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I see three options to create shortcuts to SDL Tridion-managed (live) sites:

  1. Custom Pages in the Content Explorer
  2. Configuring the Sites section to point to the live sites.
  3. Extending the Welcome screen as described on SDL Live Content ((requires login)) (only for 2013 SP1).

Site properties under Slide-out Navigation > Settings seem to have only one Site URL.

Questions:

  • Is there a way to somehow show both the Staging/Preview and Live sites for a given publication under Sites?

  • Any recommendations on how else to show sites not connected to publications or to show both Staging and Live sites from the slide-out navigation?

SDL Live Content suggests three options for "dashboard" integrations (Custom Page, Home screen area, or stand-alone page). To make new sites manageable (to add or update links), would AppData be appropriate?

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Currently the slide-out navigation Sites screen only supports a single URL per Publication, so you have to choose between Staging/Preview or Live. My personal choice would be Staging/Preview, so you have the list of XPM editable sites there (which is what it was designed for initially).

I have heard it is on the roadmap to expand this with multiple sites per Publication and also will be supporting configurable thumbnails to give the sites a "face" in that screen.

If you want to have a navigation page with multiple sites per Publication, then you could indeed use all of your described options, or maybe even simply go for my View in Staging and Live UI eXtension, then you wont have a screen in the welcome area, but you will have buttons to go to the sites (added benefit is not simply having a URL for a site, but you can choose to see your selected Page directly on that site). Configuration of the base URLs I've simply placed in the Publication Metadata. Reason for not choosing AppData was the lack of an editing interface (I would need to have to add that myself while Metadata already has one).

With my extension you basically have the option to configure 2 URLs per Publication, and you could simply extend that with more if required. It would even be possible to design a navigation screen which reads all those URL's and list them like the slide-out navigation Sites screen does. That will be a bit more work, but then the configuration part of the URL's is already done.

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  • +1, especially for pointing out (Publication metadata) fields for managed details like urls as well as the GUI extension, which is probably a better use case. Users don't just want to go to the home page (easy as a browser favorite), but they'd want to check out this page looks on staging or live. – Alvin Reyes Dec 31 '13 at 18:56
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A while back (Tridion 2009) I wrote a GUI Extension which was a simple right click->View in Staging/View in Live which applied to Publications, Structure Groups and Pages. This would give editors a shortcut to Staging/Live from the CME. Bart has released a 2013 version which uses publication metadata to store the staging/live URLs per publication.

It would be nice if the staging and live sites were separated in the Sites slide-out - I can imagine that for any multi-site/language implementation you will need some filters in any case on this screen, but I guess thats for a future release. In any case, its always useful to go directly to a specific page on the site, so the GUI extension approach is better I think, perhaps enriched with a ribbon toolbar button so View in Live can be used from within XPM.

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