Blog / Development

Creating Content Releases in Kentico Cloud


by Bryan Soltis

Dec 19, 2017

Content editors have a lot do. From managing web content to social media, they are tasked with curating and publishing all sorts of data to many locations. With so much activity on a daily basis, editors are constantly looking for ways to be more productive, and reduce the amount of manual steps they have to take.

When it comes to publishing multiple pieces of content, wouldn’t it be awesome if they do it all in one shot? Let me show you how you can create content releases in Kentico Cloud.

Content can vary from platform to platform. Editors often have many types of information they need to work with at one time. They may be creating web content, mobile updates, and social media posts around a campaign. With so many different content items, publishing these items together may be a bit of a challenge, and one that would require several actions for each item. So how can you help them?

In Kentico Cloud, there are Modular Content elements. These elements allow you to associate other content items with a content model. You can limit the number of items and types, providing an error proof way to create and manage content. And the best part? Publishing a content item also publishes all the modular content you have associated with it! 

With this functionality, you can create a “content release” concept within your projects. The idea is that editors can create the various types of content that they need for a new campaign or section of the site. 

When they’re ready to publish the items, they can create a single Content Release item, associate all the items they want to publish, and then publish the single Content Release item. This can save a ton of work as they won’t have to go into each content item and publish. Because the items are modular content under the CR item, they’ll be published in one step! 

To demo the concept, I have a site with some pretty pathetic posters of cats. For each poster, I have some testimonials for users with comments about the poster. I would like to be able to publish multiple posters and testimonials at one once. Let me show you how to use content releases to make the process super simple. 

Creating the Content Structure

The first step was to create my content structures. Because the process is dependent on modular content, I needed to define your content models so that they can be “nested” for publishing.

Here is an example hierarchy of my demo content:

  • Poster
    • Testimonial 
    • Testimonial
  • Poster
    • Testimonial
  • Poster
    • Testimonial
    • Testimonial

As you can see, each Poster contains X number of Testimonials. 

Creating Content Models

In Kentico Cloud, I created my content models to match the above architecture. 

Poster

The Poster content model is the “root” content element. It contains the Poster Image, Description, and a modular content element for the associated Testimonials.

Testimonial

The Testimonial content model contains a few basic text fields for the name, date, and comment. 

Content Release

This model consisted of a modular content element for the Poster content type. 

Testing

With the content models created, I was ready to test. First, I accessed my site to view the current posters.


In my project, I created new Poster items. For each Poster, I created some Testimonials.



Next, I created my Content Release item. I added the new Poster items as modular content. 


Next, I selected the Content Release 1 item in my inventory and selected Publish


Because the new Poster items (and their associated Testimonial items) were modular content of the Content Release 1 item, I only need to select to publish everything.


With the content published, I refreshed my site to confirm the new content was displayed.


Nice! By using modular content elements, I was able to publish a single item in my inventory and have all the associated content published to my site.

How You Can Use Them?

Now that you understand how to create Content Releases, you may be wondering how you can leverage them in your projects. Well, there possibilities are just about endless!  Here are a few ways you can simplify your content management:

  • Publish an entire section of you site at once
  • Launch updates to multiple content items
  • Publish an event and all the associated sessions (we use this for the Kentico events app!)
  • Publish updates to multiple pages after a content model update

Bonus!

If you saw my blog on Automating Your Kentico Cloud Content with Azure Logic Apps, then you know you can do some pretty cool stuff with Azure to post to Twitter, Facebook, and other channels using webhooks. Just for fun, I added this same functionality to my Content Release demo, to show how a Tweet content item could be added to a release. 

By combining these two concepts, I created a process for publishing new posters, testimonials, and event automating a tweet, all with a single content release element.

Tweet Content Model

I created a new content model to hold my tweet text and link.

Tweet Sample

I created a Tweet 1 item for my new posters. 

Content Release Model (Updated)

I updated the Content Release content model with a new tweet element.

Tweet It!

After adding the Tweet 1 to my Content Release 1 item, I published the release. I confirmed the tweet successfully posted to my Twitter account.

NOTE

This process leveraged Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions. You will want to read my previous blog for the details. 

Automating Your Kentico Cloud Content with Azure Logic Apps

Moving Forward

Kentico Cloud is packed full of great features to make editing content a breeze. By leveraging these within your projects, you can provide a great content editing experience, while simplifying headaches and issues. Modular content elements are some of the most powerful in the system, and allow you to create associations within your project. Hopefully, this blog showed you how the Content Release concept can save you lots of time when publishing your content. Good luck!

If you want to see pictures of our lazy cat, you can check out the Purrthetic Prints site.