Planning and publishing

The planning features of Dynamic Content allow you to organise and schedule your content, keeping control of when content is published and where in your website, app or other channel it will be published to.

Content is scheduled using events and editions and delivered to slots. You can preview content before it's published and even see exactly what your website or app will look like at any future date and time.

On this page we walk you through the planning and publishing process step by step, from creating an event, to adding editions, adding slots and and scheduling an edition for publishing. Once you've gone through the overview on this page, you can follow the links in the summary section to find out more.

For background information see planning concepts.

Summary

Here's a summary of the steps required to plan and schedule your content

Planning your content

When using the planning view to organise the content schedule for a new project, the first thing you need to do is create an event. An event is a way of grouping collections of content together. Within an event there are likely to be several collections of content that can be scheduled to go live at different times. This will be organised into editions. For example, a clothing promotion may run for a week with editions promoting a different offer each day. Within an edition you'll add the actual content, choosing the slots that represent the areas of your website or app you want to update.

Events

Events are created in the planning view. Each event has a name, a start and end date and can optionally contain an attachment to allow the planner to specify a brief. The event duration should cover each of the editions that will be contained within it, but you can edit the start and end date once it has been created.

Events will usually represent anything that will require collections of content to be planned and scheduled in stages. The way that you organise events and editions is up to you, so you can choose an approach that reflects your approach to planning and producing content. You could use an event to prepare the stages of a website refresh for example or to organise content for a sales promotion. Multiple events can run concurrently, so you can also use events to organise content updates by content team or category.

Creating an event
Creating an event

Editions

An edition has a name and a start and end date. When an edition is created it will be in a draft state and to set the edition to go live, it needs to be scheduled. If the edition meets all the scheduling criteria, then the content within the edition will be published on the edition's start date.

Editions within an event
Editions within an event

Adding content to slots

Content within an edition is added to slots. A slot represents a place you want to put content, for example you might have a slot for your entire website home page, or a specific area within a particular page. An edition can contain one or many slots with up to 200 slots per edition.

Adding slots to an edition
Adding slots to an edition

Once a slot is added to an edition you can then add some content to the slot as explained on the adding content to slots page. In the example shown below, we're choosing the "Winter collection image" from the content browser and adding this to the "Home page hero banner slot".

Adding content to a slot
Adding content to a slot

The way that slots model your content delivery channels is discussed in more detail on the Designing your slots page.

Previewing content

Within the planning view, there are two ways of previewing content: displaying a visualization of an individual piece of content within a slot and opening a preview of your website or app.

To show a visualization of a piece of content, open an edition and then choose the content you want to preview. If a visualization is available for this kind of content, a preview of the content will then be shown.

Previewing a content item within a slot
Previewing a content item within a slot

Creating visualizations is a developer task explained in more detail in the integrations section.

To see all your content as it will appear at any point in the future, you can make use of the preview feature. By choosing any future date in the calendar and selecting the "Preview content" menu item, a separate window will be opened showing how your website or app will appear at that point in time.

You can see a simple example on the previewing content page.

To make use of the advanced preview feature your developers will need to develop a preview app. This app will take the information passed to it by Dynamic Content and retrieve the content as it will appear at the specified date and time. You can make the preview app as complex as you'd like, you could choose to preview one page or your entire site.

Note that only editions that have been scheduled will be available to view in a preview app.

More information about developing preview apps can be found on the Developing a content preview app page.

Scheduling and Publishing

When an edition is complete and has content added to its slot, it can then be scheduled. On its start date, a scheduled edition becomes live and the slots it includes, together with all the content contained within them, is published. Once an edition is scheduled for publication it is locked and cannot be changed, but you can unschedule an edition in order to make changes.

Note that editions can be unscheduled up to 1 minute before their scheduled start time, after this point the publishing process has started and cannot be stopped.

Scheduling an edition
Scheduling an edition

In order for an edition to be scheduled, it must meet a set of scheduling criteria. This is a series of rules that apply to the edition itself and the content within its slots. These criteria include:

  • each of the slots within the edition must meet its own slot validation rules
  • the edition start date cannot be in the past and cannot be more than 100 days in the future
  • the slots contained within an edition cannot contain two different versions of the same content

In addition, if two editions are scheduled to go live within one hour of each other and might publish content to the same slots, you are shown a warning.

Edition scheduled
Edition scheduled

On the start date of a scheduled edition, that edition will go live and the content within its slots will be published. The published content can then be consumed on your website or in your app, or in other channels such as an in-store kiosk.

An example of an edition that has been published is shown below. The edition status of the "Free shipping promotion" has changed from scheduled to published. Once published an edition cannot be edited or deleted.

A published edition
A published edition

Adding slots to editions

Adding content to slots

Previewing content

Designing your slots

Developing a visualization

Developing a content preview app

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