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We are interested in using the new External Content Libraries (ECL) when they are released with Tridion 2013.

The plan is to be able to browse and use our Amazon S3 files in Tridion.

I attended the March 2013 Tridion Webinar, and have also been looking at Bart Koopman's slides here.

I think we would need to write a new S3 Provider/connector, and implement the 5 'IContent..' interfaces, which would provide us with the ability to view and use the Amazon S3 files from within Tridion.

Is this correct?

Would this be a read only view of the files, or could we could create new files in Amazon S3 from the Tridion GUI?

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    First 2013 question! – Rob Stevenson-Leggett Mar 14 '13 at 11:19
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    The 5 IContent... interfaces you refer to are: IContentLibrary, IContentLibraryContext, IContentLibraryListItem, IContentLibraryLibraryItem, IContentLibraryMultimediaItem. – Jan H Mar 14 '13 at 12:42
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    Eric Huiza shared an ECL overview in this post. The caveat as Bart points out is any information shared before the official release should be considered "tentative." I'm sure we'll see a few interesting examples in a few months if not sooner. :-) – Alvin Reyes Mar 15 '13 at 18:58
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What is required for ECL is indeed to build a provider using the five mentioned interfaces. This will allow you to show the items in the SDL Tridion UI, and depending on how you implement your provider, also editing and creation of new items can be done.

The IContentLibraryListItem interface defines the method CanGetUploadMultimediaItemsUrl() which relates to the method GetUploadMultimediaItemsUrl(IEclUri parentFolderUri) in the IContentLibraryContext interface. This allows you to specify a URL of the UI where you can upload new items to the external system. This URL will be loaded in an iframe which is openend by the Upload Asset button in the Create Ribbon Toolbar.

The IContentLibraryMultimediaItem interface also defines a Save(bool readback) method. This can be used to save the changes made in the Tridion UI back to the external system (if editing on the ECL items is enabled in your provider).

This answer remains a bit cryptic since 2013 isn't released yet, but I'll make example code available somewhere around March 31st. My example code doesn't show the implementation of save, but it does have the create new items option implemented.

So to summarize, the answer to your question is yes. You can create new files in Amazon S3, but to do so you will have to have a web UI for that which can be loaded in an iframe (if you cannot use an available Amazon S3 UI for that, you could consider creating your own of course).

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Like you described you can write a provider and implement the ECL interfaces. This will expose your S3 items in a mount point in the Tridion UI (CME and XPM).

In the simplest form the view of the files is read only. Bart described the other options in his answer.

Apart from the provider you will need to facilitate for ECL in your templates. For example, the templating could ask the provider to get the binary from S3 which is added to the package, or the provider could get a public S3 URL which is used on the output. Tridion 2013 comes with example Default Building Blocks for ECL.

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