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I'm helping collect the design considerations for letting users see the version number of an item that was published to each Target Type in the Content Manager Explorer.

So far we've covered:

  • Show in GUI, per item. We can show this information upon request. Maybe we can add it to Where Used helps, which has publication targets instead of target types but no version numbers (are those stored?).
  • Non-editable data. We'll store information in Application Data rather than metadata (authors shouldn't change). We wouldn't content port this since it's specific to a given CMS environment (in DTAP).
  • Sync with Rollbacks. We must handle rollbacks, especially with delete, either by adjusting values or storing entries (similar to Chris Summers' "Save & Comment" PowerTools extension)
  • Automation? I'm not partial to where the automation happens, but Event System seems a better fit than storing this is Content Delivery.

I'm just not sure on scheduled publishing, especially in done in phases. I think authors would want the version of the item as it was rendered, but we might also need to handle failed publishing transactions.

Am I missing any scenarios or do you have any other recommendations for letting users see which version of an item was published where?

  • Interesting that this gets some +1's but also a close vote. Maybe this is too open of a question, but let me know how I can improve it. – Alvin Reyes Jun 20 '13 at 23:23
  • I think perhaps it's a little open-ended - do you anticipate being able to accept a single, definitive answer as the solution to the problem? I'm not sure it will be possible. This seems more like a discussion than an answerable question. – Ant P Jun 21 '13 at 6:36
  • Ok, I see it. Maybe the question is just "are version numbers stored during publish?" I'll see if there's a better answerable question here. – Alvin Reyes Jun 21 '13 at 14:22
  • And the answer to getting publish info for a given version is "no" but see potential requirements above. – Alvin Reyes Aug 3 '13 at 1:48
  • Yes but you don't need the version at publish time to be stored when you have the publish time and the timestamps of the versions. See my answer... – Dominic Cronin Sep 24 '13 at 15:13
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How about creating a report which displays a table listing all items and where they're published. You can add various sorting or filter options to it.

One quick way is to knock up a page template and a page that editors will publish to Preview/Staging. You can add a TBB to this template allowing to only be published to Staging/Preview. The nice thing here is that you quickly knock it up using TOM.NET.

Another option is to create a custom page that is printing report using the Core Service and rendering via ASP.NET or MVC.NET.

  • Interesting, I have recommended using templating as a "quick and dirty" way to do reports. I wasn't clear on an important point, though. I want specifically the version number that was sent to each Target Type. It might differ between Preview and Staging. Is that already saved during publish? – Alvin Reyes Jun 20 '13 at 23:27
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    You'll need to save this info somewhere after a successful publish event as that info isn't retained in the CM DB (I believe). First thing coming to mind is Event System on publish transaction committed save to App Data. – Nickoli Roussakov Jun 20 '13 at 23:49
  • Aha, I knew it. The version number at publish is one of those "I don't think it's saved" pieces of information. – Alvin Reyes Jun 21 '13 at 0:03
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To do this you would have to compare the date/time stamp of the version with that of the publish to a given target. In the GUI, this information is surfaced via the version list of an item and in the "Where Used > Published To" tab.

  • +1 and this has been my out-of-the-box (yet manual) response to "how do we know what's been published?" I think a good solution here would be to bring this info closer together in the UI or to make a flag that basically states "this specific version is live" beyond the existing "some version of this is live." Or we might flip it and point out a newer version is live, which sounds oddly familiar. – Alvin Reyes Sep 24 '13 at 17:04

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