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I'm reviewing BluePrint setups of twenty to a few hundred publications. A few have existing pre-2013 Flickr or YouTube integrations.

In scenarios where each publication has its own YouTube or Flickr account, how might a Content Mangement Organization implement ECL?

I see how we can setup and configure one ECL provider for YouTube for a spot in the BluePrint, for example, but would we need to do the same for each "sub-organization" separately? Is a single setup with different credentials per publication possible?

  • So you have pre-ECL Flickr and YouTube integrations and want to move them to Tridion 2013 ECL? – Jan H Oct 30 '13 at 15:14
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    In this case, it's an older style of integration with urls or ids in Tridion fields. But the question would be for anyone considering multiple (external) accounts with ideally a single ECL provider setup. – Alvin Reyes Oct 30 '13 at 15:37
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ECL is what is technically known as "somewhat BluePrint aware". :)

More specific: ECL is aware that the same item can exist in multiple publications with different name, metadata, and even binary content. It is also aware that not all items are necessarily present in all publications. Every time ECL calls the provider to get an item (or a list of items) it will pass in the publication ID allowing the provider to return the correct data for the specific publication.

There is a few limitations you will need to work around (hence the "somewhat"):

  1. ECL does not give information about the BluePrint to the provider. So while it tells the provider it want to read the item from publication x, there is no way to determine if publication x is a child publication of y.
  2. ECL assumes all BluePrinted items will follow the standard Tridion rules of items. So if an item exist in a publication, it assumes it will exist in all child publications (though it does understand that the current user might not have access to it in a child publication). If the provider does not follow these rules, expect interesting effects on the UI and publishing.

You could use the Core Service from the provider to connect back to Tridion and read the BluePrint (some caching might be advisable for performance reasons). This would also allow you to put configuration in for example the Publication metadata at the cost of breaking some of the versioning isolation available in ECL. Notice you would need to put the endpoint configuration for the Core Service into the provider config file if you take this approach.

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Interesting question Alvin.

A provider can be publication-aware. ECL items are requested from your ECL provider by publicaiton. So the provider is aware you request the ECL item for publication id 123, and you could set it up to use different credentials.

However, you do not want to return different multimedia items for the same mount point for in different publications in the BluePrint, that does not fit the way we deal with BluePrinting. So the above is only usable if those different credentials view the same information.

If you would like to show different content in those publications I think you would have to configure multiple mount points, using the same provider. That's a perfectly valid setup, one mountpoint shows the contents of account A, the other mounpoint shows the contetents of account B.

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If each account has different content (which is logical if they are different Flickr and YouTube accounts), then you can not share the MountPoint. You will need to configure multiple MountPoints. Each Publication's MountPoint can re-use the same ECL Providers, which will read the settings from the individual MountPoint configurations.

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    It is possible to build an ECL provider that display different YouTube/Flickr accounts at different levels in the BluePrint, as long as it is ensured that once an account is displayed at a certain level it must also be in all child publications. So your reply is correct with regards to the current providers I have seen, but ECL allows you to do both. – Lars Møllebjerg Oct 31 '13 at 9:15

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