ctrl+E (Windows).

The Dossier template will open in a new tab.

Step 2. Add the files to the Dossier in the regular way.

Note: Before adding the files, note how each type of file is added when the Dossier template is turned into a new Dossier: either as a new instance of the file or as a link to the original file.

Step 3. Access the properties of each file (by right-clicking the file and choosing Properties) and set the Issue and (optionally) the Edition properties to the Publication Channel in which the file is going to be used.

Note: This makes sure that when choosing the Publication Channel in the Dossier, only the files that are assigned to that channel are shown, thereby making it easier to work on the files.

4. (Optional) Setting up Publish Forms

Publishing a story to the Web (such as to a Drupal Web site, Facebook, Twitter or WordPress), is done by using a Publish Form.

Each Publication Channel uses its own Publish Form, based on a Publish Form template. Prepare each of these Publication Channels by instantiating its Publish Form.

Note: These Publication Channels have been added during 2. Creating a Dossier template by setting the properties for the Dossier template.

Step 1. (Optional, only when the Publication Channel has not yet been added) Add the Publication Channel to the Dossier template.

Step 2. In the Channel pane, click on a Publication Channel that makes use of a Publish Form.

One of 2 things will happen:

  1. The Publish Form appears immediately.
  2. You first have to choose a template on which to base the Publish Form. Do this and click OK.

Step 3. Decide if the article components should be added to the Publish Form manually or automatically by the user. See the next section 'About adding article components to a Publish Form in a Dossier template'.

About adding article components to a Publish Form in a Dossier template

Adding article components to a Publish Form can be done in the following ways:

  • Method #1: Manually by the user
  • Method #2: Automatically by Content Station
  • Method #3: Automatically by an Enterprise Server plug-in

Method #1: Manually by the user

Process: Do not add any article components in the Publish Form that is placed in the Dossier template. Provide the user with article components to choose from by adding one or more articles to the Dossier with the same components that the Publish Form requires.

Example: When the Publish Form is set up to hold a 'header' and a 'body' component, create either a multi-component article that contains these components or multiple single-component articles, one for each component.

Comments: When the Publish Form is created in the new Dossier, it will contain no article components.

Letting the user add the article component is the least preferable of all methods because it means more work for the user and it may result in the user choosing the incorrect component by mistake.


Method #2: Automatically by Content Station

Process: Add the article component to the Publish Form that is located in the Dossier template.

Comments: When the Publish Form is created in the new Dossier, the article component in the Publish Form is linked to the article component in the Dossier template.

Example: When adding a 'header' component, the 'header' component in the Publish Form in the created Dossier is linked to the 'header' component in the Dossier template, meaning that any changes made to the article component in the Dossier template are reflected in the article component in the Dossier, and vice versa.

Note: This may not be the desired workflow; see the note Automatically adding article components: linking to the article in the Dossier template or to the article in the Dossier? at the end of this section.


Method #3: Automatically by an Enterprise Server plug-in

Process: Download the Enterprise Server plug-in named Publish Form Article Selector from WoodWing Labs, install and activate it, and configure its config.php file.

Tip: The working and configuration of this plug-in is discussed in the Partner Enablement video presentation titled 'Dossier Templates & Publish Forms', dated 16 January 2014. The video and accompanying presentation can be downloaded from the Partner section of the Community Site (accessible to WoodWing Partners only).

Do not add any article components in the Publish Form that is placed in the Dossier template. Provide the plug-in with article components to choose from by adding one or more articles to the Dossier with the same components that the Publish Form requires.

Example: When the Publish Form is set up to hold a 'header' and a 'body' component, create either a multi-component article that contains these components or multiple single-component articles, one for each component.

Comments: When the Publish Form is created in the new Dossier, the article components are automatically added to the Publish Form by using matching article components from the articles that are present in the Dossier.

Example: The 'body' component of the Publish Form will be linked to the 'body' component of an article in the Dossier.

Note: This may not be the desired workflow; see the note Automatically adding article components: linking to the article in the Dossier template or to the article in the Dossier? at the end of this section


Automatically adding article components: linking to the article in the Dossier template or to the article in the Dossier?

Automatically adding an article component to a Publish Form is obviously preferable over doing this manually.

But which method is best?

  1. Adding the article component to the Publish Form in the Dossier template and maintaining a link to that article component.
  2. Adding the article component to the Publish Form at the time it is created in the Dossier and maintaining a link to the article component in the Dossier.

To answer this question, we need to know how our customers re-use content and which method they prefer. Based on this feedback we can decide which method should be the default functionality of Content Station and how to refine this functionality further.

Please send us your feedback by:

  • Adding a comment to the announcement on WoodWing Labs
  • For customers: contacting your WoodWing Partner
  • For WoodWing Partners: contacting your WoodWing representative or Consultant

5. (Optional) Setting up Dossier Labels

Dossier Labels are labels that can be assigned to files in a Dossier and subsequently be used for filtering the content of the Dossier to show files with that assigned label only.

A Dossier filtered by using Dossier Labels

Figure: Files in a Dossier filtered by a Dossier Label.

Dossier Labels that are set up in a Dossier template are inherited by the Dossier that is created from it.

Task: Set up any often used Dossier Labels. For more information, see Filtering the content of a Dossier in Content Station using Dossier Labels.

6. (Optional) Adding a Dossier template to the Home screen

In a template driven workflow, users will often use a Dossier template to create a new Dossier. To make these Dossier templates easier to find they can be added as an icon to the Applications pane on the Home page of Content Station.

A Dossier template added to the Applications pane

Figure: A Dossier template for creating a Facebook post added to the Applications pane.

Task: Add any often used Dossier templates by following the steps outlined in Adding Dossier Templates to the Home page in Content Station.

Tip: Use a descriptive name for the Dossier template so that the user can easily see for what type of story and Publication Channel the Dossier template should be used.

7. (Optional) Removing the Create New Article icon from the Home screen

One of the ways of creating a new article in Content Station is by double-clicking the New Article icon on the Home screen.

The Create Article icon on the Home screen

Figure: The Create New Article icon on the Home screen.

However, this will create a stand-alone article which is not associated with any Dossier. It will also contain default article components and default styles for formatting the text, both of which may not be suitable for the Publication Channel in which the article is eventually used.

In a Dossier template driven workflow, the aim is to have the user create a new article by instantiating a Dossier template and/or by clicking the New Article button in the Dossier. To prevent the user from creating articles by using the Create New Article icon on the Home screen, the icon can be hidden.

Task: Hide the icon by setting the following option:

  • File: configserver.php
  • Name of option: ContentStationHideGlobalNewArticle
  • Location: SERVERFEATURES list
  • Example:

new Feature( 'ContentStationHideGlobalNewArticle' ),

References

The steps 'Creating a Dossier template' and 'Setting up Publish Forms' of this article are discussed in the Partner Enablement video presentation titled 'Dossier Templates & Publish Forms', dated 16 January 2014. The video and accompanying presentation can be downloaded from the Partner section of the Community Site (accessible to WoodWing Partners only).

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