Building addons if often a vital component of building integrations - as an integration often is deployed as an addon for each system it integrates. And at CodeArt we love the challenge of extending existing systems in an elegant way. Both Episerver, Contentful and pretty much any other extendable system we come in contact with.
Allan, CEO of CodeArt says:
One of the things I love about Episerver is it's extensibility and how easy it is to build addons for it. And over the years I've built numerous add-ons for Episerver. Some of them are available today as open source, some have been productized - and others have met a silent death.
Some of the Episerver Addons I've been involved in the creation of are:
- MobilePack - A quite widely used plugin for CMS 6 to provide Mobile capabilities. Many of the features were later rewritten and productized into the core of Episerver
- CriteriaPack - Initiated on Codeplex by me, later development done by Episerver Dev.
- Virtual Roles - Add-on for CMS 5/6. Was part inspiration for the CMS 6R2 feature Visitor Groups which exist and is used today for personalization in Episerver
- Self-Optimizing Block - A CMS 7 feature for content optimization. Was later productized and is today maintained by Episerver Dev.
- ServiceAPIExtensions - An extension to the Episerver ServiceAPI to allow for full content CRUD operations. The latest versions of the Service API solves some of the same problems as this one - although it is still read-only.
- Forms - The current way to work with web site forms in Episerver. It's build and maintained by Episerver Dev, but I worked on the initial prototype and product managed it for it's first year.
- Episerver Cognitive Services - An add-on that let's you use Azure Cognitive Services to enhance Media meta data in Episerver.
I've also made experimental add-ins for Office, Extensions for Google Chrome and Connectors for Microsoft Flow and Zapier. Not all of them have been released, but has instead solved their purpose as demos or prototypes to evaluate an idea. Others might be released later...
Content Provider or Content Replication
When integrating external content into Episerver, a classic dilemma is whether you should replicate it in, or setup a content provider to pull it in real-time. As part of the Digizuite Integration I have once again given some thought to the dilemma - and here are some pro's and cons.
Digizuite: Keeping developers in mind when building the addon
I have worked on many different addon's for Episerver over the years - and used many more. One thing that often strikes me is that either an Addon is for editors or it is for developers, but rarely both. With the new Digizuite integration we are trying to give both groups the tools they need.
Digizuite DAM for Episerver
Digizuite is a pretty serious DAM player in the enterprise market - and I have been lucky enough to be part of their DAM adventure in Episerver land. In this blog (and most likely several future posts) I will share some of the thoughts and approaches we have taken to make a good integration.
CMS Audit Update - Visitor Groups included
Earlier this year Nicola Ayan released a nice little plugin that I instantly liked, the CMS Audit tool. It's a great way to get an easy overview over what is being used where in your CMS. In a talk about my favorite addons I showed it at Episerver Ascend Copenhagen and straight away got a question from the audience: Can we use this tool to see where visitor groups are being used? Well, now you can.
Admin Mode Plugin to Manage Content Type Suggestions
If you have a site with a lot of different content types, it can be a good idea to help Episervers Automatic Content Type suggestion feature along. Here is a basic Admin mode tool - in good old webforms (yes, I washed my hands after I made it) that will let administrators / and super-editors configure exactly which content types to suggest when.